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The Apostle recommends Phæbe to the Romans;

191 that we do not rafhly judge that he hath rejected our Prayers, because Sect. 33. we do not see them answered in that particular Way, which might have been more agreeable to our own Wilhes.

SE C T. XXXIV.

The Apostle after recommending Phæbe to the Romans, par

ticularly salutes several of bis Friends then resident among them. Rom. XVI. 1,---16.

I Commend

HA

I.

ROMAN XVI. I.

ROMANS XVI. I. unto

you Phoebe our Sister, which

AVING thus dispatched the Substance Sect. 34. is a Servant of the Church

of my Epistle, I would add, by Way of Law which is in Cenchrea : Postscript, something relating to a few particular Rom. XVI.

Christian Friends, with us, or with you : And
first would recommend to you the Bearer of this
Epistle, Phæbe, our Sister, who is not only Par-
taker with us in the Profession of the Gospel,
but in the Office of a stated Servant, or Deacon-

ness (a), of the Church in Cenchrea (b); in the
2 That ye receive her in Neighbourhood of which I write to you.
the Lord,
as becometh

I desire that you would entertain her, in Regard Saints, and that ye affist her in whatsoever Business the to her

Relation to the Lord Jesus Christ, our comhath need of you: For she mon Saviour, with all Christian Affection, and hath been a Succourer of in a Manner becoming those that profess themmany, and of myself also.

selves Saints, separated from the World, to the
Honour of his Name; and that you would asijt her
in any Thing, in which she may need it of you; for
I can assure you, she has been, in her Office, an
Helper of many, and of myself in particular; on

which

And 2

(a) A stated Scrvant, or Deaconness.] Compare I Tim. v. 9. There were some grave and pious Matrons engaged in such an Office, in the Primitive Church, is I think very apparent from these Places: But it is obvious, there were Circumstances which rendered such Sort of Servants much more useful and necessary in the Churches at that Timc, than they would now generally be.

(6) The Church in Cenchrea.] As Paril mentions the Church in Cenchrea, as distinct from that at Corinth, tho' Cenchroa lay in the Suburbs of it; I must submit it to the candid Reader, whether it be not probable, that it had a distinct Paftor, or Bishop of its own.

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192

And fends several Salutations in his own Name,
Sect.

which Account she is well worthy of your Re-
34.

gard, and will I hope meet with a very kind Rom. XVI. Reception from all that love me, or bave any Concern for the common Cause.

3 Greet Priscilla and 3 I desire you would also salute the pious Prif Aquila my Helpers in Chrift

cilla, and her worthy Confort Aquila (c); who Jefus :
have both deserved the Name of

ту

Fellow-labourers in Christ Jesus, as they have each of them, according to their different Stations and Characters, been ready to do their utmost to pro

mote the Interest of the Gospel amongst us. 4 And indeed they are Persons, who for the Pre

4. (Who have for my

Life laid down their own servation of my Life, exposed to so many tumul- Necks: Unto whom not tuous Dangers, (Acts xviii. 6, 7, 12, 13.) have, only I give Thanks, but alas it were, laid down their own Necks, that is, to all the Churches of the

Gentiles:
offered themselves to the extreamest Dangers :
to whom therefore, I do not only owe my own perso-
nal Thanks, but also all the Churches of the Gen-
tiles, whose Apostle I peculiarly am, and for

whose spiritual Liberties and Priviledges I am
5 always so strenuous an Advocate. You will 5 Likewise greet

also, I hope, present my sincere and affectio- Church that is in their nate Salutation to the Church that is in their

House. Salute my well-be

loved Epenetus, who is the House ; as I know there are several other Chri- First-fruits of Achaia unto stians with them, resident in the Family, or meet- Christ. ing them for social Worship there. Salute also my beloved Epenetus, who is one of the First-fruits of Achaia (d) to Christ, in the Number of the first Christian Converts of these Regions, and

therefore worthy my particular Remembrance. 6 Salute Mary, who has taken a great deal of Pains 6 Greet Mary, who be

stowed much Labour on us. on our Account, to accommodate me, and my Companions, when we were in her Neighbour

hood.

the

(c) Priscilla and Aquila.] This excellent Couple appear, by this Paffage, to be returned to Rome, on the ceasing of that Edict against the Jews, which had driven them from thence, in the Reign of Claudius, Aets xviii. 2. Priscilla seems to have been a Woman of great Note, and probably, of distinguished Genius, and Influence; which appears, not only from the Manner in which she is here named, but also from the Edification, which the eloquent Apollos received from her Instructions, in Concurrence with those of her Husband.

