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rule over the Gentiles: in him shall the Gentiles hope.
13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye likewise are full of goodness, being filled with all
15 knowledge, and able to admonish one another. NeverI theless, brethren, I have written the more boldly to you,
in some respect, as putting you in mind, because of the 18 grace which is given to me of God, That I should be the servant of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles may be
17 acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. I have therefore whereof to glory, through Jesus Christ, in the
18 things pertaining to God. For I will not dare to speak
19 make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Through (
spring from his house, was promised to Jesse before it was to David. in him
V. 18. Now the God of hope—A glorious title of God; but till now unknown to the heathens, for their goddess Hope', like their other idols, was nothing; whose temple at Some was burnt by lightning. It was indeed ,bnilt again not Jong after, but was again burnt to the ground.
V. 14. There are several conclusions of this epistle. The first begins at this verse, the second, chatp. xv.L 1, the third, ver. the fourth, ver. 21, and the fifth, ver. 35. Ye are full of goodness—By being created anew, and filled with all knowledge—By long experience of the things of God: to admonish—, to instruct and confirm.
V. J5. Becanse of the graoe—That is, because I am an apostle of the Gentiles.
y. 16. The offering up of the Gentiles—As living sacrifices. V. 17. I have whereof to glory, through Jesus Christ—All my glorying is in -and through'him
V.t18. By word—By the power of the Spirit, by deed—Namely, through mighty sigms and wonders.
V. so. Not where Christ had been-natnetl—Theseplaces he generally declined, (though not altogether,) having an-holy ambition, (*o the Greek word means,) to make the first iproclamation of the gospel, in places where it was quite unheard of,'in spite of all the difficulty and dangers that attended it, lest I should only build upon another man's foundation—The providence of God seemed in a special manner, generally, to prevent this, (though not.entirely,) lest the enemies of the apostle, who sought every occasion to act light by him, should have had room to say, that he was behind other apostles, not being sufficient for plantiug cbuwnes himself, but only for preaching where others had been already; or that he declined the more difficult part of the ministry. . ,
21 tion. But as it is written, * They to whom he was not spoken of shall see; and they that have not heard shall
22 understand. Therefore I was also long hindered from
23 coming to you. But now having no longer place in these countries, and having had a great desire for many years
24 to coaie to you, Whenever I go into Spain, 1 hope to see you as 1 pass by, and to be brought forward by you in my way thither, if first 1 may be somewhat satisfied with your company.
25 But 1 am now going to Jerusalem, serving the saints.
26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia, to make a contribution for the poor of the saints that are
27 in Jerusalem. It hath pleased them, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have partook of their spiritual things, they ought to minister to them in carnal things.
28 When therefore I have performed this, and sealed to
29 them this fruit, I will go by you into Spain. And 1 know that when 1 come to you, I shall come in the fulness of
30 the blessing of the gospel of Christ. Now I beseech you,
* Isaiah lii. 15.
V. 32. Therefore I was also long hindered from coming to you—Among whom Christ had been named.
V. 23. Having no longer place in these countries—Where Christ has now been preached iu every city.
V. 24. Into Spain—Where the gospel had not yet been preached. If first I may be somewhat satisfied with your company—How remarkable is the modesty with which he speaks! They might rather desire to be satisfied with his. Somewhat satisfied—Intimating the shortness of his stay. Or, perhaps, that Christ alone can througbly satisfy the soul.
V. 26. The poor of the saints that are in Jerusalem—It can by no means be inferred front this expression, that the community of goods among the Christians was then ceased. All that can be .gathered from it is, that in this time of extreme dearth, Acts xi. 23, 29, some of the church in Jerusalem were in want; the rest being harely able to subsist themselves, but not to supply the necessities of their brethren.
V. 27. It hath pleased them, and they are their debtors—That is, they are bound to it, iu justiae as well as mercy. Spiritual things—By the preaching of the gospel: carnal things—Things needful for the body.
