THE UNABOLISHED ANTINOMY.
There is no portion of Scripture which affords us a more profound psychological insight into the internal condition of the regenerate than Rom. vii. in association with ch. viii. In order to avoid misapprehension in the psychologic application of this portion, we must first of all transport ourselves vitally and fundamentally into the current of thought involved in the apostolic argument.1
In v. 12, etc., Paul has instituted a parallel between Adam and Christ. There is in the world a dominion of death, as there is of sin, which is caused by the one man in whom humanity originates. All men die, because (eif> w) in the sin of one all have sinned. The death of individuals is, even apart from their special sins, the infallible consequence of the sin of the one. This may be seen from the fact, that death reigned even in the period before the law, when sin had not yet, as in the case of Adam, the form of a transgression of law. But with Adam, the One, stands contrasted Christ, the One, who has earned for humanity that which in the first instance the individual does not require to earn, as Adam incurred for it that which in the first instance the individual does not require to incur. As the sin of Adam had the doom of death as its result, which is completed on all men by reason of sin, the obedience of the one man Jesus Christ, on the other hand, brought about righteous
1 Among the most solid things that have been produced on this subject, is Hofmann's treatise on the Epistle to the Romans, in the course of his treament of the history of the origination of the Scriptures, Zeitschrift ftir Protest. «. Kirche, 1860, p. 65. This treatise is subsequent to vol. i. of the 2d ed. of the Schriftbeweis (1857), and to Schott's work, Der Rbmerbritf seinem Endzweck und Gedankengang nach aungelegt (1858).
ness and life, which are offered to all men as a gift of grace, and are manifested as a contrary power far transcending the consequences of the disobedience of the one. What position is attributed to the law in this opposition, is declared in ch. v. 20, 21: it was brought in to make sin all the more evident in its manifestation, and so to reveal in its fulness the superabundance of grace. It was to be shown, that the dominion of sin which effectually declares itself in death, is far exceeded by the dominion of the New Testament grace, which is fulfilled by righteousness in everlasting life. The apostle then anticipates the immoral result which might perchance be gathered from this, as though, in declaring the triumph of grace to be greater in proportion as the sin is greater, he were giving to the sinner a ground of palliation. He obviates this, by showing that the Christian, by virtue of baptism into the death of Christ, has died to the old life conditioned by sin, and by virtue of the resurrection of Christ is empowered and engaged to lead a new divine life in the service of God (ch. vi. 1-14). The previous mischievous consequence of the relation of grace to sin is thus void. The apostle from this also obviates another false deduction from the Christian's freedom from the law, as though a licence were thus set up for the sinner. This deduction also is futile; for the standing of grace, as the position of a servant under righteousness, is the absolute opposite of the standing of a servant under sin. To be under grace is not only to be freed from the bondage of sin, and its wages of death, but to have entered into the service of righteousness,—into the service of God, whose gift of grace is eternal life in Christ Jesus To> Kvpiw rjfiosv (ch. vi. 14 et seq.). That Christ is our master, and no longer the law, is proved by the apostle, with especial reference to the members of the Jewish community (ch. vii. 1-6). He appeals to a fundamental principle of the positive law. Man is subject to the law so long as he lives, but no longer: only death abrogates the obligatory relation of man to the law; but this abrogates it effectually. He illustrates this by an example. So long as the husband lives, the wife, as under the husband, is thus bound to the law, which is represented with its weight of obligation in the husband; only death looses the legal bond* which otherwise is indissoluble. Hereupon he concludes in ver. 4a, from ver. 1: We have died in and with the crucified One; over a dead man the law has no further power. We ai'e free from the law. And from vers. 2 and 3 he infers in ver. 46 (et? To yeviadai, Ai.t.x.) that the church of God is first the church of the law; but in Christ, who in the body of His flesh represents the law, the law is dead for the church of God, that it might belong to Christ the risen, to whom the law with its claims and its curse has no more right, and espoused to whom the church is a church of grace and of life. In ver. 5 he specifies the reason why man, in order to bring forth fruit unto God, must be made to belong to another than the law: "for when we were in the flesh" (the condition of moral weakness and corruption, which the law only enhances, and does not abrogate), "the sinful passions that were called forth by the law were operative in our members to bring forth fruit unto death; but now we are delivered from the law, having died to that wherein we were held" (the power of the law which enhances sin), "so that now we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter" (i.e. not in the old form of life, which the letter of the law acquiesces in, but in the new, which is the operation of the Spirit).
Only misunderstanding can thus, from the principle that the law enhancing sin treats the power of grace as folly, infer such consequences as imperil sanctification. The freedom from the law is no licence to sin; rather it is the condition of enfranchisement from sin. But thence it might appear as though the law itself were sin. The apostle cannot carry on the argument begun ver. 12 to the end, without first having demolished this false appearance also. He accomplishes this ch. vii. 7-12, by experimentally showing that the law brings to man the consciousness of what sin is, and by its prohibition occasions the transition from lust after that which is forbidden, into the death-causing act of sin; and that, far from being itself sin, it actually proves its holiness, in opposition to the sinfulness of man thereby; or, as Hofmann1 combines these thoughts of the apostle, created by experience, " that the law is only abused by sin, to make the beginning of personal self-determination the beginning of personal forfeiture to death. By nature every individual man stands in an attitude of will opposed to God, and of being out of God in sin and death, even before he 1 Schriftbeweis, i. 459, 1st ed.; comp. 544 of 2d ed.
becomes personally conscious of himself in his relation to God. But thence, moreover, he enters upon such a consciousness, only in virtue of his own decision as Ego to make that ungodly will his own; and herewith as Ego, which he has now become, to fall into that being out of God, within which he was when he became Ego." Manifestly eyw e£wv and eyw airedavov stand in contrast to one another. When Augustine explains the former, vivere mihi videbar quia ante mandatum latebat peccatum, it is insufficient. There is an existence meant, which, in comparison with the condition of death subsequently self-produced by personal sin, deserved the name of life,—an existence in some measure like the paradisaic status integritatis (only in some measure similar, because sin, although as in a kind of deathsleep, was already in being), namely, the condition of the child not yet entered into the so-called status discretionis (Div. IV. Sec. III.), in which sin and death have not yet grown from slumbering potentialities into personally realized facts. In the divine law, the ripening man attains to the consciousness of that which is good and evil: there begins now a self-conscious conduct, and self-determining moral agency is perfected. But this beginning of personal moral self-attestation is also the beginning of personal involvement in sin and death. The law, therefore, is not itself sin; but that it makes sin and death personal facts of experience for us, is the effect—which is established in our natural, i.e. inborn, condition inherited by birth— of the revelation in itself, holy and just and good, of that which God claims from us.
