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A critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans online

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33- fl ydp TfKVO(p6vovs reAerds ^ Kpvtpia
fivarfipia fj (p/iaveti ((dWojv Ofapuiv
Kwp-ovs dyovTfs, 24. ovTf ^iovs ovTt
ydfxovs KoOapoiis in tpvXdaaovaiv, tTf-
pos 5' irepov ■q \oxu)v dvaipii ^ voOtvcjp
65wa.

25, vavTa Si (iripi^ Ix*' "?/*« f^*
<p6vos kKottt) Kal SoAoj, (pOopa, aTriffr/a,
Tapaxoi, firiopKia, 66pv0oi dyaOaiVy
26. xapiTos duvqaia, if/vxcbv fiiaap.6sy
yeveaews (sex) evaWayr/, ydfjuuv aTof io,
/tojx*'" «°* daiXyua.

27. ij ySip tS)v vLVOJVvitoiV dSuXojv
9pr](TKeia vavrit dpx^ kcucov koI atria
Kal vipas iariv.



It will be seen that while on the one hand there can be no question of
direct quotation, on the other hand the resemblance is so strong both as to
the main lines of the argument (i. Natural religion discarded, ii. idolatry,
iii. catalogue of immorality) and in the details of thought and to some
extent of expression as to make it clear that at some time in his life St. Paul
must have bestowed upon the Book of Wisdom a considerable amount of
study.

[Compare the note on ix. 19-29 below, also an essay by E. Grafe in
Theol. Abhayidluiigen C. von IVeizsdcker gewidmet, Freiburg i. B. 1892,
p. 251 ff. In this essay will be found a summary of previous discussions of
the question and an estimate of the extent of St. Paul's indebtedness which
agrees substantially with that expressed above. It did not extend to any of
the leading ideas of Christianity, and affected the form rather than the
matter of the arguments to which it did extend. Rom. L 18-32, ix. 19-23
are the most conspicoous examples.]



X A.V. expands this as ' [spiritual]
fornication ' ; and so most moderns.
But even so the phr-^e might have



had something to do in inggesting th«
thoupht of St. Paul.



II. 1-16.] TRANSITION TO THE JEWS 53



TRANSITIOH" FBOM QEITTILE TO JEW. BOTH
ALIKE GUILTY.

H. 1-16. This state of ihiiigs puts out of court the \JewisJi\
critic who is himself no better than the Gentile. He can
claim no exemption, but only aggravates his sin by im-
penitence (vv. 1-5). Strict justice will be meted out to all—
the yetv coming first then the Gentile (vv. 6- 11). The Jew,
will be judged by the Law of Moses, the Gentile by the Lazv
of Conscience, at the Great Assize which Christ will hold
(w. I a- 1 6).

' The Gentile sinner is without excuse ; and his critic — who-
ever he may be — is equally without excuse, even though [like
the Jew] he imagines himself to be on a platform of lofty superiority.
No such platform really exists. In fact the critic only passes
sentence upon himself, for by the fact of his criticism he shows that
he can distinguish accurately between right and wrong, and his
own conduct is identical with that which he condemns. "^ And we
are aware that it is at his conduct that God will look. The
standard of His judgement is reality, and not a man's birth or
status as either Jew or Gentile. 'Do you suppose — you Jewish
critic, who are so ready to sit in judgement on those who copy your
own example — do you suppose that a special exemption will be
made in your favour, and that you personally (o-u emphatic) will
escape ? * Or are you presuming upon all that abundant goodness,
forbearance, and patience with which God delays His punishment
of sin? If so, you make a great mistake. The object of that long-
suffering is not that you may evade punishment but only to induce
you to repent. " While you with that callous impenitent heart of
yours are heaping up arrears of Wrath, which will burst upon you
in the Day of Wrath, when God will stand revealed in His character
as the Righteous Judge. • The principle of His judgement is clear
and simple. He will render to every man his due, by no fictitious
standard (such as birth or status) but strictly according to what
he has done. '' To those who by steady persistence in a life-work
of good strive for the deathless glories of the Messianic Kingdom,



54 EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS

He will give that for which they strive, viz. eternal life. ^But
to those mutinous spirits who are disloyal to the right and loyal
only to unrighteousness, for such there is in store anger and
fury, * galling, nay crushing, pain: for every human being they
are in store, who carries out to the end his course of evil, whethei
he be Jew or whether he be Gentile — the Jew again having prece-
dence. ***0n the other hand the communicated glory of the Divine
Presence, the approval of God and the bliss of reconciliation with
Him await the man who labours on at that which is good — be he
Jew or Gentile ; here too the Jew having precedence, but only
precedence : " for God regards no distinctions of race.

