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"Thou the Way art, Thou the Prize 

That beyond the journey lies ; 

Thou the Truth art, Thou the Guide, 

Gone before, yet at our side ; 

Everlasting life below 

It is truly Thee to know: 
Such to Thy saints wast Thou of yore ; 
Unchangeable Thou art, and shalt be evermore." 



THE plan and purpose of the following 
pages will be soon evident to the reader. 
The whole aim is towards edification. What 
is said in the way of historical introduction, 
what is done in the course of the chapters in 
the way of rendering and grammatical explana- 
tion, all has this aim in view. The Epistle 
is handled throughout with the firm belief that 
it is an Oracle of God, while that Oracle is 
conveyed through the mind and heart of one 
of the greatest of the sons of men ; and the 
Expositor's aim accordingly is always, and 
above all things, to expound. To put it other- 
wise, his highest ambition is to call attention 
to the sacred text, and let it speak. 

May the Lord of the Apostle, of the 
Philippians, of ourselves, only grant that His 


mercy may rest upon this poor contribution 
to the exegesis of His inexhaustible Word. 
May it be permitted to throw a quiet light 
upon some of the treasures of this apostolic 
casket, to the help, in any measures, of the 
disciples of our day. Then will the Expositor 
indeed give thanks to the Master at whose 
feet he lays his work. 

Ridley Hall, Cambridge. 








(PHIL, 1, I-II.) 



(PHIL. i. 12-20.^ 



(PHIL. i. 21-30.) 





THE LORD ........ 87 

(PHIL. ii. I-II.) 


THE lord's power IN THE DISCIPLE'S LIFE . . lOg 

(PHIL. 11 12-lJS.) 


(PHIL. ii. 19-30.) 



"that I MAY KNOW HIM " ..... 153 
(PHIL, iii I-II.) 


(PHIL. iii. 12-16.) 




(PHIL. iii. 17-21.) 



(PHIL, iv 1-9.) 



(PHIL iv. 10-23.) 

" Holy Scripture is the Letter of God Almighty to His creatures ; 
learn God's heart in God's Words." 

Gregory the Great, Epist., iv. 31. 


O Gracious God and most mercifull Father, which hast vouchsafed 
us the rich and precious iewell of thy holy worde, assist us with 
thy Spirit, that it may be written in our hearts to our euerlasting 
comfort, to reforme us, to renew us according to thine owne image, 
to build us up, and edifie us into the perfect building of thy Christ, 
sanctifying and increasing in us all heauenly vertues. Graunt this 
O heauenly Father, for lesus Christes sake. Amen. 

From the Geneva Bible, 1557. 



THE Epistle of St Paul to the Philippians 
is, to careful and loving Bible-students, 
one of the fairest and dearest regions of the 
Book of God. It is true that the Christian 
who genuinely believes that "every Scripture 
is God-inspired " (2 Tim. iii, 16), and who 
realizes that the "Divine Library" is never- 
theless, and from a higher point of view. One 
Book all through, will be always on the guard 
against a mistaken favouritism in his Scripture 
studies. He will strive to make himself in 
some sense familiar with the whole Book, as 
a whole, and to recognize in all its parts the 
true Author's hand and purpose. Yet it is 
inevitable that in this supreme Book, as in 
other books, though all parts are " co-operant 
to an end," all parts are not equally important 



for the deepest needs of the reader. The 
reader therefore will have to be more familiar 
with some parts than with others. Acquaint- 
ance with the whole will indeed deepen insight 
into the part. But it will not supersede our 
study, loving and special, of the part which, 
in a degree and manner peculiar to itself, " is 
able to make us wise unto salvation, through 
faith which is in Christ Jesus." 

The present simple Studies in the Philippian 
Epistle will accordingly be pursued with the 
desire to remember as we go the whole scrip- 
tural revelation of God and salvation. But 
we shall also approach the Epistle as a pecu- 
liarly precious Scripture in itself, containing in 
its few short pages a rare fulness of messages 
and teachings, meeting the inmost wants of 
the heart and the life. 

Amongst the Epistles of St Paul Philippians 
shines out with singular light and beauty. In 
such a comparison we scarcely need consider 
the great Epistles to Rome and Corinth ; their 
large scale and wide variety of topics set them 
apart. Nor need we consider Hebrews, with 
its difficult problem of authorship. Looking 


at the other Epistles, each with its own divine 
and also deeply human characteristics, we find 
Philippians more peaceful than Galatians, more 
personal and affectionate than Ephesians, less 
anxiously controversial than Colossians, more 
deliberate and symmetrical than Thessalonians, 
and of course larger in its applications than 
the personal messages to Timothy, Titus, and 
Philemon. Meanwhile it is as comprehensive 
almost as it is brief. It presents more than 
one important passage of doctrine, some of 
these passages being revelations of the first 
order. It is full of pregnant ^irec^epts for 
Christian character and conduct, whether seen 
in the individual or in the community. It 
discloses in a way ot the utmost interest and 
significance the circumstances and experiences 
of the writer, and also, in a measure, of the 
readers. And the whole is suffused with a 
singularly sweet light of "joy and peace in 
believing." It is written by one who was, as 
he wrote, at once resting and moving in the 
peace of God which passes understanding, and 
in the love of Christ which passes knowledge ; 
and what is felt in his soul comes out inevitably 


on his page. The letter, written in a prison, 
and addressed to a mission-church always 
exposed to insult and assault, yet seems in 
a wonderful way to call us " apart, to rest 
awhile." "A glory gilds the sacred page," the 
glory of the presence of the Lord in all His 
majesty of Godhead and nearness of Manhood ; 
in His finished work, and living power, and 
wonderful coming again. A peculiar sort ot 
joy, which is impossible without at least the 
experience, if not the presence, of sorrow, 
rests and shines over the whole. It is the 
joy of the heart which has found at length 
" the secret of the Lord," His hiding-place 
from the tyranny of circumstances and time ; 
the way how always to be of good cheer, 
naturally yet also supernaturally, not by a 
hard-won indifference to life, but by living, 
amidst everything external, " hidden with 
Christ in God." 

Let us approach the beloved pages once 
again. They can never wear out ; there will 
always prove to be " more to follow." Perhaps 
we have loved and pondered them for long 
years ourselves. Perhaps we have heard them 


expounded by voices silent now, " in days that 
never come again," in chambers or in churches 
which we seem still to see, but which in fact 
have passed from us very far away. The 
heart is full and the eyes are wet as we look 
back. But the melancholy of the past has 
no permanent place in Bible-study. The 
Book is divine, immortal, and ever young. 
He who was in it tor our fathers is in it for 
us. And since He is in it, as He is in no 
other literature in the world, (because no other 
literature is His Word Written,) therefore it 
springs up to us ever new ; it is always con- 
temporary with every generation of believers. 
Even so, come, Lord Jesus, and let us meet 
Thee in Thy Scripture now again. 

A very simple " Introduction " will suffice 
for our present purposes. These chapters 
make no pretension to be, in the technical 
sense, critical. I say next to nothing, for 
example, about the Authenticity and Genuine- 
ness of the Epistle. Let me only remind 
the reader that from the early dawn of the 
literature of the Church we have unmistakable 


testimonies to its existence as an apostolic 
Scripture. Ignatius and Polycarp, quite early 
in the second century, shew us that they have 
read it. A little later, in the " Epistle of the 
Churches of Lyons and Vienne " (a.d. 177),^ 
it is quoted. Clement of Alexandria, and 
Irenseus, and Tertullian, all in the second 
century, use it as "the sword of the Spirit" 
to assert truth and confute error. So it floats 
down into the broad stream of the patristic 
literature at large. Not till the rise of an 
ultra-sceptical criticism in quite modern times 
was Philippians ever seriously questioned as 
the work, in its integrity, of St Paul. And 
Baur's objections, all due to an a priori theory, 
not to an impartial literary enquiry, have been 
repudiated even by critics even less orthodox 
than himself: Renan, for example. It is quite 
as certain, in a literary sense, that in Philippians 
we have the very words and heart of St Paul 
as that we have Addison in the papers signed 
C. in the Spectator, or Erasmus in the 
correspondence with Colet. 