To this setting aside of the one counter-question, whether the law is afiapria, is linked another counter-question: Is therefore To ar/adhv, i.e. the law which proceeds from God, originating in goodness, having good as its aim, and promising good— is this become my death? To this the apostle replies, Not the law, but sin. This was to be evident precisely from the fact, that by means of that which is good it wrought death in me, and thus perverted the God-ordained means of life into a means of death: it was thus to become manifest, in the abundance of its ungodly nature, by the commandment which it thus misused. "For we know," continues the apostle, associating himself with all the faithful, who understand how to appreciate the significance of the law in the whole of the divine institution,—" we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin." It is the knowledge of a continual state of things that the apostle here expresses. The declaration that the law is spiritual, while he himself is flesh, and in bondage under sin, is related to the present. For that very reason it is said, not aapKiKos, but adptavos: for aupKivos is one who has in himself the bodily nature and the sinful tendency inherited with it; but aapKiicos is one whose personal fundamental tendency is this sinful impulse of the flesh.1 Flesh and bone of the flesh are we all, and so remain until the regeneration is completed in the resurrection; and, because with this inborn nature sin also is inborn in us, we are and remain also inalienably burdened with sin, or, as may also be said, since we cannot release ourselves from it, imprisoned under it. Every Christian, as a child of Adam, must acquiesce in what the apostle confesses. Thus, and no otherwise, we appear to ourselves uersally in the mirror of the law. It is precisely this knowledge of our natural constitution that contradicts the law, that we owe to the law. It is this acknowledgment which the law has it in view to produce in man as he is descended from Adam. How this acknowledgment, and with it the feeling of the necessity of redemption, originates, the apostle explains further in the 15th and following verses, from his own experience of life.
The law is spiritual in kind and nature, and therefore claims a conduct which has the mastery over the material and itself; but I am of flesh, and disposed accordingly. "For"— thus the apostle makes good this 15th and 16th verse—"that which I do I know not," i.e. it is foreign to my most special self-determination; "for not what I will do I accomplish; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law, that it is justly ordered." It is precisely this contest between my will and my conduct that gives to the law this testimony, in that that proportion of the law which I do not accomplish is that which is properly willed by me, while that which is sinful which I do is what I hate. The law requires of me spiritual conduct, powerful over myself, conformed to the sanctity of God, to the Spirit, and to the
1 Thus in this way are distinguished tltai it wtpxt and u»ui Xata oipxa. See Hofmann, Schriftb. i. 562. In Meyer and Schott I do not find this distinction properly regarded.
divine likeness of my spirit. That in spite of my will I never accomplish this, is not the fault of the law, but of my own fleshliness.
The apostle deduces from this, with reference back to the preceding ireirpapAvos inro rrjv dfiapriav, ver. 17, that in such a state of things it is no longer he that does such things, but the sin that dwelleth in him; and proves (vers. 18-20) that sin, and nothing else, is this power, distinct from his Ego, opposed to his true nature. What the apostle here declares, can only be repeated after him by one in whom a knowledge and will of what is willed by God, opposed to the inborn nature, is present,—one in whom Ego and sin are in such a manner isolated, that the sin, instead of passing as the action of his Ego, may rather be regarded as the act of the sin that enslaves it contrary to his will; for the Ego is no longer one with sin— it is free from it. Sin resides in such a man still, only as a foreign power: there has come to pass in him, consequently, a process of separation which is still foreign to the natural man, and is thus effected by grace. But the' apostle cannot by possibility mean, that in any such a one a sinful act could be accomplished without his Ego being concerned therein. This would be just as contrary to the idea of sin, which as an act is always a personal fact, as it is contrary to all experience. For instance, no sin of unchastity is possible, so long as the man is able to hold his Ego at a distance absolutely from the urging fleshly enticements: it is possible only when the might of temptation succeeds either in overmastering, or even in interesting, the Ego of the man. At times there are mingled in the circle of man's thoughts impure thoughts, which he acknowledges as not less thought by his Ego than the pure ones which it opposes to them in order to dislodge them. Sometimes temptation succeeds in drawing in the man's Ego into itself; but in the midst of the sinful act, the man draws it back from it, full of loathing for it. Sometimes, moreover, the Ego, in order to complete the sinful act unrestrainedly, is voluntarily absorbed into unconsciousness, and does not until after its completion return with horror to recollection of itself; and the spirit with shame becomes conscious of its having been veiled by its own responsibility. When, therefore, in the 18th verse, the apostle says, "I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing," he cannot thereby intend to say that the flesh, and not the Ego, is the subject of sin. The meaning is rather this, that in him—to wit, as he explains by way of restriction, in him so far as he is adpKivo<;, i.e. consists of flesh, and is thus easily overpowered by flesh—no good thing dwells. It is false if it is said that adp% in such an ethical connection does not mean the sensible flesh; but it is not less false if it be said that it signifies this in respect of itself alone. It is the entire nature of man, sinful, and subject to death, which is called adpf;. But Hengstenberg1 rightly suggests the question, how it happens that it should be called exactly adp%. He replies, that it is because the impulses that proceed from the spirit make an impression upon the flesh, the material nature, because sins are accompanied with bodily excitements, and as it were encamp in the body; because sinful impulses are, moreover, already in the material nature in consequence of inherited sin: for how else could there be family sins? This is all true; but the true final answer is that which we gave in Div. III. Sec. I.
The entire natural man is called adp%, because he has fallen absolutely into the power of the evil potentialities of his fundamental nature, which the original sin has set free. This setting free is the work of an ungodly will; but having once taken place, it is a fact that can only be remedied by regeneration. The breadth of the idea of adpf;, in an ethical sense, is only thus to be explained. In this sense adplj is the palpable material flesh, inclusive of its human existence from the beginning, the psychico-spiritual internal nature homogeneous with it, and standing in mutual relation with it, and even inclusive of the Ego that suffers itself to be limited by the inborn fleshly nature, and which, in complying with the sinful dispositions, restraints, and allurements of his nature, enhances its own inborn corruption.
It is not at all possible that the New Testament conception aa/>| (comp. Gen. vi. 3, 1^3) should be otherwise intended. For (1) the material flesh in itself can neither experience, nor imagine, nor desire. All these things, although effected by means of the body, are yet impossible acts without a psychical
