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such ss they are, but God as God, foresaw from of old all that would be. For so neither if seeing a violent horse seizing the bit in its teeth, and not heeding its rider, I should predict that nearing a precipice it would fall over it, and the event were to happen as I said, should I have cast the horse down that precipice, but merely have foretold what was itself about to take place, while using the evidence of the fierceness of the horse himself as my guide. But (and so likewise) the God of all, from of old knows all things as God, not that He imposes on any one a necessity for his establishment in virtue, or on another for his performance of vice; for if He exercised force towards either, He could not with justice praise and reward the former, or adjudge punishment to the latter. If then God be just, as indeed He is just, He exhorts indeed to what is right, and denounces its opposite; He approves the doers of good, and avenges Himself on those who from their own will embrace wickedness. 31. What shall we then say to these things ? If God be for us, who can be against us? Having God as our ally, shall we be afraid of men ? He comprehends all things at once under the word who; whether kings, or generals, or people, or their leaders ; the whole world at once. And then he brings forward the crowning blessing of blessings. 32. He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things ? He has given us the greater, and shall He not give also the less ? His own Son has He bestowed, and will He deprive us of what we have gained ? But here we must remember, that the Person of the Son is (but) one; for the human nature was delivered up in our behalf by the divinity; for (so)" the bread," says He, (John vi. 31,) “ that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world;" and (ch. x. 18,)“ I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again."

again." 33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34. Who is he (then) that condemneth ?* Having said that while God helps, who can injure us? he adds, that God, having rendered us justified, who can condemn ? Christ it is that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is ever at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. What more than all this 'seek ye? in our behalf the Lord Christ died, and having risen again sits by the Father; nor even thus has He ceased His care for us, but pointing to the first-fruits which He took from us,and showing its immaculate purity to the Father, by it He asks for salvation to ourselves. And this indeed he says as regards the hamanity, for as God He asks not, but (Himself) grants. Nay, and even if the heretics should declare, that so the Son does as regards His divinity, neither so could they prove His glory to be the less. For let us suppose two kings to be equal in honour, and to have the same authority, and when some deputy or general has offended against both, the one of these having earliest received the prayer of the culprit to beg of the partner of his kingdom to admit him to reconciliation, does this at all diminish the dignity of him that makes this request? By no

But in the present case we cannot grant even so much as this,

means.

* Who can rise up in judgment against those whom God has thus chosen, and when He has justified, who condemn them for what He has pardoned ?- E.B.

† The human body of our nature, now become the first-fruits from the dead, 1 Cor. xv. 20, 23, &c.-E.B.

*

for whatsoever seems good to the Son, pleases the Father also, and the will of both is the same.

The passage

therefore is figuratively expressed by the apostle, through his desire to set forth the greatness of Christ's) zeal and watchfulness for us. 35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword ? 36. As it is written (Ps. xliv. 22,) For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. The witness adduced is exactly correspondent to the subject in hand, for it was spoken in the persons of those who had the same object,* for the thrice-holy Spirit wrote this psalm by the inspired David, concerning the admirable Maccabees. 37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. Opposing the love which God bears us to all these things, we rise superior to afflictions ; for we reckon that it were most absurd for our Lord Christ to have undergone death for sinners, and yet ourselves not most readily to embrace martyrdom for Him. 38. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other such creation, could be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Having weighed the whole creation at once against the love of God, and added to such as are visible, such as are perceptible only by the mind--angels, and powers, and dominions; and to the present, hoped for, blessings; as well as threatened punishments also; for by depth, as I apprehend, he signifies hell, and by height the kingdom (of heaven); and moreover everlasting life and eternal death ; and seeing that even then this scale is lightest in the reckoning, he seeks for somewhat else to be cast in; and finding nothing, he frames into his account another such and as varied an universe; and neither so does he find all these together fit to be weighed against the love of God. For it behoves us, says he, not to love Him on account of His promises of blessings, but to desire them on His. For (so) neither if a man be sincerely well affected towards one who is rich, does he love him for the abundance of his wealth ; but from his very affection towards him, loves also the possessions belonging to him; and in like manner the holy apostle declares, I would not choose to inherit the kingdom of heaven, and all visible and invisible creation, and as many such again twice or thrice multiplied, apart from the love of God; but rather were any one to lay before me present and future distresses, present and eternal death, and the most protracted punishment in hell, together with the love of Him, readily and welcomely would I choose these in preference to the former splendid and glorious and unspeakable objects, devoid of love to Him. Which therefore that ourselves may also possess, let us both pray and strive, so that following in the footsteps of the apostles, we may be made sharers thereby in the (eternal) habitations of the apostles, through the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ; with whom, to the Father, together with the thrice-holy Spirit, belong glory and majesty, now and ever, unto endless ages. Amen.

