Page images
PDF
EPUB

To encourage them, he tells them, that the , and all the troubles of the church of God God of peace small bruise Satan under their will soon be at an end, and the time of the feet shortly.

trouble will seem but very short and mcVII. It is good for the ministers of mentary, when eternity thall dawn; be Christ to be proposing grounds of encou- mall tread Satan under your feet shortly : ragement for the beariening of people to Then shall the church get the upperhaod, set about duties wherein they are like 10 ard her feet upon the neck of all her admeet with much difficulty on all hands, as versaries, and of Sarap their chieftain. here in oppofing, discovering, and excommunicating of heretics and schismatics; and

From his usual farewell-wish OBSERVE, therefore he eccourage:h them with this, 1. Ministers should be praying and wishThe God of peace shall bruise Satan, &c. ing for the best things unto their people,

VIII. Scducers, and such as cause di and that not in a superficial complementing visions and schilms in the church of Christ, way, but in reality and cruth : thus Paul however they may imagine they are doing wisheth unto them, the grace of our Lord God good service, as when they are killing | Jesus Christ; and so doth he in the end of his servants, John xvi. 1. yet really they his epistles. are prompted by Satan, inftigated and stir- II. This grace of God is a most comed up by him, and are carrying on his de- prehensive thing, taking in the favour and sign and purpose, which still was to trou- good-will of God, with all the noble effects ble and moleft the poor church of Christ; thereof fpiritual and temporal : The grace therefore he tells them, that Satan's head, of our Lord Jesus Christ. the ringleader of such, shall be bruised. IlI. This favour and good-will of a re

IX. However wicked men and seducers conciled God, and all the graces of his may be (as in all ages they have been) mo-, Spirit which flow therefrom, are all purlesting, marring the beauty, and interrupt-chased by the merits of precious Jesus; ing the peace and tranquillity of his church, and so it is the grace of our Lord Jejus and keeping it in continual hot-water; yet Chrift. they shall not prevail; the church fhall be IV. Our

prayers and wishes ought to be vi&torious, and they and all their plots con-heariy, flowing from strong and real affec. founded at length: God shall bruise Satan tion, and so grounded, as we may with conunder your feet.

fidence clofe with an Amen, as pointing out X. All the victories that the church our strong desire, and assurance to be heard. gertech over her enemies is wrought by him who lovech and commendeth peace, VERSES 21. 22. 23. 24. Timotheus my as the only author thereof: and whenever

work-fellow, and Lucius, and 7afon, and the church is rent and divided by the cun- Sofipater, my kinsmen, salute you. ing craftiness of seducing spirits, the God I Tertius, who wrote ihis epistle, salute of the church, who is the author of

peace,

you in the Lord. should be looked to, and earnestly called Gaius mine holt, and of the whole church, upon to still the roaring waves of trouble

saluteth you. Erajlus the chamberlain and divisions : The God of peace shall bruise of the city faluteth you, and Quartus a Satan under your feet fortly.

brother. XI. However the children of God, The grace of cur Lord Jesus Chrifl be with when wrestling against trouble, and the

jou all. Amen. inoleftation caused by adversaries, think the time they remain in that condition In this fourth part of the chapter there lung, yet in end it will prove but fkort,