^^ Do not object that the Jew has a position of privilege which
will exempt him from this judgement, while the Gentile has no law
by which he can be judged. The Gentiles, it is true, have no law ;
but as they have sinned, so also will they be punished without one
[see vv. 14, 15]. The Jews live under a law, and by that law they
will be judged. "For it is not enough to hear it read in the
synagogues. That does not make a man righteous before God.
His verdict will pronounce righteous only those who have done
what the Law commands. "I say that Gentiles too, although
they have no written law, will be judged. For whenever any of
them instinctively put in practice the precepts of the Law, their
own moral sense supplies them with the law they need. "Be-
cause their actions give visible proof of commandments written not
on sione but on the tables of the heart. These actions themselves
bear witness to them ; and an approving conscience also bears
them witness ; while in their dealings with one another their inward
thoughts take sometimes the side of the prosecution and some-
times (but more rarely) of the defence. " These hidden workings
of the conscience God can see ; and therefore He will judge
Gentile as well as Jew, at that Great Assize which I teach that He
will hold through His Deputy, Jesus Messiah.

1. The transition from Gentile to Jew is conducted with much
rhetorical skill, somewhat after the manner of Nathan's parable
to David. Under cover of a general statement St. Paul sets be-
fore himself a typical Jew. Such akx one would assent cordially
to all that had been said hitherto (p. 49. sup.). It is now turned
against himself, though for the moment the Apostle holds ill
suspense the direct affirmation, * Thou art the man.'



II. 1-4.] TRANSITION TO THE JEWS 55

There Is evidence that Marcion keptw. a, 12-14, 16, 20 (from ?voi'Ta)-29 ;
for the rest evidence fails. We might suppose that Marcion would omit w.
17-20, which record however ironically) the privileges of the Jew; but the
retention of the last clause of ver. 30 is against tly.^i.

hi6 links this section closely to the last ; it is well led up to by
i. 3a, but dvanoX. pointing back to i. 20 shows that the Apostle had
more than this in his mind.

2. otSafiev Se ABD &c., Hard., Orig.-Iat. Tert. Ambrstr. Theodrt. «/.

WH. Uxi RV. /c'.v/ : olSafiey yap S C 17 a/, pane. Latt. (exc. g) Boh. Arm.,

Chrys. , Tisch. WH. luarg. RV. inarg. An even balance of authorities,

" both sides drawing their evidence from varied quarters. A more positive

decision than that of WH. RV. would hardly be justified.

oISafieK : olha = to know for a fact, by external testimony ;
yiyvwaica) = to know by inner personal experience and appro-
priation : see Sp. Comm. iii. 299 ; Additional note on 1 Cor. viii. i.

S. a6 emphatic ; * thou, of all men.' There is abundant illus-
tration of the view current among the Jews that the Israelite was
secure simply as such by virtue of his descent from Abraham and
of his possession of the Law : cf. Matt. iii. 8, 9 ' Think not to say
within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father*; Jo. viii. 33 ;
Gal. ii. 15; the passages quoted by Gif.; Weber, Altsyn. Theol.
p. 69 f.

There may be an element of popular misunderstanding, there is
certainly an element of inconsistency, in some of these passages.
The story of Abraham sitting at the gate of Paradise and refusing
to turn away even the wicked Israelite can hardly be a fair
specimen of the teaching of the Rabbis, for we know that they in-
sisted strenuously on the performance of the precepts of the Law,
moral as well as ceremonial. But in any case there must have
been a strong tendency to rest on supposed religious privileges
apart from the attempt to make practice conform to them.

4. xpi1<^T<5'n]Tos : bonitatis Vulg., in Tit. iii. 4 benigntias'. see
Lft. on Gal. v. 22. xpi*^^^!^ =^ 'kindly disposition'; fiaKpodvula
= 'patience,' opp. to o^vdufila a 'short' or 'quick temper,' ' irasci-
bihty' (cf. fipadvs fls opyfjv Jas. i. 19); di/o;^)J = ' forbearance,'
' delay of punishment,' of. dvexonai to hold one's hand.

