I.2. Romans 2:1-29. Judgement on the Jews.
St. Paul in his judgement of the Gentile world is but repeating, with more of moral discernment, what he would have learned in his Jewish training. But the strict Jews who had taught St. Paul, though some among them must have been good men, ready to enter into the deeply penitential spirit of their psalmists and prophets, do not seem as a rule to have liked to think of their own people as liable to divine condemnation. They chose to suppose that the Gentile world alone was the area upon which divine vengeance would light, while the Jews were to appear as the instruments of God's judgements, or at least themselves exempt from them. They had forgotten all the superabundant warnings against such a spirit which the prophets from Amos to John the Baptist had let fall. This frame of mind — censorious when it looks without, lenient to the point of blindness when it looks within — sometimes appears when one thinks of things in the abstract as almost impossible, in the form at least in which St. Paul here proceeds to attribute it to the Jews. We can hardly believe that any responsible beings could be so blind as St. Paul implies that his pious fellow-countrymen were. But it needs only experience to convince us that even in its grosser forms this frame of mind is extraordinarily common in individuals, in nations, and in churches. Certainly the nation of England is not, and the representatives of religious England too often are not, exempt from the common failing. And in the case of the Jews we have also the witness of our Lord. He represents the religious Jewish world as honeycombed with hypocrisy of a plain and gross sort. They are to Him very types of the men who behold the mote that is in their brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in their own eyes. St. Paul's witness then is only the same as the Christ's.
Here then St. Paul turns abruptly upon a Jew who may be supposed to have been listening to the indictment of the Gentiles with expressions of sympathy, and bids him look within and recognize that the Jew also falls under the same indictment and on the same grounds. And he proceeds sternly to cut away any possible ground of confidence which he might derive from the thought that he had 'Abraham to his father.' God's judgement is directed by an absolutely impartial 'truth' or estimate of the facts in their inner reality. If in any particular case of persistent sin His judgement seems to linger, it is not that He has forgotten or will overlook; it is only that He is merciful and refraining from, and gives long space for repentance. But, meanwhile, if the opportunity is not taken, if the heart is hard and impenitent, a store is being laid up against the offender in the place of judgement, which will break out in the great day in manifested wrath. God's principle of judgement is absolutely free from partiality. There are men who have steadily in view the true aim of human life, its imperishable glory, its final and permanent honour, and, therefore, preferring eternal to temporal things, patiently go on doing good; they may be Jews or Greeks, but in either case indifferently, the reward that they have sought will be theirs with the accompaniment of inward peace. There are other men who are contentious, and refusing the leading of the truth, make themselves servants to unrighteousness. They may be Jews or Gentiles, but the divine wrath, showing itself in outward suffering and inward anguish, will be upon them all equally. For God judges men impartially in the light of their opportunities. Those who have the advantage of a revealed law shall be judged and acquitted according as they have, not listened to it merely, but obeyed it. For a law known and not kept, so far from commending us to God, is but the instrument of our judgement. And those who have not this advantage are yet not without an inward light in the natural moral consciousness of mankind. Those who have sinned against this light shall find nothing else was needed to bring them to their ruin. And those, on the other hand, who by its help keep the moral law in effect, without any assistance from a revealed law, are their own law for themselves. They have the law in its practical result written in their hearts as their conduct shows, and their natural conscience bears its accompanying witness. For conscience, both individual and social, reflecting on all human actions to condemn, or, more rarely, to acquit, anticipates the final divine judgement which, as St. Paul continually announces, it will be the office of Jesus the Christ to pass unerringly upon things secret as well as open in the 'day of the Lord.'
The specially revealed law on which the Jew relied, which it is his boast to have received from God, and in virtue of which he could rightly claim to have a knowledge of divine things which other men had not, and to be the teacher of the nations, the interpreter to other men of the divine will — this law finds its first application to those themselves to whom it is given. How can they preach the commandments, whether it be the eighth or the seventh or the second that is in question, so long as they have so bad a reputation for keeping them? They cannot deny that as of old, so now, their moral conduct causes the heathen to blaspheme their religion, instead of being drawn towards it. To have received circumcision in physical fact is of no profit at all, unless it be accompanied by the obedience of which the mark in the flesh is but the symbol. Disobedience is in God's sight uncircumcision. And where the obedience is, God will reckon it as if the symbol were there also. The morally obedient Gentile will sit in judgement on the morally disobedient Jew. For that is the divine principle. God everywhere and always looks to the spiritual reality as it is seated in heart and will, and is satisfied never by outward distinctions. Jew (Judah) means 'praise.' But if the Jew is to merit his name, he must not be satisfied with the applause of men. He must commend himself to God who sees the heart.
