Galatians 4


The apostle shows that, as an heir in nonage is under tutors

and guardians, so were the Galatians while under the law; and,

as the heir when he comes of age is no longer under guardians,

so they, when the Gospel came, arrived at full maturity, and

were redeemed from the law, 1-3.

He shows, farther, that when the fulness of the time came God

sent forth his Son, that we might obtain the adoption of sons,

and have the strongest evidence of that adoption, 4-6.

Those who are children of God are heirs of heaven, 7.

He compares their former and latter state, and shows the reason

he had to fear that his labour on their behalf was in vain,


He mentions his trials among them, and their kindness to him,


Shows his tender affection for them, and exhorts them to return

to the Gospel, 17-20.

Shows the excellence of the Gospel beyond that of the law, by

the allegory of Mount Sinai and Jerusalem, 21-27.

Shows also that the believing Gentiles are children of the

promise, as Isaac was; and have been elected in the place of

the Jews, who have been cast out according to the Scriptures,



Verse 1. The heir, as long as He is a child] Though he be

appointed by his father's will heir of all his possessions yet

till he arrive at the legal age he is master of nothing, and does

not differ from one of the common domestics.

Verse 2. But is under tutors] επιτροπους. Guardians and

governors; οικονομους. those who have the charge of the family.

These words are nearly similar; but we may consider the first as

executor, the last as the person who superintends the concerns of

the family and estate till the heir become of age; such as we call


Until the time appointed of the father.] The time mentioned in

the father's will or testament.

Verse 3. Even so we] The whole Jewish people were in a state

of nonage while under the law.

The elements of the world] A mere Jewish phrase,

yesodey olam hazzeh, "the principles of this world;" that is, the

rudiments or principles of the Jewish religion. The apostle

intimates that the law was not the science of salvation, it was

only the elements or alphabet of it; and in the Gospel this

alphabet is composed into a most glorious system of Divine

knowledge: but as the alphabet is nothing of itself, unless

compounded into syllables, words, sentences, and discourses; so

the law, taken by itself, gives no salvation; it contains indeed

the outlines of the Gospel, but it is the Gospel alone that fills

up these outlines.

Verse 4. When the fulness of the time was come] The time which

God in his infinite wisdom counted best; in which all his counsels

were filled up; and the time which his Spirit, by the prophets,

had specified; and the time to which he intended the Mosaic

institutions should extend, and beyond which they should be of no


God sent forth his Son] Him who came immediately from God

himself, made of a woman, according to the promise, Ge 3:15;

produced by the power of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary

without any intervention of man; hence he was called the Son of

God. See Luke, Lu 1:35, and the note there.

Made under the law] In subjection to it, that in him all its

designs might be fulfilled, and by his death the whole might be

abolished; the law dying when the Son of God expired upon the


Verse 5. To redeem them] εξαγοραση. To pay down a price for

them, and thus buy them off from the necessity of observing

circumcision, offering brute sacrifices, performing different

ablutions, &c., &c.

That we might receive the adoption of sons.] Which adoption we

could not obtain by the law; for it is the Gospel only that puts

us among the children, and gives us a place in the heavenly

family. On the nature of adoption See Clarke on Ro 8:15.

Verse 6. And because ye are sons] By faith in Christ Jesus,

being redeemed both from the bondage and curse of the law; GOD-the

Father, called generally the first person of the glorious TRINITY,

hath sent forth the SPIRIT-the Holy Ghost, the second person of

that Trinity, of his SON-Jesus Christ, the third person of the

Trinity-crying, Abba, Father! from the fullest and most

satisfactory evidence that God, the Father, Son, and Spirit, had

become their portion. For the explanation of the phrase, and why

the Greek and Syriac terms are joined together here,

See Clarke on Mr 14:36; and "Ro 8:15".

Verse 7. Thou art no more a servant] Thou who hast believed in

Christ art no longer a slave, either under the dominion of sin or

under obligation to the Mosaic ritual; but a son of God, adopted

into the heavenly family.

And if a son, then an heir] Having a right to the inheritance,

because one of the family, for none can inherit but the

children; but this heirship is the most extraordinary of all: it

is not an heirship of any tangible possession, either in heaven or

earth; it is not to possess a part or even the whole of either,

it is to possess Him who made all things; not God's works, but God

himself: heirs of GOD through Christ.

