64 Some Gentiles doers of the Law without hearing.

HOMIL. Condemnation arising from it,) is he condemned solely from V. the reasonings of nature, but the Jew, in the Law, that is,

with nature and the Law too to accuse him. For the greater the attention he enjoyed, the greater the punishment he will suffer. See how he urges on the Jews their greater need of a speedy recourse to grace! For in that they said, they 15 Mss. needed not grace, being justified by the Law alone', he shews that they need it more than the Gentiles, considering they are more liable to be punished. Then he adds another reason again, and so farther contends for what has been said.

om. alone

Rom. 2,


Ver. 13. For not the hearers of the law are just before God.

Well doth he add before God;' for haply before men they may be able to appear dignified and to vaunt great things, but before God it is quite otherwise-the doers of the Law alone are justified. You see with what advantage he combats, by turning what they said to an opposite bearing. For if it is by the Law you deem that you shall be saved, in this respect, saith he, the Gentile will stand before you, when seen to be a doer of what is written in the Law. And how is it possible (one may say) for one who hath not heard to be a doer? Not this only, he says, is possible, but what is much more even than this. For not only is it possible without hearing to be a doer, but even with hearing not to be so. Which last thing he makes plainer, and that with a greater advantage over them, when he says, Thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? But here he is still making the former point good.

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Ver. 14. For when the Gentiles, he says, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves.

I am not, he means, rejecting the Law, but even on this score I justify the Gentiles. You see how when undermining the conceit of Judaism, he giveth no handle against himself as vilifying the Law, but on the contrary by extolling it and shewing its greatness he so makes good his whole position. But when he saith by nature, he means by the reasonings of nature. And he shews that others are better

These better than Jews. Reason and Conscience given. 65

than they, and, what is more, better for this, that they have ROM. not received the law, and have not that wherein the Jews 2, 16. seem to have an advantage over them. On this ground then he means they are to be admired, because they required not a Law, and yet exhibited all the doings of the Law, having the works, not the letters, graven upon their minds. For this is what he says,

Ver. 15. Which shew the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and T their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one sav.

6 Mss.



Ver. 16. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my Gospel.

See how he again puts that day before them, and brings it close to them, battering down their conceit, and shewing, that those were to be the rather honoured who without the Law strove earnestly to fulfil the things of the Law. But what is most to be marvelled at in the discretion of the Apostle, it is worth while to mention now. For having shewn, from the grounds given, that the Gentile is greater than the Jew; in the inference, and the conclusion of his reasoning, he does not state it, in order not to be grating to the Jews. But to make what I have said clearly, I will give the very words of the Apostle. For after saying, that it is not the hearers of the Law, but the doers of the Law, that shall be justified, it followed to say, for when the Gentiles, which have not the Law, do by nature the things contained in the Law, they are much better than those who are instructed by the Law. But this he does not say, but he stays at the encomium of the Gentiles, and does not yet awhile carry on his discourse by way of comparison, that so at least the Jew may receive what is said. And so he does not word it as I was doing, but how? Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, not having the law, are a law unto themselves; which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness. For the conscience and reason doth suffice in the Law's stead. By this he shewed, first, that God made man inde

For when the


66 Power given to know and do right proved by men's judging.

HOMIL. pendents, so as to be able to choose virtue and to avoid vice. V. And be not surprised that he proves this point, not once or

twice, but several times. For this topic was very needful for him to prove owing to those who say,Why ever is it, that Christ came but now? And where in times before was this mighty scheme of Providence? Now it is these that he is at present beating off by the way, when he shews that even in former times, and before the Law was given, the human race' fully enjoyed the care of Providence. For that which may be known of God was manifest in them, and they knew what was good; and what bad, by means whereof they judged others, which he reproaches them with, when he says, wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself. But in the case of the Jews, besides what has been mentioned, there was the Law, and not reason or conscience only. And why does he put the words accusing or else excusing? Because, if they have a Law written, and shew the work of it in them, how comes reason to be able to accuse them still? But he is not any longer speaking of them only 2 Gr. the in the word accusing, but also of mankind universally. For then our reasonings stand up, some accusing and some excusing. And at that tribunal a man needeth not other accuser. Then to add to their fear, he does not say the sins of men, but the secrets of men. For since he said, Thinkest thou, that judgest them that do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God; that thou mayest not expect such a sentence as thou passest thyself, but mayest know, that that of God is far more exact than thine own, he brings in, the secrets of men, and



