In the dispute with the Pelagians, however, the two declarations, verse 17 and verse 22, raised his scruples. These, he thought, could not be put into the mouth of a man prior to regeneration, for then they would assign him too lofty a degree of per- sonal goodness, Aug. In determining the question, all depends upon the conception we form of regeneration. Under that word, the fathers fre- quently comprise two different moral states ; one, the state of inward dissension, in which the person has before his mind's eye his own and the divine will, and struggles which of the two he ought to follow; the other, the State of living xara irvsvfjuzy in which the inclinations and dispositions of man are in uni- son with the divine will, and love prompte him CHAPTER VII, V.
By -a person regenerated, they understood generally, One who has at heart the ralfilment of the will of God. Is regeneration con- ceived in this coraprehensive sense, tben is the un- regenerctfe, one without law, one in whom no sense at all of in ward discord has as yet been called forth. It was just of such reckless sinners, and, indeed, more particularly of Jews, who entertained ntore or less the persuasion of the bindingness of tbe law, that the fathers of the church understood these declara- lions of Paul.
Now certainly, in declaring himself for the contrary, Augustine had suificient ground; for in persons of this description no such lively dis- cord as the Apostle here paints is discoverable.
Cal- vin justly observes : Homo suae natura relictus, totus sine repugnantia in cupiditates fertur. Quanquam enim impii stimulis conscientiae lanciuntur, non possis tarnen inde colligere aut malum ab Ulis odio haberi, aut amari bonum. If, then, we call the person here described an unregenerate man, we widerstand by the narae, a legalist ; one who is seriously concerned about his sanctification, zealously strives after purity of heart, and who falls short of the mark, only be- cause he does not set out from that love which first loved him, but thinks by his own, to deserve the love of God, because the redemption of Christ is not the fountain from which his holiness emanates free and lively as a stream.
For just as art, with its toilsome and peace-meal labours, Stands related to nature, with her free and wholesale creations, so also is the law, as a school-master of holiuess, related to free grace as an affectionate mother. Araong latter expositors, by far thegreater number acquiesced entirely either with Augustine or with the Greek fathers.
The former was followed by Anselm, Thom. Acquinas, Com. Defensio dispu- tationis illius, Rac. Ecclesiasticae, Amst. They discriminated distinctly betwixt the law- less, the legal, and the spiritual or regenerate state. One class, to which Luther, Melancthon, Calvin, Spener, Buddeus and many others belong, supposed that chapters vii. A second class, however, to which Bucer, Schomer, A. Franke, Gottfr. Arnold, Bengel and others Spener also in his Theol. Bedenk, Th. To this explanation we likewise fully assent, appealing in proof of it to the explication given above of the con- nection.
With respect to the two opposite views, those who suppose a person totally without law to be meant, lay astress upon two points. See the exposi- tion of these verses.
The Attractions of the New Perspective(s) on Paul
On that supposi- tion it might be reraarked, that Paul contemplates the state of the lawless man from the state in which be himself Stands, and which has been matured into self-consciousness, and transfers into it his present feelings. In point of fact, personal feelings may have a 6hare in the exclamation of Paul, at verse The first class we mentioned of evangelical expositons, give the sense and connection of the section as fol- lows : Up to verse 14, Paul speaks in the preterite tense, and hence describes the early contention of the legalist with the law, in which verse 1 1 he is over- thrown.
Onward from verse 14, hedesires still more fundamentally to shew the divinity of the law, and hence represents it in conflict with the man regene- rate, on which account we have then the present. True that even in tbe case of the latter, sin has the ascendancy, still it no longer meets with the inward consent. There is a war waged, but along with that, there is the in ward peace, such as is described viii.
This view of Augustiners is also recommended by a great truth which should not be overlooked, viz. And hence it is with truth that Beza ob- serves : Nam certe ita est, et gut hoc non novit, non- dum seipsum novit Compare Spener, Theol. Arndt has some pecu- liarly excellent expressions to the same effect. Vom wahren Christenthum, B.
It must however be observed, in Opposition, that the love of sin is gradually extinguished in the Christian, in respect, first, of sins of a gross, and afterwards of those of a more refined description; So that thus, as Augustine early ex- presses himself, the Christian is then no more sub lege but cum lege. Moreover, even though the love of sin do stir up within him the discord which is here pourtrayed, the Christian need not permit him seif to be overcome in the struggle.
At any rate, however, these occasions are to be con- sidered abnormal in the Christian life, as they do not occur in it in so far as it is, but only in so far as it has not yet become, Christian. They must hence be there only as something evanescent. Respecting the subdivision, again, which these In- terpreters make at verse 14, there is no grouud for it at all, inasmuch as what follows, from that verse, and onwards, with respect to the contest with the law, is just what was already said in the previous context ; nor considering the lively manner of describing which St.
Paul loves, is the circumstance that thence forward verbs present are used, by any means extraordinary. Having thus answered the important question, whether in this section the legalist or the justified man is spoken of, we have now still to inquire whether Paul throughout the whole of it, where he speaks in the first person, speaks of himself and his own cir- cumstances, or whether he transfers to himself the circumstances of others. Augustine is of the former opinion, and many go along with him.
