Philip Doddridge.

The family expositor, or, A paraphrase and version of the New Testament : with critical notes, and a practical improvement of each section ... disposed in the order of an harmony (Volume 4) online

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from God, and a friend to the Jewish nation,
to assert the same, and to act upon it. \


Blessed be God for the preaching of the gospel, so absolute- Ver. u.
ly necessary to that faith without which we can have no well-
grounded hope of salvation. Blessed be God therefore for the 15
mission of his ministers, and for his abundant goodness in send-
ing them to us sinners of the Gentiles. Let us give them a re-
spectful and attentive hearing, and say. How beautiful upon the
mountains are the feet of those that preach salvation^ that publish
peace! And let us take great care that we do not only speak
respectfully of their doctrine, but that we comply with the pur-
poses of their embassy.

It is matter of continual joy to reflect, not only that God
hath afforded to all men such means of attaining divine know-
ledge by the intimations of it which he hath given in the con- IS
stitutions of the heavenlv bodies, and in the whole frame of vi-
sible nature, but also that he hath sent the express messages
of grace to so many millions in the extensive publication of his
gospel. Let us rejoice in the spread it hath already had, and
let us earnestly and daily pray that the voice of those divine
messengers that proclaim it may go forth unto all the earth,
and their words reach, in a literal sense, to the remotest ends of
our habitable world. Let us pray that wherever the word of
God hath a free course, it may be more abundantly glorified,
and that its ministers may not have so much reason to say, WhoiQ^ 21
hath believed our report? and to complain of stretching out their
hands all the day long to a disobedient and gainsaj/ing people. Ex-
ert, O Lord God, thine almighty arm, make it bare in the sight
of all the nations! Shed abroad thy saving influences on the
hearts of multitudes, that they may believe and turn unto the
Lord ! May the great Saviour of his Israel be found of those 20
that seek him not ; and by the surprising condescensions of his
grace may he manifest himself to those that do not inquire after
him ! And may his ancient people not only be provoked to 19
anger, but awakened to emulation too, and put in their claim
for those blessings which God has by his Son vouchsafed to
offer to all the Gentiles !

xi. 1.

122 Yet God hath not utterly forsaken his people Israel;


The apostle shows that though the rejection of Israel he for the present
general, accorcU?ig to their owti prophecicSy and attended with astonish-
ing blindness and obstinacy, yet it is not total, there being still a num-
ber of happy believers among them. Rom. xi. 1 — 10.

Romans XI. 1.
SECT. "l^E have seen, my brethren, how the per- t say then. Hath
XXIV. »* verseness of the Jews and the calling of God castaway his

-the Gentiles hath been foretold ; but do I say ^^^7 1 'abo°'^am'^tfn

then, that God hath entirely rejected his whole Israelite of the seed
people so as to have mercy on none of them ? of Abraham, of the
God forbid! I should then pronounce a sentence ^"^® **^ Benjamin,
of reprobation upon myself; for I also am, an
Israelite, as it is well known I am of the seed
if Abraham, and can trace my genealogy, and ,

show particularly that I am [of] the tribe of
2 Benjamin. No : blessed be his name God hath 2 God hath not
not rejected those of his people whom he fore- ^^^^.' ?^f ^ Ij"'^ P^°P'®

«/ ^ -A JT «/ which he loreknew

knew; but hath still, as in the most degenerate wotye not what the
ages, a seed whom he hath chosen to faith Scripture saith of
and salvation. Know you not what the scripture ^i^^-^ .*^°^ ^^ ™^j '
saith to this purpose in the story of Elijah ? God against Israel,
(Compare 1 Kings xix. 14.) when he pleads saying,
S with God against Israel, saying, " Lord, they 3 Lord, they have
« have cruelly slain all thtj faithful prophets, ^'"^^ J.^y prophets,

