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Righteousness seldom served as sin has been.
HOMIL. less I make no greater demand because of the infirmity, XII.
and that, he does not say of your free will or readiness of spirit, but of your flesh, so making what he says the less
And yet on one side there is uncleanness, on the other holiness; on the one iniquity, on the other righteous
And who is so wretched and in such straits as not to spend as much earnestness upon the service of Christ, as upon that of sin and the devil? Hear then what follows, and you will see clearly that we do not even spend this little. For when (stated in this naked way) it does not seem credible or easy to admit, and nobody would endure to hear that he does not serve Christ so much as he did serve the devil, he proves it by what follows, and renders it credible by bringing that slavery before us, and saying how they did serve him.
Ver. 20. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
Now what he says is somewhat of this kind. When ye lived in wickedness, and impiety, and the worst of evils, the state of compliance ye lived in was such that ye did absolutely no good thing at all. For this is, ye were free from righteousness. That is, ye were not subject to it, but estranged from it wholly. For ye did not even so much as divide the manner of servitude between righteousness and sin, but gave yourselves wholly up to wickedness. Now, therefore, since ye have come over to righteousness, give yourselves wholly up to virtue, doing nothing at all of vice, that the measure you give may be at least equal. And yet it is not the mastership only that is so different, but in the servitude itself there is a vast difference. And this too he unfolds with great perspicuity, and shews what conditions they served upon then, and what now. And as yet he says nothing of the harm accruing from the thing, but hitherto speaks of the shame.
Ver. 21. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?
So great was the slavery, that even the recollection of it now makes you ashamed; but if the recollection makes one ashamed, the reality would much more. And so you gained now in two ways, in having been freed from the Ssrvice of sin contrasted with that of God. 185 shame, and also in having come to know the condition you Rom. were in; just as then ye were injured in two ways, in doing
6, 22. things deserving shame, and in not even knowing what to be ashamed was. And this is worse than the former. Yet still ye kept in a state of servitude. Having then proved most abundantly the harm of what took place then from the shame of it, he comes to the thing in question. Now what is this thing?
For the end of those things is death.
Since then shame seems to be no such serious evil, he comes to what is very fearful, I mean death; though in good truth what he had before mentioned were enough. For consider how exceeding great the mischief must be, inasmuch as, even when freed from the vengeance due to it, they could not get free of the shame. What wages then, he says, do you expect from the reality, when from the bare recollection, and that too when you are freed from the vengeance, you hide your face and blush, though under such grace as you are !
But God's side is far otherwise.
Ver. 22. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Of the former, the fruit was shame, even after the being set free. But of these the fruit is holiness, and where holiness is, there is much confidence. But of those things' Mar. the end is death, and of these everlasting life. Do you see Mss. all how he points out some things as already given, and some as existing in hope, and from what are given he draws proof of the others also, that is, from the holiness of the life. For to prevent your saying? every thing lies in hope, he points out? i. e. as that you have already reaped fruits, first the being freed an ob
jection from wickedness, and such evils as the very recollection of puts one to shame; second, the being made a servant unto righteousness; a third, the enjoying of holiness; a fourth, the obtaining of life, and life too not for a season, but everlasting. Yet with all these, he says, do but serve as ye served it. For though the master is far preferable, and the service also has many advantages, and the rewards too for which ye are serving, still I make no further demand. Next,
186 St. Paul's method, practical cautions, return to argument.
Homil. since he had mentioned arms and a king, he keeps on with XII.
the metaphor in these words:
Ver. 23. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
After speaking of the wages of sin, in the case of the Iráčov blessings, he has not kept to the same order': for he does relation, not say, the wages of your good deeds, but the gift of God;
to shew, that it was not of themselves that they were freed, nor was it a due they received, neither yet a return, nor a recompense of labours, but by grace all these things came about. And so there was a superiority for this cause also, in that He did not free them only, or change their condition for a better, but that He did it without any labour or trouble upon their part: and that He not only freed them, but also gave them more than before, and that through His Son. And the whole of this he has interposed as having discussed the subject of grace, and being on the point of overthrowing the Law next. That these things then might not both make them rather listless, he inserted the part about strictness of life, using every opportunity of rousing the hearer to the practice of virtue. But when he calls death the wages of sin, he alarms them again, and secures them against dangers to come. For the words he uses to remind them of their former estate, he also employs so as to make them thankful, and more secure against any inroads of temptations. Here then he brings the hortatory part to a stop, and proceeds with the doctrines again, speaking on this wise.
