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CHAP. I. 6.-II. 21.
We have observed, that St. Paul's first endeavour in this epistle, was to satisfy the Galatians, that the report spread of him, that he preached circumcision, was false. Until this obstruction, that lay in his way was removed, it was to no purpose for him to go about to dissuade them from circumcision, though that be what he principally aims, in thiş epistle. To show them, that he promoted not circumcision, he calls their hearkening to those who persuaded them to be circumcised, their being removed from him; and those that so persuaded them,“ perverters of the gospel of Christ," ver. 6,7. He farther assures them, that the gospel which he preached every-where was that, and that only, which he had received by immediate revelation from Christ, and no contrivance of man, nor did he vary it to please men: that would not consist with his being a servant of Christ, ver. 10. And he expresses such a firm adherence to what he had received from Christ, and had preached to them, that he pronounces an anathema upon himself, ver. 8, 9. or any other man, or angel that should preach any thing else to them. To make out this to have been all along his conduct, he gives an account of himself for many years backwards, even from the time before his conversion. Wherein he shows, that from a zealous persecuting jew he was made a christian, and an apostle, by immediate revelation ; and that, having no communication with the apostles, or with the churches of Judea, or any man, for some years, he had nothing to preach, but what he had received by immediate revelation. Nay, when, fourteen years after, he went up to Jerusalem, it was by revelation; and when he there communicated the gospel, which he preached among the gentiles, Peter, James, and John, approved of it, without adding any thing, but admitted him, as their fellow-apostle. So that, in all this, he was guided by nothing but divine revelation, which he inflexibly stuck to so far, that he openly opposed St. Peter for his judaizing at Antioch. All which account of himself tends clearly to show, that St. Paul made not the least step towards complying with the jews, in favour of the law, nor did, out of regard to man, deviate from the doctrine he had received by revelation from God.
All the parts of this section, and the narrative contained in it, manifestly concenter in this, as will more fully appear, as we go through them, and take a closer view of them; which will show us, that the whole is so skilfully managed, and the parts so gently slid into, that it is a strong, but not seemingly laboured justification of himself, from the imputation of preaching up circumcision.
TEXT. 6 I MARVEL that ye are so soon renoved from him, that called
you into the grace of Christ, unto another gospel :
PARAPHRASE. 6 I
CANNOT but wonder that you are soon removed from me, (who called you into the covenant of
NOTES. 6:" So soon." The first place we find Galatia mentioned, is Acts xvi. €. And therefore St. Paul may be supposed to have planted these churches there, in his journey mentioned, Acts xvi. which was anno Domini 51. He visited them again, after he had been at Jerusalem, Acts xviii. 21–53. A.D. 54. From thence he returned to Ephesus, and staid there about two years, dur ing which time this epistle was writ: so that, counting from his last visit, this letter was writ to them within two or three years from the time he was last with them, and had left them confirmed in the doctrine he had taught them ; and therefore he might with reason wonder at their forsaking him so soon, and that gospel he had converted them to.
D'« From him that called you.” These words plainly point out himself; but then one might wonder how St. Paul came to use them since it would have sounded better to have said, “ Removed from the gospel I preached to you, to " another gospel, than removed froin me that preached to you, to another gospel." But if it be remembered, that St. Paul's design here, is to vindicate himself from the aspersion cast on him, that he preached circumcision, nothing could be more suitable to that purpose, than this way of expressing himself.
TEXT. 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and
would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other
gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you,
let him be aceursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any, man preach any
other gospel unto you, than that ye have received, let him be
accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please
men? For, if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
PARAPHRASE. 7 which is in Christ) unto another sort of gospel; Which
is not owing to any thing else“, but only this, that ye are troubled by a certain sort of men, who would overturn the gospel of Christ by making circumcision, and
the keeping of the law, necessary under the gospel. 8 But if even I myself, or an angel from heaven, should
preach any thing to you for gospel, different from the
gospel I have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 I say it again to you, if any one, under pretence of the
gospel, preach any other thing to you, than what ye 10 have received from me, let him be accursed. For can
it be doubted of me, after having done and suffered so much for the gospel of Christ, whether I do now", at
NOTES. 7 a "Osxisiv anno I take to signify" which is not any thing else.” The words themselves, the context, and the business the apostle is upon here, do all concur to give these words the sense I have taken them in. For, 1, If had referred to evaylentov, it would have been more natural to have kept to the word štepov, and not have changed it into anxo. 2. It can scarce be supposed, by any one who reads what St. Paul says, in the following words of this verse, and the two adjoining; and also chap. iii. 4. and ver. ii. 4 and 7. that St. Paul should tell them, that what he would keep them from, "is not another gospel.” 3. It is suitable to St. Paul's design here, to tell them, that to their being removed to " another gospel,” nobody else had contributed, but it was wholly owing to those judaizing seducers.
