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they were to have nothing; and all the purpose that could have been answered, was, to deceive fools into a vain delusive hope, which they would never have entertained had they been so wise as to consider the extent of their own powers.
To be fully satisfied how justly the Apostle says, the Jerusalem from above is the mother of us all, some of our acutest critics observe, that the Apostle here joins himself with the Gentiles; which they confirm from the following verse; and conclude thence, that the little word all has crept in unwarrantably into the text, and ought to be struck out, because it takes in the Jews as well as Gentiles. Com. mon sense and reason would say there was no great harm in this, and that it is so far from marring, that it greatly supports the views he was inculcating. It sets Jews and Gentiles both on a level, and implies that the Jews are not one jot advantaged by having the law of Moses: for when a right to the inheritance enters the question, they are forced to have recourse to the same grant and promise, which the Gentiles had as free access to as they; and on this he brings in the remarkable prophecy of Isaiah, chap. liv, verf. 1.
· It has been alledged, and not without fome good colour of reason, that our Apostle had this text in his eye, when he says, that what is recorded by Moses of Hagar and Sarah was allegorised, or treated in this manner by the prophet Isaiah. It must be acknowledged, that the very found of the prophet's words naturally bring the case of these two women to our minds. It cannot be doubted, that it was the Gentile church he addresses as a barren woman, who had continued long in that condition, and yet was to have many more children than the Jews whose husband God had long declared himself to be, and whom that nation was very folemnly married to. And as he speaks of them as two women well known in his time, it is certain that there are not two recorded in history whom the prophet's defcription can suit in any degree so nearly as Sarah and Hagar; though it must be acknowledged on the other side, that there are some circumstances in the prophet, that cannot easily be applied to Sarah, particularly that of a woman forsaken of her husband, which she never was, though indeed as to the main thing, the bringing forth children, she was in the same case as if she had been forsaken, and had no hufband, until the promise came, and Ifaac was born, when, by the common course of nature, the thing was impoffible.
But be that as it may, the prophet's account of the barren woman suits the Gentiles, and the state of Christ's kingdom among them, with the greatest exactness in every point. God called them as a woman forsaken, and a wife of youth. They were early espoused to him in the days of the fathers, Noah and his faithful defcendents, and as really as the Jewish nation was afterward. They were long, very long forsaken, and left in the case of a defolate woman, who of course could produce no children, until the promise came, and they were called into the kingdom and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ; and then the children of the Jewish nation were but an handful, in comparison of the Gentile Christians..
So far the Apostle had stated the comparison between the mothers, Hagar and Sarah on one side, and the Jewish and Christian churches on the other; and as.
it was in this last class that the Galatians
The lowest use we can make of this is to turn our attention to that part of scripture-history. Isaac was the child of the promise on two accounts ; first, it was in the virtue of the promife that he was born; secondly, he was made the heir of the promises. I need not add any thing of his birth to what we just now observed of the state of the mother; and as the promise was made to Abraham and his feed, which was to be reckoned in Isaac, by the peremptory order of the promiser, his right to the promise, and all the bleilings it contained, could not be disputed. The inheritance came by his birth.
The Heathen nations had no pretensions to any natural relation to Abraham, and could not boast, as the Jews did, that they had him for their father. But as the original promise made to him carried in it a blessing to all the nations of the earth, every nation, yea, and every particular person, had a good title to put in for their share. Nay, when all nations, except the Tews, were left in the case of a forsaken defolate woman, there were great numbers of promises made and recorded in scripa ture, that the one feed, who is Christ, and who had all the promised blessings in his hand, was designed for them: A light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as the glory of bis people Ifrael. In virtue of these promises, they were begotten and born again; not as Adam's, and even Abraham's common descendents were in the course of natural generation, but born of the Spirit, and created in Christ Jesus unto good works. But nations and kingdoms never were, and there is no reason to expect they ever will be thus born. The kingdom and church of Christ is made up of particular persons, immediately and directly united to him their head, and that without any . .