Verse 8. When ye knew not God] Though it is evident, from the

complexion of the whole of this epistle, that the great body of

the Christians in the Churches of Galatia were converts from among

the Jews or proselytes to Judaism; yet from this verse it appears

that there were some who had been converted from heathenism;

unless we suppose that the apostle here particularly addresses

those who had been proselytes to Judaism and thence converted to

Christianity; which appears to be most likely from the following


Verse 9. Now, after that ye have known God] After having been

brought to the knowledge of God as your Saviour.

Or rather are known of God] Are approved of him, having

received the adoption of sons.

To the weak and beggarly elements] After receiving all this,

will ye turn again to the ineffectual rites and ceremonies of the

Mosaic law-rites too weak to counteract your sinful habits, and

too poor to purchase pardon and eternal life for you? If the

Galatians were turning again to them, it is evident that they had

been once addicted to them. And this they might have been,

allowing that they had become converts from heathenism to Judaism,

and from Judaism to Christianity. This makes the sense consistent

between the 8th and 9th verses. Ga 4:8-9.

Verse 10. Ye observe days] Ye superstitiously regard the

Sabbaths and particular days of your own appointment;

And months] New moons; times-festivals, such as those of

tabernacles, dedication, passover, &c.

Years.] Annual atonements, sabbatical years, and jubilees.

Verse 11. I am afraid of you] I begin now to be seriously

alarmed for you, and think you are so thoroughly perverted from

the Gospel of Christ, that all my pains and labour in your

conversion have been thrown away.

Verse 12. Be as I am] Thoroughly addicted to the Christian

faith and worship, from the deepest conviction of its truth.

For I am as ye are] I was formerly a Jew, and as zealously

addicted to the rites and ceremonies of Judaism as ye are, but I

am saved from that mean and unprofitable dependence: "Be therefore

as I am now; who was once as you now are." Others think the sense

to be this: "Be as affectionate to me as I am to you; for ye were

once as loving to me as I am now to you."

Ye have not injured me at all.] I do not thus earnestly entreat

you to return to your Christian profession because your perversion

has been any loss to me, nor because your conversion can be to me

any gain: ye have not injured me at all, ye only injure

yourselves; and I entreat you, through the intense love I bear to

you, as my once beloved brethren in Christ Jesus, to return to him

from whom ye have revolted.

Verse 13. Ye know how through infirmity] The apostle seems to

say that he was much afflicted in body when he first preached the

Gospel to them. And is this any strange thing, that a minister,

so laborious as St. Paul was, should be sometimes overdone and

overcome by the severity of his labours? Surely not. This might

have been only an occasional affliction, while labouring in that

part of Asia Minor; and not a continual and incurable infirmity,

as some have too hastily conjectured.

Verse 14. And my temptation which was in my flesh] On this

verse there are a great many various readings, as there are

various opinions.

Instead of μου, MY temptation, ABC*D*FG, some others, with the

Coptic, Vulgate, Itala, and several of the primitive fathers, have

υμων, YOUR temptation.

The word πειρασμον, which we translate temptation, signifies

trial of any kind. The verse therefore may be read, "Ye despised

not the trial which was in my flesh;" or, "Ye despised not your

trial, which was in my flesh:" i.e. what my flesh suffered on

your account, the afflictions I passed through in consequence of

my severe labours on your account. You did not consider me less

an apostle of God on account of my sinking for a time under the

weight of my work. Had they been disaffected towards him at that

time, they would have used this to the prejudice of his apostolic

mission. "What! do you pretend to be an extraordinary messenger

from God, and yet are suffered to fall into sickness under the

severity of your labour? If God sent you, would he not sustain

you?" This would have been quite natural, had they not been well

affected toward him. But, on the contrary, notwithstanding these

afflictions, they received him as an angel of God-as a messenger

from heaven, and as Jesus Christ himself. This appears to me to

be the simple meaning of the apostle, and that he neither alludes

to a bodily nor mental infirmity, which generally or

periodically afflicted him, as some have imagined. Nor does he

appear at all to speak of the same case as that mentioned

2Co 12:7, where I wish the reader to consult the notes. That

St. Paul had frequent and severe afflictions, in consequence of

his constant and severe exertions in the Gospel ministry, we may

readily believe, and of this his own words bear sufficient


See his affecting account, 2Co 11:23-29, and the notes there.

