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made a curse for us : for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: Christ hath redeemed us from that curse, which must needs follow upou the breach of the Law; in that lie, who was in his own person most holy and blessed, in the person of us sinners and for us for whose sins he came to satisfy his Father he is made a curse ; as it is written, &c. See Deut. xxi. 23.
III. 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. That the blessing, which was promised to Abraham, might, &c. that we, through Faith, might receive that good Spirit of Sancti. fication, which he hath promised.
III. 15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Brethren, let me fetch an argument even from your human affairs : If it be but a man's covenant, yet, if it be ratified and confirmed, no man takes upon him to disannul or to alter it: how much more shall the covenant, that God himself made with Abraham, be firm and inviolable !
III. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. Now to Abraham and to his seed were the promises made ; I will be the God of thee and thy seed ; and, In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed : and though the word Seed do, in the signification thereof, imply a collection or multitude; yet, in this sense, it is, in the use and intention of God, restrained to one, even Christ, who is, by a specialty, that seed of Abraham, by and through whom the blessing is derived to all nations.
III. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. And this I infer hereupon: this being an Evangelical Covenant, which was made beforehand with Abraham of blessing and salvation, to be had by and in his seed Christ; it cannot be, that the Law, which was given four hundred and thirty years after, should disannul it, and make this so ancient and firm a promise of none effect.
III. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise : but God gave it to Abraham by promise. For the Law and the Promise cannot both stand together : if Righteousness and Salvation be by the Works of the Law, then it is not to be had, by virtue of the Promise ; but God gave it to Abraham, by Promise ; therefore not upon Works.
III. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law ? it was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made ; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a me.
If the Promise then were sufficient, wherefore serves the Law! why came that so long after, if the Promise, made so long before, were enough to save men ? Surely there are other uses of the Law, and other occasions of the delivering of it: as, for one, the Law was given to bridle and restrain the transgressions of men ; to sbew them their sins and imperfections, that, in a sense of their vileness, they might seek unto Christ, who is that seed in whom the promise of the blessing was both made and accomplished; and this law was ordained and given of God, by the ministry of angels, in the hand of a third person, that should go between God and bis people, as a messenger or mediator ; even Moses, who was to take the Law from the band of angels, and deliver it to the people.
III. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Now a mediator implies a difference: there cannot be a mediator, where there is but one side: God being one therefore, the people must be the other party; and thereupon it will follow, that the Law is so far from an intendment of giving life, as that, in the delivery of it, it argues a difference betwixt God and his people.
III. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. What then? is God, in these proceedings, contrary to himself, in giving a Law and Promises contrary to each other? as if he would have saved men by the Law first; and then, altering his purpose, resolved to save them by his Promise? God forbid : no; God is constant to his own determinations berein: for if men could have attained to life by the keeping of the Lawr, there had been no use of the Righteousness of Faith.
III. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But now the Scripture hath made known to us our universal sinfulness, wherewith every soul is tainted, and bound over to death; so as no man can look for any advantage from the Law; so as now there is just room made for the necessary supply of the promises of salvation by Faith in Christ, to be obtained of all them, that believe in him.
III. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. But, before this happy supply of Faith came, we were all obnosious unto the Law, and to the condemnation threatened to the breakers of it; and were, as it were, shut up close prisoners under the Law, and reserved for this comfortable release of Faith in that Saviour which should afterward be revealed.
III. 24 Il'herefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Wherefore the Law was not intended to perfect us, as of itself; but only to be our schoolmaster, to train us up unto the higher form of Christ; that by it we, being convinced of our own imperfections and dangers, might seek for our Justification by Faith in Christ.
III. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. But after that Faith is once wrought in the heart, we are no longer under the tyranny, rigour, malediction of the Law ; which is as the ferule of that hard schoolmaster.
III. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For ye are all now the children of God, by Faith in Jesus Christ; even the children of God, not the slaves or pupils of the Law : and therefore do now obey the Law, as out of the duty of sons, not out of constraint ; as a rule of life, not as a means of your Justification,
III. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. For as many of you, as have been baptized into Christ, have made Christ your own; and are clothed with his graces, with bis merits.
III. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neiiher male nor female : for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. God makes no difference now betwixt nations and persons : all are alike, yea all are one to him, in Christ: his acceptation doth not single out a Jew from a Greek ; but his mercy is indifferently extended to them all, without all respect of persons.
III. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye that special seed of Abraham, to which the Promise is made ; and, by consequence, ye are the inheritors of the blessing promised.
