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2 Behold, I, Paul, say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.

3 For I testify, again, to every man that is circumcised, that he is a lebtor to do the whole law.

4 Christ is become of no effect unto you; whosoever of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace.

5 For we, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith, which worketh by love.

7 Ye did run well: who did hinder you, that ye should not obey the truth?


2 Take notice that I, Paula, who am falsely reported to preach up circumcision in other places, say unto you, that if you are cir3 cumcised, Christ shall be of no advantage to you. For I repeat, here again, what I have always preached, and solemnly testify to every one, who yields to be circumcised, in compliance with those who say, That now, under the Gospel, he cannot be saved bwithout it, that he is under an obligation to the whole law, and 4 bound to observe and perform every tittle of it. Christ is of no use to you, who seek justification by the law: whosoever do so, be ye what ye will, 1, ye are fallen from the covenant of grace. 5 But I, and those, who with me are true Christians, we, who follow the truth of the Gospel, and the doctrine of the Spirit d of God, have no other hope of justification, but by faith in 6 Christ. For in the state of the Gospel, under Jesus, the Messiah, it is neither circumcision nor uncircumcision that is of any moment; all that is available is faith alone, working by lovee. When you first entered into the profession of the Gospel, you were in a good way, and went on well: who has


2a '18ì, ¡yù Пaũλos, “Behold, I Paul," I the same Paul, who am reported to preach circumcision, paplúpoμai dì máλır warπi åveρún, v. 3, witness again, continue my testimony, to every man, to you and all men. This so emphatical way of speaking may very well be understood to have regard to what he takes notice, ver. 11, to be cast upon him, viz. his preaching circumcision, and is a very significant vindication of himself.


3 Cannot be saved." This was the ground, upon which the Jews and Judaizing Christians urged circumcision. See Acts xv. 1.


We." It is evident, from the context, that St. Paul here means himself. But We is a more graceful way of speaking than I; though he be vindicating himself alone from the imputation of setting up circumcision.

"Spirit." The law and the Gospel opposed, under the titles of Flesh and Spirit, we may see, chap. iii. 3, of this epistle. The same opposition it stands in here


to the law, in the foregoing verse, points out the same signification.

"Which worketh by love." This is added to express the animosities which were amongst them, probably raised by this question about circumcision. See ver. 11-15.


8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

10 I have confidence in you, through the Lord, that you will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you, shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be.

11 And I, brethren, if I yet preached circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased.


put a stop to you, and hindered you, that you keep no longer 8 to the truth of the Christian doctrine? This persuasion, that


it is necessary for you to be circumcised, cometh not from him, by whose preaching you were called to the profession of 9 the Gospel. Remember that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump; the influence of one mans entertained among you may mislead you all. I have confidence in you, that by the help of the Lord, you will be all of this same mind with me; and consequently he, that troubles you, shall fall under the 11 censure he deserves for it, whoever he be. But as for me, brethren, if I, at last, am become a preacher of circumcision, why am I yet persecuted? If it be so, that the Gentile con


8 'This expression of “him that calleth, or calleth you," he used before, chap. i. 6, and, in both places, means himself, and here declares, that this wiμovǹ (whether taken for persuasion, or for subjection, as it may be in St. Paul's style, considering was, in the end of the foregoing verse) came not from him, for he called them to liberty from the law, and not subjection to it; see ver. 13. "You were going on well, in the liberty of the Gospel; who stopped you? I, you may be sure, had no hand in it; I, you know, called you to liberty, and not to subjection to the law, and therefore you can, by no means, suppose that I should preach up circumcision." Thus St. Paul argues here.

9 By this and the next verse, it looks as if all this disorder arose from one man. 10 h Will not be otherwise minded," will beware of this leaven, so as not to be

put into a ferment, nor shaken in your liberty, which you ought to stand fast in; and to secure it, I doubt not, (such confidence I have in you) will with one accord cast out him that troubles you. For, as for me, you may be sure I am not for circumcision, in that the Jews continue to persecute me. This is evidently his meaning, though not spoken out, but managed warily, with a very skilful and moving insinuation. For, as he says of himself, chap. iv. 20, he knew not, at that distance, what temper they were in.

i Kpiua, Judgment, seems here to mean expulsion by a church censure; see ver. 12, We shall be the more inclined to this, if we consider, that the apostle uses the same argument of "a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump," 1 Cor. v. 6, where he would persuade the Corinthians to purge out the fornicator.

11 Persecution. The persecution St. Paul was still under was a convincing argument, that he was not for circumcision, and subjection to the law; for it was from the Jews, upon that account, that, at this time, rose all the persecution which the Christians suffered; as may be seen through all the history of the Acts. Nor are there wanting clear footsteps of it, in several places of this epistle, besides this here, as chap. iii. 4, and vi. 12.


12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you. 13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty.


verts are to be circumcised, and so subjected to the law, the great offence of the Gospel', in relying solely on a crucified 12 Saviour for salvation, is removed. But I am of another mind, and wish that they may be cut off who trouble you about this 13 matter, and they shall be cut off. For, brethren, ye have been called by me unto liberty.


1 Offence of the cross; see chap. vi. 12-14.


CHAPTER V. 13-26.


FROM the mention of liberty, which he tells them they are called to, under the Gospel, he takes a rise to caution them in the use of it, and so exhorts them to a spiritual, or true Christian life, showing the difference and contrariety between that and a carnal life, or a life after the flesh.


