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Paul intended to go to Spain.

ROMANS XVI.

Intreats the prayers, fc. now having no longer place for preaching in with the fulness of the blessing of the gospel

these parts, and having a great desire for these of Christ. 21 many years to come unto you; Whensoever Now I beseech you, brethren, by the Lord 30 I go

into Spain, I hope to see you as I pass on, Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that and to be conducted by you on my way thither- ye strive together with me in your prayers to ward, when I have been in some

God for me; That I may be delivered from 31 25 satisfied with your company. But now I am those in Judea who believe not, and that

going to Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. my ministry at Jerusalem may be accepted 26 For it hath pleased those of Macedonia and by the saints ; That I may come unto you 32

Achaia to make a certain contribution for the with joy, by the will of God, and may be 27 poor saints who are at Jerusalem. It hath refreshed together with you. Now the God 33 pleased them indeed ; and their debtors they of peace be with you all. Amen. For if the Gentiles have been made

CHAPTER XVI. partakers of their spiritual things, the Gentiles ought also to minister to them in worldly

A. D. 60. Paul commends Phebe, and greets a number of the brethren ;

cautions them against such as fomented divisions, &c. 28 things... When therefore I have performed

this, and have consigned to them this fruit, Now I commend unto you Phebe our sister, 1 29 I will come by you into Spain. And I know who is a deaconess of the church which is at

that, when I come unto you, I shall come Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, 2

are.

Reflections UPON CHAPTER XV. 1. How benevolent and did what Jesus said of him: “ He is a chosen instrument to me, to kind is the spirit of the gospel, teaching us not to please ourselves, but bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Isour neighbour to his edification. This holy, generous concern for the rael.” What a pattern is this holy man, to all that engage in the comfort and establishment of others, is enforced by the example of our ministry! What self-denial, patience, love, and zeal should they blessed Lord and Saviour. He denied himself and sustained re- constantly exercise! And what a blessing to the church are such proaches for his Father's honour, and the good of his church. He ministers. May God raise up and send out such labourers into bis condescended to act the part of a servant and minister, 10 confirm the vineyard. promises made to the fathers, that the Gentiles might glorify and praise 3. What gratitude do we owe to God for visiting us and blessing God, for making them equal heirs of all privileges and blessings with us with the gospel. By it we are brought under the reign of Christ ; the Jews. What a rich and invaluable treasure have we in the holy and he is exhibited to us as the object of our faith and trust. By it scriptures, which were written for our instruction, patience, comfort all saving blessings are communicated through the power of the Spiril. and hope. Let us unite in the prayer of the apostle, “ That the God How honourable is the ministry of it; and wită what zeal did Paul of hope may fill us with all joy and peace in believing ; that we may and others, after they had felt its power, spread it abroad. And how abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit."

great was their success! Satan fell like lightning from heaven. 011 2. In the account the apostle gives of his journeys and labours, every hand the kingdom of sin and darkness was invaded, and some and of his purposes and designs, we see the ardour of his mind, his of its strong-holds forced. Still may the ministration of the gospel love to souls, and his willingness to be spent in the service of the Lord. thus triumph ; and may all the plans of ministers, for the salvation of He was not content to abide long in one place, or nation ; but when sinners be rendered successful. To this end they request the prayers he considered the lost, perishing condition of men in distant countries, of their christian brethren ; and they pour out the desires of their own he was ready to brave all dangers, and to preach to them also the hearts, that their labours may be acceptable, and that love, peace, unsearchable riches of Christ. In his spirit and conduct lie was and and unity may abound.

this account of the countries where he had preached the word of life. See 30–33. And by the love, &c. Some understand the love of the Spirit to Is. lii. 15.

signify the love which he had to the saints, and which was at that time ex22—34. T have been often, &c. Paul's ardent mind led him to form, and pressed by his miraculous gifts; wbile others think that it denotes that chrisurged him to undertake, the most hazardous enterprises to spread the gospel. tian love which is the fruit of the Spirit.-In your prayers, &c. Paul was He had visited Syria, all the lesser Asia, Greece, and Macedonia; and vow desirous of the prayers of the brethren, fully convinced how much God relonged to visit Italy and Spain.

