Romans 2

CHAPTER II.

The apostle shows that the Jew, who condemns the Gentiles, and

considers them utterly unworthy of the blessings of the Gospel,

is inexcusable, because he is guilty of the same crimes; and

therefore shalt not escape the righteous judgment of God, 1-3.

It is an awful thing to despise the goodness and long-suffering

of God, which lead to repentance, 4, 5.

God, the impartial judge, will render to every man according to

his works, 6-11.

The Jews and the Gentiles will be judged according to their

respective advantages and disadvantages, 12, 13.

In some cases, the Gentiles, who had no law, have shown a better

disposition than the Jews, 14-16.

The Jews, by their unfaithfulness, have been a stumbling-block

to the Gentiles, 17-24.

Jewish rites and ceremonies of no advantage, unless productive

of change of heart and conduct, 25.

The Gentiles, who attend to the small light which they have

received from God, are in a better state than the unfaithful

Jews, with all their superior privileges, 26, 27.

What constitutes a real Jew in the sight of God, 28, 29.

NOTES ON CHAP. II.

Dr. Taylor makes the following sensible observations at the

commencement of this chapter.

"The representation of the moral state of the heathen world, in

the foregoing chapter, is a demonstration of the necessity of the

Gospel for the reformation and salvation of man. And how rich

is the favour wherewith God has visited the world! To have

destroyed a race of apostate rebels, who had abused their

understandings and every gift of a bountiful Creator, would have

been justice; to have spared them would have been lenity and

goodness; but to send his only begotten Son from heaven to

redeem us from all iniquity and ungodliness by his own blood; to

grant us a free pardon for all our sins; to put us in a state of

mercy and salvation; to take us into his kingdom and family; to

give us an inheritance among his saints; to bless us with

immortality and all spiritual blessings in heavenly places;-this

is most wonderful and exuberant favour. Rightly is the doctrine

which teaches it called the Gospel, or glad tidings. One would

think it could not possibly have met with opposition from any part

of mankind. But the JEW opposed it! He abhorred the Gentile, and

contradicted the grace that honoured and saved him. The apostle

pleads and defends our cause. His business is to confound the

Jew, and to prove that we have as good a right as he to all

the blessings of the Messiah's kingdom. And, by his description

of the vicious state of the Gentiles, in the former chapter, he

has wisely made his advantage of the prejudices of the Jew; for

nothing could please him more than the preceding discourse, in

which the Gentiles are reduced to so vile and abject a state.

Thus the apostle gives him an opportunity to condemn the Gentiles;

but he does this that he may the more effectually humble him in

this chapter; in which he proves that the Jews, having in an

aggravated manner despised the goodness and broken the law of God,

were as obnoxious to his wrath as the Gentiles; and if so, how

could they, with any conscience or modesty, arrogate all the

Divine mercy to themselves, or pretend that others were unworthy

of it, when they had done as much or more to forfeit it! Must

they not exclude themselves from being the people of God under the

Gospel, by the same reason that they would have the Gentiles

excluded! But this was an argument highly ungrateful to the Jew;

and it would be very difficult to fix any conviction upon his

mind. Therefore the apostle addresses him in a covert way:-Thou

art therefore inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest;

not giving out expressly that he meant the Jew, that the Jew might

more calmly attend to his reasoning, while he was not apprehensive

that he was the man. This point secured, the apostle, very

judiciously and with great force of reasoning, turns his thoughts

from his present superior advantages to the awful day of judgment,

Ro 2:5, 6, when God, in the most impartial equity, will render to

all mankind, without exception, according to their works. Thus

the apostle grounds his following argument, very methodically and

solidly, in God's equal regards to all men, in all nations, who

uprightly practise truth and godliness; and his disapproving, and

at last condemning, all men, in any nation, however privileged,

who live wickedly. This was a blow at the root, and demolished,

in the most effectual manner, the Jew's prejudices in favour of

his own nation, and the unkind thoughts he had entertained of the

Gentiles. For, if a Jew could be convinced that a sober,

upright heathen might be blessed with eternal salvation, he must

be persuaded that it was no absurd matter that believing Gentiles

should now be pardoned, and taken into the visible Church. Thus

the apostle advances with great skill, insinuating himself, by

degrees, into the Jew's conscience. It is reasoning is well

adapted to encourage the Gentile, humbled by the dismal

representation in the preceding chapter; for he would here see

that he was not utterly abandoned of God, but might, upon good

grounds, hope for his mercy and kindness."

