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Men cause their own punishment. Reward of well-doing. 59
thee with a power to discern between good and what was Rom. not so, and shewed longsuffering over thee, and called thee _2, 8. to repentance, and threatened a fearful day, so by every means drawing thee to repentance. But if thou continuest unyielding, thou treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of so Mat. God. For lest on hearing of wrath thou shouldest think of and any passion, he adds, the righteous judgment of God. And ous he said revelation with good reason, for then is this revealed when each man receives his desert. For here many men often annoy and practise harm to one without justice. But hereafter it is not so.
Ver. 6, 7. Who will render to every man according to his deeds, to them who by patient continuance in well doing, &c.
Since he had become awestriking and harsh by discoursing of the judgment and of the punishment that shall be, he does not forthwith, as one might expect, enter upon the vengeance, but turns his discourse to what was sweeter, to the recompense of good actions, saying, as follows,
Ver. 7. To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.
Here also he awakens those who had drawn back during the trials, and shews that it is not right to trust in faith only. For it is deeds also into which that tribunal will enquire. But observe, how when he is discoursing about the things to come, he is unable to tell clearly the blessings, but speaketh of glory and honour. For in that they transcend all that man hath, he hath no image of them here to shew, but by those things which have a semblance of brightness among us, even by them he sets them before us as far as may be, by glory, by honour, by life. For these be what men earnestly strive after, yet are those things not these, but much better than these, inasmuch as they are incorruptible and immortal. See, how he has opened to us the doors toward the resurrection of the body by speaking of incorruptibility. For incorruptibility belongs to the corruptible body. Then, since this sufficed not, he added, glory and honour. For all of us are to rise incorruptible, but not all to glory, but some to punishment, and some to glory.
Ver. 8. But unto them that are contentious, he says.
60 The Jew most responsible, as having the best means.
HOMIL. Again, he deprives of excuse those that live in wickedness, and shews that it was from a kind of disputatiousness and carelessness that they fell into unrighteousness.
And do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness. See, here is another accusation again. For what defence could he set up, who fled from the light and chose the dark? And he does not say, who are compelled by,'' lorded over by,' but who obey unrighteousness, that one may learn that the fall was one of free choice, the crime not of necessity.
J M. and 5 Mss. Indignation and
Ver. 9. Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil.
That is, if a man be rich, if a consul, if the emperor wrath. himself, by none of them is the account of the judgment
out-faced. Since in this dignities have no place. Having then shewn the exceeding greatness of the disease, and having added the cause that it was from the carelessness of the disordered, and finally, that destruction awaits them and that amendment is easy, in the punishment also he again gives the Jew the heavier lot. Of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile. For he that had enjoyed a larger share of instruction would also deserve to undergo a larger share of vengeance if doing lawlessly. And so the wiser or mightier men we are, the more are we punished if we sin. For if thou art rich, thou wilt have more money demanded of thee than of the poor; and if wiser than others, a stricter obedience; and if thou wert invested with authority, more shining acts of goodness; and so in the case of all the other things, thou wilt have to bring in measures proportioned to the power.
Ver. 10. But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.
What Jew does he here mean? or about what Gentiles is he discoursing? It is of those before Christ's coming. For his discourse had not hitherto come to the times of grace, but he was still dwelling upon the earlier times, so breaking down first from afar off and clearing away the separation between the Greek and the Jew, that when he should do this in the matter of grace he might no more seem to be devising some new and degrading view. For if in the earlier times when this Grace had not shone forth in such greatness,
Jews wisely shewn never to have been better than pious Gentiles. 61 when the estate of the Jews was solemn and renowned and glorious before all men, there was no difference, what could they say for themselves now after so great a display of grace. And this is why he establishes it with so great earnestness. For when the hearer has been informed that this held in the earlier times, much more will he receive it after the faith. But by Greeks he here means not them that worshipped idols, but them that adored God, that obeyed the law of nature, that strictly kept all things, save the Jewish observances, which contribute to piety, such as were Melchizedek and his', such as was Job, such as were the Ninevites,dıgi such as was Cornelius. Here then he is first breaking through the partition between the circumcision and the uncircumcision: and at a distance dissipates this distinction beforehand, so as to do it without being suspected, and to strike into it as compelled by another occasion, which is even a characteristic of his Apostolic wisdom. For if he had shewed it of the times of grace, what he said would have had a very suspicious look. But on relating the vice and wickedness which possessed the world, to pass from that consecutively into the treatment of these points renders his teaching unsuspected. And that he means this, and for this purpose so put them together, is plain from hence: for if he were not intent upon effecting this, it were enough for him to have said, According to thy hardness and impenitent heart thou treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath; and then to have dropped this subject, since it would have been complete. But in that what he had in view was not to speak of the judgment to come only, but to she also that the Jew had no advantage of such a Greek, and so was not to be haughty-spirited, he advances farther, and speaks' of them in order. But consider! He had put the hearer in fear, had soundeds over him the fearful day, had told him what an evil it is to be living in wickedness, had shewed him that no man sinneth of ignorance, nor with impunity, but that even though he suffer no punishment now, yet he certainly will suffer it: then he wishes to make good