Why you are without excuse, O man, whosoever you are that judgest: for wherein you judgest another, you condemnest yourself; for you that judgest do practise the same things. And we know that the judgement of God is according to truth against them that practise such things. And reckonest you this, O man, who judgest them that practise such things, and do the same, that you shall escape the judgement of God? Or despisest you the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? but after your hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God; who will render to every man according to his works: to them that by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life: but to them that are factious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, shall be wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that works evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek; but glory and honour and peace to every man that works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek: for there is no respect of persons with God. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned under law shall be judged by law; for not the hearers of a law are just before God, but the doers of a law shall be justified: for when Gentiles which have no law do by nature the things of the law, these, having no law, are a law to themselves; in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith, and their thoughts one with another accusing or else excusing them; in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men, according to my gospel, by Jesus Christ.
But if you bearest the name of a Jew, and restest upon the law, and gloriest in God, and know his will, and approvest the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, and art confident that you yourself art a guide of the blind, a light of them that are in darkness, a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having in the law the form of knowledge and of the truth; you therefore that teach another, teach you not yourself? you that preachest a man should not steal, do you steal? you that say a man should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? you that abhorrest idols, do you rob temples? you who gloriest in the law, through your transgression of the law dishonourest you God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you, even as it is written. For circumcision indeed profiteth, if you be a doer of the law: but if you be a transgressor of the law, your circumcision is become uncircumcision. If therefore the uncircumcision keep the ordinances of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be reckoned for circumcision? and shall not the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge you, who with the letter and circumcision art a transgressor of the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
1. As at the end of the first chapter we asked whether St. Paul was fair to the Gentile world, so now we ask whether he is fair to those of his own race whose religious tendencies he had known so well from inside. And the answer again is that he undoubtedly represents correctly the dominant tendency and temper among them. The prophets had always had to fight against the natural but false idea of divine election, which held the Jewish race secure in the favour of Jehovah, simply because He was their God and they were His people. They bring to bear all the activities of an inspired intelligence and heart to make their fellow-countrymen perceive that they are only secure in God's favour so long as they are like Him in character. Now down to the period of the Captivity, the prophets could also denounce the people because they were constantly false to Jehovah in matters of worship as well as of morality. After the Captivity, however, the tendency to idolatry is gone for ever. After the Maccabean period the exclusive and legitimate worship of Jehovah becomes a matter of passionate enthusiasm in the Jewish race. From now ontherefore their danger from the false idea of election passes into a new phase. We must be in the favour of God, they now could plead, because we have Abraham to our father, and because we keep to the worship of our God with an irreproachable zeal for His law. Against this sort of strengthened pleading John the Baptist, the last of the prophets, aims his bare moral teaching. God's wrath is just about to fall upon His people he declares, because it lacks in real moral righteousness. Repent you, be changed, get you a new heart — is his one word of preaching. This keynote passes intensified into the teachings and the denunciations of Christ. Nothing more surely stamps the narrative of 'the woman taken in adultery' as historically genuine, than its profound truth to the moral attitude of Christ in face of Scribes and Pharisees. The point of His reply to their trial question is that they who would enforce a divine law, and thus stand for God before the world, must themselves be morally sound. 'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.' It is moral conformity, not merely orthodoxy, which qualifies us to act for God. It is then precisely this attitude of Christ towards the Jews zealous for the law, which St. Paul is reproducing in the passage which we have just read.
He suggests also in its last words — where he is playing on the meaning of the name of Judah — another deep element in Christ's depreciation of the religious spirit of the Jews. Their religion was a matter of public opinion — with all the stagnancy which belongs to the public opinion of a compact society — not a matter which lived with ever fresh life in the inner relation of the conscience to God. 'How can you believe which receive glory one of another, and the glory which comes from the only God you seek not?' St. Paul then is certainly right in his estimate of Jewish religion. One indeed who describes with as vivid reality as he does the pride of a Jew in his religious privileges — one who had all the reason that Saul of Tarsus had for knowing what it was to feel this emotion from within — could hardly have been wrong in his estimate of its weaknesses.
