Original Douay Rheims Bible (1582 & 1610)

The Epistle of Pavl the Apostle to the Romanes

He granteth that the Iewes did passe the Heathen Gentils, in Gods benefits, 9. but not in their owne workes: concluding, that he hath shewed both Iew and Gentil to be sinners: 18. and therfore (inferring) that there must be some other way to saluation indifferent to both; which is to beleeue in Iesvs Christ, that for his sake their sinnes may be foriuen them.
1. WHAT preeminence then hath the Iew, or what is the profit of circumcision?
2. Much by al meanes. First surely because the wordes of God were committed to them.
3. For what if certaine of them haue not beleeued? Hath their incredulitie made the faith of God frustrate?
4. God forbid. But Iohn 3,33. God is true, & Psa. 115,11. euery God only by nature is true, al mere men by nature may lie, deceiue & be deceiued: yet God by his grace & spirit may & doth preserue the Apostles and principal Gouernours of his people & the Church and Councels in al truth, though they were and are mere men. man a lyer, as it is written: Psa. 50,6. That thou maiest be iustified in thy wordes, and ouercome when thou art iudged.
5. But If our iniquitie.
S. Paules speaches mistaken of the wicked.
No maruel that many now a-daies deduce false and detestable conclusions out of this Apostles high and hard writings, seeing that S. Peter *noted it in his daies, and himself here confesseth that his preaching & speaches were then falsely misconstrued; as though he had taught that the Iewes & Gentils il life & incredulity had been directly the cause of Gods more mercie, & that therfore sinne commeth of God to the aduancement of his glorie, & consequently that men might or should doe il, that good might ensue thereof. Which blasphemous constructions they tooke of these and the like wordes: **Where sinne abounded, there did grace more abound; and: The Law entred in, that sinne might abound; and out of the Psalme 50. ***That thou maiest be iustified in thy words, and ouercome when thou art iudged. As though he meant that men doe sinne, to the end that God may be iustified.
The sense of the places that sound as if God caused sinne.
And at al these & the like places of the Apostle though forewarned by S. Peter, and the Apostles owne defence and Protestation, that he neuer meant such horrible things, yet the wicked also of this time doe stumble and fal. But the true meaning is in al such places, that God can and doth when it pleaseth him, conuert those sinnes which man committeth against him & his commandments, to his glorie: though the sinnes themselues stand not with his wil, intention, nor honour, but be directly against the same, and therfore may not be committed that any good may fal. For, what good soeuer accidentally falleth, it proceedeth not of the sinne, but of God's mercie that can pardon, and of his omnipotencie that can turne il to good. And therfore against those carnal interpretations, S. Paul very carefully & diligently giueth reason also in this place, v. 6, that it is impossible: because God could not iustly punish any man, nor sit in iudgement at the later day for sinne without plaine iniurie, if either himself would haue sinne committed, or man might doe it to his glorie. Therfore let al sincere Readers of the Scriptures, and specially of S. Paules writings, hold this for a certaintie, as the Apostles owne defense (whatsoeuer he seeme to say hereafter sounding in their sense, that sinne commeth of God, or may therfore be committed that he may work good thereof) that the Apostle himself condemneth that sense as slanderous and blasphemous.
*2. Pet. 3.
**Rom. 5,20.
***Rom. 3,4.
if our iniquitie commend the iustice of God, what shal we say? Is God vniust that executeth wrath? (I speake according to man)
6. God forbid; otherwise how shal God iudge this world?
7. For if the veritie of God hath abounded in my lie, vnto his glorie, why am I also yet iudged as a sinner,
8. and not (as we are blasphemed, and as some report vs to say) let vs doe euil, that there may come good? whose damnation is iust.
9. What then? do we excel them? No, not so. For we haue argued the Iewes and the Greeks, al to be vnder sinne;
10. as it is written: Psa. 13,1. 52,3. That there is Not any iust.
How it is said: none iust.
These general speaches, that both Iew and Gentile be in sinne, and none at al iust, are not so to be taken, that none in neither sort were euer good: the Scriptures expresly saying that *Iob, **Zacharie, Elisabeth, and such like, were iust before God; & it were blasphemie to say that these words alleaged out of the 13. Psalme, were meant in Christes mother, in S. Iohn the Baptist, in the Apostles &c. For, this only is the sense: that neither by the Law of nature, nor law of Moyses, could any man be iust or auoid such sinnes as here be rekened, but by faith and the grace of God, by which there were a number in al Ages (specially among the Iewes) that were iust and holy, whom these words touch not, being spoken only to the multitude of the wicked, which the Prophet maketh as it were a seueral body conspiring against Christ, and persecuting the iust and godly, of which il companie he saith, that none was iust nor feared God.
*Iob. 1.
**Luke 1.
not any man iust,
11. there is not that vnderstandeth, there is not that seeketh after God.
