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dience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

6 Among whom are ye also

a Ac.6.7. c.16.26.

apostolic office, as being derived from Jesus Christ, and designs to assure the Romans that he had received the apostolic commission as the others had. We, the apostles, have received the appointment from Jesus Christ.' Grace and apostleship. Many suppose that this is a figure of speech, hendiadys, by which one thing is expressed by two words, meaning the grace or favour of the apostolic office. Such a figure of speech is often used. But it may mean, as it does probably here, the two things, grace, or the favour of God to his own soul, as a personal matter; and the apostolic office as a distinct thing. He often, however, speaks of the office of the apostleship as a matter of special favour. Rom. xv. 15, 16. Gal. ii. 9. Eph. iii. 7, 8, 9. For obedience to the faith. In order to produce, or promote obedience to the faith; that is, to induce them to render that obedience to God which faith produces. There are two things therefore implied. (1.) That the design of the gospel and of the apostleship is to induce men to obey God. (2.) That the tendency of faith is to produce obedience. There is no true faith which does not produce that. This is constantly affirmed in the New Testament. Rom. xv. 18; xvi. 19. 2 Cor. vii. 15. James ii. ¶ Among all nations. This was the original commission which Jesus gave to his apostles. Mark xvi. 15, 16. Matt. xxviii. 18, 19. This was the special commission which Paul received when he was converted. Acts ix. 15. It was important to show that the commission extended thus far, as he was now addressing a distant church which he had not seen. For his name. This means probably on his account, that is, on account of Christ. John xiv. 13, 14; xvi. 23, 24. The design of the apostleship was to produce obedience to the gospel among all nations, that thus the name of Jesus

the called of Jesus Christ:

7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called 'to be saints:

b1 Cor.1.2. 1Th.4.7.

might be honoured. Their work was not one in which they were seeking to honour themselves, but it was solely for the honour and glory of Jesus Christ. For him they toiled, they encountered perils, they laid down their lives, because by so doing they might bring men to obey the gospel, and thus Jesus Christ might wear a brighter crown, and be attended by a longer and more splendid train of worshippers in the kingdom of his glory.

6. Among whom. That is, among the Gentiles who had become obedient to the Christian faith in accordance with the design of the gospel, ver. 8. This proves that the church at Rome was made up partly at least, if not mainly, of Gentiles or pagans. This is fully proved in the xvith chapter by the names of the persons whom Paul salutes. ¶ The called of Jesus Christ. Those whom Jesus Christ has called to be his followers. The word called (see ver. 1) denotes not merely an external invitation to a privilege, but it also denotes the internal or effectual call which secures conformity to the will of him who calls, and is thus synonymous with the name Christians, or believers. That true Christians are contemplated by this address, is clear from the whole scope of the epistle. See particularly ch. viii. Comp. Phil. iii. 14. Heb. iii. 1.

7. To all that be in Rome. That is, to all who bear the Christian name. Perhaps he here included not only the church at Rome, but all who might have been there from abroad. Rome was a place of vast concourse for foreigners; and Paul probably addressed all who happened to be there. ¶ Beloved of God. Whom God loves. This is the privilege of all Christians. And this proves that the persons whom Paul addressed were not those merely who had been invited to the external privileges of the gospel. The import


