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4. “ Paradise.”—Commentators are rather divided here. They cannot agree whether "Paradise” is here the same as the third heaven," or another place; and they who agree that another place is to be understood, doubt whether it denotes the Garden of Eden or the place of departed souls. The most ancient interpretation, in which the most consderable modern commentators have been disposed to concur, is, that the unutterable things of the third beaven and of the place of departed souls, were successively manifested to the apostle.
7. “ A thorn in the flesh.”—There is no bodily complaint which man can suffer, no disease of mind which can befal him, nor any temptation to which he is subject, in which St. Paul's “ thorn in the flesh” has not been sought. From all this, as well as from the nature of the thing, it is so evident that whatever may be offered on the subject must be the merest conjecture, that we do not feel it necessary to enter into the question. "The pain inflicted by a sharp thura or splinter, which has entered the flesh, is so acuté, that it is almost everywhere found to supply a metaphor for ei. pressing any severe anguish, whether of body or mind.
6 But I trust that ye shall know that we CHAPTER XIII.
are not reprobates. 1 He threateneth severity, and the power of his
7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; apostleship against obstinate sinners. 5 And ad- not that we should appear approved, but vising them to a triul of their fuith, 7 and to a that ye should do that which is honest, reformation of their sins before his coming, 11 he concludeth his epistle with a general exhortu
though we be as reprobates. tion and a prayer.
8 For we can do nothing against the
truth, but for the truth. This is the third time I am coming to you. 9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and 'In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall ye are strong: and this also we wish, eren every word be established.
your perfection. 2 'I told you before, and foretell you, as if 10 Therefore I write these things being I were present, the second time; and being absent, lest being present I should use absent now I write to them which hereto- sharpness, according io the power which the fore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I Lord hath given me to edification, and not come again I will not spare:
to destruction. 3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking 11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perin me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is fect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live mighty in you.
in peace; and the God of love and peace 4 For though he was crucified through shall be with you. weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. 12 'Greet one another with an holy kiss. For we also are weak 'in him, but we shall 13 All the saints salute you. live with him by the power of God toward 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. you.
and the love of God, and the communion of 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. the faith ; prove your own selves. Know ye The second epistle to the Corinthians not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ was written from Philippi, a city of Mais in you, except ye be reprobates ?
cedonia, by Titus and Lucas. i Deut. 19. 13. 2 Or, with him. Verse 1. " This is the third time I am coming to you.”—These words seem to imply that the writer had already bera twice at Corinth. Yet we have no historical knowledge that St. Paul visited that city more than twice, and every pote of time except this, which can be collected, plainly intimates that this, as well as the former Epistle, was writrea between his first and second visit. Moreover, from his first visit to Greece down to his first imprisonment at Rome, tbe apostle's time is fully accounted for, precluding the idea that any third journey to Corinth could be made or intended. If, therefore, the epistle was written after the second journey to Corinth, and in view and expectation of a third, it must have been written after his first imprisonment at Rome; that is, after the time to which the history extends “When I first read over this Epistle, with the particular view of comparing it with the history," says Dr. Paley, “I own that I felt myself confounded by this text. It appeared to contradict the opinion which I had been led, from a great variety of circumstances, to form, concerning the date and occasion of this Epistle. At length, however, it occurred to my thoughts to inquire whether the passage did necessarily imply that St. Paul had visited Corinth twice; or whether, when he says, “This is the third time I am coming unto you,' he might mean only that this was the third time he was ready, that he was prepared, that he intended to set out upon his journey to Corinth. I recollected that he had once before this proposed to visit Corinth, and had been disappointed in his purpose, which disappointment forms the subject of much apology and protestation in the first and second chapters of the Epistle. Now if the journey in which he had been disappointed was reckoned by him one of the times in which he was coming to them,' then the present would be the third time, i.e., of his being ready and prepared to come ; although he had been actually at Corinth only once before. This conjecture being taken up, a further examination of the passage and the Epistle produced pro which placed it beyond doubt.”. For these proofs, which seem to us quite satisfactory, we must be content to refer to “Horæ Paulinæ,' ch. iv. No. xi. It is right to explain, however, that although we have taken Paley's clear exposition of the difficulty and its solution, the latter was by no means first discovered by him, the same haring been given by some of the ancient and many of the modern commentators,
3 Rom. 16. 16.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God?
or do I seek to please men? for if I yet 6 He wondereth that they have so soon left him and
pleased men, I should not be the servant of the Gospel, 8 and accurseth those that preach any
Christ. other Gospel than he did. 11 He learned the Gospel not of men, but of God: 14 and sheweth what 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the he was before his calling, 17 and what he did pre- Gospel which was preached of me is not sently after it.