On that supposition, however, it is still more incredible that the Apostle, in the words of the chapter, should paint that state of his as lasting. Supposing it again only momentarily such as he describes it, he had no occa- sion, as we have remarked, to represent these tran- sient exceptional states of in ward life as peculiarly Christian. Even Origen feit that such an acknow- ledgment, when considered as applicable to the pre- sent, did not become St. Hence even in the ancient church, among Origen, Chrysos- tom, Theodoret, Jerome and Pelagius, the opinion was more general, that Paul transfers to himself the state of others.
PauFs writings, 1 Cor. Hence likewise we find by turns, chap. Theodoret, at verses 9 and 10, imagines that there is no less than an as- somption of the person of Adam. But Pelagius and Photius, even in their day, hit upon the truth, the one supposing generally a transference of the circum- stances of a person about to be, and of a person that already is, converted, t. That what he says does emanate from his own in- ward life and experience, is particularly apparent from verse He means to declare what use it answers. Its great use is, that it teaches us to recognise sin as sin.
Pelagius : Excusationem ignorantiae abstulit, gravius enini facit quam ante peccare. To this he appends a confirmation. Now follows, That sin only abuses it.
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The Apostle carries to its height the doctrine of the Opposition betwixt the law and inclination. His meaning is, " So little did the commandment help, that it rather When by means of a prohibi- tioD, the idea is brought before tbe mind of a man, that certain gratifications are sinfal, these gratifications do, in that way, present themselves more distinctly to him in the form of a good, so that he more frequently thinks of them.
Man is disposed to regard as a good, whatever is prohibited, merely because it is prohi- bhed.
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Frequent thinking of an object, and that in the light of something good, is apter to kindle the de- sire. This experimental truth was expressed even by the Heathen. In Livy, 1. Cato says : Nolite eodem loco existimare, Quirites, futuram rem, quo fuit, antequam lex de hoc ferretur. Et bominem improbum non accusari, tutius est quam absolvi, et luxuria non mota tolerabilior esset, quam erit nunc, ipsis vinculis, sicut fera bestia, irritata deinde emissa.
Seneca, De dementia, 1. Hence Ovid, Amor. And so likewise as it is said in Scripture : Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eat- en in secret is pleasant, Prov. Augustine : Non quia est, sed quia latet. In such cir- cumstances there exists also less temptation to sin, as that takes its rise most effectually, when sin is brought to our knowledge under the form of the prohibition. Accordingly vsxgfc denotes, likewise, want of opera- tiveness.
So, Jas. So, likewise, Heb. Com- pare also, 1 Cor. The meaning accordingly is, " Without the law we are not sensible of sin as such, and hence, come less under its tempting power. From this to verse 11, we have but a more detailed repetition of verses 7th and 8th. The di after ly w must not lead us astray. So Augustine, in his day. In like manner Philo, Quod det pot. Compare Baruch iv. It awakens and ac- quires its true force. Ad illumi- nationis illius primum usque momentum putat vivere, h.
Supposing, now, that Paul here directly describes his own personal experience, we may ask as has been done by Augustine, Luther, Calvin, and Arndt on what periods of his life may we con- ceive him to have thought in this description of the time when the vopog has not as yet awakened. In respect of mankind in general, however, we may also inquire when and where the circumstances here delineated oecur.
With reference to what we assert- ed above, of the Apostle's comprising manifold iso- lated experiences in general results, we might reply, that here, too, the Apostle does not depict experiences which oeeur in one single period of life, but merely collects into the picture of the man without law, certain circumstances which are manifested raore or less in different periods, and upon different stages of de- CHAPTER VII. In point of fact, a State of absolute law- lessness, in which man encounters nothing obligatory whatsoever, or whencesoever, could not at all occur. Still the want of consciousness of a law is met with, chiefly upon tbe lowest stages of social life, althougb it is just tbere tbat tbe mighty force of conscience, and bence at least of the inward vSpog, frequently manifests itself ; moreover,among men of great levity, or of very obtuse perceptions, wbo not unfrequently pofisess a oertain instinctive good-heartedness, which deceives both themselves and others with respect to their true character ; finally, among such as, from youth up, have been deprived of all religious and moral discipline.
With the Apostle, indeed, none of these was the case. According to what, at Phil.
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If verse 24, be the ut- terance of the Apostle's own vivid experience, at no period of his life can he have belonged to those Pha- risees who were satisfied with a mere outward and superficial fulfilment of tbe law. And thus one would have to suppose, tbat when he delineates the State of being without law, it is merely isolated circum- stances and facts derived likewise from his own ex- perience that float before his mind.
He might, in a special manner, have thought of his youth before his entrance into the school of Gamaliel. Arnos v. Most un natural is the expla- nation of Calvin and others, as if this were to be un- derstood to mean solely, knowing that we have been deceived.
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It is better with most expositors to understand: It se- duced, enticed me to sin, or it insidiously deprived me of the ad van tage attainable by a right use of the law. It means: mademe totallywretch- ed. Sohar, Genes, fol.
follow link Elieser dixit : Quicunque operam dat legi nomine ipsius, i. In Bechai, Vitr.