1 See his Explanation of the Gospel of St John, vol. i. (1861), pp. 189-192 (on John iii. 6).
background. Thus, when the New Testament, and especially Paul, speaks of hriOvfiltu Tj/? aapKos (Gal. v. 16; Eph. ii. 3), OeKyfiara T?)? trap/co? (Eph. ii. 3, comp. John i. 13), and even 7Tj0a|et? rod awfiaros (Rom. viii. 13), the idea of adp^ cannot be satisfied with the meaning of the tangible flesh. It is necessary, in order to avoid attaching absurdity to these biblical expressions, to suppose that the flesh is conceived of together with a fleshly soul pertaining to it. This view was widely diffused among the most ancient fathers. Man was almost generally defined as a nature consisting of a rational immortal soul, and a body with a vegetative-sensitive soul. But, in opposition to the Manichaeism which supposed a good and an evil soul in man, and to the Apollinarianism which explained the incarnation as a union of the Logos with a corporeity consisting of flesh and fleshly soul, it was decided, after careful consideration, for the most part, that there is no inferior soul distinct from the reasonable soul, but that the one spirit-soul (/ii'a ^vXV Xo7t#oj r€ Kal voepa, as the eleventh canon of the eighth oecumenical council expresses it) is that which animates the body without the intervention of a fleshly soul.1 This opposition to the view of two souls, although in this conception very insufficient, was still justified. For (2) there is not actually any fleshly soul distinct from the spiritual soul, capable of experience, of imagination, and of desire. The school of Giinther, which maintains this view with great acuteness, and not without many respectable predecessors,2 proceeds therein
1 In favour of the identity of the reasonable and the vegetative-sensitive soul, there are, among others who specially treat on this question, Tertullian and John of Damascus. Origen is rather in favour of the distinction. Lactantius calls the question inextricabilis. Augustine is in favour of the identity, but not without hesitation. Among the scholastics, Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus are in favour of the identity: the former teaching that the anima rationalis virtualiter is at the same time the regetativa et sensitiva; the former, that the anima rationalis imparts to the body its vegetative and sensitive life (dans esse corpori). Thus also the Councils of Vienna (1311), and of Laterau (1513), explain themselves, anima rationalis est forma corporis per se et essentialiter. In favour of the difference, there are among the more celebrated scholastics only Alanus ah insulis and Occam.
1 See Zukrigl's Critical Inquiry into the Nature of the Reasonable Spiritsoul and of the Psychic Corporeity of Man, with reference to the Conflict of the present time, and to the Councils, Ecclesiastical Fathers, and Scholastics, 1854.
on the supposition that the brute-soul is only the highest intensification of matter, and is therefore no substance essentially distinct from matter; and on the not less unscriptural supposition, that the body with which in man the spirit-soul is united, contains in itself a soul similar in qualification to the brute-soul, which only becomes awakened or actualized by the super-addition of the spirit-soul. From these two unscriptural assumptions, it is then further asserted, that when Scripture speaks of a contrast of the flesh and the spirit, the flesh, with the experiencing, imagining, and desiring internal character peculiar to it as such, is meant, whose impure disorderly affections are urgent against the spirit-soul, and by its consent become sin. Let us remember that by scholasticism there are distinguished in the locus de concupiscentia, firstly, motus primoprimi, i.e. such as for a moment, benumbing the free-will, anticipate its exercise; then motus secundi, i.e. such as proceed directly from the free-will; and thirdly, motus seeundo-primi, i.e. such as the free-will suffers itself to be hurried away in. Thus, according to the Giintherish theory, the motus primoprimi proceed from the fleshly soul. As this, although conscious, is yet impersonal and not free, those motus primo-primi are in themselves guiltless and irresponsible. Confessedly this is a symbolically accepted proposition of Roman Catholic morality. That the Giintherish theory finds so much contradiction in the Romish Church, is a fact which proves that that position (which our church decidedly rejects) may be held without accepting the Giintherish anima earnis. But the true refutation of this latter is, at the same time, also the refutation of the former position, which is perilous to the acknowledgment of sins and reality of sanctification. We have already sufficiently proved above, that Scripture only knows of one soul of man which is at once spiritual and fleshly soul.1 That, even in reference to the moral dualism in man, this essential unity
1 The third of the views given by Origen, de princ. iii. 4, that the essentially one soul consists of a reasonable and an unreasonable part, and that the latter again consists of the ivfiixo» and the iiriivfuxor, comes the nearest to the truth, but still is some distance from it. It is brought to an issue in Nemesios' book, irtpi <pimttf a»ipuirov, against which the author of the Ao'|a/ maintains the view, that man has three souls (fivaixn, rfXoyof, and Xoyotij), but that they are one—lid T»j» m/t<ptit!ai avju» Kai T^v
of spirit and soul is held by Scripture, is proved by 1 Pet. ii. 11. Scripture nowhere speaks of an opposition of the soul and the spirit, but only of the flesh and of the vow; of the KapSia, Rom. ii. 28; of the irvevfia; or even, as in 1 Pet. ii. 11, of the yfrv^^. For not soul and flesh, but soul and spirit, are essentially one; and even experience confirms this unity. When an enticement to sin, e.g. to sensuality, proceeds from the body to the inner man, this enticement is certainly as yet no sin, although it belongs to the consequences of the sinfulness which has distorted the true relation of the body to the spirit-soul, or, as we say, to spirit and soul; and therefore, even in itself, is to be bewailed with penitence. But this blind, unconscious natural impulse never becomes concupiscence, or lustfulness, until it is reflected in the psychico-spiritual internal nature of man. That such an enticement can originate in us against our will has its reason in the fact, that in our present natural condition we are no longer lords of the material and power of our body. But the enticement to sensuality never becomes the form of sensuality; or, as the scholastics formulate it, the concupiscentia informis never becomes the concupiscentia formata without the spiritual soul according to its nature, and this form of sensuality is not, moreover, held by us for one minute without the will of the spirit which is immanent in, and which personifies the soul; and the changes in the body which minister to sensuality do not originate without the impulse of the will upon the nerves of motion, and the intentional agitations of the flesh that are linked with this impulse. It is our Ego which is carnalized in every act of sensual lust: the personifying spirit which, by means of the Psyche belonging to it, ought to rule the corporeity, sinks down into it, and darkening itself, succumbs to its impressions. For the very reason that the Ego of man, as he is from birth, has fallen under the superior authority of the flesh, the natural man is called aapKiKos, or even, as his soul is fallen away from its destination, and the soul <onformed to its corporeally turned aspect has the dominion, yfrv^iKos. Of the flesh in this ethical sense, which embraces the whole natural man, Paul says (Gal. v. 17), rj aa.p^ eiriOvpxl Kara rov irvevfiayros. But he says it of the man in the position of fierdvoia: he says it, speaking out of the New Testament present, of the regenerate, in whom the Ego itself is divided, that is, lias separated itself into a spiritual Ego turned to God, and a fleshly Ego turned away from God. In the one Ego is a double'will,—a will which is founded in that which it is by nature, and a will which is founded in that which it is through grace,—a will conformed to the fleshly determination inherited by the inborn nature, and a will conformed to the spiritual determination received with the new beginning constituted by the grace of regeneration. This twofold will is as an impelling power and tendency simultaneously in man; but its actual movements always follow one another in time, as is shown by close self-observation; and the one spirit-soul is, as our consciousness tells us, the subject of both, even although it may be in a different relationship to the corporeity. The former may be called, as Hofmann calls it,1 the nature-will; the latter, the personal-will. But this distinction cannot be properly applied to the man who is matured to moral self-responsibility. Certainly an Adamitically determined nature-will precedes the personal-will of the perfectly conscious man, — an inherited individualized participation in the ungodly human will of the race, which may be called a will, for the very reason that the growing man even from the outermost point of his growth is a growing person; but the personal will of the perfectly conscious man, who is not yet effectually laid hold of by grace, is actually itself the nature-will, which has now become personal-will. And in the man effectually laid hold on by grace, the Adamitic nature-will may indeed be distinguished from the new personwill; but not in such a way that the one Ego should not be the subject of both. Immediately the man is awakened to self-consciousness, it is always he as Ego who himself determines himself, either in conformity to the inborn sinful constitution of nature, or, by the power of grace, in conformity to the divine will.2
1 See Schriftb. i. 517, as a corrective explanation to Weiss, v. Erfiillunij ii. 16: "The materiality of our tifitt, in consequence of Adam's transgression, has a will directed to the world in its death, which may be distinguished from the ii'hn» of the nov;, of the self-conscious and the selfdetermining Ego;" and, "If the personal will of man surrenders itself to the will of his flesh, he has no other object for which he lives than the world."