Comp. Philo, Le^. Allegor. i. 13 (Mang. i. 50) 'Orav yd.p iy fiiv KarcL
9a\A,TTT]s, irqyds Si iv rots (prj/xordrois eiroix^p?! . . . ri trtpov vapiarijaiv ^
rifv virf p0o\fiv tov re it\ovtov icat rr}s dyadoTrjTOi avrov ;

With pLaKpoBv/xias comp. a graphic image in A/>oc. Baruch. xii. 4 Evigi-
labit contra te furor qui nunc in longanimitate lanquam in frenis reti-
lUtur.

The following is also an impressive statement of this side of the Divine
attributes: 4 Ezr. vii. 62-68 (132-138) Scio, Domine, quoniam{=oTi. ' that ')
112U1C vocatus est Altissimus miserieors, in eo qttodmisereatitr his qui nou-
c/uin in saeeulo advenerunt ; et miserator in eo quod miseraiiir illis qui
conversionemfaciunt in lege eius ; et longanimis, quoniam longanimitatetn
praestat his qui peccaverunt quasi suis operibus j et munijicus, quoniam



56 EPISTLE TO TKE ROMANS

quidem donare vnlt pro exigere ; et 77itiltae niisericordiae,qtioniam mul-
tiplicat imigis misericordias his qui praesentes sunt et qui praeterierunt et
qui futiiri sunt : si enim non viultiplicavcrit, 7ion vivificabitiir saeculwr
cum his qui inhabitant in eo ; et donator, quoniam si non donavei'it de
honitate sua tit allevcntur hi qui iniquitatcm fecerunt de sjiis iniquitati-
hus, non poterit decies millesima pars vivijicari hominum.

KOTa<ppov«is : cf. Apoc. Baruch. xxi. 20 Innotescat pottntia tua illis qui
putant longanimitatem tuam esse infirmitatem.

eis (ACTaVoiai' ae ayei : its purpose or tendency is to induce you
to repent.

' The Conative Present is merely a species of the Progressive Present. A
verb which of itself suggests effort when used in a tense which implies action
in progress, and hence incomplete, naturally suggests the idea of attempt '
(Burton, § 11).

'According to R. Levi the words [Joel ii. 13] mean: God removes to
a distance His Wrath. Like a king who had two fierce legions. If these,
thought he, encamp near me in the country they will rise against my subjects
when they provoke me to anger. Therefore I will send them far away.
Then if my subjects provoke me to anger before I send for them (the legions)
they may appease me and I shall be willing to be appeased. So also said
God : Anger and Wrath are the messengers of destruction. I will send them
far awav to a distance, so that when the Israelites provoke Me to anger, they
may come, before I send for them, and repent, and I may accept their
repentance (cf. Is. xiii. 5). And not only that, said R. Jizchak, but he
locks them up (Anger and Wrath) out of their way ; see jer. 1. 25, which
means : Until He opens His treasure-chamber and shuts it again, man
returns to God and He accepts him' {J.ract. Tnaanith ii. i ap. Winter u.
Wiinsche,y/I(i/. Litt. i. 207).

5. KaTci : ' in accordance with,' secundum duritiam tuam Vulg.
6pY'i>' : see on i. 18 above.

epyrji' Iv riii-ipa 6pyr\<i : to be taken closely together, * wrath (to

be inflicted) in a day of wrath.'

The doctrine of a ' day of the Lord ' as a day of judgement is taught by
the Prophets from Amos onwards (Amos v. 18 ; Is. ii. 12 ff.; xiii. 6 ff. ; xxiv.
31 ; Jer. xlvi. 10; Joel ii. i ff. ; Zeph. i. 7 ff. ; Ezek. vii. 7 ff. ; xxx. 3 ff. ; Zech.
xiv. I ; Mai. iii. 2 ; iv. i. It also enters largely into the pseudepigraphic
literature : Enoch xlv. 3 ff. (and the passages collected in Charles' Note) ;
Ps. Sol. XV. 13 ff. ; 4 Ezr. vi. 18 ff., 77 ff. [vii. io3 ff. ed. Bensly] ; xii. 34;
Apoc. Bartuh. Ii. i ; Iv. 6, &c.

SiKaioKpiaias : not quite the same as SiKaiis Kplaeas 2 Thess. i. 5
{cl. justi judicii Vulg.), denoting not so much the character of the
judgement as the character of the Judge (StKato/cptrijs 3 Mace. xii.
41 J cf. o dUaios KptTi'js 2 Tim. iv, 8).