Chap. vii. ver. 1. Know ye not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the Law.
Since then he had said, we are dead to sin, he here shews that not sin only, but also the Law, hath no dominion over them. But if the Law hath none, much less hath sin: and to render his language palatable, he uses a human example to make this plain by. And he seems to be stating one point, but he sets down at once two arguments for his proposition. One, that when a husband is dead, the woman is no longer subject to her husbard, and there is nothing to
• Deut. 24 and 25. It is applied by Is. 50, 1, and Jer. 3, 8. to the then Church. The Law's dominion ends with death, as in marriage. 187
prevent her becoming the wife of another man: and the Rom.
7, 2. 3. other, that in the present case it is not the husband only that is dead, but the wife also. So that one may enjoy liberty in two ways. Now if when the husband is dead, she is freed from his power, when the woman is shewn to be dead also, she is much more at liberty. For the one event frees her from his power, much more does the concurrence of both. As he is about to proceed then to a proof of these points, he starts with an encomium of the hearers, in these words, Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the Law,) that is, I am saying a thing that is quite agreed upon, and clear, and to men too that know all these things accurately,
How that the Law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth.
He does not say, husband or wife, but man, which name is common to either creature; For he that is dead, he says, is freed' from sin. The Law then is given for the Gr.
justified living, but to the dead it ceaseth to be ordained? Do you observe how he sets forth a twofold freedom. Next, after give hinting this at the commencement, he carries on what he mands has to say by way of proof, in the woman's case, in the following way.
Ver. 2, 3. For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband, so long as he liveth : but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then, if while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress : but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; 80 that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
He keeps continually upon this point, and that with great exactness, since he feels quite sure of the proof grounded on it: and in the husband's place he puts the Law, but in the woman's, all believers. Then he adds the conclusion in such way, that it does not tally with the premiss; for what the context would require would be, and so, my brethren, the law shall not' rule over you, for it is dead.'s Mar. But he does not say so, but only in the premiss hinted it,
4 Mss. and in the inference, afterwards, to prevent what he says doth not
188 Deuth of the believer stated, of the Law hinted. Homil. being distasteful, he brings the woman in as dead, by XII.
Ver. 4. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the Law.
As then the one or the other event gives rise to the same freedom, what is there to prevent his shewing favour to the Law without any harm being done to the cause.
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the 3 Mss. Law. What is become now' of those that speak evil of
the Law Let them hear, how even when forced upon it, he does not bereave it of its dignity, but speaks great things of its power; if while it is alive the Jew is bound,
and they are to be called adulterers who transgress it, 2 4 Mss. and leave it whiles it is alive. But if they let go of it after plur.
it has died, this is not to be wondered at. For in human affairs no one is found fault with for doing this: but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. You see how in the example he points out the Law as dead, but in the inference he does not do so. So then if it be while her husband liveth, the woman is called an adulteress. See how he dwells upon the accusations of those who transgress the Law, while it is yet living. But since he had put an end to it, he afterwards favours it, yet without doing any harm hereby to the faith. For if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress. Thus it would have been natural to say next, ye also, my brethren, now the Law is dead, will not be judged guilty of adultery, if ye become married to another husband. Yet he does not use these words, but what? He says, ye are become dead to the Law; if ye have been made dead, ye are no longer under the Law. For if, when the husband is dead, the woman is no longer liable to it, much more when herself is dead also is she freed from the former. Do you note the wisdom of Paul, how he points out that the Law itself designs
b The Manichees, who said the Law which cannot be construed with avròn, was given by an evil being.
but 4 Mss. confirm this, and also • Savile reads avròn xagiftras rn só- read avrõ, which gives the sense OTI X. T. 2. (see Acts 25, 11.) he gives as in the text. If so taken it refers it up to the faith without doing any back, if as above it refers to the sequel. harm. In mar. we have την πίστιν,