See Acts xv. 1, 5, 23, 24. 96" Accursed." Though we may look upon the repetition of the anathema here, to be for the adding of force to what he says, yet we may observe, that by joining himself with an angel, in the foregoing verse, he does as good as tell them, that he is not guilty of what deserves it, by skilfully insinuating to the galatians, that they might as well suspect an angel might preach to them a gospel different from his, i.e. a false gospel, as that he himself should : and then, in this verse, lays the anathema, wholly and solely, upon the judaizing seducers.
10 - "Aplu, “ now," and šti, “ yet,” cannot be understood without a referTEST. 11 But I certify to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preach
ed of me, is not after man. 19 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by
the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past, in the Jews
religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the Church of God, and wasted it.
PARAPHRASE. this time of day, make my court to men, or seek the favour of God? If I had hitherto made it
business to please men, I should not have been the servant
of Christ, nor taken up the profession of the gospel. 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel, which has
been every where preached by me, is not such as is
pliant to human interest, or can be accommodated to 12 the pleasing of men (For I neither received it from
man, nor was I taught it by any one, as his scholar;)
but it is the pure and unmixed, immediate revelation 13 of Jesus Christ to me. To satisfy you of this, my behaviour whilst I was of the jewish religion is so well
NOTES. ence to something in St. Paul's past life; what that was, which he had particu. larly then in his mind, we may see hy the account he gives of himself, in what immediately follows, viz. that before his conversion he was employed by men, in their designs, and made it his business to please them, as may be seeri, Acts ix. 1,2. But when God called him, he received his commission and instructions from him alone, and set immediately about it, without consulting any man whatsoever, preaching that, and that only, which he had received from Christ. So that it would be senseless folly in him, and no less than the forsaking his Master, Jesus Christ, if he should now, as was reported of him, mix any thing of men's with the pure doctrine of the Gospel, which he had received immedi. ately by revelation from Jesus Christ, to please the jews, after he had so long preached only that;. and had, to avoid all appearance or pretence to the contrary, so carefully shunned all communication with the churches of Judea; and had not, until a good while after, and that very sparingly, conversed with any, and those but a few, of the apostles themselves, some of whom he openly reproved for their judaizing: Thus the narrative, subjoined to this verse, explains the “ now," and “ yet," in it, and all tends to the same purpose.
* Dicion, translated 6 persuade,” is sometimes used for making application to any one to obtain his good-will, or friendship: and hence, Acts xii. 20. wsófailss Brázor is translated “having made Blastus their friend :" the sense is here the same which, 1 Thess. ii. 4. he expresses in these words, óx his árpátrong apészevleç á mà TW Osm, “ not as pleasing men, but God.”
11. To củayloxo bi im ipł, " which has been preached by me:" this being spoken indefinitely, must be understood in general, every where, and so is the import of the foregoing verse. VOL. VIII.
TEXT. 14 And profited in the jews religion above many my equals in mine
own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mo
ther's womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his son in me, that I might preach him among the
heathen: immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood : 17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem, to them which were apostles
before me, but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto
I was in persecuting the church of God, and destroy14 ing it all I could; And that being carried on by an
extraordinary zeal for the traditions of my forefathers,
I out-stripped many students of my own age and 15 nation, in judaism. But when it pleased God (who
separatedo me from my mother's womb, and by his
especial favour called me to be a christian, and a 16 preacher of the gospel), To reveal his son to me,
that I might preach him among the gentiles, I there
upon applied not myself to any man", for advice 17 what to do. Neither went I up to Jerusalem to
those who were apostles before me, to see whether
“ Called." The history of this call, see Acts ix. &c. 16 c « Flesh and blood," is used for man, see Eph. vi. 12.
d “For advice :" this, and what he says in the following verse, is to evidence to the galatians the full assurance he had of the truth and perfection of the gospel, which he had received from Christ, by immediate revelation; and how little he was disposed to have any regard to the pleasing of men in preaching it, that he did not so much as communicate, or advise, with any of the apostles about it, to see whether they approved of it.
17 e Elbéwç, immediately, though placed just before è and apocandung " I conferred not;" yet it is plain, by the sense and design of St. Paul here, that it principally relates to," I went into Arabia ;" his departure into Arabia, presently upon his conversion, before he had consulted with any body, being inade use of, to show that the gospel he had received by immediate revelation from Jesus Christ, was complete, and sufficiently instructed and enabled him to be a preacher and an apostle to the gentiles, without borrowing any thing from any man, in order thereunto; no not with any of the apostles, no one of whom he saw, until three years after.