who

who read their fálutations unto the church account much of them ; for Paul ftiiech at Roine; as, 1. Timothy, of whom we Timothy, tho' but a young man, his workhear often, and whom he stileth his work. fellow. fellow, tho' but a young man, Acts xvi. 1. 2. III. Christianity is a notable discerning 1 Tim. iv, 12. 2. Lucius, who is either Luke thing, and a good ornament, puting a his constant companion, Col.iv. 14. 2 Tim. lustre upon the most ordinary of our aciv. 11. Phil. ii. 4. or that Lucius of Cyrene tions; and it is a lively thing, sending out mentioned, Acts xiii. 1. 3. Jafın, of whoin (parks on all occasions: Thus Tertius, who we read, Aets xvii. 5. 4. Sapater, of whom was Paul's amanuensis or scribe, saluteth we.. ead, Acts xx. 4. and these last three them in the Lord. he stileth his kinsmen; they were with him • IV. Grace will not suffer Christians to at this time, Adts xx. 4. Japon in Hebrew turn inhumane, brutilh, and unsensible being Secundus in Latin. 5. Tertius, of kindness, and any good done them by who was Paul's secretary here, and thro' any, bu: will prompt ihem so much the his allowance ferteth to his own name, more to testify their thankfulness upon all and faluteth them in the Lord, in a chri- occasions; therefore when he speaks of stian manner. 6. Gaius, either he of Der Gaius, he addeth, mine bolt. be, Acts xx. 4. or he of Macedonia, Acts V. Kindness shown unto the children of' xix. 29. or rather he of Corinth whom God in a day of straits, is that which will! Paul baptized, 1 Cor. i. 14. This Gaius renown a man, and make him famous to is called Paul's holt, and not only so, but generations, and procure a high room in of the whole church; a man he was who the estimation and affections of all the truly was courteous and beneficial unto Paul and godly: Gaius is renowned for this, that all the rest of the faithful 'there. 7. E he was an host unto a whole church, when rastus the chamberlain of the city ; the they could

they could get small outward encouragetreasurer, or some such officer, of whom ment. we read, 2 Tim. iv. 20. Acts xix. 22. VI. Tho' it be not many noble whom 8. Quartus a brotber in grace. Then he God chooseth, 1 Cor.i. 26. yet God hath addeth again his ordinary farewell-wish; as noi Utterly caft off that kind of men, but if he were loth to end with thein, he can send his grace into the heart even of takes his goodnight often.

a great one; and the great and perplexing

affairs of the earth, will not hold out grace OBSERVATIONS.

when God fends it: Here Erastus, the I. Grace is a warming thing where ever treasurer of a great city, is taken by the it is, warming the hearts of believers to- heart by grace, and made an honeit Chriwards others, tho' they never saw other fian, sending his falutations to the church; in the face: Here is a number of good Erastus the chamberlain of the city sulutet). Christians whole hearts are warmed with you. 'love toward the church of Rome, and VII. Grace is no enemy to civil places they take hold of this opportunity to make of trust or honour, but rather a notable their acquaintance, by sending their falu- mean to help such in those places to a tations to them.

faithful and conscientious discharge of II. Grace will make the eminentest ser- their duty: Erastus is a good Christian, vant of Christ stoop low, and look kindly and still a chamberlain of the city. upon any that are helping forward the VIII. Grace in a man, though he had work of Christ, tho' in a far inferior de no more to commend him, will be a sufgree to them, and think and speak honou. ficient passport, and enough to endear him rably of them, and desire that others may unto the affections of the godly, and win

you all.

their estimation and love: There is no day of temptation, and to keep them conmore said of Quartus, but that he was a stant and stedfast in the truth of the gobrot ber.

fpel, according to the promises thereof; IX. The more that Chriftians be ex and which he amplifierh, 1. by the instru. presling-their christian affection to one an. mental cause, my gospel; the gospei which other, bowels will move more, and hearts I preach as a fervant of Christ. 2. From will warm more, and kindness will kyth the principal cause, or the chief matter of more, and the mutual expressions of love it, and the preaching of Jesus Christ; that will be reiterated again and agaio: Paul is either taken actively for Chrilt's preachwhen he is taking his leave of these Roing and proclaiming the glad tidings, of mans, and once beginning to express the the gospel; or positively, for that preach. love of his heart, he cannot forbear to ing which hath Christ for its only theme renew the expressions thereof again and and text. 3. From the manner of publithagain. In the end of the last chapter he ing it : (1.) It was once a mystery, and a bade the God of peace be with them, and mystery kept secret fince the world began; in this chapter, verse 20. he hath his a mystery but darkly revealed in the Old usual farewell, and here again he hath it, Testament times. (2.) But now it is reThe grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with vealed according to the revelation of this

mystery, and now it is made manifest, and X. Grace is a most impartial lover of made known. 4. The means by which grace where it is, and will cast none of it is made known, by the scriptures of the luch who have any true grace, be it less prophets; by the explaining and unfolding or more, out of its hearty wilhes or pray of the scriptures of the prophets, where ers; the desires of a truly gracious soul this mystery lay hid. 5. The warrant by will be extended to all the members of which it is published, according to the comChrist's body : The grace of cur Lord Jen mandment of the everlasting God; accordfus Christ be with you

all.