after man. AUL, an apo
12 For I neither received it of man, neistle, (not of ther was I taught it, but by the revelation men, neither by of Jesus Christ. man, but by Je. 13 For ye have heard of my conversation sus Christ, and in time past in the Jews' religion, how that God the Fa- 'beyond measure I persecuted the Church of ther, who raised God, and wasted it: him from the 14 And profited in the Jews' religion dead ;)
above many my 'equals in mine own nation, 2 And all the being more exceedingly zealous of the trabrethren which ditions of my fathers. are with me, un- 15 But when it pleased God, who sepa. to the churches rated me from my mother's womb, and called
of Galatia: me by his grace, 3 Grace be to you and peace from God 16" To reveal his Son in me, that I might the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, preach him among the heathen ; immediately
4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he I conferred not with flesh and blood : might deliver us from this present evil 17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to world, according to the will of God and our them which were apostles before me; but I Father:
went into Arabia, and returned again unto 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Damascus. Amen.
18 Then after three years I 'went up to 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with hiin from him that called you into the grace of fifteen days. Christ unto another Gospel :
19 Buť other of the apostles saw I none, 7 Which is not another; but there be save James the Lord's brother. some that trouble you, and would pervert 20 Now the things which I write unto you, the Gospel of Christ.
behold, before God, I lie not. 8 But though we, or an angel from hea- 21 Afterwards I came into the regions of ven, preach any other Gospel unto you than Syria and Cilicia; that which we have preached unto you, let 22 And was unknown by face unto the him be accursed.
churches of Judæa which were in Christ : 9 As we said before, so say I now again, 23 But they had heard only, That he If any man preach any other Gospel unto which persecuted us in times past now you than that ye have received, let him be preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. accursed
24 And they glorified God in me. Gr. equals in years. 8 Ephes. 3.8. * Or, returned.
1 Acts 9. 1.
GALATIANS.- Of the Galatians, and the country which they occupiel, some notice has been taken under Acts xvi. 6. The Gospel of Christ was first preached to the Galatians by St. Paul himself (Acts xvi. 6), who afterwards visited again the churches which he had planted among them (Acts xviii
. 33). The first visit appears to have been about the year 49 or 50, and the second in 54 or 55. As the Epistle does not intimate that the apostle had been tvice with ihem, it was probably written between the first and second visits. Indeed, it was the ancient opinion that this was the first in date of all the Epistles of St. Paul; and this opinion has been adopted and advocated, with his usual ability, by Michaelis. Even those who are not prepared to affirm that this was the most early of the Epistles, do yet generaliy allow that it was one of the earliest, and assign it dates ranging, for the most part, between the years we have just mentioned. That St. Paul complains how speedily the Galatians had been seduced from the simple doctrines which be taught, as well as the very character of the question which forms its principal subject, clearly demonstrate that the Epistle to the Galatians must take its place among the earliest of St. Paul's writings. The statement in the subscrip tion that it was written from Rome-that is, while Paul was a prisoner there—is utterly unfounded, and does not claim the least attention.