And what a thought of strength and joy 

1 Preserved by Eusebius, Hist. EccL, ii. 


this is to the believer of our latter day! 
Littera scripta manet. How impressive is 
the permanence of every written reflexion of 
the mind, and of the life ! Who has not felt 
it, even in the reading of a private letter to 
himself, written years and years ago ? We 
have St Paul speaking to us in this indelible 
page as really as if we were seated with him 
in " his own hired house," and were listenins' 
as he dictates to the friend beside him. And 
as we recollect this, we reflect that all he is 
saying, all he has thus left written, is just 
so much testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ, 
contemporary, direct, inspired. When the 
words we are about to read were written, 
scarcely thirty years had passed away since 
the Son of Man died outside the gate of 
Jerusalem, and rose again. Perhaps my reader 
cannot look back over thirty years, perhaps 
not over twenty, with conscious memory. But 
I can ; and beyond the thirty I can see a 
long vista of the still earlier past. Thirty 
years ago ^ ; — at that time the great conflict 
between Austria and Prussia was preparing, 

' Written early in i{ 


the issue of which was so long a step towards 
the unification of Germany. I was then a 
master in a public school. The discussions 
of the impending war in our common-room, 
and the men who joined in them, are very 
present still to my mind ; certainly not the 
faintest haze of mythical change or dispro- 
portion has had time to gather over those 
scenes in the interval. With some differences, 
no doubt, the world of this day is yet essen- 
tially the same as the world of that day ; I 
certainly still, in my whole personal conscious- 
ness, am the man of that day, only somewhat 
developed in experience. Well, what the date 
ot the battle of Sadowa (Koniggratz) is to 
me, such was the date of the Crucifixion to 
St Paul, when he wrote from Rome to his 
dear converts at Philippi. And I venture to 
say that, while St Paul's tone about the Lord 
of Calvary is of course immeasurably different 
in the highest respects from what mine might 
be had I to speak of the makers of European 
history of 1866, it is in one respect just the 
same. It is as completely free from the tone 
of legend unreality, uncertainty. With the 


same entire consciousness of matter of fact 
with which I might write of the statesmen or 
generals of my early manhood, he writes of 
One who, in his early manhood, overcame 
death by death, and " shewed Himself 
alive after His passion by many infallible 

Only, there is this wonderful difference ; that 
for St Paul the Jesus Christ of recent history 
is absolutely One with the Jesus Christ of 
his present spiritual experience. The Man of 
the Cross is also, for him, the Lord who is 
exalted to the throne ot heaven, and is also 
so related to the writer that Paul is "in Christ 
Jesus," with a proximity and union which 
enters into everything. "In Him" are in- 
cluded the very actions of the disciple's mind 
and the experiences of his heart. He is the 
Lord who lives in the inmost being of His 
servant, and who yet is also expected to 
return from the heavens, to transfigure the 
servant's very body into glory. The Christ of 
history, the Christ of the soul — it was " this 
same Jesus" then; it is "this same Jesus" 


" Can length of years on God Himself exact, 
Or make that fiction which was once a fact? 
Fix'd in the rolling flood of endless years 
The pillar of the eternal plan appears ; 
The raging storm and dashing wave defies, 
Built by that Architect who built the skies." ^ 

For me and for my reader may the two 
aspects of "this same Jesus," the historical 
and the spiritual, ever combine in one mighty 
harmony of certainty ; faith's resting-place to 
the end, " the rock of our heart, and our 
portion for ever " ; at once our peace and our 
power, in life and in death, and through the 
eternal day also, in which we shall need Him 
still in the experiences of heaven. 

What shall we say of the place to which 
the Epistle was sent, and of that from which it 
was written ; and of the writer, the bearer, the 
readers ; and of the occasion and the time ? 

Philippi now, so travellers tell us, is a scene 
of beautiful and silent ruin. Near the head 
of the fair Archipelago, amidst scenery of 
exquisite beauty, near the range of Pangaeus, 
now Pirnari, on the banks of the quiet Gangas, 

^ Cowper, Conversation. 


lie the relics of the once busy city, visited 
only by the herdsman and the explorer. By 
it or through it ran a great road from West 
to East, called by the Romans the Egnatian 
Way. The double battle of Philippi, B.C. 42, 
when the Oligarchy fell finally before the rising 
Empire, made the plain famous. Augustus 
planted a colonia in the town. It thus became 
a miniature Rome, as every " colony " was. It 
had its pair of petty consuls {duumviri ; the 
(TTpaTrjyoL of Acts xvi. 20) and their lictors 
(A.V. " Serjeants," pafiSovxot). And it faith- 
fully reproduced Roman pride in the spirit of 
its military settlers. It had its Jewish element, 
as almost every place then had ; but the Jews 
must have been few and despised ; their place 
of worship was but a " prayer-house" {irpocrevxv)' 
outside the walls, on the river's bank (Acts 
xvi. 13). We need not recount in detail the 
history of the first evangelization (a.d. 52) of 
the difficult place. We recollect sufficiently 
the address to the pious Jewesses and prose- 
lyte-women in the "prayer-house"; the con- 
version and baptism of Lydia ; the rescue of 
the poor girl possessed with the "spirit of 


Pytho " ; the tumult, and the trial before the 
duumvirs ; the scourge, the inner prison, 
the hymn at midnight, the earthquake, and 
the salvation of the jailor's life and soul ; the 
message sent through the lictors in the morn- 
ing, then the respectful approach of the 
magistrates themselves, and the retirement of 
the Missionaries "to another city," along the 
Egnatian road. It is enough now to remember, 
what the very existence of the Epistle reveals 
to us, the growth and life of the little mission- 
church planted amidst such storms, and in a 
climate, so to speak, full of possible tempests 
at any hour. In the Epistle, we arrive at a 
date some nine years later than the first visit 
of St Paul. Twice during that period, and 
perhaps only twice, we find him at Philipp' 
again; late in a.d. 57 (Acts xx. i) and early 
(it was the sweet spring, the Passover time) 
in A.D. 58 ; this last may have been a visit 
arranged on purpose (in Lightfoot's words : 
Philippians, p. 60) " that he might keep the 
Paschal feast with his beloved converts." No 
doubt, besides these personal visits, Philippi 
was kept in contact with its Missionary 


between a.d. 52 and a.d. 61 by messages and 
by the occasional visits ot the Apostle's faithful 
helpers. But on the whole the Church would 
seem in a very large degree to have been left 
to its own charge. And what do we find as 
the issue when we come to the Epistle ? A 
community large enough to need a sta^ of 
Christian ministers, " bishops and deacons," 
" overseers and working-helpers " {iiTLo-KOTTOL 
Kol SLaKopoi) ; full of love and good works ; 
affectionately mindful of St Paul in the way of 
practical assistance ; and apparently shewing, 
as their almost only visible defect or danger, a 
tendency to separate somewhat into sections 
or cliques — a trouble which in itself indicates a 
considerable society. If we may (as we may, 
looking at the ordinary facts of human nature) 
at all estimate the calibre of Philippian Chris- 
tianity by the tone in which the Apostle ad- 
dresses the Philippians, we gather that on the 
whole it was a high tone, at once decided and 
tender, affectionate and mature. The converts 
were capable of responding to a deep doctrinal 
teaching, and also to the simplest appeals of 
love. Such was the triumph of the mysterious 


Gospel over place, and circumstance, and 
character ; the lily flowered at its fairest among 
the thorns ; grace shone and triumphed in the 
immediate presence of its " adversaries." 

But the evil we indicated just above was 
present in the otherwise happy scene. When 
Epaphroditus crossed the mountains and the 
sea to carry a generous gift of money to 
St Paul, risking his life (ii. 27) somehow by 
dangerous sickness in the effort, he had to 
carry also news of differences and heart-burn- 
ings, which could not but cloud the Apostle's 
loving joy. The envoy found it needful to 
speak also of the emissaries ot error who at 
Philippi, as everywhere, were troubling the 
faith and hope of the believers ; " turning the 
grace of God into lasciviousness " ; professing 
a lofty spirituality, and worshipping their appe- 
tites all the while. And side by side with 
them, apparently, might be found Pharisaic 
disputants of an older type (iii. 3, 18, etc.). 

Such was the report with which Epaphroditus 
found his way from Macedonia to Rome. 
Where, in Rome, did he find St Paul, and 
at what stage of his Roman residence ? Our 


answer must begin with affirming the convic- 
tion that it was to Rome, not elsewhere, that 
Epaphroditus went. The reader is aware that 
the Epistle itself names no place of origin ; it 
only alludes to a scene of imprisonment. And 
this does not of itself decide the locality ; for 
at Csesarea Stratonis, in Palestine, as well as 
at Rome, St Paul spent two years in captivity 
(Acts xxiv. 27). Some modern critics have 
favoured the date from Csesarea accordingly. 
They have noticed e.g. the verbal coincidence 
between Herod's pr^storium (A.V. "judgment- 
hall ") of Acts xxiii. 35, and the pratorimn 
(A.V. "palace") of Phil. i. 13. But Light- 
foot^ seems to me right in his decisive rejection 
of this theory and unshaken adherence to the 
date from Rome. He remarks that the oldest 
Church tradition is all for Rome ; that the 
Epistle itself evidently refers to its place of 
origin as to a place of first-rate importance and 
extent, in which any advance of the Gospel 
was a memorable and pregnant event ; and 
that the allusion to " Csesar's household " 

* Philippians (ed. i.), p. 30, note. 



(though it is not so quite decisive as it might 
at first sight appear to be) " cannot without 
much straining of language and facts be made 
to apply to Csesarea." 