The word occurs in the Quinta (the fifth version included in Origen's
Hexapla) of Hos. vi. 5 ; it is also found twice in Test. XII Patriarch. Levi 3
6 5tvT(f}f)i Ix" '"^P^ X'*^''**' KpvaraWov tToi/xa (Is -fjixipav rrpoard-yiiaTui Kvpioo
if TTj SticatoKptjii} Tov Qfov. Ibid. 15 Xrjif/ea0( vveidufxdy «al alax^yjy aliuviov
vapaL TTJi Siiccuoicptffiaf tov &(ov.

6. OS diToStijaet : Prov. xxiv. 1 2 (LXX). The principle here laid
down, though in full accord with the teaching of the N. T.



II. 6-0.] TRANSITION TO THE JEWS 57

generally (Matt. xvi. f 7 ; 2 Cor. v. 10; Gal. vi. 7; Eph. vi. 8;
Col. iii. 24, 25; Rev. ii. 23; xx. 12; xxii. 12), may seem at first
sight to conflict with St. Paul's doctrine of Jusiification by Faith.
But Justification is a past act, resulting in a present siate : it
belongs properly to the beginning, not to the end, of the Christian's
career (see on diKaicodijaovTai in ver. 13). Observe too that there is
no real antithesis between Faith and Works in themselves. Works
are the evidence of Faith, and Faith has its necessary outcome in
Works, The true antithesis is between earning salvation and
receiving it as a gift of God's bounty. St. Paul himself would
have allowed that there might have been a question of earning
salvation if the Law were really kept (Rom. x. 5; Gal. iii. 12).
But as a matter of fact the Law was not kept, the works were not
done.

7. fcaQ' itToiLov^v Ipyou dyaSoo : collective use of tpyov, as in
ver. 15, * a lifework,' the sum of a man's actions.

8. Tots 8e e§ Ipi6€ias : ' those whose motive is factiousness,' opp.
to the spirit of single-minded unquestioning obedience, those who
use all the arts of unscrupulous faction to contest or evade com-
mands which they ought to obey. From epi6os ' a hired labourer '
we get ffjidfiico ' to act as a hireling,' tpiQivofxai a political term
for 'hiring paid canvassers and promoting party spirit:' hence
tpide'ia = the spirit of faction, the spirit which substitutes factious
opposition for the willing obedience of loyal subjects of the king-
dom of heaven. See Lft. and Ell. on Gal. v. 20, but esp. Fri.
ad loc.

The ancients were strangely at sea about this word. Hesychius (cent. 5)
derived epiOos fiom epa 'earth'; the Etymologicum Magnum (a compilation
perhaps of the eleventh century) goes a step further, and derives it from ipa
*?7S agricola mercede condiutus ; Greg. Nyssen. connects it with Ipiov ' wool '
(jtpiOos was used specially of woolworkers) ; but most common of all is the
connexion with ipis (so Theodrt. on Phil. ii. 3 ; cf. Vulg. his qui ex con-
tentione [fer contentionem Phil. ii. 3; rixae Gal. v. 20]). There can be
little doubt that the use of epiOeia was affected by association with tpis,
though there is no real connexion between the two words (see notes on
ivojpuOrjaay xi. 7, Karavv^tus xi. 8).

6pyi) . . . 0ufi(Js : see Lft. and Ell. on Gal. v. 20 ; Trench, Syn.
p. 125: opyij is the setiled feeling, 6vfi6s the outward manifestation,
' outbursts ' or ' ebullitions of wrath.'

6py^ Se (any 6 inofievoi rots d/xapTavovffiv inl rifiajpia irSvot. Ov/xhu 5e
dpi^ovrai opy^v dvaBvfuajnivrjv leal dtotdaivovaav Orig. (in Cramer's Catena).

9. G\liJ;is Kal oTefoxtopia : iribulatio {pressura in the African form
of the Old Latin) et angusiia Vulg., whence our word ' anguish ' :
o-TeTO^wpia is the stronger word = ' torturing confinement ' (cf. 2 Cor.
iv. 8). But the etymological sense is probably lost in usage;
calamitas et angustiae h.e. summa calamitas Fri. p. 106.



58 EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS [II. 9-12.

For similar combinations (' day of tribulation and pain,' ' of tribulation
and great shame,' ' of suffering and tribulation,' ' of anguish and affliction,' &c.)
see Charles' note on Enoch xlv. a.

