Page:An Exposition of the Old and New Testament (1828) vol 6.djvu/573

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567
PHILIPPIANS, I.

their sufferings, of the cause of them, and of the temper of his mind, and his behaviour under them, as might prevent their fainting at his tribuUitions and even n)inister matter of joy and thanksgiving unto them. He tells them, that Tychicus was a be- loved brother, and faithful viinister in the Lord. lie was a sincere Christian, and so a brother in Christ : he was a faithful minister in the work of Christ ; and he was very dear to St. Paul : which makes his love to these Chiistian Ephesians the more observable, in that he should now part with so good and dear a friend for their sakes, when his company and conversation must have been peculiar- ly delightful and serviceable to himself. But the faithful servants of Jesus Christ are wont to jji-efer the public good to their own private or personal in- terests. III. He concludes with his good wishes and pray- ers for them ; and not for them only, but for all the brethren, v. 23, 24. His usual benediction was, grace and peace: here it is, Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith. By peace we are to understand all manner ot peace ; peace with God, peace with con- science, peace among themselves : and all outward prosperity is included in the word ; as if he had said, " I wish the continuance and increase of all hajjpi- nesstoyou." And love with faith. This in part explains what he means in the following verse by grace : not only grace in the fountain, or the love and favour of God ; but grace in the streams, the grace of the Spirit flowing rrbm that divine princi- ple ; faith and love including all the rest. It is the continuance and increase of these that he desires for them, in whom they were already begun. It fol- lows, from God the Lather, tkc. Ail grace and blessings are derived to the saints from (iod, thn.ugli the merit and intercession ot Jesus Christ our L()i d. The closing benediction is more extensive tha.'i the former; for in this he prays for all true be- lievers at Ephesus, and every where else. It is the undoubted character of all the saints, that thev love our Lord Jesus Christ. Our love to Christ is ni.t acceptable, unless it be in sincerity : indeed there is no such thing as love to Christ, whatever nen may pretend, where there is not sincerity. The words may be read, Grace be with all them who love our Lord Jesus Christ in inco7'ru/ilion, who continue constant in their love to him, so as not to be corrupted out of it by any baits or seductions whatsoever; and whose love to him -is uncorrufited bv any opposite lust, or the love of any thing dis- pleasing to him. Grace, that is, the favour ot God, and all good, (spiritual and temporal,) that is, the product of it, is and shall be with all them who thus love our Lord Jesus Christ. And it is, or ought to be, the desire and prayer of every lover of Christ, that it may be so with all his fellow-Christians. Amen, so be it





AN


EXPOSITION,


WITH


PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS,


OF THE


EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO THE PHILIPPIANS.


Completed by Dr. W. Harris.





I'HILIPPI was a chief city of the western part of Macedonia, vfiTt, tSc fxtfiSi^ twc UeLKtio^ia.; wo'x/f. Acts 16. 12. It took its name from Philip, the famous king of Macedon, who repaired and beautified it ; and was afterward made a Roman colony. Near this place were the Cam/ii Phili/ijiici, remarkable for the famous battles between Julius Cxsar and Pompey the Great ; and that between Augustus and An tony on one side, and Cassius and Brutus on the other. But it is most remarkable among Christians foi this epistle, which was written when Paul was prisoner at Rome, A. D. 62. St Paul seems to have had a very particular kindness for the church at Philippi, which he himself had been instrumental in planting ; and though he had the care of all the churches, he had, upon that ac- count, a particular fatherly tender care of this. Those whom God has emplo)'ed us to do any good to, we should look u])on ourselves both encouraged and engaged to study to do more good to. He looked upon them as his children, and, having begotten them by the gospel, he was desirous by the same gospel to nourish and nurse them up. L He was called in an extraordinary manner to preach the gospel at Philippi, Acts 16. 9. A vision ap- peared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying. Come over into Macedonia, and help us. He saw God going before him, and was encouraged to use all means for cairying on the good work which was begun among them, and building upon the foundation which was laid, ^