^ * ^ 3,11(1 cii£rGr6(l Qown

*' and they have digged up the very foundations ^^i^e altars; and I

** of thine altars; ^ and I am left alone, after am left alone, and

*' the slaughter of all thine other servants: and *^^y ^®^^ "™y ^'^®-

*' they seek my life too, and send murderers in

*^ pursuit of me from place to place, that there

*' may not be one worshipper of Jehovah left

4" in their whole land." But recollect, what * ^"^ what saith

.7 ri- ' r\ T J L- ' 4. i.u* the answer of God

says the IJivine Oracle to him m answer to this ^^^^^ ^^^ > j j^j^^g
doleful complaint .f^ "/ Aaue re5er2;e(Z Mwio mj/se/f, reserved to myself
<' by my grace and providence, no less than seven thousand men

£c Vxi 1 2.1 *! Ji *L who have not bowed

*' seven thousand men who have not bowed ^^^ the knee toMeiTnoff*

*' knee before the image of Baal, nor complied o/Baai.

* Digged up thine altars.'] It seems pious persons in the ten tribes built

from hence, that though, according to altars elsewhere, it is well known, at

the law, there was only one altar for least, that Samuel and Elijah had done

sacrifice, and that in the place where it ; and perhaps they were either kept

God had fixed his peculiar residence; up, or others raised on the same spots

yet, by some special dispensation, of ground.

but there is a remnant according to the election of grace* 123

*' with any of those idolatrous rites which are sect.

5 Even so then at " established by these iniquitous laws." ^nd ^^^^'
this present time also ^^ ^^^^ ^'^ ^^^ present time, bad as this genera- t^ '

there is a remnant ^. j, t ,/ . j .1 ° Rom.

according to the elec- tion 01 Israelites is, and sure they were never xi. 5.

tion of grace. worse, yet there is a remnant who continue

faithful to God, according to the free election of
his grace, whereby God hath reserved them to
himself, and made them to differ from others.^

6 Andif by grace, And by the way, I cannot forbear observing6
then is it no more of and entreating you to reflect, that if it be, as I
"rat'is ^Tor: have said, according to the election of grace,
grace. But if it be of then [it is\ no more, as some have maintained, of
works, then it is no works, whether of the Mosaic or any other
^srworkbno^'more ^^w; else grace is no longer grace,- if the glory
werk. of our acceptance with God is not on the whole

to be ascribed to that. But on the other side,
if [it be^ of works, then it is no more of graccy

ielse work is no longer work. There is something
so absolutely inconsistent between being saved
by grace and by works, that if you lay down
either, you do of necessity exclude the other
from being the cause of it.

7 What then ? But to return from this short digression : What 7
Jained?hI?wMchte^^^^ ^^ ^^ couclude ? What but this, that
seeketh for; but the Israel hath not obtained that justification and
election bath obtain- righteousncss which it has sought, nor retained
ed it». .^"^ ^^ ^^^^ those particular privileges of the church of God

which they pretend entirely to engross : but the
election, the chosen remnant, hatli obtained ity
having been by divine grace engaged to em-
brace the gospel ; whereas the rest were blinded
by their own fatal prejudices, to which God

8 According as it ^^^^ '^ righteous judgment given them up :
is written, God hath According as it IS written, (Isa. xxix. 10. Com- 8

^ The election of grace."] Someexplain God's anger, would not most gladly
this of their having chosen grace, that is, have accepted of the full pardon the
the gospel; but that turn is very unna^ gospel offers, on much more rigorous
tural, and neither suits the phrase nor terms than obedience to the Mosaic ri»
the connection with the former clause tual? The meaning rather seems to be,
or with the next verse, in which the " What is given to works is the pay-
apostle comments on his own words. " ment of a debt, whereas the notioa
c Else grace is no longer grace, &c.] " of grace implies an untnerited fa-
Some interpret this, " The gospel would " vourj so that the same benefit can-
*' not deserve the name of grace, if the *' not, at the same time, be derived
" observation'of the Mosaic law were to ** from both.'* This seems to be a re-
** be taken in as a part of the terms of flection on the riches of divine graoe
" our acceptance with God." But this which the apostle makes by the way,
would have been a strange position. Who and which well agrees with the fulness
that in any degree knew the terrors of of his heart on this subject.

