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TEXT. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster, to bring us unto Christ,
that we might be justified by faith. 25 But, after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
PARAPHRASE. But before Christ, and the doctrine of justification by faith' in him, came, we Jews were shut up as a company of prisoners together, under the custody and inflexible rigour of the law,
unto the coming of the Messiah, when the doctrine of justifi24 cation by faith k in him should be revealed. So that the law,
by its severity, served as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, 25 that we might be justified by faith. But Christ being come,
and with him the doctrine of justification by faith, we are set free from this schoolmaster, there is no longer any need of him.
NOTES. 23 i By faith ; see ver. 14.
* Justification by faith; see ver. 24.
CHAPTER III. 26-29.
CONTENTS. As a further argument to dissuade them from circumcision, he tells the Galatians, that, by faith in Christ, all, whether Jews or Gentiles, are made the children of God; and so they stood in no need of circumcision.
TEXT. 26 For ye are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus.
26 For ye are a all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus.
NOTE. 26 - All, i, e. both Jews and Gentiles.
TEXT. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on
Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there
is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs accord
ing to the promise.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ have 28 put on Christ. There is no distinction of Jew or Gentile, of
bond or free, of male or female. For ye are all one body, 29 making up one person in Christ Jesus. And if ye are all one
in Christ Jesus, ye are the true ones, seed of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise.
NOTES. 27 b Put on Christ. This, which, at first sight, may seem a very bold metaphor, if
we consider what St. Paul has said, ver. 16 and 26, is admirably adapted to express his thoughts in few words, and has a great grace in it. He says, ver. 16, that “ the seed, to which the promise was made, was but one, and that one was Christ.” And ver. 26, he declares, “ that by faith in Christ, they all became the sons of God." To lead them into an easy conception how this is done, he here tells them, that, by taking on them the profession of the Gospel, they have, as it were, put on Christ; so that to God, now looking on them, there appears nothing but Christ. They are, as it were, covered all over with him, as a man is with the clothes he hath put on. And hence he says, in the next verse, that “they are all one in Christ Jesus," as if there were but that one
person. 29 • The Clermont copy reads si 8d üpris ols içè év Xpiçû 'In ocũ, “ And if ye are
one in Christ Jesus ;" more suitable, as it seems, to the apostle's argument. For, ver. 28, he says, “ They are all one in Christ Jesus;" from whence the inference in the following words, of the Clermont copy, is natural : “ And if ye be one in Christ Jesus, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to promise."
CHAPTER IV. 1-11.
CONTENTS. In the first part of this section he further shows, that the law was not against the promise, in that the child is not disinherited, by being under tutors. But the chief design of this section is to show, that though both Jews and Gentiles were intended to
be the children of God, and heirs of the promise by faith in Christ, yet they both of them were left in bondage, the Jews to the law, ver. 3, and the Gentiles to false gods, ver. 8, until Christ in due time came to redeem them both; and, therefore, it was folly in the Galatians, being redeemed from one bondage, to go backwards, and put themselves again in a state of bondage, though under a new master.
TEXT. 1 Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing
from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of the
father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the
elements of the world : 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son,
made of a woman, made under the law; 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the
adoption of sons. 6 And, because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son
into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
PARAPHRASE. 1 Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth 2 nothing from a bondman”, though he be lord of all; But
is under tutors and guardians, until the time prefixed by 3 his father. So web Jews, whilst we were children, were in 4 bondage under the law. But when the time appointed for
the coming of the Messias was accomplished, God sent forth 5 his Son, made of a woman, and subjected to the law; That he
might redeem those who were under the law, and set them free
from it, that we, who believe, might be put out of the state of 6 bondmen, into that of sons. Into which state of sons, it is
evident that you, Galatians, who were heretofore Gentiles,
NOTES. 1 • Bondman; so Sūlos siguifies; and unless it be so translated, ver. 8,
Bondage, ver. 3, 7, will scarce be understood by an English reader : but St. Paul's sense will be lost to one, who, by Servant, understands not one in a state
of bondage. 3 We. It is plain, St. Paul speaks here in the pame of the Jews, or Jewish
church, which, though God's peculiar people, yet was to pass its nonage (so St. Paul calls it) under the restraint and tutorage of the law, and not to receive the possession of the promised inheritance until Christ came. · The law, he calls here çorxsic toữ xót Mou, “Elements, or rudiments of the world." Because the observances and discipline of the law, which had restraint and bondage enough in it, led them not beyond the things of this world, into the possession, or taste, of their spiritual and heavenly inheritance.
