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Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO ROMANS 13\\

The principal things contained in this chapter, enjoined the saints,
are the duties of subjection to magistrates, love to one another,
and to all men, and temperance and chastity in themselves: it begins
with duties relating to the civil magistrates, requiring obedience
of everyone unto them, \\#Ro 13:1\\, and that for these reasons,
because the civil magistracy, or government, is by divine
appointment; wherefore to obey them in things of a civil nature, is
to obey God; and to resist them is to resist God; and also because
of the pernicious consequence of such resistance, damnation to
themselves, \\#Ro 13:2\\, for the magistrate not only causes terror by
penal laws, but he inflicts punishment on delinquents, and is the
executioner of God's wrath and vengeance on such, \\#Ro 13:3,4\\, and
likewise because of the profit and advantage to obedient subjects;
such not only have the good will and esteem of their rulers, and are
commended by them, but are defended and protected in their persons
and properties, \\#Ro 13:3,4\\, moreover, the apostle enforces the
necessity of subjection to them, not only in order to avoid
punishment, but to answer a good conscience; this duty being
according to the light of nature, and the dictates of a natural
conscience; which if awake, must be uneasy with a contrary
behaviour, \\#Ro 13:5\\, and for the same reason he urges the payment of
tribute to them, as well as on account of the reasonableness of it,
taken from magistrates spending their time, and using their talents,
in an attendance on the service of the public, \\#Ro 13:6\\, and which
is further confirmed by the general rule of justice and equity, or
of doing that which is just and right to everyone, of which
particulars are given, \\#Ro 13:7\\, and then after a general
exhortation to pay all sorts of debts owing to superiors, inferiors,
or equals, the apostle passes to the debt of love owing to one
another, and to all mankind; which is exhorted to on this
consideration, that the performance of it is a fulfilling the law,
\\#Ro 13:8\\, which is proved, by showing that the several precepts of
the law, of which an enumeration is given, are reducible to, and are
included in love to our neighbours as ourselves, \\#Ro 13:9\\, and since
it is the nature of love not to work ill, but to do good to the
neighbour, the conclusion follows, that it must be as asserted, that
love is the fulfilment of the law, and ought by all means to be
attended to, as a principal duty of religion, \\#Ro 13:10\\, next the
apostle proceeds to exhort the saints to a watchful, chaste, sober,
and temperate course of life; as being perfectly agreeable to the
privileges they enjoyed, to the present condition they were in, and
to that future state of happiness they were in expectation of: he
exhorts to be watchful and sober, and not indulge sleep and
slothfulness, in consideration of the time in which they were, and
with which they were acquainted, it being not night, but day; at
least the one was wearing off, and the other coming on; the time of
life being short, and the day of salvation approaching nearer and
nearer, \\#Ro 13:11,12\\, wherefore such actions should be done, as are
agreeable to the day, and not the night, to light, and not darkness;
and particularly such works of darkness are dissuaded from, which
are contrary to temperance and sobriety, as rioting, and
drunkenness; and to chastity, as chambering: and wantonness; and to
peace and concord, as strife and envying, which frequently follow
upon the former: and the chapter is concluded with an exhortation to
faith in Christ, and an imitation of him, expressed in a figurative
way by a metaphor, taken from the putting on of garments; and with a
dehortation from an immoderate provision for the flesh, so as to
promote, excite, and cherish, the lusts of it, \\#Ro 13:13\\.