If now the Epistle was written from Rome, 
during the " two whole years " of Acts xxviii. 30, 
at what point in that period may we think 
that the writing fell ? Here again is a prob- 
lem over which much thought and labour 
has been spent. A majority of opinions no 
doubt is in favour of a date towards the 
end ot the imprisonment, so that Philippians 
would follow after Colossians and Ephesians. 
It is held that (i) the tone of the Epistle 
betokens the approach of a closing crisis for 
St Paul ; and that (2) it seems to indicate an 
already developed Christian mission work at 
Rome, as if St Paul had worked there some 
while ; and that (3) Epaphroditus' visit cannot 
be adjusted with any probability if we do not 
allow a good time for previous communications 
between Rome and Philippi. But here again 
Lightfoot's view commends itself to my mind 
decisively. He holds that Philippians was 
the £rst of the " Epistles of the Captivity," 


and was written perhaps within the first few 
months of the " two whole years." Two of 
his reasons seem adequate of themselves to 
make this likely. The first is, that St Paul's 
allusion to the profound impression made on the 
Roman Christians by his " bonds in Christ " 
(i. 13, 14) goes well with the hypothesis of his 
recent arrival as a prisoner for Christ's sake, 
but not with that of his having been long 
present on the scene. The other is that the 
great doctrinal passage (iii. 4-9), where he 
repudiates " his own righteousness " and com- 
mits himself to " the righteousness which is of 
God by faith," is evidently akin to the group 
of Epistles to which Romans belongs ; and 
that it seems more likely that the divine 
Inspirer, in His order of revelation, led His 
servant so to write while the occasion for 
the writing of Romans was still comparatively 
recent, than long after, when the different 
(though kindred) sides of saving truth dealt 
with in Ephesians and Colossians had become 
prominent in his teaching. With reason, I 
think, Lightfoot " cannot attach any weight " 
to the argument from Epaphroditus' visit, 


which may well have been planned at Philippi 
before St Paul actually reached Rome, and 
planned thus early on purpose, so as to reach 
him promptly there with the collected gifts 
of love. Nor are the allusions to a prob- 
able impending crisis in the trial before the 
Emperor important for the date ; for quite 
early in the imprisonment it may well have 
seemed likely that the case would be soon 
decided. As for the comparatively advanced 
state of Roman Christianity, the Epistle to the 
Romans is evidence enough that a vigorous 
and extensive mission-church, however it was 
founded, existed at Rome some years before 
St Paul arrived. 

I will venture then to take it for granted 
that it was some time in a.d. 6i, or at latest 
early in a.d. 62, that Epaphroditus came, with 
his collection and his reports, and struggled 
through his illness, and then prepared to return 
to Macedonia, carrying this precious Letter 
with him. We seem to see the scene as he 
converses day by day with St Paul, and as at 
length he takes his leave, in charge of this 
Message of " faith and love." We see a large 

"the word ENDURETH 2] 

chamber in one of those huge piles of building, 
storey over storey, of which imperial Rome 
was full. The window looks perhaps north- 
westward, up the stream of the Tiber, towards 
the distant hills of which Soracte is the most 
prominent. The sentinel, perhaps himself a 
convert to the Lord, sits motionless at a 
little distance, chained to the Apostle. The 
saints pray, converse, and embrace ; and then 
Epaphroditus descends to set out for Ostia, 
or for Puteoli, on his way home to Philippi. 

"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but 
the Word of the Lord endureth for ever." 
The graves of the blessed ones who worked 
for the heavenly Master then are more than 
eighteen centuries old now. But the Letter 
to Philippi is to-day as new as ever. It is 
addressed to us, that we too may " believe, 
unto life everlasting," on " that same Jesus." 

"Man, like the grass ol morning, 
Droops ere the evening hour; 
His goodliness and beauty 
Fade as a fading flower; 
But who may shake the pillars 
Of God's unchanging Word ? 
Amen, Himself hath spoken ; 
Amen, — thus saith the Lord. 

Bishop E. H. Bickersteth, 



" I LEARNED without bookc almost all Paules Epistles, yea and I 
weene all the Canonicall Epistles, save only the Apocalyps. Of 
which study, although in time a great part did depart from me, yet 
the sweete smell thereof I trust I shall cary with me into heaven." 

Bishop Ridley, 1555. 


Philippians i. i-ii 

LET US begin our verbal study ot the 
Letter which Epaphroditus carried to 
Philippi. We attempt first a translation of 
its first main section, interspersed with an ex- 
planatory paraphrase. This will be followed 
by a brief meditation upon one of the main 
" Lessons in Faith and Love " suggested by 
the section. 

Ver. I. Paul and Timotheus, bondservants of Christ 
Jesus, to all the holy ones in union with Christ Jesus 
who are living at Philippi, Overseers, Workers, and all.^ 

* 2vv eTTia-KOTTois Koi bioKovois. I render the words as literally 
as possible, not to discredit the distinctive functions of the 
Christian ministry, but to remind the reader of the natural 
origin of the titles by which Christian ministers are desig- 
nated. And it is important here to remember that our word 
bisho;p, while derived from eVi'o-KOTroy, cannot properly translate 



Ver. 2. Grace to yau, and peace — all the free favour 
of acceptance and of divine presence, and all the 
repose which it brings, within you and around you^ 
from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Vers. 3, 4. I give thanks to my God (He is mine, as I 
am His) over my whole memory of you; always in 
each request of mine on behalf of you all forming and 
expressing {nroiovfievo'i^) that {ti]v) request with joy; 

Ver. 5. on account of your participation with me in 
regard of the Gospel, your active co-operation with 
me, by prayer, by work, by gifts, in the Gospel work, 

Ver. 6. from the first day up to this present. For 
(the thought of your long consistency suggests the 
assertion) I am quite sure of just this, that He who 
inaugurated {ivap^d^evo'i : the word has solemn, cere- 
monial connexions) in you the ^ good work will perfect 

it as it is used in the New I'estament. For inidKonos is 
not used there as the special title of a superintendent pastor 
set over other pastors. Such superintendents, however the 
office originated, are found in the New Testament, and early 
in the second century are called distinctively eVto-KOTroi : but 
the term so used is later, on any theory, than the origin of the 
office. But I do not purpose in these devotional chapters 
to discuss at length such a question as that raised here. 
The reader should by all means consult Bishop Lightfoot's 
Excursus in his Commentary on this Epistle, 7he Christian 
Ministry. The views advanced in that essay were, as I 
personally know, held by the writer to the last. 

' The middle suggests a certain fulness of action. 

* I think the definite article should be supplied in English ; 
the reference is to the work of works. 


it, will evermore put His finishing touches to it 
(eTTtTeXeVet), up to Christ Jesus' Day, the Day of His 
promised Return, and of our glorification with Him. 
But this is by the way ; I return to my joy and my 

Ver. 7. thanksgivings over you : Even as it is just 
that I, I above all men (e'/u-ot, emphatic, not //,ot), 
should feel ((f)povelv) like this over you all, on behalf 
of you all,^ because of my having you in my heart, 
as those who, alike in my imprisonment (Sea/xol^) and 
in the vindication and establishment of the Gospel, the 
defence of it against its enemies, the developement 
of its truths and its power in the believing, are 
copartners, all of you, of my grace ; my grace, the 
grace granted me, the glorious privilege of suffering 
and of doing as a Missionary of Christ. Your 
loving, working sympathy has inextricably united 
you and me, alike in my prison and in my apostolate. 

Ver. 8. Yes, I feel this in my inmost being. For 
God is my witness, how I yearn, as with a homesick 
affection {iTmroOla), for you all, in the heart {airXdr^x^a) 
of Christ Jesus ; for to His members His heart is as 
it were theirs ; our emotions are, by the Spirit, in 
contact with His. 

Ver. 9. And what are those " requests " which I 
make for you with joy ? This is my prayer, that your 

' I give both the possible renderings of vnep. Both would 
certainly be in place, as he thought of them and prayed and 
gave thdixiks/or them. 


love, in the fullest Christian sense, but above all in 
the sense of your love to one another, may abound yet 
more and more in the attendant and protective bless- 
ing of spiritual knowledge (i7rL<yvcoa-L<i) and all needed 

Ver. 10. discernment; so that, amidst life's many 
temptations to compromises of conviction or incon- 
sistency of spirit, you may test the things that differ 
(to, Bia(f)epovTa), sifting truth and holiness from their 
counterfeits ; in order to be singlehearted {elXiKpiveh i) 
and without a stumbling-block, such as error and in- 
consistency so easily lay in our further path, against, 
in view of, Christ's Day ; so that when that Day dawns 
you may be found to be not servants whose time 
has been half lost for their Lord's work and will, but 

Ver. II. rather those who have been filled with the 
fruit {Kapirov, not Kapiroiv) of righteousness — the result, 
in witness and service, of your reconciliation and re- 
newal,^ fruit which is borne through Jesus Christ, the 
Procurer and the Secret of your fruit-bearing life, to 
God's praise and glory, the true goal and end of all 
our blessings and of all our labours. 

