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God, which is written in nature itself; and, though they cannot but know what they ought to do and leave undone, yet they smother this truth in themselves and give way to their own wickedness : in which case, it is not for man to plead ignorance; for God hath, in the very principles of nature, engrafted in man's heart a certain knowledge, both that he is, and that he is just and holy and powerful ; and hath thereby plainly convinced man of these general truths concerning himself.

I. 20, 21 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead ; so that they are without excuse : Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. For those blessed attributes of God, which are not to be discerned by the sense of man, namely his Eternal Power, his Infinite Goodness, Wisdom, Justice, Mercy, and the Truth of his Deity, are, ever since the world was created, so clearly seen and made known by the visible and mighty work of his creation and government of all things, as that those, which will not hereupon acknowledge them, are left without all excuse : Because that, when, by these means, they knew so much of God, as these natural principles would reach unto, they did not accordingly glorify God, after the proportion of that light, which they received; neither were thankful to him, who was the Author and Giver of all those good things they enjoyed, but gave way to their own vain imaginations and misconceits concerning him, and suffered their foolish hearts to be overwhelmed with the darkness of ignorance and error.

I. 22, 23 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooled beasts, and creeping things. Professing themselves to be learned and wise in these worldly and natural things, they became very fools in respect of spiritual and heavenly matters ; And, instead of those spiritual apprehensions which they should have had of the invisible God, and that glory which they should have ascribed to him as an Immortal and Intinite Spirit, they framed to themselves images of him, like to a corruptible and mortal man, or like to birds and fourfooted beasts. and creeping things.

I. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves : Wherefore, God, on the other side, in a just punishment of their gross idolatry, as plaguing one sin with another, gave them over to their own unclean lusts; wherewith they were transported into such unnatural beastliness, as that they dishonoured and abused their own bodies between themselves :

I. 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator,

Those, who, instead of acknowledging that truth which God revealed to them in his mighty and glorious works, worshipped him and conceived of him according to the lying fancies of their own brain, and served and bowed down to those base creatures, giving more adoration to them than to the Creator. See verse 24.

I. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections : for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature : For even their very woman, whose sex might seem to import modesty, became so shameless, as that, leaving the natural use of fulfilling their lusts, they gave themselves over to that beastliness, which is against nature : . I. 27 Ånd likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And likewise also the men &c. men with men working those acts of filthiness, which nature itself abhorreth ; and, through the just judgment of God, in this punishment of one sin with another, re. ceived such recompence of their idolatries and spiritual fornica. tions, as they had well deserved.

I. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. And, as they regarded not to acknowledge and set before their eyes that God, whom they did or might know ; so God found it most just, to suffer them, being willingly blinded by their own lewd desires, to run so far into the mis-judgment of their minds, as to make no difference of actions, and to call good evil and evil good, and thereupon to fall into these foul and abominable enormities.

I. 32 Not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Not only do commit these sins themselves, but give countenance and encouragement to those that do them; and so become, more than actors, patrons and abettors of evil.

II. 1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, 0 man, whosoever thou art that judgest : for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself ; for thou that judgest doest the same things. There are, I know, divers of you so far from being patrons of sin, that ye are ready to pass severe censures and judgments upon other men for those very sins, whereof themselves are secretly guilty ; but, () man, whosoever thou art, that judgest another for any offence, know, that thou makest thyself utterly inexcusable, and passest therein sentence against thyself: thine own mouth hath condemned thee, in the person of another.

II. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. It is not a verbal profession of thine innocence, or any secret eya

sion of witty excuse, that can serve the turn: we know assuredly, wh: ts ever men may pretend, that the judgment of God is according to the truth of men's actions, and estates; and, therefore, that he will surely punish the doers of wickedness, what colour soever is set upon them and their condition.

II. 4, 5 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering ; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance ? But after thy hardness und impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Or, dost thou make an ill use of the rich mercy and patient longsuffering of God, as if he noted not, or regarded not, or would not punish thy misdoings; not considering that his forbearance, all this while, was for thy good, that hereupon thou mightest be moved to repentance? But thou, contrarily, takest occasion, by this means, to barden thyself so much more in thy sins, and becomest obstinately impenitent; and hereby dost aggravate thine own judgment, and addest every day something to that heap of God's wrath and vengeance, which is laid up for thee, and shall be fearfully executed upon thee in that day, which he hath set for the just revelation and infliction thereof."

II. 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. For God regardeth not the person of any man, for these outward things; not accepting of any man the more, for his parentage, or country, or wealth, or honour; nor disrespecting any, on the contrary, for meauness of birth, or poverty, or personal informity.

II. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law : and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law ; For as many as have sinned, without the knowledge of a written law, shall receive notwithstanding a just judgment for their sin, as being therein convinced by a law of nature; and as many as have sipned, against the written Law of God, shall, according to that Law, receive judgment for their sins :

II. 13, 14, 15 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves : IVhich shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else c.rcusing one another ;) (For it is the full and perfect obedience to that Law, which shall present a man just before God: it is not a formal profession or an outward hearing of the Law, that can do it. Do this and live, is the voice of the Law ; not, Hear this and live. For, when the Gentiles, which have not the written Law of God given unto them, do, by the light of nature, those moral actions, which are contained in the Law written, these, having not that written Law, yet bave in their own breast those rules of equity, which are a law to themselves; Which give good testimony that they have an

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inward rule, in very nature of their judgment, both of good and evil, agreeing with the written Law; their consciences also telling them secretly, in their own bosoms, whether they have done well or ill; and their thoughts, either excusing and acquitting them in doing good, or accusing and condemning them in doing evil.)

II. 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to niy gospel. I say, so many as have sinned against the light of the Law written shall be judged by that Law, in that great Day of Assize, when God shall judge the secrets of all hearts by his Son Jesus Christ; according as I have declared unto you, in that holy and infallible message, which I have received from God, and delivered unto you.

II. 17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God. Behold, thou hast the honour and privilege to be called a Jew, one of God's anciently chosen people; and restest in this prerogative, which thou hast above other nations, that thou hast the Law given to thee; and thereupon makest thy boasts of a more peculiar interest in God.

II. 20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou takest upon thee to be a teacher of the simple ; as conceita ing, that thou hast all the points of the Law laid up in thy breast, and hast full knowledge of all the secrets thereof.

II. 22 Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou, that abhorrest idols and erecting of false gods, dost thou profane the Name of the true God, by robbing him of his due ?

II. 24 For the name of God is blasphemed aniong the Gentiles through you, as it is writien, For the name of God is ill spoken of among the Gentiles, by occasion of your lewd life and wicked behaviour; as it is written by the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel, concerning your forefathers.

II. 25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law ; but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncir. cumcision. But ye say, We are circumcised, and have the seal of God's covenant in our flesh. Deceive not yourselves : this is but an idle vaunt: in vain shall ye stand upon the outward ceremony of circumcision, while ye do not regard the truth and substance of that wbich is signified by it: did ye live answerably to the Law of God, ye might seem to have some reason to boast of your circumcision; but, if ye be willing transgressors and violaters of the Law, your circumcision gives you no privilege above the uncircumcised.

II. 26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision ? If he, that is uncircumcised, do carefully endeavour to do those things which are required in the Law, and shall accordingly do the moral duties there specified, shall not that man be all one in account with God, as if he were circumcised ?

profa. 24 For as it is wat is ill

II. 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law ? And shall not that man, which is uncircumcised, if, being only guided by the light of nature, he perform those outward acts of morality which the Law requireth, rise up in judgment against thee, who, being circumcised and having the letter of the written Law to direct thee, yet livest contrary to the Law ?

II. 28, 29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh : But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. If there be a privilege in Judaism, certainly it is in the truth and sincerity of that profession ; and a man, that is truly and spiritually a Jew or Ísraelite, must not be esteemed so by the outward mark of circumcision in the flesh; neither is that circumcision worth accounting of, which is only a cutting off an outward skin : But he, that would be a true Israelite, or Jew ivdeed, must be such inwardly ; being cleansed from all corrupt affections, and freed from all superfluity of maliciousness : and that circumcision must be inwardly, in the heart and soul and spirit, in cutting off the unclean foreskin thereof, and not a literal and outward circumcision of the flesh, which shall ever carry acceptance from God: it may be, this bodily circumcision may, amongst men, be deemed a mark of honour; but, with God, no circumcision can look to receive allowance, but the spiritual.

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III. 1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision ? What privilege then hath the Jew above the Gentile? or what profit is there of circumcision, more than of uncircumcision; if all the praise and advantage thereof be inward, which may be as well incident into a Gentile as into a Jew?

III. 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the Oracles of God. Yes, doubtless, there are great privileges, in many respects; but chiefly in this, That unto that nation and people were the Oracles of God committed, with them was the Covenant made, to them was the Law delivered, and unto their trust and custody were the Holy Scriptures deposited.

III. 3 For what if some did not believe ? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect ? But, Alas! you will say, What are they the better for these Oracles of God, if they have rejected them carelessly through their unbelief, and have made themselves unworthy of these favours? But, I say again, Grant that many of them did not believe; sball their infidelity be any hinderance to the performance of the faithful promises of God? Shall not he make his word good to his chosen ones, because some of the nation have failed of their duty to him.

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