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Cautions against

Judaizing teachers


flesh. Though I might have confidence even 4

in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that A. D. 63. He warns thein against juduizing teachers ; shor's that he hud more

reason to glory as to the law than most others, but that he had renounced he hath whereof he may have confidence in the all his privileges for Christ, &c.

tlesh, I have more : Circumcised the eighth 5 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. day, of the race of Israel, of the tribe of BenTo write the same things to you, is not indeed jamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning 2 grievous to me, but for you it is safe. Beware the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, per: 6

of dogs, beware of evil-workers, beware of the secuting the church ; concerning the righteous3 concision. For we are the circumcision, who ness which is by the law, blameless. But what 7

worship God with our spirit,' and rejoice in things were gain to me, those I counted loss 1: Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the for the sake of Christ. Yea doubtless, and I 8

--the nature, and perfections of the Godhead! How glorious must

we should shine by the light of a christian teniper and a holy conduct, he be; and jointly with the Father and Holy Spirit, the object of all as lights in the world. By the comfort we have in Christ, by the homage, worship and praise ? . Yet what love, condescension and consolation of his love, and the fellowship of bis Spirit, and the know. grace, did this adorable person exercise towards us! When he ledge of his will, let us glorify him; depending on God to work in came into the world, he did not come in his majesty, nor ap- us, both 1o will and to do of his own good pleasure. Especially let pear as a divine person, but divesting himself of this glory, made us hold forth, by a resolute and consistent prolession, the word of life, himself of no account, taking on him the form of a servant, and being that others may be instructed and saved ; and then ministers will not made in the likeness of men, he humbled hiinsell yet more, becoming have run in vain, nor laboured in vain. obedient to death, even the death of the cross. 0 let us often reflect 3. Who can but admire such characters as Paul and Timothy ? on this amazing subject and view in our thoughts, the man Jesus To what a sublime height did the gospel raise the niind and hope of extended on the cross, and pouring forth his soul in agonies and the apostle? He not only considered himself as ready to be sacrificed, blood, as an atoning sacrifice for our sins and iniquities? And

but speaks of that stroke by which his blood was to be poured out as let us rejoice ihal he who was crucified and slain, is now so gloriously an occasion of joy, and calling for the congratulation of his friends! exalted, and has a name given him, which is above every name ; and When in this danger, he was willing to resign his friend Timothy, in this name let us trust and hope, and offer up our praises and re- though he had no other like-minded ; and sent him to comfort and quests. .0. like lim may we be humbie, willing to be, do, and suffer build up the believers at Philippi. How disgraceful was it to those every thing calculated to promote the divine glory.

who sought their own ease and safety, rather than the good of souls! 2. We should learn also to suffer the affectionate word of exhor. How much honour it reflects on the people at Philippi, that they tation, and be diligent in the use of all the means of grace. It is showed their respect to Paul in his bonds by sending Epaphroditos, pleasant to have lo cominend christian brethren for their obedience ; to minister to his wants; and this messenger of their love and liberand such will be ready to receive every good word of advice and ality, seems to have been wholly devoted to God and his service. follow it. We should not sink into spiritual sloth, but work out our His sickness occasioned great sorrow to the apostle; and his recovery salvation with fear and trembling. Having been called to the adoption excited his gratitude. The brethren ought to receive suoh with joy, of sons by Jesus Christ, we should aim to be blameless, doing every and hold them in reputation, who are ready to expose theniselves to command, and performing every duty, without murmuring and dis

any hardships for the good of souls and the glory of God. Such chaputing. And as we are surrounded by a perverse race of sinners, racters are the glory of the churches of Christ.

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him. It is probable, from the last verse, that the fatigues be endured in his I might; and even more than those teachers who now. trouble you. journey, and his various labours in the gospel, brought on his disorder. Hebrew of, &c. By long uninterrupted descent, aụd by language, in opposi1. in the Lord. In your , tion to the of

taught you when I was with you; or as ' Peirce suggests, which I have ordered mentions this as a proof of his zeal; and if others made zeal a ground of cos. Epaphroditus to deliver to you.

fidence, he surely might, who had discovered it in such a manner. -Blatte 2. Of dogs. Of Jewish teachers, who would tear and devour you, and less. If by the law we understand the moral as included, Paul could never who, in fact, were only seeking their own gain. See Is. lvi. 10, 11. Revel.xxii. speak in this manner; but if he meant the ceremonial only, what he states 15. The Jews gave this name to the Gentiles, and Paul retorts it on them. was no doubt just and true, and it is to ceremonial and ritual observances to selves.Concision. They gloried in being the “circumcision;" but the which the whole context refers, and in which the Jews placed their confidence apostle refuses to allow them that name, and gives them the name of concision, and glory. a mere cutting of the Aesh.

