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gratitude being due to them, because of them, are left to wander all their days the mighty benefits that we have received beyond the pale of gospel ordinancesfrom their ancestors, from men of their and so to live in guilt and die in utter nation in other days, from the prophets darkness. Verily in such a contemplation and apostles of old, who bequeathed to it might well be said even of this profes us the oracles of God; and who in dis-sing age-Are ye not yet altogether carnal? pensing the word of life among the nations, were chief instruments for the fulfilment at length of the promise made to their great ancestor-that in him all the families of the earth should be blessed. It is a reproach to Christians that this consideration has not operated more powerfully in favour of the Jewish people so as to have made them the objects of a far higher benevolence, both in things spiritual and temporal, than they have ever yet experienced at our hands.

Ver. 28. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.' To seal here is to make sure or to consummate. When I am conclusively done with this business, when I have brought the fru.. of Christian liberality which has been put into my hands to Jerusalem, and delivered it to the apostles there for distribution among the poor saints-then will I come by you into Spain.

Ver. 29. And I am sure that, when I For if the Gentiles have been made come unto you, I shall come in the fulness partakers of their spiritual things, their of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.' duty is also to minister unto them in car- There are manuscripts in which the word nal things.' The comparison in respect for gospel' is omitted, and where neverof magnitude and worth between spiritual theless a complete sense is retained—• I and carnal things, is still more distinctly am sure that when I do come, I shall come made in 1 Cor. ix, 11-where the apostle in the fulness of the blessing of Christ.' speaks of the right which he and Barna- Of this one thing, or main thing, he was bas had earned to a maintenance from sure; but there are certain other things their hands. In this matter too there is of detail and circumstance in this whole great room for the condemnation of pro-anticipation, of which he is not so sure. fessing Christians-because of their gross In chap. i, 10, 11, he speaks of his prospractical insensibility to the rule of equity perous journey to Rome as but a praver here laid down; and which is strikingly and thing of longing desirousness; in 1, evinced throughout Protestant countries 15, of his preaching there as but a purin particular, by the extreme feebleness pose; in xv, 23, of his future visit to them and defect of the voluntary principle for as an earnest wish; in xv, 24, of his jour the support of ministers of religion. It is ney to Spain as being yet a contingency. in virtue of this, that the instructors even and his seeing the church at Rome in his of large and opulent congregations, have way as no more than a confident expecta often so pitiful and parsimonious an al- tion; lastly, of his coming to them on his lowance doled out to them; and if so road to Spain as a determination: And, wretched a proportion of their own car- to crown all, as a certainty and absolute nal be given in return for spiritual things certainty-that when he did come, or if he to themselves, we are not to wonder at should come, he would come in the fulness the still more paltry and inadequate con- of the blessing of the gospel, or blessing tributions which are made by them for of Him who was the Author and Finisher the spiritual things of others. The ex- of the gospel. It marks most strikingly pence of all missionary schemes and en- the shortsightedness of men, even of men terprises put together, a mere scantling inspired on certain occasions and for cerof the wealth of all Christendom, argues tain purposes, as contrasted with the it to be still a day of exceeding small counsel of that God which alone shall things—a lesson still more forcibly held stand-it most emphatically tells of His out to us by the thousands and tens of ways as not being our ways-that the thousands at our own doors who are per- hopes, nay the prayers of an apostle, reinshing for lack of knowledge. There is forced by the prayers which he requested a carnal as well as a spiritual benevo- from his people for a prosperous journey lence. That the carnal benevolence to Rome, were all frustrated-So that, inmakes some respectable head against the stead of a joyful procession to his friends carnal selfishness of our nature, is evinced in the world's metropolis, he came to them by the fact, that so very few are ever as a criminal in fetters, a captive in the known to die of actual starvation. That hands of unbelievers. It is thus that the spiritual benevolence falls miserably the things of which he was only hope. behind the other, is evinced by the fact ful or desirous were disposed of; but of those millions and millions more in our empire, who, purely from want of the churches which ought to be built, and of ministers who ought to be maintained for

the thing of which he felt assured had its fixed accomplishment. He did come to Rome fully charged with spiritual bles. sings, and which he fully and freely dụ


ivered to the people there. "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him—preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no man forbidding him.”

desired to relieve his carefulness by mak ing his requests known unto God,*-both from his own mouth, and through the mouths of his interceding brethren. It is worthy of being noted, that the next object, his coming unto them with joy he asks to be prayed for with a submis. sive reference to the will of God. It may be regarded as the sample of a condi. tional as distinguished from an absolute prayer. We know of certain things which expressly and at all times are agreeable to the will of God, and for these we might pray without any qualification-as for our knowledge of the truth, and our growth in the divine life, and our

