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Julian Pe- absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trem- Rome.
riod, 4775. bling: Vulgar Era,
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings;
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
$ 6. PHIL. ii. 17, to the end.
The Apostle, comparing the Faith of the Philippians to an
acceptable Sacrifice presented through his Labours to
God, assures them that he is willing and ready that
his Blood should he poured forth as the Libation on that
Sacrifice; and should he be thus called upon to suffer, he
intreats them to rejoice with him that he is accounted
worthy of so high an Honour-But he trusts to send Ti-
motheus to them, that he may learn from him the exact
state of their Affairs; for he knows no Man who is so
like himself in the Interest he takes in their spiritual Con-
cerns; for all the Teachers seek their own Interests and
Advancement rather than the Interests of Jesus Christ
-But they themselves have experienced the Goodness of
Timothy, who laboured with him in their cares, as a Son
with a Father (Acts xvi. 1—3. and 14.)—him therefore
he meant to send to them, as soon as he ascertained how
his Affairs will be determined; but he still trusts,
through the Providence of God, to visit them shortly; in
the mean time he sends Epaphroditus, whom he highly
commends; and he is further induced to send him with
these Despatches, because he longed to see them all, and
was exceedingly dejected and troubled that they should
have heard of his Sickness-By his frequent preachings
in Rome and its Neighbourhood, and by his personal At-
tendance on them, he has laboured beyond his Strength,
risking his Life, endeavouring to supply in his own Per-
son all the Assistance they would have given him, had it
been possible for them to have been present with him.
17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and ser-
vice of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with
CHRISTIANS ARE TO REJOICE IN THE TRUTH.
19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus Rome. riod, 4775. shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, Vulgar Æra, when I know your state.
20 For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state.
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.
22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellow-soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.
26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28 I sent him therefore the more carefully; that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation :
30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
St. Paul exhorts them to rejoice in their Knowledge of the
Truth and Promises of the Gospel-He cautions them
to beware of the Jews, designated as they now were,
cast out of the Covenant by the same appellation which
they formerly gave to the Gentiles-to beware of the evil
Labourers who corrupt the Doctrines of the Gospel, of
those who call themselves the Circumcision, but are rather
the Concision, cut off from the Christian Church--For they
are the true Circumcision, who have embraced the Gospel,
and worship God not in the ritual Observance of the Law,
but in the Spirit and Perfection of it, making their boast
in Christ Jesus, and having no Confidence in any Rite or
Ceremony prescribed by the Law-If, however, any of
the Judaizing Teachers have cause to boast of their out-
ward Rites and Privileges, he has more reason to do so
He was circumcised on the eighth Day, descended from
Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Era,
the Patriarch Jacob—from his most favoured Son-from Rome.
Hebrew Parents-and with respect to the Law, was edu-
cated in that Sect most scrupulously attached to it-He
gave Proof of his Zeal in the Persecution of the Church,
and concerning the Righteousness which is placed in the
exact Observance of the Mosaic Law, and Obedience to
its outward Precepts, he was blameless-But those Things
which he then considered his Gain, he counts now as Loss ;
and all Things for which Men value themselves, he counts
as Loss, because they cannot he compared to the excel-
lency of the Knowledge of Salvation through Christ, for
whose Sake he has suffered the Loss of all worldly Things,
which are as the vilest Refuse, that he may gain the Pro-
mises of Christ, and be found a Believer in him as a Sa-
viour, not holding his own Righteousness, which is of the
Jewish Law, but that Righteousness which is by Faith in
Christ's Atonement, which God has ordained for the Jus-
tification of Sinners-That he may know him as his Sa-
viour, to feel in himself the influential Power of his
Resurrection, by dying as he did, a Martyr to the Truth
of the Gospel, so that by any possible Means he may
attain to a glorious Resurrection from the Dead.
1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.
2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision,
3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more;
5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
THE CHRISTIAN TO AIM AT PERFECTION.
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resur- Rome. riod, 4775. rection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made Vulgar Æra, conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
The Apostle pursues his Subject by asserting, that they are
not to suppose from what he has just said, that he consi-
ders himself to have attained already to all that he wishes
to be, or had become already perfect; but that he is still
pursuing after that Perfection of Character which the
Gospel requires, in the Hope that he may be able to ap-
prehend that height of Excellence, for which Purpose alone
he is apprehended or laid hold on by Christ Jesus, when
he called him to the Knowledge of his Gospel-He is far
from considering himself as having attained to the Holi-
ness required of him; but like those who contend for their
own Games, forgetting the Progress he has already made,
he is putting forth his whole Strength in running towards
those Things that are before him, eagerly pressing for-
wards in the appointed course of Faith and Holiness, to
the glorious Prize of eternal Life, proposed to him when
called by Christ Jesus-He tells all who are fully in-
structed in the Knowledge of divine Things, to be equally
anxious with him to obtain this glorious Prize; and God
by his Spirit will reveal his Truth unto them-But ac-
cording to the Knowledge to which they have already at-
tained, all are to regulate their Conduct, and have the
same glorious Object in view, the Prize of eternal Life
through Christ Jesus.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were
already perfect but I follow after, if that I may appre-
hend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended : but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
§ 9. PHIL. iii. 17. to the end. iv. 1.
St. Paul exhorts them in all spiritual Things to follow after
him, to keep their Attention steadily fixed on those who
walk in Holiness and Suffering, according as they have
St. Paul, Epaphroditus, and Timothy for an Example-
For many Teachers, he grieves to relate, walk very differ-
ently from him, endeavouring to incorporate the Jewish
Rites on the Gospel, who are the Opposers of the sacrifi-
cial Death of Christ, whose end is Perdition, whose God
is their sensual Appetites, who glory in the Things which
cause their Shame, and whose whole Mind is engrossed in
earthly Things-But they, unlike these Jewish Teachers,
do not mind earthly Things, for their Thoughts and Af-
fections, as well as their real Home and Citizenship, was
in Heaven, from whence also they look for the Saviour of
the World, who shall carry them thither, and shall alter
the Condition of their Body, adjudged to Death through
Sin, giving it a similar Form to his own eternal and glo-
rious Body, according to that strong working by which he
is able to conquer and subdue all Things, even Death and
the Grave, to himself—Therefore he intreats and charges
all as his beloved Brethren, the Objects of his strongest
Desires, his Crown and rejoicing in the Lord on that great
Day-to stand fast in all the Doctrines of the Gospel, as
it becomes those so tenderly beloved by him, and who have
the Expectations of so glorious a Change.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark
them which walk so, as ye have us for an ensample.
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ;
19 Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
20 For our conversation is in heaven: from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
1 Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
St. Paul particularly beseeches Euodias and Syntyche, two
Christian Women of note, supposed to be Deaconesses in