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a being begotten or born in his image or likeness, Gen. v. 3. Another is a transgressing God's covenant or law, like him, Hos vi. 7. “ They, like Adam, (so in the Heb. and Vulg. Lat.) have transgressed the covenant." Infants have the former similitude, but not the latter. And it was very natural, when the apostle would infer that infants become sinners by that one act and offence of Adam, to observe that they had not renewed the act of sin themselves, by any second instance of a like sort. And such might be the state of language among Jews and Christians at that day, that the apostle might have no phrase more aptly to express this meaning. The manner in which the epithets, personal and actual, are used and applied now in this case, is probably of later date and more modern use.
And then this supposition of the apostle's having the case of infants in view, in this expression, makes it more to his purpose, to mention death reigning before the law of Moses was given. For the Jews looked on all nations, besides themselves, as sinners, by virtue of their law; being made so especially by the law of circumcision, given first to Abraham, and completed by Moses, making the want of circumcision a legal pollution, utterly disqualifying for the privileges of the sanctuary. This law, the Jews supposed, made the very infants of the Gentiles sinners, polluted and hateful to God; they being uncircumcised, and born of uncircumcised parents. But the apostle proves against these notions of the Jews, that the nations of the world do not become sinners by nature, and sinners from infancy, by virtue of their law, in this manner. but by Adam's sin ; inasmuch as infants were treated as sinners long before the law of circumcision was given, ás well as before they had committed actual sin.
What has been said, may, as i humbly conceive, lead us to that which is the true scope and sense of the apostle in these three verses ; which I will endeavor more briefly to represent in the following paraphrase.
“ The things which I have 12. Wherefore, as by one largely insisted on, viz. the man sin entered into the world, evil that is in the world, the and death by sir ; and death
general wickedness, guilt and passed upon all men, for that ruin of mankind, and the op- 'all have sinned. posite good, even justification and life, as only by Christ, lead me to observe the likeness of the manner in which they are each of them introduced. For it was by one man, that the general corruption and guilt which I have spoken of, came into the world, and condemnation and death by sin : And this dreadful punishment and ruin came on all mankind by the great law of works, originally established with man. kind in their first father, and by his one offence, or breach of that law; all thereby be. coming sinners in God's sight, and exposed to final destruc. tion.
“ It is manifest that it was 13. For until the law,sin was in this way the world became in the world; but sin is not sinful and guilty ; and not in imputed, when there is no low.' that way which the Jews suppose, viz. That their law, given by Moses, is the grand, universal rule of righteousness and judgment for man. kind, and that it is by being Gentiles, uncircumcised, and aliens from that law, that the nations of the world are con. stituted sinners, and unclean. For before the law of Moses was given, mankind were all looked upon by the great Judge
as sinners, by corruption and guilt derived from Adam's violation of the original law of works; which shews that the original, universal rule of righteousness is not the law of Moses ; for if so, there would have been no sin imputed before that was given, because sin is not imputed when there is no law.
« But that at that time sin 14. Nevertheless, death was im puted, and men were reigned from Adam to Moses, by their Judge reckoned as even over then that had not sin. sinners, through guilt and ned after the similitude of Adcorruption derived from Ad. am's transgression. am, and condemned for sin to death, the proper punishment. , of sin, we have a plain proof; in that it appears in fact, all mankind, during that whole time which preceded the law of Moses, were subjected to that temporal death, which is the visible introduction and image of that utler destruc- . tion which sin deserves, not excepting even infants, who could be sinners no other way than by virtue of Adam's transgression, having never in their own persons actually sinned as Adam did ; nor could at that time be made polluted by the law of Moses, as being uncircumcised, or born of uncircumcised parenis.”
Now, by way of reflection on the whole, I would observe, that though there are two or three expressions in this para. graph, Rom. v. 12, &c. the design of which is attended with some difficulty and obscurity, as particularly in the 13th and L4th verses, yet the scope and sense of the discourse in gen. eral is not obscure, but on the contrary very clear and manifest; and so is the particular doctrine mainly taught in it, The apostle sets himself with great care and pains to make it plain, and precisely to fix and settle the point he is upon. And the discourse is so framed, that one part of it does greatly clear and fix the meaning of other parts; and the whole is determined by the clear connexion it stands in with other parts of the epistle, and by the manifest drift of all the preceding part of it.
The doctrine of Original Sin is not only here taught, but most plainly, explicitly, and abundantly taught. This doctrine is asserted, expressly or implicitly, in almost every verse, and in some of the verses several times. It is fully implied in that first expression in the 12th verse, “ By one man sin entered into the world,” The passage implies, that
sin became universal in the world ; as the apostle had before largely shewn it was ; and not merely (which would be a tri. fing, insignificant observation) that one man, who was made 'first, sinned first, before other men sinned ; or, that it did not 90 happen that many men began to sin just together at the.. game moment. The latter part of the verse, “ And death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that (or, if you will) unto which) all have sinned," shews, that in the eye of the Judge of the world, in Adam's first sin, all sinned; not only in some sort, but all sinned so as to be exposed to that death, and final destruction, which is the proper wages of sin. The same doctrine is laught again twice over in the 14th verse. It is there observed, as a proof of this doctrine, that “ Death reigned over them which had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression ;” i. e by their personal act; and therefore could be exposed to death, only by deriving guilt and pollution from Adam, in consequence of his sin. And it is taught again in those words, “ Who is the figure of him
that was to come." The resemblance lies very much in this circumstance, viz. our deriving sin, guilt, and punishment by Adam's sin, as we do righteousness, justification, and the reward of life by Christ's obedience ; for so the apostle explains himself. The same doctrine is expressly taught again, verse 15. « Through the offence of one, many be dead." And again twice in the 16th verse. - It was by one that sinned ;” i. e. it Was by Adam, that guilt and punishment (before spoken of) came on mankind : And in these words, - Judgment was by one to condemnation." It is again plainly and fully laid down in the 17th verse, “ By one man's offence, death reigncd by one.” So again in the 18th verse, “ By the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation." Again very plainly in the 19th verse, “ By one man's disobedience, many were made sinners."
And here is every thing to determine and fix the meaning of all important terms, that the apostle makes use of : As, the abundant use of them in all parts of the New Testament; and especially in this apostle's writings, which make up a very great part of the New Testament : And his repeated use of them in this epistle in particular, especially in the preceding part of the epistle, which leads to and introduces this discourse, and in the former part of this very chapter ; and also the light, that one sentence in this paragraph casts on another, which fully settles their meaning : As, with respect to the words justification, righteousness and condemnation ; and above all, in regard of the word sin, which is the most important of all, with relation to the doctrine and controversy we are upon. Besides the constant use of this term every where else through the New Testament, through the epistles of this apostle, this epistle in particular, and even the former part of this chapter, it is often repeated in this very para. graph, and evidently used in the very sense that is denied to belong to it in the end of verse 12, and verse 19, though owned every where clse: And its meaning is fully determined by the apostle's varying the term; using :ogether with it, to sig. nify the same thing, such a variety of other synonymous words, such as offence, transgression, disobedience. And fure