7-11. Were gain to me, &c. The things which I then considered as my 3. We are the circumcision, &c. We have what was signified by circum- gain, or the surest grouuds of confidence in respect to acceptance with God, cision, Rom. ii. 28, 29.--No confidence, &c. Our religion is in ward and I counted loss, &c.Have suffered the loss. Having been enlightened to spiritual not consisting in outward privileges and distinctions.

understand the gospel, and blessed with the excellent knowledge of Christ 4-6. Though I might, &c. If any might trust in such privileges, surely Jesus, as my Lord and Saviour, I do still count all my Jewish privileges as re

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Paul's holy zeal.

Sinfui conduct of some. : count that all things are loss for the excellency || Let us, therefore, as many as are perfect, be 15

of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord : thus minded : and if in any thing ye be other-
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, wise minded, God shall reveal even this unto!

and count them as refuse, that I might gain you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already 16 9 Christ, . And be found in him, not having attained, let us walk therein.

mine own righteousness, which is by the law, Brethren, be joint imitators of me, and mark 17

but that which is through faith in Christ, the those that walk so as ye have us for an exam10 righteousness which is of God by faith: That ple. For many walk, of whom I have told 18

I might know him, and the power of his resur- you often, and now tell you even weeping,

rection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, that they are the enemies of the cross of 11 being made conformable unto his death; If Christ; Whose end is destruction, whose god 19

by any means I might come to the resur- | is their belly, and whose glory is in their 12 rection of the dead. I do not say that I have shame; who mind earthly things. But our 20 already attained, or am already made perfect: citizenship is in heaven; whence

we look but I follow after, if indeed I may apprehend also for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ :

that for which I have been apprehended also Who will change our vile body, that it may be 21 13 by Christ Jesus. 'Brethren, I count not myself of like form with his glorious body, according

to have apprehended; but one thing I do, to the mighty working by which he is able forgetting those things which are behind, and even to subdue all things unto himself.

stretching forth to those things which are be- Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved and ! 14 fore, I press towards the goal for the prize longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in

of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. the Lord, my dearly beloved.

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16. • by the same love, let us mind the same thing. Mss. Griesb. REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER III. 1. We find how zealous outward privileges. Such he styles dogs, evil-workers, the conthe apostle was against false teachers, why endeavoured 10 pervert the cision : profigate Jews, who, while they professed faith in Christ, gospel of Christ, and to lead men to trust in themselves or their were the real enemies of his name and holy cause. Paul could boast


fuse, as things to be thrown away; nor do I regret that I have suffered the 15. Be thus minded. Regarding no outward privilege as a ground of Joss of them, when I consider that it was that I might gain Christ, &c.- our acceptance, but ésteeming every thing of this kind as refuse for the sake Mine ovon righteousiless. As consisting in a blameless observance of all the l of Christ, and seeking to be found in him, &c.— If in any thing, &c. If Mosaic rites, and in which I once trusted; but that which is through faith in from your want of instruction, or on the weak state of your faith, you Christ, &c. See Rom. i. 17.; iii. 19—26.- Power of his resurrection. In should differ, I have confidence that God will discover your error, and bring confirming my faith in him, and hope of salvation through him.-Fellowship you to think and act as I do. of his, &c. Not only in deriving spiritual blessings from them, but in suffer- 16. Let us walk therein. As far as we have attained in knowledge, let ing for his sake, and being actually confornied to him, by my own crucifixion. us walk, &c. The last words, “by the same rule, &c." are wanting in many

-If by any means, 8c. The apostle doubtless had in his thoughts, the re- mss. either in whole or in part, and Griesbach rejects them. surrection of the just, who will rise first, and their bodies be made like Christ's 17. For an example. How, bolily and unblamably must the apostle have glorious body, and they will then be rewarded according as they have served lived, when he could thus reconimend his own example. him bere. The apostle's language, “ if by any means," implies no doubt, but 18, 19. Many wulk, c. Many teachers, and particularly those Judaonly describes the ardour of his own mind, in pursuing the objects before him. izers, who infested various churebes, who, while they professed respect for

12. Att &c. All I wish to be, or enjoy, “or am already made Christ, were in reality the enemies of his cross, and of the doctrines avd perfect," as I confidently hope to be; but as one who hath started in a race, I the holy precepts of the gospel; as indeed their practice proved, being follow after, &c.-Apprehend that, &c. That degree of excellence and addicted to gluttony and shameful profligacy, only minding earthly things; holiness, usefulness, and conformity to Christ, for which I was in so remark- and for them destructiou is prepared. able a manner apprehended by Christ.

