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EXPLANATORY AND PRACTICAL,
EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS
BIBLE-CLASSES AND SUNDAY-SCHOOLS.
BY ALBERT BARNES.
NINTH EDITION, REVISED AND CORRECTED.
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
82 CLIFF STREET.
ENTERED according to the act of the Congress of the United States, A. D. 1834, by ALBERT BARNES, in the office of the Clerk of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
THE Epistle to the Romans has been usually regarded as the most difficult portion of the New Testament. It is from this cause, probably, as well as from the supposition that its somewhat abstruse discussions could not be made interesting to the young, that so few efforts have been made to introduce it into Sunday Schools and Bible Classes. It will doubtless continue to be a fact, that Sunday School instruction will be confined chiefly to the historical parts of the Bible. In the Sacred Scriptures there is this happy adaptedness to the circumstances of the world, that so large a portion of the volume can thus be made interesting to the minds of children and youth; that so much of it is occupied with historical narrative; with parables; with interesting biographies of the holy men of other times, and with the life of our blessed Lord. But still, while this is true, there is a considerable portion of the youth, in various ways under the instruction of the Bible, who may be interested in the more abstruse statements and discussions of the doctrinal parts of the Holy Scriptures. For suchfor Sunday School teachers; for Bible Classes; and for the higher classes in Sabbath Schools, these Notes have been prepared. The humble hope has been cherished that this epistle might be introduced to this portion of the youth of the churches; and thus tend to imbue their minds with correct views of the great doctrines of the Christian Revelation.
This object has been kept steadily in view. The design has not been to make a learned commentary; nor to enter into theological discussions; nor to introduce, at length, practical reflections; nor to enter minutely into critical investigations. All these can be found in books professedly on these subjects. The design has been to state, with as much brevity and simplicity as possible, the real meaning of the sacred writer; rather the results of critical inquiry, as far as the author has had ability and time to pursue it, than the process by which those results were reached. The design has been to state what appeared to the author to be the real meaning of the Epistle, without any regard to any existing theological system; and without any deference to the opinions of others, further than the respectful deference and candid examination, which are due to the opinions of the learned, the wise, and the good, who have made this epistle their particular study. At the same time that this object has been kept in view, and the reference to the Sabbth School teacher, and the Bible Class, has given cha racter to the work, still it is hoped that the expositions are of such a nature as not to be uninteresting to Christians of every age and of every class. He accomplishes a service of no little moment in the cause of the church of God, and of truth, who contributes in any degree to explain the profound argument, the thorough doctrinal discussion, the elevated views, and the vigorous, manly, and masterly reasonings of the Epistle to the Romans.
Of the defects of this work, even for the purpose contemplated, no one will probably be more deeply sensible than the author. Of the time and labor necessary to prepare even such brief Notes as these, few persons, probably, are aware. This work has been prepared amidst the cares and toils of a most responsible pastoral charge. My brethren in the ministry, so far as they may have occasion to consult these Notes, will know how to appreciate the cares and anxieties amidst which they have been prepared. They will be indulgent to the faults of the book; they will not censure harshly what is well-meant for the ri sing generation; they will be the patrons of every purpose, however humble, to do good.