ance of this observation will appear | word including all those blessings that in the progress of these Notes. Call- are applicable to Christians in common; ed to be saints. So called, or in- denoting an ardent wish that all the fluenced by God who had called them, mercies and favours of God for time as to become saints. The word saints, and eternity, blended under the geneay, means those who are holy, or ral name grace, may be conferred on those who are devoted or consecrated them. It is to be understood as conto God. The radical idea of the word nected with a word implying invocais that which is separated from a com- tion. I pray, or I desire, that grace, mon to a sacred use, and answers to &c. may be conferred on you. It is the Hebrew word, wp, kadosh. It the customary form of salutation in is applied to any thing that is set apart nearly all the apostolic epistles. 1 Cor. to the service of God, to the temple, to i. 3. 2 Cor. i. 2. Gal. i. 3. Eph. i. 2. the sacrifices, to the utensils about Phil. i. 2. Col. i. 2. 1 Thess. i. 1. the temple, to the garments, &c. of 2 Thess. i. 2. Philem, 3. ¶ And peace. the priests, and to the priests them- Peace is the state of freedom from selves. It was applied to the Jews as As war conveys the idea of disa people separated from other nations, cord and numberless calamities and and devoted or consecrated to God, dangers, so peace is the opposite, and while other nations were devoted to the conveys the idea of concord, safety, and service of idols. It is also applied to prosperity. Thus, to wish one peace Christians, as being a people devoted was the same as to wish him all safety or set apart to the service of God. The and prosperity. This form of salutaradical idea then, as applied to Chris- tion was common among the Hebrews. tians, is, that they are separated from Gen. xliii. 23, “Peace to you! fear other men, and other objects and pur-not." Judges vi. 23; xix. 20. Luke suits, and consecrated to the service of God. This is the peculiar characteristic of the saints. And this characteristic the Roman Christians had shown. For the use of the word as stated above, see the following passages of Scripture. Luke ii. 23. Ex. xiii. 2. Rom. xi. 16. Matt. vii. 6. 1 Pet. i. 16. Acts ix. 13. 1 Pet. ii. 5. Acts iii. 21. Eph. iii. 5. 1 Pet. ii. 9. Phil. ii. 15. 1 John iii. 1, 2. 1 Grace. This word properly means favour. It is very often used in the New Testament, and is employed in the sense of benignity or benevolence; felicity, or a prosperous state of affairs; the Christian religion, as the highest expression of the benevolence or favour of God; the happiness which Christianity confers on its friends in this and the future life; the apostolic office; charity, or alms; thanksgiving; joy, or pleasure; and the benefits produced on the Christian's heart and life by religion-the grace of meekness, patience, charity, &c. Schleusner. In this place, and in similar places in the beginning of the apostolic epistles, it seems to be a


xxiv. 36. But the word peace is also
used in contrast with that state of agi-
tation and conflict which a sinner has
with his conscience, and with God.
The sinner is like the troubled sea
which cannot rest. Isa. lvii. 20. The
Christian is at peace with God through
the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. v. 1. By
this word, denoting reconciliation with
God, the blessings of the Christian re-
ligion are often described in the Scrip-
tures. Rom. viii. 6; xiv. 17; xv. 13.
Gal. v. 22. Phil. iv. 7. A prayer for
peace, therefore, in the epistles,
a mere formal salutation, but has a
special reference to those spiritual
blessings which result from reconcilia-
tion with God through the Lord Jesus
Christ. From God our Father.
The Father of all Christians. He is
the Father of all his creatures, as they
are his offspring. Acts xvii. 28, 29. He
is especially the Father of all Christians,
as they have been "begotten by him to
a lively hope," have been adopted into
his family, and are like him. Matt. v.
45. 1 Pet. i. 3. 1 John v. 1; iii. 1, 2.
The expression here is equivalent to a

Grace to you, and peace, from 8 First, I thank my God
God our Father, and the Lord through Jesus Christ for you
Jesus Christ.
all, that your faith is spoken

a 1Cor.1.3,&c. 2Pet.1.2.

prayer that God the Father would bestow grace and peace on the Romans. It implies that these blessings proceed from God, and are to be expected from him. And the Lord Jesus Christ. From him. The Lord Jesus Christ is especially regarded in the New Testament as the source of peace, and the procurer of it. See Luke ii. 14; xix. 38. 42. John xiv. 27; xvi. 33. Acts x. 36. Rom. v. 1. Eph. ii. 17. Each of these places will show with what propriety peace was invoked from the Lord Jesus. From thus connecting the Lord Jesus with the Father in this place, we may see, (1.) That the apostle regarded him as the source of grace and peace as really as he did the Father. (2.) He introduced them in the same connexion, and with reference to the bestowment of the same blessings. (3.) If the mention of the Father in this connexion implies a prayer to him, or an act of worship, the mention of the Lord Jesus implies the same thing, and was an act of homage to him. (4.) All this shows that his mind was familiarized to the idea that he was divine. No man would introduce his name in such connexions if he did not believe that he was equal with God. Comp. Phil. ii. 2-11. It is from this incidental and unstudied manner of expression, that we have one of the most striking proofs of the manner in which the sacred writers regarded the Lord Jesus Christ.