Only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.


Though the Gospel, to which you are called, be a state of liberty from the bondage of the law, yet pray take great care you do not mistake that liberty, nor think it affords you an opportunity, in the abuse of it, to satisfy the lust of the flesh, 14 but serve a one another in love. For the whole law, concern


13 Auλeúele, serve, has a greater force in the Greek than our English word, serve, does in the common acceptation of it express. For it siguifies the opposite


14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh and these are contrary the one to the other; so that not do the things that ye would.


ye can


14 ing our duty to others, is fulfilled in observing this one pre15 ceptb; "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." But, if

you bite and tear one another, take heed that you be not de16 stroyed and consumed by one another. This I say to you, conduct yourselves by the light that is in your minds, and do not give yourselves up to the lusts of the flesh, to obey them, 17 in what they put upon you. For the inclinations and desires


of the flesh are contrary to those of the Spirit: and the dictates and inclinations of the Spirit are contrary to those of the flesh; so that, under these contrary impulses, you do not do the 18 things that you purpose to yourselves. But if you give


to ipía, freedom. And so the apostle elegantly informs them, that though, by the Gospel, they are called to a state of liberty from the law; yet they were still as much bound and subjected to their brethren, in all the offices and duties of love and good-will, as if, in that respect, they were their vassals and bondmen. 14 Lev. xix. 18.


16 That which he here, and in the next verse, calls Spirit, he calls, Rom. vii. 22, the inward man; ver. 23, the law of the mind; ver. 25, the mind.

17 d Do not; so it is in the Greek, and ours is the only translation that I know, which renders it cannot.

16, 17 There can be nothing plainer, than that the state St. Paul describes here, in these two verses, he points out more at large, Rom. vii. 17, &c. speaking there in the person of a Jew. This is evident, that St. Paul supposes two principles in every man, which draw him different ways; the one he calls Flesh, the other Spirit. These, though there be other appellations given them, are the most common and usual names given them in the New Testament: by flesh, is meant all those vicious and irregular appetites, inclinations, and habitudes, whereby a man is turned from his obedience to that eternal law of right, the observance whereof God always requires, and is pleased with. This is very properly called flesh, this bodily state being the source, from which all our deviations from the straight rule of rectitude do for the most part take their rise, or else do ultimately terminate in: on the other side, spirit is the part of a man, which is endowed with light from God, to know and see what is righteous, just, and good, and which, being consulted and hearkened to, is always ready to direct and prompt us to that which is good. The flesh then, in the Gospel language, is that principle, which inclines and carries men to ill; the spirit, that principle which dictates what is right, and inclines to good. But because, by prevailing




18 But if ye be led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these ; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 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


yourselves up to the conduct of the Gospel, by faith in Christ, 19 ye are not under the law f. Now the works of the flesh, as is

manifest, are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasci20 viousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, enmities, quarrels, emula21 tions, animosities, strife, seditions, sects, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: concerning which I forewarn you now, as heretofore I have done, that they who


custom, and contrary habits, this principle was very much weakened, and almost extinct in the Gentiles, see Eph. iv. 17-21, he exhorts them to "be renewed in the spirit of their minds," ver. 23, and to "put off the old man," i. e. fleshly corrupt habits, and to put on the new man,” which he tells them, ver. 24, "is created in righteousness and true holiness." This is called "renewing of the mind," Rom. xii. 2. "Renewing of the inward man," 2 Cor. iv. 16. Which is done by the assistance of the Spirit of God, Eph. iii. 16.


18 The reason of this assertion we may find, Rom. viii. 14, viz, Because, 66 they who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God," and so heirs, and free without the law, as he argues here, chap. iii. and iv.

This is plainly the sense of the apostle, who teaches all along in the former part of this epistle, and also that to the Romans, that those, who put themselves under the Gospel, are not under the law: the question, then, that remains is only about the phrase, "led by the Spirit." And as to that, it is easy to observe how natural it is for St. Paul, having in the foregoing verses more than once mentioned the Spirit, to continue the same word, though somewhat varied in the sense. In St. Paul's phraseology, as the irregularities of appetite, and the dictates of right reason, are opposed under the titles of Flesh and Spirit, as we have seen so the covenant of works, and the covenant of grace, law, and Gospel, are opposed under the titles of Flesh and Spirit. 2 Cor. iii. 6, 8, he calls the Gospel Spirit; and Rom. vii. 5, in the flesh, signifies in the legal state. But we need go no further than chap. iii. 3, of this very epistle, to see the law and the Gospel opposed by St. Paul, under the titles of Flesh and Spirit. The reason of thus using the word Spirit is very apparent in the doctrine of the New Testament, which teaches, that those who receive Christ by faith, with him receive his Spirit, and its assistance against the flesh; see Rom, viii. 9-11. Accordingly, for the attaining salvation, St. Paul joins together belief of the truth, and sanctification of the Spirit, 2 Thess. ii. 13. And so Spirit, here, may be taken for "the Spirit of their minds," but renewed and strengthened by the Spirit of God; see Eph. iii. 16, and iv. 23.

20 % papμaxeía signifies witchcraft, or poisoning.


21 h Käμo, Revellings, were, amongst the Greeks, disorderly spending of the night in feasting, with a licentious indulging to wine, good cheer, music, dancing, &c.

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