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So Nevertheless, what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman.

31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free.

V. 1. Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.


the ordinary course of nature, persecuted Isaac, who was born by an extraordinary power, from heaven, 30 working miraculously; so is it now. But what saith

the scripture? "Čast out the bond-woman and her 66 son for the son of the bond-woman shall not share 31" the inheritance with the son of the free-woman."

So then, brethren, we, who believe in Christ, are not the V. 1. children of the bond-woman, but of the free. Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty, wherewith Christ hath made you free, and do not put on again a yoke of bondage, by putting yourselves under the law.


29 * Ο κατὰ σάρκα γεννηθείς, “ born after the flesh;” and τὸν καλὰ πνεῦμα, " born of the Spirit." These expressions have, in their original brevity, with regard to the whole view, wherein St. Paul uses them, an admirable beauty and force, which cannot be retained in a paraphrase.

30 Scripture, viz. Gen. xxi. 10.

31 f The apostle, by this allegorical history, shows the galatians, that they who are sons of Agar, i.e. under the law given at mount Sinai, are in bondage, and intended to be cast out, the inheritance being designed for those only, who are the free-born sons of God, under the spiritual covenant of the gospel. And thereupon he exhorts them, in the following words, to preserve themselves in that state of freedom.


CHAP. V. 2—13.


IT is evident from ver. 11. that, the better to prevail with the galatians to be circumcised, it had been reported, that

St. Paul himself preached up circumcision. St. Paul, without taking express notice of this calumny, chap. i. 6. and ii. 21, gives an account of his past life, in a large train of particulars, which all concur to make such a character of him, as renders it very incredible, that he should ever declare for the circumcision of the gentile converts, or for their submission to the law. Having thus prepared the minds of the galatians to give him a fair hearing, as a fair man ζηλᾶσθαι ἐν καλῷ, he goes on to argue against their subjecting themselves to the law. And having established their freedom from the law, by many strong arguments, he comes here at last openly to take notice of the report which had been raised of him, [that he preached circumcision] and directly confutes it.

1. By positively denouncing to them, himself, very solemnly, that they, who suffer themselves to be circumcised, put themselves into a perfect legal state, out of the covenant of grace, and could receive no benefit by Jesus Christ, ver. 2-4.

2. By assuring them, that he, and those that followed him, expected justification only by faith, ver. 5, 6.

3. By telling them, that he had put them in the right way, and that this new persuasion came not from him, that converted them to christianity, ver. 7, 8.

4. By insinuating to them, that they should agree to pass judgment on him, that troubled them with this doctrine, ver. 9, 10.

5. By his being persecuted, for opposing the circumcision of the christians. For this was the great offence, which stuck with the jews, even after their conversion, ver. 11.

6. By wishing those cut off, that trouble them with this doctrine, ver. 12.

This will, I doubt not, by whoever weighs it, be found a very skilful management of the argumentative part of this epistle, which ends here. For, though he begins with sapping the foundation, on which the judaizing seducers seemed to have laid their main stress, viz. the report of his preaching circumcision; yet he reserves the direct and open confutation of it to the end, and so leaves it with them, that it may have the more forcible and lasting impression on their minds,


2 Behold; I, Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

3 For I testify, 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; whosoever 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 Christ, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith, which worketh by love.


2 Take notice that I, Paul', who am falsely reported to preach up circumcision in other places, say unto you, that if you are circumcised, Christ shall be of no advan3 tage to you. For I repeat here again, what I have always preached, and solemnly testify to every one, who yields to be circumcised, in compliance with those who say, That now, under the gospel, he cannot be saved without it, that he is under an obligation to the whole law, and bound to observe and perform every tittle of it. 4 Christ is of no use to you, who seek justification by the law whosoever do so, be ye what ye will, ye are fallen 5 from the covenant of grace. But I, and those, who with me are true christians, we, who follow the truth of the gospel, and the doctrine of the Spirit of God, have 6 no other hope of justification, but by faith in Christ. For in the state of the gospel, under Jesus, the Messiah, it is


2 a 'Idi, iyw Пavλ, “Behold, I Paul," I the same Paul, who am reported to preach circumcision, papléfoμas de wánır waili árspúπw, v. 3. witness again, continue my testimony, to every man, to you and all men. This so emphatical way of speaking may very well be understood to have regard to what he takes notice, ver. 11, to be cast upon him, viz. his preaching circumcision, and is a very significant vindication of himself.