1 See Thomaeius, Dogm. i. 280; comp. my Biblisch-prophttische Theologie, 207. Since even Hofmann understands by aip$ — nature, not only the palpable bodily, but the entire sensuous-spiritual nature of man, the inborn natural-will must from this premiss be received by him as a growing
The apostle considers his personality from the two several points of view, of grace and of nature, when he says (ver. 186), '"' To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not." The will to do that which is good—which, as the tendency of his true Ego, is most internally present to him— is established by grace; but the flesh does not permit it to come to the performance of that which is willed,—either altogether frustrating it, or so defiling it, that that which is performed is no more purely KaXov. The apostle cannot here by possibility mean such cases as if, e.g., I wish to write a letter that is intended to rescue an erring man, and it becomes wholly impossible to me, through any sort of indisposition of body. In such a case, the will to do good is of equal value with the carrying out of the same. But if I have purposed to allow my power of labour or prayer to be weakened and abridged by no darkening pleasure, and yet such a pleasure exercises over me a power of attraction that I am not able to withstand, what the apostle says is confirmed. It is not the flesh in itself which frustrates my good determination, but the flesh with the nature-will that is stimulated by it, i.e. the will of natural or inherited sin, whereby the energy of the will most specially conformed to God is scattered.
The apostle has now explained, that between his will and his deed subsists a contradiction which gives a testimony to the goodness of the law to which the will is directed, and the opposed constitution of his own nature (vers. 15, 16). In that case, it is the sin which dwells in him, that is, in his flesh (or, what is the same thing, his nature), which performs that which is thus opposed to the will of his Ego (o ov OeKw eyw, vers. 17-20); and in returning to the thought (ver. 14) from which he proceeded, and which he now experimentally establishes, he concludes thence (vers. 21-24), that the spiritual law of God reveals to him in his nature a fleshly law, and thus (which is just the redeeming purpose of that law of God) awakens and sustains in him the longing after deliverance from this nature which has fallen into the power of sin and death. This result
person-will; for nature-will, as the designation of his idea, proves the inborn impulse of will of the personally interested human nature, growing to conscious self-determination immediately the man begins to act selfconsciously. The flesh, as such, has indeed no will, and (even according to Hofmann) there is not a natural soul distinct from the spirit.
ing statement he begins in ver. 21, with the inference, "I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me." To change this juxtaposition of his Ego that wills what is good, and of the evil that thwarts its performance, or that mingles itself with it, is beyond his ability: it is a vo/io?, i.e. it is for him an inscrutably present fact, and a fact that inevitably limits him.1 "For "—thus he continues establishing and explaining his position (vers. 22, 23)—" I delight in the law.of God after the inward man; but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." There are two correlative pairs of laws which the apostle distinguishes: (1) an objective pair, 6 vofios Tov Qeov, the law of God which is exalted over man by coming before him in the way of a revelation, and o vo/xo? rrjs afiaprlas, which subsists independently of the Ego of man, inasmuch as he finds himself subjected to it; and then (2) a subjective pair, 6 I/o/xo? Tov Voos, the law of his capacity of will and knowledge determining itself, and indeed determining itself according to God's law; and o 1*0/1o? eV rot? fieXeai, the law of the corporeity, which serves his Ego as an outward means of manifestation, which likewise ought to be constituted in conformity to the law of God, but in reality is determined by the law of sin that dwells in it. The genitives in "law of God" and "law of sin" indicate, as genitivi auctoris, the law-giving powers: the genitive in "law of the mind," on the other hand, and the attributive "in my members," designate the two laws of his own which are personal and natural to man, which are the reflex of the two other ones, in respect of the place and means of their determining opera
1 Hofmann reads otherwise, Schriftb. i. 549: "I thus find the law to me who wills to do it, as the good, because evil dwelleth in me." But the obvious connection of ironh To xaXo» contradicts this; and Meyer (edit. 2 and 3): "I find then in me, while my will is directed to the law in order to do good, that evil is foremost to me." But this is inconsistent, because of the hard inversion of the To» »o'/*o» Tu ifaom ifioi, which would only be supposable if xo/fiv To xothdv were in any way indicated as the point in view. The supposition of Meyer, that Tov Xo'^ov must be the positive law, is erroneous. The law is meant which the apostle in ver. 22 distinguishes from vofio; Tov &iav as trtpo; vofio;. The objection against our explanation, that the idea vofio; does not agree with the relation intimated by f,«oi To xaxi» wapixttrai, is met above.
tion.1 The law in the members is the law of sin imprinted on the members, which Job sxiii. 12 calls 'ipn, " my own statute or law," as opposed to God's commandments; and the law .of the nous or mind is the delight of the inward man in the law of God—his wish and will to allow himself to be determined by this law, and to put this law into practice. That 6 eaw avdpwiro<; is not without some modification identical with 6 Kcuvo< ; avdpanro<;, is at once understood. Every man is, in psychical association, an inner and an outer nature: he has a dynamically manifold and characteristically formed internal self, and a dynamically manifold peculiarly and physiognomically formed outer self. The apostle might have written Kara Tov vovv also, instead of Kark Tov eaw avdpwirov? On the other hand, it cannot be said that the apostle might also have written Kara Tov Kaivbv avdpanrov. For elsewhere, 6 eaw (eawdev) avdpwiro<; certainly-3 designates the regenerate internal nature of man (2 Cor. iv. 16, Eph. iii. 16; comp. 6 K/jihtto? Tj7? itapSia? avdpwiro<;, 1 Pet. iii. 4), although even there also, not in itself, but only in respect of the connection;4 but here the inward man comes into consideration, not yet as a new, i.e. a regenerate man, but first of all only in his separation from the outward man effected by the revelation of the law. Nevertheless, even here 6 eaw avdpwiro< ; does not signify the reasonable moral nature of man as such, as Meyer declares,5 just as in Plato and Porphyry o eVro? avdpoyrro^ is the denomination of the human innermost nature partaking
1 Thus Hofmann, i. 551, and similarly also Ewald, against whom Meyer, as Calov., says: "Lex membrorum et lex peccati idem sunt." They are, moreover, truly essentially one, but they are distinguished as affected and affecting; comp. for the rest, Besser on Rom. vii. (Bibelst. vii. 1), where the double pair of laws is acknowledged, and the law of sin is comprehended as the "power of sin " (1 Cor. xv.).