Ka.T^f>{a\Q^ivoM = ' carry to the end ' ; Kara either strengthening
the force of the simple vb., as per in perficere, or giving 't a bad
sense, as m perpeirare Fri. p. 107.

11. irpoawTToXTjiJ/ia : peculiar to Bibh'cal and Ecclesiastical Greek
(Eph. vi. 9; Col. iii. 25; Jas. ii. i ; cf. TrpoaanoXfjnTTji Acts x. 34 ;

irpo(Tco7ToKi]T;T(l.i> JaS. ii. 9; uTrpotTcoTrvXrjTVTcos I Pet. i. 17): npoa-mnov

Xap^avfiv = (i) to give a gracious reception to a suppliant or suitor
(Lev. xix. 15) ; and hence (ii) to show partiality, give corrupt judge-
ment. In N. T. always with a bad sense.

The idea goes back to Dent. x. 17 o @ebt . , . ov dav/ii^tt irpdawitov ovV
oi jjifj Kdliy Swpov, •which is adopted in Ps. Sol. ii. 19 6 Oeos KptTrjs Sinatoi Kat
ov Oav/J-daei vpoaajirov, and explained va. Jubilees v. 15 'And He is not one
who will regard the person (of any) nor receive gifts ; when He says that He
will execute judgement on each : if one gave him everything that is on the
earth, He will not regard the gifts or the person (of any), nor accept any-
thing at his hands, for he is a Righteous Judge' ; cf. Apoc. Baruch. xiii. 7,
Pirqi Aboth iv. 31 ' He is about to judge with whom there is no iniquity,
nor forgetfulness, nor respect of persons, nor taking of a bribe.'

12, 13. votios and 6 vojjlos. The distinction between these two forms did
not escape the scholarship of Origen, whose comment on Rom. iii. ai reads
thus in Rufinus' translation (ed. Lommatzsch, vi. 201) : Aloris est apud
Craccos noviinibus ap9pa praeponi, quae apud nos possunt articuli nominari.
Si qtiamlo igitur iMosis legem nominat, solitiiin nomini praemittit articulum:
si quando vera naturaletn vult ititelligi, sine articulo ttominat legem. This
distinction however, though it holds good genernlly, does not cover all the
cases. There are really three mam uses: yi) 6 vufx-m = the Law of Moses;
the art. denotes something with which the readers are familiar, Hkeir own
law,^ which Christians in some sense inherited from the Jews through the O. T.
(2) i/o/ioy = law in general (e.g. ii. 12, 14; iii. 20 f.; iv. 15; v. 13, Slc). (3) But
there is yet a third usage where fo/ios without art. really means the Law of
Moses, but the absence of the art. calls attention to it not as proceeding from
Moses, but in its quality as law, non quia Mosis sedquia lex as Gif. expresses
it in his comment on Gal. ii. 19 (p. 46). St. Paul regards the Pre-Messianic
period as essentially a period of Law, both for Jew and for Gentile. Hence
when he wishes to bring out this he uses >'u/ioj without art. even where he is
referring to the Jews ; because his main point is that they were under
* a legal system ' — who gave it and what name it bore was a secondary con-
sideration. The Law of the Jews was only a typical example of a state of
things that was universal. This will explain passages like Rom. v. 20, x. 4.

There will remain a few places, which do not come under any of these
heads, where the absence of the art. is accounted for by the influence of the
context, usually acting; through the law of grammatical sympathy by which
when one word in a phrase drops the article another also drops it ; some of
these passages involve rather nice points of scholarship (see the notes on
ii. 25; iii. 31 ; xiii. S). On the whole subject compare esp. Gif p. 47 ff. ;
also a monograph by Grafc, Die- paiiliiiisclw Lthre von Gcsetz, Freiburg i.
B. 1S84, ed. 2, 1893. Dr. Grafe goes rather too far in denying the dis-
tinction between vipo-i and 6 vofxos, but his paper contains many just re-
marks and criticisms.

12. dkdjMds. The heaiheii are represented a? deliberately reject*.



TRANSITION TO THE JEWS 59

ing not only the Law of Moses but even the Noachic ordinances.
Thus they have become enemies of God and as such are doomed
to destruction (Weber, Altsyn. Theol. p. 65).

