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Numerous christian societies had been forined in various parts by the labours and ministry of Paul; and several such in Galatia : Acts xvi. 1.; xviii. 23. The members of these societies or churches were chiefly Gentiles, who had been called to forsake their idols and to believe in the Lord Jesus. Some Jewish zealots had come among them, and maintained, that they could not be saved unless they were circumcised according to the law of Moses. To establish this sentiment, they asserted that the authority of Paul was not equal to that of Peter, and other apostles of the circumcision. Paul vindicates his own authority, and naintains thal he who submitted to circumcision, became obliged to perform the whole law, and did in effect renounce the gospel ; the grand peculiarity of which is justification by faith, without the works of the law. This he establishes by sound argument.
ther; but there are some that trouble you, A D. 58. Paul wonders that they should so soon desert him and the gospel ;
and desire to pervert the gospel of Christ. solemnly condemus any other gospel, and shows how he wus called to the But though we, or an angel from heaven, 8 apostleship.
preach any gospel to you besides that which 1 Paul, an apostle, (not from men, nor by we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, As we have said already, so I now say again, 9 2 who' raised him from the dead ;) And all If any one preach any gospel to you besides
the brethren that are with me, to the churches that which ye have received, let him be ac3 of Galatia: Grace be to you, and peace from cursed. For do I now endeavour to gain the 10
God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus favour of men, or God? or do I seek to please 4. Christ: Who gave himself for our sins, that men? for if I still pleased men, I should not
he might deliver us from this present evil be the servant of Christ.
world, according to the will of our God and But I declare to you, brethren, that the Il 5 Father: To whom be glory for ever and ever. gospel which was preached by me is not acAmen.
cording to man. For I neither received it 12 I wonder that ye are so soon removed from from man, nor was I taught it, but by the him that called you through the grace of revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard 13 7 Christ to another gospel : Which is not ano- of my former behaviour in the Jewish religion,
CHAP. I. 1-5. From men. Originally; not from the suggestion or instruction of men, nor by the instrumentality of any man; but by Christ himsell, and as lie is one with the Father, by his will and act also. Gave him self for, $c. Gave up himself a sacrifice for our sins. This present evil, &c. Some render, “this present evil age." Doubtless the apostle refers to the persons and manners of that period, and calls them eril, as they were in a high degree, Gentiles being given up to idols and the most degrading vices, and the Jews being no Better.
6. Him that calind you, &c. With Dr. Chandler, Doddridge, and others, I refer this to tha apostle; and as the proper translation of 1% xagoti is “by or through the grace of Christ," as it is rendereil, 2 Cor. i. 12, and 2 Thess. ii. 16; the apostle only speaks of himself as the instrumeut which Christ had enployed in this work of morey.
7. Which is not another. Having called the opinion of the Judaizing teachers, “another gospel," probably using their boasting language, he corrects such a statement, by leaving his reader to supply what he jutended; namely, what they maintain and preach is not another gospel, but a perversion of the gospel of Christ.
8-10. Angel from henven. This is supposing a strong case by way of illustration ; and the repetition of it shows how much the apostle felt the importance of the subject. -- Endeavour to gain, &c. For this sonse of mulix see Acts xii. 20.; xiv. 19, and the authorities in Schleusner. 'Do I endeavour to gain the favour of men by any unworthy compliances? If I did I should uot be the faithful scrvant of Christ.
11,1?. According to man. It is not of man's invention, nor was I taught 2. What a wonderful and lasting change does divine grace make greater triumphs.
Christ revealed to Paul.