garded them, and what favours he conferred in answer to them.' 25-29. I am going to, &c. This shows when Paul wrote this epistle. CHAP. XVI. 1. A deaconess, &c. The habits of the people of Asia and See 2 Cor. ix. 2, 12, and Acts xix. 21.- - For if the Gentiles, fc. See 1 Cor. Greece rendered it necessary for well-instructed females to be allowed, and ix. 11. With the fuiness, $c. With such knowledge, graces, and gifts, and even appointed to visit, teach, and comfort those of their own sex. These God will own my labouřs so as to bestow the richest blessings of the gospel deaconesses were generally widows. See 1 Tim. v. 3-9. Phil. ir 2. Pliny upoa you.

describes them as existing in bis time.Cenchrea. This was the easteru xn 3

283

Christian brethren suluted.

ROMANS XVI.

Contentions to be avoided.

as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in gus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and whatsoever business she hath need of you: for Olympas, and all the saints that are with them.

she hath been a helper of many, and of myself Salute one another with a holy kiss. •All" 16 3 also. Salute Priscilla and Aquilla my fellow- the churches of Christ salute you. 4 labourers in Christ Jesus : Who have laid Now I beseech you, brethren, mark those 17

down their own necks for my life: unto whom who cause divisions and offences, contrary to

not only I give thanks but all the churches of the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid 5 the Gentiles also. Salute likewise the church them. For those that are such, serve not our 18

in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epene- Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and

tus, who is the first-fruits of 'Asia" to Christ. by good words and fair speeches deceive the 6 Salute Mary, who hath laboured much for you. hearts of the innocent. For your obedience 19 7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and hath come abroad unto all. I rejoice therefore

my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among on your account : but yet I would have you

the apostles, who also were in Christ before wise concerning that which is good, and simple 8 me. Salute Amplias my beloved in the Lord. concerning evil. And the God of peace will 20 9 Salute Urbanus, my fellow-labourer in Christ, quickly bruise Satan under your feet.. The 10 and Stachys my beloved. Salute Apelles who grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

is approved in Christ. Salute those that are Timothy my fellow-labourer, and Lucius, and 21 11 of the household of Aristobulus. Salute He- Jason, and Sosipater, my

Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. rodian my kinsman. Salute those that are of ( Tertius the scribe of this epistle, salute you 22

the household of Narcissus, that are in the in the Lord. Gaius my host, and the host of 23 12 Lord. Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the

are labouring in the Lord. Salute the beloved chamberlain of the city, and Quartus a brother,

Persis, who hath laboured much in the Lord. salute you. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ 24 13 Salute Rufus, who is chosen in the Lord ; and be with you all. Amen. 14 his mother and mine. Salute Asyncritus, Written to the Romans from Corinth, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the

and sent by Phebe servant of the 15 brethren that are with them. Salute Philolo

church at Cenchrea.

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REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XVI. 1. We hence learn that the christian religion is of the greatest advantage to friendship and good manners. It teaches us to pay civil. respect to all ranks and

Verses 25–27. transposed to latter end Ch. xiv. degrees of

and to adress them in the manner deemed most proper and becoming. It obliges us to be grateful for benefits, and to make the best returns of which we are capable. St inspires us with the

men;

sea-port of the city of Corinth, eight or nine miles distant from it.

2. In the Lord. Receive her as a believer in the Lord; and assist her, &c. What business might bring her to Rome we are not told; but the Christians there would doubtless regard her as a sister, and do her every service in

their power

3—5. Salute Priscilla, &c. See Acts xviji. 2, 26. They appear to have been zealous and well-instructed disciples, who for the sake of the gospel had suffered much.---The church in their house. As the first Christians had no buildings erected for public worship, they assembled in private houses; and such an assembly is called a church. Aquilla had opened his house in Rome for this purpose, which showed no little courage, as persecution then raged.