And if the particular moral defects which St. Paul attributes to the religious Jew are surprisingly grave — theft, adultery, and temple-robbery — here too what he says out of his own experience is confirmed from other quarters. Avarice was a notorious sin of Jews. Our Lord accuses the Scribes of 'devouring widows' houses' under cloak of religion, and denounces the Pharisees also for leaving their outwardly purified cups and platters inwardly full of 'extortion.' It is only a subtler form of theft that He alludes to when He denounces them for sanctioning the practice of dedicating property as a 'corban' to the purposes of religion in order to evade the righteous claims of parents. The story of Susanna, the brief but stern words of our Lord about the seventh commandment in His Sermon on the Mount, and His significant language on the occasion already alluded to of the woman taken in adultery, interpret St. Paul's language as to sins of the flesh. And the language of the town clerk at Ephesus in exculpating St. Paul and his company, suggests that 'temple-robbery' was a not unfamiliar imputation upon Jews. It appears that with all their horror of idols — and though everything connected with an idol was expressly declared to be 'an abomination,' unless it had been already desecrated by Gentiles — they could not always resist the opportunity of appropriating the rich stores of the temples. The 'religious' Scribes and Pharisees (though not of course the best of them) were, in fact, as a body truly hypocrites, as our Lord summarily said they were.
And there lies in the moral failure of the Jews a very much needed warning to us nineteenth-century Christians against censoriousness. 'Judging' occupies so large a part in our ordinary conversation. In the religious world, we condemn so freely — Romanists, Dissenters, those who are of a different party to ourselves: in the social world — those of a different class, those who employ us, or whom we employ, those whom in any way we do not like or who go contrary to us. We are always judging. But to judge, we are taught, is a great responsibility. With what judgement we judge, we shall be judged. It is of the utmost consequence that before we judge others we should have judged ourselves. And to have done that truthfully has a tendency to make us charitable in our estimate of others, because we are deeply conscious of our own need of merciful and lenient consideration.
2. What St. Paul teaches about the moral consciousness, and possibility of moral goodness, among the Gentiles has not a Jewish sound at all. The Jewish teachers generally would not have admitted any goodness acceptable to God in the heathen world. In fact, St. Paul is here, as in his speech at Athens, accepting the principle of a universal presence and operation of God in the human heart, outside the limit of any special revelation, and he accepts it in terms largely derived from current Stoic philosophy.
The Stoics, arising when the Greek city life was decaying, contemplated man as an individual, and undertook to show him how to lead a good life. A good life means a 'life according to nature,' or 'according to reason': the reason of the individual being a part of the universal reason or God. And as a help in living according to reason, the Stoics laid stress upon the conscience in each man, i.e. a faculty lying behind his ordinary surface self, passing judgement according to reason upon his actions, and 'making cowards of us all,' inasmuch as we all do wrong.
'No one,' said Seneca, St. Paul's contemporary, 'will be found who can acquit himself; and any man calling himself innocent has regard to the human witness, not to his own conscience.' He quotes an 'admirable saying of Epicurus,' 'The beginning of safety is the knowledge of sin.' He inculcates the duty of strict self-examination, and tells us how he performed it himself at night: 'when the light is removed, and my wife, who is by this time aware of my practice, is now silent, I pass the whole of my day under examination.' Then he 'opens out his conscience to the gods.' And this conscience is to every man a sort of inward God. It is in fact the representative in each man of the universal, immutable, and divine moral law, the law of nature, in conformity with which is the only true freedom and citizenship of the world. 'For this' (the world of the moral order), said another contemporary of St. Paul, also a philosopher, 'is the common home of all, and its law is no written document (letter), but God. And if a man transgresses what the law imposes, he will be impious; or rather he will not dare transgress, for he could not escape. Justice has many furies, watch-dogs for sins.' There is in Cicero's Republic a magnificent expression of the principle of the law of nature: 'There is a true law which is right reason, agreeable to nature, diffused among all men, constant, eternal, which calls us to duty by its injunctions, and by its prohibitions deters us from wrong; which upon the good lays neither injunction nor prohibition in vain; while for the bad, neither its injunctions nor its prohibitions avail at all. This law admits neither of addition nor subtraction nor abrogation. The vote of neither senate nor people can discharge us from our obligation to it. We are not to look for some other person to expound or interpret it; nor will there be one law for Rome and another for Athens, nor one at this date and another later on; but one law shall embrace all races over all time, eternal and immortal; and there shall be hereby one common master and commander of all — God, who originated this law and proposed it and arbitrates concerning it; and if any one obeys it not, he shall play false to himself and shall do despite to the nature of man, and by this very fact shall pay the greatest penalties, even if he should escape all else that is reckoned punishment.' It is of interest to notice that the words cited by St. Paul before the Areopagus, 'We are also God's offspring,' occur in a hymn of the Stoic Cleanthes, full of the thought of man's relation through his reason to the universal and divine law.