GALATIANS II. He preached him to Gentiles. that I exceedingly persecuted the church of things which I write to you, behold, before 14 God, and laid it waste : And I made a pro- God, I lie not.) Afterwards I came into the 21
ficiency in the Jewish religion above many regions of Syria and Cilicia; And I was un- 22 of the same age in my own nation, being more known by face unto the churches of Judea
exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my which were in Christ : But they had only 23 15 forefathers. But when it pleased God, who heard, “That he, who formerly persecuted
separated me from my mother's womb, and us, now preached the faith which he once 16 called me by his grace, To reveal his Son destroyed.”. And they glorified God on ac- 24
to me, that I might preach him among the count of me. Gentiles; I did not immediately confer with
CHAPTER II. 17 tlesh and blood : Nor did I go up to Jeru
salem to those who were apostles before me; A. D. 58. Paul mentions his second journey to Jerusalem, and the reason but I went into Arabia, and returned unto
of it; blames Peter, and slates the doctrine of justification by faith, ge. 18 Damascus. Then, after three years, I went
Then, after fourteen years, I went up again 1 to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took with 19 fifteen days. But I saw no other of the apostles, me Titus also. . And I went up by revelation, 2 20 except James the Lord's brother. (Now the and communicated to them that gospel which
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER 1.
1. With what entire satis in the heart and life of its subjects! It reveals Christ to those who facrion should we receive the gospel, which Paul preached.
were strangers to him; and induces them to confess their past ignorance not his own invention; nor did he derive his knowledge of it, or his and destructive errors, with frankness and holy sorrow. li turns the commission to preach il, from men, however wise, groal, or good; but greatest bigots, and those most wedded to prejudices and false opinidirectly, and in a wonderful manner, he received it bosh from the Lord ons, into bumble believers; and even subdues the crost inveterale Jesus, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. How eneuries, and brings them to cry to Jesus, "Lord, what wouldst thou important is the death of our Lord, when the design and blessed fruits have us to do.". It has often converted enmity into love, and conof it are considered. He gave up himself for our sins, according to strained the cruel persecutor, 10 become the zealous preacher of the the will of our God and Father ; he gave up himself, a victim to in- faith. Pride and selfishness, by grace, have yielded to the most profound l'ensed justice, that by his vicarious sufferings, we might be pardoned humility, and the most generous and diffusive benevolence. Through and delivered from this present evil world. This is the grand leading grace, that Jesus who was despised and rejected, becomes so dear and truth of the gospel ; of that gospel which is worthy of all acceptation, precious, that all carnal interests are sacrificed at the call of duty for and which Paul so faithfully and so forcibly preached, and which he so his sake. In Paul's own account of himself we have a proof of these gorously defended against all opposers. With what solemnity does truths; and in every such instance of efficacious grace, the churches of he speak against such as attempted to subvert it! Let us then cordi- Christ rejoice, and glorify God. They ascribe to him the glory of ally believe it, and guard against those errors which are subversive of it. producing such effects ; and they are all encouraged to hope for still
it hy any man, but received it by immediate revelation from Christ, as the that related, Acts ix. 26–30, Paul must have laboured some time in Arabidas following faets will testify.
well as at Damascus. He abode with Peter fifteen days; but all the other 14. Traditions, &c. Not only being more zealous for the law of Moses, apostles, except James, were then employed in their different missions. but for all the traditions which had been mixed with it, as of the same divine 20—24. I lie not. I write only what is true. On his departure from authority.
Jerusalem be first went into Syria, and then into his own dative country, Cili. 15. Separated me, &c. Who had io his secret and holy purpose ap- cia. During all this period he was personally unknown to the churches in pointed me to the office of an apostle from my very birth. See Jerem, i. 5. Judea ; but they having heard of his wonderful conversion and labours, glori
16. To reveal his Son, $c. To discover bim to me in the way to Damas. fied God on bis accouyt. cus, as risen from the dead, and as being most glorious, and to convince me CHAP. II. 1. Fourteen years after. Most probably, not after his first that he is the Messiah and Saviour, that I might preach him to the Gentiles ; 1 || journey, but after his conversion. He went to consult the apostles and church did not, after that, consult any man, respecting the gospel, or my duty as to about the freedom of the Gentiles from Jewish rites. Acts xv. 2, &c. preaching it.