Verse 15. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of?] Ye spake

of should be in italics, there being no corresponding word in the

Greek text. Perhaps there is not a sentence in the New Testament

more variously translated than this. I shall give the original:

τιςουνηνομακαρισμοςυμων. What was then your blessedness!

Or, How great was your happiness at that time! Or, What blessings

did ye then pour on me! It is worthy of remark, that, instead of

τις, what, ABCFG, several others, the older Syriac, the later

Syriac in the margin, the Armenian, Vulgate, one copy of the

Itala, and some of the fathers, have που, where; and ην,

was, is omitted by ACD, several others, also the Vulgate, Itala,

and the Latin fathers. According to these authorities the text

should be read thus: Where then is your blessedness? Having

renounced the Gospel, you have lost your happiness. What have

your false teachers given you to compensate the loss of communion

with God, or that Spirit of adoption, that Spirit of Christ, by

which you cried Abba, Father! If, however, we understand the

words as implying the benedictions they then heaped on the

apostle, the sense will be sufficiently natural, and agree well

with the concluding part of the verse; for I bear you record,

that, if possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and

have given them to me. You had then the strongest affection for

me; you loved God, and you loved me for God's sake, and were ready

to give me the most unequivocal proof of your love.

Dearer than one's eyes, or to profess to give one's eyes for the

sake of a person, appears to have been a proverbial expression,

intimating the highest tokens of the strongest affection. We find

a similar form of speech in Terence, Adelphi, act iv., scene 5,

ver. 67.

------------------------Di me pater

Omnes oderint, ni magis te quam oculos nunc ego amo meos.

"O father,

may all the gods hate me, if I do not love you now more than

my own eyes."

Verse 16. Am I therefore become your enemy] How is it that you

are so much altered towards me, that you now treat me as an enemy,

who formerly loved me with the most fervent affection? Is it

because I tell you the truth; that very truth for which you at

first so ardently loved me?

Verse 17. They zealously affect you, but not well] It is

difficult for common readers to understand the meaning of these

words: perhaps it would be better to translate ζηλουσινυμαςου

καλως, these false teachers endeavour to conciliate your esteem,

but not in honest or true principles; they work themselves into

your good graces; they wish you to place all your affection upon


They would exclude you] They wish to shut you out from the

affection of your apostle, that you might affect them, ινααυτους

ζηλουτε, that you might love them alone, hear them alone, abide by

their directions only, and totally abandon him who called you into

the grace of the Gospel of Christ. Some MSS. read ημας, us,

instead of υμας, you; they wish to shut us entirely out from

among you, that you may receive and believe them alone. The sense

is nearly the same but the former appears to be the more authentic


Verse 18. It is good to be zealously affected] It is well to

have a determined mind and an ardent heart in reference to things

which are laudable and good.

Not only when I am present] You were thus attached to me when I

was among you, but now ye have lost both your reverence and

affection for me. Your false teachers pretended great concern for

you, that you might put all your confidence in them; they have

gained their end; they have estranged you from me, and got you to

renounce the Gospel, and have brought you again into your former


Verse 19. My little children] τεκνιαμου. My beloved

children. As their conversion to God had been the fruit of much

labour, prayers, and tears, so he felt them as his children, and

peculiarly dear to him, because he had been the means of bringing

them to the knowledge of the truth; therefore he represents

himself as suffering the same anxiety and distress which he

endured at first when he preached the Gospel to them, when their

conversion to Christianity was a matter of great doubt and

uncertainty. The metaphor which he uses needs no explanation.

Until Christ be formed in you] Till you once more receive the

Spirit and unction of Christ in your hearts, from which you are

fallen, by your rejection of the spirit of the Gospel.

Verse 20. I desire to be present with you] I wish to

accommodate my doctrine to your state; I know not whether you need

stronger reprehension, or to be dealt with more leniently.

I stand in doubt of you.] I have doubts concerning your state;

the progress of error and conviction among you, which I cannot

fully know without being among you, This appears to be the

apostle's meaning, and tends much to soften and render palatable

the severity of his reproofs.

Verse 21. Ye that desire to be under the law] Ye who desire to

incorporate the Mosaic institutions with Christianity, and thus

bring yourselves into bondage to circumcision, and a great variety

of oppressive rites.

Do ye not hear the law?] Do ye not understand what is written

in the Pentateuch relative to Abraham and his children. It is

evident that the word law is used in two senses in this verse. It

first means the Mosaic institutions; secondly, the Pentateuch,

where the history is recorded to which the apostle refers.