Of this type of thought and language then St. Paul avails himself, in spite of the immense differences which disclose themselves below the surface between the Stoic and the Christian ideas of God. He avails himself of Stoic phraseology about men being God's offspring in his speech at Athens, as being in accordance with what he, the Christian apostle, had to teach. And here he adopts in substance the Stoic language with regard to conscience. As by inference from nature all men can know of God's power and divine attributes, so, St. Paul says, from the witness of conscience they may know the principles of His moral government. St. Paul, however, rightly refuses to be satisfied with the individual conscience. The social judgement — the social verdicts of condemnation or acquittal continually being passed — co-operate with it to anticipate the judgements of God. And in virtue of the inward light of reason, and the conscience both individual and social, he held that men who lie outside the region of special revelation can possess the moral law in effect in their hearts, and, it is implied, can keep it.
St. Paul is mainly occupied in this epistle in contrasting the Christian Church, as a region where spiritual power is given in response to faith to enable a man to fulfil the divine law, both with the heathen world, plunged in moral wickedness, and with the Jewish Church in its failure to attain to divine righteousness by the law of works — of which more hereafter. But there were among the Jews true sons of Abraham: and there were among the Gentiles good men acceptable to God, like righteous Job. St. Paul does not theorize about this. But there is at least no reason to deny that he would have declared these righteous men to be justified by faith and sanctified by grace, i.e. justified by that degree of truthful correspondence with God which was possible for them; and kept in harmony with the will of God by His Spirit. There is no reason to believe that St. Paul would not have admitted some action of faith and grace among the non-christian Gentiles, as he undoubtedly does among the prae-christian Jews who lived under or before the law. When he says of the good heathen that they do 'by nature the things contained in the law,' he uses the expression not as equivalent to 'by their own unassisted powers, without the help of God,' but simply to mean 'without the help of any special revelation.'
Universally then, according to St. Paul, two sources of the knowledge of God exist; nature, with its evidences of the divine power and other similar attributes, and conscience, with its witness to divine righteousness. And, though the sciences of nature and man have grown since St. Paul's day past recognition, nothing (we may boldly say) has really weakened either element of this double witness. It is, and remains true, that the only reasonable argument from the universal order of nature is to a universal reason or mind: and that the method by which the moral conscience may be believed to have developed out of 'animal intelligence,' makes no difference as to the cogency of its witness to a divine righteousness, in response to which alone it could have developed as in fact it has done. It is worth notice also before we leave this part of our subject, that St. Paul's line of thought affords a true explanation of the double fact that, on the one hand, the actual moral standards with which the conscience of different individuals, races, and generations is satisfied, greatly varies; and, on the other hand, that all the standards tend towards unity in a common idea of righteousness. The tendency towards unity St. Paul would attribute to the divine righteousness which lies behind conscience and which it exists to reflect. The variations would be due to the different degrees of development reached; or still more to the different degrees of faithfulness or unfaithfulness, attention or inattention, with which the conscience of the race or the individual has responded to the light. The conscience, like the speculative reason, is an instrument for coming to the truth; but an instrument capable of every variety of racial or individual error or obtuseness.