-Asia. All the best mss. support this reading, in preference to the common one, Achaia ; and from I Cor. xvi. 15, we learn that the family of Stephanus, and not Epinetus, were the first-fruits of Achaia.

6. Much for you. For this reading, see Griesbach. Who this Mary was we know not; nor how she had laboured for the brethren at Rome, unless as a zealous christian or deaconess. 7. My kinsmen. The apostle, Ch. ix. 3, styles all the Jews his kinsmen.

It is therefore uncertain whether these persons were relations in blood, or only of the same nation. Who were in Christ, &c. These persons had somewhere been imprisoned with Paul, and were much regarded by the Apostle for their fortitude, and as being early called to the faith.

8-16. Salute Amplias, go. The names of the Roman brethren bere mentioned, are not noticed elsewhere, and we know nothing more of them than that they were believers. With a holy kiss. The Jews considered the kibs as an expression of friendship. See 2 Sam.xx. 9. Luke vii. 43. Christians adopted it from the Jews, and Justin Martyr informs us, " that prayers being ended, they saluted one another with a kiss, and that then the bread and cup were brought to him who presided." They expressed their affection for each other before they celebrated the Lord's supper; but this salute was only given to those of their owu sex, men saluted men, and women one another.com The churches, 8c. There was one at Corinth, and another at Cenchrea, and perhaps many other christian assemblies in Achaia, who all joined in this salutation.

17, 18. Mark those who, &c. Jewish zealots, who pretended by their ceremonious rites, to add perfection to the christian system; and hence sought

Reflections.
ROMANS XVI.

Reflections. kindest wishes for the temporal and spiritual prosperity of our friends ; 3. We learn also to show particular regard to those who are and it disposes one christian society to receive the members of another, engaged in the work of the ministry. Paul mentions Timothy, who when properly recommended, and to aid and assist them as far as in was his son in the faith, as his work-fellow, engaged as he was in their power. How honourable the characters of those whom Paul the spread of the blessed gospel; and he served him as a son, and salutes. Some were disciples before him; others were fellow-labourers was ready to accompany him in his journeys, and to share with him in the gospel, and all were united in the common head, Christ. in the persecutions and sufferings which befel hím in his master's cause.

2. We learn that men of corrupt minds will creep into the Lucius and Jason were also devoted to Christ, and with Sosipater, churches of Christ, and trouble them. They assume a christian pro- Paul's kinsman, were probably known to many at Rome; and for this fession, and for a season may be highly esteemed; but anon their reason they send their christian salutations. Some of the disciples were temper betrays them. They become quarrelsome, and cause divisions given to hospitality; and such deserve distinguished honour. Paul and offences, contrary to the doctrine of Christ. Let all sincere be- mentions Gaius, who kindly entertained him, and not only him, but lievers mark such, and have no fellowship with them, Let them act was ready to receive and entertain the members of the whole church. as the believing Romans did ; whose obedience to the apostle was The salutation of such a man must be received with pleasure. Thus honourably spread abroad, and to whom the apostle gives the assurance, were the disciples originally united in the bonds of love; and by an that their great enemy, Satan, should soon be vanquished. The first interchange of friendly offices, were constantly exercising it. This promise should be fulfilled, and șhe head of the serpent bruised'; and showed that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ was in an eminent God would do this as the God of peace, reconciled by the sacrifice of degree with them; and inay the same grace be with all the churches, Christ.

and all the members thereof. Amen.

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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE

TO THE

CORINTHIANS,

INTRODUCTION.

Corinth was situated on the Isthmus which joins Peloponnesus to Greece, and from its situation became famous for its trade and commerce, wealth and luxury. Here the apostle Paul laboured near two full years; and a numerous church was gathered and formed, consisting both of Jews and Gentiles. On his departure they were divided into parties and factions; and some teachers among them disputed Paul's apostolic mission. His design in writing this epistle was to defend his own authority, to correct the abuses and corruptions which had crept into the church, and to answer some queries which had been sent to him. He has treated on all these points with freedom; and concludes, as usual, with salutations. He is supposed to have written this from Ephesus, about three years after he had left them, baving been informed of their state and of the improper conduct of many among them.

