I’ve been enjoying Charles Simeon’s commentary on Galatians. Here’s part of his exposition of Galatians 4:8-11:
Men, by nature, are born under the law: and they invariably look to their obedience to the law as the ground of their hope towards God. But, as it is impossible for fallen man ever to render to the law that perfect obedience which it requires, God has given him a Savior, through whom he may obtain a perfect righteousness, fully commensurate with all the demands of law and justice. But, in order to his obtaining an interest in this, every other ground of hope must be renounced. He must be saved wholly, either by works or by grace. The two grounds of hope cannot exist together. If a man attempt to blend them together, even in the smallest possible degree, he will fail: the slightest dependence on his works will altogether invalidate the work of Christ, and make void all that he has done for the salvation of men. If, therefore, a person still practice any works of the law, in order to obtain, either in whole or in part, justification by them, all the labor that has ever been bestowed on him will be in vain.
The above quote is found in Charles Simeon, Horae Homileticae: Galatians-Ephesians, vol. 17 (London: Holdsworth and Ball, 1833), 168.