ing to his word and warrant who is the

unchangeable Jehovah. 6. The extent of VERSES 25. 26. 27. Now to him that is this publication, to all nations, without ex

of power to stablife you according to my ception. And, 7. The end, for the obes gospel

, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, dience of faith; to bring people up to a (according to the revelation of the myl willingness to believe, and io rest upon tery, which was kept secret since the Christ

. Then there is the way of his of.

fering up of praise : 1. He says, To bim But now is made manifest, and by the ferip be glory; the sum of all that we can say:

tures of the prophets, accordirg to the 2. Through Jesus Christ; without whom commandment of the everlasting God, made this offer will not be accepted: 3. For known to all nations for the obedience of ever ; here and hereafter : And, 4. Amen; faith.)

I heartily wish it may be fo, and I am conTo God only wise, be glory through Jesus fident it will be fo. Christ for ever. Amen.

OBSERVATIONS. TN this last part of the chapter, and close I. Believers having once closed with

of the epistle, there is a noble doxolo- Christ, must resolve upon forms and fore gy or song of praise unto God, whom he blasts; and by reason of Satan's malice, taketh up under a twofold notion; ist, as and the cruelty of such as are set on work powerful, verse 25. 2dly, as wife, verse by him, they are daily in hazard of being 27. As powerful, to establish them in the blown over, and have therefore reason to

be

world began.

IN

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

be upon their guard daily: they have need VI. The gospel treateth of nothing to be established.

but of noble Jesus, the Redeemer of saints, II. Tho' God has bestowed much grace lhewing what he has done for finners, and apon his children, whereby they may be what way finners fhall win near him, and keeped from the snares and temptations of be made one with him bere, and enjoy him Satan, yet so strong is corruption even in hereafter, as their portion for ever; he is the belt, that if God send not fresh snp- the main text of it all: And whatever deply, and new iofluences to water grace, clareth not Christ, and doth not poiut hin and make it lively, vigorous, and strong, forth, in his usefulness, worth and excelthey will not be able to stand out againit lency, and driveth not at the setting forth the blait: it is only God's strength and of noble Jesus, cannot be accunted a power that can support a tottering foul, preaching of the gospel; it is the preaching and nothing in themselves; it is God who of Christ Jesus: the gospel holds him forth is of power to establish them : To him who as a Jesus, to fave his people from their is of power to estabish you.

fins, and a Christ, as anointed to be Priest, III. The stedfaltness of believers in a Prophet and King. iime of sharp trial and temptation, is much VII. This gospel and news of salvation, to be wished and wrestled for; and God thro' a crucified Christ, is an excellent, din . is to be much importuned for grace and vine, precious and mysterious thing; the power, both by ministers and others, when worth of it is not notour to every one, howsuch as cause divisions and offences are bro- ever carnal wretches think little thing of it;; kep loose: This doxology of his has a pray- hence it is called a mystery.'. See Eph. vi.. er ia the bofom of it; a prayer in it to 19. Col. iv. 3. God for their establishment: To bim who VIII. 'Tho', shortly after the fall, God? is of power to establish you..

was pleased to make known his purpose of IV. As the truth of the gospel is that grace to Adam, and made a promile of a which should be ftuck to op all hazards in a Saviour, and still forward, the Lord made day of trial; so in the gospel there will the light and knowledge of this appear be precious promises found of grace, for more and more; yet all that while, until strength and stability, constancy and per. Christ the promised Messiah came, this bu--severance, which ought to be well impro. finess was kept up under vails, manifested ven, studied, and laid hold on by faith, but darkly in promises, prophesies, types, when templations are flying abroad: Sta- and figures, and the like; and so in con- . blish you according to my gospel.