3. It appears clearly enough in this chapter, that St. Paul's doctrines of free grace and justification by faith must be grossly and carelessly misconceived unless they are viewed upon a deep background of what we commonly call 'natural religion,' that is (practically) the religion that appeals straight off to the conscience of almost all honest and civilized men. It is 'natural religion' to believe that God will judge men with absolute power and insight and impartiality according to their conduct and their characters: that there can be no 'making believe,' no substitute for a good character, and no escaping with a bad one. The prophets are full of this principle. Our Lord reasserts it. It is emphasized by St. James, whose plain point is that we are justified not by right belief (which is what he means by 'faith'), but by a good life. But no one could assert the principle more simply and absolutely as the basis of all his special evangelical teaching than St. Paul. And whatever is true about free grace and justification by faith only, is true because, and only because, this free grace and this justifying faith are necessary means or steps towards the realization of actual righteousness. So St. Paul states it — 'that the requirement of the (divine) law might be fulfilled in us who walk' according to the principles of the 'gospel of the grace of God.' The doctrine of grace is rooted and based upon the truths of natural religion, and leads up to their realization. It has been then a most perilous mistake when missionaries have preached the doctrines of grace and redemption in regions where there had been no preparatory training in natural religion — in the truth of the unity and power and moral character of God: of the reality of our responsibility towards Him: of His inexorable holiness: of His inaccessibility to any kind of bribe or attempt to find some substitute for moral obedience. Men must have known what it is to tremble in the recesses of their being 'as guilty men surprised' before God's awful righteousness; to 'tremble,' like Felix, at the message of 'righteousness, temperance, and judgement to come,' before they can safely learn the lesson of His grace and pardon.
And there are two minor elements in natural religion, as commonly understood, for which St. Paul here makes himself responsible. It has been generally understood that all men instinctively desire their own happiness, and that this is natural and right; and that as we should reasonably prefer our more permanent and deeper good to what is only transitory and superficial, so we should strive for the happiness and satisfaction which is eternal — the eternal reward, which only the stern pursuit of virtue can obtain for us. This deep desire for our own substantial happiness our Lord sanctions and continually suggests as a principal motive for right living. The love of others does not annihilate it. 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' So then St. Paul also, following his Master, recognizes it as lying at the heart of what is right and true in mankind, that we should 'seek' for ourselves 'glory, honour, and incorruption' — the glory and honour which abide eternally. It is plain that he would have us pay no heed to that truly unnatural modern altruism which would disparage and depreciate this motive of a right self-love, and which would treat the desire for eternal happiness, and fear of eternal loss, as a base and unworthy element in religion. No doubt it is not the only motive. It is not even the characteristically Christian motive. But it is a natural and legitimate motive all the same. It is an inextinguishable consciousness in us that we were meant for blessedness.
But, once more, the only true happiness is moral happiness: it is a 'glory and honour' springing out of the man's character and belonging to it: it is a happiness that is in this sense deserved. True, the servant of God in heaven will always feel that what he is receiving is infinitely beyond his deserts, and that his deserts are what God has created in him, not he himself. None the less the reward springs out of and belongs to what God has actually made him to be. Heaven is not a happy place in such a sense that we could be made happy by being 'put there' by an arbitrary fiat of God. It is fellowship with God, the All-holy; and God's holiness is intolerable, it is 'devouring fire and everlasting burnings,' to those who are not morally like Him. Here lies the reason why a heaven is not possible to moral beings without the accompanying possibilities of a hell. For the moral possibility of acquiring the holy character involves the opposite moral possibility: and it does not lie in the moral nature of things that the bad character should receive anything except what it deserves — the 'indignation and wrath' which God, because He is God, must express towards the sinful, wilful character, and which to the character itself means 'tribulation and anguish.' This, St. Paul says positively, must be the lot of 'every soul of man that does evil.' It is this inevitably two-sided law that a large part of the kindly-disposed world to-day are trying to get rid of, or to forget, on its severe and dark side. But it is in fact a law that works even more necessarily and inexorably than physical laws, inasmuch as it is the expression of God's necessary moral being. God cannot 'let us off' the punishment of our sins, which is only their inevitable fruit. Nor does He disclose to us any necessary limit to the ruin which we may work in our being. This stern principle of natural religion is taken up into, and indeed intensified in, the gospel. St. Paul, however, neither here nor elsewhere uses 'immortality' to describe the future state of those whom God condemns. He uses it only of God and of those who enjoy the vision of God. The 'immortality of the soul' — the idea that every soul as such necessarily and consciously exists to all eternity — is an idea which the language of Scripture does not seem to warrant.