So the Letter opens ; with greeting, with 
benediction, and then with an outpouring of 

' The derivation is doubtful, but the idea of the word in 
usage is clearness, freedom from complication, 

^ With some hesitation I assign to BiKaioarivrj here the 
meaning of the righteousness of justification, as in iii. 9. 


sympathies full at once of the warmest and 
tenderest hwnanity and of the inmost secrets 
of divine truth and life. It is a preamble 
beautifully characteristic not only of St Paul 
but of the Gospel. It illustrates from many 
sides the happy fact that there is nothing 
which so effectually opens human hearts to one 
another as the love of Christ. We are all 
sadly familiar with the possibilities of isolation 
between heart and heart. Poets have written 
with eloquent melancholy of our personalities 
as islands which lie indeed near together, but 
in an unfathomable ocean, over whose channels 
no boat has ever passed. Schools of pessimistic 
thought have positively affirmed that never 
really has one ego found its way into another 
through the hermetic seal of individuality ; all 
that we seem to know of others is but the 
action of our own mind within itself, occasioned 
by a blind collision with a something not itself, 
which we can strike upon but can never really 
know. Such lucubrations are artificial, not 
natural ; a distortion of mysterious facts, not 
an exposition of them ; the result of an 
arbitrary selection from the data of our con- 


sciousness, and then the treatment of the 
selection as if it were the whole. Quite apart 
from the Gospel, the facts of human intercourse 
are full of evidence to wonderful and beautiful 
possibilities of insight and intercourse between 
human spirit and spirit. But if we want to 
read the best possible negative to the gloomy 
dream of impenetrable isolation, we must come 
to the Lord Jesus Christ. We must make 
experiment of what it is, in Him, to know and 
love others who are in Him too. Then indeed 
we shall find that we can, in the common 
possession of a living Lord who dwells in our 
hearts by faith, see as it were from heart into 
heart, in the warm light of His presence. We 
shall find how wonderful is the friendship with 
one another to which the friends of Jesus are 
called, and for which they are enabled in Him. 
" In Him " : those words are the key to this 
deep, tender, healthful union, and as it were 
fusion, of souls. We have the truth which 
they convey prominent already in the Philip- 
pian Letter. It is addressed (ver. i) to "the 
holy ones in Christ Jesus." That is to say, 
it comes to men and women who, taken on 


their profession, assumed to be in fact what 
they were denoted to be in baptism, were 
separated from self and sin to God by their 
union in covenant and hfe with their Redeemer. 
It regards them as personaHties so truly 
annexed by Jesus Christ, in the miracle of 
converting grace, so articulated spiritually into 
Him, that no language short of this wonderful 
^^ in Him " will worthily express their relation 
to Him. Later (ver. ii), they are regarded as 
so united to Him that " the fruit of righteous- 
ness " which they are to bear in rich abundance 
is to be borne only " through Him " ; He, the 
Vine, is the one possible secret by which they, 
the branches, can possibly be productive of the 
sweet cluster of " the fruit of the Spirit." And 
between those two places comes a sentence 
(ver. 8) where, just in passing, in a mere 
allusion to his own experience, the Apostle 
takes for granted this profound " continuity 
with Christ " in a peculiarly impressive way : 
" I long after you all in the heart of Jesus 
Christ." As we have seen above, he regards 
himself (not as an Apostle but simply as a 
believer) as so "joined unto the Lord " that, if 


I may dare so to expand the phrase, the heart 
of Jesus Christ is the true organ and vehicle 
of his own regenerate emotions. The whole 
Scripture, and particularly the whole Pauline 
Scripture, assures us what this does no^ mean. 
It does not mean the least suspension or dis- 
tortion of the humanity or of the personality 
of Paul. It means no absorption of his e£-o, 
and nothing whatever un-natural in either the 
nature or the exercise of his affections. His 
" homesick longing" to see the dear Philippian 
people again is quite as simple, natural, per- 
sonal, as any longing he ever felt in his boyhood 
for his home at Tarsus when he was absent 
from it. Yes, but this personality, working so 
freely and truly in its every faculty, is now, 
by the Holy Ghost, so put into spiritual con- 
tact with the will and heart of Jesus Christ, 
who now " dwells in it by faith," that the 
whole action moves, so to speak, in the sphere, 
in the atmosphere, of Him. The love which 
passes so freely through and out of the believer 
to his brethren would not be what it is if the 
believer were not " in Christ." He is still all 
himself; nay, he is more than ever himself, 


being in the Lord ; for indeed that blessed 
union has a genial and developing power upon 
its happy subject. But such is that power that 
it deeply qualifies the mental and spiritual 
action of the being who enters into it ; never 
violates but always qualifies. 

The fact, the experience, of course tran- 
scends our analysis. But it is not beyond our 
faith, nor beyond our reception and inward 

" Thy love, Thy joy, Thy peace, 
Continuously impart 
Unto my heart ; 
Fresh springs that never cease, 
But still increase." ' 

Our immediate purpose meanwhile is not to 
discuss the believer's union with his Lord, but 
to remark on this one precious result of it, 
the opening of his inmost sympathies to the 
sharers of the same blessing. We see that 
result displayed in all its brightness in this 
first paragraph of the Epistle ; and we shall 
see it to the end. In the particular case of 
St Paul and the Philippians it was indeed a 

J F. R. Havergal. 


remarkable phenomenon. Here on the one 
side was a man who, not very many years 
before, had been the devotee of the Pharisaic 
creed, a creed which tended powerfully not to 
expand but to annihilate every sympathy which 
could touch " the Gentiles." Here on the 
other side were people whose life and thought 
had been moulded in the proud political and 
national ideas of a Roman colonia ; no kindly 
atmosphere for the growth of affections which 
should be at once intense and comprehensive. 
But these two unlikely parties are now one, 
in the strongest and most beautiful union of 
thought and heart. If we may use again a 
word ventured just above, they are mutually 
(not confused but) fused together. Their 
whole beings have come into living touch, not 
on the surface merely but most of all in their 
depths. An interchange of idea, ot sympathy, 
of purpose has become possible between them 
in which, while self-respect is only deepened 
and secured, reserve is melted away in the 
common possession of the life and love of 
Jesus Christ. The Apostle writes to his friends 
as one whose whole soul is open to them, is 


at their command. His memory and reflexion 
are full of them. He not only prays and 
gives thanks for them but delights in telling 
them that he is doing so. He says without 
difficulty exactly what he is sure of about 
them, and exactly what things he is asking 
for them as yet more developed blessings. 
Above all, the name of Him who is everything 
to himself and to them flows from his heart 
with a holy freedom which is impossible except 
where the parties in religious intercourse are 
indeed "one" in Him. Seven times in these 
eleven short verses " Christ Jesus " is explicitly 
named; as the writer's Possessor; as the Philip- 
pian saints' Life and Head ; as the Giver to 
them, with His Father, of grace and peace ; 
as the Lord of the longed-for *' Day," that 
dear goal of hope ; as the mighty Sphere of 
regenerate family-love ; as the Cause and Con- 
dition of the Christian's fruitfulness for God. 
His presence, as it were, moves in the whole 
message, in the whole intercourse of which 
the message is the expression. Writer and 
readers perfectly ** understand each other," for 
they both know Christ, and are found in Him. 


The same divine Cause tends always to 
similar efifects. Unhappily it does not always 
act without obstruction — obstruction which 
need not be. There are no doubt obstruc- 
tions to its action which are inherent in our 
mortality ; things which have to do really with 
physical temperament, or again with external 
circumstances which we may be helpless to 
modify. But the Cause, in itself, tends always 
to the effects visible in this noble passage of 
Christian affection. The possession and know- 
ledge of Jesus Christ, in spirit and in truth, 
tends always, by an eternal law, to warm and 
open as well as to purify the human heart ; to 
anchor it indeed immoveably to God, but also 
to suffuse it with a gracious sympathy towards 
man, and first and most of all towards man 
who is also, in Christ, cognizant of the *' free- 
masonry " of faith. 

Let this be our first main Lesson in Faith 
and Love in our Philippian studies. The 
section which we have traversed is full of 
points of interest and importance otherwise ; 
but this aspect of it is so truly dominant that 
we may rightly take it for the true message 


of the whole. Let us welcome it home. Let 
us question ourselves, in presence of it, and 
before our Lord, first about our personal 
possession of the Cause, and then about our 
personal manifestation of the effects. Let us 
put to our own hearts some very old-fashioned 
interrogations : Am I indeed in Jesus Christ ? 
Is He to me indeed Possessor, Lord, Giver of 
grace and peace ? Is my life so lived and my 
work so done in contact with HiTn that through 
Him, and not merely through myself, " my fruit 
is found " ? Is His promised Day the goal and 
longing of m^y heart, as I suhnit myself to Him 
that He may perfect His work in me by the 
way, and watch over inyself that I may meet 
Him single-hearted and " withoiU offence " at 
the end? Is He the pervading and supreme 
Interest of my life ? Is He the inward Power 
which colours my thought and gives direction 
and quality to 7ny affections ? 

No answer which a heart fully wakeful to 
God can give to such deliberate inward 
questionings can possibly be an easy or *' light- 
hearted " answer. The gladdest and most 
thankful utterance of such a heart will carry 


along with it always the prayer, "Search me, 
O God, and try my heart " ; " Enter not into 
judgment with Thy servant." Yet we are 
assuredly meant, if we are in Christ, so to 
know the fact as to rejoice in it, and to be 
strong in it ; we are invited, without a doubt, 
so to know Him as to know we know Him, 
and to find in Him " all our salvation, and all 
our desire." Let us not rest till, in great 
humility but with perfect simplicity, we so see 
Him as to leave behind our doubts about our 
part and lot in Him, and, " believing, to rejoice." 
And then let us covet the developement of 
those results of possession of Christ, of union 
with Christ, which we have specially studied 
in the opening section of our Epistle. Let 
us welcome the Lord in to " the springs of 
thought and will," with the conscious aim that 
He should so warm and enrich them with 
His presence that they shall overflow for 
blessing around us, in the life of Christian 
love. I do not mean for a moment that we 
should set ourselves to construct a spiritual 
mannerism of speech or of habit. The matter 
is one not of manufacture but of culture ; it 


is a call to "nourish and cherish" the gift of 
God which is in us, and to give to it the 
humble co-operation of our definite wish and 
will that it may be manifested in the ways 
commended in His Word. It is a call to 
desire and intend to '■'■adorn the doctrine of 
God our Saviour," in the outcoming of His 
presence in us in our tone, temper, and con- 
verse, towards those around us, and especially 
where we know that a common faith and 
common love do subsist. 