Verse 1. That judgest] οκρινων, the judger; thou

assumest the character of a judge, and in that character

condemnest others who are less guilty than thyself.

Verse 2. We are sure that the judgment of God, &c.] God is

impartial, and will punish sin wheresoever he finds it.

Transgression in a Jew is not less criminal than iniquity in a

Gentile.

Verse 4. Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness] Wilt

thou render of none effect that marked benevolence of God towards

thee which has given so many superior advantages, and that

forbearance which has tolerated thy many miscarriages, and that

long-suffering which, after repeated provocations, still continues

to bear with thee?

Not knowing] αγνοων, not acknowledging that this goodness of

God, which has so long manifested itself in forbearance and

long-suffering, leadeth thee to repentance-was designed to

accomplish this blessed end; which thy want of consideration and

acknowledgment has rendered, hitherto, ineffectual. This was a

maxim among the Jews themselves; for, in Synopsis Sohar, it is

said:-The holy blessed God delays his anger against the wicked, to

the end that they may repent and be converted.

Verse 5. But after thy hardness] Occasioned by thy long

course of iniquity. And impenitent heart-produced by thy

hardness, through which thou art callous to the calls and

expostulations of conscience. Treasurest up-continuest to

increase thy debt to the Divine justice, which will infallibly

inflict wrath-punishment in the day of wrath-the judgment day, in

which he will render to every man according to his works. The

word treasure the Hebrew uses to express any kind of store or

collection:-Treasure or plenty of rain. De 28:12:

The Lord shall open unto thee his good TREASURE, to give the RAIN

unto thy land. Treasure of punishment. De 32:34, 35:

Is not this sealed up among my TREASURES? To me belongeth

VENGEANCE and RECOMPENSE. Treasures of mines, i.e. abundance of

minerals. De 33:19:

They shall suck of the ABUNDANCE of the seas, and of TREASURES hid

in the sand. So treasures of gold, silver, corn, wine, oil, &c.,

mean collections or an abundance of such things: the word is used

by the Greek writers precisely in the same sense. By wrath we are

to understand punishment, as in Ro 1:18; and it is used so by the

very best Greek writers. See Kypke.

The treasure of wrath, in this verse, is opposed to the riches

of goodness, in the preceding. As surely as thou despisest, or

neglectest to improve the RICHES of God's GOODNESS, so surely thou

shalt share in the TREASURES of his WRATH. The punishment shall

be proportioned to the mercy thou hast abused.

Verse 6. Who will render] Who, in the day of judgment, will

reward and punish every man according as his life and conversation

have been.

Verse 7. To them, &c.] In this manner will God, in the great

day, dispense punishments and rewards: 1. He will give eternal

life to them who, in all the trials and difficulties of the

present state, have persevered in well doing-seeking for and

expecting glory, honour, and immortality.

Verse 8. But unto them, &c.] 2. He will manifest his

indignation, and inflict wrath-punishment, on all who are

contentious-who obstinately dispute against the truth, and obey

unrighteousness-who act under the influence of the principle of

sin, and not under the influence of the Spirit of God.

Verse 9. Tribulation and anguish] Misery of all descriptions,

without the possibility of escape, will this righteous Judge

inflict upon every impenitent sinner. The Jew first, as

possessing greater privileges, and having abused greater mercies;

and also on the Gentile, who, though he had not the same

advantages, had what God saw was sufficient for his state; and,

having sinned against them, shall have punishment proportioned to

his demerit.