4. There are also two less prominent points in the second chapter that we must not entirely pass over.
St. Paul, we should find, if we were to investigate the matter, is wholly true in his interpretation of the Old Testament in general. He interprets its spirit and meaning with perfect insight. But he is not always what we should call critically exact, any more than the other interpreters of his day, in his use of particular texts. Thus, in this chapter he gives to some words of Isaiah a meaning which is indeed to be found elsewhere in the prophets, but does not really belong to the original of this particular passage. Isaiah is saying that God's name is being blasphemed by the oppressors of Israel — 'Continually all day long my name is blasphemed.' But the Greek version of the Bible inserted the words 'through you' (the Jews); and St. Paul interprets this insertion to mean that it was the moral inconsistency of the chosen people themselves which caused God's name to be blasphemed. Perhaps the fact that he uses the formula of quotation 'as it is written' after the words referred to, is a sign that he had employed the words in his own sense before he became conscious that they were in fact a quotation. But in any case he shows no anxiety to follow critically the original meaning of a particular passage which he cites.
At the end of this passage occurs the antithesis familiar in modern language of 'the letter and the spirit.' In its modern sense it is used as equivalent to the literal and the metaphorical, or the definite and the vague. But this is not at all its sense in St. Paul. With him 'the letter' means the written law, and 'spirit' means, in this connection, what we may broadly describe as vital moral energy. Thus, in its most characteristic use with St. Paul, the antithesis distinguishes the mere external information as to God's will, which was all the written law ('the letter') could give the Jews, from the activity of the Holy Spirit or the spiritual power of moral freedom which, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we enjoy under the gospel. In this passage the antithesis is similar, but not the same. It contrasts the merely physical state of circumcision according to the written law — 'with the letter and circumcision' means 'having the written law and being accordingly circumcised' — with what the Old Testament had called 'the circumcised heart,' i.e. the really obedient will or 'spirit' which may exist independently of the outward rite. 'Spirit,' we observe, may refer to the activity of either the Holy Spirit of God, or of the human will, or of both without discrimination.
 Cf. Eccles. viii. 11: 'Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is emboldened to do evil.' Ps. x. 11: 'He said in his heart, God has forgotten.' Wisd. xi. 23: 'You overlookest the sins of men to the end they may repent.' Ecclus. v. 4: 'Say not, I sinned, and what happened to me? For the Lord is longsuffering.' 2 Pet. iii. 9: 'The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to youward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.' Cf. also Isa. lvii. 11.
 Or rather 'their own conscience bearing witness with them and, in their mutual relations, their reflections accusing or even excusing them.'
 It is certainly misplaced as it stands (John vii. 53-viii. 11).
 Mark xii. 40; Luke xx. 47; Matt. xxiii. 25.
 Cf. S. and H. in loc.
 See for Seneca, Lightfoot, Philippians, 'St. Paul and Seneca,' pp. 278-280.
 See Pseudo-Heracleitus, Letter ix, p. 91 (Bernays).
 Acts xvii. 28.
 See Rom. i. 32 as well as Rom. ii. 14.
 'Conscience,' as used by St. Paul's contemporaries and by himself, is not a repository for positive moral guidance, but rather a faculty for reflecting upon our own already accomplished actions. See further, app. note B, on the idea of conscience.
 See on this subject Life and Letters of Dr. Hort (Macmillan), vol. ii. p. 337: 'Faith itself, not being an intellectual assent to propositions, but an attitude of heart and mind, is present in a more or less rudimentary state in every upward effort or aspiration of man.' Also Gibson, Thirty-Nine Articles (Methuen), ii. p. 420.
 Rom. viii. 4.
 Isa. lii. 5.
 See in Ezek. xxxvi. 22: 'My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations, where you went.'
 Dr. Gifford suggests that the LXX was subsequently modified by St. Paul's citation (as in the next chapter, iii. 10-18), instead of his citation being moulded by the LXX. Is there any evidence in support of this view?
From St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, Vol. I A Practical Exposition by Charles Gore D.D. Reprinted in 1900. Lightly updated to the language of the 21st century by D. N. Pham. (c) 2012.
Insights of the past for the present
To the Romans, vol I - C. Gore
ON THE BOOK SHELF
May your insights be worthy.