These seven verses are one sentence. They are a striking instance of the manner of Paul. The subject is simply a salutation to the Roman church. But at the mention of some single words, the mind of Paul seems to catch fire, and to burn and blaze with signal intensity. He leaves the immediate subject before him, and advances some vast thought that awes us, and fixes us in contemplation, and involves us in difficulty about his meaning, and then

b c.16.19.


returns to his subject. This is the characteristic of his great mind; and it is this, among other things, that makes it so difficult to interpret his writings.

8. First. In the first place, not in point of importance, but before speaking of other things, or before proceeding to the main design of the epistle. ¶ I thank my God. The God whom I worship and serve. The expression of thanks to God for his mercy to them was fitted to conciliate their feelings, and to prepare them for the truths which he was about to communicate to them. It showed the deep interest which he had in their welfare; and the happiness it would give him to do them good. It is proper to give thanks to God for his mercies to others as well as to ourselves. We are memhers of one great family, and we should make it a subject of thanksgiving that he confers any blessings, and especially the blessings of salvation, on any mortals. Through Jesus Christ. The duty of presenting our thanks to God through Christ is often enjoined in the New Testament. Eph. v. 20. Heb. xiii. 15. comp. John xiv. 14. Christ is the mediator between God and men; or the medium by which we are to present our prayers and also our thanksgivings. We are not to approach God directly, but through a mediator at all times, depending on him to present our cause before the mercy seat; to plead for us there; and to offer the desires of our souls to God. It is no less proper to present thanks in his name, or through him, than it is prayer. He has made the way to God accessible to us, whether it be by prayer or praise; and it is owing to his mercy and grace that any of our services are acceptable to God. For you all. On account of you all, i. e. of the entire Roman church. This is one evidence that that church then was re


of throughout the whole world. | without ceasing I make men9 For God is my witness, tion of you always in my prayers; whom I serve with my spirit 10 Making request if by any in the gospel of his Son, that means now at length I might


a Acts 27.23. 1 or, in.

b 1Thess.3.10.

With my spirit. Greek, iv, in my spirit, i. e. with my heart. It is not an external service merely; it is internal, real, sincere. He was really and sincerely devoted to the service of God.

In the gospel of his Son. In making known the gospel, or as a minister of the gospel. That without ceas

markably pure. How few churches 9. For God is my witness. The have there been of whom a similar reason of this strong appeal to God is, commendation could be expressed. to show to the Romans the deep inteThat your faith. Faith is put here rest which he felt in their welfare. for the whole of religion, and means This interest was manifested in his the same as your piety. Faith is one prayers, and in his earnest desires to of the principal things of religion; one see them. A deep interest shown in of its first requirements; and hence it this way was well fitted to prepare signifies religion itself. The readiness them to receive what he had to say to with which the Romans had embraced them. Whom I serve. See ver. 1. the gospel, the firmness with which comp. Acts xvii. 23. The expression they adhered to it, was so remarkable, denotes that he was devoted to God that it was known and celebrated every in this manner; that he obeyed him; where. The same thing is affirmed of and had given himself to do his them in ch. xvi. 19, "For your obedi- will in making known his gospel. ence is come abroad unto all men." ¶ Is spoken of. Is celebrated, or known. They were in the capital of the Roman empire; in a city remarkable for its wickedness; and in a city whose influence extended every where. It was natural, therefore, that their remarkable conversion to God should be celebrated every where. The re-ing, adianτws. This word means ligious or irreligious influence of a constantly, always, without intermisgreat city will be felt far and wide, sion. It was not only once, but reand this is one reason why the apostles preached the gospel so much in such places. Throughout the whole world. As we say, every where; or throughout the Roman empire. The term world is often thus limited in the Scriptures; and here it denotes those parts of the Roman empire where the Christian church was established. All the churches would hear of the work of God in the capital, and would rejoice in it. Comp. Col. i. 6. 23. John xii. 19. It is not improper to commend Christians, and to remind them of their influence; and especially to call to their mind the great power which they may have on other churches and people. Nor is it improper that great displays of divine mercy should be celebrated every where, and excite in the churches praise to God.