1^4 'Reflections on the remnant God hath reserved to himself,

SECT, pare Deut. xxix. 4. and Isa. vi. 10,) God hath given them the spirit

^^^^r^iven them a spirit of slumber, eyes that they ttytoniPZl tt

should not see, and ears that they should not hear, and ears that they

^^"^l He threatened, you see, to punish their per- should not hear, unio
verseness when it should come to a certain de- ' ^^ ^^
gree, by abandoning them to increasing stupidi-
ty and obstinacy, and he hath done it even unto
this day; for their blindness continues notwith-
standing all the extraordinary things which have
been done, even in our own age of wonders, for
9 their conviction. And this is agreeable to what QAndDarid salth,
Bavid hath said, in that prophetical imprecation made a"s'nare^,'and''a
which is applicable to them as well as to Judas, trap, and a *stum-
(Psal. Ixix. 22, 23; compare Actsi. 20,) Let all biing-hiock, and a
the blessings of their most plentiful table become [^6^^'"'^ """^^
a snare to them, and that which should, accord-
ing to its original use and intention, have been
for their welfare, a trap. Thus the gospel,
which should have been the means of their sal-
vation, is now become an instrument of ruin and
destruction to them, and an occasion of stum-
bling in the most fatal manner. And it must be
acknowledged to be a just recompence for their
wickedness, that the best of blessings should
thus be turned into a curse to them that so un-
gratefully rejected and despised it. And in
10 them the following words are also fulfilled : Let lO i^et their eyes
their eyes be darkened that they may not see, and they*^may" n1)'t fef
keep their back continually bent down under a and bow down their
perpetual weight of sorrows which they may back alway,
not be able to support, and which may be a just
punishment upon them for having rejected so
easy a yoke. (Compare Lev. xxvi. 13.)


Vfir.3,4. Let us learij from the answer of God to Elijah, when he
thought himself left alone, and knew nothing of the seven thou-
. sand which God had reserved, to encourage ourselves in a se-
cret hope that there may be much more goodness in the world
than we are particularly aware of The numbers of those that
constitute the invisible church are unknown to us, but they are
known to God. They are all registered in the book of his re-
membrance, as they are all reserved unto himself by his grace;
nor shall his people whom he hath foreknown be cast away. May
2 we be of that blessed number ; and may the degeneracy which
we see sq prevalent around us^ animate us to a holy zeal to

Through the fall of live Jews salvation is come to the Gentiles^ 125

hold fast our own integrity; yea, to sei^e the occasion of ap- sect.
proving it in a more acceptable manner, from a circumstance, xxiv.
m every other view, greatly to be lamented. _— .

Let us often reflect upon this great and important truth so
frequently inculcated upon 4is in the word of God, that it is toVer. 6.
his grace, and not to any works of our own, that we are to as-
cribe our acceptance with him. And let the ministers of Christ
be ready, after the example of the apostle, sometimes to turn
as it were out of the way, to dwell a little on a thought at
'X)nce so humbling and so reviving.

We see the miserable circumstances of God''s ancient Israel, 7,8
given up to a spirit of slumber, to blind eyes and to deaf ears.
Oh let us take heed that we do not imitate their obstinacy ^nd
folly, lest God make our own wickedness our 'destruction, lest
he send a curse upon us, and curst our blessings, so that our tahle'Q
should become a snare to m5, our temporal enjoyments, or our spi-
ritual privileges ! Lord, let us often say. Give us any plague ra-
ther than the plague of the heart ; and bow down our backs under JO
any load of affliction rather than that which shall at last crush
those who have refused to accept of thy gospel, and to take up-
on their shoulders the light burden which a gracious Saviour
would lay upon them.


7%e apostle shows in this and the next section that the rejection of Israel
is notjinal ; but that the time shall come when, to the unspeakable joy
of the Chistian world, the Jewish nation shall be. brought into the
church of Christ. Rom. xi. 11 — 24>.

