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Julian Period, 4775,
whatever they did in all their Conversation, and in Rome.
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and be-
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in
18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,
19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing, that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
1 Masters, give unto your servants that which is just
PRAYER THE BEST PREPARATION FOR DUTY.
Julian Pe- and equal; knowing that ye also have a master in Rome.
COLOSS. iv. 2-6.
The Apostle commands all, in their different Relations and
3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto
4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with
St. Paul sends Tychicus to relate to them in a more parti-
Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Æra, 62.
xix. 29. xx.
4, &c. xxvii. 2.
+ Acts xv.
39. 2 Tim. iv. 11.
Prayer for them with God-He desires them to salute Rome.
7 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is
8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; 9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.
10 Aristarchus, my fellow-prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus †, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him ;)
11 And Jesus, which is called Justus; who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellow workers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.
14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.
15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.
16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that he likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
THE EPISTLE TO PHILEMON-CHAP. XIV.
St. Paul writes his Epistle to his friend Philemon ", to inter
20 Philemon, to whom this epistle is addressed, was an inhabitant of Colosse, as appears from St. Paul's mentioning Onesimus in his Epistle to the Colossians (iv. 9.) as one of them, and also from his saluting Archippus in this epistle (ver. 2.), who appears, from Col. iv. 17. to have been a pastor of that Church. Philemon seems to have been a person of great worth as a man, and of some note as a citizen in his own country: for his family was so numerous, that it made a Church by itself, or at least a considerable part of the Church at Colosse (ver. 2). He was likewise so opulent, that he was able by the communication of his faith, that is, by his beneficence, to refresh the bowels of the saints (ver. 6, 7). According to Grotius, Philemon was an elder of Ephesus; Beausobre and Dr. Doddridge suppose him to have been one of the ministers of the Colossian Church; and from St. Paul's requesting him (ver. 22.) to provide a lodging for him at Colosse, Michaelis thinks that he was a deacon of that Church. These opinions appear to have been founded on the inscription of this epistle, where St. Paul calls him a follow-labourer. But this appellation, both Drs. Whitby, Lardder, and Macknight, have remarked, is of ambiguous signification; being given not only to those who were employed in preaching the Gospel, but also to such pious individuals, of either sex, as assisted the apostles in any manner. Hilary, the deacon, expressly calls him one of the laity; Theodoret, cumenius, and Theophylact, appear to be of the same opinion.
Philemon was most probably a converted Gentile, and, from the 19th verse of this epistle, it is generally supposed that he was converted under the ministry of St. Paul; but, from the apostle's saying, in the fifth verse, that he had heard of Philemon's faith in Christ, it is a disputed point with commentators.
We learn, from this epistle, that Onesimus was the slave of Philemon, whom he had probably robbed; though Macknight and Dr. Lardner are of opinion that St. Paul's expression, in ver. 18. does not insinuate that Onesimus had robbed his master of any thing but his service, and that he then ran away as far as Rome. Whether he repented of what he had done, and voluntarily went to St. Paul, or in what other manner they came to meet there, we have no information. But the apostle, during his confinement "in his own hired house," opened a way to the heart of the rude slave, converted him to the Christian faith, and baptized him. It also appears that St. Paul kept Onesimus with him for some time, to wait upon himself, until Onesimus, by his conduct, confirmed the truth and sincerity of his conversion. During his abode with the apostle, he served him with the greatest assiduity and affection: but, being sensible of his fault in running away from his master, he wished to repair that injury by returning to him. At the same time being afraid lest, on his return, his master should inflict upon him the punishment of torture, or death, which by the law or custom of Phrygia he was empowered to do to a fugitive slave, he entreated St. Paul to write to Philemon in his behalf, and request him to forgive and receive him again into his family. The apostle therefore wrote this Epistle to Philemon, "in which with the greatest softness of expression, warmth of affection, and delicacy of address, he not only interceded for Onesimus's
Julian Period, 4775. Vulgar Æra, 62.
cede with him in favour of his Slave Onesimus, who had Rome.
pardon, but urged Philemon to esteem him, and put confidence
Whether Philemon forgave or punished Onesimus, is a cir-
That this epistle was written from Rome, about the same time with those to the Philippians and Colossians, is proved by several coincidences. "As the letter to Philemon, and that to the Colossians, were written," says Dr. Paley, "at the same time, and sent by the same messenger, the one to a particular inhabitant, the other to the Church of Colosse, it may be ex