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life that he liveth, he liveth unto God.' In ver. 13, for are alive from the dead, 'were dead and are alive.' In ver. 17, read 'ye obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine whereunto ye were delivered.' In ver. 19, for 'have yielded,' 'yielded;' and also in ver. 22, for 'holiness,' 'sanctification.' In ver. 21, 'then' is ambiguous; it may be the 'then' of inference, or the 'then' of time. It is the latter. Render therefore, 'at that time,' and the ambiguity is escaped. Also, after 'at that time,' put a note of interrogation, and proceed, 'Things whereof,' &c. In ver. 23, for through,' 'in.'
In ch. vii. 1, for 'speak to men,' substitute 'am speaking to men.' As the verse now stands, it looks as if the Apostle suddenly addressed himself to a new class of readers; whereas he means that those whom he is throughout addressing are men that feared the law. In ver. 3, for 'be dead,' 'die.' In ver. 4, for 'are become,' were made;' and for 'married,' 'joined.' In ver. 5, for 'did work . . . . to bring,' 'were active so as to bring.' In
ver. 6, for 'in newness of spirit,' 'in the newness
of the spirit.'
THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS.
E resume our summary of the contents of
this great Epistle at that point (ver. 7) in ch. vii. where the Apostle suddenly assumes the first person, carrying it on as far as ch. viii. 2, where it is again dropped. And in order to master the meaning of this section of the argument, we must be able clearly to set before ourselves who it is that here speaks. Is it the Apostle in his own person, or is it the Apostle in the person of some one else? And let not the latter seem to any improbable. Nothing is more common (the present writer is conscious of the practice in his own sermons) than to introduce in the first person a general example of that which one is adducing or arguing for, without any intention of identifying
that which is said with any portion of one's own experience. Still, the practice has its rules and limits. It usually applies to the present and the future of the person thus designated, but can hardly be extended to the past. One might say, for example, after describing the sympathy of our blessed Lord, 'Well then, I see but One who can feel for all my infirmities. I have no scruples, no backwardness in coming to such a Friend, such a Brother, and pouring out all my heart to Him.' While we speak thus, we are well understood to be using general language, and referring, not to our own, but to human experience in general. But if I were to say, in the past tense, 'Well, I felt all this I took into account that He who was perfect God, was also perfect Man: I came without scruple or timidity, and I poured out my heart before Him,'-who would not naturally suppose that I was describing something that had happened to myself? Could such language be used, and yet the meaning have no such reference? Would not one who thus spoke, intending only to give a general example, be fairly chargeable with clumsiness and mal-adroitness? And are these at all the faults of the writer with whom we are now dealing?
Granted, that St. Paul's arguments are not conducted according to the set procedure of a logical treatise that his fervid spirit is continually carrying him out of bounds, and causing him to digress into the by-paths of the road along which he is conducting his reader; granted, that he rather bounds over the fences of dialectic rule, than walks between them yet in the midst of all his fervour and irregularity, there is ever the most delicate tact, the most rapidly responsive sense of possibility of being misunderstood or misapplied: nothing like awkwardness, nothing like mal-adroitness. cannot suppose him to have spoken in the first person, and in the past tense, without really meaning to relate things which have happened to himself. If he is writing here in the person of all mankind, or in that of the Jewish people, all we can say is, that he has forgotten his usual clearness and elegance, and is writing clumsily and unintelligibly. If we shrink from bringing these charges against him, we are, it seems to me, bound to adopt the other alternative, and to believe that he is describing his own past life, at some time or other of its history. But now comes the question, And here opinions have been
at what time?
various. We may best perhaps discuss them as we pass on in the exposition of the passage.
He has spoken before (ver. 7) of our having died to the law, and of the stirrings of sin, which were, i.e. took place, by means of the law. And by this strong language, some risk has been incurred that his reader may imagine the law itself to be identical with sin; seeing that we are dead also to sin-seeing that sin works within us, and by means of sin we are stirred and moved to sin. This error he now proceeds to combat; and he does it, not by any general assertion of what takes place in the human heart in general, but by what he was conscious of in his own history. Had he spoken generally, the influence might not have been sure: a reader might have stopped short of a living conviction that it was all true of individual men; but now that he gives an actual experience of his own, he states what none can deny, and what finds an echo in the history of a thousand souls. 'The law is NOT SIN; far be the thought. Yet (not 'nay,' which obscures and blunders the whole) so near is the law to being sin, that the law first introduced me to sin-first made me acquainted with it. But how? I was in the habit of coveting. I did it,