2. By revelation. Either communicated to himself or to some other 17. Into Arabia. We bave no account of this journey in Acts ix. It is teacher or prophet.—But privately. To the apostles and elders, because probable that Paul having tarried a few days at Damascus with the brethren, many of the Jewish believers could not bear the doctrines, that Gentiles bad and preached Christ, then withdrew into Arabia to exercise bis ministry, a right to admission into the christíau church, and that all converts were and after some time returned to Damascus, where what is related, Acts ix. 23, exempted from their rites.--Should run, &c. Lest if the apostles sbould 24, occurred.
oppose my sentiments as to this particular, I sbould have laboured in rain, 18. After three years. From the time of his conversion. If this visit is and the progress of the gospel should be impeded.
Conduct of some Jews.
Peter and Barnabas blamed. I preach among the Gentiles; but privately the poor; which very thing I was earnest also
to those who were of reputation, lest I should to do. 3 run, or had run, in vain. But not even Titus, But when Peter had come to Antioch, I
who was with me, being a Gentile, was com- withstood him to his face, because he was to 4 pelled to be circumcised : And that because be blamed. For before some persons came 12
of false brethren artfully introduced, who had from James, he ate with the Gentiles : but come in privily to spy out our freedom which when they had come, he withdrew and
we have in Christ Jesus, that they might separated himself, fearing those of the circum5 bring us into bondage:
To whom we did cision. And the other Jews also dissembled 13 not give place by subjection, no, not for an with him ; so that. Barnabas likewise was car
hour'; that the truth of the gospel might con- ried away by their dissimulation. But when 14 6 tinue with you. But concerning those who I saw that they walked not uprightly, accord
seemed to be something, (whatsoever they ing to the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter, were, it maketh no matter to me: God ac- in the presence of them all, “ If thou, being cepteth no man's person: for) they who seemed a Jew, live according to the manner 'of the
to be something, in conference added nothing Gentiles, and not according to that of the 7 to me: But, on the contrary, when they saw Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to
that the gospel of the uncircumcision was live like the Jews? We, who are Jews by 15
committed to me, as the gospel of the cir- nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Know- 16 8 cumcision was to Peter; (For he that wrought ing that a man is not accounted righteous by
effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus
circumcision, the same wrought powerfully Christ; even we have believed in Jesus Christ, 9 in me towards the Gentiles :) And when that we might be accounted righteous by faith
James, Peter, and John, who seemed to be in Christ, and not by the works of the law : pillars, perceived the grace that was bestow- for by the works of the law shall no flesh be ed on me, they gave to me and Barnabas the accounted righteous. But if, while we seek to be 17 right hands of fellowship; that we should go accounted righteous by Christ, we ourselves are
to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision. still found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister 10 Only they would that we should remember of sin? By no means. For if I build again 18
3-5. Titus, who, &c. Paul took Titus, a believing Gentile, as his com. panion, to show what was his opinion about consorting with Gentile converts; por was he compelled to be circumcised. Paul would not suffer it, to gratify some false brethren, who had crept in among them, for the purpose of discovering their opinions and exposing them. From Acts xv. 1, 2, 24, we learn that these false brethren were Pharisees. The reason why the apostle resisted was, to maintain the freedom of Cbristians, as such, from all Mosaic rites and obsersances,
6–10. To be something. Men of eininence, as were the apostles and elders at Jerusalem. These in conference added nothing to his kuowledge, or authority; but on learning bis success in preaching to the Gentiles, they concluded that Christ had entrusted hins with the gospel for the benefit and salvation of the Gentiles, as he had Peter with it for the cop version of the Jews, - -Pillars. The leading men among the apostles.---- The poor. The poor Christians who were at Jerusalem, and in Judea. See Rom. xv. 26, and 2 Cor. ix 1, &c.
