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the word of God has been dealt with in a version vaunted as perfect and verbally inspired. In ver. 15, for 'you' should stand 'your souls.' words are plain in the original, and why the translators changed them must be ever a mystery.

Chap. xiii. 9, 'wish' should be 'pray for.' Ver. 11, 'farewell' should be 'rejoice,' viz., in the Lord.




T is hardly possible to imagine a letter surpassing this in interest or in marked character. Those to whom it was written, the occasion which gave birth to it, the strong personal feelings and convictions of the writer-these are all before us in marked and unmistakable outlines. We shall endeavour to present each in turn before our readers.

The Galatians, or Gauls, or Kelts, for the name is probably but one and the same under these different forms, are found at the earliest historic period inhabiting the greater part of Western Europe. When we first encounter them, they are a restless, migratory people, making incursions on their neighbours, and occupying new territories by conquest. In the fourth century before Christ,

we see Rome itself sacked and plundered by them; shortly after, the famous temple at Delphi suffers their attack and witnesses their repulse. A detachment of this same invading body wandered away into the far east, and overran the lesser Asia. There eventually, after a series of vicissitudes, which it is beside our purpose to relate, they became settled. The central portion of Asia Minor, known as Galatia, was their country; and at the time of the apostolic history, gave its name to, and was itself part of, a Roman province, slightly exceeding its own extent. Mingled with this invading people were a considerable number of the original Phrygian inhabitants; and, what is more important for our present purpose, a large and influential Jewish element.

Still, the character of the population in the main was that of the Gauls or Kelts. Its description by independent writers is full of interest for the readers of this Epistle. Cæsar, the great conqueror of Gaul, describes himself as taking certain precautions, fearing the weakness of the Gauls, because they are fickle in taking up plans, and ever fond of innovating, and therefore he thought that no trust should be put in them.' The his

torian of the Gauls, Thierry, thus describes them:

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They have a frank, impetuous spirit, open to every impression, intelligent in the extreme but with all this, excessive mobility, a total want of constancy, abundance of ostentation, and lastly a perpetual tendency to quarrel, arising from excessive vanity.' The Roman historian Livy says that they were physically unable to bear endurance in toil or heat; and that from this circumstance, coupled with their excitable ardour, at the beginning of their battles they were almost stronger than men, at the end of them weaker than women.

Professor Lightfoot, in the Introduction to his admirable work on this Epistle, gives some other interesting traits of Celtic character to which possibly allusions may be traced in it :


'St. Paul's language will suggest many coincidences which perhaps we are tempted to press unduly. His denunciation of "drunkenness and revelling" (chap. v. 21), falling in with the taunts of ancient writers, will appear to point to a darling sin of the Celtic people. His condemnation of the niggardly spirit with which they had doled out their alms, as a "mockery of God" (chap. vi. 6, 7), will remind us that the race is constantly

reproached with its greed of wealth, so that Gaul ish avarice has passed almost into a proverb. His reiterated warning against strife and vain-glory (chap. v. 15, 26: compare v. 20, 21; vi. 3), will seem directed against a vice of the old Celtic blood still boiling in their veins, and breaking out in fierce and rancorous self-assertion. His very expression, "if ye bite and devour one another," will recall the angry gesticulations and menacing tones of this irritable people.'

But the main feature of their character with which we are in this Epistle concerned, is their restless love of change. They had received the Gospel at the hands of St. Paul, with their usual fervour and impetuosity. But at the time of his writing this letter, they were rapidly changing to another gospel, which was not another (chap. i. 6): and the nature of that change is not without its interest. It was being brought about by Jewish influence, and was in the direction of the Mosaic rites and ceremonies. Now Cæsar's description of the Gauls is, that they are above all other people given to superstitious observances; so that here again we have a point of national character brought


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