« ПредишнаНапред »
* other medium but his Spirit conveyed to creating them, and living in them, by the word of
the gospel, the same gospel that was preach
ed to Abraham, and by which he lived: # and as they are thus born by the Spirit and.. 1 power of God, in the fulfilment of that
promise and grant of eternal life, they
veyed by his testament, they have a perDe fect right to the inheritance, and receive inst the kingdom which cannot be moved or it haken.
There is another resemblance mentioned 1 by the Apostle of a different kind, vers. borse 29. As he who was born after the flesh, pernü fecuted him who was born after the Spirit, so This is it now. What the Jews, the natural
descendents of Abraham, did to the Chrifastians in the Apostle's time, is well known.
They persecuted them even unto the death. de But we read nothing of Ishmael persecu
ting Ifaac in any other way, but that Sarah
very cruel fufferings which the children of God endured from the men of the world, The severe punishment which fell upon the children who mocked Elisha, stands as a caution to all ages, that even bare mocking the children of God is not to be counted a flight thing, when it stands fo high in God's reckoning.
The conclusion of that little history furnishes out (what it is likely the Apostle intended by applying it fo particularly to the case of the followers of Moses and the disciples of Christ) a striking warningpiece to the Galatians who were so trongly tempted to join the former. And those who are acquainted with human nature will readily agree, that it was likely to make a stronger impression than all his reasonings besides. He does not apply it at all, but lays the event before them just as it stands, and in the very words it is recorded; but he introduces ië in a manner that could hardly miss to engage their attention. What saith the scripture? Caft out this bond-woman and her fon; for the son of this bond-woman shall not be heir with my son. They are the words of Sarah ; but they have the fanction of God
himself, and carry the highest authority. He does not chuse to say how near the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple was; which effectually cast out that unhappy nation from God's family, and made their worship and observation of Moses's law quite impossible; but wisely leaves it to the Galatians themselves to gather from that event, what a hazard they run who joined themselves to those who have such a denunciation standing against them, and carries the same import with that folemn warning in another case, Come out of her, my people, left you partake in her plagues.
· This consideration is greatly improved .by what the Apostle adds as the conclu
fion of all. The argument is strong for getting out of that dangerous fociety; but it must be something worse than folly for those who were at liberty to run themselves into it. The Galatians were abundantly provided in Christ. They were children of the free woman, the children of God, and heirs of the inheritance. They could never better their condition
by any change they could make; and by ...what they were tempted to make, they gave up what they had, and had nothing,
. X x 2
or something worse than nothing, in its room, as we find the Apostle strongly proving in the next chapter.
1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ
hath made us free, and be not intangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ sall profit you nothing. 3. For I teftify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4. Christ is become of no effeĉt unto you, whofoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6. For in Jesus Christ, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.
T 7 Hether the words with which this
VV chapter begins should be called an exhortation or a command, is but of little consequence; as it is evidently an apostolical injunction or charge, and that carries all the authority of him who fent forth the apostles, and therefore requires the most serious attention. And feeing, as appears by the connection, it is founded in the accommodation, (whether made by the prophet Isaiah, or by the Apostle him
felf, is really a matter of no moment; for both had equal authority): but seeing the accommodation is made by those who had authority to do it; and as we are sure that the facts did not fall out by chance, but, as is plain from the history, under the special divine direction, there is good reason to think it was designed for this very purpose, and that the two mothers and their fons were an intended representation of the earthly and heavenly Jerusalem, the law of Moses, and the gospel of Christ. And therefore the Apostle had great reason to conclude, as he does, that all who believe in Jesus Chrift are free, and surely that freedom was well worth preferving'againstall attacks that might be made upon it, from whatfoever quarter they might come.
It may not be refused, that the Apostle's immediate intention was to secure his converts against the fnare laid for them by the false teachers, who wanted to bring them under the law of Moses. But as the liberty they were called into must have been the same which our Lord gives to his true disciples, John viii. 31. 32. the Apostle calls it the liberty wherewith Christ had set them free; and they must be free indeed whom the Son makes free ; it must therefore extend ve