CHAPTER 1.

that

ye are inferior in no gift; looking for the A. D. 57. After saluting them the apostle reproves their dissentions ; he

manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ : Who 8 vindicates the gospel, and the pluin manner of preaching it, as tending to will also establish you blameless unto the end, advance the divine glory.

even in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God 9 ) Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, is faithful, by whom ye have been called into

by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. 2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name 10

those that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the to be saints, with all that in every place call same thing, and that there be no divisions a

upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both mong you ; but that ye be perfectly joined 3 their and our Lord: Grace be unto you, and together in the same mind, and in the same

peace, from God our Father, and from the judgment. For it hath been declared unto me 11 Lord Jesus Christ.

concerning you, my brethren, by those that 4 I thank my God always on your account,

are of the household of Chloe, that there are for the grace of God which is bestowed on you

contentions among you.

Now I mean this, 12 5 by Jesus Christ; For ye have been enriched by that every one of you saith, I am of Paul;

him, in every thing, and in all utterance, and in and I, of Apollos; and I, of Peter; and I, of 6 all knowledge; According as the testimony con

Christ. Is Christ divided ? was Paul crucified 13 7 cerning Christ was confirmed among you : So for you? or were ye baptized into the name of

CHAP. I. 1. Called to be an apostle. Called in the most singular manper to this high and honourable office. See Acts ix.Sosthenes. If this person be the same as mentioned, Acts xviii. 17, he must have been afterwards converted, and became a preacher, and was now the fellow-labourer of Paul.

2. Sanctified, &c. Set apart in the divine purpose. As this is mentioned as prior to their being “called to be saints," I conceive that the sense given must be admitted. See Jude, verse l.- Call upon the name, 8c. See note, Acts ix. 21.

4-9. I thank my God, &c. What the apostle says does not respect every individual, but such among them as had received miraculous gifts; such as “utterance” of tongue, they had not spoken, “knowledge" of the christian doctris, &c. - Blameless, 8c. Afford such aid as to enable you to continue

stedfast, abounding in the work of the Lord, so that in the day when Christ cometh, ye may be accepted of him; and this you may expect, as God, ibo hath called you into fellowship with his Son, is faithful.

10. Spenk the same thing. Maintain the same doctrine and sentiments, so as to avoid divisions or schisms; that there may be no diminution of christian esteem and affection.

12. Now I mean this, &c. That you regard different teachers as different leaders, and you range yourselves as followers of some one of them. * One saith I am of Paul;" I am his disciple and follower.1, of Christ. From this we may infer that there were some Jews at Corinth, wbo had beard our Lord preach, and who claimed, on this account, particular houour.

13--16. Is Christ dirided? As to his person or doctrine. “Was Paul 22–25. The Jews require signs. Miracles and wonders to usher in a

any other.

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The effects of preaching.
1 CORINTHIANS I.

Who are called. 14 Paul ?

I thank God that I baptized none of the Jews a stumbling-block, and to the Gen15 you, but Crispus and Gaius;

So that none tiles” foolishness; But to those that are called, 24 can say that I baptized into 'mine own name. both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of 16 But I baptized also the household of Ste- God, and the wisdom of God. For this fool- 25 phanas : besides, I know not that I baptized ishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of

men; and this weakness of God is stronger 17 For Christ sent me not so much to baptize, than the strength of men.

