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whether those who conformed to the law would be saved, in which is to be found the following plain allusion to Gal. ii. : ""

• But if, Trypho,' I continued, some of your race who say they believe in this Christ, compel those Gentiles who believe in this Christ to live in all respects according to the law given by Moses, or choose not to associate so intimately with them, I in like manner do not approve of them.'"

In Clement of Alexandria this Epistle is quoted or alluded to above thirty-five times; in Irenæus above twenty-four times ; in Tertullian, excluding places in uncertain books, above sixty or seventy times.

TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING. It is impossible to arrive at an exact date respecting the writing of this Epistle, for if the reader will turn to the chronological table in the preface to my notes on the Acts of the Apostles, he will see that various learned authorities give for the second missionary journey of St. Paul dates varying from A.D. 47 (Bengel) to A.D. 53 (Usher), and the third journey from A.D.49(Bengel) to A.D.56 (Usher). Considerable differences of opinion also exist respecting the data on which we are to found our calculations. Bishop Lightfoot, for instance, attaches very great weight to similarities of thought and expression between this Epistle and those to the Romans and Corinthians (2nd), and considers that our Epistle was written after the letters to Corinth. “In the interval, then, between the writing of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians and that to the Romans the Galatian letter ought properly to be placed," and concludes with : “It is not improbable that it was during St. Paul's residence in Macedonia, about the time that the Second Epistle to the Corinthians was written, that St. Paul received the news of the falling away of his Galatian converts, so that they were prominent in his mind, when he numbered among his daily anxieties the care of all the Churches."

Others, as Bishop Ellicott, do not lay so much stress upon this, but take different ground. They note that St. Paul twice visited Galatia. 1st, on his second journey, he and those with him“ went through Phrygia and the region of Galatia” on their way to Macedonia by Troas (Acts xvi. 6). 2ndly, on his third journey (Acts xviii. 23), when having started from Antioch, he went over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, “strengthening all the disciples.” They then take account of the words in Gal. i. 6:

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I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto another Gospel,” and deduce from this that the Epistle must have been written very shortly after this visit, i.e., at the beginning of the Apostle's prolonged stay at Ephesus. But, I ask, why not before that visit? Why not at some time between the two visits ? The words of Gal. i. 6 seem to accord far better with a declension soon after their conversion at the first visit than after the strengthening, or confirming, of the second visit; and at the second visit he would be able to strengthen or confirm them all the more, because his letter, as in the case of the reception of his letter by the Corinthians, had produced its desired effect. Most commentators, however, suppose that the “so soon," alludes to the second visit.

Bishop Ellicott (in “Smith's Dictionary,”) concludes: “When we consider not only the note of time in Gal. i. 6 (oőtw taxéws), but also the obvious fervour and freshness of interest that seems to breathe through the whole Epistle, it does seem almost impossible to assign a later period than the commencement of the prolonged stay at Ephesus." I believe, as I have said, that the probability is that it should be placed earlier.

THE REGION OF GALATIA.

The inhabitants of Galatia, though intermixed with the remains 'of original races, and containing a considerable proportion of Greeks and Jews, were Gauls, Galatai was the same word with Keltai, and the Galatians were in their or & stream of that at Keltic torrent which poured into Greece in the third century before the Christian era. Once established in Asia Minor they became a terrible scourge, and extended their invasion far and wide. The neighbouringkings, however, succeeded in confining them within certain limits in the interior of Asia Minor. At the end of the Republic Galatia appears as a dependent kingdom, at the beginning of the Empire as a province. (Bishop Ellicott, in “Smith's Dictionary.”) Attempts have been made to account for the sudden defection of the Galatians as arising from their nationality. The Galli were preeminently fickle and inconstant; and also it is assumed, though on the slenderest imaginable grounds, that they were ritualistic; but surely the same inconstant temper of mind was manifested in the Corinthians. The Apostleship of St. Paul was questioned, and his doctrine opposed, not long after their conversion, and he had to write to them in much the same strain as he wrote to the Galatians; and as regards ritualism, that type of it which has prevailed throughout Western Europe Italian or Roman, and not Gallic, or Celtic.

We shall show very clearly that the root of the Galatian defection was unbelief in the Divine Nature of Jesus, not in

any

ritualistic tendency.

THE OCCASION FOR THE WRITING OF THIS EPISTLE.

The Epistle tells its own story. The men called Judaizers, against whose active propagation of Judaism in the Christian Church the council held at Jerusalem was summoned, had been at work amongst St. Paul's converts in Galatia, and apparently with much success. St. Paul treated this not as a matter of indifference, but as a question of life or death.

In his letter he first opposes it with asserting his authority as an independent Apostle, having received the Gospel which he preached direct from Jesus Christ (i. 11-21). In conference with the heads of the Apostolic College, before whom he laid his views, it was found to be exactly the same as what they taught (ii. 9), and the one only suggestion which they made was that he should keep in mind the poverty of the poor Christians of Jerusalem, with a view to sending them relief from the wealthier Gentile converts (ii. 9-10). Then he mentions the very striking fact that even Peter, when reproved by him on one occasion for not acting up to the principles which he professed respecting the equality of the Gentiles, apart from any observance of the law of Moses, immediately gave way (ii. 11-15). Then he asserts dogmatically, as it were, the

acceptance of Jews and Gentiles by faith in Christ (ii. 15-21). He next proceeds to appeal to the fact that they had received the Spirit not by the law, but by faith ; and that God confirmed the truth of his preaching by miracles (iii. 1-6). Then he cites the case of Abraham as justified by faith before he received circumcision ; shows that the giving of the law could not annul the promise, and that the law, so far from superseding the promise, was given for a temporary purpose, and that, as a means of justification, it was to cease when the Seed, the real Justifier, came (iii. 15-21). Then that they are all the children of God not by circumcision, but by faith, and that the seal of this was given them in Holy Baptism (iii. 24-29). Then he speaks of those under the law as being in a state of pupillage and so of comparative bondage, and that they who went

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back to the law reverted from freedom to bondage (iii. 7-11). After this he turns against the Judaizers their own allegorical interpretation of the expulsion of the bondwoman and her son from the family of faith (iv. 22-31). And after a few earnest exhortations not to surrender their freedom, he shows how much further in the direction of internal and spiritual holiness the Gospel went than the law (v. 16-26), and then concludes with some practical applications of the law not of Jewish dead works, but of Christian love.

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