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done, and undertaken to do, they could not be saved, unless they were circumcised after the manner of Moses, and kept his law. ; Our translators, following the punctuation in some Greek copies, have made the Apostle say what is at least very hard : to make good sense of, in a consistency with truth, That Jesus was set before the eyes of the Galatians crucified among them. We need not spend words to find a sense wherein this may hold true. It is certain he was crucified at Jerusalem, not in Galatia ; neither does the Apostle say he was, in any sense whatsoever; but only that Christ crucified was plainly set before their eyes in that gospel which Paul preached to them. Nor is there any the least confu= fion in the words of the text, except what is occafioned by placing a comma where it was not wanted, by which crucified is joined with among you, when the Apostle evidently connects among you with set forth, and crucified with Jesus Chrift. And thus literally his words express the plain fact as it was.
We have already seen the Apostle fetting the whole affair of Christ, and him
VOL. III. T crucified,
crucified, in so clear a light, that it will be needless to say any thing further, but to take the whole, as the Apostle does, for very truth, and on which he founds his charge, and his after reafoning on the case before him. Only, from the peculiar stress the Apostle here, and every where in his writings, lays upon the cross of Christ, one cannot help observing, that the proper standing for taking a fair and full view of Christ is at his cross. Thence one is naturally led to look backward, to fee who he was, and how he came there: A prospect which displays, in the strongest light, his and his heavenly Father's astonishing love and kindness to mankind. And when we look forward to his resurrection, and the glory that followed, the grounds of our faith and hope in him, and in God through him, are laid fo deep and strong, that it is really astonishing how one can see him as he is set before us in the gospel, without the warmeft fenti'ments of gratitude and love, and such thorough confidence in him, as the most perfect friendship, demonstrated by the strongest proofs and evidence, deserves
and requires. Christianity is a religion of love. . This gives the key to what the Apostle had said of their not obeying the truth; and, as the world goes, it will be thought no improper question, What is that truth the Apostle speaks of? There are many: little ones : for there are as many truths as: there are facts; and men, even those who are called wise men or philosophers, have been so keen in the pursuit of them, that they have overlooked that which only deserves the name, When our Lord "wita “ nesled a good confession before Pontius “ Pilate,” as it is expressed 1 Tim. vi. 13. he said, that he was born and came into the world to bear witness to the truth. Pilate alked him, what is truth? but had not patience to stay for an answer: nor needed he; for Christ had acknowledged himself to be the King of the Jews; the same he had often repeated and inculcated during the course of his public ministry. He gives the whole of it in few words, John xiv. 6. I am the truth. He joins with it indeed, the way, and the life ; not as if they were different things, as, the one holds forth the use of the truth, (as by him men come to the Father), and the other the tendency and issue of it: for they who have him have life. And with great justice does he bear the title of truth; for whosoever knows him, knows all that is worth knowing. There are indeed numbers of detached pieces which do, or which some people persuade themselves do belong to religion, and in that view, have been rather more minded : but this we may say with confidence, that whatever is not ne, cessarily connected with the truth as it is in Jesus, or which can be learned and practised without learning Christ, ought not, and may not, be received as the truth, or any part of it. Men will needs be dressing out the naked truth to their own fancy, or to recommend it to others, perhaps more ignorant, and of course more fanciful, than themselves ; but the beauty and efficacy of the truth never appear in their full strength when the plain fimplicity of all is any how defaced. The Apostle John's account of the testimony of God is short plain, and stands evident in Christ: “ In him he gives eternal life.” But so strangely has it been imbarrassed by those who have taken upon themselves to explain it, that a Christian of ordinary
capacity knows not what to make of it, but that it is something greatly above his reach, and which none but very learned men can understand. Whence it necessarily follows, that instead of taking the truth as it lies in Christ, plain and undisguised, they are led to take up with whąt this, or the other man, whom they are some how led into an esteem of, have said upon it. And thus, as the prophet says, “ they steal the word of the Lord “ one from another." ;
We are next to consider what our translators render obeying the truth; and properly enough if it be taken in its full extent, Thus, to obey the truth, must imply believing it: and, in the next place, to be so throughly persuaded of the goodness as well as the reality of it, as to acquiesce and rest in it with that pleasure and delight which the assurance of important and be neficial truths certainly form the heart into: and both these the word the Apostle uses naturally signifies. But though there are a number of merely fpeculative little truths, which can answer no purpose by the most certain knowledge of them, but to amuse, and, as commonly happens, to