TjnapToy. Burton (§ 54) calls this a 'collective Aorist,' represented in
English by the Perfect. ' From the point of view from which the Apostle
is speaking, the sin of each offender is simply a past fact, and the sin of
all a series or aggregate of facts together, constituting a past fact. But
inasmuch as this series is not separated from the time of speaking we must
as in iii. 23 employ an English Perfect in translation.' Prof. Burton
^ suggests an alternative possibility that the aor. may be proh-ptic, as if it
were spoken looking backwards from the Last Judgement of the sins which
will then be past ; but the parallels of iii. 23, v. 12 are against this.

13. ol aKpoaral vojiov : cf. Karrjxovfifvm (K tov vS/jlov tct. i8 ; also Pereq

R. Heir 6 {Sayings of the Jewish Fathers, ed. Taylor, p. 1 1 5) ' Thorah is
acquired ... by learning, by a listening ear,' &c. It is interesting to note
that among the sayings ascribed to Simeon, very possibly St. Paul's own
class-mate and son of Gamaliel his teacher, is this: "not learning but doing
is the groundwork ; and whoso multiplies words occasions sin' (^Pirqi Aboth.
i. 18, ed. Taylor; reff. from Delitzsch).

vojiov sine artic. bis NABDG. The absence of the art. again (as in the
last verse) generalizes the form of statement, ' the hearers and the doers of
law' (whatever that law may be) ; cf. vii. I.

SiKaiuGiio-oi'Tai. The word is used here in its universal sense of
' a judicial verdict,' but the fut. tense throws forward that verdict
to the Final Judgement. This use must be distinguished from
that which has been explained above (p. 30 f.), the special or, so to
speak, technical use of the term Justification which is characteristic
of St. Paul. It is not that the word has any different sense but
that it is referred to the past rather than to the future (S«ata)(9<VT6r
aor. cf. V. I, 9) ; the acquittal there dates from the moment at
which the man becomes a Christian ; it marks the initial step in
his career, his right to approach the presence of God as if he were
righteous. See on ver. 6 above.

14. eOfit) : TO. %6vr) would mean all or most Gentiles, i6vr] means
only some Gentiles ; the number is quite indefinite, the prominent
point being their character as Gentiles.

Cf. 4 Ezr. iii. 36 homines quidem per nomina invenies servasse mandata
tua, gentes autem non invenies.

rd (AT) vo^w exoi'Ta , the force of ftij is ' who ex hypothesi have not
a law,' v^iom we conceive of as not having a law; cf. ra /mj ovja
I Cor. i. 28 {^uae pro nihilo habentur Grimm).

eauTois €io-i KOfios : ubi legis impleiio, ibi lex P. Ewald.

The doctrine of this verse was liberal doctrine for a Jew. The Talmud
recognizes no merit in the good deeds of heathen unless they are accompanied
by a definite wish for admission to the privileges of Judaism hven if
a_ heathen were to keep the whole law it would avail him nothing without
circumcision [fitbarim Rabha i ). If he prays to Jehovah his prayer is aot



6o EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS [ll. 14, 15.

heard {ibid.). If he commits sin and repents, that too does not help him
{Pesikta 1.^6"). Even for his alms he gets no credit {Pesikta 12''). 'In
their books ' (i. e. in those in which God sets down the actions of the
heathen) ' there is no desert' {Shir Rahba 86"=). See Weber, y4//jy«. Theol.
p. 66 f. Christian theologians have expressed themselves much to the same
effect. Their opinions are summed up concisely by Mark Pattison, Essays,
ii. 61. 'In accordance with this view they interpreted the passages in
St. Paul which speak of the religion of the heathen; e.g. Rom. ii. 14.
Since the time of Augustine De Spir. et Lit. § 27) the orthodox interpreta-
tion had applied this verse, either to the Gentile converts, or to the favoured
few among the heathen who had extraordinary divine assistance. The
Protestant expositors, to whom the words " do by nature the things contained
in the law" could never bear their literal force, sedulously prtsrved tha
Augustinian explanation. Even the Pelagian Jeremy Taylor is obliged to
gloss the phrase "by nature," thus : " By fears and secret opinions which the
Spirit of God, who is never wanting to men in things necessary, was pleased
to put into the hearts of men " {Duct. Dubit. Book II. ch. i, § 3). The
rationalists, however, find the expression " by nature," in its literal sense,
exactly conformable to their own views (John Wilkins [1614-1673], Of Nat.
Rel. II. c. 9), and have no difficulty in supposing the acceptableness of those
works, and the salvation of those who do them. Burnet, on Art. XVIII.,



Online LibraryW. (William) SandayA critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans → online text (page 21 of 71)