Verse 10. But glory, honour, and peace] While the finally

impenitent Jew and Gentile shall experience the fullest effects of

the righteous indignation of the supreme Judge, even man that

worketh good-that lives in a conscientious obedience to the known

will of God, whether he be Jew or Gentile, shall have glory,

honour, and peace; i.e. eternal blessedness.

Verse 11. For there is no respect of persons with God.] The

righteous Judge will not act according to any principle of

partiality; the character and conduct, alone of the persons shall

weigh with him. He will take no wicked man to glory, let his

nation or advantages be what they may; and he will send no

righteous man to perdition, though brought up in the very bosom of

Gentilism. And as he will judge in that day according to

character and conduct, so his judgment will proceed on the ground

of the graces, privileges, and blessings which they had received,

improved or abused. And as there is no respect of persons with

God in judgment, so there can be none in the previous

administration of his saving blessings. He that will be condemned

for his unrighteousness, will be condemned on the ground that he

had sufficient grace afforded him for the salvation of his soul;

and his condemnation will rest on the simple principle, that he

abused the grace which was sufficient to save him, by acting in

opposition to its dictates and influence. No man, in that great

day, shall be brought to heaven through any partiality of the

Judge; and no man sent to hell because God did not afford him

sufficient grace, or because he had made a decree which rendered

even his use of it ineffectual to his salvation. In reference to

the great design of God, in the salvation of man, it shall be

said,-in time, at the day of judgment, and throughout eternity,-

-THERE IS NO RESPECT OF PERSONS WITH GOD.

Verse 12. For as many as have sinned without law, &c.] They,

viz. the Gentiles, who shall be found to have transgressed against

the mere light of nature, or rather, that true light that lighteth

every man that cometh into the world, Joh 1:9, shall not come

under the same rule with those, the Jews, who have in addition to

this enjoyed an extraordinary revelation; but they shall be dealt

with according to the inferior dispensation, under which they

lived: while those, the Jews, who have sinned against the law-the

positive Divine revelation granted to them, shall be judged by

that law, and punished proportionably to the abuse of such an

extraordinary advantage.

Verse 13. For not the hearers of the law, &c.] It does not

follow, because one people are favoured with a Divine revelation,

that therefore they shall be saved; while the others who have not

had that revelation, shall finally perish: this is not God's

procedure; where he has given a law-a Divine revelation, he

requires obedience to that law; and only those who have been doers

of that law-who have lived according to the light and privileges

granted in that revelation, shall be justified-shall be finally

acknowledged to be such as are fit for the kingdom of God.

Verse 14. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, &c.]

Nor does it follow that the Gentiles who have not had a Divine

revelation, shall either perish, because they had it not; or their

unrighteous conduct pass unpunished, because not having this

revelation might be considered as an excuse for their sins.

Do by nature the things contained in the law] Do, without this

Divine revelation, through that light which God imparts to every

man, the things contained in the law-act according to justice,

mercy, temperance and truth, the practice of which the revealed

law so powerfully enjoins; these are a law unto themselves-they

are not accountable to any other law, and are not to be judged by

any dispensation different from that under which they live.

Rabbi Tanchum brings in the Supreme Being as saying: When I

decreed any thing against the Gentiles, to whom I have not given

laws and statutes, and they know what I have decreed; immediately

they repent; but the Israelites do not so. Tanchum, fol. 43. 2.

Verse 16. In the day when God shall judge] And all this shall

be farther exemplified and proved in the day when God shall judge

the secrets of men by Jesus Christ; which judgment shall be

according to my Gospel-according to what I am now laying down

before you, relative to the impartiality of God, and his righteous

procedure in judging men, not according to their opinions or

prejudices, not according to revelations which they never

possessed, but according to the various advantages or

disadvantages of their political, religious, or domestic situation

in life.