Ro \s 11 Romans Ki. 11.
T SAY thenj have T HAVE asserted above, the rejection of the sect.
they stumbled that -'- Jewish nation in general ; yet I have observed xxv.
^^^I f '^u^aW f*'^ ' that it is not total, so that none of them should

God forbid! but ra- • u- * r \ a a t * '4. <• Rom.

iher through their fall f^mam objects 01 mcrcy. And do 1 assert it to ^^j^ j^^
salvation is come un- be final.'' Do I then say, they have so stumbled
to the Geutiles, for ^g ^/^^/ ^g ^ nation, they should fall into irrecov-

to provoKe them to ii* j*^ r it-<-ij

jealousy. erable rum, and never more be owned by God,

as his people ? God forbid! but I assert, that by
this fall of theirs salvation [is] at the present
[come] to the Gentiles; the future consequence
of which shall be to provoke them to a holy cwm-
lation of sharing the blessings and benefits to be
expected from their own Messiah, when they
shall see so many heathen nations enjoy them.
12 Now if the fall But these should be no unwelcome tidings to 12
you Gentiles; for ifthdr fall \be\ by accident

126 That the Jews might he provoked to emulation.

SECT, the riches of the worlds and their diminution the of them be the riches
XXV. riches of the Gentiles, by scattering the preachers d[ramirhin^'of"thlm
• of the gospel^ among them,^ by proving our the ^"iche"^ of th^

xi.°i2. v^^^^city and integrity, and in some measure Gentiles, how much
exciting compassion too ; though their rejecting ™*"'® ^^^^^ fulness ?
us, in itself considered, might rather appear as
an argument against it ; how much more shall
the bringing in their whole fulness, that is, the
whole body of the Jewish nation, be a means of
propagating the gospel much farther, and re-
covering multitudes by whom it hath been re-
jected, from their scepticism and infidelity,
when so great an event appears in accomplish-
13ment of its known predictions?* For I now speak ^^ ^^^ } speak to
to you Gentiles, and I do it with tenderness and ^^^c\i a" i^am^The
respect, as I am, by a special designation of apostle of the Gen-
Providence, the apostle of the Gentiles; /therein ti^s, I magnify mine
extol my office, and esteem it the most signal ^
14 honour of my life to be employed in it. And H if by any means
while I thus address you, it is also with a desire lrnTJion7hemwhicl
that I may, if possible, excite to emulation \^them are my flesh, and
who are] my brethren according to the flesh, and might save some of
who are dear to me as the members of my own * ^'"*
body ; that if I may not prevail for the recovery
of their nation in general, I may sit least save
some of them, while I speak of those kind pur-
poses which I assuredly know God will accom-
plish towards the whole Jewish people in his ap-
pointed time. And this thought gives new spirit
to my address to you, as I hope it may not only

» Accomplishment of its known pre- Testament revelation, as will probably

dictions.] So many of the prophecies of captivate the minds of many thousands

the Old Testament so evidently refer to of deists in countries professedly Chris-

the reduction of the Jews into their own tian, (of which, under such corrupt esta-

land as the people of the Messiah, that blist)ments as generally prevail, there

I can by no means doubt of the certainty will of course be increasing multitudes ;)

of that event. Compare Isa. xxvii. 12, ner will this only captivate their under-

13; Ezek. xi. 17 — -21; chap, xx, 34 — standing, but will have the greatest ten-

44; chap, xxxiv. IS, 14; chap. xxxv. dency to awaken a sense of true religiom

QJ) — 29: chap, xxxvi. 24 — 28; chap, in their hearts; and this will be a means

xxxvii. 21 — 28; Amos ix. 14, 15 ; Obad. of propagating the gospel with an amaz-

ver. 1*7; Mic. vii. 14, 15; Zech. xiv. 10, ing velocity in Pagan and Mahometan

11. And the wonderful preservation of countries; which probably had been

them as a distinct people thus far, not evangelized long ago, had genuine

only leaves a possibility of this great Christianity prevailed in those who have

event, but encourages the hope of it. made a profession, and God knows, for

When it shall be accomplished, it will be the most part, a very scandalous pro-

so unparalleled as necessarily to excite fession, of its forms. — The 15th verse has

a general attention, and to hx upon so natural a connection with the 12th,

inen*s minds such an almost irresistible that Eisner includes the 13th and 14th

dtemonstraticn, both of the Old and N^w in a parenthesis.