* As, for example, Philo says, i. 301, xi/iou^o; i it ixatrrp Sifiun ti; it ifi) xAij» i vov;, X.T.X., and i. 533, o nov;, xvplui i/mi, Anifiixi; iorir it «»fy«irp, xprirtun it xuponi\ or Gregory of Nazianzum, ii. 88, ed. Bened., roi »ov o Kx'i fiixXon xvfyuvo;; comp. Cicero, Somn. ch. viii., "Mens cujusque is est quisque, non ea figura, qu» digito demonstrare potest;" and Lactantius, de opificio Dei, ch. xx., "Ipse homo neque tangi neque adspici neque comprehendi potest, quia latet intra hoc quod videtur."
3 Vid. Lechler, Die neutest. Lehre vom heiligen Amte (1857), p. 24.
1 Vid. Schott on 1 Pet. iii. 4, p. 180.
5 Thus also Stirm, in his Anthropologico-exegetic Inquiries, in the Tubinger Zeitschr. flir Theologie, 1844, 3; and not otherwise Osiander on
in the idea. The apostle does not mean a higher and better self that is left to man after the fall, but a self that is effected by grace; or, as may also be said, released by grace,—to wit, the training of the law according to the order of salvation.1 For, in the natural state, inner and outer man are both equally under sin. It is therefore a work of grace when a man has attained to the position of having an inward delight in God's law according to his inward man, and according to his own absolute prevailing personal life desires that which is good—that which is conformed to the spiritual law of God; whilst in his outward man, i.e. in his members, and generally in his natural life, the law of sin still prevails, but in such a way as that he hates sin, and as far as concerns his own prevailing Ego, does not so much do it as suffer it. It is not merely un-Lutheran, but it is also un-Pauline, when Meyer2 says, " Here the entire connection determines that the o ea&> avdpanro<; of the unregenerate man is meant. Moreover, to him belongs (which Philippi altogether arbitrarily denies) the ovv^Sofiai rw v6yno Tov Qeov, and must belong to him, since the sinful nature is in the adp%. This does not, indeed, agree with the hypothesis that just the higher powers of the natural man are e diametro in contest with God and His law (Form. Cone. p. 640); but it is nevertheless exegetically established." We agree with the view in some measure, that Paul means the inward man of the unregenerate man. He speaks, indeed, of himself the regenerate, i.e. of experiences still continuing, and not absolutely passed away; but he does not speak of himself qua regenerate, i.e. not of experiences which he has received by the specifically New Testament grace of regeneration, but of experiences which the divine law calls forth in every man who does not harden himself against the grace that corresponds to the purpose of his salvation, and prepares and continually disciplines him for it. That even in the heathen world similar experiences may be associated with
2 Cor. iv. 16. That which is capable of regeneration (and therefore is also in need of regeneration) is the true kernel of human nature.
1 Vid. Preger, Flacius, ii. 411. Man has in himself a divine ground of life, which would not at all come into consciousness to him apart from prevenient grace. But through the influence of that grace it certifies itself in man since the fall, and becomes to him a law in his heart, which resists the law of sin in the members in the flesh.
2 Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans (3d edit.), p. 265.
the knowledge of the divine law imprinted, according to Rom. ii. 15, upon every man, we do not deny; but the apostle is here speaking of the positive historical law of salvation, and in any case, of such a moral separation of the outer and inner man as does not subsist in man as such, but is effected by the Holy Spirit, who also is effectual by the law, although otherwise man may allow himself to be brought to self-consideration, i.e. to the knowledge of his duty to make God's will the substance of his own will. For transmitted sin resides not merely in the flesh. The proof that Paul does not derive sin from the sensuous nature, i.e. the material nature of man, has been lately again deduced by Ernesti with fundamental completeness.1 The state which Paul (vii. 5) indicates by elvat, ev Tt) aapKi is a condition of the whole man, who is in the bonds of fleshly destination: it is, considered in the relation to God, a state of death (ch. vi. 13). The man who desires the good and hates the evil, and yet must experience the power of the flesh that neutralizes the God-willed good, but always with pain and shame, has already felt in himself the wholesome separation of a divinelyproduced inner man, and an innate outward man. For that which is born of the flesh is flesh. The entire man is by nature formed fleshly. He may, indeed, in his conscience know what God claims from him, but the knowledge of that which is good is not even so much as the decided will to do good. He does not fear God, does not love Him, does not trust Him, as he ought: the alienation from God, which is the reverse side of fleshliness, lords it over him within and without. The view of Philippi, and the hypothesis of the Concordien-formel, that the natural man is found, "according to his highest powers and the light of reason," in an ungodly state, is thoroughly scriptural, and especially Pauline: for man's i/ou? is naturally iioO? Trj<! aapKO< ; (Col. ii. 18), and therefore Fiatcuo< ; (Eph. iv. 17) and dSoKifw; (Rom. i. 28); his affections and tendencies of will
1 II. Fr. Th. C. Ernesti, Die Theorie vom Ursprunge der Siinde aus der Sinnlichkeit im Lichte des Paulininchen Lehrgehalis betrachtet, 1855. Moreover, Halm's Theology of the New Testament teaches very distinctly, that sin is rooted not in the flesh, but in man's supersensual inward nature; and it is gratifying that Tholuck has again borne a decided witness for the more comprehensive and deeper significance of a£p%, defended by him in the Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. See his renewed inquiry about as the source of sin, in Stud. u. Krit. 1855, iii.
are de]fiara 1-7}? oapKo<; Kal Twv Siavoiwv (Eph. ii. 3), i.e. originating in his innate sinful nature, and his selfish God-estranged mental capacities which are organized in accordance therewith. This view of the profound inwardness of human corruption is so little arbitrary, that if inherited sin were anything of less importance, the Pauline doctrine, as well of reconciliation as of the justification by grace by faith alone, would give way.
