After the foundation laid in the salutation, 6. he exclaimeth against the Galatians, & their
False-Apostles, 11. considering that the Ghospel which he preached to them, he had it immediately
of Christ himself. 13. Which to shew he beinneth to tel the storie of his conuersion and preaching
since then, and that as he learned nothing of the other Apostles, so yet he had their approbation.
1. PAVL an Apostle not of men, Neither by man.
S. Paul sent to preach by ordinarie imposition of hands.
Though he were not first by man's election, nomination, or assignment, but by God's owne special appointment, chosen to be an Apostle; yet by the like expresse ordinance of God he tooke orders or imposition of hands of men, as is plaine Act. 18. Let vs beware then of such false Apostles, as now a-daies intrude themselues to the office of Ministerie and preaching, neither called of God, nor rightly ordered of men. neither by man, but by Iesvs Christ, and God the Father that raised him from the dead,
2. and al the Brethren that are with me; to the Churches of Galatia.
3. Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Iesvs Christ,
4. who gaue himself for our sinnes, that he might deliuer vs from this present wicked world, according to the wil of our God and Father:
5. to whom is glorie for euer and euer. Amen.
6. I maruel that thus so soon you are transferred from him that called you into the grace of Christ, vnto another Ghospel:
7. which is not another, vnles there be some that trouble you, and wil New Ghospellers that peruert, corrupt, or alter the one only true and first deliuered Ghospel, are to be auoided. See S. Augustin. Cont. Faustum li. 32. c. 27. inuert the Ghospel of Christ.
8. But although we, Or an Angel.
No shew of learning or vertue must moue vs from the faith.
Manie worthie obseruations are made in the Fathers writings, of the earnest admonition of the Apostle, and much may we gather of the text it-self. First, that the credit of any man or Angel, for what learning, eloquence, shew of grace or vertue soeuer, though he wrought miracles, should not moue a Christian man from that truth which he hath once receiued in the Catholike Church: of which point Vicentius Lirinensis excellently trateth. li. cont. profan. hæres. Nouitates. Whereby we may see that it is great pitie and shame, that so many follow Luther & Caluin & such other leud fellowes, into a new Ghospel, which are so farre from Apostles and Angels, that they are not any whit comparable with the old Heretikes in guiftes of learning or eloquence, much lesse in good life.
Preaching contrarie to the faith receiued is forbiden, not other preaching.
Secondly *S. Augustin noteth vpon the word, Beside, that not al other teaching, or more preaching then the first, is forbidden, but such as is contrarie and disagreeing to the rule of faith. The Apostle did not say, saith he, If any man euangelize to you more then you haue receiued, but, beside that you receiued. For if he should say that, he should be preiudicial to himself, who coueted to come to the Thessalonians, that he might supply that which was wanting to their faith. Now he that supplieth, addeth that which was lacking, taketh not away that which was, &c. By which we see how friuolously and calumniously the Heretikes charge the Church with addition to the Scriptures.
*Tract. 98. in Ioan.
The Ghospel is not only in the written word of Scripture, but in vnwritten tradition also.
Thirdly, as wel by the word euangelizamus (we euangelize) as the word accepistis (you haue receiued) we may note that the first truth, against which no second Ghospelling or doctrine may be admitted, is not that only which he wrote to the Galatians, or which is conteined either in his or any other of the Apostles or Euangelistes writings, but that which was by word of mouth also preached, taught, or deliuered them first, before he wrote to them. Therfore the Aduersaries of the Church that measure the word of God or Ghospel by the Scriptures only, thinking themselues not to incurre S. Paules curse, except they teach directly against the written word, are fouly beguiled. As therin also they shamfully erre, when they charge the Catholikes with adding to the Ghospel, when they teach any thing that is not in expresse words written by the Apostles or Euangelistes: not marking that the Apostle in this Chapter, and els-where, commonly calleth his & his fellowes whole preaching, the Ghospel, be it written or vnwritten.
After-preaching & ouersowing of nouelties, argueth false doctrine.
Fourthly, by the same words we see condemned al after-preachings, later doctrines, new sects and Authours of the same: that only being true, which was first by the Apostles and Apostolike men as the lawful husband-men of Christes field, sowed and planted in the Church: and that false, which was later and as it were ouer-sowen by the enemie. By which rule not only Tertullian (de prȩscrip. nu. 6. & 9.) but al other ancient Doctours, and specially S. Irenȩas (li. 3. c. 2. 3. 4.) tried truth from falsehood, & condemned old Heretikes, prouing Marcion, Valentine, Cerdon, Menander, and such like false Apostles, because they came in with their nouelties long after the Church was settled in former truth.