• The preservation of their own fidelity to God's glory, in spite of suffering.-E.B.

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Book IV. That the incarnation of our God and Saviour both was necessary, and was productive of unspeakable blessings to believers, the holy apostle has clearly shown. For he has proved the Jews to be obnoxious to the greater condemnation by reason of the imposition of the law, and all others to be transgressors of the law of nature; and having set forth the threat of punishment, he has subjoined the gifts of the grace in the gospel (covenant), and pointed out the salvation offered through faith ; while, at the same time, lest the Jews should be offended, imagining the law censured; or the heretics, hostile to the ancient covenant, gain an opportunity of accusation against the law by the comparison thus instituted, he has nece

ecessarily exhibited the usefulness of the law, and honoured it with many praises. And as, again, the Jews, bringing forward the patriarch Abraham, and the promises made by God to him, endeavoured to prove that the preaching of the apostles, being extended to the Gentiles beyond the divine promise, was contrary to these, he is constrained to treat of these objections also ; and most wisely does he answer them, by adducing scripture testimonies, and ancient examples, applicable to the case, and demonstrating plainly the truth of the divine promises. Being about then to denounce the infidelity of the Jews, he first displays the love he bore them, and

says,

CHAPTER IX. 1. I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost. He proves that what he was about to say should be free from all falsehood, and dignified with perfect truth, for he calls the grace of the Holy Spirit to witness with his conscience; in every way persuading them not to disbelieve his account. 2. That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. The composition of the sentence is incomplete, for it should have been added that the continual sorrow was caused by the rejection, or infidelity of the Jews; but through caution he omits these distinct words, and is content to teach in the sequel that he so meant. For thus he speaks : 3. For 1 could pray to be myself anathema from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh. The word anathema* has two significations, for that which is consecrated to God is called an anathema, and that which is separated from Him has the same name, and this second meaning the holy apostle has taught us in the Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor. xvi. 22), “If any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema "—the first being explained even by common custom, for so we designate whatever is offered to God an anathema-and the God of all things Himself, in commanding the town of Jericho to be made an anathema (Joshua vi. 17). Here then the blessed apostle uses it in its second meaning, to manifest the feelings he entertained towards his brother Jews, and he says not I could desire, but I could pray to be separated from Christ, provided that they who are my kindred in the flesh, being united to Him, should reap salvation ; and most aptly does he introduce the "even I myself,recalling to their recollection what he

Ανάθημα and ανάθεμα. The latter in the text of the Epistle.-Ε.Β.

had just before stated of his love to Christ, and as it were saying, that I, whom “neither life, nor death, nor things present, nor things to come, nor any other such creation, could separate from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus," would gladly be alienated from Him, for the sake of the salvation of the Jews. But it is evident that he speaks not this as preferring them to the Saviour, but as indicating his love and anxiety for them, being most desirous that all should submit themselves, and joyfully receive the saving gospel. And to persuade them of the truth of what he says, he points out both their former high descent and eminence, and the riches of the divine gifts conferred on them, and says, 4. Who are Israelites ? For most celebrated was this name, imposed by God Himself on their forefather, (Gen. xxxv. 10) and transmitted as an heirloom to his descendants ; To whom pertaineth the adoption. And this name also they had obtained, for “ Israel," says he, “is My son, my firstborn” (Exod. iv. 22); And the glory, for they had been illustrious through miracles; And the covenants, not the old only, but the new also had He promised to bestow on them, " for I will make,” says He, "a new covenant with the house of Israel, not according to the covenant I made with their fathers” (Jer. xxxi. 31, 32), but this they themselves were not willing to accept; And the giving of the law, for to them had He given the Mosaic law; And the service of God, for, honouring them above other nations, to them He had taught the ritual ministrations of the law; And the promises, both those made by God to their fathers and those promulged by the prophets.