(d) The Firs-fruits, &c.] 'Tis very probable he might be converted at the same Time with Stephanas, called also the First-fruits of Achaia, (1 Cor. xvi. 15.) for there is no Manner of Neceffity to understand by that Expression, the very first Christian Convert. Indeed it is puffible, Epenetus might be one of that happy Family, to which this Apellation is given.

(e) Adronicus,

7.

to the beloved in Christ Jesus at Rome;

193 7 Salute Adronicus and hood. Salute Andronicns (e), and Junias, my Kinf- Sect. 34. Junia my Kinsmen, and my Fellow-prisoners, who men, and dear in the Bond of Christian Fellow

Rom. XVI. are of Note among the A- ship, and united Sufferings too ; having once postles, who also were in been my Fellow-prisoners ; who were early in great Chrift before me.

Reputation among the Apostles (f), and were also
happy in being joined to the Church of Christ
before me; and therefore, thoʻonce the Object of
my furious persecuting Zeal, are now honoured

and beloved as my elder Brethren in the Lord.
8 Greet Amplias my be- Salute Amplias, my beloved in the Lord, for whom 8
loved in the Lord,

I have a most affectionate Friendship, cemented 9

Salute Urbane our in the Bonds of inutual Faith and Love.
Helper in Chrift, and Sta- lute also Urbanus, my Fellow-labourer in the Gof-
chys my beloved,

pel of Christ, to the Service of which he is so
faithfully devoted, and with him my beloved Sta-

chys, of whose Friendship I cannot but retain
10 Salute Apelles approv- an affectionate Remembrance. Salute Apelles, 10
ed in Christ. "Salute them whose long experienced Worth renders him tho-
which are of Ariftobulus's
Houbold.

roughly approved in the Cause of Christ, as a
Disciple of a Character undoubtedly honourable.
Salute also those [of the Family] of Ariftobulus (8),
and assure the Christians that hold the lowest Sta-
tion in it, that they are not forgotten by me.

Salute

Sa- 9

(e) Andronicus, &c.] Dr Jenkins very justly observes, that this List of Names can be no Objection at all to the Authority of this Epifle ; for it might be an Encouragement to the Persons thus particularly mentioned, might concilitate some additional Expence to them, whereby their Usefulness might be promoted, and would render each of these Persons a kind of Witness to the Genuineness of the Epifle, as we may naturally suppose it was shewed to each of them. Jenk. of Chriftianity, Vol. 11. pag. 37;

(f) In Reputation among the Apostles.] Diodati thinks, that Apostles here signifies Evangelifts; and that the Meaning is, that these Persons were noted Messengers of the Churches, 2 Cor. viii. 23. Phil. ii. 25. But I rather apprehend with Mr. Cradock, (Apoft. Hift. pag. 43.) that they were some early Converts, who had been known and much esteemed by the Apostles, before the Dispersion occasioned by the Death of Stephen, (Aets viii. 2.) and if 10, perhaps Paul might have been active in persecuting them, and have learned their Names at first, with an hostile Intent of hunting them down to Destruction.

(8) Those [of the Family] of Ariftobulus.] The Roman Church hath confecrated Days to the Honour of many of the Saints, mentioned in this Chapter, whom they declare, I know not on what sufficient Authority to have been Martyrs. See L'Enf. Pref. to the Romans, pag. 6, 7. To these they have added, Ariftobulus, and Narcisus, tho' there is no certain Evidence, that they were Christians. It seems most probable, they were Perfons of high Rank, who had each a great Family of Slaves; and some of them being Christian Converts, the Apostle would not forget them, low as their Rank in Life was, when he was faluting his Brethren, in so particular a Manner. We may observe, what a Regard the Apostle had for foreign Churches, when he had informed himself of the Names, Circumstance, and Abodes, of To

many then in Rome.

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Sect. 32.

II.

I 2

Lord. Salute the beloved

ther and mine,

194
And bids them falute one another with an boly Kiss

.

II. Salute Herodion my Salute my Cousin Herodion, still dearer to me in

Kinsman, Greet them that •3; the Ties of Grace, than in those of Nature ; be of the Houfhold of NA Rom. XV. and those belonging to :[the Houfhold of ] Narcis- cillus

, which are in the fus, who are Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Lord. Salute those excellent Women Tryphæna and Try 12 Salute Tryphena and phosa, who, according to their Stations, bave laTryphosa, who labour in the boured with great Diligence in the Service of the Persis, which laboured much Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, who distinguish- in the Lord. ed herself among many who were faithful and

diligent; so that it may properly be said, the la. 13 - boured much in the Lord.