12. Al haue declined, they are become vnprofitable together: there is not that doeth good, there is not so much as one.
13. Psa. 5,11.
Psa. 139,4.
Their throte is an open sepulchre, with their tongues they dealt deceitfully. The venim Aspidum. A kind of litle serpents. of aspes vnder their lippes.
14. Whose mouth is ful of malediction and bitternes:
15. Psa. 9,7.
Isai. 19,7.
Pro. 1,16.
Their feet swift to shede bloud.
16. Destruction & infelicitie in their waies:
17. and the way of peace they haue not knowen.
18. Psa. 35,2. There is no feare of God before their eyes.
19. And we know that whatsoeuer the Law speaketh, to them it speaketh that are in the Law; that euery mouth may be stopped, & al the world may be made subiect to God:
20. because Gala. 2,16. by By the workes of the Law.
No workes auaile without faith & grace.
S. Hierom and S. Chrysostom expound this of the ceremonial workes only: and in that sense the Apostle specially prosecuteth this proposition in his Epistle to the Galatians. But it is true also of al man's moral workes done without faith & the grace of God; which can not be acceptable or auailable in God's sight, to iustifie any man. And so S. Augustine taketh it. De Sp. & lit. c. 8. to. 3.
the workes of the Law no flesh shal be iustified before him. For by the Law is the knowledge of sinne.
21. But now without the Law the iustice of God is manifested; testified by the Law and the Prophets.
22. And the Iustice of God.
The Heretikes phantastical or imputatiue iustice.
Beware of the wicked and vaine commentarie of the Caluinistes, glossing, the iustice of God to be that which is resident in Christ, apprehended by our faith; and so that imputed to vs which we indeed haue not. Wherein at once they haue forged themselues against God's manifest word, a new no iustice, a phantastical apprehension of that which is not, a false faith and vntrue imputation. Whereas the iustice of God here, is that wherewith he indoweth a man at his first conuersion, and is now in a man, and therfore man's iustice: but yet God's iustice also, because it is of God.
True inhærent iustice.
Of this iustice in vs, whereby we be truly iustified and indeed made iust, S. Augustine speaketh thus: *The grace of Christ doth worke our illumination and iustification inwardly also. And againe, He giueth to the faithful the most secret grace of his Spirit, which secretly he powreth into infants also. And againe: They are iustified in Christ that beleeue in him through the secret communication and inspiration of spiritual grace, whereby euery one leaneth to our Lord. And againe: He maketh iust renewing by the Spirit, and regeneration by grace.
*De pec. mer. li. 1. c. 9. 10.
iustice of God by faith of Iesvs Christ, vnto al and vpon al that To beleeue in him, here compriseth not only the act of faith, but of hope & charitie, as the Apostle explicateth himself Gal. 5,6. beleeue in him. For there is no distinction.
23. For al haue sinned; and doe need the glorie of God.
24. Iustified No man atteineth his first iustification by the meanes either of his faith or workes, but merely by Christes grace and mercie: though his faith & workes proceeding of grace be dispositions and preparations thereunto. gratis by his grace, by the redemption that is in Christ Iesvs,
25. whom God hath proposed a 'propitiatour.' propitiation, by faith in his bloud, to the shewing of his iustice, for the remission of former sinnes,
26. in the toleration of God, to the shewing of his iustice in this time: that he may be iust, and iustifying him that is of the faith of Iesvs Christ.
27. Where is then thy boasting? it is excluded. By what law? of deeds? No, but by the law of faith.
28. For we account a man to be iustified By faith without the workes.
This is the place whereupon the Protestants gather falsely their only faith, and which they commonly auouch, as though the Apostle said, that only faith doth iustifie. Where he both in wordes and meaning excepteth only the workes of the Law done without Christ before our conuersion: neither excluding the Sacraments of Baptisme or Penance, nor hope and charitie, or other Christian vertues; al which be the iustice of faith. As the good workes proceeding thereof, be likewise the law and iustice of faith. Al which the Aduersaries would exclude by foisting in the terme, only.
What workes are excluded from iustification.
Of which kind of men S. Augustine vpon this place saith thus: *Men not vnderstanding that which the Apostle saith, (we count a man to be iustified by faith without the workes of the Law) did thinke that he said, faith would suffice a man through he liued il and had no good workes. Which God forbid the vessel of election should thinke: who in a certaine place after he had said, **In Christ IESVS neither circumcision nor prepuce auaileth any whit, he straight added, but faith which worketh by loue.
*de grat. & lib. arb. c. 7.
**Gala. 1.
by faith without the workes of the Law.
29. Is he God of the Iewes only? is he not also of the Gentils? Yes of the Gentils also.
30. For it is one God, that iustifieth circumcision by faith, and prepuce by faith.
31. Doe we then destroy the Law by faith? God forbid, but we doe establish the Law.