Verse 22. For it is written] Viz. in Ge 16:15; 22:1, &c.,

that Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac; the one; Ishmael, by

a bond maid, Hagar; the other, Isaac, by a free woman, Sarah.

Verse 23. Was born after the flesh] Ishmael was born according

to the course of nature, his parents being both of a proper age,

so that there was nothing uncommon or supernatural in his birth:

this is the proper meaning of the apostle's κατασαρκα, after or

according to the flesh, and answers to the Hebrew phrase,

al derec basar, according to the manner of the flesh, i.e.

naturally, according to the common process of nature.

By promise.] Both Abraham and Sarah had passed that age in

which the procreation of children was possible on natural

principles. The birth, therefore, of Isaac was supernatural; it

was the effect of an especial promise of God; and it was only on

the ground of that promise that it was either credible or


Verse 24. Which things are an allegory] They are to be

understood spiritually; more being intended in the account than

meets the eye.

Allegory, from αλλος, another, and αγορεω, or αγοπευω,

to speak, signifies a thing that is a representative of another,

where the literal sense is the representative of a spiritual

meaning; or, as the glossary expresses it, ετερωςκαταμεταφρασιν

νοουμενακαιουκατατηναναγνωσιν. "where the thing is to be

understood differently in the interpretation than it appears in

the reading."

Allegories are frequent in all countries, and are used by all

writers. In the life of Homer, the author, speaking of the

marriage of Jupiter and Juno, related by that poet, says: δοκει


"It appears that these things are to be understood allegorically;

for Juno means the air, Jupiter the aether." Plutarch, in his

treatise De Iside et Osir., says: ωσπερελληνεςκρονον

αλληγορουσιτονχρονον. "As the Greeks allegorize Cronos (Saturn)

into Chronos (Time.)" It is well known how fond the Jews were of

allegorizing. Every thing in the law was with them an allegory.

Their Talmud is full of these; and one of their most sober and

best educated writers, Philo, abounds with them. Speaking (De

Migrat. Abrah., page 420) of the five daughters of Zelophehad, he

says: αςαλληγορουντεςαισθησειςειναιφαμεν. "which,

allegorizing, we assert to be the five senses!"

It is very likely, therefore, that the allegory produced here,

St. Paul had borrowed from the Jewish writings; and he brings it

in to convict the Judaizing Galatians on their own principles; and

neither he nor we have any thing farther to do with this allegory

than as it applies to the subject for which it is quoted; nor does

it give any license to those men of vain and superficial minds who

endeavour to find out allegories in every portion of the sacred

writings, and, by what they term spiritualizing, which is more

properly carnalizing, have brought the testimonies of God into

disgrace. May the spirit of silence be poured out upon all such

corrupters of the word of God!

For these are the two covenants] These signify two different

systems of religion; the one by Moses, the other by the Messiah.

The one from the Mount Sinai] On which the law was published;

which was typified by Hagar, Abraham's bond maid.

Which gendereth to bondage] For as the bond maid or slave

could only gender-bring forth her children, in a state of slavery,

and subject also to become slaves, so all that are born and live

under those Mosaic institutions are born and live in a state of

bondage-a bondage to various rites and ceremonies; under the

obligation to keep the whole law, yet, from its severity and their

frailness, obliged to live in the habitual breach of it, and in

consequence exposed to the curse which it pronounces.

Verse 25. For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia] τογαραγαρ

σιναοροςεστινεντηαραβια. This is the common reading; but it

is read differently in some of the most respectable MSS.,

versions, and fathers; thus: τογαρσιναοροςεστινεντηαραβια,

for this Sinai is a mountain of Arabia; the word αγαρ, Agar,

being omitted. This reading is supported by CFG, some others, the

AEthiopic, Armenian, Vulgate, and one copy of the Itala; by

Epiphanius, Damascenus, Ambrosiaster, Jerome, Augustine, Hilary,

Sedulius, and Bede; and the word is sometimes, though not always,

omitted by Cyril and Origen, which proves that in their time there

were doubts concerning the common reading.

Of the word Agar in this verse, which renders the passage very

obscure and difficult, Professor White says, forsitan delendum,

"probably it should be expunged." Griesbach has left it in the

text with a note of doubtfulness.

