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the Heathen World, into which they were so apt to fall : A.D. 58. to show them the Guilt of their own Sins *, and the Punishment due to them ; and, by the figurative Nature of its Ordinances, to train up that people to the Hope and Expectation of Christ the Mediah, the great Sacrifice and Saviour of Mankind. And you must observe, this Law was not, like the Promise to Abraham, given absolutely and immediately from God to all Mankind; but conveyed, by the Ministry of Angels, to Moses, the Mediator between God and that single People.
20 Now a media. 20. (For a Mediator fupposes tor is not a mediator of two Parties concerned in any Afone, but God is one.
fair.) 'Tis false therefore, that Justification cannot be had but by the Observance of that Law, whereof Mofes was the Mediator ; when 'tis plain, God was the only single || Party that gave the great Promise absolutely and immediately to Abraham ; and he was justified without any Mediator at all.
21 Is the law then 21. So that the Doctrine of these against the promises Zealots sets the Mofaical Law quite of God? God forbid ! for if there had been contrary to, and makes it disannul
the Promise to Abraham, and the a law given which could have given life, Christian Religion. For, if the Obverily righteousness servance of the Ceremonial Law should have been by could have put Men into a State of the law..
Pardon and Redemption, the Pro
mife to Abraham was needless, and the Christian Religion signifies nothing * Which God * See v. 18, forbid any Man should imagine !
* Tâv sou fã do égır. Because of the Transgressions. I have given the two most natural Senses of this Expression ; which is not exactly agreed upon by Learned Interpreters. I will only remark, that if it be observed that, after the giving of the Law of the Ten Commandments, Deut. 5. 22. it was said, And he added no more i. e. gave them no other Statutes at that Time : And that after their Proneness to Idolatry, shown in the Instance of the Golden Calf, the whole Ceremonial Law was impofed upon the Jews; it will render it very probable, That the Words because of_Transgressions, mean, principally to keep them from Idolatrous Transgressions,
I šis igor.
A. D. 58. 22 But the scrip 22. But, directly contrary to their
ture hath concluded Notion, the Scriptures of the Old
Christ the Mefiah promised to Abra
ham, as the only sufficient Saviour,
23. Now we of the Jewis Na-
to be born of our Family ; and up unto the faith,
were accordingly trained up to the which should after
View and Expectation of Him, by
being kept strictly under the Dirci-
Wherefore the 24 & 25. Wherefore, the Mofai-
to instruct and prepare our Nation
for the higher and more holy In-
that we are actually under that In
stitution of Chrif, our Confinement is over, and we can have no further Occasion for those mean and lower Degrees of Instruction.
26 For ye are all 26 & 27. The Promise to Abrathe children of God ham then, or the Christian Religion, by faith in Christ Je. being the only Thing that Justifies sus.
and Saves you, you must remember 27 For as many
this Blessing extends to Men of all
Nations indifferently. The Jews
and Gentiles are no longer kept sepaput on Chriit,
rate from each other. Every one that is baptized into Christ's Profession is perfeetly His, and has a Claim to all the Privileges of his Church, upon his due Obedience to his Religion,
28 There is nei 28. This perfect Dispensation of A. D. 58. ther Jew nor Greek, his makes no Distinction between there is neither bond few or Gent le, Circumcifed or nor free, there is nei. Uncircumcised, Master or Slave, ther male nor female i Man f or Woman ; but they have for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
all equal Privileges upon the same
Conditions. 29. And if ye be 29. And if you Gentile, as well Christ's, then are ye as the Jewish Converts, be accepted Abraham's feed, and into the Chriflian Covenant, you heirs according to the must be acknowledged the true spiripromise.
tual Seed of Abraham as well as they; and according to the very Tenour and Design of the great Promise made to that Holy Patriarch and his Posterity, shall inherit the Bleffing of Pardon and Salvation.
I Ver. 28. Male nor Female. Note, The Apostle alludes to the Jewish Custom in Inheritances of Estates, which descended always by Right of the Father, and never by the Mother's Side. As Selden de Succession : and other Learned Writers observe out of Maimonides and the Talmudistsa
CH A P. IV.