If I mistake not, there is far too little of 
this at present, even in true Christian circles. 
A certain dread of " phraseology," of 
"pietism," of what is foolishly called "goody- 
goody," has long been abroad ; a grievously 
exaggerated dread ; a mere parody of rightful 
jealousy for sincerity in religion. Under the 
baneful spell of this dread it is only too 
common for really earnest Christians to keep 
each other's company, and even to take part 
in united religious work, and to be constantly 
together as worshippers, aye, perhaps as 
ministers of the Word and Ordinances of 
Christ, and yet never, or hardly ever, to 


exchange a word about Him, heart to heart ; 
still less to " speak often one to another," and 
share fully together their treasures of experi- 
ence of what He is and what He has done 
for them. The very dialect of the Christian 
life has greatly lost in holy depth and tender- 
ness, so it seems to me, since a former 
generation in which this over-drawn fear (it 
is a mere fashion) of " phraseology " was less 
prevalent. It ought not so to be. 

Let us each for himself come closer to our 
eternal Friend, converse more fully with Him, 
"consider Him" much more than many of us 
do. And then we too shall discover that " our 
mouth is opened, our heart enlarged," for holy 
converse with our fellow-servants, in that 
wonderful interchange of souls which is pos- 
sible " in the heart of Jesus Christ." 

"Oh days of heaven, and nights of equal praise, 
Serene and peaceful as those heavenly days, 
When souls, drawn upwards in communion sweet, 
Enjoy the stillness of some close retreat ; 
Discourse, as if releas'd and safe at home, 
Of dangers past and wonders yet to come. 
And spread the sacred treasures of the breast 
Upon the lap of covenanted rest." ^ 

' Cowperr Conversation. 



'Yield to the Lord, with simple heart, 
All that thou hast and all thou art, 
Renounce all strength but strength divine. 
And peace shall be for ever thine." 

Mme de la Motiie Guvon, translakd by Cowper. 





ST PAUL has spoken his affectionate 
greeting to the Philippians, and has 
opened to them the warm depths of his 
friendship with them in the Lord. What he 
feels towards them " in the heart of Christ 
Jesus," what he prays for them in regard of 
the growth and fruit of their new life, all 
has been expressed. It is time now to meet 
their loving anxieties with some account of 
his own position, and the circumstances of the 
mission in the City. Through this passage 
let us follow him now ; we shall find that the 
quiet picture, full of strong human interest in 
its details, is suffused all over with the glory 
of the presence and the peace of Christ. 

Ver. 12. Now I wish you to know, brethren, that my 
position and circumstances {ra kut if^e, "■the things 



related to me'*) have come out, have resulted, rather 
for the progress of the Gospel message and enter- 

Ver. 13. prise, than otherwise ; so that my bonds, my 
imprisonment, with its custodia militaris, are become 
unmistakable {^avepovi) as being in Christ; as due 
to no social or political crime, but to the name 
and cause of the Messiah of Israel, the Saviour of 
the world. This is the case in the whole Praetorium,^ 
in all ranks of the Imperial Guard, and among 
other people in general (rot? XoiTroi? wdat^). And 

Ver. 14. another result is^ that the majority (rov<; 
TrXetom?) of the brethren in the Lord, the converts 
of the Roman mission, feeling a new confidence in 
connexion with my bonds,* animated by the fact of 
my imprisonment, realizing afresh the glory of the 
cause which makes me happy to suffer, venture more 
abundantly, more frequently, more openly, fearlessly 

^ See note at the end of this chapter. 

' The A.V. rendering "in all other places" is obviously 
due to the belief that npatTupiov signified a place, not a body 
of men. 

^ I thus convey the force of wore, across the break we have 
made in the original sentence. 

* Literally perhaps, "relying on my bonds," as a new 
ground for their assurance of the goodness of the cause. — 
It is possible to render here, " the brethren, having in the 
Lord confidence^ are, in view of my bonds, much more bold," 
etc. But the rhythm of the Greek is in favour of our render- 
ing (which is essentially that of A.V. and R.V.). 


to speak the Word, the message of Christ, of the Cross, 
of Truth, of Life. There is a drawback in this 

Ver. 15. welcome phenomenon : some indeed actually 
(/cat) for envy and strife, while others as truly («at) 
for goodwill, are proclaiming the Christ. The latter^ 

Ver. 16. are at work thus from motives of love, 
love to the Lord and to me His captive Messenger, 
knowing that on purpose for the vindication (airoXoyiav) 
of the Gospel I am posted (Ke2/xat, as a soldier, fixed 
by his captain's order) here. The former from 

Ver. 17. motives of faction, partizanship (ipiOeia) 
in a self-interested propaganda of their own opinions, 
are announcing the Christ, not purely, thinking and 
meaning to raise up (iyelpetv, so read) tribulation for 
me in my bonds; as so easily they can do, by 
detaching from me many converts who would other- 
wise gather round me, and generally by the mortify- 
ing thought of their freedom and activity in contrast 
to my enforced isolation. Shall I give way to the 
trial, and lose patience and peace ? Must I ? Need 

Ver. 18. I ? Nay ; what matters it (tl rydp) ? Is 
not the fiery arrow quenched in Christ for me? Is 
it not thus nothing to me? Yes — yet not nothmg, 
after all ; for it brings a gain ; it spreads the Gospel 
so much further ; so that to my " What matters it ? " 
I may add, Only, in every way, fair or foul, Christ 

^ I adopt here the order of the Greek clauses which is best 


is being announced; and in this I rejoice, aye, and 
rejoice I shall ; the future can only bring me fresh 
reasons for a joy which Hes wholly in the triumphs 
of my Lord, and can only bring fresh blessings to 

Ver. 19. me His vassal. For I know that I shall 
find (/iot) this experience result in salvation, in the 
access of saving grace to my soul, through your 
supplication for me, which will be quickened by your 
knowledge of my trials, and through a resulting full 
supply {eTTLXopvy^o, : the word suggests a supply 
which is ample) of the Spirit of Jesus Christ; a de- 
veloped presence in me of the Holy Ghost, coming 
from the exalted Saviour, and revealing Him, and 
applying Him. Such blessing will be exactly 

Ver. 20. according to my eager expectation (dTro- 
KapaSoKia) and hope, that in no respect shall I he 
disappointed (alaxwOrjcrofMac : with the " shame " of a 
miscalculation), but that in all outspokenness (Trapprjcria) 
of testimony, whether in word or deed, as always, so 
also now, Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether 
by means of life or by means of death. 

The passage is full of various points of 
interest. It is interesting, as we saw in our 
first chapter, in regard of the historical criticism 
of the Epistle. It gives a strong suggestion 
(I follow Lightfoot in the remark) in favour 
of dating the Epistle early in the " two years " 


of Acts xxviii. For it implies that the fact 
of the Apostle's imprisonment was a powerful 
stimulant to the zeal of the Roman Christians ; 
and this is much more likely to have been the 
case when the imprisonment was still a new 
fact to them, than later. St Paul's arrival and 
first settlement, in the character (totally new 
in Rome, so far as we know) of a " prisoner of 
Jesus Christ," would of itself give a quickening 
shock, so to speak, to the believing com- 
munity, which had suffered, so we gather, from 
a certain decadence of zeal. But when he 
had been some time amongst them, and the 
conditions of the " hired house " had become 
usual and familiar in their thoughts, it would 
be otherwise ; whatever else about St Paul 
might rekindle their ardour, the mere fact of 
his imprisoned state would hardly do so. 

The passage is further interesting as it indi- 
cates one particular direction of the Apostle's 
influence upon the pagans around him. It 
was felt, primarily, " in all the Praetorium," 
that is to say, in the large circle of the Imperial 
Life-guards.^ We gather here, with reason- 

^ See note at the end of this chapter. 


able certainty, that from the Life-guards were 
supplied, one by one, " the soldiers that kept 
him" (Acts xxviii. 16); mounting guard over 
him in turn, and fastened to him by the long 
chain which clasped at one end the wrist of 
the prisoner, at the other that of the sentinel. 
It needs only a passing effort of imagination 
to understand something of the exquisite trial 
to every sensibility which such a custody must 
have involved, even where the conditions were 
favourable. Let the guardian be ever so con- 
siderate and civil, it would be a terrible ordeal 
to be literally never alone, night or day ; and 
too often, doubtless, the guardian would be not 
at all complaisant. To many a man, certainly 
to any man of the refined mental and moral 
nature of St Paul, this slow fire of indescrib- 
able annoyance would be far worse to endure 
than a great and sudden infliction of pain, 
even to death. It is a noble triumph of grace 
when such a test is well borne, and turned by 
patience into an occasion for God. When 
Nicholas Ridley, for a long year and a half 
(1554-5) was committed at Oxford to the 
vexatious domestic custody of the mayor and 


his bigoted wife, Edmund and Margaret Irish, 
it must have been nothing less than a slow 
torture to one whose fine nature had been 
used for years to the conditions of civil and 
ecclesiastical dignity and of a large circle of 
admirable friends. And it was a spiritual 
victory, second only to that of his glorious 
martyrdom (Oct. 16, 1555), when the close 
of that dreary time found the once obdurate 
and vexatious Mrs Irish won by Ridley's life 
to admiration and attachment, and also, as 
it would seem, to scriptural convictions.^ But 
it was a still nobler result from a still more 
persistent and penetrating trial when St Paul 
so lived and so witnessed In the presence of 
this succession of Roman soldiers that the 
whole Guard was pervaded with a knowledge 
of his true character and position, evidently 
in the sense of interest and of respect. It 
must have been a course of unbroken consist- 
ency of conduct as well as of openness of 
witness. Had he only sometimes, only rarely, 
only once or twice, failed in patience, in kind- 

