Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Æra, 62.


the Church at Philippi, who had differed in some point Rome.
of Doctrine or Practice, to lay aside their Dispute, and
to be united in that mutual Friendship and Love, which
the Gospel requires; and he intreats one, whom he calls
his true Yoke-fellow, to assist those pious Women, who
laboured with him in the Gospel with Clement also, and
the rest of his Fellow-labourers, whose Names he is per-
suaded are written in the Book of Life, although not
mentioned by him-All are exhorted to rejoice in the
Hope and Privileges of the Gospel, in that spiritual
Happiness derived only through Christ; and again, he
observes, it is their Duty and Interest to rejoice-Their
moderation in all the Pursuits and Enjoyments of Life,
and in the Injuries and Indignities to which they may
be exposed, are to be visible in the whole of their Con-
duct, for the Lord is at hand-He can quickly put an
end to all temporal Enjoyments, and all that they can
suffer from their Enemies-Whatever therefore occurs,
they are to be anxiously distressed about nothing, but in
every Trouble and Difficulty with solemn Prayer and Sup-
plication, with Thanksgivings for Evils and Dangers
escaped, let their Petitions be breathed out before God-
and by these devotional Exercises they will obtain that
Peace of God which can be explained by none, which shall
guard their Hearts and Minds through Jesus Christ,
undisturbed by the Fear of Suffering or of Death-Fi-
nally, he exhorts them to the Practice of every Thing that
is just, honourable, pure, and holy; all that is calcu-
lated to promote the general good of Mankind; and is
therefore worthy of Praise, and those Things also in
which they have been instructed by him, and have re-
ceived by Faith as a Revelation from God, and heard
from his Preaching, and seen in his Conduct while la-
bouring among them; and God, who is the Author of
Peace, through the Sacrifice of his Son, shall remain
with them for ever.

2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they
be of the same mind in the Lord.

3 And I intreat thee also, true yoke-fellow 16, help

16 Commentators differ as to the person here spoken of-some consider the expression "yoke-fellow" to allude to Epaphroditus, the bearer of the Epistle, others that Syntyche (ver.2.) was a man, the husband of Euodias, and was here referred to; and another conjecture is, that Euodias and Syntyche were both female presbyters, and that the husband of one of these women is the person alluded to by the apostle, and that he is called a true yoke-fellow on account of his excellent character as a husband. Others again, that the jailor was intended, who was one of St. Paul's chief converts at Philippi, and assisted him in the


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those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Rome. Clement also, and with other my fellow-labourers, whose names are in the book of life.

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men: The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God:

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 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.

9 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.

11. PHIL. iv. 10-20.

The Apostle, in returning to his own Affairs, thanks God
for their Liberality to him, which had been for a time
checked by want of Opportunity, but was now revived by
Epaphroditus-At the same time he affirms, that he does
not speak this for the Purpose of obtaining further Sup-
plies for his own Necessities, for he has learnt under
every Circumstance and Privation, to be contented; satis-
fied that the Providence and Goodness of God would
determine the best for him-He has been fully initiated
into the Mysteries of Adversity and Prosperity; in
all Things he is instructed both to have Food, and to be
without it-to abound in the Conveniences of Life, and to
be in want of its necessary Supplies; but he is enabled
through Christ, that strengthened him, to do and to suffer
all Things; but notwithstanding these his Feelings they
have acted well, consistently with their holy Profession,
and their Love for him in sending him Relief in his Af-
flictions-And in this respect they have never been remiss,
for in the beginning of the Gospel, when he left them, and
went forth into Macedonia, they were the only Church,

work of the Gospel, If none of these suppositions are admit-
ted, it may have been addressed to some particular bishop or
deacon mentioned in the salutation. The Clement referred to
in this verse is supposed to have been the same who was after-
wards Bishop of Rome, and who wrote an Epistle to the Corin-
thians, which is still extant.

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Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Æra, 62.


out of all those he founded, who communicated with him Rome.
in the matter of giving him Money, and his receiving
Money-For even in Thessalonica he was supported in
his Necessities by their Contributions, and by his own
Labours (1 Thess. ii. 9.)-He does not, however, bring
this to their remembrance, that he may incite them to
send him another Gift; but because he wishes them to
bear such Fruit as shall abound to their Account in the
Day of the Lord-For he has now all the Necessaries of
Life, having received from Epaphroditus the Things
they sent him, which he considers as a fragrant Odour,
an acceptable Offering to God, who is well pleased at the
Assistance afforded his Servants-And as they have given
to him in his Distress, God shall supply all their Wants,
according to his Riches, in the Blessings of Providence,
Grace, and Glory-He concludes with a Doxology.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the
last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye
were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound every where, and in all things, I am instructed, both to be full, and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

14 Notwithstanding, ye have well done that ye did communicate with my affliction.

15 Now, ye Philippians, know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

17 Not because I desire a gift; but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

18 But I have all, and abound; I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

19 But my God shall supply all your need, according
to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and



Julian Pe

riod, 4775. Vulgar Era, 62.

$ 12. PHIL. iv. 21. to the end.