11-13. Blumed. For not acting according to his own convictions, and the revelation which had been made to him. See Acts x. aud xi. From James. This apostle abode at Jerusalem, and the persons who came from him were Jewish believers, who were zealous for the law. Peter being afraid of exciting their prejudices, withdrew from that friendly intercourse with the Gentile converts, which he had before majatajned, and all the other Jews followed his example.
14. Not uprightly. This shows that the apostles were not perfect cha-, racters; but when not under the powerful influence of the Spirit, were Jiable to fall, and become guilty of an unsuitable behaviour. According to the manner of the Gentiles Eating with them, and of food which, to a Jew, is unclean. Why do you this at one time, and then at another, refusing to eat with them, and by so doing wish to lead the Gentiles to believe that Jewish rites are yet to be observed; these very rites which you yourselves occasionally disregard? How inconsistent is this conduct! For we, who are Jews by nature, born so, &c.
16. Even we have believed, &e. And if it be necessary for us to believe in Christ for justification, it is manifest that we neither are, nor can be, justified by the observance of the law; and why then should we attempt to impose it on the Gentiles, sioce by the works of the law shall no flesh, &c. Rom. iji. 20.; iv. 15, &c.
17. Are still found sinners. And need the aid of the law to justify us, to secure our pardon and acceptance, then indeed is pot Christ the ininister of sin, leaving those who believe in him under it, and subject to all its conse, quences ? By no means. This question implies the apostle's indignation at such a thought.
18. If I build again, &c. Paul speaks ip his own person, but includes Peter and the other preachers of the gospel. If we re-establish the law and its rites as necessary to salvation, which, by our decree at Jerusalem and our preaching, we have declared not to be binding, we prove ourselves transgret
The use of the law.
GALATIANS III. Believers children of Abraham. the things which I destroyed, I make my-dently set forth [among you) as crucified? Thiš 2 19 self a transgressor. For I through the law, only I desire to learn from
the have died to the law, that I might live unto Spirit by the works of the law, or by the 20 God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless hearing of faith? Are ye so unwise ? having 3
I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me : and begun with the Spirit, are ye now made perthe life which I now live in the flesh I live by fect by the tlesh? Have ye suffered so many 4
the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, things in vain? if it be indeed in vain. He 5 21 and gave himself for me. I do not make void therefore that ministered to you the Spirit,
the grace of God: for if righteousness for ac- and wrought miracles among you, did he it by ceptance come by the law, then Christ died in the works of the law, or by the hearing of vain.
faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and 6
it was accounted to him in order to righteousCHAPTER III.
Know therefore that those who are of 7 A. D. 58. Paul interrogates them respecting their attachment to the law; faith, are the children of Abraham. And the 8 shows that men are justified by faith, and blessed with believing Abraham.'
scripture, foreseeing that God would account 1 O unwise Galatians, who hath imposed on you, the Gentiles righteous through faith, proclaim
• before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evi-ed before glad tidings to Abraham, saying,
1. o that ye should not obey the truth. Griesb. Mss. versions, Fathers. REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER 11.' I. With what prudence of any kind. If we have a just sense of our sins, we are convinced did the apostle make known the blessed gospel in all its extent and that by the deeds of the law, which we have so often transgressed, we freeness! Peculiarly instructed in the abolition of Jewish ceremonies, cannot be justified or accounted and treated as righteous. On the other and properly regarding them as of no saving efficacy, lie would nu hand, we cannot but conclude, that the law in case of the least failure, further submit 10 them than it might be necessary to conciliate the pre- instead of a quirting, condemns us; and we deserve, and, unless grace judiced, and to avoid giving offence. He knew that many who had prevent, must suffer the righteous penalty of it. Thus through the believed, thought the law binding, and that they wished to impose the law, we become dead to all hope and expectation of being saved by it; observance of it on Gentile converts ; but this he resisted in the case and thankfully look to the atoning blood and perfect obedience of of Tirus, With what evidence did he support the divine authority of Christ, as the divinely appointed ground of hope, and as being perbis office, as equal to that of Peter or of any other apostle. And fectly adequate to secure the final happiness of all who trust in him. when he found Peter and others not walking consistently, he boldly In this manner we live by faith in Christ, as having loved us and given reproved them, and unanswerably proved that even they admitted, that himself for us! And in this method of saving us how gloriously is the observance of the law could not be the ground of their pardon and divine grace displayed! Without any works of ours, but solely out of acceptance to life, as they had believed in Christ that they might enjoy regard 10 what Christ has done and suffered, we are forgiven and these inestimable blessings. Nor did they, nor could they, make any accepted to eternal life. Let us never then endure any sentiment feasible reply to this statement.