Ver. 30-33. Now I beseech you brethren for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; that I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; that I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be re-final salvation; and generally for all freshed. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.' He seems to make appeal here to that love in their hearts which the Spirit worketh-the love more especially which Christians who have passed from death unto life bear in their hearts for each other; and under the promptings of which it behoved them to pray for the safety of him who was their spiritual father. His request for such a prayer implies a sense of danger in the mind of the apostle-an apprehension fully warranted by his knowledge of the deadly hatred borne him by the Jews; and against which he in this very journey took the precaution mentioned in Acts, xx, 3. It is perhaps not so easy to ex-minds through Christ Jesust-even that plain why he should stand in any doubt of his service being accepted by the saints at Jerusalem. But many of them too were jealous, and did not like his partiality for the Gentiles-nay, it was possible, might have disdained the receiving of any charity at their hands. On this matter therefore as on every other, he

spiritual blessings. For temporal blessings we might pray also; but, with the exception of daily bread, and things absolutely needful for the life and the body, respecting which we have the declared will and promise of God-for all other blessings of an earthly description, we should pray with a salvo, laying our wants and wishes before God, while subjecting them withal to God's good pleasure. The things of this class when prayed for, may or may not be conceded to us; but at all events, as the fruit of this believing intercourse with Heaven, the peace of God which passeth all understanding shall keep our hearts and

peace which is the subject of the apostle's closing benediction, and of which no tribulations or adversities can deprive us. And therefore with an unfaltering amen could he pray-The God of peace be with you all.'

* Phil. iv, 6. ↑ Phil, iv, 6, 7.

+ John, xvi 33.



I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: who have for my life laid down their own necks: 'unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us. Salute Andronicus and Junia, my Greet kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Amplias my beloved in the Lord. Salute Urbane our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household. Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord. Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord. Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them. Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches de ceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore cn your ehalf but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. who wrote Timotheus my work-fellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater my kinsmen, salute you. I Tertias,



this epistle, salute you in the Yoid. Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chan berlain of the city alutet yu, and Quartus a brother. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen. Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ. sccording to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made mani. fest, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience cf faith; to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Ame.2."

THIS whole chapter, filled with the sal- whom not only I give thanks, but also all nations of respect and cordiality-not the churches of the Gentiles.' Aquila and only from Paul direct to his correspon- Priscilla must at this time have been at dents, but from the friends and compan- Rome. They had formerly been at Corions who were with Paul to those whom inth, where Paul was their guest, and then he was addressing-evinces how much at Ephesus, whither they accompanied Christianity is fitted to promote the inter- Paul, and where he left them*-to which change of such feelings between man and place they afterwards returned, if we man. We are here presented with the may conclude from the salutation sent to forms and homages of our own modern po- them from Rome by Paul, in his letter to liteness, animated by the spirit and since-Timothy, when he was bishop of the rity of the gospel-forins which, though but Ephesians. Both at Corinth and Ephesus in themselves the dry bones of Ezekiel's they had been the helpers of Paul in vision, are yet befitting vehicles for the Christ Jesus-his helpers, we presume, best and highest of our mutual affections, chiefly in things temporal-at least not after that the breath of life has been in- in spiritual things, as they had been to fused into them. Altogether we hold this Appollos, when they expounded to him Our chapter to be a singularly valuable doc- the way of God more perfectly. ument-as proving how capable the great apostle did not require this at their usages of a Christian church are of being hands-yet may they have been of most amalgamated with the graces, and the important use to him even as the minisamenities, and the complimentary expres-ters of holy things, in refreshing and consions of the every day intercourse that takes place in general society.