It is God's grace that divides man thus dualistically, as we read vers. 14-23. He who is carnally secure, feels nothing of it. But the more earnest is a man's moral contest, the more painfully he feels this twofold division. And probably there passes no one day in the life of any Christian, in which this twofold division does not extort from him a similar complaint to that of the apostle, ver. 24, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Even the form of this complaint shows that it comes from the breast of a converted man. An unconverted man would, before all, have longingly to aspire after the deliverance of his Ego from the will to do that which is ungodly, and from having pleasure therein, and after power earnestly to will that which is good; but the converted man knows that in his own personal life he is free from sin, and turned to God and to good. He sighs now for final deliverance from this body of death, through which his personal life is so burdened and disordered; free from that natural element that is spread around that punctum saliens of a will conformed to the will of God, and in which sin, with its wages of death, is ruling.1 It is a yearning, not generally after redemption, but after perfect redemption, which is expressed in the question, Who shall deliver me, etc.? The apostle himself immediately answers this question to himself in ver. 25a: "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." It is the work of Jesus Christ, that his yearning sigh can be transformed into triumphal thanks. In Jesus Christ he has that after which he sighs. Being in this body of death, he is still, because he is in Jesus Christ, free from sin and death. That it is such thoughts
1 It is therefore no specifically Platonic, it is a truly Christian thought, when the book of Wisdom (ix. 15) says, "The corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthy tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things." The body, as the actual ouftx Tod ixnxrov, is actually for the spirit a prison and a burden.
as these that are contained in this short word of thankfulness, may be known even from ch. vi. 12.
The apostle now sums up what he has said in vers. 14—25a about his condition, by first of all drawing, in ver. 256, a consequence from vers. 14-24, and then in ch. viii. 1, a consequence from ch. vii. 25a. The first, the result of vers. 14-24, runs, " So then with the mind I myself (ipse ego) serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." As the verbal proposition appropriate to this "I myself" (not I, the same) is a united one, and is antithetically divided by fiev-Se, I give up the view that "I myself" means as an equivalent I, according to my true Ego.1 The apostle means himself, for his own person; he means himself, as he is in himself, as contrasted with him as he is in Christ. Nor only the thanksgiving just uttered brings with it this contrast, according to which he, who in himself must lament his miserable condition, knows, on the other hand, that he is delivered from it through Jesus Christ. It comes, moreover, to expression in the two resulting propositions by means of apa (consequently), where the self-finding of the Christian in Christ Jesus (rot? iv Xpiarw 'Irjaov) is opposed to his self-finding in himself in the face of the Sinaitic law (avro? eydo). What the apostle says in ver. 25 by means of apa ovv, is the statement of the condition in which he finds himself since he has learnt to know God's law, and has become fond of this holy spiritual law. Since, then, he serves, with his free self-determining nous, God's law, but with the flesh, in consequence of a calamitous necessity of nature, the law of sin, the law has attained in him its purpose of salvation. Sin appears to him in the light of this law all the more sinful; but he feels himself also all the more unfortunate, as his natural constitution, resisting the law, does not allow him to get free from sin. The law has not been able to bring him further than to the yearning cry of complaint after redemption from this body, which bears in itself death with sin. But he must not sigh only, he can also thank. For he is not merely himself; he is also in Christ. After what he is in himself, he finds himself still always subjected to that disunion that is called forth in him by the law. But this disunion, although in the present
1 Combated by Hofmann, i. 556, and Meyer, p. 270 of the 3d edit. of his Comm.
it still continues, is yet not his whole, not his true present.1 The vvv, ch. viii. 1, is only meant of time.
How the two consequent propositions are included in one another by apa, is conceived when we analyze the meaning and substance of the cry of joy, " I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord." The apostle thanks God through the Lord Jesus - Christ, that he, continuing in life, has become free and released from this body of death, i.e. from this nature that imposes upon him a sinful death, and which brings coercion. If, on the one hand, he is thus, so far as he is out of Christ, a servant of the law of God with his peculiar will, but one hurried away sometimes by his sinful nature into the service of sin; still, on the other hand, for him, and for all who are in Christ Jesus, and are able through Him to thank God as being delivered and enfranchised from their body of death, all and every condemnation has now an end. "There is therefore now (actually at this time) no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus;" "for the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Through the law there has arisen in him, not without the operation of the Holy Spirit, a will to do good, but a will that is powerless on account of the flesh; a will which, even though it is without result, does not relieve him from condemnation. But if, at the same time, he is in Christ, no more condemnation touches him now; for he is no longer under that law which could not bring him further than to that powerless unblessed state of disunion: he has in himself a law removing him away above the law of sin and death,— namely, the spirit of the life of Christ, which now just as much determines his Ego to prevail and to participate in the capacity for good, as, when he regards himself as out of Christ, his Ego is determined by the overmastering sinful nature that makes all will to do good impossible. The incapacity of our Ego to accomplish the good that is willed, and the constraint of the flesh, which hurries us away against our better knowledge and will to the commission of sin, and thereby—since will without acting of good cannot avail before God as the fulfilment of law—binds us under the curse of the law,2 subsists no more,
1 Vid. v. Hofmann, in the Erlanger Zeitschr. 1860, p. 82.
2 See Schott, Romerbrief, p. 284, with reference to v. Hofmann, Schriftb. i. 556.
since the spirit of life acts upon us in Christ; and in this is bestowed the power that capacitates us for the doing of good, and therewith takes us away from the state of death incurred by sin.1 The law, far from being itself sin, and in itself the cause of death, serves therefore, as being in itself holy and spiritual, a purpose of salvation, in revealing to us sin, as a death-bringing transgression of the divine will, in its full sinfulness; but it is incapable of procuring salvation of itself: it influences only, and continually sharpens, the urgent longing after the divine fact of redemption, which has made possible that which was impossible to the law. "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh," i.e. through the guilt of our flesh—that is, in contradiction to its spirituality, and opposing it—God has accomplished for our salvation, sending His Son in the flesh, and indeed in likeness of our sinful flesh, and for an atonement for sin (irepl dfiapria<;, i.e. as nwsn). He has, for instance, in the flesh, i.e. in the flesh of Jesus for our flesh, the flesh of all, once for all fulfilled the judgment of condemnation; so that in no way the Ka-TaKpifjn of the law cleaves to us, but the SiKalwfia (the justification and emancipation, comp. vers. 16,18, and therefore the promise of life) of the law becomes fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.2 The sin that dwells in the flesh is condemned for us all in the flesh of Jesus in a substitutionary atoning manner. Thus in us there is no more anything to be condemned in us, who, as the apostle (ch. vii. 14-24) has shown, hate it, fight against it, and bemoan it,—in us who, indeed, as he further
1 Comp. Frank, Lehre der Concordienformel, ii. 801: "The reception of the Holy Spirit by the preaching of the gospel proves something altogether different from this, that it is not without the Spirit's operation when the law punishes man's sin. A reception of the Holy Spirit is not yet established where only the operation of the Spirit is established in the view of its object."
2 See my Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews, pp. 716-718. That aixtti'ofix may mean the same as the law has rightly established (Meyer), and therefore may imply the moral claim of the law (Hofm., Schott, and others), I regard as possible; but in the New Testament urns loquendi in question, it means the sentence (Rom. i. 32), the judgment (Rom. ii. 26, etc.), the doom (Apoc. xv. 4), righteousness (Rom. v. 18; Apoc. xix. 8), and justification (Rom. v. 16); and of these meanings, the last is the fitting one here.
says, walk not Kara cdpKa, but Kara irvevfia; which is possible to us, as, through the judgment of God accomplished in the flesh of Jesus, not only the curse, but also the power of sin, has been broken, and a new vo^o< ; established, which is not a deathbringing ypdfifia, but a life-giving irvevfia, founding in us a new spiritual beginning of life, by which the body of sin and death, as we have been already withdrawn from it in its condemnation and bondage, will finally be fully overcome.
