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treasurest up unto thyself wrath That the day of judgment will be a day of against the day of wrath, and reve- revelation, a day in which the righteousness lation of the righteous judgment of of God's proceedings shall be universally God.
manifested and magnificd : then will all
the divine attributes be conspicuously gloriObserve here, 1. The indulgent carriage fied ; his wonderful clemency sweetly disof Almighty God towards poor sinners, played; his exact justice terribly demondiscovered in the vast expense of the riches strated ; his perfect wisdom clearly unfoldof his goodness and bounty upon them, ed; all the knotty intricacies of providence and in the patient exercise of his forbear- wisely resolved ; all the mysterious depths ance and long-suffering towards them. of divine counsels fully discovered ; and Observe, 2. The gracious end and design the injured honour and glory of Almighty of God in this expense of his goodness, God visibly cleared and repaired, to the and in the exercise of his patience and for joyful satisfaction of all good men, and to bearance; namely, To lead sinners to re- the dreadful consternation and confusion pentance. The end of goodness is to of the wicked and impenitent world : 0 oblige and engage persons to love and how well might the apostle call this day, serve their benefactor ; this is the most na- The revelation of the righteous judgment tural and unconstrained consequence that of God. the mind of man can infer from God's bounty and sparing mercy : The goodness
6 Who will render to every man of God leadeth to repentanco. Observe, according to his deeds : 7 To them, 3. The unanswerable and undue returns who, by patient continuance in wellwhich sinners inake to God for the exer- doing, seek for glory and honour cise of so much goodness and forbearance and immortality, eternal life ;
8 towards them : they despise the riches of But unto them that are contentious, his goodness and long-suffering. They despise it by being unthankful for it, and and do not obey the truth, but not improving of it; and by misimproving obey unrighteousness; indignation or sinning against it, they melt the mer- and wrath, 9 Tribulation and ancies of God into bullets, and shoot them at guish, upon every soul of man that the breast of the Almighty. Observe, 4. doeth evil; of the Jew first, and The sad and fatal consequence of these also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, undue returns made to God by sinners : hereby they treasure up wrath against
peace, to every man the day of wrath. As if the apostle had that worketh good, to the Jew first, said, “ The more patience God expends and also to the Gentile; 11 For upon thee, if perverted and abused by thee, there is no respect of persons with the greater wrath is treasured up for thee; God. which, the longer it has been treasured up, will break forth the more fiercely and vio- The apostle in the foregoing verse had lently to consume thee." Observe, 5. given a description of the general day of The description given by the apostle of the judgment, which he called a revelation day of judgment; be calls it, a revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Here of the righteous judgment of God. The he acquaints us with the impartiality and judgment of God is righteous now, but it uprightness of God in the distribution of is not always revealed and openly made rewards and punishments in that day; acmanifest now; therefore a time shall come, cording to the merits and deserts of men ; when there shall be a revelation of his Who will render to every man according righteous judgment fully. From the whole, to his deeds ; that is, according to the kind note, 1. That the goodness of God is a and quality, and according to the measures natural and genuine motive to repentance and degrees, of every man's works. Where 2. That not to be persuaded by, is in God's note, He doth not say, God will render to account to despise, his goodness. Note, every man a reward for his works, but 3. That this despising of goodness by de- according to his works: works are regulo laying our repentance, is the treasuring up retributionis, non causa mercedis ; " Our of wrath against the day of wrath. As works are the rule of God's proceedings, sinners have treasures of sin, so God has but not the cause of his rewards." Having treasures of wrath for sinners. Note, lastly, thus described the impartiality of the judge, he next declares the universality of the That the light under which men sin, puts persons that shall then be judged ; namely, extraordinary aggravations upon their sins, the righteous and the wicked, which shall answerable whereunto will be the degrees both have their distinct rewards assigned of their punishment. The Gentiles will them, according to the quality of their be condemned for disobeying the light of works. Observe, ). The righteous pere nature, the law of God written on their sons described, and their reward declared : hearts; but much greater wrath is reserved they are described by their well doing, by for the Jews, unto whom were committed their continuance in well-doing, by their the oracles of God; but the greatest of all patient continuance in well-doing; they is reserved for christians, who obey not the are not weary in well-doing, they can un- gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; these dergo sufferings for the sake of well-doing, shall be punished with everlasting destrucand they can patiently wait for the reward tion from the presence of the Lord, and of well-doing till hereafter, whilst others from the glory of his power, when he shall smatch at their reward. here. Yet in the come to be glorified in his saints, and to mean time they are seeking after and se- be admired in all them that believe, 2 curing of this their reward : They seek for Thess. i. 9, 10. glory, honour, and immortality ; that is, they seek for a portion of glory and im- 12 For as many as have sinned mortality in the world 10 come: they leave without law, shall also perish withthe world to the men of the world, and out law : and as many as have sinwhilst they are scrambling for earth, they ned in the law, shall be judged by are making sure of heaven. Next, their persons being described, their reward is
the law; declared; Eternal life: an eternity of glory and happiness in a future state shall That is, as many as have sinned without certainly be the reward of well-doers, and the written law, which is the case of the of patient continuance in well-doing. Ob. Gentiles or Heathens, shall also perish serve, 2. The wicked are here characterized, without that law, being judged and conand their reward assigned : They are con
demned by the law of nature written in tentious, and obey not the truth, but obey their hearts; but as many as bave sinned unrighteousness: that is, they contend in, or under the law of Moses, which is with God, and resist the light of his reveals the case of the Jews, shall be judged and ed truth; they refuse the offers of his grace, condemned by that law. Observe here, and kick against his word, disobeying the 1. A truth plainly implied and necessarily gospel of truth, but obeying uprighteous- supposed ; namely, that as some sinners ness.