firming the souls of his disciples. And here it should be remarked, that Priscilla, Ver. 1, 2. 'I commend unto you Phebe the wife of Aquila, is joined to him in our sister, which is a servant of the church this work seeing they are both representwhich is at Cenchrea: that ye receive ed in the book of Acts as contributing to her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and the further instruction of Apollos, even that ye assist her in whatsoever busi- after that he had signalised himself by ness she hath need of you: for she hath his might in the scriptures, and his elobeen a succourer of many, and of myself quence in speaking the things of the Lord. also.' And here too we are presented Much more then might she be qualified to with another most useful indication-the officiate as a teacher of her own sex, and employment of female agency, under the more particularly of children. We caneye and with the sanction of an apostle, in not think then that the service of females the business of a church. It is well to have in the Christian church was restricted to inspired authority for a practice too little the mere office of deaconesses, who minisknown and too little proceeded on in mo- tered to the sick and the destitute. They dern times. Phebe belonged to the order also laboured in a higher vocation; and of deaconesses-in which capacity she should be enlisted still in the business of had been the helper of many, including a parish, as most invaluable auxiliaries Paul himself. In what respect she served in dispensing both religious comfort and them is not particularly specified. Like religious instruction, within such spheres the women in the Gospels who waited as might with all fitness and propriety be upon our Saviour, she may have minis- assigned to them. In particular, they tered to them of her substance though will be found the most efficient of all there can be little doubt, that as the hold-civilisers among the families of a now er of an official station in the church, she outlandish, because heretofore neglected ministered to them of her services also. population-and this whether as the visiThey to whom she was commended by Paul were to receive her as becometh saints or with all that respect and delicacy which were due to a Christian female; and also to render her all that assistance which her business, not here specified, might require at their hands.

Ver. 3, 4.Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto

* Luke, viii, 2, 3.

tors of sewing and reading, or as themselves the teachers of Sabbath-schoolsOr in the former capacity as the patronesses of week-day and common, and in the latter the direct agents of Christian education.

It appears that Aquila and Priscilla had exposed their own lives to je pardy for the safety of Paul's. The special occasion on which this took place is not

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certainly known. There is abundant | additional evidence for the agency of evidence of their having both had a will to have braved this hazard at any time for the sake of their beloved apostle. And we can be at no loss to imagine a way in which this might have been brought to the proof, when we read of the insurrection at Corinth against Paul, where Aquila and Priscilla both were; and whence they accompanied him to Ephesus, where they probably were also, at the time when such a fearful outbreak was made upon him in that city by a riotous and enraged multitude. Whatever the occasion was on which they thus signalised themselves, it must have been some signal deliverance or service to Paul | of which they were the instruments, that called forth so memorable an expression of gratitude, not alone from Paul individually, but probably and with open manifestation from all the churches.

females in these days-as of Mary, whe bestowed much labour-as well as Tryphena and Tryphosa, who laboured; and Persis, who laboured much in the Lord This may have been the labour of mere deaconship-as that of Stephanas was at the time when he was the bearer of a supply for the apostle's wants, and of whose family it is said that they addicted themselves to the ministry* of the saints. It may however have been more than thisa ministration in spiritual as well as temporal good things. The passage before us scarcely allows of any specific determination on this point. To labour in the Lord gives no decision. To assist the disciples of Christ in things necessary for the present life is part of that labour in the Lord which shall not be in vain. In as much as ye have done it unto one of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." We may here add, that in the 6th verse there occurs a variation of reading


bestowed much labour among you,' instead of on us.' That is, she may have been helpful to the members of the church, whether spiritually or temporally; or in the latter of these two senses, may have been helpful to Paul himself.

Ver. 5-15. Likewise greet the church that is in their house.' It would appear from this, that in these days, Christian-some manuscripts bearing that Mary congregations met and had their religious services done to them in dwelling-houses. It was the practice for Aquila and Priscilla to have a church in their house elsewhere too-as here in Rome, and also in Asia, whence Paul wrote his first epistle to the Corinthians, and sends the church Ver. 7. We have no taste for ascertainthere a salutation from the church helding that which the Bible has left uncerin the house of these devoted followers of tain, and on which ecclesiastical antiour Lord. We have traces of the same quity throws no light whatever. Why supractice in other places of the New Tes-persaturate the world with conjectures on tament. "Salute Nymphas and the matters which have no ground of evidence church which is in his house." "Paul to stand upon ?--as whether Andronicus unto Philemon, and to the church in thy and Junia were man and wife; whether house." Junia was not Julia, or if she was a woman at all; whether they were claimed by Paul as of kin to himself, because Israelites, or because of still nearer affinity; whether they were of note among the apostles, because, being converted before Paul, they might have been of the seventy disciples; and lastly, what the occasion of their imprisonment along with the apostle. Enough for us the generalities of Scripture, which are at the same time of themselves sufficiently interesting.

Then follows a list of salutations, in the course of which some brief notices are given as if casually and incidentally, yet which are by no means devoid of interest. As when he salutes Epenetus, he signalises him by an epithet-well-belovedwhich marks him out as an object of the apostle's special and superlative affection. It is like the love which one has for a firstborn-he having been the first of Paul's spiritual children in Achaia. It is true that the house of Stephanas is elsewhere termed the first-fruits of Achaia. It is possible that Epenetus may have been of the household of Stephanas, or at all events may have been converted at the same time, or time of the first conversion which took place in Achaia under Paul's ministry. Some critics find an explanation in the circumstance that there are Greek manuscripts which present us with "Asia," instead of Achaia.