IV. 1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all. It is with man under the Law, as with a child under wardship or pupillage: let the child be never so great an heir, yet so long as he is under age, he is held down ; and differeth nothing in his usage from a servant, but is kept straitly in under tutors and governors, until the full time limited by his Father's will, or set by the laws, be expired.
IV. 3, 4, 5 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world : But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Even so it is with us: In this spiritual minority of ours, we were under the bondage and wardship of the Law of Ceremonies : But, when the time, wbich our Heavenly Father had prefixed for our freedonf, was fully come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, and made voluntarily subject unto the Law, To redeem us that were in bondage to the Law, that we might now attain
those full and ample privileges and liberties, which belong to us as sons, by the virtue of his gracious adoption.
IV. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. And, because ve are his truly-adopted sons, God hath given you the comfortable sense and assurance of bis mercy; in that he hath given unto your hearts the Holy Spirit, even the Spirit of his Son, which, with a holy vehemency, enables you to lay claim to God as your own, and to speak to him by the vame of Abba, Father.
IV. 9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage ? But now, after that ye bare known God and his will; yea, rather, after that God hath so known you, as to accept you to mercy, and to reveal bis will unto you; how is it, that ye, being thus endeared to God, yet turn back to the base and impotent ceremonies of the Law, from which ye were freed; as if ye were fond of that bondage, whereof ye are acquitted ?
IV. 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. Ye stand upon the Judaical observations of those New Moons and Sabbaths, of the Seventh Month, of the Solemn Festivities, and of Jubilees, which the Mosaical Law hath prescribed.
IV. 12 Brethren, I beseech you, be, as I am ; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. Brethren, I beseech you be ye so affected to me, as I am to you; and be ready to follow my example in leaving these ritual observations, as I am ready in all indifferent things to conform myself unto you: and, if I have spoke sharply to you in this point, think not that it is out of any discontentment, or private displeasure against you; for ye have not wronged me at all.
IV. 13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. Ye know, that when I first came amongst you and preached the Gospel to you, though I was then much opposed and outwardly afflicted, and demeaned myself in a honely and mean manner;
IV. 14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected ; but received me as an angel of God, eren as Christ Jcsus. Yet ye then did not despise or reject me, because I was thus afflicted, and mean in my outward port and carriage; but received me with all alacrity and reverence; so as if an angel of God had come amongst you, yea, if my Lord Jesus should in person have come to you, ye could not have shewed more outward respect to him.
IV. 15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for 1 bear you record, &c. Where is then that blessedness, which ye spoke of; professing how happy ye were in such a teacher? for I bear you record, &c.
IV. 17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude, that ye might affect them. These false teachers make shew of much zealous affection that they bear you, as if they wooed your love ; but it is but colourable and ill-grounded : they would draw away your respect from us, that ye might be wholly devoted to them.
IV. 18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. But it is good to be zealously affected towards good men, and upon good grounds always; and when ye have once placed your good liking and opinion, as ye did once upon me, not to be easily removed from it; but to continue it still, as well in absence, as in presence,
IV. 19, 20 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice ; for I stand in doubt of you. My little children, whom I have once begotten unto Christ, by the Gospel; and of whom, as being now relapsed to Judaism, I am now in travail again, till I have recovered you to that sincere faith and perfect liberty in Christ, which ye once had ; I desire to be personally present with you, now, that I might frame and alter my speech with you, according as I should see occasion ; one while reproving, another while encouraging yoni; one while applauding you, and another while bemoaning and bewailing your danger ; for, indeed I am in inuch doubt of you.
IV. 21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law ? Tell me, ye, that have so much desire to fall back and to be under the bondage of the Law, if ye have such a mind to Moses, do but hear what Moses hath told you.
IV. 22 For it is written, thut Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. For, it is written, you know, in him, that Abraham had two sons, the one, Ishmael, by his bondwoman Hagar, the other, Isaac, by his true wife, Sarah.
IV. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise, Abraham was indeed the natural father to them both; but, as for Ishmael, who was the bondwoman's son, he had nothing but nature in him: as he was conceived in an ordinary manner, so, he had nothing but mere Aesh, derived from Abraham ; but Isaac, that was the son of Sarah, the freewoman, and lawful wife of Abraham, was both extraordinarily conceived upon the promise made by the angel, and was the son of Abraham's faith, to and in whom the promise of blessing made to Abraham was accomplished.
IV. 21 IVhich things are an allegory : for these are the two.covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bona dage, which is Hagar.