BLTC Press Titles


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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll


The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky


Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)


My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse


Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians

by Jean Calvin

Excerpt:

1 Mat. xxiv. 24. Mark xiii. 22. * 2 Cor. vi. 14.

ing it to refer to the Father; but the reading which we have followed1 is more simple. The fact of their having been called by Christ through grace, tended to heighten the criminality of their ingratitude. To forsake the Son of God under any circumstances, is unworthy and disgraceful ; but to forsake him after being invited to partake salvation by grace, is more eminently base. His goodness to us, renders our ingratitude to him more dreadfully heinous.

So soon. When it is considered how soon they had discovered a want of steadfastness, their guilt is still further heightened. A proper season, indeed, for departing from Christ cannot be imagined. But the fact, that no sooner had Paul left them than the Galatians were led away from the truth, inferred still deeper blame. As the consideration of the grace by which they had been called was adduced to aggravate their ingratitude, so the circumstance of the time when they were removed is now adduced to aggravate their levity.

7. Which is not another. Some interpret the words, "which is not another," to mean, "though it is not another gospel,"—viewing them as a sort of correction of the Apostle's language, to guard against the supposition that there were more gospels than one. So far as the explanation of the words is concerned, I take a more simple view of them, as containing a contemptuous declaration, that the doctrine of the false apostles served only to disturb men's minds and subvert the gospel.2 As if he had said, "What do those persons allege? On what grounds do they attack the doctrine which I have delivered? They merely trouble you, and subvert the gospel. They do nothing more." But it amounts to the same meaning ; for this, too, I acknowledge, is a correction of the language he had used about another gospel.

1 Calvin's reading is, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Christ, who called you by grace."

* Instead of reading, "which is not another (gospel)," he would read, "which is not another (thing), but that there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ." The Latin version runs thus: quod non est aliud, nisi quod sunt quidam qui vos turbant, ae volunt evertere Evangelium Christi.

He declares that it is not a gospel, but a mere disturbance. All I intended to say was, that, in my opinion, the word another means another thing. It resembles strongly an expression in common use, " this amounts to nothing, but that you wish to deceive."

Would pervert, that is, wish to pervert, the gospel of Christ. He charges them with the additional crime of doing an injury to Christ, by endeavouring to subvert his gospel. Subversion is an enormous crime. It is worse than corruption. And with good reason does he fasten on them this charge. When the glory of justification is ascribed to another, and a snare is laid for the consciences of men, the Saviour no longer occupies his place, and the doctrine of the gospel is utterly ruined. To know what are the leading points of the gospel, is a matter of unceasing importance. When these are attacked, the gospel is destroyed.—It is the gospel of Christ. This may be explained in two ways; either that it has come from Christ as its author, or that it purely exhibits Christ. The apostle's reason for employing that expression unquestionably was to describe the true and genuine gospel, which alone is worthy of the name.

8. But though we, fyc. As he proceeds in defending the authority of his doctrine,his confidence swells. First of all, he declares that the doctrine which he had preached is the only gospel, and that the attempt to set it aside is highly criminal. But then, he was aware, the false apostles might object: we will not yield to you in our desire to maintain the gospel, or in those feelings of respect for it which we are accustomed to cherish. Just as at the present day, the Papists describe in the strongest terms the sacredness with which they regard the gospel, and kiss the very name with the deepest reverence, and yet, whenbroughtto the trial, are found to persecute fiercely the pure and simple doctrine of the gospel. Accordingly he does not rest satisfied with this general declaration, but proceeds to define what the gospel is, and what it contains. He declares boldly that his doctrine is the true gospel, and resists all further inquiry. Of what avail was it to pronounce the word Gospel, and not to know what it meant? With Papists, who hold themselves bound to render implicitfaith, that might be perfectly sufficient; but with Christians, where there is no knowledge, there is no faith. That the Galatians, who were otherwise disposed to obey the gospel, might not wander on, and "find no rest for the sole of their foot,"1 Paul enjoins them to stand steadfastly by his doctrine. He demands for his instructions such unhesitating belief, that he pronounces a curse on all who dared to contradict them.


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