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attention, St. Paul urges them to mutual forbearance, and to a speedy accommodation of their difficulties; representing, as it were, the inconsistency of the circumstance, that two persons who expected to rise, by the same omnipotent word, from the grave, and be conducted with new bodies to the same mansion in heaven, should here be separated in feeling by any petty ground of contention. The inspired Apostle of the Gentiles here appears, therefore, in the amiable and attractive character of a "peace-maker;"* but it is not so much to himself personally, as to the subject of his affectionate counsel, that I would briefly call your meditations. Is it not with peculiar force, my brethren, that he sets forth the duty of a charitable and kindly feeling, between those who are professors of the benignant religion of Jesus Christ. It not unfrequently happens, in the daily intercourse of the world, that some trifling occurrence excites, within the heart of a believer, an unpleasant sensation towards a Christian brother; and he is apt to cherish, ever afterwards, a secret feeling of dislike for his person. You can all bear witness, also, that you are the subjects of prepossessions against particular individuals, who bear the name of Christ; and that you permit any defect or error in the conduct of certain disciples of the Redeemer, to create within you a deep antipathy through life. Now, if the religion of the gospel be one of peace, and gentleness, and love—if the present advice of the Apostle be an infallible rule of conduct-if all the doctrines, and all the precepts, and all the expected privileges, unfolded in the word of truth, militate, with one accord, against a temper such as this; does it not become the servants of God to put
* Matt. v. 9.
away from them, by the grace of Christ, every remnant of it from their hearts? The spirit of which you have been possessed is from beneath, and not from above; it is one of the fruits of the unconverted man; it confounds you, in appearance, with those who, in the world around, are still "alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them.”* "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye."+
Having thus exhorted these women of Philippi to a sincere and lasting reconciliation, St. Paul passes to another admonition in the verse which immediately follows. "And I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow-labourers, whose names are in the book of life." To what person he referred, in the term "yoke-fellow" which is here used, we have no certain information. By some it has been supposed, that he meant the husband of one of these two persons whom he is directed to assist in their useful exertions; others think him to have been some distinguished minister of Christ, whose character, and past services, superseded the necessity of his being more particularly mentioned. However this may be, the Apostle counsels him to use his best efforts in bringing Euodias and Syntyche to a settlement of their differences; and also to encourage them in their excellent labors for the diffusion of the knowledge of Christ.
It appears, from the testimony of St. Paul in the place * Eph. iv. 18.
+ Col. iii. 12. 13.
before us, that these two women had been remarkable for their activity in the cause of the Redeemer; and that, in the face of persecution and danger, they had strengthened the hands, and assisted the efforts, of those ministering servants of Jesus, who had preached the gospel at Philippi. As women of such a character, and such a spirit, they stand forth, my brethren, on the pages of the word of God, bright and shining examples of female devotion to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. If there be any sphere in which woman shines with true lustre, it is when her heart, touched by the grace of God, impels her to consecrate her time, her talents, and her resources, to the service of her once crucified and now risen Master. To all in this assembly, then, to whom the subject applies, permit me to hold forth the model here presented; and to urge upon you, as Christians, the duty of acting as these primitive disciples acted in a similar situation. You are enjoying the ministrations of the sanctuary of God. For us, then, who here preach to you the unsearchable riches of Christ, and lead you to happiness and heaven, pray in the secresy of your retirement; and, while you remember the difficulties of our warfare, entreat that the Holy Spirit from on high would awaken the careless, humble the proud, undeceive the worldly, and enlarge the blessed dominion of the Prince of peace. You fill a station in your families, by God's appointment. Seek, then, to fulfil its duties: strive that there the Father may be reverenced;. the Redeemer of sinners loved and honored; and the will of the Lord done on earth, even as it is done in heaven. You are cast by divine Providence into the midst of a world, abounding in spiritual ignorance, and in temporal woe. Strive to alleviate its misery: "visit the fatherless and widows in
their affliction :"* and, according to the measure of those means with which God has blessed you, help forward the extension of the Saviour's gospel to the uttermost corners of the earth. Such is the course, by which you may follow in the steps of those excellent servants of the Lord, whose Christian virtues are here so gratefully commemorated. It is your proper and legitimate career. Blessed are those among you, who are found so doing and it shall be yours one day to realize, in all its glory, that promise of your Lord; "Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."t
* James, i. 27.
† Luke, x. 42.
CHAPTER IV. 4-9.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
THERE is something quite affecting in the several parting admonitions, given by St. Paul in this concluding Chapter of his Epistle. He writes to his absent friends precisely like a person, who is uttering what he thinks may probably be his last advice; and who therefore deems it necessary to express himself, with decision and with feeling, upon those subjects which are of highest importance. He was, at this time, in a situa