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but God gave it to Abraham by promise (q).

Wherefore then 19.

serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions (r), till (s) the seed (t) should come to whom the promise was made; and it (u) was ordained (x) by angels in the hand of a mediator (y). Now a mediator is not a mediator 20.

Abraham and his seed, "that in Abraham "and in his seed should all the nations of “the earth be blessed," and the other to Abraham and his seed, "that God would "be a God unto him, and to his seed after "him." If St. Paul alludes here to the promises of the first description, the meaning is, that blessedness was promised to all mankind through Abraham and his seed, not generally through all his seed, but through an individual of his seed, which individual was Christ. It is, therefore, solely through him, and not through any observance of the Mosaical institutions, or through any other medium, that this blessedness was to be obtained. St. Paul alludes here to the promise of the other description, to Abraham and his seed, it comes nearly to the same point; for then the meaning is, the promise was only to Abraham and his seed, in the singular number, so as to include seed of one description only. And by that seed were intended those of the faith, Christ's followers, and no others. 9.17. (7) "The covenant," i. e. the pro

v. 18.

v. 18.


mises to Abraham and his seed, which were made 430 years before the law was delivered to Moses. The promise in Gen. xii. was made about 1980 years before the time of Christ; that in Gen. xxii. about 1931 years; and that in Gen. xvii. about 1957 years. The law was delivered to Moses about 1551 years before our Saviour's time; so that the interval between the first promise and the giving of the law was nearly 430 years. And it is perhaps therefore to that promise, and to the corresponding one in Gen. xxii. that St. Paul alludes.

(0) Inheritance," i. e. the right of partaking of the blessedness mentioned in the promises.

(p)" Of the law," i. e. if the right is referable to the Mosaic institutions, it is no longer referable to the promises.

But God gave it expressly by the promises, therefore it cannot be referable to the Mosaic institutions.

(q)" By promise," so that it cannot v. 18. be of the law.

(r) "Of transgressions," i. e. either v. 19. of the Israelites, or of other nations. The object of the Mosaic law was to keep them to the worship of the one true God, and to prevent their being led into idolatry or the practice of sin, either by their own propensities or the example of others. It was, therefore, as it is expressed verse 24. "their schoolmaster to "bring them unto Christ."

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(s) Till," &c. This implies that it v. 19. was then to be abandoned.

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(1) "The seed," i. e. either the indi- v. 19. vidual in whom the nations were to be blessed, viz. Christ, or the body of persons on whom the blessedness was to be conferred. The latter seems right: it is the seed to whom, &c.

v. 19.

(u)" It," i. e. the Mosaic law. (x)" Ordained," &c. The meaning v. 19. perhaps is this, that in giving the law a mediator was employed, viz. Moses, which implies that there were two parties, between whom the mediation was effected, God on the one hand, and the Israelites on the other, and that something was bargained for or agreed upon between them, whereas in the promises there was no mediator or bargain, but the whole proceeded from God; and the law, which was matter of bargain, could not supersede the promises, because the promises were to extend to persons who were no parties to the bargain: all the nations of the earth were within the scope of the promises, and their rights could not be compromised by a bargain in which no nation but the Israelites were included.

(y) "A mediator," i. e. Moses.

v. 19.

of one (z); but God is one (a). 21. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law (b) given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have 22. been by the law. But the Scrip

ture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

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(z) "Of one," i. e. where a mediation occurs, there must be two parties at least.

(a) "But God is one." The meaning perhaps is, that in giving the law it was only on God's side that this matter of bargain was co-extensive with the promise; on the side of man, the Israelites alone were parties, and they could not compromise or destroy the rights of others. An allufion might further be intended to the immutability of what God has once promised. He never varies; never disanuuls or makes of no effect, what he once has promised. "He " is not a man, that he should lie; nei"ther the Son of man, that he should "repent: hath he said, and shall he not "do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he "not make it good?" Numb. xxiii. 19.

(b)" If there had been a law," &c. i. e. if any law could have given life, that of Moses would; but law, in its nature, requires perfect obedience, and from man's frailty, perfect obedience to any law has occurred in no instance but that of Christ. Life therefore must be sought, not under any law, on the footing of perfect obedience, but as the gift of God's grace and mercy; and the Scripture accordingly considers all men as sinners, having no right under any law, to admit to them who believe in Christ, and look up to him for salvation, that blessedness which was mentioned in God's promises to Abraham.

(c) "Blessed," &c. Had we lived in cur Saviour's time, who would not have

"prophets and kings have de"sired to see those things which

ye see, and have not seen them; "and to hear those things which 66 ye hear, and have not heard "them." And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, "Master, what shall "I do to inherit eternal life?" He said unto him, "What is "written in the law (d)? how "readest thou?" And he an swering said, "Thou (e) shalt "love the Lord thy God with "all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength,


been desirous to have seen his miracles, and have heard his discourses? And yet, if the well authenticated accounts we have of those miracles and discourses do not make a strong impression upon our minds and conduct, have we any right to conclude that the very seeing his miracles, and hearing his discourses, would have had the influence upon us that they ought? We are apt to think that stronger evidence would have been irresistible, without considering how strong that is we lightly esteem: but if they, who heard not Moses and the prophets, would not have been persuaded had one rose from the dead, so may it not be said of us, that if we hear not the writers of the New Testament, neither should we have been persuaded, though we had seen our Saviour's miracles, and heard his dis courses? If any one thinks he should have been persuaded, let him scrupulous ly examine the authenticity of the New Testament accounts, and see if they admit of doubt.

(d) "The law," i. e. the books of Moses.


