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with Himself; in consequence of yielding itself to the leading of the Spirit, it is now xata Otov, that is, in harmony with God.

I have rendered this passage by a periphrasis in my translation, because I believe that Paul himself has done so in the next verse ; and I have only intended to substi

; tute his comment for the phrase itself. They whose desires are “according to God,are they who love God, and who have understood and obeyed His call to enter into His purpose, so that they are no longer opposers of it, but cordial co-operators in it, and thus bave become fitted for being placed in a higher class, so to speak, of God's school. In verse 6th, it had been said, that the spiritual mind is life and peace, in opposition to the carnal mind, which is death. In other words, the one is under the election, and the other under the reprobation. And here, in verse 27th, God is represented as searching diligently into the hearts of men, for this precious thing, and at last finding it.

And are we to suppose that nothing takes place in consequence of His finding it? Impossible. He who is here described as the searcher of hearts, is the same God, who is in another place set forth as a shepherd, seeking a single lost sheep,—he

sought diligently till he found it. And did he leave it then, satisfied with having found it? Oh no, he laid it on his shoulder rejoicing, and carried it home with him, and there continued to rejoice over it.

He is also the same God whose declared and established rule towards men, is this, “Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly." And so here, a great change in the condition of such souls is declared immediately to take place, in consequence of their having accepted and used the gift of righteousness. All things work together for their good,—and necessarily so, for now they find their Father's healing and quickening will, in all events, whereas, before, they had only found in them reasons for selfish joy or sorrow. But this change on their perceptions, is not the whole account of them. A new train of providence comes forth upon them, suited to their new character, for “ whom God hath pre-ascertained to be in this spiritual state, them he introduces into the school of Christ the school of willing scholars."

The only condition of mind, in which training into the likeness of Christ is possible, is where the scholar is willing, that is,

where there is the spiritual mind; and therefore this is the condition of mind which God has predestined to a conformity to his Son. And therefore as soon as the searcher of hearts, “who is seeking such to worship Him,” marks a mind in this condition, He brings it under this training—the training of those who are called according to God's purpose.

But He must see or know, that they have actually come into this condition, before He can take them into the higher training. As a physician who requires certain symptoms in his patient, before he can adopt a particular treatment.

God calls all men, even the most thoughtless, to consider death and judgment to come,—that is the lowest class of the school, —and when any consider and open their ears, the searcher of hearts marks them immediately, and introduces them within His predestined training.

That the word, agosgua, translated, he did foreknow, in verse 29th, may possibly have the meaning which I have here attributed to it, I believe few acquainted with the Greek Testament, and the Greek of the LXX., will deny; for they know, that at least in

Acts xxvi. 5, it does, in point of fact, bear this very meaning; and in the Wisdom of Solomon (in the Apocrypha,) vi. 13, and viii. 8, it is twice used for the simple yıwoxw, to know, which is quite enough for my purpose. But they will perhaps deny that this is ground enough, and therefore they may deny the probability of this being its meaning here. I believe that, in fact, the usus loquendi, or ordinary use of the word, as far as the New Testament goes, is rather in favour of my interpretation, than against it, but I wish the reader to weigh the internal evidence for it, in the first place.

Let us then shortly consider the probability of the proposed translation, as far as probability depends on coherence of thought and argument, and on consistency with the laws of reasoning. The meaning which I here attribute to ugosyow, is, as I have said, nearly the same which evidently and unques. tionably belongs to a goy.woxovtis, in Acts xxvi. 5, which word our Apostle there uses to signify the knowledge which the Jews had of his history, antecedently to the time at which he was addressing them ; “ my manner of life _know all the Jews, who apoyevnexortes knew me previously and from the beginning—that


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after the most straitest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee." Accordingly I translate ους προέγνω,

“ whom God has previously known or ascertained to be spiritually-minded ;” that is, persons “loving God and obeying the call to enter into His purpose;" which sense connects our verse with the foregoing context, where God is described as searching into the hearts of men, for the very purpose of discovering who amongst them

were thus spiritually-minded, or had the mind of the Spirit ; as it also connects it with the succeeding context, beginning with “xat a gowgios,

και προωρισε, because it explains the ground of God's special dealing towards such persons, in now embracing them within his predestined discipline—a ground evidently agreeing with that established rule of His government, “ Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly."

But let us go farther back, to ascertain the general line and direction of the argument. In chap. v. 17, it is said that those who accept the abounding grace of God, and the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life with Christ Jesus,—which words set before us the first step of the Christian's course, and the last step, or the ultimate blessing with

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