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304 Righteousness not to be attained but by Faith. Homil.by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God: so XVI.
shewing that the other righteousness was greater than this. Before, then, I said that there were two difficulties, but now they have even become three questions: that the Gentiles found righteousness, and found it without following after it, and found a greater than that of the Law. These same difficulties are again felt in the Jews' case with an opposite view. That Israel did not find, and though he took pains he did not find, and did not find even the less. Having then thrust his hearer into perplexity, he proceeds to give a concise answer, and tells him the cause of all that is said. What then is the cause?
Ver. 32. Because they sought it not of faith, but as it were of the works of the Law.
This is the clearest answer in the passage, which if he had said immediately upon starting, he would not have gained so easy a hearing. But since it is after many perplexities, and preparations, and demonstrations that he sets it down, and after using countless preparatory steps, he has at last made it more intelligible, and also more easily admitted. For this he says is the cause of their destruction : Because it was not by faith, but as it were by the works of the Law, that they wished to be justified. And he does not say, by works, but, as it were by the works of the Law, to shew that they had not even this righteousness.
For they stumbled at that stumblingstone ;
Ver. 33. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone, and rock of offence : and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.
You see again how it is from faith that the boldness comes, and the gift is universal; since it is not of the Jews only that this is said, but of the whole human race. For every one, he would say, whether Jew, or Grecian, or Scythian, or Thracian, or whatsoever else he may be, will, if he believes, enjoy the privilege of great boldness. But the wonder in the Prophet is that he foretells not only that they should believe, but also that they should not believe. For to stumble is to disbelieve. As in the former passage he points out them that perish and them that are saving, where he says, If the number of the children of Israel be as the
Want of attention the cause of Unbelief. 305 sand of the sea, the remnant shall be saved. And, If the Rom.
9,30.31. Lord of Sabaoth had not left us a seed, we should have been as Sodoma. And, He hath called not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles; so here too he implies that some will believe, and some will stumble. But stumbling comes of not taking heed, of gaping after other things. Since then they did give heed to the Law, they stumbled on the stone, And a stone of stumbling and rock of offence he calls it from the character and end of those that believe not.
Is then the language used made plain to you? or does it still want much in clearness? I think indeed that, to those who have been attending, it is easy to get a clear view of it. But if it has slipped any body's memory, you can meet in private, and learn what it was. And this is why I have continued longer upon this explanatory part of the discourse, that I might not be compelled to break off the continuity of the context, and so spoil the clearness of the statements. And for this cause too I will bring my discourse to a conclusion here, without saying any thing to you on the more immediately practical points, as I generally do, lest I should make a fresh indistinctness in your memories by saying so much. It is time now to come to the proper conclusion, by shutting up the discourse with the doxology to the God of all. Let us then both pause, me that am speaking and you that are hearing, and offer up glory to Him. For His is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Rom. x. 1.
that they might be saved.
HOMIL. He is now going again to rebuke them more vehemently XVII. than before. Wherefore he again does away with every
suspicion of hatred, and makes a great effort beforehand to correct misapprehension. Do not then, he says, mind words or accusations, but observe that it is not in any hostile spirit that I say this. For it is not likely that the same person should desire their salvation, and not desire it only,
but even pray for it, and yet should also hate them, and feel I súdoxíur aversion to them. For by his heart's desire' here he means
exceeding great desire. And observe how the prayer he makes is from his soul. For it is not the being freed from punishment only, but that they may also be saved, that he makes so great a point of, and prays for. Nor is it from this only, but also from the sequel that he shews the good will that he hath towards them. For from what is open to him, as far as he can, he forces his way, and is contentious to find out some shadow at least of an excuse for them. And he hath not the power, being overcome by the nature of the facts.
Ver. 2. For I bear them record, says he, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Eng. ver. Israel, and so Ms. For that in the Bodleian Library. Some the rest of the Homilies of this Epistle, various readings, however, are noticed only one Ms. has been collated, viz. in the Benedictine edition.
b that 10, 3. 4.
Jeus refused the Gospel from selfishness and pride. 307 Ought not this then to be a ground for pardoning and Rom. not for accusing them? For if it is not of 1 man
idiothey are separated, but through zeal, they deserved to be deator pitied rather than punished. But observe how adroitly he for man. favours them in the word, and yet shews their unseasonable obstinacy.
Ver. 3. For they being ignorant, he says, of God's righteousness.
Again the word would lead to pardon. But the sequel to stronger accusation, and such as does away with defence of
And going about, he says, to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
And these things he says to shew, that it was from a petulancy and love of power” that they erred, rather than from 2 Mat. ignorance, and that not even this righteousness from the
Johnl2, deeds of the Law did they establish. For saying going 19, 42. about to establish is what one would do to shew this. And in plain words indeed he has not stated this. (For he has not said, that they fell short of both righteousnesses,) but he has given a hint of it in a very judicious manner, and with the wisdom so peculiar to himself. For if they are still going about to establish that, it is very plain that they have not yet established it. If they have not submitted themselves to this, they have fallen short of this also. But he calls it their own righteousness, either because the Law was no longer of force, or because it was one of trouble and toil. But this he calls God's righteousness, that from faith, because it comes entirely from the grace from above, and because men are justified in this case, not by labours, but by the gift of God. But they that evermore resisted the Holy Spirit, vexatiously trying to be justified by the Law, came not over to the faith. But as they did not come over to the faith, nor receive the righteousness thereupon ensuing, and were not able to be justified by the Law either, they were thrown out of all resources.
Ver. 4. For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
b Referring to the expression ' a zeal of God.' see 1 Cor. 3, 3. Gr.
Christ the end of the Law. HOMIL. See the judgment of Paul. For as he had spoken of a XVII.
righteousness, and a righteousness, lest they of the Jews which believed should seem to have the one but be excluded
from the other, and to be accused of lawlessness, (for even these 1 Ms. he there was no less cause' to fear about as being still newly
come in,) and lest Jews should again expect? to achieve less likely. it, and should say, Though we have not at present fulfilled 2 Mar. think it, yet we certainly will fulfil it, see what ground he
takes. He shews that there is but one righteousness, and that that has its full issue in this, and that he that hath taken to himself this, the one by faith, hath fulfilled that also. But he that rejects this, falls short as well of that also. For if Christ be the end of the Law, he that hath not Christ, even if he seem to have that righteousness, hath it not. But he that hath not Christ, even though he have not fulfilled the Law aright, hath received the whole. For the end of the physician's art is health. As then he that can make whole, even though he hath not the physician's art, hath every thing; but he that knows not how to heal, though he seem to be a follower of the art, comes short of every thing: so is it also in the case of the Law and of faith. He that hath this hath the end of that likewise, but he that is without this is an alien from both. For what was the object of the Law? To make man righteous. But it had not the power, for no one fulfilled it. This then was the end of the Law and to this it looked throughout, and for this all its parts were made, its feasts, and commandments, and sacrifices, and all besides, that man might be justified. But this end Christ gave a fuller accomplishment of through faith. Be not then afraid, he says, as if transgressing the Law in having come over to the faith. For then dost thou transgress it, when for it thou dost not believe Christ. If thou believest in Him, then thou hast fulfilled it also, and much more than it commanded. For thou hast received a much greater righteousness. Next, since this was an assertion, he again brings proof of it from the Scriptures.
C Gr. is summed up, ivarspahalbūT. the same purpose, and v. 29. of the See Irenæus, iii. 31, 32. where he recapitulation or consummation of ini. says the creation is recapitulated' in quity in Antichrist; the word is the Christ. Also iv. 74. 78. v. 1. much to