God will pour forth upon such, perish, having the written word and all indignation and 'wrath, tribulation and external means of salvation, so others perish, apguish. Lord, who knoweth the power having not the written word or law of God, of thine anger, or who can bear the weight and the outward and ordinary means of of thy wrath! It broke the back of angels; salvation : As many as have sinned withhow shall sinners stand under it? "Tis out the law, shall perish without the law. styled fire in scripture, 'tis a consuming God in the dispensations of his grace acteth fire, and an upquenchable fire: it prey's in a way of sovereignty, according to his upon the sinner, but never devours him : own pleasure: yet in his penal dispensait is unquenchable by any thing but the tions he proceeds according to the measures blood of Christ. A mysterious fire, of strict justice, upon the previous demerits whose strange property it is always to tor- of sinners. Observe, 2. That all men ment, but never to kill; or always to kill, shall not be proceeded against in the day but never to consume. Observe, 3. With of judgment after one and the same manwhat equity, as well as impartiality, this ner; but every man according to the dedistribution of God's indignation and wrath
merit of his sin, and according to the capawill be made : Upon every soul that city and relation in which he stood in ihis doeth evil; but upon the Jew first, and life. The Gentiles, which had only the then of the Gentile. The Jew first, that law of nature, shall not be judged by the is, principally and especially; because the law of Moses ; the Jews, which have both light and mercy which the Jews abused and the law of nature, and the law of Moses, sinned against, was far greater than that shall be judged by both : and consequently bestowed upon the Gentiles. Learn hence, christians, which have the law of nature
unwritten, the Mosaical law written, and things which show the work of the law the evangelical law both written and written in their hearts, their consciences preached, shall lie under greater guilt, and bearing witness to it, and their natural reareceive a more aggravated condemnation. son either accusing or defending of them Christ will exactly proportion every man's from it. Learn, 1. That there is a law of hell hereafter to his sin committed here; nature ingrafted, and written by God in the greater light we have quenched, the the hearts of men, whereby the common greater darkness will be inflicted, Heb. ii. notions of good and evil are found with 3. How shall we escape, if we neglect so them. Learn, 2. That this law of nature great salvation ?
serveth for the instigation and provocation 13 For not the hearers of the towards God and man.
of men to many good actions and duties
3. That tu rebel law are just before God, but the against, and not walk in conformity unto doers of the law shall be justified. this ingrafted law of nature, is a God-pro
That is, not the bare hearers of the law voking, and a wrath-procuring sin. 4. shall upon that account be just before God, That although many of the Gentiles gave but the doers of the law shall be justified: themselves over to all manner of uncleanthat is, accepted of God as acting suitably ness, yet others showed the works of the to their holy profession. It is notoriously
law written in their hearts. They showknown, the Jews gloried in, and rested
ed it two ways: 1. By their temperance, upon, their outward privileges for salva- righteousness, and moral honesty; wherein, tion : because they were Abraham's seed, (to our shame) they excelled many of us because they were circumcised, because who are called christians. 2. In the effi. they were employed in reading and cacy of their conscience; which as it clearhearing of the law, they concluded ed and comforted them for things well this sufficient to render them acceptable donc, so it witnessed against them, yea, with God; therefore, says the apostle, not judged and condemned them, for doing the hearers, but doers of the law, shall be evil. And these evidences of a law written justified ; that is, the persons whom God
on the heart, are every where to be found, will accept and account righteous for the
wherever men are found : The Gentiles sake of Christ. Note here. That the doers having not a written law, are a law unto of the law or word of God are the best themselves, and show the work of the law hearers, yea, the only hearers in the account
written in their hearts. of God. Hearing is good, but it must not be rested in : a great understanding may
16 In the day when God shall a man have by much reading the word judge the secrets of men, by Jesus and law of God; but a good understand- Christ, according to my gospel. ing only have they that do the word and will of God; the praise and fruit of that
As if the apostle had said, If any shall endureth for ever, Psal. cxi. 10.