If we now look back from ch. viii. 1-4 to ch. vii. 15-23, it is first of all as clear as sunlight, that the apostle is not speaking of himself as regenerate. But just as certain is it, that he does not describe himself as he is by nature without God's influence. By nature he is "carnal, sold under sin;" and still more than that, by nature he is fleshlike, i.e. not merely suffering the constraint of his sinful nature, but even under its influence and direction in respect of his thoughts and will. The will to do good, the counter will against evil, is not inborn in him. That he desires the good and hates the evil, and does not succumb to sin, although in his inmost nature he is no stranger to it,—for this he has to thank God's law, which he has learned to like, because it has now his love. This is not the effect of the spirit of regeneration.1 For the will to do good, which we have described, is a powerless one. Moreover, the powerless will to do good is not, as such, the operation of the law. The powerlessness is the result of the overmastery of the flesh, which continually diverts from this purpose the will to which the divine law has given the tendency to good. It is true, therefore, when it is said that in ch. vii. 15-23 are depicted the moral experiences of the man under the law, of whom grace has laid hold. The man is thus desirous of doing what the law puts before him as God's will; but the sin that dwells in his nature makes it impossible to him. But does the apostle describe this state as one which for the regenerate person has absolutely passed away?
This is the main and fundamental question, to which we
1 Philippi in the Comm., comp. Dogm. iii. 229, maintaining this, asserts at the same time, that in ch. vii. 14 the regenerate person, as such, is speaking; but to this view is decidedly opposed ch. viii. 22. To this effect also what is said in my Biblisch-prophet. Theologie, p. 260, must be rightly added.
reply in the negative. We maintain now, as ever, that even in Rom. vii. 14-24 the apostle is speaking "out of the consciousness of the regenerate person,"1 without thereby meaning to say that he is giving utterance to experiences which are permitted to the regenerate as such; rather experiences which even the regenerate person is not spared. It certainly appears an irreconcilable contradiction, to say that one and the same man is fleshly, sold under sin (ch. vii. 14), and yet, on the other hand, is freed from the law of sin and death by the spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus (ch. viii. 2). But the apostle actually places the two states in juxtaposition, as belonging to his present condition. He does not say in ch. vii. 14, that he was previously consisting of fleshly material, and was sold under sin, but that this is his natural constitution, and that this contrariety subsists between him and God's spiritual law. He speaks in the present; and when he sets forth, in continuation, that his acknowledgment of the law does not help him to do the prescribed good, but that sin, in spite of his own will, makes him do that which is against God's will, he speaks throughout in the present. This established present will be all the more considered, that the apostle (ch. vii. 7-13) also actually speaks in historical form of a fact of experience which at that time belongs to the past. He looks back there into his childhood, and shows how, in the degree that the claim of law entered into his consciousness, the sin which was present in him, but not present as his personal conduct, became his personal sin, and the cause of his self-incurred death. It was the saving purpose of the law declared in ver. 13 which he thus painfully experienced. From ver. 14 onwards, the apostle then depicts how he, the self-consciously willing one, finds himself and his doing disposed in the light of the law. Every Christian is compelled to confirm what the apostle here says, from his own personal experience. And well for him if he can also confirm the fact that God's law, and therefore God's will, is his delight,—that he desires the good and hates the evil; and, indeed, in such a way that the sin to which, against his will, he is hurried away, is foreign to his inmost nature. But woe to him, if from his own personal experience he could only confirm this, and not also the
1 Thus, for example, also v. Harless, Ethik, p. 45. Meyer does Dot justly appreciate this view, and therefore wrongly classifies it.
fact that the spirit of the new life that has its source in Christ Jesus, has freed him from the urgency of sin, and the condition of death, which wore not abrogated through the law, but only brought to light; so that his will, which by the law was inclined towards what is good, although powerless, now actually capable of good, is opposed, as a predominating overmastering power of life which will finally triumph in glory, to the death that continues to work iD him.
We agree with Hofmann1 in Philippi, that the two passages, ch. vii. 14-24 and viii. 1-11, must be taken together, if the form of the regenerate life is not to be left one-sided. Meanwhile, ch. vii. 14 is not the one side of the regenerate form of life, as such: it is only the dim foundation of this form of life, that has not yet disappeared even in the condition of regeneration. For what Hofmann says is no less true, that the apostle in ch. vii. 14 represents himself in respect of his own moral relation to God, apart from the moral capacity which accrues to him from his community of life with Christ,—a capacity which does not come into expression till ch. viii. Philippi,2 on the other hand, has objected, "If I am in Christ, and am depicting that which I am out of Christ, I depict in concrete not what I actually am, but what I once was out of Christ." It is oidy necessary to look into one's own heart to feel what a sophism this is. The man who is in Christ, just this very man, is divided indeed into a man actually living in Christ, and a man who, although surrounded by the new life, is not yet pervaded by it, and therefore is in effect out of Christ; as Flacius3 remarks on Rom. vii., "That two men are found in the skin of the one man, i.e. that two kinds of power exist in the regenerate person." In other words, there is, as our every-day experience teaches us, in our life referred to God, a region pervaded by grace, and a region only, so to speak, shone upon (illuminated) by grace. Certainly, in the regenerate person, an all-powerful might of good shows itself effectual; but, opposed to it, there is also a power of evil, which, although overcome, is still constantly needing to be restrained; and in this contest, which ought to be a