Yet the Gentiles were not to boast against the lews: 127

tend to your edification and salvation, but also sect.
to theirs.'' xxv.

15 For if the cast- In like manner, when I wish their recovery, — — —
ing away of them be {i jg not for their sakes alone, but also with re- ^^^'.
the reconciling of the ^. ^^ ^j^^^^ j^ consequences which I "

world, what sAa// the r rfJ . i ^ j /. ^i ,

receiving of them be know it Will have upon the spread oi the gospel
but life from the among the Gentiles. For, as I hinted above,
^^^^ • if their rejection [te'ere] the reconciliation of so

great a part of the heathen world to God, as it
was the means of sending the gospel of peace
among them ; what [will] the reception [of
them he] but life from the dead? What joy will
it necessarily give, and what a general spread
of the gospel will it naturally produce !

16 For if the first- And this blessed event we may assuredly ex- 16
fruit be holy, ^^^ipQc,i'^forifthefirst-fruits[J)e'\holi/^ so [is] the
If^The'roof^thoTyt ^^^P' T^^ consecration of them was looked

so are the branches! upon as in effect the consecration of all. And
so would I look upon the conversion of some few
of the Jewish nation as an earnest of the con-
version of all the rest. And so much the ra-
ther, when I consider how, eminently dear to
God those pious patriarchs were from whom
they have descended: for if the root [^e] holy^

i . the branches [_art likewise^ so, and will surely at

n And if some of length be regarded as such. And this though 17

the branches be bio- g^j^j^g of them be at present in so melancholv a

ken off, and thou be- . . /> •r- -P *i i i »i

jug a wild olive-tree, ^tate ; for if some of the branches were broken
wert grafted in a- off, and thou, O Gentile, being as it were a scion
mongst them, and Qf ^ ^tJt'/rf olive, were grafted in among them that

rf\he ro^t'^and^fat- ^^™^^"^^>'' ^"^ (^ft with them partaker of and

nessoftheolive-tree^ nourished by, the root and fatness of the good

olive, being not only a graft upon another

stock, but a meaner graft on a stock originally

18 Boast not a noble and more excellent; Boast not thy self •{%

gainst the branches: presumptuously and ungratefully ajrainst thensL-^

but if thou boast f i t '^ i 7-^?? 7 "^^r- ,-

thou bearest not the ^ural branches : and if thou boastest, [remember]
to thy humiliation [that~} thou bearest not the

b Also to theirs.] Perhaps we can no- should hold in all its particulars: and

where find an instance of a more popu- the engagement to humility arises in a

lar and affectionate turn than this, in considerable degree from the circumstan-

which the apostle seems lo find a reason ces objected against. Had the scion been

for his zeal to convert the Gentiles in his nobler than the stock, its dependence oa

love to his own countrymen the Jews. itfor life and nourishment would render

'^ Wild olive grafted in among them.'l It is it unfit that it should boast against it:

very improper to object that it is unua- how much more when the case; was the

tural to suppose an ignoble branch grafted reverse of what in human usage is prac-

on a rich stock ; for it was not necessary tised, and the wild olive is ingrafted on

that the simile taken from inoculation the good I

128 For the Jews, the natural branches y shall be again grafted in.

SECT, root, hut the root thee. Thou hast received root, but the root

XXV. many benefits from Abraham's seed and the co- ^^^^'

j^^^ venant made w^ith him, but they have received

xi. 19. none from thee. Wilt thou therefore object 19 Thou wilt say

and say^ " The natural branches were broken off ^^^"» "^^e branches

" that I miqht be grafted in, and therefore we T^l^i^hf h" ""^ T\

1 '^ °^u*^ lu J- J * oaight be grafted

" may glory over them as they once did over in.