peatedly. It had been the burden of
his prayers. The same thing he also
mentions in regard to other churches.
1 Thess. i. 3; ii. 13. ¶ I make men-
tion. I call you to remembrance, and
present your case before God. This
evinced his remarkable interest in a
church which he had never seen, and
it shows that Paul was a man of prayer;
praying not for his friends and kindred
only, but for those whom he had never
seen. If with the same intensity of
prayer all Christians, and Christian mi-
nisters, would remember the churches,
what a different aspect would the
Christian church soon assume! ¶ Al-
ways. This word should be con-
nected with the following verse,
ways making request," &c.

10. Making request. It was his earnest desire to see them, and he pre

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sented the subject before God. ¶ If by any means. This shows the earnest desire which he had to see them, and implies that he had designed it, and had been hindered. See ver. 13. Now at length. He had purposed it a long time, but had been hindered. He doubtless cherished this purpose for years. The expressions in the Greek imply an earnest wish that this long cherished purpose might be accomplished before long. A prosperous journey. A safe, pleasant journey. It is right to regard all success in travelling as depending on God, and to pray for success and safety from danger. Yet all such prayers are not answered according to the letter of the petition. The prayer of Paul that he might see the Romans was granted, but in a remarkable way. He was persecuted by the Jews, and arraigned before king Agrippa. He appealed to the Roman emperor, and was taken there in chains as a prisoner. Yet the journey might in this way have a more deep effect on the Romans, than if he had gone in any other way. In so mysterious a manner does God often hear the prayers of his people; and though their prayers are answered, yet it is in his own time and way. See the last chapters of the Acts. By the will of God. If God shall grant it; if God will by his mercy grant me the great favour of my coming to you. This is a proper model of a prayer; and is in accordance with the direction of the Bible. See James iv. 14, 15.

11. For I long to see you. I earnestly desire to see you. Comp. ch. xv. 23. 32. ¶ That I may impart. That I may give, or communicate to you. Some spiritual gift. Some have understood this as referring to miraculous gifts, which it was supposed the apostles had the power of conferring on others. But this interpretation is


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forced and unnatural. There is no instance where this expression denotes the power of working miracles. Besides, the apostle in the next verse explains his meaning, "That I may be comforted together by the mutual faith," &c. From this it appears that he desired to be among them to exercise the office of the ministry, to establish them in the gospel, and to confirm their hopes. He expected that the preaching of the gospel would be the means of confirming them in the faith; and he desired to be the means of doing it. It was a wish of benevolence, and accords with what he says respecting his intended visit in ch. xv. 29, "And I am sure that when I come, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ." To make known to them more fully the blessings of the gospel, and thus to impart spiritual gifts, was the design he had in view. To the end, &c. With the design, or purpose. Ye may be established. That is, that they might be confirmed in the truths of the gospel. This was one design of the ministry, that Christians may be established, or strengthened. Eph. iv. 13. It is not to have dominion over their faith, but to be " helpers of their joy." 2 Cor. i. 24. Paul did not doubt that this part of his office might be fulfilled among the Romans, and he was desirous there also of making full proof of his ministry. His wish was to preach not simply where he must, but where he might. This is the nature of this work.

12. That I may be comforted, &c. It was not merely to confirm them that Paul wished to come. He sought the communion of saints; he expected to be himself edified and strengthened; and to be comforted by seeing their strength of faith, and their rapid growth in grace. We may remark here, (1.)

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