1 Vid. Schriftb. i. 556, and, as an explanation, Erlanger Zeitschr. 1860, pp. 82-84.
1 Romerhrief, p. 250, Anm.; comp. Dogm, iii. 228. 'Vid. Preger's work on Flacius, ii. 218.
constant victory, a mournful powerlessness of good purposes remaining unaccomplished throws its long dark shadows, as we are compelled to avow in daily contrition, on every evening self-examination. The separate representation of this light and this twilight aspect in ch. vii. and viii., depends certainly upon an abstraction; but this abstraction, far removed from being, according to Schott's1 expression, a casus non dabilis, is perfectly justified in the history of redemption, inasmuch as the description in ch. vii. corresponds to the Old Testament condition under the law; and is experimentally justified, inasmuch as this Old Testament condition is overcome in us, but not so annulled that it does not constantly from time to time, in conformity with its general ethical nature, intrude into our actual present state, i.e. the being and walking in Christ. The abstraction, therefore, only subsists in separate consideration of that which in concreto, unfortunately, is only too manifoldly involved together."2
The unhappy disunion which the apostle depicts is, moreover, not foreign to the regenerate. Even he is still aapiavos, for his body is not yet spiritual. Even he is ire-npafievos inrb rrjv afxaprlav; for, so long as we are compelled to implore the forgiveness of our sins daily, yea hourly, we are still, as it were, fettered to sin. But this disunion is not the Christian's entire, not the Christian's proper and true present condition, but only its twilight background, which is still waiting for its perfect enlightenment. He bears in himself also a principle of new life, which, peaceful in itself, floats over that disunion. This new life is inwoven in his vow, which desires the good: it has its place in the Tvevfia rov vow avrov (Eph. iv. 23, comp. 1 Pet. iii. 4), and subsists in the God-resembling nature which there is once more enlivened and realized by actual communication of the irvevfia of Christ. Here there has broken forth to him a light eminent above the sorrowful disunion, that is not to be done away in this mortal state; a light, moreover, which shall become a glorification even for his corporeity. His Ego that desires God's will, knows already that it is redeemed, in that it is removed away from the body of sin and death, into the divine, God-resembling life-principle of the spirit which is exalted above 1 Rbmerbrkf, p. 276.
s Fid. Thomasius, Dogm. i. 276, and Harless, Ethik, p. 45.
the <f>dopa, i.e. sin and death (eV rat dif>ddprq> rod trvevfiaTo<;, 1 Pet. iii. 4). It has received Christ's Spirit as the principle in which it dwells and takes root,—as the sphere in which it feels itself living, enfranchised, satisfied, and thus even here below blessed,—as the power by which it is impelled and empowered to rule over sin, and to act in a way that shall be pleasing to God.1
This is the twofold condition of the Christian, the unabolished dualism, or, as we may say, following Scripture testimony still more closely, the unabolished antinomy. The state described in ch. vii. 14-24, and that described ch. viii. 5-17, are involved in one another, as the apostle says, in a way that is altogether unmistakeable, in ch. vii. 256 and viii. 1. The Christian is not privileged to experience the latter state, without at times also being compelled to experience the former; and he does not experience the former, without being able to patiently wait for the latter, (but of pure and unqualified grace.) If he withdraws himself into the irvevfia of lwis vow, where, by communication of Christ's Spirit, is laid the foundation of a new man, there subsists a wall of separation between him and the unblessed disunion: he enjoys righteousness, life, and peace; and he performs holy deeds from
1 As a sketch of what is stated in the section of the Epistle to the Romans just explained, occurs Gal. v. 16-18. In ver. 17, the disunion depicted in Rom. vii. 14-24 is declared; in vers. 16 and 18, the spiritual elevation above that disunion, which the New Testament standing of grace makes possible. Hvsi/tx, in ver. 17, is inclusively of the vov;, generally the internal nature of the man, so far as it is defined by the divinely originated beginning of a new personal life. In a similar connection, Peter says even (1 Pet. ii. 11) ypvxri. By the latter as by the former denomination, is meant the spiritual-psychical internal nature of the man, not as it is by nature, but through grace by the power of the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ. "The power of sin," strikingly says H. W. Rinck, agreeing with us in the interpretation of Rom. vii., "which before had its citadel in the spirit and in the soul, is broken and forced back into the flesh. It certainly has still an existence in the soul: it is busy in the lower life of the soul, and reaches even into the spirit, and pollutes body, soul, and spirit; but the new Ego, the new man, ever overcomes it anew, and—what we especially insist on here, in conformity with Rom. vii.—it remains uninvolved with sin, even although sin exercises a power that is still often victorious. The innermost Ego, when it is renewed by the Holy Spirit, remains separated from sin, and subsists in constant struggle with it, until, after many defeats and victories, it finally has possession of the field."
this centre,—deeds which indeed are not without any blot, but still are accepted before God as holy, because they have their origin and nature from the Spirit of His Son, the beloved one. The corporeity with its members (awfia and fieKn) is not yet spiritual, but fleshly, darkened by sin and death: the nous is involved in a struggle for the light, in favour of which it has decided against the darkness, and is imprisoned in the neverresting struggle; but the spirit of the nous is redeemed from darkness and contest in Christ the Redeemer. Here the Christian has his life-ground, and therefore he is no longer iv Tjj aapKl (ch. viii. 9). In the forecourt is the darkness of death (to awfia veKpbv 8' dfiapriav, ch. viii. 10); in the holy place the light glimmers through the darkness with which it struggles (ch. vii. 23; Gal v. 17); in the holiest of all are enthroned righteousness, life, peace (ch. viii. 6, 10): there is the gentle stillness, which in 1 Pet. iii. 4 is said to be the essence of true womanhood: there is light, and thence come the fruits of light, or, which is the same thing, of the Spirit; for in the scriptural language, and even in the Pauline, irvtv/ju and <f>&s are one and the same thing1 (comp. /ta/jn-o? Tov <pwrbs, Eph. v. 9, with Kapirbs Tov iri,evfiares, Gal. v. 22).
We have now examined the fact of the life of regeneration. If we were to consider the fact of justification, and all the agencies and experiences of grace which are linked with this fundamental fact, we should overstep the limits of our science. Mindful, however, of the risk which we suggested to ourselves in the Prolegomena, we have only examined the fundamental facts and relations which proceed from the grace of God in Christ. Even these would not indeed fall into the domain of
1 The object of the spiritual affection, says J. H. Ursinus in his Tlieologia Mystica, is rest in God, that sleep of grace (somnus gratix) contrasted with the sleep of nature, by means of which the spirit enters as into a sacred gloom, so that in the closed eyes of the understanding (ihlellectus) it understands nothing else than God above all understanding: the will reposes from all desires, and the heart from all affections; and the peace of God embraces and encircles the whole new man, the peace which is higher than all reason, which passes all understanding. This repose is experienced more or less by all those whom the Spirit of God impels in the spirit of their mind (in spiritu mentis suse); but the struggle continues none the less, because sin continues to subsist in and around us: we taste the peace, but its full enjoyment awaits us in that home where God shall be all in all.
psychology, if grace only made an ethical alteration in the inner man; but they become the subject of psychology, by the fact that grace penetrates and changes fundamentally, newly creating and newly moulding, the natural pneumatico-psychical condition. The constitution of our pneumatico-psychical internal nature, in the condition of its integrity, in the state of the ruin that followed the fall, and in the state of the begun process of its restoration, is indeed not merely distinct superficially, but to its profoundest core. The human soul has a changeful history, within which its God-created substance continues to subsist indeed, undestroyed, although it passes through the most diverse kinds of phases and forms of being. Pursuing the history further, we now accompany the soul into the future state. Were it here only speculation that leads us where our own immediate experience ceases, it would be a daring and ineffectual attempt. But our guide is the divine revelation that is put before us in Scripture. To exhibit the psychological intimations presented by Scripture, and which are not limited to this present temporal state of things, but reach backwards and forwards into the everlasting spiritual world—this is our problem.