ask, When shall rewards and punishments
be distributed to Jew or Gentile? The an14 For when the Gentiles, which swer is, In that day when God shall have not the law, do by nature the judge the secrets of men's hearts by Jesus things contained in the law, these, Christ, according to my gospel; that is, having not the law, are
as my gospel testifies he will most certainly
do. Here observe, l. A fundamental unto themselves : 15 Which shew doctrine asserted, That there will be a day the work of the law written in of judgment, in which the secrets of all their hearts, their conscience also men's hearts shall be judged by Jesus bearing witness, and their thoughts Christ as Mediator. All the thoughts, the mean while accusing, or else ex
words, and works of all men, that lived cusing one another ;
from the beginning of the world, or shall
live to the end of the world, will then be The sense is, that the Gentiles, which produced in judgment; and if so, may we have not the law of Moses promulged, are not infer, that the day of judgment must yet not without a law ingrafted in their con- certainly and necessarily take up a vast sciences; and although they have not a space of time? For if all records and rewritten law, yet are they a law : that is, a gisters now made shall then be opened and rule of living, to themselves; doing those read, and all the witnesses for and against
a man shall be then examined and heard, with thee above all the nations of the earth ; what a vast space of time then must that and thou knowest his will, having his great day take up! Some divines are of word and law in thy hands, the oracles of opinion that the day of judgment may last God committed to thee, and the writings of as long as the world lasted. This we may Moses and the prophets alone found with depend upon, that things will not be huddled thee ; and approvest the things that are up, nor shuffled over in haste ; but as sin- more excellent, being instructed out of ders have taken their time for sinning, so the law ; that is, thou thinkest that thou God will take his time for judging. Ob- hast such a degree of knowledge of God's serve, 2. The proof and confirmation of word and will, that thou canst clearly disthis doctrine of a future judgment: Ac- cern between sin and duty, and compare cording to my gospel ; that is, as certainly one duty with another, preferring that as I have foretold you of it in the doctrine which is most excellent : And art confiwhich I have preached, so certainly shall dent that thou thyself art a guide of the all meo, and the secrets of all men's hearts, blind, a light to them ihat are in darkness ; be judged by Jesus Christ. But was it not that is, thou hast a strong conceit that such a presumption in St. Paul, to call the gospel are the measures of thy knowledge, that his gospel ? Answer, He means that he was thou art able to be a guide to the blind the publisher, not the author of it; it was Gentiles, who sit in darkness, and to be a God's in respect of authority, St. Paul's in teacher of babes ; that is, such as have respect of ministry. It was God's in respect little or no knowledge in the matters of reliof revelation ; his only in respect of dis- gion, conceiting, That thou hast the form pensation.
of knowledge, and of the truth in the law :
that is, such a method and measure of di17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, vine knowledge as may enable thee to inand restest in the law, and makest struct others, whether Gentiles or Jews, thy boast of God, 18 And knowest which never reached to thy attainments.” his will, and approvest the things Jew rested upon, and thought them suffici.
