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believers from the true God, next adverts to the artifices of the deceivers, as directed to the same base end. "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height (Hypsoma), nor depth (Bathos), nor any other being, will be able to separate us from the love of God, in Christ Jesus our Lord. viii. 38.-I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me testimony in the Holy Spirit, that I have great grief and continual sorrow of heart; for I too would have gloried in being separated by Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen, according to the flesh, who are Israelites, whose is the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the religious service, whose are the fathers, and of whom is Christ according to the flesh; whose is the God that is over all, to be blessed for ever," ix. 1.
In the common version, the last verse stands thus: "And of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever." But a learned critic has happily conjectured that the original has been transposed from wintow, which transposition alone is sufficient to produce this very great difference in the sense. The original text, in its present state, cannot be genuine, because in no other place is Christ said to be a God, much less the God who is over all; nor has any one of the Christian fathers, I believe, cited this text for the divinity of Christ, which they all would have done, if the original had in their days existed as it does at present. On the other hand, the correction
derives a high degree of probability, if not absolute certainty, from the reference, which the apostle makes to the false claims of the deceivers. In opposition to them, he holds up God as the God of the Jews, and not one revealed by them; as the object of love, from whom the faithful disciples of Jesus would not by any means be separated: as supreme over all, and therefore to be blessed and praised, and not blasphemed as an inferior evil being. He intimates, moreover, that Christ had flesh and blood, i. e. that he was a mere man, descended from David, and belonging as such to the Jews, and not as the impostors taught, a God come down from heaven. The Samaritans, of whom Simon Magus who pretended to have revealed the supreme God, in opposition to the Jewish Jehovah, claimed to themselves the privileges which belonged to the Jews. A passage in the conversation of our Lord with the woman of Samaria, is founded on this fact, "The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain but ye say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, ye worship a God whom ye know not: we know whom we worship, for salvation is of the Jews," John iv. 19. Here Jesus intimates that God the Father was known not to the Samaritans, but to the Jews, and that Salvation, meaning, that the Saviour, (the abstract, as it is called, being used for the concrete), rose among the Jews. This is evidently directed against the Samaritan system, which, under the name of Gnosticism, was soon after opposed to the gospel:
The apostle had the same object in view when, in reference to that pernicious, but plausible system, he asserts that the covenants, the adoption, the law, the promises, the fathers, the Christ, and the supreme God, belonged to that people.
"Now, I beseech you brethren, mark them that are making divisions, and laying stumbling blocks, contrary to the doctrine which you have learnt, and avoid them: for such men are not the servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, but of their own belly: and by their oracles and festival in honour of Chrestus, they deceive the arts of the simple; (for your obedience is come abroad unto all. I rejoice therefore in you; but I wish you to be wise unto goodness, and harmless unto evil) but the God of peace will quickly bruise Satan under your feet," xvi. 17.
* The original xensoλoyia might be considered as a compound of the adjective χρηςος and λόγος ; but as the word is used in no other place, its combination and use are owing to some new and peculiar idea, which the apostle had to express. Now the impostors represented Christ as one of the demons called Xen501, and for this reason, they styled him Xensos, and not X950s. The origin of the word, therefore, is Xgn50s and λoyia, oracles concerning Chrestus. This etymology is confirmed by Evλoyia, which means the supper instituted by our Lord; one term representing the oracles respecting Christ as a God, the other the festival in honour of his divinity. The common notion is, that these words denote deceitful speeches, or flattery; but taking them in this loose and inappropriate sense, they cannot, in the -connection in which they stand, mean any other than some specious artifices of men who, pretending to extol Christ, had not the real honour of his name, nor the interest of his gospel at heart. See Schleusner or Suicerus on the word, ευλογία.
Here the apostle asserts of these men, that they were not in reality what they affected to be, servants of the Lord Jesus, but had assumed this profession to answer some selfish and sinis. ter end. Representing the Christ as one of the æons or good demons, which came down from heaven for the benefit of mankind, they changed his name of Christus into Chrestus, an epithet expressive of the benignity of his character, and descriptive of those good demons which were supposed to act as mediators between the Gods and the human race. Accordingly this appears to have been the title, by which the enemies and the friends of Christianity in Gentile countries at first distinguished its illustrious founder. Moreover, the deceivers composed certain oracles, which they ascribed to the Sibyl as prophetic of Jesus Christ. These of course they called oys (logia) a name usually employed to express the dictates of divine inspiration. The simple supper, be it farther remarked, which our Lord appointed in commemoration of his suffering and death, the impostors endeavoured to pervert inte one of those festivals celebrated among the heathens in honour of idols, and to have it solemnized, not in commemoration of his body and blood, but of his divinity. This they styled Xoya (eulogy), a name which indicated the honour due to him as a supernatural being, in opposition to that obloquy and contempt, with which his adversaries assailed him, as the son of a carpenter, and a native of Nazareth. These peculiar and characteristic features Paul here recognises, and he guards the converts against them, insinuating that the design of the authors
was so obvious, that none but the uninformed and simple minded could be mislead by them. "For such men are not servants of our Lord Jesus Christ, but of their own belly; and by their oracles and festival in honour of Chrestus, they deceive the hearts of the simple."
The object which they pretended to have be fore them, in thus adopting the pernicious maxim of telling falsehood to promote the truth, was to deceive Satan, a phrase which, divested of its symbolical signification, simply meant, the inducing men into a belief of the gospel, in consequence of evading by false representations those unreasonable objections, which the mistaken notions, and the evil principles of the world threw in the way of its progress. Now, it is observable that, if we pass over the words in the parenthesis, and consider the subsequent, in connection with the preceding, part of the sentence, this will appear to have been the pretext for their specious impostures, " And by their oracles and festival, in honour of Chrestus, they deceive the hearts of the simple; but the God of peace will quickly bruise Satan under his feet," as though he had said, "These men propagate their falsehoods under the plea of deceiving Satan; but in reality, they deceive only those who unlike themselves, possess innocent and guileless hearts. And as to Satan, the great adversary that retards the gospel, the Almighty, instead of imposing upon him by lies, or resisting him with contention and violence, will speedily bruise him under your feet; and this he will do by means consistent with gentleness, peace, and truth."
Our Lord, wishing to prevent his apostles from