V. 28. When I have sealed to them this fruit—When I have safely delivered to them, as under seal, this fruit of their brethren's love / will go by you into Spain—Such was his design. But it <loes not appear that Panl went into Spain. There are often holy purposes in the minds of good men, which are over-ruled by the providence of God, so as never to take effect. And yet they are precious in the sight of God.
V. 30. / beseech you—by the Ime of the Spirit—That is, by the hwe which is the genuine fruit of the Spirit. To strive togetlter with me in your prayersHe must pray himself, who would have others strive together with him in prayer. Of all the apostles, St. Panl alone is recorded to desire the prayers of the faithful for himself. And this he generally does in the ranrliimimt of bis epistles; yet not without making a difference. For he speaks in one mauner to them whom he treats as his children, with the parity, or even brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me, in your prayers to
31 God for me, That I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service at Jerusalem may be
32 acceptable to the saints: That I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together
33 with you. Now the God of peace be with you all.
CHAP. XVI. 1. I commend unto you Phebe our
2 sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, That ye may receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and help her in whatsoever business she needeth you: for she
3 hath been a helper of many, and of myself also. Salute Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow-labourers in Christ Jesus:
'. 4 Who for my life have laid down their own necks; to whom not 1 alone owe my thanks, but likewise all the
5 churches of the Gentiles. Salute also the church that is in their house. Salute my beloved Epenetus, who is the
6 first-fruits of Asia unto Christ. Salute Mary, who hath
severity, of a father, (such as Timotby, Titos, the Corinthians, and Galatians;) in another, to them whom he treats rather like equals, such as the Romans, Ephesians, Thessalonians, Colossians, Hebrews.
V. 31. That I may be delivered—He is thus urgent from a sense of the importance of his life to the church. Otherwise he would have rejoiced, to depart, and to be with Christ. And that my service may be acceptable—In spite of all their prejndices; to the end the Jewish and Gentile believers may be knit together in tender love.
V. 32. That I may come to you—This refers to the former, with joy—To the latter part of the preceding verse.
€HAP. XVI. Ver. 1. / commend unto you Phebe—The bearer of this letter. A servant—The Greek word is a deacounest, of the church in Cenchrea—In the apostolic age, some grave and pious women were appointed deacounesses in every church. It was their office, not to teach publickly, hat to visit the sick, the women in particular, and to minister to them both in their temporal and spiritual necessities.
V. s. In the Lord—That is, for the Lord's sake, and in a Christian mauner. St. Panl seems fond of this expression.
V. 4. Who for my life, as it were, have laid down their own necks—That is, exposed themselves to the utmost danger, but likewise all the churches of the Gentiles—Even that at Rome, for preserving so valuable a life.
V. 5. Salute the church that is in their house—Aquila had been driven from Rome in the reign of Clandius, but was now returned, and performed the same part there, which Gaius did at Corinth, chap. xvi. 23. Where any Christian had a large house, there they all assembled together; though as yet the Christians at Rome had neither hishops nor deacons. So far were they from any shadow of papal power. Nay, there does not appear to have been then, in the whole city, any more than one of these domestic churches. Otherwise, there can be no doubt but St. Panl would have saluted them also. Epenetus— Although the apostle bad never been at Rome, yet had he many acquaintance there. But here is no mention of Linus or Clemens, whence it appears, they did not come to Rome till after this. The first-fruits of Asit— The first convert in the Proconsular Asia, t
T bestowed much labour on us. Salute Andronicus and Junius, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ
8 before me. Salute Amplias, my beloved in the Lord.
9 Salute Urbanus, our fellow-labourer in Christ, and my
10 beloved Stachys. Salute Apelles, approved in Christ.
11 Salute those of the family of Aristobulus. Salute my IS? kinsman Herodian. Salute those of the family of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved
13 Persis, who hath laboured much in the Lord. Salute Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hennas,
15 and the brethren who are with them. Salute Philologus and Julias, Nereus and his sister, and Olympus, and all
16 the saints that are with them. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
17 Now, I beseech you, brethren, mark them who csuse
V. 7. Who are of note among the apostles—They seem to have been some of the most early converts: fellow-prisoners—For the gospel's sake.