The fame Argument continued ; By pewing the Irreperfection of the Jewish, and the Perfection of the Chriftian Religion ; from a Comparison taken from an Heir to an Estate. The Apostle then turns off to Expojtulating with them about the Folly of adhering to the Jewish Law ; reflects on their falle Teachers; and entreats
. them to continue the same Éfleem they formerly had of Him, as their true Apostle ; expressing his tender Regard to their Church. Then he resumes the Argument, illustrating the Difference between the two Dispensations of the Law and Gospel, as figuratively represented by the two Branches of Abraham's Posterity, viz. Of Isaac from Sarah, and of Ismael from Hagar.
1 & 2, T.
1 & 2.
+ Cap. iii. 23, 25.
OW I say, that
O illustrate to you the the heir as long
imperfect Nature of the as he is a child, dit- Mosaical Dispensation, I compared fereth nothing from a
it to a School, t wherein Children servant, though he be lord of all,
are trained up for higher Learning. 2 But is under tu
Let me now further shew it you by tors and governors, un
a Comparison taken from a Son and til the time appointed Heir to a Man's Eftate. Though of the father.
you know, an Eldest Son has, at
his Father's Death, an immediate Legal Right to Inheritance, yet while he is a Minor, he is no more capable of entring upon, and managing the Estate, than a Servant of the Family can do ; but is kept under the Discipline and Allowance of Guardians and Trustees, till he is of Age of Inheritance, according to tne Tenour of his Father's last Will and Testament. 3 Even so we, when 3. , This is the Case of the Jewish
were children, Church and People ; they were inwere in bondage un
deed to inherit the Great Promise der the elements of
of the Messiah, made to Abraham : the world :
But not immediately after it was made ; but, like Minors, were first to be kept and educated under the Discipline of the figurative and introductory Dispensation of the Mofaical Law, the better to prepare them to receive it.
4 But when the 4 & 5. The Time that they and . fuiness of the time the rest of the World were to come was come, God sent to the full Enjoyment of this Proforth his Son made of mise, was, at the Appearance of a woman, made under this Christ'; whom, at the Season the law,
5 70 redeem them foretold by the Prophets, and when that were under the the divine Wisdom faw Mankind law, that we might most fitted to receive him, God the receive the adoption Father sent into the World, born of fons.
of a Virgin of a Jewish Family ; who himself lived in Subječtion to the Jewish Law, and deliver'd that Nation, for ever after, from the Burden of it Rights and Ceremonies ; bringing them and all Mankind, to the full Age and Capacity of inheriting the Promile of Pardon and Salvation.
6 And because ye 6. And accordingly, as Christian 4. D.58. are fons, God hath Believers, God has given you Gensent forth the spirit tile Converts as well as Jewis ones, of his Son into your the compleat Affurance and Pledge i Rom. viii. hearts
, crying, Abba, of your being now accepted for his Father.
true Children, and perfect Inheritors of this promis'd Blessing, by the Gifts and Graces of his holy Spirit conferr'd on you'; so that you may affuredly address and approach him, as to a Merciful and Gracious Father.
7 Wherefore thou 7. As to you of the Jewish Part, art no more a servant, your Term of Minority is now out. but a son ; and if a son, Wherefore instead of adhering any then an heir of God longer to the childish and imperfect through Christ.
Services of the Law, consider the Dignity and full Privilege you are arrived at by the ChriAtian Covenant. You are now enter'd, as Sons at full Age, on the Inheritance of the Promises made to Abraham and your Fore-fathers.
8 Howbeit, then 8 & 9. Thus it is with the Jewish when
ye knew not Converts. But it is yet more foolish God, ye did service and unaccountable, That you Genunto them which by tile Christians, who, from a pernature are no gods.
9 But now after fectly false and idolatrous * Religion, that ye have known
are now converted to the KnowGod, or rather are ledge, Worship and Favour of the known of God, how true God, should ever be perswaded turn ye again to the to embrace a burdensome Dispenweak and beggarlyfation, that you were never at all elements, whereunto obliged to ; and which, in compariye desire again to be son of that you are now baptized in bondage ?
into, is a mean, low, and imperfect
* Ver. 8. Ye did Service to them which by Nature are no Gods, i. e, which in Reality (Quod] were not God's ; were Gods in no Sense whatever. Or else, by pointing and reading it thus, 'Edxasérate tole puod push kor, Ssois, ye were in Bondage to God's that in Nature had no Being, or were not, had no Divinity in them : According to St. Paul's Language in another place, 1 Cor. viii. 4. An Idol is nothing. Images and Dæmons there might be, but Gods or Lords they were not, having neither supreme nor subordinate Power or Qualities ; meer Fictions, Vanidies and Nullities,