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that called them, the other differences would be easily adjusted. .
Some interpreters of great note have imagined, that the Apostle means himself, as by his ministry they were called, and brought into the grace of Jesus Chrift; and that the matter of his complaint was, that they were, by their new teachers, drawn off from that love and respect they had shown to him and his doctrine, when he was among them. And they think themselves pretty strongly supported by what he says, chap. iv. 12. et seqq. But it is hard to believe, that such a man as Paul, who would not allow any thing done by him of all his labours to be owing to himself, but to the Spirit and grace of God in him; that such a man should introduce himself into such a solemn scene as that which he here presents to the Galatians. What he says of himself any where through this epistle, is evidently designed to support his character against the false teachers, who waited to sink his credit, that they might the more easily destroy what he had taught them. .
But if we reflect what the calling is which he here' speaks of, we will find,
that it is something of fo high a nature, that it never is, any where in the sacred record, nor indeed can be, attributed to any mere man whatsoever. It is, by the description the Apostle gives of it, such a calling as could bring those who were called out of the Gentile world, where they were lying dead in trespasses and sins, under the influence of that malignant fpi- : rit which works effectually in the children of disobedience; and instate them, or, in the same Apostle's phrase, give them a standing in the grace and favour of God, and a share in all the happy fruits and effects of it. This, it is evident, is what none but God has either any right or power to do. He indeed in ordinary cases doth make use of means and ministers; but their only business is, to hold forth the word of life, or God's call; but the excellency of the power is of God, i Cor. iii. 5. and 2 Cor. iv. 7. i : It must therefore be allowed, that they come nearer the truth who make Christ himself the caller he speaks of, and thus render the words, I marvel, that ye are so foon removing from Chrif, who hath called you. Those who understand the genius
of the language in which the Apostle wrote, will readily fee, that there is not the least violence done to his words by 'this construction. It is true indeed, what is objected, that throughout the scripture-record, the calling of finners is represented as the peculiar work of God: but it is as true, that whatever the Father does, the Son does also; and that all power in heaven and in earth is given into his hand; infomuch that in the whole business of bringing finners of mankind into his kingdom, the Father doth nothing but by the Son. All the fullness of grace and glory. is lodged in his hand, to raise the dead, and quicken whom he will.
Upon the whole, it appears to be of no moment, whether we take God absolutely considered, or Christ, to be the caller whom the Apostle means. Only the last feems to be most favoured by what he fays of the false teachers; that their great crimè lay in drawing off their disciples from Christ, to build on some other foundation; and seems to be greatly favoured by the state the Apostle gives of the cafe, viz. That they were removed from him that called them unto another gospel. This
plainly fays, that the term from which they removed was the gospel which Paul preached. It would be a very gross miftake, if any should think, what Paul in this epistle calls the gospel, was only that particular point, of Christians being freed from the yoke of the Jewish law, which they never were under. The gospel which he preached was the gospel of Christ; and called so, not only, or principally, because it was committed by him to his apostles to be published throughout the world, but because he was the subject of it, as we find this Apostle himself defining it, the gospel of God, or good news he has sent into the world, concerning his Son Jesus Christ, Rom. i. 1. 2. 3. And he tells us how he managed it, i Cor. iii. 10. Speaking of Christians as a building, he says, he laid the foundation fo as no man might lay another, which is Christ Jesus. On this foundation, therefore, he had pitched the Galatians; and to be removed from his gospel, was really the same thing as to be removed from Christ. And the word he uses seems designed to answer this view; or, which is the same thing, their standing in the grace of God: for no mar, can Vol.III.
stand there, but by standing, or being built up in Christ. Removing is too weak to express the import of it. It is taking any thing from one situation or place, and putting it in another, by some agent or other. The case exactly of these false teachers, who made it their business to shake them out of that place the gospel of Christ had put them in, their standing in Chrift, and to set them upon the law. Paul's gospel was, Believe in the Lord Jesus Chrift, and thou shalt be saved. They said not fo; For, unless a man be circun.cised after the manner of Moses, and keep his law, he cannot be saved.
But at the same time that the Apostle exposes the mad project their new teachers were upon, he treats the churches of Galatia with great tenderness and caution. He does not say, as our translators do, that they were actually removed, or had already left their standing in grace; but that they were removing; as we find him stating their case, chap. iv. 20.: that they were in such an unsettled way, gas made him stand in doubt of them. They were but new converts, and might easily be phaken by the bold pretenfions of those