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Benefit of keeping Judgment in mind. 499 together persuade thy soul not to trifle idly, lest by ex- Rom. perience thou come to know there is a hell, but from this

16, 16. thou mayest be sobered, and so able to escape those tortures, and attain to the good things to come, by the grace and love toward man, &c.

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Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause

divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly ; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Homil. Again an exhortation, and prayer after the exhortation. XXXII.

For after telling them to mark them which cause divisions, and not to listen to them, he proceeds, And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly; and, The grace of our Lord be with you. And notice how gently too he exhorts them ; doing it not in the character of a counsellor, but that of a servant, and with much respect. For he calls them brethren, and supplicates them likewise. For I beseech you, brethren, (he says.) Then he also puts them on the defensive by shewing the deceitfulness of those who abused them. For as though they were not at once to be discerned, he says, I beseech you to mark, that is, to be exceedingly particular about, and to get acquainted with, and to search out thoroughly-whom, pray? why, those that divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned. For this is, if any thing, the subversion of the Church, the being in divisions. This is the devil's weapon, this turneth all things upside-down. For so long as the body is joined into one, he has no power to get an entrance,

cause nopeas :

Divisions come of Satan, and of men's greediness. 501

but it is from division that the offence cometh. And whence Rom. is division ? From opinions contrary to the teaching of the Apostles. And whence come opinions of this sort? From men's being slaves to the belly, and the other passions. For such, he says, serve not the Lord, but their own belly. And so there would be no offences, there would be no division, unless some opinion were thought of contrary to the doctrine of the Apostles. And this he here points out by saying, contrary to the doctrine. And he does not say which we have taught, but which ye have learnt, so anticipating them, and shewing that they were persuaded of and had heard them, and received them. Aud what are we to do to those who make mischief in this way? He does not say have a meeting and come to blows, but avoid them. For if it was from ignorance or error that they did this, one ought to set them right. But since they sin wittingly', spring away Mar. from them. And in another place too he says this. For he

willing

ly says, Withdraw from every brother that walketh disorderly; 2 Thess.

3, 6. and in speaking to Timothy about the coppersmith, he gives him the like advice, and says, Of whom be thou ware also.

2 Tim.

4, 15. Then also to lash” those who dare to do such things, he ? mentions also the reason of their devising this division. Fordão they that are such, he says, serre not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly. And this he said too when he wrote to the Philippians, Whose god is their belly. But here he Phil. 3, appears to me to intimate those of the Jews, whom he ever uses particularly to find fault with as gluttonous. For in writing to Titus he said of them, Evil beasts, slow bellies. Tit. 1, And Christ also blames them on this head: Ye devour widows' houses, He says. And the Prophets accuse them of Mat.23, things of the kind. For, my beloved, He says, hath waxen Deut. fat and gross, and hath kicked. Wherefore also Moses 32, 15. exhorted them, and said, When thou hast eaten and drunken Deat. 6, and art full, remember the Lord thy God. And in the 11. Gospels, they who say to Christ, What sign shewest thou unto John 6, us ? and pass over every thing else, remember the manna. So do they every where appear to be possessed with this affection. How then comest thou not to be ashamed at having slaves of the belly for thy teachers, when thou art a brother of Christ ? Now the ground of the error is this, but the

19.

12. see

v. 10.

14.

30.

502 The simple warned. Victory over Satan promised. Homil. mode of attack is again a different disorder, viz. flattery. For XXXII.

it is by fair speeches, he says, that they deceive the hearts of the simple. For as far as words go, it is attention ; but their meaning is not such, for it is full of fraud. And he does not say that they deceive you, but the hearts of the simple. And even with this he was not satisfied, but with a view to making his statement less grating, he says,

Ver. 19. For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.

This he does, not to leave them free to be shameless, but to win them beforehand with encomiums, and the number of his witnesses, to arrest their attention. For neither is it I alone that am the witness, but the whole world. And he does not say for your understanding, but your obedience : that is, their compliance, which was evidence of much meekness in them. I am glad therefore on your behalf. And this is no small encomium too. Then, after the praise, admonition. For lest, after liberating them from any charges against them, he should make them the more listless, as not being observed; he gives them another hint in the words,

I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

You see then how he attacks them again, and that without their suspecting it. For this looks like intimating that some of them were apt to be led astray.

Ver. 20. And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

For since he had spoken of those who caused divisions | and offences among them, he has mentioned the God of peace also, that they might feel hopeful about the riddance of these evils. For He that rejoiceth in this will put an end to that which makes havoc of it, And he does not say, will subject, but will bruise, which is a stronger expression. And not

those people only, but also him who was the general over them Gen. 3, herein, Satan. And not will bruise merely, but under your 15.

feet, so that they may obtain the victory themselves, and become noble by the trophy. And the time again is made a ground of comfort. For he adds, shortly. And this was prayer and prophecy as well at once. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

That greatest weapon; that impregnable wall; that tower

Ti. e.

peace

16, 21-23

Grace needed by all. Salutations from several persons. 503 unshaken! For he reminds them of the grace, that he may Rom. give them the more alacrity. Because if ye have been freed from the ills more grievous by far, and freed by grace only, much more will ye be freed from the lesser, now ye have become friends too, and contribute your own share likewise. See how prayer is not to be without works, nor works without prayer, he states. For after giving them credit for their obedience, then he prays; to shew that we need both, our own part as well as God's part, if we are to be duly saved. For it was not before only, but now too, even though we be great and in high esteem, we need grace from Him.

Ver. 21. Timotheus my work-fellow saluteth you.

Observe the customary encomiums again. And Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater my kinsmen.

This Jason Luke also mentions, and sets before us his Acts 17, manliness also, when he says, that they drew him to the rulers of the city, crying, 8c. And it is likely that the others too were men of note. For he does not mention relations barely, unless they were also like him in religious

5,

ness.

Ver. 22. I Tertius, who wrote this Epistle, salute you in the Lord.

This too is no small encomium, to be Paul's amanuensis. Still it is not to pass encomiums on himself that he says this, but that he might attach a warm love to him on their part, for this ministration.

Ver. 23. Gaius mine host', and of the whole Church, 1 gives saluteth you.

See what a crown he has framed for him, by bearing witness to such great hospitality in him, and gathering the entire Church into this man's house! For by the word Eévov, used here, he means a host, not a guest. But when you hear that he was Paul's host, do not admire him for his munificence only, but also for his strictness of life. For except he were worthy of Paul's excellency, he would never have lodged them, since he, who took pains to go beyond many of Christ's commands, would never have trespassed against that law, which bids us be very particular about who

a útigßrivev, see p. 239, and note.

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