These external privileges the presumptuous that are more excellent, being in- ent to salvation, though he lived loosely, structed out of the law ; 19 And and his practice gave his profession the lie. art confident that thou thyself art Hence learn, 1. That persons are exceeda guide of the blind, a light of them ingly prone to be proud of and puffed up which are in darkness, 20 An in- with church privileges, glorying in the structor of the foolish, a teacher
letter of the law, whilst peither in heart nor of babes, which hast the form of of the law. Learn, 2. That gifts, duties,
life they are conformed to the spirituality knowledge, and of the truth in the and supposed graces, are the stay and staff
which hypocrites restupon, and repose
their trust and confidence in: Thou art Here the apostle proceeds in his former called a Jew, and restest in the law; that argument ; namely, to prove that the Jews is, in the outward profession of the law, or could no more rationally expect to be justi- in an external obedience to the law; the fied before God by the law of Moses, than apostle speaks of this their resting in the the Gentiles by the law of nature: the apos- law, not barely by way of narration, but tle allows them all their privileges which by way of reproof, telling us not only what they so much doted upon, boasted of, and they did, but how ill they did in so doing. gloried in; but withal, assures them, that The duties which Christ has appointed, these, all these, yea, more than these, were are the rest and trust of the hypocrites; but insufficient to justify them before God. As Christ himself is the trust and rest of the if the apostle had said, “ Thou bearest thy- upright; they desire to be ever acting self mightily upon this, that thou art called graces, never trusting to them; to be much a Jew, that is, a professor of the true re- in duty, and yet much above duty; much ligion, and a worshipper of the true God ; in it in point of performance, much above thou restest in the law, that is, either in it in regard of dependence. the divineness and perfection of it, or in tby external obedience to it, and in the
21 Thou therefore which teachest outward performances of it: thou makest another, teachest thou not thyself? tky boast of God, as a God in covenant Thou that preachest, A man should
not steal, dost thou steal ? 22 Thou fault in a private person, when his actions that sayest, A man should not com. run cross to his profession ; but it is mit adultery, dost thou commit inexcusable, if not an unpardonable fault,
in a teacher, when the crimes adultery ? thou that abhorrest idols, condemns in others may be justly charged dost thou commit sacrilege? 23
himself: Thou that teachest anoThou that makest thy boast of the ther, teachest thou not thyself? Learn, law, through breaking the law dis- 3. That the name of God suffers much, honourest thou God ? 24 For the very much, yea, by none so much as those name of God is blasphemed among who preach and
the duties of christithe Gentiles through you, as it is anity upon others, but practise them not
The name of the Lord is
blasphemed by such preachers, the wicked The apostle proceeds to the end of this profane world taking occasion from thence chapter to convince the Jews, that they to wound the name of God with the poisonwere equally in a sinful and wretched con- ed arrows and darts of reproach. The sins dition with the despised Gentiles, and there- of teachers are teaching sins. True, sin fore stood in need of Jesus Christ to justify strictly speaking cannot injure the name them by his grace as well as they. And and glory of God. He is above the reach because the Jews were so exceedingly apt of any mischief that sin can do him : his lo dote upon, and rest in, their external essential glory is perfect, and can neither be privileges, he did in the foregoing verses increased nor diminished by the creatures : recount and reckon up the several privi- God can no more be hurt by our sins, than leges which they enjoyed ; Thou art called the sun can be hurt by throwing stones into Jew, thou makest thy boast of God, &c. the air, or the moon hurt by the barking of But now, in the verses before us, he takes dogs. But his manifestative glory, or the occasion to aggravate their sins committed, present manifestations of his glory, these are from their high privileges and prerogatives clouded and eclipsed by sin ; and therefore enjoyed, because they sinned against light God will deal with knowing sinners, esand knowledge, against the convictions of pecially with such as undertake to be their own consciences, and contradicted teachers of others, with those that have the dictates of their minds, as the Gentiles blasphemed his name, wounded his glory, did; but besides all that, rebelled against trampled upon his honour, and caused his the precepts of the written word, which holy ways to be evil spoken of, by reason was all in their hands. The law of Moses of their wicked and unholy lives. Lord, let was near in their mouths, but far from all that administer unto thee in holy things their reins; for thus the apostle expostu- consider, that they have not only their lates the case with them : Thou that own sins to account for, but also the sins teachcst another, teachest thou not thy of their people, if committed by their proself? Thou that undertakest to be a figate example. teacher of, and a guide unto, the igno. rant and blind Gentiles, wilt thou not
25 For circumcision verily propractise thine own instructions; but con- fiteth, if thou keep the law : but if demn thyself out of thine own mouth? thou be a breaker of the law, thy “ Wilt thou, O Jew! (as if the apostle circumcision is made uncircumcision. had said) be guilty of theft, adultery, 26 Therefore, if the uncircumcision sacrilege, rapine, and murder, sins which keep the righteousness of the law, the very heathens condemn, and all this while call yourselves the only peo
shall not his uncircumcision be ple of God? Verily, the name of God is counted for circumcision? 27 And blasphemed among the Gentiles through shall not uncircumcision which is by you Jews, who pretend to be the favour- nature, if it fulfil the law, judge ites of heaven, whilst you do the works of thee, who by the letter and circumhell." Learn hence, 1. That it is much cision dost transgress the law ? easier to instruct and teach others, than to he instructed and receive instruction our- It is sufficiently known what great stress selves. Learn, 2. That it is both sinful and the Jews laid upon circumcision; they shameful to teach others the right way, and taught, that this alone was enough to proIn zo in the wrong ourselves It is a double cure the favour of God, and to free them