^ I venture to refer to my book, Bishop Ridley on the 
Lord's Supper (Seeley), pp. 54, 55, 72. 



ness, in the quiet dignity of the Gospel, the 
whole succession of his keepers would have 
felt the effect, as the story passed from one 
to another. As a fact, the " keeping power 
of Christ " was always with him, and always 
used by him, and the men went out one 
after another to say that here was a prisoner 
such as never was before. Here was no 
conspirator or criminal ; his " bonds " were 
evidently (ver. 13) due only to his devotion 
to a God whom he would not renounce, and 
whose presence with him and power over 
him were visibly shewn in the divine peace 
and love of his hourly life. 

We can please ourselves if we will by 
imagining many a scene for the exercise of 
that influence. Sometimes the Saint would be 
left much alone with the Praetorian. Some- 
times a long stream of visitors would flow in, 
and for a whole day perhaps the two would 
scarcely exchange a word ; the Guardsman 
would only watch and listen, if he cared to 
do so. Sometimes it would be a case where 
ignorant and ribald blasphemies would have 
to be met in the power of the peace of God. 


Sometimes a really wistful heart would at once 
betray its presence under the Roman cuirass. 
Perhaps the man would attack the Apostle 
with ridicule, or with enquiries, after some 
long day of religious debate, such as that 
recorded in Acts xxviii., and the silent night 
would see St Paul labouring on to win this 
soul also. 

" These ears were dull to Grecian speech ; 
This heart more dull to aught but sin ; 
Yet the great Spirit bade thee reach, 

Wake, change, exalt, the soul within : 
I've heard ; I know ; thy Lord, ev'n He, 
Jesus, hath look'd from heaven on me. 
* # * * • 

* A Christian, yes — for ever now 

A Christian ; so our Leader keep 
My faltering heart : to Him I bow. 

His, whether now I wake or sleep: 
In peace, in battle, His : — the day 
Breaks in the east : oh, once more pray ! " ^ 

The passage before us is interesting again 
because of the light it throws on the very 
early rise of a separatist movement in the 
Roman mission-church, and on the principles 
on which St Paul met it. Extremely painful 

' See the close of the volume. 


and perplexing the phenomenon was, though 
by no means new in its nature to St Paul, as 
we well know. It was a trouble altogether 
from within, not from without. The men who 
" preached Christ of envy and strife " bore 
evidently the Christian name as openly as 
their sincerer brethren. They were baptized 
members of the community of the Gospel. 
And their evangelization was such that St Paul 
was able to say, " Christ is preached " ; though 
this does not mean, assuredly, that there were 
no doubtful elements mingled in the preaching. 
Now for them, as for all the Roman Christians, 
he had every reason to regard himself as the 
Lord's appointed centre of labour and of order. 
There he was, the divinely commissioned 
Apostle of Christ, at once the Teacher and 
the Leader of the Gentile Churches ; only a 
few short years before he had written to these 
very people, in his inspired and commissioned 
character, the greatest of the Epistles. Yet 
now behold a separation, a schism. That such 
the movement was we cannot doubt. These 
" brethren," he tells us, carried on their mis- 
sionary efforts in a way precisely intended to 


" raise up trouble " for him in his prison. The 
least that they would do with that object would 
be not only to teach much that he would 
disapprove of, but to intercept intercourse 
between their converts and him ; to ignore him 
altogether as the central representative of the 
Church at Rome ; to arrange for assemblies, 
to administer Baptisms, to practise the Break- 
ing of Bread, wholly apart from the order and 
cohesion which he would sanction, and which 
he had the fullest right to enjoin. All this was 
a great evil, a sin, carrying consequences which 
might affect the Christian cause far and wide. 
Is it not true that no deliberate schism has ever 
taken place in the Church where there has not 
been grievous sin in the matter — on one side, 
or on the other, or on both ? 

Yet how does the Apostle meet this dis- 
tressing problem ? With all the large tolerance 
and self-forgetting patience which come to the 
wise man who walks close to God in Christ. 
No great leader, surely, ever prized more the 
benefits of order and cohesion than did St 
Paul. And where a fundamental error was in 
view, as for example that about Justification in 


Galatia, no one could meet it more energetic- 
ally, and with a stronger sense of authority, 
than he did. But he *' discerned things that 
differ." And when, as here, he saw around 
him men, however misguided, who were aiding 
in the "announcement" of the Name and 
salvation of Christ, he thought more of the 
evangelization than of the breach of coherence, 
which yet most surely he deplored. He speaks 
with perfect candour of the unsound spiritual 
state of the separatists, their envy, strife, and 
partizanship. But he has no anathema for 
their methods. He is apparently quite uncon- 
scious of the thought that because he is the 
one Apostle in Rome grace can be conveyed 
only through him ; that his authority and com- 
mission are necessary to authenticate teaching 
and to make ordinances effectual. He would 
far rather have order, and he knows that he is 
its lawful centre. But " the announcement of 
Christ " is a thing even more momentous than 
order. He cannot stay to speak of that great 
but inferior benefit, while he " rejoices, aye, 
and is going to rejoice," in the diffusion of the 
Name and salvation of the Lord. 


It is an instructive lesson. Would that in 
all the after ages the Church had more watch- 
fully followed this noble precedent ! The 
result would have been, so I venture to hold, 
a far truer and stronger cohesion, in the long 
run, than we see, alas, around us now. 

What was the secret of this happy harmony 
of the love of order and the capacity for 
tolerance in the mind of St Paul ? It was a 
secret as deep but also as simple as possible ; 
it was the Lord Jesus Christ. Really and 
literally, Jesus Christ was the one ruling con- 
sideration for St Paul ; not himself, his claims, 
position, influence, feelings ; not even the 
Church. To him the Church was inestimably 
precious, but the Lord was more. And all 
his thoughts about work, authority, order, and 
the like, were accordingly conditioned and 
governed by the thought. What will best 
promote the glory of the Lord who loved 
us and gave Himself for us? If even a 
separatist propaganda will extend the know- 
ledge of Him, His servant can rejoice, not 
in the separatism, not in the unhappy spirit 
which prompted it, but in the extension of 


the reign of Jesus Christ in the human hearts 
which need Him. Surely, even in our own 
day, with its immemorial complications of the 
question of exterior order, it will tend more 
than anything else to straighten the crooked 
places and level the rough places, if we look, 
from every side, on the glory of the blessed 
Name as our supreme and ruling interest. 

This view of the supremacy of the Saviour 
in the thoughts of St Paul about the Church 
leads us to a view, as we close, of that 
supremacy in all his thoughts about his own 
life. Our paragraph ends with the words 
which anticipate a great blessing, a new de- 
velopement of " salvation," in the writer's soul, 
in answer to the believing prayers of the Philip- 
pians ; and then comes the thought that this 
result will carry out his dearest personal ambition 
— " that Christ may be magnified in my body, 
whether by life or by death." Let us take up 
those final words for a simple study, before God. 

" According to my eager expectation," my 
anoKapaSoKia, my waiting and watching, with 
outstretched head, for some keenly wished-for 
arrival, or attainment. Such is this man's 


thought and feeling with regard to the " mag- 
nification " of Christ through his Hfe and 
death. It is his " hope," it is his absorbing 
" expectation." It is to him the thing with 
which he wakes up in the morning, and over 
which he Hngers as he prepares to sleep at 
night. It is the animating inner interest 
which gives its zest to life. What art is 
to the ambitious and successful painter, what 
literature is to the man who loves it for its 
own sake and whose books have begun to 
take the world, what athletic toil and triumph 
is to the youth in his splendid prime, what 
the fact of extending and wealth-winning 
enterprise is to the man conscious of mercantile 
capacity — all this, only very much more, is 
the "magnification of Christ in his body" to 
the prisoner who sits, never alone, in the 
Roman lodging. It is this which effectually 
forbids him ever to find the days dull. Its 
light falls upon everything ; comforts, trials, 
days of toil, hours of comparative repose, 
prospects of life, prospects of death. It 
quickens and concentrates all his faculties, as 
a great and animating interest always tends 


to do ; it is always present to his mind as 
light and heat, to his will as rest and power. 
It secures for him the quiet of a great dis- 
engagement and liberty from selfish motives ; 
it continually drives him on, with a force which 
does not exhaust him (for it is from above) 
in the ambition and enterprise which is for 
Christ ; giving him at once an impulse toward 
great and arduous labours, and a patience and 
loving tact which continually adjusts itself to 
the smallest occasions of love and service. 

