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10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in

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backwards, and be willing to put yourselves under the weak and beggarly elements of the world into a state 10 of bondage again? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years, in compliance with the Mosaical in11 stitution. 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.


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.

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. Пan, again, cannot here refer to 501xa, 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.


CHAP. IV. 12-20.


HE presses them with the remembrance of the great kind

ness 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



12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.

13 Ye know how, through infirmity of the flesh, I preached the pel unto you at the first.

gos14 And my temptation, which was in my flesh, ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me, as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.

15 Where then is the blessedness you spake of; for I bear you re cord, that if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and given them to me.

16 And I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that you might affect them.


12 I beseech you, brethren, let you and I be as if we were all one. Think yourselves to be very me; as I, in my own mind, put no difference at all between you and my13 self; you have done me no manner of injury: On the contrary, ye know, that through infirmity of the flesh, I 14 heretofore preached the gospel to you. And yet ye despised me not, for the trial I underwent in the flesh, you treated me not with contempt and scorn: but you received me, as an angel of God, yea, as Jesus Christ 15 himself. What benedictions did you then pour out upon me? For I bear you witness, had it been practicable, you would have pulled out your very eyes, and 16 given them me. But is it so, that I am become your 17 enemy in continuing to tell you the truth? They, who would make you of that mind, show a warmth of affection to you; but it is not well: for their business is to


14 What this weakness, and trial in the flesh, was, since it has not pleased the apostle to mention it, is impossible for us to know: but may be remarked here, as an instance, once for all, of that unavoidable obscurity of some passages, in epistolary writings, without any fault in the author. For some things, necessary to the understanding of what is writ, are usually of course and justly omitted, because already known to him the letter is writ to, and it would be sometimes ungraceful, oftentimes superfluous, particularly to mention them.

15 b The context makes this sense of the words so necessary and visible, that it is to be wondered how any one could overlook it.

16 Your enemy. See chap. i. 6.


18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

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


18 exclude me, that they may get into your affection. It is good to be well and warmly affected towards a good man, at all times, and not barely when I am present 19 with you, My little children, for whom I have again the pains of a woman in child-birth, until Christ be formed in you, i. e. till the true doctrine of christianity be set20 tled in your minds. But I would willingly be this very moment with you, and change my discourse, as I should


18 d That by aλ here, he means a person and himself, the scope of the context evinces. In the six preceding verses he speaks only of himself, and the change of their affection to him, since he left them. There is no other thing mentioned, as peculiarly deserving their affection, to which the rule given in this verse could refer. He had said, ver. 17, našo iμãs, “they affect you;" and ira aules (TE," that you might affect them;" this is only of persons, and therefore λola i xaλ, which immediately follows, may be best understood of a person; else the following part of the verse, though joined by the copulative xal, and, will make but a disjointed sense with the preceding. But there can be nothing plainer, nor more coherent than this, which seems to be St. Paul's sense here: "You were very affectionate to me, when I was with you. "You are since estranged from me; it is the artifice of the seducers, that have "cooled you to me. But if I am the good man you took me to be, you will "do well to continue the warmth of your affection to me, when I am absent, "and not to be well affected towards me, only when I am present among you." Though this be his meaning, yet the way he has taken to express it, is much more elegant, modest, and graceful. Let any one read the original, and see whether it be not so.

19 If this verse be taken for an intire sentence by itself, it will be a parenthesis, and that not the most necessary, or congruous, that is to be found in St. Paul's epistles; or dì, but, must be left out, as we see it is in our translation. But if rivi ue,"my little children," be joined, by apposition, to us, you, the last word of the foregoing verse, and so the two verses 18 and 19, be read as one sentence, ver. 20, with dì, but, in it, follows very naturally. But, as we now read it in our English bible, de, but, is forced to be left out, and ver 20. stands alone by itself, without any connexion with what goes before, or follows.

20 f 'Arλákar Pan," to change the voice," seems to signify the speaking higher or lower; changing the tone of the voice, suitably to the matter one delivers, v.g. whether it be advice, or commendation, or reproof, &c. For each of these have their distinct voices. St. Paul wishes himself with them, that he


find occasion; for I am at a stand about you, and know not what to think of you.


might accommodate himself to their present condition and circumstances, which he confesses himself to be ignorant of, and in doubt about.


CHAP. IV. 21.-V. 1.


HE exhorts them to stand fast in the liberty, with which Christ hath made them free, showing those, who are so zealous for the law, that, if they mind what they read in the law, they will there find, that the children of the promise, or of the new Jerusalem, were to be free; but the children after the flesh, of the earthly Jerusalem, were to be in bondage, and to be cast out, and not to have the inheritance.


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 sons; the one by a bond-maid, the other by a free-woman.


21 Tell me, you that would so fain be under the law, do you not acquaint yourselves with what is in the law, either by reading it, or having it read in your assem22 blies? For it is there written, Abraham had two sons,


21 a The vulgar has, after some greek manuscripts, Read.


Written there, viz. Gen. xvi. 15. and xxi. 1. The term, Law, in the foregoing verse, comprehends the five books of Moses.


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, that thou travailest not: for the desolate 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.



23 one by a bond-maid the other by a free woman. he that was of the bond woman, was born according to the flesh, in the ordinary course of nature; but he that was of the free woman, Abraham had by virtue of the promise, after he and his wife were past the hopes of 24 another child. These things have an allegorical meaning: for the two women are the two covenants, the one of them delivered from mount Sinai, and is represented 25 by Agar, who produces her issue into bondage. (For Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem, that now is, and is in bondage with her children.) 26 But the heavenly Jerusalem, which is above, and an- ・ swers to Sarah, the mother of the promised seed, is free, the mother of us all, both jews and gentiles, who be27 lieve. For it was of her, that it is written", "Rejoice, "thou barren, that bearest not; break out into loud "acclamations of joy, thou that hast not the travails "of child-birth; for more are the children of the deso28" late, than of her that hath an husband." And it is we, my brethren, who, as Isaac was, are the children. 29 of promise. But as, then, Ishmael, who was born in


27 Written, viz. Isaiah liv. 1.

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