1 Gr. nature.

aurágans, writing before the Pelagian controversy, he does not notice the distinction between a sufficiency of knowledge, &c. and a supply of grace which must be presupposed. See Aug. ad Dardanum, Ep. 188. al. 143. c. 11, 12. See also De C. D. x. c. 29. and 32. Conc. Araus. A.D. 529. cap. 19. Labbe IV. 1670. B. declares grace needed even before the fall, much more after. See Bp. Bull on the state of man before the fall, Works, II. also Vinc. Lir. c. 24. The question is here whether men had means to attain salvation. It is taken for granted they had power given them

to choose the right, but whether in the
way of nature or of grace it is not
defined. The grace given to Chris-
tians was always regarded as so dis-
tinct from and superior to every thing
granted to Jews or Heathens, that it
was difficult to speak of the manner in
which they received Divine assistance.
But the gift spoken of by Justin Martyr,
Ap. i. 13. is clearly supernatural. See
also St. Basil, Const. Mon. 16. vol. 2.
p. 559. B. and Macarius, Hom. 56.

n 1 Ms. for τὸ κατηγορούντων reade
Tv xaroglouvray, of those only who do
well. 2. τῶν κατηγ....Onενόμον for μόνον.

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A proof of future judgment. God's wrath now to be dreaded. 67

2, 16.

6 Mss.

adds, through Jesus Christ according to my Gospel. For Rom. men sit in judgment upon overt acts alone. And above too he spake of the Father alone, but as soon as he had crushed them with fear, he brought in the mention of Christ also. But he does not do barely this, but even here, after having made mention of the Father, he so introduceth Him. And by the same things' he raises the dignity of his preach-1 So ing. For this preaching, he means, openly speaks out what S. by nature shewed by anticipation. Do you see with what Them wisdom he has bound them both to the Gospel and to Christ, and demonstrated that our affairs come not here to a stand, but travel further. And this he made good before also, when he said, thou treasurest up to thyself wrath against the day of wrath: and here again, God shall judge the secrets of men.

I's. 49,



6 Mss.


Now let each man enter into his own conscience, and reckoning up his transgressions, let him call himself to a strict account, that we be not condemned with the world. For fearful is that court, awful the tribunal, full of trembling the accounts, a river of fire rolls along. Αἕλκεται. brother doth not redeem: shall man redeem? Call then to g. LXX. mind what is said in the Gospel, of the Angels running to and fro, of the bridechamber being opened, of the lamps which are extinguished, of the powers which drag to the So flames. And consider this, that if a secret deed of any one s are of us were brought forth into the midst, to-day, before the not Church only, what prayer to perish, and to have the earth 4 Mss. πῶς ἀν gape for him, would he not offer, rather than have so many witnesses of his wickedness? How then shall we feel, when, S. how before the whole world, all things are brought into the midst, he pray in such a theatre, so bright and open, with both those known and those unknown to us seeing into every thing? But alas! wherewith am I forced to affright you! with men's estimation! when I ought to use the fear of God, and your self-condemnation. For what, pray, is to become of us then when bound, and gnashing our teeth, we are led 4. away to the outer darkness? Or, rather, what shall we do hand (and this is the most fearful thought of all) when we' offend προσ God. For if any one have sense and reason, he has already góυowendured a hell when he is out of sight of God. But since"


6 Mss.

His con

and foot


68 Offending God worse than hell. His pleading with us.



HOMIL. this doth not pain, he therefore threatened fire. For we ought to smart not when we are punished, but when we sin. Thus listen to Paul wailing and lamenting over sins, for which he was not to be punished. For I am not meet, he says, to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the 1 γούν Church. Hear1 also David, when he is set free from the 6 Mss. punishment, yet, as thinking that he had offended God, 2 Sam. calling vengeance down upon himself, and saying, Let thy 24, 17. hand be upon me and upon my father's house. For to have offended God is more distressing than to be punished. But now we are so wretchedly disposed, that, were there no fear of hell, we should not even choose readily to do any good thing. Wherefore were it for nothing else, yet for this at least, we should deserve hell, because we fear hell more than Christ. But not so the blessed Paul, but contrariwise. But since we feel otherwise, for this reason are we condemned to hell: since, did we but love Christ as we should love Him, we should have known that to offend Him we love were more painful than hell. But since we love Him not, we know not the greatness of His punishment. And this is what I bewail and grieve over the most! And yet what has God not done, to be beloved of us? What hath He not devised? What hath He omitted? We insulted Him, 2S.μn when He had not wronged us in aught, but had even 5 M benefitted us with blessings countless and unspeakable. had not We have turned aside from Him when calling and drawing


οὐδὲν who

1 Cor. 15, 9.

us to Him by all ways, yet hath He not even upon this punished us, but hath run Himself unto us, and held us back, when fleeing, and we have shaken Him off and leaped away to the Devil. And not even on this hath He stood aloof, but hath sent numberless messengers to call us to Him again, Prophets, Angels, Patriarchs: and we have not only not received the embassy, but have even insulted those that came. But not even for this did He spew us out of His mouth, but like those slighted lovers that be very earnest, He went round beseeching all, the heaven, the earth, Jeremiah, Michaiah, and that not that He might weigh us down, but that He might speak in behalf of His own ways; and along with the Prophets He went also Himself to those that turned aside from Him, being ready to submit

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