Reader, this is admirable in St Paul. But 
after all, the ultimate secret of the noble 
phenomenon resides not in St Paul but in 
Jesus Christ. "It pleased God to reveal 
His Son in me" (Gal. i. 15, 16). The man 
had seen his Saviour with his whole soul. 
And because of — not the man who saw but 
— the Saviour who was seen, behold, the life 
is lifted off the pivot of self-will and transferred 
to that of " the glory of God in the face of 
Jesus Christ." The same " revealing " grace 
can lift us also. We are not St Pauls ; but 
the Jesus Christ of St Paul is absolutely the 
same, in Himself, for us. We will, in His 


name, place ourselves in the way of His 
working, that He may so shew us His fair 
countenance that we may not be able not to 
live, quite really, for Him as the enthralling 
Interest of life. 

Let us look at the words again : " That 
Christ may be magnified,''' may be made great. 
In what respect? Not in Himself; for He 
is already "all in all"; "filling all things"; 
" higher than the heavens." Such is He that 
"no man knoweth the Son but the Father"; 
the mind of Deity is alone adequate to com- 
prehend His glory. But He may be magnified 
— relatively to those who see Him, or may 
see Him. To eyes which find in Christ only 
a distant and obscure Object, however sacred, 
He may be made to occupy the whole field 
of the soul with His love and glory. As 
when the telescope is directed upon the 
heavens, and some " cloudy spot " becomes, 
magnified, a mighty planet perhaps, or perhaps 
a universe of starry suns ; so it is when 
through a believer's life " Christ is magnified " 
to eyes which watch that life and see the 
reality of the power within. 


Ah, have we not known such lives our- 
selves ? Has not the Lord been made very- 
near to us, and very luminous, in the face 
of father, mother, brother, sister, friend, or 
pastor? Have we not seen Him shining 
large and near us in their holy activities, and 
in their blessed sufferings, shedding His glory 
through all they were and all they did ? He 
has been magnified to us by saints in high 
places, whose dignity and fame have been to 
them only so much occasion for the exercise 
of their " ruling passion " — the glory of Christ. 
And He has been magnified to us also by 
saints in comfortless cottages, imprisoned upon 
sick-beds in gloomy attics, but finding in 
everything an occasion to experience and to 
manifest the power of their Lord. May He 
make it always our ambition to be thus His 
magnifiers. But may He keep it a really pure 
ambition. For even this can be distorted into 
the misery of self-seeking ; an ambition not 
that Christ may be magnified, but that His 
magnifier may be thought "some great one" 
in the spiritual life. 

"In my docfy." Because through the body, 

IN MY BODY " 6 1 

and only through it, practically, can we tell 
on others for the Lord. Do we speak to 
them ? Do we write to them ? Do we make 
home comfortable and happy for them ? Do 
we " meet the glad with joyful smiles and wipe 
the weeping eyes " ? Do we travel to those 
who want us ? Do we nurse them ? Do we 
think for them ? All has its motives in the 
regenerate spirit, but all has its effect through 
the body. Without brain, eyes, ears, lips, 
hands, feet — how could we serve, how could 
we shine ? Our life would have no articulation 
to others, nor our death. 

" I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the 
mercies of God, that ye present your bodies 
a living sacrifice." So be it, for writer and 
for reader. Then blessed will be our life, as 
day by day brings ceaseless occasions for the 
pursuit of our dear ambition — " that Christ 
may be magnified." 


* 'Ei^ oXw Tw 'TTpaLTopico (ver. 13). — The 
word npaLTcopLov occurs in e.g. Matt, xxvii. 27. 
Acts xxiii. 35, in the sense of the residence 


of a great official, regarded as prcetor, or 
commander. The A.V. here evidently reasons 
from such passages, and takes the word to 
mean the residence at Rome of the supreme 
prcetor, the Emperor ; the Palatium, the vast 
range of buildings on the Mons Palatinus 
which has since given a name to all *' palaces." 
Bishop Lightfoot however has made it clear 
{a) that such a use at Rome, by Romans, of 
the word Prcetorium was probably not known ; 
(b) that the word Prcetorium was a familiar 
word for the great body of the Imperial Life- 
guards ; and that it would probably be often 
so used by the (praetorian) " soldiers who kept 
him." On the whole it seems clear that, at 
Rome, the word would denote a body, not 
a place. It never appears as a name for the 
great camp of the Praetorians, outside Rome 
at the east. 



O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all 
just works do proceed ; Give unto Thy servants that peace which 
the world cannot give ; that both our hearts may be set to obey 
Thy commandments, and also that by Thee we being defended 
from the fear of our enemies may pass our time in rest and quiet- 
ness; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen. 

The Second Collect at Evening Prayer, 




Philippians i. 21-30 

Ver. 21. For to me, to live is Christ ; the conscious- 
ness and experiences of living, in the body, are so 
full of Christ, my supreme Interest, that CHRIST 
sums them all up ; and to die, the act of dying,^ is 
gain, for it will usher me in from an existence of 
blessing to an existence of more blessing still. But 

Ver; 22. if living on, in the flesh, be my lot ; if the 
present suspense issues in my being acquitted at the 
Roman tribunal, this will prove to me (tovto fiot) fruit 
of work ; it will just mean so much more work for 
the Lord, and so much more fruit ; I shall welcome 

1 Observe the aorist infinitive, to dirodave^v, of ;fhe crisis, 
dying, contrasted with the present infinitive, to (rjv, of ^Ae 
process, living. — It may be noticed that the renderings of 
Luther, Christus ist mein Leben, and Tindale, Christ is to 
me lyfe, are untenable, though expressing as a fact a deep 
and precious truth. The Apostle is obviously dealing with 
the characteristics, not the source, of "living." 

65 5 


it not as being the best thing in itself, as if I chose 
mortal life for its own sake, but because of its cease- 
less opportunities for my Lord. And which alterna- 
tive I shall choose, I do not know, I do not recognize 
(yvoapi^o), as one who seeks to be sure of the face of 

Ver. 23. a friend amidst other faces). Nay (Se), I 
am held in suspense on both sides ; ^ my personal desire 
being ^ in the direction of departing, striking my tent, 
weighing my anchor {dva\va-ai),^ and being with Christ 
(for this is what " departing " means for us Christians, 
on its other side) ; for it is far, far better, by far 
more preferable, ttoXX&j fiaWov Kpeiaa-ov — aye even 
than a " life in the flesh " which " is Christ " ! But 

Ver. 24. then the abiding by {e-mfieveLv) the flesh, the 
brave, faithful, holding fast to the conditions of earthly 

* 2vvfxofiai fK rav fiuo : literally, "I am confined, restricted 
from the two (sides) " ; as if to say, " I am hindered as to my 
choice, whichever side you view me from." 

' Literally, "having the desire " ; not "a desire," which 
misses the point of the words. He means that his emdvuia lies 
in one direction, his conviction of call and duty in the other. 
T/ze desire, the element of personal longing in him, is for 
" departing." 

^ The Vulgate renders here, cu^z'o dissolvi, as if avakvaai 
meant, so to speak, to "analyse" myself into my elements, 
to separate my soul from my body. But the usage of the 
verb, in the Greek of the Apocrypha, is for the sense given 
in our Versions, and above; to "break up," in the sense of 
" setting out " 


trial, is more necessary, more obligatory, more of the 
nature of duty as against pleasure, on account of you, 
and your further need of me in the Lord. And feeling 

Ver. 25. confident of this, I know that I shall remain 
— aye and shall remain side hy side {TrapafxevM) with 
you all, as your comrade, your helper, in order to your 
progress and joy in your faith ; ^ so as to promote your 
growth in the exercise of loyal reliance on your Lord, 
and in the deep joy which is the natural issue of such 

Ver. 26. reliance ; so that your exultation may be over- 
flowing in Christ Jesus, in your living union with Him, 
in me (eV ifiol), " in " whom you see a living example 
of your Lord's love, shewn to you by means of my 

Ver. 27. coming back to you again. Only, whether 

am thus actually restored to you or not, order your 
life ^ in a way worthy of the Gospel of Christ (above 
all, worthy of the unifying, harmonizing power of the 
Gospel) ; so that whether coming and seeing you, or 

^ Literally, "your progress and joy of the faith." The 
Greek suggests the connexion of both "progress" and "joy" 
with "faith." And St Paul's general use of the word Tr/ortj 
favours its reference here not to the objective creed but to 
the subjective reliance of the holder of the creed. 

^ IloXirevfo-^f : literally, " live your citizen-life." But in its 
usage the verb drops all explicit reference to the ttoXitt]!, and 
means little more than " live" ; in the sense however not of 
mere existence, or even of experience, but of a course of 
principle and order. See Acts xxiii. i, the only other N.T. 
passage where it occurs ; and 2 Mace. vi. i, xi. 25. 


remaining absent, I may hear ^ about your circumstances, 
your condition, that you are standing firm in One Spirit,^ 
in the power of the One Strengthener, and, with one 
soul, one life and love, the resultant of the One Spirit's 
work in you all, wrestling side by side, with enemies 
and obstacles, for ^the faith of the Gospel, for the main- 
tenance and victory of that reliance which embraces 

Ver. 28. the truth of Christ ; and refusing to be {firj) 
scared out of that attitude in anything by your {rSiv) 
opponents, the unconverted world around you. Such 
{r)TL<i) calm united courage is to them an evidence, 
a sure token, an omen, of the perdition which awaits 
the obstinate foes of holiness, but to you of the salva- 
tion which awaits Christ's faithful witnesses. And 
this, this condition of conflict and courage, is from 
God; no mere blind result of accidents, but His purpose. 