which would make void this interesting and all-important doctrine of 2. We should learn from the conduct of Paul, to contend earn. grace; nor for a moinent admit that Christ died in vain, or shed his estly for justification by faith in Christ, in opposition to that hy works blood for nought.
sors by deceiving others. But I solemnly, for myself, declare, that through a full knowledge of the law, I have died to the law as affording me any ground of justification ; and in consequence have believed in Christ, that I may live unto God.
20. Crucified with, &c. See note, Rom. vii. 4.- - Nevertheless I live. Having been raised with him, by the work of bis Spirit; yea, Christ lives in me, as I lead my present life by faith in him, as having loved me, and given up himself for me.
21. Come by the law, &c. If this blessing could be obtained by our moral obedience, or by any ceremonial observances, the death of Christ would have been in vain, and the grace of God in the gospel made void and destroyed.
CHAP. III. 1. Imp.osed on you. As if by power of magic, as the word ignifies. "Griesbach rejects the words in the inner margin, as they are wanting in many of the best mss. as well as several versions and fathers; and the Words among you are very doubtful. The sense is complete without them.
Before whose eyes. Paul had exhibited the person of the Saviour in so lively a manner to them, and especially his crucifixion, that they might be considered as haviug seen him giving up himself for them.
2–5. The Spirit In his gifts and graces, as the spirit of adoption, and the earnest of glory. Did you receive this by the works of the law or by,&c.
Raviny begun, 8c. With receiving the Spirit bỳ the gospel, do you now seek to be perfect by the flesh, by carnal ordinances, soch as the law enjoine? Middleton considers
and omine as used adverbially, for sspiritually and carnally."--If it be yet in vain. They had suffered much on account of the gospel; and if they could not be saved by it, they bad suffered in vain.
-He that ministered, &c. Paul doubtless speaks of himself, as baring con ferred the Spirit in his gifts, and wrought miracles among them; and this was not done by the law, but by faith; by the faith of hina who communicated, and of you who received these blessiugs.
7. Who are of faith. Or " who have faitl," are the children of Abraham; his spiritual seed. See Rom. iv. 10--18.
Covenant with Abraham.
GALATIANS III. The end and design of the law. 9 « In thee shall all nations be blessed." So
and thirty years after, cannot disannul, so as to then those that are of faith are blessed with make the promise of no effect. For if the 18 10 faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the inheritance be by the law, it is no more by
works of the law are under a curse: for it is promise: but God gave it to Abraham by prowritten, “Cursed is every one that continueth mise. To what purpose then was the law? It 19
not in all things which are written in the book was added because of transgressions, till the 11 of the law, to do them.” But that no man seed should come to wbom the promise was
is accounted righteous by the law in the sight made; and the law was given, through the
of God, is evident: for, “ The righteous by ministry of angels, by the hand of a mediator. 12 faith, shall live.” Now the law is not of faith: [Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but 20
but, “ He that doeth them, shall live by them." God is one.] Is the law then against the pro- 21 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the mises of God ? By no means: for if a law had
law, having been made a curse for us : (for it been given which could have bestowed life,
is written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth verily righteousness would have been by the 14 on a tree:") That the blessing of Abraham law. But the scripture hath shut up all under 22
might come on the Gentiles through Jesus sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ
Christ; that we might receive the promise of might be given to those who believe. But 23 15 the Spirit by faith. Brethren, (I speak ac- before faith came, we were kept under the law,
cording to the manner of men ;) Though it shut up to the faith which should afterwards
be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, be revealed. So that the law was our guide 24 16 no man disannulleth it, or addeth to it. Now to Christ, that we might be accounted righte
to Abraham and his seed the promises were ous by faith. But now faith is come, we are 25 made. (He saith not, “ And to seeds,” as of
“ And to seeds,” as of no longer under a guide. For ye are all the 26 many; but as of one, " And to thy seed,” which children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For 27 17 is Christ.) And this I say, that the covenant, as many of you as have been baptized into
which was before confirmed by God in respect | Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither 28 to Christ, the law, which was four hundred Jew nor Gentile, there is neither bond nor
8. T'he scripture. Here foresight is attributed to the scripture, because it contained the promise mentioned. Gen. xxii. 18.
