« 前へ次へ »
the same way of living: there must likeI wise be the same relations, for all Chri
stians are the children of God in him; the fame possessions and inheritance, and the same right and title to hold it by.
The Apostle, verf. 27. gives a very fignificant description of this fame union under a well-known image or similitude: They who are baptized into Chrift, have put on Christ; they who are baptized into Christ, are baptized into his death, and made conform, and planted into the likeness of it. They are all this fame Apostle's expressions, and he gives another yet stronger description, if possible, in his own case, viz. that he was crucified with Christ. And in consequence of this, he that believes in Christ, puts off the old man with his deeds, i.e. the child of Adam, with all his relations, connections, and dependencies: he puts on Christ, as men do garments for covering nakedness, for defence against the inclemencies of the air, and even for ornament. The expression bespeaks the Christian so covered, and, we may fay, inclosed in him, that in a right Christian there is nothing to be seen but' Christ; their whole constitution, I mean
that which makes them Christians; and consequently every thing that is good and amiable, either in their temper or conduct, and whatever their attainments and enjoyments are, or what well-grounded hopes and expectations they have, all are owing to Christ, and to him belongs all the glory and honour of them.
By these hints, if rightly pursued, it will appear, that this, and such other scripture-expressions, are not mere metaphors, such as are used by orators and other polite writers merely for ornamenting and enlivening their discourses, but have really more of analogy than metaphor in them; the only way by which any conceptions can be formed of unseen things, which cannot be brought directly under our observation. The author of them knew perfectly the whole of the subject, and what were the fittest images to reprefent it; and therefore could not fall into those mistakes which human metaphors, and imagery, are often in danger of betraying insensibly their readers and hearers into very dangerous errors.
From this, the closest of all connections
of every individual Christian with Chrift, necessarily arises a very close connection and union among themselves; which the Apostle strongly asserts, verf. 28. of which he gives us a very beautiful representation, Rom. xii. 4. 5.“ As the body is one, and “ hath many members; so we being many, “are one body in Christ, and every one “members one of another.” It has been often observed, that all mankind come into the world in a state of perfect equality; and were what the Apostle said to the Athenians of the true God well understood, viz. that " in him we live, and move, and “have our beings,” the natural connection of mankind with one another would appear so strong, that one could hardly help wondering, how the little different interests and distinctions among men should ever have been able to break it, as we fee actually done. Nor indeed can this breach ever be made up, but by the removal of these make-bates, and establishing mankind on their original bottom. This we fee done effectually in Christ, hy being made conform unto him in his death; and thus becoming dead to a present world, and united into one body in Christ, who
is all in all to them, and in whom they are perfectly complete; so complete, that they can do all things through Christ strengthening them. There of course all wordly distinctions vanish, which cannot be better expressed than in his own words: “ There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither “bond nor free, neither male nor female, “ but all are one in Christ Jesus:" not only onę life, for indeed that is the case of all mankind however little it is minded, but one fpirit influencing their whole conduct.
On this view he gives the finishing evidence of what he had said before, that all who believe in Christ, Gentiles, as well as natural Jews, are the children of Abraham. They might have been justly enough called and reckoned so; because they believed God as he did: but here is a nearer and more sensible relation, by this their union with Christ, * Abraham's one feed; they are strictly and properly his feed, and thence as really heirs of the promise, as himself was.
CHAP. iv, I.
1. Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child,
differeth nothing from a fervant though he be lord of all; 2. But is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of the father. 3. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4. But when the fullness of . the time wts come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law, 5. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of fons. 6. And because ye are fons, God bath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7. Wherefore thou art na more a servant, but a fon; and if a son, then an þeir of God through Chrif.
TT was a matter of great moment to these 1 Galatians, and all in their situation, to know well what it was that their new teachers were so earnest to draw them in to. The Apostle was deeply concerned about them; he knew the danger: and that they might not run blindfold into the snare, he had told them the true intent and purpose of the law ; that it did not, nor was ever designed to answer, any other purpose, but to lead those who were under it to Christ. When that was done, there was no further occasion for it: nor