3b Cannot be saved." This was the ground upon which the jews and judaizing christians urged circumcision. See Acts xv. 1.

5 We." It is evident from the context, that St. Paul here means himself. But We is a more graceful way of speaking than I; though he be vindicating himself alone from the imputation of setting up circumcision.

"Spirit." The law and the gospel opposed, under the titles of Flesh and Spirit, we may see, chap. iii. 3. of this epistle. The same opposition it stands in here to the law, in the foregoing verse, points out the same signification,


7 Ye did run well: who did hinder you, that ye should not obey the truth?

8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.

9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole Jump.

10 I have confidence in you, through the Lord, that you will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you, shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.


neither circumcision nor uncircumcision, that is of any moment; all that is available is faith alone, working by 7 love. When you first entered into the profession of the gospel, you were in a good way, and went on well: who has put a stop to you, and hindereth you, that you keep no longer to the truth of the christian doctrine? 8 This persuasion, that it is necessary for you to be circumcised, cometh not from him, by whose preaching 9 you were called to the profession of the gospel. Remember that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump; the influence of one man entertained among you, may 10 mislead you all. I have confidence in you, that, by the help of the Lord, you will be all of this same mind"


6 "Which worketh by love." This is added to express the animosities which were amongst them, probably raised by this question about circumcision. See ver. 11-15.

8 f This expression of "him that calleth, or calleth you," he used before, chap. i. 6. and, in both places, means himself, and here declares, that this we porn (whether taken for persuasion, or for subjection, as it may be in St. Paul's style, considering wibodas, in the end of the foregoing verse) came not from him, for he called them to liberty from the law, and not subjection to it; see ver. 13. "You were going on well, in the liberty of the gospel; who stopped you? I, you may be sure, had no hand in it; I, you know, called you to liberty, and not to subjection to the law, and therefore you can, by no means, suppose that I should preach up circumcision." Thus St. Paul argues here. 9 By this and the next verse, it looks as if all this disorder arose from one

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10 "Will not be otherwise minded," will beware of this leaven, so as not to be put into a ferment, nor shaken in your liberty, which you ought to stand fast in; and to secure it, I doubt not, (such confidence I have in you) will with one accord cast out him that troubles you. For, as for me, you may be sure I am not for circumcision, in that the jews continue to persecute me. This is evidently his meaning, though not spoken out, but managed warily, with a very skilful and moving insinuation. For, as he says of himself, chap. iv. 20, he knew not, at that distance, what temper they were in.

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11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.

12 I would they were even cut off, which trouble 13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty.



with me; and consequently he that troubles you, shall fall under the censure he deserves for it, whoever he 11 be. But as for me, brethren, if I, at last, am become a preacher of circumcision, why am I yet persecuted*? If it be so, that the gentile converts are to be circumcised, and so subjected to the law, the great offence of the gospel, in relying solely on a crucified Saviour for 12 salvation, is removed. But I am of another mind, and wish that they may be cut off, who trouble you about 13 this matter, and they shall be cut off. For, brethren, ye have been called by me unto liberty.

ver. 12.


1 Kpua. Judgment, seems here to mean expulsion by a church-censure; see We shall be the more inclined to this, if we consider that the apostle uses the same argument of " a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump," 1 Cor. v. 6. where he would persuade the corinthians to purge out the fornicator.

11 k Persecution. The persecution St. Paul was still under, was a convincing argument that he was not for circumcision, and subjection to the law; for it was from the jews, upon that account, that, at this time, rose all the persecution, which the christians suffered; as may be seen through all the history of the Acts. Nor are there wanting clear footsteps of it, in several places of this epistle, besides this here, as chap. iii. 4. and vi. 12.


Offence of the cross, see chap. vi. 12—14,


CHAP. V. 13-26.


FROM the mention of liberty, which he tells them they are called to, under the gospel, he takes a rise to caution them in the use of it, and so exhorts them to a spiritual, or

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