(To be continued.)

PLAIN REMARKS ON THE MIRACLES OF OUR BLESSED LORD.

“No man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.”—Joun

iii, 2.

As the authenticity of the Christian dispensation principally rests upon the testimony of miracles, the chief strength of unbelievers has been exerted to destroy the validity of this species of evidence. “Truth," say they, “is amply sufficient to establish its empire in the world, and persuade all rational beings to a line of good conduct by its own internal energy, and without the aid of supernatural signs and wonders, which only serve to astonish the ignorant and alarm the superstitious.” How feeble is such a line of argument!-how much ignorance of human nature does it betray! For a very little observation must convince us that the generality of mankind, whose time and thoughts are necessarily much engrossed by the common cares of life, are ill prepared to understand the force of mere abstract reasonings (reasonings not always satisfactory to the learned themselves), and not very likely to be per. suaded merely by their influence to relinquish favourite sins and pursue the path of virtuous obedience. This shows us the wisdom of the Almighty Ruler in having established the authenticity of the christian religion chiefly upon miracles-a species of proof plain and easy of itself, adapted to strike with equal force the learned and the unlearned, and to spread irresistible conviction wherever it is exhibited.

And, consequently, we see how proper it was for our Saviour to perform such works as far exceeded the natural power of man, since he thus gave the clearest deinonstration of the divinity of his character, the heavenly nature of his mission, and the most powerful of all motives to the obedience of his laws.

Again, we are told by cavillers, that “a person really sent from God would hardly have recourse to miracles in order to establish the truth of his doctrines, because they are liable to be counterfeited, and that imposition has frequently been known to take refuge under them." But although it be granted that very surprising works have been at times wrought by human artifice in support of fraud and of false religion, yet this will by no means prove that it can never be expedient for the power of God to exhibit real miracles for the purpose of promoting righteousness and pure religion among mankind.

Where a miracle is peformed to attest the truth of doctrines which are essential to human improvement and happiness, and in no way contradictory to those ideas which our natural understandings teach us to entertain of the Supreme Being, such an extraordinary manifestation of Divine power seems to present the most proper-nay, the most natural proof of the truth of that doctrine. With regard to our blessed Saviour, the exertion of a more than human power was eminently necessary.

It had pleased Almighty God to work many miracles under the Mosaic dispensation, for the spiritual advantage of his chosen people. The Jews had been accustomed to miracles ; their forefathers had witnessed many striking instances of the wonderful power of their great Jehovah ; and had no signs and wonders accompanied the mission of Christ, they would probably have regarded the best claims of any other nature which he could have made to a divine origin as a mere imposition. It was only by the performance of such works as demonstrated the control of divine power that it was possible for him to overcome the stubborn prejudices which existed against his pretensions to be the Christ of God. The miraculous evidences which he was always enabled to produce were full and satisfactory, instantly intelligible to all who would open their eyes and see the light.

It was under the forcible impression which miracles produce, that Nicodemus, a Pharisee, and a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus by night, and expressed, with all the warmth of true belief, the satisfied state of his mind,—" Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher sent from God; for no man can do these miracles except God be with him."

Now let us plainly illustrate this striking remark of Nicodemus.

The enemies of Christianity do not venture to deny that our blessed Saviour wrought many wonderful works, but they would fain attribute them to any other cause than that by which they were really effected. Let us show, therefore, from several corresponding circumstances, what good reason we have to believe that the miracles of Christ Jesus must have been performed under the immediate influence of an Almighty power. If it had not been so, how could he successfully have accomplished every miracle which he attempted to work? By his neverfailing power, the most inveterate bodily diseases to which mankind are liable were instantaneously and completely healed. No sooner did he speak the word than the paralytic recovered his strength, the blind

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