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474

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14, 36.

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Subject of alms introduced to incite them. Homil. than if he had said it in the form of exhortation; as then XXX.

he would have seemed to be insulting them, if, with a view to incite them, he had brought before them Corin

thians and Macedonians. Indeed, this is the ground on which 2 Cor. he does incite them in that place as follows, saying, More

over, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed

on the Churches in Macedonia. And again he incites the 2 Cor. Macedonians by these. For your zeal hath provoked very 9, 2.

many. And by the Galatians in like manner he does this, 1 Cor. as when he says, As I have given order to the Churches of 16, 1.

Galatia, even so do ye. But in the case of the Romans he does not do so, but in a more covert way.

And he does this 1 Cor: also in regard to the preaching, as when he says, What?

came the word of God out from you ? or came it unto you

only? For there is nothing so powerful as emulation. And 1 Cor. so he often employs it. For elsewhere too he says, And se 7,27: ordain I in all the Churches; and again, As I teach every 4, 17. where in every Church. And to the Colossians he says, Col. 1,6. that the Gospel of God increaseth and bringeth forth fruit in

all the world. This then he does here also in the case of

alms. And consider what dignity there is in his expressions. 'daxovão For he does not say I go to carry alms, but to minister!

But if Paul ministers, just consider how great a thing is doing, when the Teacher of the world undertakes to be the bearer, and when on the point of travelling to Rome, and so greatly desiring them too, he yet prefers this to that. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia, that is, it

meets their approbation, their desire. A certain contribution. a rouwvíar Again, he does not say alms, but contribution?. And the

certain is not used without a meaning, but to prevent his seeming to reproach these. And he does not say the poor, merely, but the poor saints, so making his recommendation twofold, both that from their virtue and that from their poverty. And even with this alone he was not satisfied, but he adds, they are their debtors. Then he shews how

they are debtors. For if, he says, the Gentiles have been 3 E. V. made partakers of their spiritual things, their debts is also duty

to minister unto them in carnal things. It was for their sakes that Christ came. To them it was that all the promises were made, to them of the Jews. Of them Christ came.

John 4,

9.

Spiritual things more the Jews' own than money ours. 475 (Wherefore also it said, Salvation is of the Jews.) From Rom. them were the Apostles, from them the Prophets, from them

15,28.29 all good things. In all these things then the world was 22. made a partaker. If then, he says, ye have been made partakers in that which is greater, and when it was for them that the banquet was prepared, ye have been brought in to enjoy the feast that was spread, according to the Parable of Mat.22, the Gospel, ye are debtors also to share your carnal things with them, and to impart to them. But he does not say to share, but to minister', so ranking them with ministers, and 'autougthose that pay the tribute to kings. And he does not say in διακόνων

the most your carnal things, as he did in their spiritual things. For the spiritual things were theirs. But the carnal belonged not to these alone, but were the common property of all. For he bade money to be held to belong to all ', not to those who were its possessors only.

Ver. 28. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed unto them this fruit.

That is, when I have laid it up as it were in the royal treasuries, as in a place secure from robbers and danger. And he does not say alms, but fruit again, to shew that those who gave it were gainers by it. I will come by you into Spain. He again mentions Spain to shew his forwardness83 dónvn and warmth towards them.

Ver. 29. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ.

What is the force of, In the fulness of the blessing ? Either he speaks of alms, or generally of good deeds. For. Gr. blessing is a name he very commonly gives to alms. As money when he says, As a blessing and not as covetousness. And 2 Cor. it was customary of old for the thing to be so called. But 9, 5. as he has here added of the Gospel, on this ground we assert that he speaks not of money only, but of all other things. As if he had said, I know that when I come I shall find you

a autougyía, in Classical Greek, is Chrys. speaks at length of wealth on 1 performing a public service at one's Cor. 14, 19. Hom. 35. Tr. p. 499. He own expense.

thinks it lawful, but dangerous, and re0 2 Cor. 9, 5. Mosheim de Rebus commends alms almost without limitaChristianorum ante Const. p. 118. also tion. Diss. ad Hist. Eccl. Pert. vol. 2. 1. St. - E. V. bounty, but mar. blessing.

476 St. Paul praises the Romans. Why he asks their prayers. Homil. with the honour and freshness of all good deeds about you, XXX.

and worthy of countless praises in the Gospel. And this is a very striking mode of advice, I mean this way of forestalling their attention by encomiums. For when he entreats them in the way of advice, this is the mode of setting them right that he adopts.

Ver. 30. Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit.

Here he again puts forward Christ and the Spirit, and makes no mention whatever of the Father. And I

And I say this, that when you find him mentioning the Father and the Son, or the Father only, you may not despise either the Son or the Spirit. And he does not say the Spirit, but the love of the Spirit. For as Christ loveth the world, and as the Father doth, so doth the Spirit also. And what is it that thou beseechest us, let me hear? To strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,

Ver. 31. That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judæa.