parison of the manifestation which was Ve. As it is a great piece of honour put made afterward, it might truly be said 10 upon one, to be employed in carrying the be kept secret since the world began. glad news of salvation thro' a Mediator; IX. This glorious mystery that was long so should all who are employed therein ac vailed and kept close, was at length clearly, count themselves honoured in being put fully, and perfpicuously unfolded and made into that office: and as the tidings of the plain and easy: When Christ came, and the gospel are sweet and most desirable in them. summer day of the gospel began to dawa, selves, so should the heart of the carrier this glorious fun began to shine in bright. . of these news close sweetly with them, and nels, without clouds: it is now revealed, own that gospel as his own upon all ha made manifest, and known. See Eph. i. 9. zards : The apostle is not ashamed of the X. Tho' it see ned good in the eyes of gospel, but is warmed at the thoughts of the only wise God, to reserve the clear and it, and he calleth it his gospel ; according perspicuous manifesta:ion of this gospelto my gospel.

mystery unto our cines; yet the ages be

forc:

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

fore had the same gospel among their the door is cast open unto all; Made hands, the same way of salvation and pot known to all nations. another; it was the same day-light, tho' XV. The main and qoly thing which then but clearing before the sun-rise; for the preaching and unfolding of the exce!. the substance of this doctrine was in the lent mysteries of the gospel driveth at, is doctrine of the prophets; and by the scrip- the gaining of tbe confent of finners, and tures of the prophets, &c.

their hearty welcoming of the offered MeXI. It is a course evidently tending un diator therein, and their willing subjective to the ruin and destruction of the golpel, unto the yoke of Chrift; the main proof to cast by the Old Testament scriptures, as whereof is, hearty closing with and emwholly useless now unto us, seeing the truth bracing of precious Jesus for life and falof the gospel is confirmed by the doctrine vation; For the obedience of faith. of the prophets, and the doctrine of the XVI. A gracious loul is so filled with gospel is but a clear comment on the pro- the sense of God's transcendent excellency phets: It is made known by the scriptures and worth, that it cannot but be often of the prophets,

taken up in founding forth his praise, and XII. This explanation and clear unfold. extolling him highly : Ofrentiines do we ing of this excellent mystery, was the con find the apostle expresing his sense of the

trivance and work of the great God of wonderful greatness and goodness of God; "heaven and earth, and it was done by war- and here in end he says, To God only wist

rant and command of him, and therefore be glory. we must give ear thereunto, as the truth XVII, God is ihe fountain of all wisdom, of God: And Jesus Christ, the author of and in him it is, as in its centre; and all this gospel, is the unchangeable Jehovah;, the wisdom of the world (which is allenarfor be it was that gave commandment 10 | 1y from him, who is the author of every his apostles to preach the gospel to all na- good gift) is noihing comparable to his wif. tions: This manifestation is said to be done dom, who is wisdom itself; he is the enly according to the commandment of the ever wise God, whatever finifter thoughts we dafting God.

have oftentimes of his dispensations towards XIII. God is eternal in his being; the his church and us. Ancient of days, being without beginning XVIII. Right apprehensions of the and ending, and so is the unchangeable Je- transcendent and imcomparably excellent hovah, that alrereth not, for all the changes attributes of God, especially of his wisdom, and alterations that are in his dispensations; in contriving and ordering all things to tho' he measured out one way to his old wisely, and of his power to accomplay, his people, and keeped his gospel in the dark wise and noble designs, and to bring his to thein, and took another course with us, purposes to pass maugre all the oppclition revealing the same more clearly; yet this of devils and men, will prompt up a graciwas according to the command of the ever ous foul to break out in wondering and exlafting God.

Lolling of this matchless Jehovah: To him XIV. As gospel light is now broken that is of power, (says he) and to God only up more clearly than under the law, so wise, be glory. this light is diffused far and wide, and the XIX. All that we can do, for the exJight thereof is not hemed in within the rolling of this glorious God, is but to with limits and borders of one kingdom, but is from our heart, that all things may be fo fent abroad to all nations, kindreds and disposed of in a world, as i hat he may languages without exception : No nation' thereby be acknowledged to be the only sunuk is legally debarred and excluded, but, preme and unspeakably glorious God, and

that

« PreviousContinue »