Like many other of St. Paul's Epistles, the one now before us is chiefly occupied in opposing the disposition show by the Christian converts to unite Judaism with Christianity; and since so much of the present Epistle is employed on the subject of circumcision, which point was sooner settled than many others, it is evident that it was written at an earlier stage of this great controversy than when the Epistles to the Corinthians and the Romans were composed. It appears, indeed, that one or more influential Christian Jews, probably from Jerusalem, had intruded into the Galatian church-which had been founded on the ideas of Christian liberty from the yoke of the Law, which St. Paul eatertained—and taught the necessity of circumcision, and of obedience to the whole Law. They seem to have coasidered, with many others who stirred up the churches against St. Paul, that Christianity was merely a seet or modification of Judaism, which did not by any means dispense with the obligations of the Law, which they believed to be perpetual. This notion it was natural enough for Jews to entertain ; and even some of the apostles appear to have relinquished it with difficulty. Indeed, it seems, in this age, to have been the hardest of all things for the Jewish Christians to understand that the new religion was an original, independent, and superseding revelation. St. Paul was constantly brought into contact with the class of feelings arising from such viewsy since, as the apostle of the Gentiles, it became necessary to him to state the separate claims of Christianity broadly and distinctly. He had to tell the Gentile converts whether they were to obey ihe Law of Moses or not: whereas the apostles who laboured among the Jews, had not the subject equally pressed upon their attention, and did not feel it urgently necessary to teach their converts to discurriare that obedience to the Law which they had been accustomed to render.' If the apostles of the circumcision permited these things, as matters indifferent to those who were Jews, Paul felt that it behoved him not to allow that, which might thus be permitted to them as an indifferent thing, to be set up as a matter of necessity to the Gentiles. Ta require the Gentiles to conform to the Law of Moses, and above all to be circumcised, was to lay upon their shoulders a yoke very different from the easy one of Christ ; and was calculated to hinder the progress of the Gospel among them. For Judaism was not adapted to general acceptance; and it must not be concealed that circumcision alone was a great bar to its adoption. For it is certain that the Gentiles had an invincible repugnance to the site; in which we may perhaps discover the reason for the remarkable fact, that while the female converts to Judaism were very numerous, the males were comparatively few.
Some of the other points which the Epistle offers to consideration may remind one of the misrepresentations concert ing Paul which were circulated at Corinth." The Epistle supposes,” says Paley, “ that certain designing adhereats of the Jewish Law had crept into the churches of Galatia ; and they had been endeavouring, and but too successfully, to persuade the Galatic converts that they had been taught the new religion imperfectly, and at second-hand ; that the founder of their church himself possessed but an inferior and deputed commission, the seat of truth and authority being in the apostles and elders at Jerusalem ; moreover, that whatever he might profess among them, he had himself, at other times and at other places, given way to the doctrine of circumcision." (* Horæ Paulinæ,' ch, v. No. l.)
Verse 17. “ I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.”—From this we learn an important circumstance, to which the Acts of the Apostles contain no allusion. But for this, we might suppose that, from the time of his conversion until he went to Jerusalem, Paul had remained entirely at Damascus; but we now know that in this time he had performed a journey into Arabia ; we are not, however, informed to what part of Arabia he went, how long be remained, or what work he accomplished. It may seem probable that he went into Arabia Petræa, which adjoined that part of Syria in which Damascus is situated; and it may be well to remember that Damascus was at this time subject to an Arabian king. Doubtless, he preached the Gospel and planted churches in Arabia. That there were Christian churches in that country, in the ages following, is certain. The idea entertained by some, that St. Paul paid a short visit to Arabia for the sake of his health, is preposterous. Who, in Damascus, ever thought of going into Arabia oa account of his health ?
18. “After three years."— In the history (Acts ix.), the time which elapsed between Paul's conversion and his final departure from Damascus, is described as “ many days.” If any one is disposed to question whether this popular phrase can properly be so extended as to mean “ three years,” he may turn to 1 Kings xi. 38, 39,—" And Shimei dwelt at Jerusalem many days; and it came to pass, at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away,” &c.
2 And I went up by revelation, and com1 He sheveth when he went up again to Jerusalem, municated unto them that Gospel which I
and for what purpose ; 3 and that Titus was not preach among the Gentiles, but 'privately circumcised: il und that he resisted Peter, and
to them which were of reputation, lest by told him the reason, 14 uhy he and other, being Jeuts, do believe in Christ to be justified by faith, any means I should run, or had run, in vain. and not by works : 20 and that they live not in
3 But neither Titus, who was with me, sin, who are so justified.
being a Greek, was compelled to be circumThen fourteen years after I went up again cised: to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus 4 And that because of false brethren unawith me also.
wares brought in, who came in privily to spy
i Or, severally.