A great struggle then lies before him. And this too is why he calls for their prayers. And he does not say that I

may be engaged in it, but that I may be delivered, as Christ Mat.26, commanded, Pray, that ye enter not into temptation". And

in saying this he shewed, that certain evil wolves would attack them, and those who were wild beasts rather than

And out of this he also found grounds for another thing, namely, for shewing that he with good reason took the office of ministering to the saints, if, that is, the unbelievers were in such force that he even prayed to be delivered from them. For they who were amongst so many enemies, were in danger of perishing by famine also. And

therefore there was absolute need of aid coming' from other ing' quarters to them. And that my service which I have for

Jerusalem may be accepted of the Sainte.

That is, that my sacrifice may be accepted, that with cheerfulness they may receive what is given them. See how he again exalts the dignity of those who were to receive it. Then he asks for the prayer of so great a people in order to

41.

men.

1

or of

his go

d Ms. adds, So directing them to do this,

St. Paul's wish to see them. His recommendation of Phebe. 477

what was sent being received. And by this he shews another Rom. point also, that to have given alms does not secure its being accepted. For when any one gives it constrainedly, or out of unjust gains, or for vanity, the fruit of it is gone.

Ver. 32. That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God.

As he had said at the beginning, If by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey, by the will of God, to come unto you ; so here again he takes refuge in the same Will, and says that this is why I press on, and wish to be delivered from them, that I may see you shortly, and that with pleasure, without bringing any load of heaviness from thence. And may with you be refreshed.

See how he again shews unassumingness. For he does not say, I may teach you, and give you a lesson, but that I may with you be refreshed. And yet he was the very man for striving and conflict. In what sense then does he say that I may be refreshed with you? It is to gratify them on this point too, and to make them the more cheerful

raúon. by making them sharers of his crown, and to shew that they too struggle and labour. Then, as was always his custom to do, he adds' prayer after the exhortation, and says,

Ver. 33. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Chap. xvi. ver. 1. I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a deaconess of the Church which is at Cenchrea. * E. V.

See how many ways he takes to give her dignity. For he has both mentioned her before all the rest, and called her sister. And it is no slight thing to be called the sister of Paul. Moreover he has added her rank, by mentioning her being deaconess

Ver. 2. That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints 3.

3 Gr.the That is, for the Lord's sake, that she may enjoy honour saints. among you. For he that receives a person for the Lord's sake, though it be no great one that he receives, yet receives

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e xal Touoüros, Ben. from Mss. raitos account of the office of the widows, Utos.

deaconesses,&c.also Cave, Prim. Christ. Mss. agorídnou, sets forth. The part i. c. 8. Theodoret thinks it a sign Ben, editor suggests a gooridnos, which of there being a considerable Church at is almost certainly the true reading. Cenchrea, that they had a deaconess

See Bingham, b. ii. c. 22. for a full there.

1

478 Of receiving Saints. Priscilla and Aquila. Homil. him with attention. But when it is a saint, consider what XXXI. attention she ought to have shewn her. And this is why he

adds as becometh saints, as such persons ought to be received. For she has two grounds for her having attention shewn her by you, both that of her being received for the

Lord's sake, and that of her being a saint herself. And that ye or ask assist her in whatsoever business she hath need' of you. xeńin

Not in whatsoever businesses she may be, but in such as she may ask of you. But she will ask in such things as lie in your power. Then again there comes a very great praise of her. For she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

See his judgment. First come the encomiums, then he makes an exhortation intervene, and then again gives encomiums, so placing on each side of the needs of this blessed woman her praises. For how can the woman be else than blessed who has the blessing of so favourable a testimony from Paul, who had also the power to render assistance to him who had righted the whole world ? For this was the summit of her good deeds, and so he placed it the last, as he says, and of myself also. But what does the phrase of myself also convey? Of the herald of the world, of him who

hath suffered so much, of him who is equal to assisting tens 2 feugions of thousands?. Let us then imitate, both men and women, sexoûn this holy woman, and her that followeth, with her husband

also. And who are they?

Ver. 2. Greet, he says, Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus.

To the excellence of these St. Luke also bears witness.

Partly when he says that Paul abode with them, for by Acts 18, their occupation they were tent-makers; and partly when he Acts 18, points out the woman as receiving Apollos, and instructing

him in the way of the Lord. Now these are great things, but what Paul mentions are greater.

And what does he mention? In the first place he calls them helpers “, to point out that they had been sharers of his very great labours and dangers. Then he says,

TOS

26.

Η συλλειτουργούς. Afterwards the of Alexander.
common term by which Bishops spoke Theod. i. 9.
of each other. As the Nicene Fathers

Ep. Synod. r. fin.

. .

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