as to preach the gospel : not with wisdom of For observe, brethren, those of you that 26

speech, lest the cross of Christ should bé made are called, that not many are wise men accorda ; 18 of no effect. For the preaching of the cross ing to the flesh, not many mighty, not many

is to those that are lost, foolishness; but unto noble : But God hath chosen the foolish things 27 19 us that are saved, it is the power of God. For of the world to put to shame the wise; and

it is written, “ I will destroy the wisdom of the God hath chosen the weak things of the world,

wise, and will bring to nothing the understand- to put to shame the things which are mighty; 20 ing of the prudent.” Where is the wise? where And base things of the world, and things which 28

is the scribe? where is the disputer of this are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things

world ? hath not God made foolish the wisdom which are not, to bring to nought things that 21 of this world ? For after that, in the wisdom of are: That no flesh should glory in the pre- 29

God, the world by wisdom knew not God, sence of God." By him then are ye in Christ 30

it pleased God by this foolishness which we Jesus, whom God hath made unto us wisdom, 22 preach, to save those who believe. For the and righteousness, and sanctification, and re

Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek after demption: That, according as it is written, 31 23 wisdom : But we preach Christ crucified ; to “ He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

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REFLECTIONS UPON Chapter i. 1. Let us remember that on his name. Let us rejoice that so many have been called and enjoy we also · are sanctified in Christ,' and saints by our christian calling. fellowship in Christ Jesus ; and ever pray that the same grace and Though not enriched with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, with which this peace may be with them from God our father, and from our Lord and church was favoured, yet we have been enabled to credit the testimo- Saviour; that we all may be confirmed in the faith ; in the privileges ny given to the Saviour, and are among the number of those who call and enjoyments of the gospel, until the manifestation of Christ, when

erucified for you?" He uses his own name with great delicacy, tbough the same might be said of Peter, or of Apollos. Neither Paul nor any other teacher had been crucified for them, nor had they been baptized into any of their names.

17. Not so much to, &c. See Pearce for this sense of the negative.Wisdom of speech. Learned and eloquent speech, adorned with all the beauties of language, lest the cross of Christ should be useless as a revealed doctrine.

18. Are lost-are saved. The apostle describes sinners as lost from the state in which they are, and believers as saved, for the same reason. Those in unbelief and sin consider the preaching of the cross as foolishness, both in respect to the matter and manner; but the real convert has found, and judges it, to be the powerful doctrine of God to his salvation.

19, 20. It is written, &c. Is. xxix. 14. This shows that God had a design to confound the boasted wisdom of the proud. Where now is the wise ? what has he accomplished by his wisdom? What has the disputer done? Made foolish. Shown it to be so, by teaching men its insufficiency to couvey the knowledge of God, or to reform sinners.

21. After that, in the, &c. In the wisdom of God displayed in his works and government, it appeared that the wisest men of the world knew not in reality God, it pleased God, &c.—By this foolishness, &c. By the doctrine of a crucified Saviour, to save all who believe, by bringing them to know God, and worship and serve him.

temporal Messiah; and the Greeks wisdom, some scheme of philosophy; but what we preach is Christ crucified, which, though offensive to both, yet to such as are called from among them, it is the most powerful and wise doctrine. What is meant by “the foolisbress of God” being wiser than men, is explained in the following verses.

26. Those of you that, &c. With many critics, I prefer the sense to the idiom, as the idiomatical rendering may be misunderstood.-Not many are, 8c. Not many implies, that there were some, who had been taught the philosophy of the schools-some men of power, by their wealth or their officesand some of noble descent, who had been called, and bowed to the authority and doctrine of Jesus.

27—29. Foolish things, &c. Persons so accounted by the wise; weak instruments to put to shame persons of power; and base or ignoble and despised; even the Gentiles, who were regarded by the Jews as nothing, Deut. xxxii. 21, and 1 Pet. ii. 10, to bring to nought, &c. to occupy the place and enjoy the privileges of which the Jews deprived themselves by their unbelief, that no flesh should glory, &c.

30. By him then are, &c. It is owing to God then, and not to your ability, nor the ability of preachers, that ye are believers in Christ, who hath taught us wisdom of a nature far more excellent than any scheme of philosophy; so that by him we have righteousness for our justification, the Spirit for our sanctification, and are expecting redemption from all the evils and enemies we have had to encounter. Hence glory in the Lord Jesus only.

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