(e) Thou," &c. In Deut. vi. 4,5. is this passage, "Hear, O Israel, the "Lord our God is one Lord: And thou "shalt love the Lord thy God with all "thine heart, and with all thy soul, and "with all thy might." And Lev. xix. 18. is as follows: "Thou shalt not


avenge, nor bear any grudge against "the children of thy people, but thou "shalt love thy neighbour as thyself:

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"the host, and said unto him, "Take care of him; and what"soever thou spendest more, "when I come again I will repay "thee. Which now of these 36. "three, thinkest thou, was neigh"bour unto him that fell among "the thieves?" And he said, 37. "He that shewed mercy on him." Then said Jesus unto him, "Go, "and do thou likewise."

Saint Bartholomew the Apostle.
The Collect.

O ALMIGHTY and everlasting
God, who didst give to thine
Apostle Bartholomew grace truly
to believe and to preach thy
Word; Grant, we beseech thee,
unto thy Church, to love that
Word which he believed, and
both to preach and receive the
same, through Jesus Christ our
Lord. Amen.

For the Epistle. Acts v. 12. (g) By the hands of the apostles were many signs (b) and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch (i). And of the 13. rest (k) durst no man join him

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self to them: but the people mag14. nified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and 15. women ;) insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might 16. overshadow some of them. There

came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits and they were healed (1) every one.

The Gospel. Luke xxii. 24. (m) AND there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the great25. est.

And he said unto them, "The kings of the Gentiles ex"ercise lordship over them; and "they that exercise authority 66 upon them are called Benefac26. “ tors. But ye shall not be so : "but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; "and he that is chief, as he that 27. "doth serve. For whether is

v. 16.



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The miracles (1) Healed," &c. of the disciples therefore agreed in character with those of our Saviour; they were acts of mercy, and in opposition to Satan's power; they were typical, implying the same power over the souls of men, as over their bodies, and importing a decided victory over Satan; and they were done publicly, in the sight of multitudes.

(m) Ante 110, III.

(n)" I appoint," &c. meaning, perhaps, that their reward would be in the life to come, not in this; that they were

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The Epistle. Gal. v. 16. I SAY then, Walk in the Spirit(), and ye shall not fulfil (p) the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lust-1 eth against the Spirit, and the (9) Spirit against the flesh and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that

not to look for recompence or distinction here. Our Saviour has declared, John xviii. 36. "My kingdom is not of this "world."

(o)" In the spirit," i. e. according " to the rules of Christianity, or according to the dictates of the Spirit of God.

(p) "Ye shall not fulfil," i. e. either imperatively," fulfil not," or the meaning may be, if ye walk in the spirit, you shall have power to resist the temptations of the flesh.

(9)" The spirit lusteth," &c. So Rom. vii. 22, 23.

18. ye would (r).

peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against such there is no 23. law (z). And they that are Christ's 24. have crucified (a) the flesh with

the affections and lusts.

But if ye be led (s) of the Spirit, ye are not under 19. the law (†). Now the works of the flesh (u) are manifest; which are these; Adultery, fornication, 20. uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, sedi21. tions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the king22. dom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit (x) is love (y), joy,


v. 18.

v. 18,

v. 19.

D. 22.

v. 22.

(r) "The things that ye would," i.e. every thing you wish; both what the spirit and the flesh suggest; you cannot follow the dictates of both, because what the one dictates is in opposition to what is dictated by the other, so that the dictates of one must be given up.

(s) 66 "Led of the spirit," i. e. follow the dictates of the spirit of God, or the rules of Christianity.

(1) "Under the law." Under an obligation to conform to the Mosaical institutions. The great drift of this epistle is to satisfy the converts that they were free from the bondage of those institutions. The first verse of this chapter is, "Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty "wherewith Christ hath made you free, "and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage," (meaning the regulations, &c. of the Mosaic law,) and see ante 192. note (ƒ).

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(u) "The works of the flesh," i. e. the works to which a compliance with the dictates of the flesh leads.

(x) "The fruit of the spirit," i, e. the things to which following the dictates of the spirit leads.

(y) "Love," &c. Does not the character of the gospel virtues afford strong internal evidence of the divine origin of the Christian religion? It inculcates whatever has a tendency to promote the private happiness of individuals, the general comfort of mankind, and the glory of God, and it inculcates nothing else. If men were in all instances to act

The Gospel. Luke xvii. 11. AND it came to pass, as Jesus went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee (b). And as he entered 12. into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off (c): and they 13. lifted up their voices, and said,

up to its precepts, how much of private and of national misery would be avoided, and how greatly would the happiness of individuals and of states be advanced? The internal evidence of its truth, which the nature of its rules supplies, is well commented upon in a tract of the late Mr. Soame Jenyns, who considers it as carrying with it a greater degree of conviction than even the prophecies or the miracles. See ante 179.

(x) "No law." These are princi. v.23. ples and practices which no law can.


(a)" Have crucified." This is a test v.24. of true Christianity: real Christians, those who are to have any benefit from Christianity, withstand the impulse of their sinful propensities. According to Rom. viii. 13. "They who live after "the flesh, shall die, but they who "through the spirit mortify the deeds "of the body, shall live." See ante 182. note on Rom. viii. 14.

It has .11.

(b) "Samaria and Galilee." already been noticed that it was chiefly in Galilee that our Saviour lived, &c. and displayed his mighty power; and so fulfilled the prophecy. Is. ix. 2. See ante 175, note on Luke v. I.

(c) "Afar off." By the Levitical law, v. 12. Levit xiii. 45, 46. a leper was bound to cry "unclean, unclean," to guard all persons against approaching him, and he was "to dwell alone:" "without the camp shall be his habitation."

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