The Apostles curse vpon al that teach new doctrine, and draw men from the Cath. Church.
Fifthly, This curse or execration pronounced by the Apostle, toucheth not only the Galatians, or those of the Apostles time, that preached otherwise then they did, but it perteineth to al times, Preachers, and Teachers, vnto the worlds end: and it concerneth them. (as *Vincentius Lirinensis saith) that preach a new faith, or change that old faith which they receiued in the vnitie of of the Catholike Church. To preach any thing to Christian Catholike men (saith he) besides that which they haue receiued, neuer was it lawful, neuer is it, nor neuer shal it be lawful. To say anathema to such, it hath been, & is, and shal be alwayes behooful. So S. Augustin by this place holdeth al accursed, that draw a Christian man from the societie of the whole Church, to make the seueral part of any one sect: that cal to the hidden conuenticles of heretikes, from the open & knowen Church of Christ: that allure to the priuate, from the common: finally al that draw with chatting curiositie the children of the Catholike Church, by teaching any thing besides that they found in the Church. ep. 48. Psal. 103. Con. 2.* mentioning also that a Donatist feined an Angel to haue admonished him to cal his freind out of the Communion of the Catholike Church into his sect. And he saith, that if it had been an Angel indeed, yet should he not haue heard him.
*Li. cont. proph. hær. nouit.
* Aug. ep. 165.
Zeale againse heretikes.
Lastly S. Hierom vseth this place, wherein the Apostle giueth the curse or anathema to al false teachers not once but twise, to proue that the zeale of Catholike men ought to be so great toward al Heretikes and their doctrines, that they should giue them the anathema, though they were neuer so deare vnto them. In which case, saith this holy Doctour, I would not spare mine owne parents. Ad Pammach. c. 3. cont. Io. Hieros. or an Angel from Heauen, euangelize to you beside that which we haue euangelized to you, be he anathema.
9. As we haue said before, so now I say againe: If any euangelize to you, beside that which you haue receiued, be he anathema.
10. For doe I now vse persuasion to men, or to God? Or doe I seeke to please men? If I yet did please men, I should not be the seruant of Christ.
11. The Epistle vpon the Commemoration of S. Paul, Iun. 30. For I doe you to vnderstand, Brethren, the Ghospel that was euangelized of me, that it is not according to man.
12. For neither did I receiue it of man, nor learne it; but by the reuelation of Iesvs Christ.
13. Act. 9,1. For you haue heard my conuersation sometime in Iudaisme, that aboue measure I persecuted the Church of God, and expugned it,
14. Act. 9,1. and profited in Iudaisme aboue many of mine equales in my Nation, being more abundantly an emulatour of the traditions of my Fathers.
15. But when it pleased him that separated me from my mothers womb, and called me by his grace, to reueale his Sonne in me,
16. that I should euangelize him among the Gentils, incontinent I condescended not to flesh and bloud,
17. neither came I to Hierusalem to the Apostles my Antecessours: but I went into Arabia, and againe I returned to Damascus.
18. Then, after three yeares I came to Hierusalem To see Peter.
S. Paul doth visit S. Peter of honour and reuerence toward him.
In what estimation S. Peter was with this Apostle, it appeareth: seeing for respect and honour of his person, and of duety as Tertullian de præscript. saith (notwithstanding his great affaires Ecclesiastical) he went so farre to see him: not in vulgar manner, but (as *S. Chrysostom noteth the Greeke word to import) to behold him as men behold a thing or person of name, excellencie, and maiestie. For which cause, and to fill himself with the perfect vew of his behauiour, he abode with him fifteen daies. See S. Hierom ep. 10. ad Paulinum. to. 3. who maketh also a mysterie of the number of daies that he taried with S. Peter. See S. Ambrose in Comment. huius loci, and S. Chrysostome vpon this place, and ho. 87. in Ioan.
*ἐςορῆσαι. to see Peter: and taried with him fifteen daies.
19. But other of the Apostles saw I none; sauing Iames S. Iames was called our Lordes brother after the hebrew phrase of the Iewes, by which neer kinsmen are called Brethren: for they were not Brethren indeed, but rather sisters children. the brother of our Lord.
20. And the things that I write to you; behold before God, that I lie not.
21. After that I came into the parts of Syria and Cilicia.
22. And I was vnknowen by sight to the Churches of Iewrie, that were in Christ:
23. but they had heard only, That he which persecuted vs sometime, doth now euangelize the faith which sometime he expugned:
24. and in me they glorified God.