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17. "Heirs of God, and Joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together;") that so he might be the first-born among many brethren, brought unto glory by the same path of sufferings with the Captain of their salvation. (Compare Heb. ii. 10; xii. 2-8.)

viii. 28. οίδαμεν δε ότι τοις αγαπωσι τον θεον, &c.

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose:"

His most merciful purpose, that is, of gathering together in one all things in Christ, both Jews and Gentiles; that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers together with the Jews of his promise in Christ by the Gospel. (See Eph. i. 9-11; iii. 3. 5, 6. 11.)

viii. 29. ότι οὓς προεγνω, και προωρισε συμμορφες, &c.

"For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of

his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren :"

"Whom he did foreknow," ovç πρоεY, προεγνω, those whom he regarded with especial favour, before the rest of mankind; the same with those whom he chose in Christ before the foundation of the world; (Eph. i. 6.) i. e. all Christians, all of whatever nation, who should embrace the faith of Christ. Under the Law, the Jews were God's chosen and peculiar people, τον λαον αυτε ὁν προεγνω, as St. Paul styles them, xI. 2 "his people whom he foreknew:" (Compare Amos iii. 2.; and see Deut. vii. 6, 7, 8.) under the Gospel, Christians are God's chosen and peculiar people, oùs πρоɛуvш, "whom he did foreknow.".

THOSE, therefore, whom he thus foreknew, he also did predestinate, preordain or decree, to be conformed to the image of his Son: i.e. in his purpose and counsels of mercy, for the salvation of mankind, God's will and decree, respecting all those who should embrace the faith of Christ, was, that they should be conformed to the image of his Son:

FOR Predestination having reference clearly, in St. Paul's sense, to God's most merciful Purpose of saving mankind through his Son Jesus Christ, it must necessarily be understood and interpreted of that Purpose; and is, in fact, the Divine Decree for carrying that Purpose into effect.

viii. 30. ούς δε προωρισε, τετες και εκαλεσε, &c.

"Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them

he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified :"

THOSE, therefore, whom he thus willed and decreed to be conformed to the image of his Son; i. e. all who should ever embrace the faith of Christ; them (in order to the carrying of that Decree into effect) he also called, by the preaching of the Gospel, to the knowledge and attainment of salvation: and whom he called, (supposing them to obey the call) them he also justified, by the remission of their sins in Baptism : and whom he justified, (supposing them to persevere unto the end) them he also glorified.

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THUS, therefore, it appears, that the means adopted by Divine Wisdom, for carrying into effect his Purpose and Decree of mercy toward these objects of his special regard, were no other than those, which the Apostle, in this very Epistle, has shewn to belong to the Gentiles equally with the Jews, viz. Calling and Justifica

tion:

THE Roman Converts, therefore, had no need to be cast down, concerning this fiery trial; as though some strange thing had happened unto them; (1 Pet. iv. 12.) but rather to rejoice, inasmuch as they are partakers of Christ's sufferings: their Calling and Justification are sure, as is proved in the preceding argument: and these being the Means adopted by Divine Wisdom for carrying into execution the Decree of his mercy, for the saving of all those whom he has chosen in Christ Jesus; they need not doubt but that they themselves are of the number of the Elect; and shall, if they continue faithful, receive the crown of glory.

He concludes with a triumphant expression of his full assurance of the happy result of their present trial: (see ver. 31-39.) For God having

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given such a stupendous proof of his purpose of love toward them, as to give his own Son to suffer in their stead; it is impossible to think that any thing shall ever wrest them out of his hands: but he will support them under all afflictions, defend them against all enemies; and having begun a good work in them, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. i. 6.)

In the 7th and 8th Chapters, therefore, the Apostle has done these three things:

1. He has shewn the inefficacy of the Law to Sanctification:

2. He has shewn the efficacy of the Gospel to the same:

3. He has confirmed the Converts, especially of the Gentiles, in the hope of their Calling:

And thus he has steadily prosecuted his main purpose, which was the proof of this Proposition, That the Gospel of Christ is the Power of God, (the singular and effectual Power of God) unto salvation, to every one that believeth,

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