20, 21. Citizenship, ốc. They miud earthly things; but we heavenly, 13. One thing I do, &c. This oecupies and fills my mind, and engages as we are citizens of heaven, whence we are expecting the Saviour, &c. all my energies. Forgetting these, 8c. Like the athletes, or racers, who Our vile body. Viie as infected by sin, aud as destined to return agaio to dust. refect not on the space run, but who look on what is before them.

This he will change indeed, and make like his own glorious body, according 14. I press towards, &c. Peirce, whom Macknight follows, renders, “1 to the working, &c. follow along the mark," that is, along the course, wbich was inarked out. CHAP. IV. 1. My brethren, &c. With Griesbach and others I join this This version is that, and that MOTO signifies a mark and a goal, Schleusner. verse to the preceding Chapter, as forming a proper conclusion. Things - The prize of, cc. Of eternal life and blessedness, which is the design of being as I have stated, do you, who are my joy and crowh now, and who will the high calling of God, &c. and it is for this I am rupving.

be so hereafter, staud fast in the Lord.


Friendly salutations.

PHILIPPIANS IV. What christians should mind. CHAPTER IV.

giving. And the peace of God, which passeth 7

all understanding, shall keep your hearts and A. D. 63. He gwes some particular, and then some general exhortations ;

minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, 8 he commends their christian liberality, and affectionately salutes them.

whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things I beseech Euodia, and I beseech Syntyche, are grave, whatsoever things are just, whatthat they be of the same mind in the Lord. soever things are pure, whatsoever things 3 And I intreat thee also, true companion, help are lovely, whatsoever things are of good

those women who have laboured with me in report; if there be any virtue, and if there the gospel, with Clement also, and with mine be any praise, think on these things.

Those 9 other fellow-labourers, whose names are in things, which ye have both learned, and the book of life.

received, and heard, and seen in me, do : and 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I the God of peace shall be with you. 5 say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now 10 6 unto all men. The Lord is' near. Take no

at length your care of me hath revived ; anxious thought for any thing; but in every wherein ye were careful also before, but thing let your requests be made known unto wanted opportunity. Not that I speak in re- 11 God, by prayer and supplication with thanks- spect of want: for I have learned, in what

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of more privileges than most of them as to the flesh; and he could add In a word we should never be satisfied until we have attained that what made him once more respected among his unbelieving brethren, perfection in knowledge, grace, and holiness, in a better world, which that he had persecuted the church of Christ. But how did he now Christ designed for bis people, when he laid hold on, and first appreview the things of which he once made his boast! They were worth bended them by his word and Spirit. less and even vile in comparison with Christ. The knowledge of 3. We learn what is our duty according to our attainments ; and Christ, of his love and grace, made his Jewish privileges of no while encouraged by the holy example of some, we ought carefully to esteem. He knew that believers were the true circumcision, worship- avoid the sinful conduct of others. If we have attained the lowest ping acceptably the Father, and rejoicing in Christ Jesus. Thus do degree of perfection in the divine life, and in christian knowledge all believers renounce and forsake all other grounds of dependence, and grace, let us walk by the same holy rule, even that of the written hope, and comfort, but Christ; and having tasted that the Lord is word. Let us mark how the apostle lived and adorned the gospel gracious, and knowing that in him is their righteousness, strength, which he preached. Let us consider bis humility, meekness, patience, and salvation, they glory in him as their Lord and their all. goodness, charity, prudence, courage, and zeal; and particularly his

2. We learn that the most eminent saints are in this life but im- spirituality and heavenly mindedness! Let us imitate his virtues and perfect. Paul had not attained that holiness, and that perfection of usefulness, while we detest and avoid the example of such as prove by knowledge, and other graces, after which he so eagerly panted. He their conduct, themselves to be the enemies of Christ, being given up to had indeed made advances in the divine life far beyond most of his intemperance, or to covetousness, and for whom remains only destrue. brethren; and to what an eminent degree had his faith, hope, love, tion. While such men think gain to be godliness, let us remember, , and zeal reached! If after all he forgot the things behind and that our citizenship is in heaven, whence we ought to be looking for the reached forward to those before him, what should we do, who in Saviour; though it is most probable that before that event, our bodies, comparison with him are but babes in Christ? How ardently desirous vile by sin, will be dissolved in the dust, yet he will revive them and ought we then to be to attain such a knowledge of Christ, as shall change them, and make them like his own glorious and immortal body. derive virtue from his death and resurrection, so as to make us con- And how firm should be our hope of this from that power of which formable w both, by dying unto sin, and living unto God? How he is now possessed; for he is able to subdue all things unto himself. ought we to press towards the mark for the prize of our high calling? Hence let us stand fast in the Lord.