Answereth to Jerusalem] Hagar, the bond maid, bringing forth

children in a state of slavery, answereth to Jerusalem that now

is, συστοιχει, points out, or, bears a similitude to,

Jerusalem in her present state of subjection; which, with her

children-her citizens, is not only in bondage to the Romans, but

in a worse bondage to the law, to its oppressive ordinances, and

to the heavy curse which it has pronounced against all those who

do not keep them.

Verse 26. But Jerusalem which is above] The apostle still

follows the Jewish allegory, showing not only how the story of

Hagar and Sarah, Ishmael and Isaac, was allegorized, but pointing

out also that even Jerusalem was the subject of allegory; for it

was a maxim among the rabbins, that "whatsoever was in the earth,

the same was also found in heaven for there is no matter,

howsoever small, in this world, that has not something similar to

it in the spiritual world." On this maxim, the Jews imagine that

every earthly thing has its representative in heaven; and

especially whatever concerns Jerusalem, the law, and its

ordinances. Rab. Kimchi, speaking of Melchizedec, king of Salem,

says: zu Yerushalem shel malah, "This is the

Jerusalem that is from above." This phrase frequently occurs

among these writers, as may be seen in Schoettgen, who has written

an express dissertation upon the subject. Hor. Hebr., vol. i.

page 1205.

Is free, which is the mother of us all.] There is a spiritual

Jerusalem, of which this is the type; and this Jerusalem, in which

the souls of all the righteous are, is free from all bondage and

sin: or by this, probably, the kingdom of the Messiah was

intended; and this certainly answers best to the apostle's

meaning, as the subsequent verse shows. There is an earthly

Jerusalem, but this earthly Jerusalem typifies a heavenly

Jerusalem: the former, with all her citizens, is in bondage; the

latter is a free city, and all her inhabitants are free also.

And this Jerusalem is our mother; it signifies the Church of

Christ, the metropolis of Christianity, or rather the state of

liberty into which all true believers are brought. The word

παντων, of all, is omitted by almost every MS. and version of

antiquity and importance, and by the most eminent of the fathers

who quote this place; it is undoubtedly spurious, and the text

should be read thus: But Jerusalem, which is above, is free, which

is our mother.

Verse 27. Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not] This

quotation is taken from Isa 54:1, and is certainly a promise

which relates to the conversion of the Gentiles, as the following

clause proves; for the desolate-the Gentile world, hath many more

children-is a much larger and more numerous Church, than

she-Jerusalem, the Jewish state, which hath a husband-has been so

long in covenant with God, living under his continual protection,

and in possession of a great variety of spiritual advantages; and

especially those offered to her by the Gospel, which she has

rejected, and which the Gentiles have accepted.

Verse 28. Now we] Who believe in the Lord Jesus, are the

children of promise-are the spiritual offspring of the Messiah,

the seed of Abraham, in whom the promise stated that all the

nations of the earth should be blessed.

Verse 29. But as then he] Ishmael, who was born after the

flesh-whose birth had nothing supernatural in it, but was

according to the ordinary course of nature,

Persecuted him] Isaac, who was born after the Spirit-who had a

supernatural birth, according to the promise, and through the

efficacy, of the Holy Spirit, giving effect to that promise-Sarah

shall have a son, Ge 17:16-21; 21:1, &c.

Persecuted him; the persecution here referred to is that

mentioned Ge 21:9. It consisted in mocking his brother Isaac.

Even so it is now.] So the Jews, in every place, persecute the

Christians; and show thereby that they are rather of the posterity

of Hagar than of Sarah.

Verse 30. What saith the Scripture?] (In Ge 21:10:)

Cast out the bond woman and her son: and what does this imply in

the present case? Why, that the present Jerusalem and her

children shall be cast out of the favour of God, and shall not be

heirs with the son of the free woman-shall not inherit the

blessings promised to Abraham, because they believe not in the

promised seed.

Verse 31. So then] We-Jews and Gentiles, who believe on the

Lord Jesus, are not children of the bond woman-are not in

subjection to the Jewish law, but of the free; and, consequently,

are delivered from all its bondage, obligation, and curse.

Thus the apostle, from their own Scripture, explained by their

own allegory, proves that it is only by Jesus Christ that they can

have redemption; and because they have not believed in him,

therefore they continue to be in bondage; and that shortly God

will deliver them up into a long and grievous captivity: for we

may naturally suppose that the apostle has reference to what had

been so often foretold by the prophets, and confirmed by Jesus

Christ himself; and this was the strongest argument he could use,

to show the Galatians their folly and their danger in submitting

again to the bondage from which they had escaped, and exposing

themselves to the most dreadful calamities of an earthly kind, as

well as to the final ruin of their souls. They desired to be

under the law; then they must take all the consequences; and these

the apostle sets fairly before them.

