Page:An Exposition of the Old and New Testament (1828) vol 6.djvu/514

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communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. Thus the apostle concludes this epistle, with, . A valediction. He gives them a partingyare- xuell, and takes his leave of them for tlie present, with hearty good wishes for their spiritual welfare. In order to which, (1.) He givts them several good exhortations. [1.] To be/ierftct, or to be knit together in love, which would lend greatly to their benefit and advan- tage, as a church, or Christian society. [2.] To be of good comfort under all the sufferings and perse- cutions they might endure for the cause of Christ, or anv calamities and disappointments they might meet with in the world. [3.] To be of one mind, which would greatly tend to their comfort ; for the more easy we are with our brethren, the more ease we shall have in our own souls. The apostle would have them, as far as was possible, to be of the same ojiinion and judgment ; however, if this could not be attained to, yet, [4.] He exhorts them to live in fieace ; that difference in opinion should not cause an alienation of affections ; that they should be at peace among themselves. He would have all the schisms healed, that were among them ; that there should be no more contention and wrath found among them ; to prevent which, they should avoid debates, envyings, backbitings, luhisfierings, and such like enemies to peace. (2. ) He encourages them with the promise of God's presence among them ; The God of love and fieace shall be vjith you, v. 11. Note, [1.] God is the God of love and peace. He is the Author of peace, and lover of concord : he hath loved us, and is wil- ling to be at peace with us ; he commands us to love him, and to be reconciled to him, and also that we love one another, and be at peace among ourselves. [2. ] God will be with them who live in love and peace. He will love them who love peace ; he will dwell with them here, and thev shall dwell with him for ever. Such shall have (iod's gracious pre- sence here, and be admitted to liis^/onous presence hereafter. (3.) He gives directions to them to salute each other, and sends kind salutations to them from those who were with him, v. 12, 13. He would have them testify their affection to one another by the sa- cred rite of a kiss of charity, which was then used, but has long been disused, to prevent all occasions of wantonness and impurity, in the more declining and degenerate state of the church. . The apostohcal benediction ; {v. 14.) The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be ivith you all. Thus the apostle concludes his epistle, and thus it is usual and proper to dismiss worshipping assem- blies. This plainly proves the doctrine of the gos- pel, and is an acknowledgment, that Father, Son, and S/iirit, are three distinct Peisons, yet but one God ; and herein the same, that they are the Foun- tain of all blessings to men. It likewise speaks our duty, which is, to have an eye by faith to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost ; to live in a continual regard to the three Persons in the Trinity, into whose name we were bafitized, and in whose name we are blessed. This is a very solemn benediction, and we should give all diligence to inherit this blessing. Th.e grace of Christ, the love of God, and the communion (or communication) of the Holy Ghost : the grace of Christ as Redeemer, the love of God who sent the Redeemer, and all the communications of this grace and love, which come to us by the Holy Ghost ; it is the communications of the Holy Ghost that qua- lify us for an interest in the grace of Christ, and the love of God : and we can desire no more to make us happy than the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost. Amen.







Completed by Mr. Bayes.

been employed in watering these churches, as is evident from this epistle itself, and also from Acts 18. 23. where we find him going over all the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, strengthening all the "lisciples.