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2. Of the same mind, &c. These must have been persons of some con- of his favour, will inspire an inconceivable pleasure, and will keep your hearts sideration, to whom the apostle recommends unity.

and minds stedfast in the faith through Christ. 3. Thee also, true, &c. We have no clue to ascertain who this indivi. 8-9. Things are true, ge. How comprehensive this summary of chrisdual was, whom he calls his true companion.—Those women, &c. Perhaps tian morals; and he adds, if there be any other virtue, or thing worthy of aged widows, who might instruct the younger women, and perform many praise, think on these things. other offices for the saints. 1 Tim. v. 15. Peirce refers this to Euodia and 10-13. Hath revived. By your sending a supply for my need. Paal Syntyche, &c. - Bnok of life. See Malachi, iii. 16, 17.

happily brought his mind to his circumstances; and bowever various these 4–7. Rejoice in, &c. Ch. iii. 1.—Gentleness. Be meek and humble were, he was content. He tells them the ground of it, “ through Christ under all your trials, as the Lord is near. -Peace of God, 8c. A sense of strengthening him." Griesbach omits Christ; but his authorities for it do reconciliation with him, and the animating hope of the everlasting enjoyment not satisfy me. I have therefore retained it.

Their liberalily

justly commended. soever state I am, therein to be content. But I have every thing, and abound: I am 18 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know full, having received of Epaphroditus the

how to abound : every where and in all things things which were sent from you, an odour I am instructed both to be full and to be of a sweet smell, an acceptable sacrifice, well

hungry, both to abound and to suffer want. pleasing to God. And my God shall supply 19 13 1 can do all things through Christ who all your wants according to his riches in glory, 14 strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have by Christ Jesus. Now unto our God and 20

done well, that ye have jointly contributed Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 15 to relieve my affliction. Now, ye Philippians, Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The 21

know also, that in the beginning of the gospel brethren who are with me salute you. All 22 when I departed from Macedonia, no church the saints salute you, chiefly they that are

had intercourse with me, as concerning giving of Cæsar's household. The grace of our Lord 23 16 and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thes- Jesus Christ be with you all.

all. Amen. salonica ye sent once and a second time also 17 to my necessity. Not that I desire a gift; but

It was written to the Philippians from I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

Rome by Epaphroditus.

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER 1v. 1. We should affection- things are pure, not indulging even the thought of violating the laws of ately remember those engaged in the same holy cause as ourselves, sobriety and chastity, but maintaining a mind and conscience void of and show all suitable respect to them, for their works' sake. Paul offence; whatsoever things are lovely, and of good report among not only noticed the ministers of the gospel, but even those pious men, such as prudence, moderation, meekness, patience, benevolelice ; women who did in any way assist him and others. They might labour of all these things let christians think, and meditate, and by the diswith him in the serviee of the gospel, by their prayers, by instructing, play of these virtues in some high degree, let them commend their and faithfully admonishing those of their own sex, with whom they religion to men. And while thus honouring God, they may hope for had familiar intercourse, and especially young women. They might his presence with them. also promote the cause of Christ by their charity, visiting the poor, 3. We are taught by the example of the apostle, to acknowledge the sick, and adorning by their meekness, condescension, and holy the kindness of friends with gratitude. In regard to temporal things, conduct, the gospel of Christ. Let ministers respect all such, and Paul experienced constant changes, being instructed by experience help and encourage them; and all faithful labourers rejoice that their what it was to be full and to be hungry, to abound and to suffer want. names are in the book of life. Let them live in expectation of the In all situations he had learnt submission and contentment ; and he could coming of their Lord; and while they are subject to trials and various cheerfully do and endure any thing through Christ strengthening him. wants, let them humbly, but confidently, make known their requests unto While he commends the liberal spirit of his converts at Philippi, he God by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.

rejoices, not so much for the benefit and help afforded himself, as that 2. We are reminded bow anxious we should be, not only to fruit might abound to their account ; and having received what they hold fast the doctrines of grace, but to adorn our profession by the had sent by Epaphroditus, he considered this as a sacrifice acceptable cultivation and practice of all the christian virtues and graces. What- and well-pleasing to God. In return for their christian affection and soever is true in words and deeds ; grave venerable and far removed esteem, he pours out his heart, and assures them, that the God he from sinful levity; whatsoever things are just, giving to all their due, served would supply all their wants by Christ Jesus. Let christians to individuals, due respect and honour, according to the station they learn to show brotherly kindness, and confidently expect the fulfiloccupy, and in our worldly transactions, strictly maintaining the prin- ment of God's promises, and especially that made to Josbua, “ I will ciple of doing to another as we expect him to do to us ; whatsoever never leave thee nor forsake thee."