The Apostle sends Salutations to every Christian at Phi-
lippi-He concludes with his usual apostolical Benedic-
tion, sealed with an Amen, to shew his sincerity in all the
Things he had written them.

21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren
which are with me greet you.

22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Cesar's household.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.



St. Paul writes his Episile" to the Colossians in reply to the
Messsage by Epaphras, to prove that the Hope of Man's

17 This epistle was written about the same time with that to
the Philippians, towards the end of the year 62, and in the
ninth of the emperor Nero.

That the two epistles were written about the same time, is rendered probable by the following circumstance: in the Epistle to the Philippians, chap. ii. 19. St. Paul purposes to send Timothy to Philippi, who was then with him at Rome, that he might know their state. As Timothy joins in the salutation in the beginning of this epistle, it is evident that he still continued at Rome, and had not yet been sent to Philippi; and as St. Paul wrote the former epistle nearly at the close of his first imprisonment at Rome, the two epistles must have been written a short space from cach other.

By whom Christianity was first planted at Colosse, there is no certain information. To prove that St. Paul was not the first preacher, two passages are adduced. The first (chap. i. 4.) "having heard of your faith in Christ Jesus," is supposed to imply that he had only heard of their being converted by some other teacher. But the apostle might express himself in that manner, and still have been the minister of their conversion for it was his constant practice to make inquiries concerning the faith of those whom he bad brought to the knowledge of the Gospel; being particularly anxious to ascertain the influence, the Judaizing teachers had gained over his converts. It is therefore only probable that when Epaphras came from Colosse to the apostle, that he would inquire concerning their state, and being informed that the greater part of them remained stedfast, that he would address them as "having heard of their faith." The apostle used the same language to other persons and churches, of whose conversion there can be no doubt but that he was the instrument.

The second passage from this epistle, which is thought to prove that he never preached the Gospel in Colosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis, is chap. ii. 1. "I wish you to know how great a combat I have for you, and for them in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh." But this by no means implies that the brethren in Colosse and Laodicea had not seen the apostle, when he thus addressed them; for,


Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Æra, 62.


Salvation is founded on the Atonement of Christ alone, Rome. and by the Establishment of opposite Truths, to eradicate

as Theodoret has observed, the apostle's meaning is, that his
combat was not alone for the converted Gentiles in these places,
but "for as many as had not seen his face in the flesh;" for all
the converted Gentiles every where, and in every age of the
world. That this is the true meaning of the expressions, is fur-
ther evident (he remarks) from the next verse, where the
apostle does not say, "that your heart may be comforted," as
he would have done, if the Gentiles of Colosse and Laodicea
had been of the number of those who had not seen his face in
the flesh, but that their hearts, namely, those who have not seen
my flesh, may be comforted, as well as yours. It is further ad-
vanced, that the apostle himself speaks of Epaphras as the spi-
ritual father of the Colossians, chap. i. 7. "As ye have also
learned it from Epaphras." But this seems rather to intimate
that they had been taught the knowledge of the Gospel, not
from the apostle alone, but also by another, by Epaphras, a
faithful minister of Christ, and fellow-labourer with the apostle.
Besides, if Epaphras had alone converted them, the apostle, as
Lardner remarks, instead of saying, chap. iv. 12. “ Epaphras,
who came from you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you," would
have said, "Epaphras in whom ye believed," or some expres-
sion to the like purport.

Dr. Lardner, Bishop Tomline, and others, are of opinion
that the Church at Colosse was founded by St. Paul; and they
ground their suppositions on the following considerations: that
St. Paul was twice in Phrygia, in which country were the cities
of Colosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis-that he does in effect
say that he had dispensed the Gospel to the Colossians, (chap.
i. 21-25.) and that it appears, from the terms of affection and
authority discoverable in this epistle, that he did not address
them as strangers, but as acquaintances, friends, and converts.
(chap. ii. 5. iv. 7, 8.) The apostle also wrote the salutation
with his own hand, as he did to the other Churches planted by
himself, and who knew his own writing-whereas in the Epistle
to the Romans, who were strangers to him, the salutation was
written by Tertius.

Dr. Lardner observes, that the Colossians were converted by an apostle is further proved from chap. ii. 6, 7. "Seeing then ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk ye in him; rooted in him, and built upon him, and made firm in the faith, even as ye have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving." This the apostle could not have written to them, if their only teacher had been Epaphras, or any other who was not an apostle. See also chap. i. 6. which things, Dr. Lardner observes, demonstrate that the Colossians were converted by an apostle, and in that capacity he bears testimony to the fidelity of their own pastor. (chap. i. 7.) It is most probable, therefore, that the Churches in Colosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis, were planted by St. Paul, with the assistance of Timothy, for which reason he is joined in the salutation of this epistle. Macknight supposes that, before their conversion, some of the Colossians had embraced the doctrines of Pythagoras, and others those of Plato, and that the Judaizers, to recommend the law of Moses, affirmed that the former derived his discipline, and the latter his dogmas, from the Jewish laws. It is certain that the abstinence from animal food, and the fastings and severities practised on the body, recommended by the Pythagorean precepts;

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