5 Mss. the vice which, &c. and how end the ways of wickedness. f τάξει κέχρηται, see on v. 16.
• izńxnow, but S. in mar. and 6 Mss. ἐπιτείχισιν fenced him in by, or raised as a fort against him.
Roм. 2, 10.
62 The Jews' pride in the Law quelled by its penalties.
HOMIL. next that the teaching of the Law was not a thing of great importance. For it is upon works that punishment and both reward depend, not upon circumcision and uncircumcision. Since then he had said, that the Gentile shall by no means go unpunished and had taken this for granted, and upon it had made good that he shall also be rewarded, he next shewed the Law and circumcision to be redundant. For it is the Jews that he is here chiefly opposing. For inasmuch as they were somewhat captiously disposed, first, of their haughtiness not deigning to be reckoned along with the Gentiles, and secondly, thinking it ridiculous if the faith is to do away all sins; for this cause he accused the Gentiles first, in whose behalf he is speaking, that without suspicion and with boldness of speech he may attack the Jews. And then having come to the enquiry concerning future punishment, he shews that the Jew is so far from being at all profited by the Law, that he is even weighed down by it. And this was his drift some way back. For if the Gentile be on this score inexcusable, because when the creation led him on and his own reasonings he yet did not. amend, much more were the Jew so, who besides these had the teaching of the Law also. Having then persuaded him to a ready admission of these reasonings, in the case of other men's sins, he now compels him even against his will to do so in the case of his own. And in order that what he says may be more readily allowed, he leads him forward with the better things also in view, speaking on this wise: But glory and honour and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. For here whatever 35 Mss. good things a man hath, he hath with many troubles3, even if he be rich, if in power, if a king. For though he be not at 43 Mss. variance with others, yet is he often so with himself, and has abundant war in his own thoughts. But there it is no such thing, but all is still and void of trouble, and in possession of true peace. Having then made good from what was said above, that they too which have not the Law are to enjoy the same blessings, he adds his reason in the following words:
Ver. 11. For there is no respect of persons with God.
From all this it follows that Gentiles are equally accepted. 63
they sin, he needs no reasonings: but when he wants to Roм. prove that the Gentile is honoured also, he then needs a foundation for it also; as it seemed wonderful and extravagant if he who had heard neither Law nor Prophets, were to be honoured upon his working good. And this is why (as I also said before) he exercises their hearing in the times before grace, that he might afterwards more treatably bring in, along with the faith, the acquiescence in these things also. For here he is not at all suspected, as seeming not to be making his own point good. Having then said, Glory and honour and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile, he adds, For there is no respect of persons with God. Wonderful! What more than victory has he gained! For he shews, by reducing it to an absurdity, that it was not meet with God that it should be otherwise. For it would then be a case of respecting of persons. But of such character God is not. And he does not say, for if this were not so, God would be a respecter of persons,' but with more of dignity, For there is no respect of persons with God. That it is not quality of persons, but difference of actions, which He maketh inquisition for. By so saying he shews that it was not in actions but in persons only that the Jew differed from the Gentile. The consequence of this would be thus expressed; For it is not because one is a Jew and the other a Gentile, that one is honoured and the other disgraced, but it is from the works that either treatment comes. But he does not say so, since it would have roused the anger of the Jew, but he sets down something more, so bringing their haughty spirit yet lower, and quelling it for the admission of the other. But what is this? The next position.
Ver. 12. For as many, he says, 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 here, as I said before, he shews not only the equality of the Jew and the Gentile, but that the Jew was even much burdened by the gift of the Law. For the Gentile is judged without law. But this without' law' here expresses not 'Gr.lawthe worse plight but the easier, that is, he has not the Lawlessly
to accuse him. For without law,' (that is, without the