14-16. My affliction, &c. My present distress; and to your honour it may be mentioned, that formerly you only among all the churches in Macedouia, showed a liberal spirit towards me.

17-20. Fruit that may, &c. Christian kindness and liberality is fruit

which will be rewarded ; and I can assure you, that as ye have abounded in kindness, God will abound towards you, to whom be glory for ever.

22. Cæsar's household. Some of Nero's domestics, courtiers, or even of bis own family, had embraced the gospel.




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This Epistle appears to have been written at the same time with that to the Ephesians, and sent by the same persons. They seem to have borne a honourable character for piety and zeal ; but from the cautions given, were in danger of being drawn aside by the subtleties of some heathen philosophers, and the arts of soine Jewish christians, who nuaintained the necessity of observing their riles. Hence the great design of the apostle was to excite them to a behaviour worthy of the gospel, and to guard them against the seductive arts of its real enemies. CHAPTER I.

in truth : As ye learned from Epaphras our 7 A. D. 63. Paul thanks God for their fuith, and prays for their growth in

beloved fellow-servant, who is to you a faithful grace; he describes the person and deity of Christ, and commends his own minister of Christ; Who hath also declared 8 ministry.

to us your love in spirit. 1

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will For this cause we also, since the day we 9 2 of God, and Timothy our brother, To the beard it, cease not to

To the heard it, cease not to pray for you, and to desaints and faithful brethren in Christ who are sire that ye may have a full knowledge of his at Colosse : Grace and peace be to you, from will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding;

God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. That ye may walk worthy of the Lord as to 10 3 We give thanks to the God and Father of all that is well-pleasing, being fruitful in every

our Lord Jesus Christ, (praying always for good work, and increasing in the knowledge 4 you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ of God; Strengthened with all might, ac- 11 5 Jesus, and of your love to all the saints,) Be- cording to his glorious power, unto all patience

cause of the hope which is laid up for you in and joyful long-suffering. We give thanks 12

heaven, of which ye have heard before in the also to the Father, who hath made us meet 6 true word of the gospel ; Which is come to to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints

you, as it is into all the world : and bringeth in light; Who hath delivered us from the 13 forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the power of darkness, and hath translated us into day ye heard it, and knew the grace of God the kingdom of his beloved Son; By whom It


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CHAP.J. 3-3. Give thinks, &c. The apostle having begun to state his unfeigned gratitude, and the reason of it, goes off, and parenthetically notices his praying for them, since he had heard of their faith in Christ and Tuve to the saints. His thanks arose from the assurance that they as believers were made heirs of the hope of eternal life promised in the gospel, which had in the providence of God come to them, and been made effectual to their conversion by the ministry of Epaphras.- -Grace of God in truth. The grace of God as mauifest in the gospel, truly and really.--Your love in spirit. I consider in spirit to be used for their own mind or heart. Pierce renders, “ hath declared your love in spirit towards us.”

12. We give thanks, fc. As the former verses contain the requests of the apostle, and this begins his thanksgiving, I think we should consider it as the commencement of a new period. Meet to be, &c. Or fit for a portion of, or in the inheritance which saints in glory enjoy; and this meetness colsists in what he has wrought in us and for us.

9-11. May be filled, &c. More abundantly with the knowledge of God's will as to the way of salvation by Christ; being enabled to walk in a holy and suitable manner, and being supported under any trials which you may experience.

13. Power of darkness. The rule and dominion of Satan, and the power of our own dark and sinful state. See Luke sxii. 53 ; Eph. vi. 12. King. dom of, &c. Brought us under his authority by the gospel, to whom we, as believers, are now subject.

14. Through his blood. Judging from the authorities, these words should be omitted; yet as all the copies have them, Eph. i. 7, I see no reason to think that they are interpolated; and if Paul wrote this epistle immediately after that, from the law of association we may expect the same sentiments and even words to occur. See Paley's Horæ Paulinæ.

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