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other medium but his Spirit conveyed to : them, and living in them, by the word of i the gospel, the same gospel that was preachied to Abraham, and by which he lived:

and as they are thus born by the Spirit and
power of God, in the fulfilment of that
promise and grant of eternal life, they

are all born heirs of the eternal inheritance tin Christ; and by virtue of his right coni veyed by his testament, they have a per

fect right to the inheritance, and receive

the kingdom which cannot be moved or i Thaken.

There is another resemblance mentioned by the Apostle of a different kind, vers. 29. As he who was born after the flesh, persecuted him who was born after the Spirit, so

is it now. What the Jews, the natural e descendents of Abraham, did to the Chri

stians in the Apostle's time, is well known.
They perfecuted them even unto the death.
But we read nothing of Ishmael persecu-
ting Isaac in any other way, but that Sarah
saw him mocking at the feast of Isaac's
weaning; and we may well enough sup-
pose, that this was what the Apostle calls.
by that name, when we find him mention-
ing, Heb.xi. 36. cruel mockings, among the

Vol. III, XX very...

very cruel sufferings which the children of God endured from the men of the world, The severe punishment which fell upon the children who mocked Elisha, stands as a caution to all ages, that even bare mocking the children of God is not to be counted a flight thing, when it stands fo high in God's reckoning.

The conclusion of that little history furnishes out (what it is likely the Apostle intended by applying it fo particularly to, the case of the followers of Moses and the disciples of Christ) a striking warningpiece to the Galatians who were so strongly tempted to join the former. And those who are acquainted with human nature will readily agree, that it was likely to make a stronger impression than all his reasonings besides. He does not apply it at all, but lays the event before them just as it stands, and in the very words it is recorded; but he introduces it in a manner that could hardly miss to engage their attention. What saith the scripture? Caft out this bond-woman and her fon; for the son of this bond-woman shall not be heir with my son. They are the words of Sarah ; but they have the fanction of God


himself, and carry the highest authority. He does not chuse to say how near the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple was; which effectually cast out that unhappy nation from God's family, and made their worship and observation of Moses's law quite impossible; but wisely leaves it to the Galatians themselves to gather from that event, what a hazard they run who joined themselves to those who have such a denunciation standing against them, and carries the same import with that solemn warning in another case, Come out of her, my people, left you partake in her plagues.

This consideration is greatly improved .by what the Apostle adds as the conclu

fion of all. The argument is strong for getting out of that dangerous society; but it must be something worse than folly for those who were at liberty to run themselves into it. The Galatians were abundantly provided in Christ. They were children of the free woman, the children of God, and heirs of the inheritance. They could never better their condition by any change they could make; and by what they were tempted to make, they gave up what they had, and had nothing, X X 2


or something worse than nothing, in its room, as we find the Apostle Atrongly proving in the next chapter.

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1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ

hath made us free, and be not intangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2. Behold, I Paul fay unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ sball profit you nothing. 3. For I teftify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whofoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6. For in Jesus Chrift, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love.

Hether the words with which this V chapter begins should be called an exhortation or a command, is but of little consequence; as it is evidently an apoftolical injunction or charge, and that carries all the authority of him who fent forth the apostles, and therefore requires the most serious attention. And seeing, as appears by the connection, it is founded in the accommodation, (whether made by the prophet Isaiah, or by the Apostle him


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felf, is really a matter of no moment; for both had equal authority): but seeing the accommodation is made by those who had authority to do it; and as we are sure that the facts did not fall out by chance, but, as is plain from the history, under the special divine direction, there is good reason to think it was designed for this very purpose, and that the two mothers and their fons were an intended representation of the earthly and heavenly Jerusalem, the law of Moses, and the gospel of Christ. And therefore the Apostle had great reason to conclude, as he does, that all who believe in Jesus Chrift are free, and surely that freedom was well worth preferving'againstall attacks that might be made upon it, from whatfoever quarter they might come.

It may not be refused, that the Apostle's immediate intention was to secure his converts against the fnare laid for them by the false teachers, who wanted to bring them under the law of Moses. But as the liberty they were called into must have been the same which our Lord gives to his true disciples, John viii. 31. 32. the Apostle calls it the liberty wherewith Christ had set them free; and they must be free indeed whom the Son makes free ; it must therefore extend ve

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