10. Of the rorks of the law. These are opposed to those who “are of faith," or who had faith in the divine promise, and expected mercy as promised. They must be denoted, who relying on their moral obedience, or ceremonial, had no faith in God's promise, and hence are in fact under a curse.
11. Is evident. By the testimony of the prophet. “For the just or righteous by faith, &c." Hebr. ii. 4. Rom. iii. 17.
12. The law is not of faith. It does not require faith, but works, por will it acquit a believer, but only such as perfectly keep it.
13, 14. Redeemed us, &c. By submitting to bear it in his own body on the tree, with the kind design that the “blessing of Abraham, &c.” This blessing is specified, that Gentiles, by believing, might receive the promised Spirit through Christ Jesus ; and thus be adopted as part of God's family.
15–19. A man's cournant. When duly ratified, is not altered in any respect; 60 we may expect the covenant made with Abraham to be literally fulfilled. For to him and his the promises were made. Not to all that sprang from him; but to his seed by Isaac; and the promises centre in one great person, the Lord Jesus. Now the law given so long after cannot be supposed to disaunul this prior covenant, which had so direct a reference to Christ.
18. The inheritance. Of the earthly Canaan to bis natural seed, and to his spiritual, that of life and happiness in heaven. See Rom. ir. 4, 14, &c. This was given to Abraham by promise; and his seed have ever enjoyed it as a gift, and not as a matter of debt due to them for obedience to the law.
18. To what purpose, &c. The apostle anticipates this objection. The seed should come, &c. To whom the promise had a special reference. Vol. III. PART XXIII.
-The ministry of angels. Acts vii. 53. Hebr. ij. 2. They attended God on Sinai, as his servants. -By the hand nf a mediator. Of Moses, who was the mediator between God and Israel, on the giving of the law.
20. Now a mediator, &c. A mediator supposes more parties than one; and of these parties the unchangeable God is one. As this verse thus explained, seems to have scarcely any bearing on the subject, I agree with Michaelis and others, in considering it a marginal gloss. I have included it in brackets.
21. Is the law then, &c. Is it inconsistent with the promises made to Abraham? By no means. I consider the law so excellent in itself, that if any law had ever been, or could be given, which would insure life, it would have been that which God gave at Sinai.
22. All under sin. See Rom. iii. 10, &c. All the world, both Jews and Gentiles.---That the promise. Of pardon and salvation through Christ, might be given to those who believe in him.
23. Faith came. The gospel, the doctrine of faith. -Kept under, &c. In the custody of the law, and from its rigour, hoping for the appearance of Messiah.
24-26. Our guide. A pedagogue, or one who conducts children to their exercises, &c. The law was thus our guide to Christ, by its moral precepts, types, and prophecies; and especially by showing the impossibility of attaining a justifying righteousness by it. But now faith, &c. The gospel has visited us, we no longer need the law as a guide. For by faith in Christ Jesus, &c.
27. Baplized, fc. Having submitted to this rite, you engaged to put on Christ. For the sense of “patting on Christ," see note, Rom. xii. 14.