20 « us?" Well, take this thought at least along 20 Well; because
with thee, thei/ were broken off for their infdet- of"nbelief they were
itij, and thou hitherto standest in their place standest*^ by" faith*
through fith. Therefore be not high-minded Be not high-minded
and arrogant, but fear,^ lest thou by thy sins ^^^ ^^^*"-
forfeit the privileges to which thou art so won-

2 j derfully raised. For if God spared not the bran- 21 For if God
ches which were according to nature, neither will ^P^'"^^ "ot the na-

he by any means spare Mee, if thine unbelief ^"^diestTetS spare
make thee, after all thy peculiar obligations, as not thee,
bad, and in that respect even worse than they.

22 Behold therefore, on the whole, a remarkable 22 Behold there-
display of the intermingled goodness and seve- ^^^^ \^*^. goodness
rity of God, and endeavour to improve both on them^wiiich fell
well. Towards them that fell thou indeed severity^ but to-
seest a memorable instance of his severity; but ^"f^ thee goodness,

^1 1- 1 ^ i.1 J J " ^"ou continue m

to thee a display oi gentleness and goodness, his goodness: other-
if thou wilt be careful to continue in [his] wise thou also shalt
goodness, and endeavour gratefully and dutifully ^^ ^^^ *^^-
to improve it; else thou also shalt be cut off, for
the blessed God will not bear always to be in-

23 suited with the petulancy of- sinners. And I 23 And they also,
would have you farther to consider, as a motive '[i/^^^ *^'^f y°}
to think of the Jews with respect rather than shall be grafted in:
contempt, that they also, if ihey do not continue for God is able to
in their unbelief, shall be grafted on again, and S^a^t them m again,
restored to tneir former privileges : For it is

certain God is able again to ingraft them; hope-
less as their state may seem both with respect to
their obstinacy and their misery, his powerful
access to their mind can subdue their prejudices
against the gospel, as thou mayest easily argue

24 from what thou hast thyself experienced. For 24 For if .thou
if thou wert, as I may properly enough express wen cut out of the
it, cut off from the olive-tree, which was naturally wi'id^by'^natur'e,^ and
wild, and, contrary to the course and process wert grafted contrary

^ Be not high'Trtinded, &c.] Archbishop ly makes, amidst all the absurdities with.

Tillotson well observes that this caution which her doctrine and her ritual are

iill suits the claim to infallibility which loadfd.
the modern church of Rome so arrogant-

Reflections on God's dealing xvith Jews and Gentiles, 129

to nature into a good of nature^ were grafted on the good olive-tree; sect.
i!nrV".i^riZt if ti^o^ wert admitted into covenant with God, xxv.

more snail these i t j i j ^ i .

which be the natural though descended irom parents that were stran-
branches, be grafted gers and enemies, how much more shall they who xi°24
into^their own olive. ^^^^;^g ^^^^^^l ibranches,'} to whom the pro- ' *
mises do originally belong, be grafted on their
own olivet God will not seem to do so wonder-
ful a thing in restoring them to what might
seem the privilege of their birth-right and de-
scent, and saving the seed of Abraham his friend,
as he hath done in calling you sinners of the
Gentiles to participate the blessings of which
you had not the least notion, and to which you
cannot be suppos.ed to have had any imaginable


Let us set ourselves seriously to pause upon the conduct of
God towards the Jews and Gentiles in that part of it which the
apostle here describes, and rejoice with trembling in it. Let us

Online LibraryPhilip DoddridgeThe family expositor, or, A paraphrase and version of the New Testament : with critical notes, and a practical improvement of each section ... disposed in the order of an harmony (Volume 4) → online text (page 16 of 59)