V. 9. Our fellow-labourer—Mine and Timotby's, ver. 21.
V. 11. Those of the family of Aristobulus and Narcissus, who are in the LordIt seems only part of their families were converted. Prohably some of them were not known to St. Panl by face, but only by character. Faith does not create moroseness but courtesy, which even the gravity of an apostle did not hinder.
V. 12. Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa—Prohably they were two sisters.
V. 13. Salute Rufus—Perhaps the same that is mentioned Mark xv. 21, and his mother and mine—This expression may only denote the tender care which Rofus's mother had taken of him.
V. 14. Salute Asyncritus, Pblegon, &c—He seems to join those together who were joined by kindred, nearness of hahitation, or any other circumstance. It could not but encourage the poor especially, to be saluted by name, who perhaps did not know that the apostle had ever heard of them. It is observable, that whilst the apostle forgets none who are wortby, yet he adjusts the nature of his salutation, to the degrees of worth in those whom he salutes.
V. 15. Salute all the saints—Had St. Peter been then at Rome, St. Panl would doubtless have saluted him by name; since no one in this numerous catalogue, was of an eminence comparable to his. But if he was not then at Rome, the whole Roman tradition, with regard to the succession of their hishops, fails in the most fundamental article.
V. 16. Salute one another with an holy kiss—Termed by St. Peter, The kiss of love, 1 Pet. v. 15. So the ancient Christians conclnded all their solemn offices, the men saluting the men, and the women the women. And this apostolical custom seems to have continued for some ages, in all Christian churches.
V. 17. Mark them who canse divisions—Such there were, therefore, at Roma ,«lso. Avoid them—-Avoid all uunecessary intercourse with them.
divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye
18 have learned, and avoid them. For such serve not the Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the harmless.
19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I rejoice therefore on your behalf; but I would have you wise with regard to that which is good, and simple with
20 regard to that which is evil. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
21 Timotheus my fellow-labourer, and Lucius, and Jason
22 and Sosipater my kinsmen, salute you, I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord, Gaius, my
23 host, and of the whole church, saluteth you, Erastus, the chamberlain of the city, salutetb you, and Quartus,
24 a brother. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
25 Now to him who is able to stablish you, according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, (according to the revelation of tVe mystery kept secret since the
26 world began, But now made manifest, and by the Scrip
V. 18. By good words—Concerning themselves, making great premises, and fair speeches—Concerning you, praising and flattering you. 1%e harmless— Who, doing no ill themselves, are not upon their guard against them that do.
V. 19. But I would have you—Not only obedient, hut discreet also, wise with regard'to that which is good—As knowing in this as possible, and simple with regard to that which is evil—As ignorant of this as possible.
V. 20. And the God of peace—The author and lover of it, giving a blessing to your discretion, shall bruise Satan under your,/ee<—Shall defeat all the artifices of that sower of tares, and unite you more and more together in love.
V. 21. Timotheus my fellow-labourer—Were heis named, even before St. Paul's kinsmen. But as he had never been at Rome, he is not named ia the beginning of the epistle.
V. 22. I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you—Tertius, who wrote what the apostle dictated, inserted this, either by St. Paul's exhortation, or ready permission. Gaius—The Corinthian, 1 Cor. i. 14, my host, and of the whole thurch'—Who probably met for some time in his house.
V. 23. The chamberlain of the city—Of Corinth.
V. 25. Now to him who is able—The last words of this epistle exactly answer the first, «bap. i. I—5, in particular, concerning the power of God, the gospel, Jesus Christ, the Scriptures, the obedience of faith, all nations. To establish yon—Both Jews and Gentiles; according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ—That is, according to the tenor of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which I preach: According to the revelation of the mystery—Of the calling of the Gentiles, which, as plainly as it was foretold in the prophets, was still hid from many even of the believing Jews,
V. 26. According to the commandment—The foundation of the apostolical "ice, of the eternal God— A more proper epithet could not be. A pew