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made their first attack upon him, as we.
had occasion to observe before on the A-
postle's vindication, chap. i. & ii. And
thus he might very pertinently fay, that.
all the zeal they put on for the Galatians,
was but an attempt to exclude him, and fe-
cure the affections of the Galatians to them-
felves. This is so much to the purpose
the Apostle had in view, and comes in so
naturally on what he had been saying of
the very great affection the Galatians had
shown to him, that some of the most jus
dicious interpreters have been determined
to chuse the second reading, us instead of .

But, after all, whatever it might håve
been to the Galatians, it is of very little
moment to us which of the two readings
should stand in this text, unless it be to put
us upon our guard against those who lie ini.
wait to deceive, and to set a mark upon
those who make no fcruple to attack the.
characters of men as good, if not bet-
ter than themselves, when they stand in
their way; a practice generally disclaimed,
but, alas! as generally practised. The A-
postle's decision on the case before him is a
good one, and will hold in every other case:
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is good to be zealously affected in a good thing, or in what is good ; this takes in both men and things; and, leaving the Apostle's word, as he has placed it, undetermined to either, makes it altogether unnecessary to enter into the reasons which have induced some very learned men to think that Paul here, in a very elegant manner, fets himself before the Galatians as the good man toward whom they were to be zealously affected. But the Apostle, they should have observed, changes the phrase he had used, when speaking of persons; and instead of zealously affecting them, he says, it is good to be zealously affected in good; which takes in the whole subject their zeal is to be employed in. What he adds of being so always, and not only when he was present with them, has been thought to point directly to Paul's person, whom they had poured so many blessings on when present. But on comparing Phil. ii. 12. it will appear, that this expression is as applicable to the whole duties of Christianity, as to this or any other particular. The Apostle had no ends of his own to serve by bespeaking their affection; and as the case then stood,


the cause of Christ and his were the same; and though he was one very proper object of their zeal; yet was he neither the only, nor even the principal one. It is likewise to be observed, that he had bur just in the preceding verse taxed the pretended zeal of their new teachers for their good; and pronounced it wrong, or not rightly and fairly managed, either as to matter or manner: on which it was very natural to give them a general direction for the right management of their own zeal, which fhould hold whether he was present or abfent.

And happy were it for the Christian world, if this rule were punctually observed. In reading the history of the church, it will be hard to say, whether what has gone, and still goes, under the name of zeal, has done most good or hurt to true religion? When regularly conducted by the Apostle's rule, it is the fervour of love to God and man, the very best thing: but how readily does it degenerate into that which the Apostle blames in the Judaizers, zeal for a party; and that again into what the fame Greek word is often used to denote, the very bittereft enmity; which naturally leads to what we find the A


postle cautioning these Galatians against, chap. 5. verf. 15. biting and devouring one another; all which would be avoided were it confined to what is good, whether persons or things.

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19. My little children, of whom I travail in birth an

gain, until Christ be formed in you. 20., I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice, for I stand in doubt of you. 21. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22. For it is written, that Abraham had two fons ; the one by a bond-maid, the other by a free-woman. 23. But he who was of the bond-woman, was born after the flesh: but he of the free-woman was by promise. 24. Which things are an allegory; for these are the two.covenants; the one from the mount Sinai; which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth

to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with " her children. 26. But Jerusalem which is above is

free, which is the mother of us all. 27. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren, that bearest not ; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not : for the defolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29. But as then he that was born after the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30. Nevertheless, what faith the scripture ? Call out the bond-woman and her fon ; for the fon of the bond

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woman' shall not be heir with the son of the free-wo-
man. 31. So then, brethren, we are not children of
the bond-woman, but of the free.

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THE Apostle being about returning

to the main subject of this epistle, and having some very home things yet to fay upon it, wisely prepares them for it: first, by recalling, as we have seen, to their remembrance the happy time when he first preached Christ to them, which he concludes with the most pathetic intimation of his very great love to them; and next by a very entertaining, as well as instructive, application of the hi-.'

story of Abraham's two sons, Ifaac and · Ishmael, to the case he was writing upon.

He finishes the very affecting view he was putting them in mind of, with one of the strongest expressions that could be made of his great concern for their welfare, and the ardency of his affection to them, verf. 18.; which one cannot let pass without observing the strong contrast between the Jewish zealots, and himself. They were very busy about them, and in all appearance affected with the greatest warmth pf zeal for their falvation, but with no


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