Much stress has been laid on the word, φυσει, by nature, in

Ro 2:14,

as if the apostle designed to intimate that nature, independently

of the influence of Divine grace, possessed such principles as

were sufficient to guide a man to glory. But certainly the term

cannot be so understood here. I rather think that the sense given

to it in Suicer's Thesaurus, vol ii. col. 1475, reipsa, revera,

CERTAINLY, TRULY, is its sense here: for when the Gentiles, which

have not the law, φυσειποιη, TRULY, or in effect, DO the

things contained in the law, &c. This seems to be its sense in

Ga 4:8:

When ye knew not God, ye did service to them which φυσει,

CERTAINLY are no gods; i.e. are false gods. Suicer quotes

Cyril of Alexandria, (sub Anathematismo iii. in Actis Ephesinis,

p. 212,) speaking of the union of the two natures in Christ; he

calls this union φυσικην, natural; that is, says he, αληθη,

true, or real. He adds, that the word should be thus understood

in Eph 2:3:

We were by nature, φυσει, children of wrath; and says, φυσει

αντιτουαληθως. φυσει is here used for αληθως, TRULY; We

were TRULY, INCONTESTABLY, the children of wrath, even as others.

That is, like the rest of mankind, we have all sinned and come

short of the glory of God, and, consequently are exposed to

punishment. Some think that this text refers to the natural

corruption of man; but, although it is true that man comes into

the world corrupt, and that all men, since the fall, are very far

gone from original righteousness, yet it is not clear that the

text in Eph 2:3,

speaks of any other thing than the effects of this degeneracy.

I prefer this sense, in the passage in question, to that which

says the light of nature, or natural instinct, is here meant; for

I know of no light in nature that is not kindled there by the

grace of God. But I have no objection to this sense: "When the

Gentiles, which have not the law, do, by the influence of God upon

their hearts, the things contained in the law, they are a law unto

themselves; that light and influence serving instead of a Divine

revelation." That the Gentiles did really do the things contained

in the law, in reference to what is termed natural justice, and

made the wisest distinctions relative to the great principles of

the doctrine of civil RIGHTS and WRONGS, every man conversant with

their writings will admit. And in reference to this the word

φυσει may be legitimately understood thus-they incontestably did

the things contained in the law, &c.

The passage in Ro 2:15,

Their thoughts-accusing or excusing one another, certainly does

not refer to any expostulations or operations of conscience; for

this is referred to in the preceding clause. The words accusing,

κατηγορουντων, and excusing, απολογουμενων, answering or

defending one another, μεταζυαλληλων, among themselves, are all

forensic or law terms, and refer to the mode of conducting suits

of law in courts of justice, where one is plaintiff, who produces

his accusation; another is defendant, who rebuts the charge

and defends himself; and then the business is argued before the

judges. This process shows that they have a law of their own, and

that to this law it belongs to adjust differences-to right those

who have suffered wrong, and to punish the guilty.

As to the phrase written in their hearts, it is here opposed to

the Jewish laws, which were written on tables of stone. The Jews

drew the maxims by which their conduct was regulated from a Divine

revelation: the GENTILES theirs from what God, in the course of

his providence and gracious influence, had shown them to be right,

useful, and necessary. And with them this law was well known and

affectionately regarded; for this is one meaning of the phrase,

written in the heart. It was from this true light, enlightening

the Gentiles, that they had so many wise and wholesome laws; laws

which had been among them from time immemorial, and of which they

did not know the origin. Thus Sophocles, in the noble speech

which he puts in the mouth of Antigone:-

ουγαρτινυνγεκυχθεςαλλποτε

ζηταυτακουδειςοιδενεξοτουφανη.

"Not now, nor yesterday, but evermore

These laws have lived: nor know we whence they came."

Antig. ver. 463-4.