1. WE sometimes pity the Jews, who continue to reject the

Gospel. Many who do so have no pity for themselves; for is not

the state of a Jew, who systematically rejects Christ, because he

does not believe him to be the promised Messiah, infinitely better

than his, who, believing every thing that the Scripture teaches

concerning Christ, lives under the power and guilt of sin? If the

Jews be in a state of nonage, because they believe not the

doctrines of Christianity, he is in a worse state than that of

infancy who is not born again by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Reader, whosoever thou art, lay this to heart.

2. The 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th verses of this chapter (Ga 4:4-7)

contain the sum and marrow of Christian divinity. (1.) The

determination of God to redeem the world by the incarnation of his

Son. (2.) The manifestation of this Son in the fulness of time.

(3.) The circumstances in which this Son appeared: sent forth;

made of a woman; made under the law; to be a sufferer; and to die

as a sacrifice. (4.) The redemption of the world, by the death of

Christ: he came to redeem them that were under the law, who were

condemned and cursed by it. (5.) By the redemption price he

purchases sonship or adoption for mankind. (6.) He, God the

Father, sends the Spirit, God the Holy Ghost, of God the Son,

into the hearts of believers, by which they, through the full

confidence of their adoption, call him their Father. (7.) Being

made children, they become heirs, and God is their portion

throughout eternity. Thus, in a few words, the whole doctrine of

grace is contained, and an astonishing display made of the

unutterable mercy of God. See the notes on these verses.

3. While the Jews were rejecting the easy yoke of Christ, they

were painfully observing days, and months, and times and

years. Superstition has far more labour to perform than true

religion has; and at last profits nothing! Most men, either from

false views of religion, or through the power and prevalency of

their own evil passions and habits, have ten thousand times more

trouble to get to hell, than the followers of God have to get to


4. Even in the perverted Galatians the apostle finds some good;

and he mentions with great feeling those amiable qualities which

they once possessed. The only way to encourage men to seek

farther good is to show them what they have got, and to make this

a reason why they should seek more. He who wishes to do good to

men, and is constantly dwelling on their bad qualities and

graceless state, either irritates or drives them to despair.

There is, perhaps, no sinner on this side perdition who has not

something good in him. Mention the good-it is God's work; and

show what a pity it is that he should not have more, and how ready

God is to supply all his wants through Christ Jesus. This plan

should especially be used in addressing Christian societies, and

particularly those which are in a declining state.

5. The Galatians were once the firm friends of the apostle, and

loved him so well that they would have even plucked out their eyes

for him; and yet these very people cast him off, and counted and

treated him as an enemy! O sad fickleness of human nature! O

uncertainty of human friendships! An undesigned word, or look, or

action, becomes the reason to a fickle heart why it should divest

itself of the spirit of friendship; and he who was as dear to them

as their own souls, is neglected and forgotten! Blessed God! hast

thou not said that there is a friend that sticketh closer than a

brother? Where is he? Can such a one be trusted long on this

unkindly earth? He is fit for the society of angels and the

spirits of just men made perfect; and thou takest him in mercy

lest he should lose his friendly heart, or lest his own heart

should be broken in losing that of his friend. Hasten, Lord, a

more perfect state, where the spirit of thy own love in thy

followers shall expand, without control or hinderance, throughout

eternity! Amen.

6. On allegorizing, in explaining the word of God, something has

already been said, under Ga 4:24;

but on the subject of allegory in general much might be said. The

very learned and accurate critic, Dr. Lowth, in his work, De Sacra

Poesi Hebraeorum, has entered at large into the subject of

allegory, as existing in the sacred writings, in which he has

discovered three species of this rhetorical figure. 1. That which

rhetoricians term a continued metaphor. See Solomon's portraiture

of old age, Ec 12:2-6.

A second kind of allegory is that which, in a more proper and

restricted sense, may be called parable. See Matthew 13, and the

note on "Mt 13:3", &c.

The third species of allegory is that in which a double meaning is

couched under the same words. These are called mystical

allegories, and the two meanings are termed the literal and

mystical senses. For examples of all these kinds I must refer to

the learned prelate above named.

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