Salute Rufus, chosen 13 Salute Rufus chofen in the Lord, whom I esteem as a Christian of a in the Lord, and his Momost excellent Character; and

pay

the most af fectionate Respects, in my Name, to bis Mother and mine (): For so I may call her, on Account

of that maternal Tenderness and Care, which 14 she has often shewn towards me.

Salute Afyn 14 Salute Afyncritus, critus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and Phlegon, Hermas, Patreall the Brethren with them, as if every one of them bas, Hermes, and the Bfe

thren which are with them.' 15 had been particularly named.

Salute Philologus, Salute Philologus, and and Julig, Nereus, and his Sister, and Olympas, and Julia, Nereus, and his Sifall the other sincere Saints and Christians (i), that ter, and Olympas, and all

the Saints which are with are with them; whom, with the rest of the Persons

that I have mentioned, I most sincerely honour and 16 love. In a word, whether you be Jews, or 16 Salute one another Gentiles, when you meet at your Assemblies, fan with an holy Kiss.

Churches lute one another with an boly Kiss (k), and take Care, that the Kiss which you give to each other, to the Conclusion of your Worship, be expreffive of a pure and undiffembled Affection, and conducted with the gravest and most decent Circum

stances.

15

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The

(6) His Mother and mine.) Hence fome have thought that Rufus was at least Half-brother to Paul; but perhaps he might in this Expression refer to the Maternal Care this good Woman had taken of him.

(i) All the Saints, &c.] Calvin, and others, very juftly observe, that had Peter been now at Rome, he would undoubtedly have been named ; lince no one in this numerous Catalogue, was of a Dignity and Eminence, by any Means comparable to him, and yet, if he were not there at this Time, the whole Tradition of the Roman Bishops, as the Roman Church delivers it, fails in the most fundamental Article of all.

(k) A haly Kifs.] The Custom of thus faluting each other, was borrowed from the Jewisho Synagogue ; and as chastly and prudently as it was managed, it seems to have been the Occafion of those false and scandalous Reports, which were to industriously propagated among the Heathen, of the adulterous and incestuous Practices, in Christian Afernblies ; on which Açcount, it seems to have been laid aside very early.

you.

Reflections on the friendly Salutations of St. Paul.

195 Churches of Christ salute stances. All the Churches of Christ in these Parts, Sect. 34.

salute you ; as they, with me, have heard of the
eminent Figure you make in Religion, and the Rom. XVI.
many excellent Persons who are resident among
you.

16.

I M P R O V E M E N T.

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HOUGH so much of this Section be a mere Catalogue of Names,

it is not without its moral and religious Instruction. We see in it the good Heart of the Apostle ; how full he was of the Sentiments of Christian Friendship; how folicitous he was to express his Esteem and Loye, for his Brethren in the Lord. And God hath made him, the Means of transmitting to Pofterity, the Memorials of many excellent Persons, of whom we no where else read, or hear, any Thing : Of whom all that we know, is, that they were such, as deserved the particular Affection of St. Paul, and were Professors of the Gospel at Rome, in the Reign of a very worthless, and wicked Prince, under whom it highly probable, that some of them suffered Martyrdom for Christ.

His large Heart opened to embrace them all, whether by Birth Jews or Gentiles; and as they shared in his Salutations, we cannot doubt, but they shared in his Prayers too. We find some of these pious, and much esteemed Friends of the Apostle, were Women, of whom he speaks with Ver. 1, 2. great Regard, as of Persons, whom Divine Grace had made

very

useful in the Church; who had been Helpers of many, and particularly of him; who had laboured, yea, had laboured much, in the Lord. Let not that Sex Ver. 12. therefore think, that it is cut off from the Service of Christ, because the Ministry is appropriated to Men. Eminently useful have many of them been. The most valuable Ministers have often been affisted by them, in the Success of their Work, while their pious Care, under the Restraint of the strictest Modesty and Decorum, has happily and effectually influenced Children, Servants, and young Friends; yea, has been the Means of sowing the Seeds of Religion in tender Minds, before they have been capable of coming under ministerial Care.

Generous was the Zeal, which Aquila and Priscilla Thewed in expo- Ver. 3. sing even their own Lives, in the Defence of this holy Apostle. Great Obligations did they, thereby, lay upon all the Churches of the Gentiles, and on us, who, at this Distance of Time, receive so many Blessings from the longer Continuance of St. Paul's Life, which they were ready fo Ver. 4. heroically to defend at the Hazard of their own).

Truly valuable were these mutal Friendships, of which, Zeal for Christ was the common Bond; lasting, and indeed everlasting. These excellent Persons are doubtless the Companions of Paul in Glory now, and will

many

B b 2

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