These are the laws, νομινα, which the Spirit of God wrote

originally on their hearts; and which, in different forms, they

had committed to writing.

Verse 17. Behold, thou art called a Jew] What the apostle had

said in the preceding verses being sufficient to enforce

conviction on the conscience of the Jew, he now throws off the

cover, and openly argues with him in the most plain and nervous

manner; asserting that his superior knowledge, privileges, and

profession, served only to aggravate his condemnation. And that,

in fact, he who, under all his greater advantages, transgressed

the law of God, stood condemned by the honest Gentile, who, to the

best of his knowledge obeyed it. Dr. Taylor.

And restest in the law] Thou trustest in it for thy endless

salvation. The word επαναπαυη, implies the strongest confidence

of safety and security. Thou reposest thy whole trust and

confidence in this law.

And makest thy boast of God] That thou knowest his nature and

attributes, which are not known to the Gentiles. The word,

καυχασαι, implies the idea of exulting in any thing, as being a

proper object of hope and dependence: and, when referred to GOD,

it points out that HE is the sure cause of hope, dependence, joy,

and happiness; and that it is the highest honour to be called to

know his name, and be employed in his service. As if the apostle

had said: You rejoice in God as the object of your hope and

dependence; you praise and magnify him; you account it your

greatest honour that HE is your God, and that you worship him.

Verse 18. Knowest his will] Hast been favoured with a

revelation of his own will, immediately from himself.

The things that are more excellent] ταδισφεροντα, The things

that differ-that revelation which God has given of himself makes

the nicest distinctions between right and wrong; between vice

and virtue; showing how you should walk so as to please God, and,

consequently, acquire the most excellent portion that human

spirits can have on this side heaven: for all these blessings ye

acknowledge to receive from your law, being instructed,

κατηχουμενος, being catechized, from your infancy, in the

knowledge of Divine things.

Verse 19. And art confident, &c.] In consequence of all these

religious advantages, ye believe that ye are able to teach others,

and to be guides and lights to the bewildered, darkened Gentiles,

who may become proselytes to your religion.

Verse 20. An instructer of the foolish, &c.] Ye believe the

Gentiles to be babes and fools when compared with yourselves; that

ye alone possess the only true knowledge; that ye are the only

favourites of Heaven; and that all nations must look up to you as

possessing the only form of knowledge, μορφωσιντηςγνωσεως, the

grand scheme and draught of all true science, of every thing that

is worthy to be learned: the system of eternal truth, derived from

the law. If, therefore, ye act not as becomes those who have such

eminent advantages, it must be to your endless disgrace and

infamy.

Verse 21. Thou therefore] Dr. Taylor has paraphrased this and

the three following verses thus: "What signify your pretensions to

knowledge, and the office of teaching others, if you have no

regard to your own doctrine? What are you the better for

preaching against theft, if you are a thief yourself? Or for

declaring adultery unlawful, if you live in the practice of it?

Or for representing idolatry abominable, if you are guilty of

sacrilege? What honours or singular favours do you deserve, if,

while you glory in the law and your religious privileges, you

dishonour God, and discredit his religion, by transgressing his

law, and living in open contradiction to your profession? And

this is more than supposition; notorious instances might be

produced of the forementioned crimes, whereby the Jews of the

present age have brought a reproach upon religion among the

Gentiles; as well as those Jews of former times, of whom the

Prophet Ezekiel speaks, Eze 36:23:

And I will sanctify my great name, which was PROFANED among the

HEATHEN, which ye have PROFANED in the midst of them."

That the Jewish priesthood was exceedingly corrupt in the time

of the apostle, and that they were so long before, is fully

evident from the sacred writings and from Josephus. The

high-priesthood was a matter of commerce, and was bought and sold

like other commodities. Of this Josephus gives many instances.

The rapine of Eli's sons descended to several generations. Dr.

