Our former husband (sinne) with his Law, is dead in Baptisme: and now we are maried to another
husband (to Christ) to bring forth children to God, that is good workes. 7. And how the Law being
good, was yet to vs the law of sinne and death, because concupiscence reigned in vs. 17. But now
by Baptisme grace reigneth in vs, though also concupiscence doth remaine and tempt vs stil.
1. ARE you ignorant, Brethren, (for I speake to them that know the Law) that the Law hath dominion ouer a man as long time as it liueth?
2. For 1. Corinth. 7,39. the woman that is vnder a husband; Nothing but death dissolueth the band betwixt man & wife: though for fornication one may depart from anothers companie. Therefore to marry againe is aduoutrie, during the life of the partie, separated. her husband liuing is bound to the law. But if her husband be dead she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3. Therfore her husband liuing, she shal be called an aduoutresse if she be with another man: but if her husband be dead she is deliuered from the law of her husband: so that she is not and aduoutresse if she be with another man.
4. Therfore my Brethren Being now baptised and dead to sinne, & engrassed in Christ's mystical body, you are discharged of the Law of Moyses, and are free in Christ. you also are made dead to the Law by the body of Christ; that you may be another man's who is risen againe from the dead, that we may fructifie to God.
5. For when we were in the flesh, the passions of sinnes that were by the Law, did worke in our members, to fructifie vnto death.
6. But now we are loosed from the law of death wherein we were deteined: ἡμᾶς δουλεύειν. in so much we serue in By Baptisme we haue not Christes iustice imputed to vs, but an inward newnesse of spirit giuen vs and resident in vs. newnesse of spirit, and not in the oldnes of the letter.
7. What shal we say then? Is the Law sinne? God forbid. But sinne I did not know, but by the Law: for concupiscence I knew not, vnlesse the Law did day: Exo. 20,17.
Deu. 5,21. Thou shalt not couet. Thou shalt not couet.
Actual concupiscence forbidden, not habitual.
It is not the habitual concupiscence or infirmitie of our nature or sensual desire or inclination to euil, coueting against the spirit, that is forbidden properly in this precept: but the consent of our reason and mind vnto it, to obey and follow the lusts therof, that is a sinne and prohibited.
8. But Sinne or concupiscence which was asleep before, was wakened, by prohibition; the Law not being the cause therof, nor giuing occasion therunto, but occasion being taken by our corrupt nature to resist that which was commanded. occasion being taken, sinne by the commandement wrought in me al concupiscence. For without the Law sinne was dead.
9. And I liued without the Law sometime. But when the commandement was come, sinne reuiued.
10. And I was dead. And the commandement, that was vnto life, the same to me was found to be vnto death.
11. For sinne taking occasion by the commandement, seduced me, and by it killed me.
12. Therfore 1. Tim. 1,8. the Law indeed is holy, and the commandement holy, and iust, and good.
13. That then which is good, to me was it made death? God forbid. But sinne, that it may apeare sinne, by the good thing wrought me death: that sinne might become sinning aboue measure by the commandement.
14. For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold vnder sinne.
15. For That which I worke.
Sodain inuoluntarie motions are no sinne.
This being vnderstood of S. Paul himself or any other iust person, the sense is, that the flesh and inferiour part stirreth vp diuerse disordered motions and passions or perturbations against the mind, and vpon such a sodain sometimes inuadeth the same, that before it attendeth or reason can gather itself to deliberate, man is in a sort (though vnwittingly) entangled. Which as soone as it is perceiued, being of the iust condemned, reiected, and resisted, neuer maketh him a sinner. that which I worke, I vnderstand not. For Not that which I wil.
Concupiscence taketh not away free-wil.
He meaneth not, that he can doe no good that he willeth or desireth, or that he is euer forced to doe that which his wil agreeth not vnto: but that by reason of the forciblenesse of concupiscence, wherof he can not rid himself during life, he can not accomplish al the desires of his spirit and mind, according as he saith to the Galatians: *The flesh coueteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, that not whatsoeuer you wil, you can doe.
*Gala. 5,17. not that which I wil, the same doe I, but which I hate, the I doe.
16. And if that which I wil not, the same I doe; I consent to the Law, that it is good.
17. But now, not I worke it any more, but the sinne that dwelleth in me.
18. For I know that there dwelleth not in me, that is to say, in my flesh, good. For to wil, is present with me, but to accomplish that which is good, I find not.
19. For Not the good which I wil.
Sinne is voluntarie, and, otherwise it is no sinne.
So may the iust also be forced by the rage of concupiscence or sensual appetite, to doe of suffer many things in his inferiour part or external members, which his wil consenteth not vnto. And so long it is so farre from sinne, that (as *S. Augustine saith) he need neuer to say to God, forgiue vs our sinnes, for the same. For sinne is voluntarie, and so be not these passions.
*Ep. ad Asellicum 200. not the good which I wil, that doe I; but the euil Which I wil not.
It maketh not any thing against free-wil that the Apostle saith, that good men doe or suffer sometimes in their bodies, that which the wil agreeth not vnto; but it proueth plainely free-wil: because the proper act therof, that is, to wil or nil, to consent or dissent, is euer (as you may see here) free in it self: though there may be internal or external force to stay the members of a man, that they obey not in euer act, that which the wil commandeth or prescribeth. And therfore that is neuer imputed to man which he doth in his external or internal faculties, when wil concurreth not. Yea afterward (v, 20) the Apostle saith, Non ego operor, man doeth not that which is not done by his wil: which doth most euidently proue free-wil. Al which S. Augustine cleerly teacheth to. 4. in exposition: quarundam propos. as Rom. propos. 44. 45. and 46. and in manie other places. which I wil not, that I doe.
20. And if that which I wil not, the same I doe: now not I worke it, but the sinne that dwelleth in me.
21. I find therfore the Law, to me hauing a wil to goe good, that euil is present with me.
22. The Epistle in a Votiue Masse for remission of sinnes. For I am delighted with the Law of God according to the inward man:
23. but I see another law in my members, repugning to the law of my mind, and captiuing me in the law of sinne that is in my members.
24. Vnhappie man that I am, who shal deliuer me from the body of this death?
25. The grace of God by Iesvs Christ our Lord. Therfore I my self with the mind δουλεύω. serue the law of God, but with the flesh, With the mind, with the flesh.
Concupiscence defileth not a iust man's actions as the Lutherans say.
Nothing done by concupiscence (which the Apostle here calleth sinne) whereunto the spirit, reason, or mind of man consenteth not, can make him guilty before God. Neither can the motions of the flesh in a iust man euer any whit defile the operations of his spirit, as the Lutherans doe hold: but make them often more meritorious, for the continual comb at that hath with them. For it is plaine that the operations of the flesh and of the spirit doe not concurre together to make one act, as they imagine; the Apostle concluding cleane contrarie; That in mind he serueth the Law of God, in flesh the law of sinne, that is to say, concupiscence. the law of sinne.