We also gather from this enumeration

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Ver. 8. Beloved in the Lord.' This expression denotes a purely spiritual relationship, as distinguished from the natural relationship adverted to in the preceding verse. The two verses together suggest the two distinct grounds on which one might be the object of affection. Both might be united in the same person; and this reminds us of what Paul says respecting Onesimus, that he should be received by Philemon as a brother beloved, “both in the flesh and in the Lord." It is pleasing to observe the former of these two

* Διακονία.

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affections thus legitimised by the apostle | -or the sanction given by him to the natural as well as spiritual love—to the love of friendship and relationship, as well as that love of Christians which is emphatically termed the love of the brethren, and is singled out by St. John as an evidence of our having passed from death unto life.

Ver. 9. Our helper in Christ.' This expression, even in our English Bible, powerfully suggests that the help given by Urbane to Paul was in his apostolic work. But the original fixes this more surely. He was the fellow-worker* of the apostle.

Ver. 10. Approved in Christ'-or found. He was one of those whom Paul here distinguishes by the special proof which he bad given of his discipleship.

Ver. 11. Which are in the Lord.' This adjunct to the household of Narcissus, and not of Aristobulus, would imply that only a part of Narcissus' family had been converted-whereas all of the other household | had been turned to the faith. We may here observe, that Paul confines these salutations only to brethren in Christthough none more courteous than he to them who were without. His were not common letters, but written for the use of the churches.

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dence for the truth of the evangelic story see Dr. Paley's 'Horæ Paulinæ.'

Ver. 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss.'-The customary method of salutation in these days-exchanged, however, only between those of the same sex. It is remarkable that, by the testimony of Suetonius, an edict was published by one of the Roman emperors for the abolition of this practice among his subjects

perhaps in order to check abuses, for the prevention of which our apostle enjoins that it shall be a holy salutation. It is a custom adverted to in other places of the New Testament.*

'The churches of Christ salute you'Those churches probably to whom he had made known his purpose of writing to the church at Rome-whose faith was spoken of throughout the whole world.† We might well imagine the satisfaction which would be spread abroad among the disciples everywhere, when they heard of the progress which Christianity was making in the metropolis of the empire; and with what cordiality they would send their gratulations to the believers there.

Ver. 17. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.' Paul recurs to the topic of his unceasing earnestness and desire-the peace or unanimity of the church. He had just fin

Ver. 13. Chosen in the Lord.' Elect —it is not said beloved, as with many of the others. The two expressions har-ished a long series of salutations, and monise. They who are loved now were loved before the foundation of the world. They who were loved then, are loved even unto the end.

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enjoined them to exchange these tokens of mutual affection with one anotherwhen, as if the more strikingly to mark his adverse feeling towards the authors and promoters of dissension in their sociciety, he points them out as men, with whom, instead of the signs or interchanges of regard, they were to hold no fellowship. He who before had told them whom they were to receive, now tells them whom they are to reject or avoid.' The doctrine which they had just learned from him was that of forbearance, one for another, in the matter of certain Jewish observances-the doctrine of that charity which endureth all things, save that spirit which is hostile to its own, and wherewith it must ever be at antipodes. For them who caused divisions, such as the judaising teachers who would have forced their own burdensome ritual on all the converts; or for them who caused offences, such as those Gentile believers, who, in the wantonness of their liberty, cared not to insult and to wound the consciences of their weaker brethren-for neither of these could our apostle feel the

His mother and mine.' The mother of Rufus by birth, of Paul by affection-a claim of relationship by which he delicately and beautifully propounds the love that he bore to her. Rufus is understood to have been the son of Simon, who was compelled to bear the cross of our Saviour.f We may close these remarks, by observing that these names are not without their use-in clearing up certain points, or at least furnishing ground for certain plausible conjectures, both in the evangelic and in ecclesiastical history. As an example of the latter, there is no reason for doubting the testimony of the ancients-that | the Hermas to whom Paul here sends his respects, is identical with the apostolic father of that name, whose works have come down to us. For specimens of the help which these names afford. in establishing certain connections and references -so as to harmonise some of the distant places and passages of the New Testament, and thus elicit a confirmatory evi- | slightest complacency or toleration. They

* Συνεργος.

* Mark, xv, 21.

* 1 Cor. xvi, 20; 2 Cor. xiii, 12; 1 Thessalonians, v, S 1 Peter, v, 14. † Romans, i, 8.

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