Whitby well observes that of all these things mentioned by the

apostle the Jewish doctors were notoriously guilty; and of most of

them they were accused by our Lord. 1. They said and did not; and

laid heavy burdens upon others, which they would not touch with

their own fingers, Mt 23:3, 4. 2. They made the house of God a

den of thieves, Mt 21:13; Joh 2:16. 3. They were guilty of

adultery by unjust divorces, Mt 19:9. 4. Their

polygamy was scandalous: even their rabbins, when they came to any

place, would exclaim, Who will be my wife for a day? As to idolatry,

they were perfectly saved from it ever since the Babylonish

captivity but to this succeeded sacrilege, as is most evident in

the profanation of the temple, by their commerce transacted even

within its courts; and their teaching the people that even their

aged parents might be left to starve, provided the children made a

present to the temple of that which should have gone for their

support. According to Josephus, Bell. Jud. l. vi. c. 26, They

were guilty of theft, treachery, adultery, sacrilege, rapine, and

murder. And he adds, that new ways of wickedness were invented by

them; and that of all their abominations the temple was the

receptacle. In his Antiquities of the Jews, lib. xx. c. 8, he

says: The servants of the high priests took away, by violence, the

tithes of the priests, so that many of them perished for want of

food. Even their own writers acknowledge that there were great

irregularities and abominations among the rabbins.

So Bereshith rabba, sect. 55, fol. 54: "Rabbi Abun proposed a

parable concerning a master who taught his disciples not to

pervert justice, and yet did it himself; not to show respect of

persons, and yet did it himself; not to receive bribes, and yet

received them himself; not to take usury, and yet took it himself.

The disciple replied:-Rabbi, thou teachest me not to take usury,

and yet thou takest it thyself! Can that be lawful to thee which

is forbidden to me?"

Verse 24. For the name of God is blasphemed, &.] In Debarim

rabba, sect. 2, fol. 251, it is said:-"The rulers destroy the

influence of their own words among the people; and this is done

when a rabbin, sitting and teaching in the academy, says, Do not

take usury, and himself takes it; do not commit rapine, and

himself commits it; do not steal, and himself steals." That they

were exceedingly lax in their morals, the following fact proves:-

"Rabbi Ilai said, If a man see that his evil propensities are

likely to prevail against him, let him go to some place where he

is not known, and let him put on black clothes, and cover his head

with a black veil; and then let him do whatsoever he pleases, lest

the name of God should be publicly profaned." Moed katon,

fol. 17. 1. In Sohar Levit. fol. 31, col. 122, it is said:-"On

three accounts the Jews are obliged to remain in captivity-1.

Because they openly reproach the Shechinah-2. Because they profane

themselves before the Shechinah-3. Because they turn away their

faces from the Shechinah."

But it would be endless to collect from their history the

proofs of the charges brought here against them by the apostle.

See Whitby, Schoettgen, and others.

Verse 25. For circumcision verily profiteth] It is a blessing

to belong to the Church of God and wear the sign of the covenant,

provided the terms of the covenant are complied with.

But if thou be a breaker of the law] If thou do not observe

the conditions of the covenant, the outward sign is both without

meaning and without effect. This was a maxim of the rabbins

themselves; for they allowed that an apostate or ungodly Israelite

must go to hell, notwithstanding his circumcision.

Verse 26. Therefore if the uncircumcision, &c.] If the

Gentile be found to act according to the spirit and design of the

law, his acting thus uprightly, according to the light which God

has afforded him, will be reckoned to him as if he were

circumcised and walked agreeably to the law.

Verse 27. And shall not uncircumcision, which is by nature]

And shall not the Gentile, who is εκφυσεως, according to the

custom of his country-who is, by birth, not obliged to be

circumcised.

If it fulfil the law] If such a person act according to the

spirit and design of the law; judge κρινει condemn thee, who,

whilst thou dost enjoy the letter, the written law, and bearest in

thy body the proof of the circumcision which it requires, dost

transgress that law?

