Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

verf. 22. that he was not personally known to the churches of Judea which were in Chrift. They could have no acquaintance with him while he was persecuting them; their business then was, to keep as much as possible out of his way; and after his conversion, he was never among any of them, but at Jerusalem. They knew him only by report and hearsay; that he who formerly was the persecutor, was now a very zealous preacher of Christ. And the effect of it deserves our regard: They glorified God in him. Such was then the warmth of the Christians love to Christ, that nothing which concerned him was indifferent to them. And so strongly were they persuaded, that all things were of God, that they looked beyond the instruments, however eminent their gifts and success were; and to God they gave the glory of all: and very justly; for “all things are of “ God, who hath reconciled us to himself “ by Jesus Christ, and committed to this “ Apostle, and his associates, the mini“stry of reconciliation,” to pray and befeech a thoughtless world to be reconciled to God; which is the same thing as if

God

[ocr errors]

e God was doing it himself by his blessed - Son in person, 2 Cor. v. 18. et seqq. : 1. The term by which the Apostle ex# presses the subject of his preaching, in the

close of verf. 23. has occafioned no small contention among the learned part of the Christian world. He calls it the faith; and it seems that was the term then commonly used. As it is allowed by all, that it is the same with belief, the meanest

day-labourer knows, as well as the most E learned divine, that it is commonly used

to express what they believe, and the actual believing of it; or, as the schools speak, the act of believing, and its object; and can easily distinguish when the one or the other is to be understood by that word. And one cannot help saying, that the learned labours of those who have made it their business to explain it, have contributed more to darken a plain subject,

and perplex common understandings, than i to clear the important subject, which eve- ry man knows better than the most learn

ed can define it.

No man can believe or not believe what and when he pleases. He must perceive the thing to be true,' either by his own

observation,

UCI

obfervation, or the testimony of others. Never was there any testimony which de- · served half so much regard as that does which God has given us in the record we have in our hands. The facts recorded there are of two kinds; what God has done, and what he has promised to do. By the first, his eternal power and godhead are set before us in the only way we can come to the knowledge of him; that is, by such works and ways with his creatures as we can form fome notion of. By the second, we learn what we have to expect from him. And from both taken together, we may be enabled to form fuch? apprehensions of the divine character, as may shew us what measures of regard and duty we owe him. This is the Christian faith; and the belief of these facts is what makes a Christian. And believed they cannot be, without producing such measures of love to him, and confidence in him, as answer to the measures of our faith: and love is the fulfilling of the whole law; the whole of our obedience to his law being only the native effect and actings of love,

Chap. ii.

1

CHAP. I. 1. IO. ch: i. Then, fourteen years after, I went up again to Jerufalem, with Barnabas, and took Titus with me alfo. ,

2. And I went up by. revelation, and communicated,

unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gena 1 tiles, but privately to them which were of reputadi . tion, left' by any means I should run, or had run in

vain. 3. But neither Titus, who was with me, bea'.
ing a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 48.
And that because of false brethren unawares brought
in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty, which
we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us
into bondage. . 5. To whom we gave place by sub-
je&tion, no not for an hour; that the truth of the good
Spel might continue with you. 6. But of these, who
seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it
maketh no matter to me : God accepteth no man's pers.
Fon) for they who seemed to be somewhat, in confera
énce added nothing to mie: 7. But contrariwife; when
they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was
committed unto me; as the gospel of the circumcision
was unto Peter; 8. (For he that wrought effectual-
ly in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the
fame was mighty in me towards the Gentiles ). 9.
And when James; Cephas, and John, who seemed to
be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto
me; they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of
fellowship; that we foould go unto the Heathen, and
they' unto the circumcision. 10. Only they would that
we should remember the poor; the same which I also
was forward to do.

THE Apostle here continues the ac

I count he had begun to give of himself in the foregoing chapter; and with

VOL. III.

K

[ocr errors]

the

the same views too, viz. to satisfy the Galatians, that he had not the gospel he. preached from men, but by direct revelation; that he had been steady and uniform in the profession of every point of it; and particularly in that which the new teachers had brought into dispute;, and was supported in it by Peter himself, whose authority they pretended, and all the rest of the apoftles and elders of the church of Jerusalem, folemnly convened on this very question.

I said, folemnly convened, because so they were, by the account the Apostle gives of them. But especially that it seems to be the very same journey which Barnabas and he took to Jerufalem, together with other brethren sent from the church of Antioch; as we had occasion to observe in the entry on this epistle. It is true, there was no mention of Titus by name; but neither have we the names of any other brethren who went along with them. He might well enough have been supposed to have been one of them, had not he told us here, that he took Titus with him; which seems to say, that it was by his choice that he went. And it

would

« ПредишнаНапред »