out our liberty which we have in Christ | mitted unto me, as the Gospel of the circumJesus, that they might bring us into bond- cision was unto Peter; age:
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter 5 To whom we gave place by subjection, to the apostleship of the circumcision, the no, not for an hour; that the truth of the same was mighty in me toward the GenGospel might continue with you.
tiles :) 6 But of those who seemed to be some- 9 And when James, Cephas, and John, what, whatsoever they were, it maketh no who seemed to be pillars, perceived the matter to me: 'God accepteth no man's per- grace that was given unto me, they gave to son : for they who seemed to be somewhat in me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowconference added nothing to me:
ship; that we should go unto the heathen, 7 But contrariwise, when they saw that and they unto the circumcision. the Gospel of the uncircumcision was com- 10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also 16 Knowing that a man is not justified was forward to do.
2 Rom. 2.11.
by the works of the law, but by the faith of 11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus I withstood him to the face, because he was Christ, that we might be justified by the to be Llamed.
faith of Christ, and not by the works of the 12 For before that certain came from law: for by the works of the law shall no James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but flesh be justified. when they were come, he withdrew and se- 17 But if, while we seek to be justified parated himself, fearing them which were of by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinthe circumcision.
ners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? 13 And the other Jews dissembled like. God forbid. wise with him; insomuch that Barnabas 18 For if I build again the things which also was carried away with their dissimu- I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. lation.
19 For I through the law am dead to the 14 But when I saw that they walked not law, that I might live unto God. uprightly according to the truth of the 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheGospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If less I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth is thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner me: and the life which I now live in the of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do who loved me, and gave himself for me. the Jews?
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: 15 We who are Jews by nature, and not for if righteousness tome by the law, then sinners of the Gentiles,
Christ is dead in vain.
3 Rom. 3. 20.
Verse 1. “ Fourteen years after I went up ngain to Jerusalem.”—Most commentators understand this to apply to the journey from Antioch to Jerusalem, which was made by Paul and Barnabas, upon the business of the Gentile coaverts; and which journey produced the famous apostolical council and decree recorded in Acts sv. Under this hypothesis a has been thought remarkable that Paul should here omit all mention of that dectee, not only as it was the result of the journey, but because it was intimately connected with the question which he is now discussing. But any woade at this may subside, when we reflect that his views on the subject of the non-observance of the law of Moses, we much further than that decree ; and that he did not wish to encourage the Galatians to lean on the authority of ay other apostle than himself. There still however remain some rather strong objections, which the reader may see in the · Horæ Paulinæ' of Dr. Paley, who himself is led by them to conclude that the present passage refers to suite journey to Jerusalem, previously undertaken, the mention of which is omitted in the Acts.
9. “ Pillars.”—This title is often given by the Jewish writers to their eminent teachers. 11. “ Peter.”—There can be no reasonable doubt but that this was the apostle of that hame: Yet, to sare so emine: a leader in the church from St. Paul's rebuke, it was terý ancienitis pretended that the person here mentioned was ac. the apostle, but another man of the same name, who had been one of the seventy disciplėši Clemens (apud Euseb makes this statement; and Jerome mentionis it as an opinion which some entertained:
5 He therefore that ministereth to you 1 He asketh what moved them to leave the faith, and the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you,
hang upon the law? 6 They that believe are justi- doeth he it by the works of the law, or by fied, 9 and blessed with Abraham. 10 And this he the hearing of faith? sheweth by many reasons.
6 Even as 'Abraham believed God, and O FOOLISH Galatians, who hath bewitched it was 'accounted to him for righteousness. you, that ye should not obey the truth, be- 7 Know ye therefore that they which are fore whose
eyes Jesus Christ hath been evi- of faith, the same are the children of Abradently set forth, crucified among you? ham.
2 This only would I learn of you, Re- 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God ceived ye the Spirit by the works of the law, would justify the heathen through faith, or by the hearing of faith?
preached before the Gospel unto Abrahamn, 3 Are ye so foolish ? having begun in the saying, “In thee shall all nations be blessed. Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the 9 So then they which be of faith are flesh?
blessed with faithful Abraham. 4 Have ye suffered 'so many things in 10 For as many as are of the works of vain? if it be yet in vain.
the law are under the curse : for it is written,
1 Or, so great.
? Gen. 15. 6.
3 Or, imputed.
Gen, 12. 3.