Verse 28. For he is not a Jew] A genuine member of the Church

of God, who has only an outward profession.

Neither is that circumcision] Circumcision is a rite which

represents a spiritual thing, viz. the change and purification of

the heart, as may be seen, Jer 4:4, 6, 10; 9:26; Eze 44:7, 9.

Verse 29. But he is a Jew] A true member of the Church of

God.

Which is one inwardly] Who has his heart purified, according

to what God has uniformly prescribed by his prophets; see above:

for circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit, ενπνευματι by

the Spirit of God, who is the author of all spiritual affections

and holy purposes: or, every thing here is to be understood

spiritually, and not literally; for without holiness none can

please God, and without holiness none can see him.

Whose praise is not of men] It has, with great probability,

been conjectured that the apostle may here refer to the

signification of the name Jew, or Judah, Yehudah,

PRAISE, from Yadah, he PRAISED. Such a one is a true

Israelite, who walks in a conformity to the spirit of his

religion: his countrymen may praise him because he is a steady

professor of the Jewish faith; but GOD praises him, because he has

entered into the spirit and design of the covenant made with

Abraham, and has got the end of his faith, the salvation of his

soul. Sentiments like these, on the same subject, may be found

in the ancient Jewish writers. Rabbi Lipman gives the opinion of

their most ancient and pure writers in these words:-"A certain

Christian mocked us, saying, 'Women, who cannot be circumcised,

cannot be reckoned among Jews.' Such persons are ignorant that

faith does not consist in circumcision, but in the heart. He who

has not genuine faith is not a partaker of the Jewish circumcision;

but he who has genuine faith is a Jew, although not circumcised."

NIZZACHON, Num. 21, p. 19. It is a curious maxim of the

Talmudists, That the Jews sit in the inmost recesses of the heart.

NIDDA, fol. 20, 2. This is exactly the sentiment of St. Paul:

Circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit. In short, common

sense, as well as their law and their prophets, taught every

considerate man among them that God could be pleased with their

rites and external performances no farther than they led to

holiness of heart and righteousness of life.

1. WHAT the apostle says, in the preceding chapter, concerning

the Gentiles doing by nature the things contained in the law, if

properly considered, would lead certain persons from forming

erroneous judgments concerning the Divine dispensations. We are

not to suppose that God is not to be found where his written word

does not appear; nor that the salvation of the nations yet

unblessed with the light of the Gospel is impossible. God has

never confined himself to any one particular way of communicating

his salvation, any more than he has confined his saving grace to

one people. His word is an indescribable blessing; but that word

becomes effectual to salvation when accompanied by the power of

the Holy Spirit. It was that Spirit which gave the word

originally; and that same Spirit can speak without this word. It

is through his influence alone that the Gentiles do the things

contained in his own law; and it is not to be wondered at that the

work is the same, both in the law and in the heart, when it has

proceeded from the same Spirit.

2. God therefore will judge all nations according to the use

and abuse they have made of this word, whether it was written in

the heart, or written on tables of stone.

3. As he is no respecter of persons, all nations are equally

dear to him; and he has granted and will grant to them such

discoveries of himself as have been and will be sufficient for

their salvation.

4. His WORD is an infinite blessing; and he has given it to one

people that they may be the means of conveying it to another.

Europe, and especially Christian Europe, has got the BIBLE; and

God requires Europe to send the Bible throughout the earth. If

this be not done, through their neglect, the Gentile nations will

not be destroyed by a merciful God; yet the Europeans will have a

most solemn and awful account to render to their Judge, that they

have hidden the heavenly light under their own bushel. BRITAIN is

shaking herself from the dust, and, by means of the BRITISH and

FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY, is sending the holy Scriptures to every

kingdom, and nation, and people, and tongue. The Gentiles are now

learning from the written law more fully and savingly what the

Spirit of God had before written on their hearts; and it seems as

if the kingdom of God were now about to come with all-conquering

power.

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