TEXT. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son ; and if a son, then
an heir of God, through Christ. 8 Howbeit, then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them,
which by nature are no gods. 9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of
God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage ?
put; forasmuch as God hath sent forth his Spiritd into your my hearts, which enables you to cry, Abba, Father. So that thou
art no longer a bondman, but a son ; and if a son, then an 8 heire of God, or of the promise of God through Christ. But
then, i.e. before ye were made the sons of God, by faith in
Christ, now under the Gospel, ye, not knowing God, were in 9 bondage to those, who were in truth no gods. But now, that
ye know God, yea rather, that ye are known' and taken into favour by him, how can it be that you, who have been put out of a state of bondage, into the freedom of sons, should go
NOTES. 6 The same argument, of proving their sonship from their having the Spirit, St.
Paul uses to the Romans, Rom. viii. 16. And he that will read 2 Cor. iv. 17 -0.6, and Eph. i. 11-14, will find, that the Spirit is looked on as the seal and assurance of the inheritance of life, to those “who have received the adoption of sons," as St. Paul speaks here, ver. 5. The force of the argument seems to lie in this, that as he, that has the spirit of a man in him, has an evidence that he is the son of a man, so he, that hath the Spirit of God, has thereby an assurance that he is the son of God. Conformable hereunto, the opinion of the Jews was, that the Spirit of God was given to none but themselves, they alone being the people or children of God; for God calls the people of Israel his sons, Exod. iv. 22, 23. And hence, we see, that when, to the astonishment of the Jews, the Spirit was given to the Gentiles, the Jews no longer doubted that the inheritance of eternal life was also conferred on the Gentiles. Compare Acts x.
44–48, with Acts xi. 15-18. 7 • St. Paul, from the Galatians' having received the Spirit, (as appears chap. iii. 2)
argues, that they are the sons of God, without the law; and consequently heirs of the promise, without the law; for, says he, ver. 1—6, the Jews theniselves were fain to be redeemed from the bondage of the law, by Jesus Christ, that, as sons, they might attain to the inheritance. But you, Galatians, says he, have, by the Spirit that is given you by the ministry of the Gospel, an evidence that God is your Father ; and, being sons, are free from the bondage of the law, and heirs without it. The same sort of reasoning St. Paul uses to the Romans, ch.
viii. 14-17. 9' Known. It has been before observed, how apt St. Paul is to repeat his words,
though something varied in their signification. We have here another instance of it: having said, “Ye have known God," he subjoins, “ or rather are known of him," in the Hebrew latitude of the word known; in which language it sometimes signifies knowing, with choice and approbation. See Amos iii. 2. 1 Cor. viii. 3.
TEXT. 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.
backwards, and be willing to put yourselves under thes weak
and beggarly elements of the world into a state of bondage 10 again? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years, 11 in compliance with the Mosaical institution. I begin to be
afraid of you, and to be in doubt, whether all the pains I have taken about you, to set you at liberty, in the freedom of the Gospel, will not prove lost labour.
NOTES. & The law is here called weak, because it was not able to deliver a man from bondage and death, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God, Rom. viii. 1-3. And it is called beggarly, because it kept men in the poor estate of pupils, from the full possession and enjoyment of the inheritance, ver. 1—3. h The apostle makes it matter of astonishment, how they, who had been in bondage to false gods, having been once set free, could endure the thoughts of parting with their liberty, and of returning into any sort of bondage again, even under the mean and beggarly rudiments of the Mosaical institution, which was not able to make them sons, and instal them in the inheritance. For St. Paul, ver. 7, expressly opposes bondage to sonship; so that all, who are not in the state of sons, are in the state of bondage. Gánov, again, cannot here refer to stoixeia, elements, which the Galatians had never been under hitherto, but to bondage, which he tells them, ver. 8, they had been in to false gods.
CHAPTER IV. 12–20.
He presses them with the remembrance of the great kindness they had for him, when he was amongst them; and assures them that they have no reason to be alienated from him, though that be it which the Judaizing seducers aim at.