Ver. 29. Yes, because to you there has been granted * 

^ The words suggest to us that the Apostle might have 
written, more fully and exactly, 'Iva i'Sw, ihv 'fKdu), Ka\ Iva dKovcrco, 
iav dirS). But it is best to retain in translation the somewhat 
lax grammatical form of the Greek. 

" The parallels, i Cor. xii. 13, Eph. ii. 18, strongly favour 
the reference of Trvev^ia here to the Holy Spirit of God. 

^ It is of course possible to translate a-waBXovvTes rfi Tria-rei, 
" wrestling side by side with the faith," as if "the faith " was 
the Comrade of the believers. But the context is not favour- 
able to this ; the emphasis seems to lie throughout on the 
believers' fellowship wiih one another. 

* 'Exapladrj : the English perfect best represents here the 
Greek aorist. 


as an actual boon — for the sake of Christ not only 
the believing on Him but also the suffering for His 
sake;^ a sacred privilege when it is involved by 
Ver. 30. loyalty to such a Master! So you will be 
experiencing^ (e^oyre?) the same conflict in kind {olov) 
(as you wrestle side by side for your Lord against 
evil) as that which you saw in me, in my case, when I 
was with you in those first days (Acts xvi.), and which 
you now hear of in me, as I meet it in my prison 
at Rome. 

The translation of our present section is 
completed. It has presented rather more 
material than usual for grammatical remark 
and explanation ; constructions have proved 
to be complex, contracted, or otherwise slightly 
anomalous ; and points of order and emphasis 
have claimed attention. But I trust that this 
handling of the texture has only brought more 
vividly into sight the holy richness and bright- 

' The Greek may be explained as if the Apostle had meant 
to write, exapicrdrf to vnep XpiaTov nda-xeiv, and then freely 
inserted the antecedent fact of to ina-Teveiv. 

^ "'ExovTes : the nominative participle takes us back gram- 
matically to the construction previous to the sentences 
beginning Ijtis ia-Tiv k.t.X. ; which sentences may be treated 
as a parenthesis. I have attempted to convey this in a 


ness of the design. Sentence by sentence, 
we have been reading a message of the first 
order of spiritual importance, as St Paul has 
spoken from his own experience of the 
Christian's wonderful happiness in life and 
death, and then, in his appeal to the Philip- 
pians, of the Christian's path of love and 

Let us listen anew to each part of that 
precious message. 

i. The Christian's Happiness in Life and 

In Adolphe Monod's volume of death-bed 
addresses, his Adieux a ses Ajnis et a P Eglise, 
one admirable chapter, the second, is devoted 
to the passage before us, Phil. i. 21-26. From 
the borderland of eternity the great French 
Christian looks backward and forward with 
St Paul's letter in his hand, and comments 
there upon this divine possibility of *' Happi- 
ness in Life and in Death." " The Apostle," 
he says, " is asking here which is most worth 
while for him, to live or to die. Often has 
that question presented itself to us, and 


perhaps we, like the Apostle, have answered 
that * we are in a strait.' But I fear we may 
have used the words in a sense far different 
from St Paul's. When we have wished for 
death, we meant to say, * I know not which 
alternative I ought most to dread, the afflic- 
tions of life, from which death would release 
me, or the terrors of death, from which life 
protects me.' In other words, life and death 
look to us like two evils of which we know 
not which is the less. As for the Apostle, 
they look to him like two immense blessings, 
of which he knows not which is the better. 
Personally, he prefers death, in order to be 
with Christ. As regards the Church and the 
world, he prefers life, in order to serve Jesus 
Christ, to extend His kingdom, and to win 
souls for Him. What an admirable view of 
life and of death! — admirable, because it is 
all governed {dominie), all sanctified, by love, 
and is akin to the Lord Jesus Christ's own 
view of life and death. Let us set ourselves 
to enter into this feeling {sentiment). Life is 
good ; death is good. Death is good, because 
it releases us from the miseries of this life, 


but above all because, even were life full for 
us of all the joys which earth can give, death 
bids us enter into a joy and a glory of which 
we can form no idea. We are then to con- 
sider dea^h as a thing desirable in itself. Let 
us not shun what serves to remind us of it. 
Let all the illnesses, all the sudden deaths, all 
that passes round us, remind us that for each 
one of us death may corne at any moment. 
But then life also is good, because in life we 
can serve, glorify, imitate, Jesus Christ. Life 
is not worth the trouble of living for any other 
object. All the strength we possess, all the 
breath, the life, the faculties, all is to be con- 
secrated, devoted, sanctified, crucified, for the 
service of our Lord Jesus Christ. This cruci- 
fied life is the happy life, even amidst earth's 
bitterest pains ; it is the life in which we can 
both taste for ourselves and diffuse around us 
the most precious blessings. Let us love life, 
let us feel the value of life — but to fill it with 
Jesus Christ. In order to such a state of 
feeling, the Holy Spirit alone can transform 
us into new men. But observe ; it is not 
only that ottr spirit must be sustained, con- 


soled, fortified ; the Spirit of God must come 
to dwell in us. We often set ourselves to 
work on ourselves, to set our spirit in order ; 
this is well, but it is not enough. We want 
more. Jesus Christ Himself must dwell in 
our hearts by the Holy Spirit. 

" My friends, let us reflect upon the char- 
acter of the promises of the Gospel, and we 
shall see how far we are from possessing and 
enjoying them. May God open the heavens 
above our heads ; revealing all to us, filling 
us with all wisdom, granting us to see that 
even here below we may attain to perfect joy, 
while looking forward to possess hereafter the 
plenitude of bliss and of victory. May He 
teach us how to gather up the blessings which 
the heavens love to pour upon the earth which 
opens to receive them. And so may He teach 
us to know that if earth is able to bear us 
down and trouble us, it is unable to quench 
the virtues of heaven, to annul the promises 
of God, or to throw a veil, be it even the 
lightest cloud, over the love with which God 
has loved us in Jesus Christ."^ 

1 Adteux, ed. 1857, pp. 10-12. 


" He being dead yet speaketh." On his 
bed of prolonged and inexpressible sufferings 
Monod, called comparatively early to leave 
a life and ministry of singular fruitfulness and 
rich in interests, found in Jesus the inex- 
haustible secret of this blessed equilibrium of 
St Paul. And what a cloud of witnesses have 
borne their testimony to that same open secret, 
as the most solid while most supernatural of 
realities ! As I write, the memory comes up 
before me of a beloved friend and kinsman, 
my contemporary at Cambridge, called un- 
expectedly to die in his twenty-second year. 
Life to him was full of the strongest interests 
and most attractive hopes, alike in nature and 
in grace. He had no quarrel with life; it 
had poured out before him a rich store of 
social and mental blessings, and a large wealth 
of surrounding love, and the Lord Jesus, 
taking early and decisive possession of the 
young man's heart, had only augmented and 
glorified, not rebuked or stunted, every interest. 
But a slight fever, caught in the Swiss hotel, 
was medically mismanaged, and when perfect 
skill was summoned in, it was too late. His 


mother came to her son on his sofa to 
tell him that he was not only, as he knew, 
very poorly ; he was about to die. In a 
moment, without a change of colour, without 
a tremor, without a pause, smiling a radiant 
smile, he looked up and answered, " Well, to 
depart and to be with Christ is far better ! " 

So the young Christian passed away, ex- 
changing life which was sweet for death which, 
because of the life it would reveal, was sweeter. 
And ** the veterans of the King " say just the 
same. If ever a man enjoyed life, with a 
vigorous and conscious joy, it was Simeon 
of Cambridge. And till the age of exactly 
seventy-seven he was permitted to live with 
a powerful life indeed ; a life full of affections, 
interests, enterprises, achievements, and all full 
of Christ. Yet in that energetic and intensely 
human soul "the desire was to depart and to 
be with Christ." It was no dreamy reverie ; 
but it was supernatural. It stimulated him to 
unwearied work ; but it was breathed into him 
from eternity. ** I cannot but run with all 
my might," he wrote in the midst ot his 
youthful old age, " /br / am close to the goal!' 


It is indeed a phenomenon peculiar to the 
Gospel, this view of life and death. It is far 
more than resignation. It is different even 
from the " holy indifference " of the mystic 
saints. For it is full of warmth, and sympathy, 
and all the affections of the heart, in both 
directions. The man who is the happy pos- 
sessor of this secret does not on the one hand 
go about saying to himself that all around him 
is may a, is a dream, a phantasm of the desert 
sands counterfeiting the waters and the woods 
of Eden. He is as much alive in human life as 
the worldling is, and more. He cordially loves 
his dear ones ; he is the open-hearted friend, 
the helpful neighbour, the loving and loyal 
citizen and subject, the attentive and intelligent 
worker in his daily path of duty. Time with 
its contents is full of reality and value to 
him. He does not hold that the earth is 
God-forsaken. With his Lord (Ps. civ.), he 
** rejoices in the works " of that Lord's hands ; 
and, with the heavenly Wisdom (Prov. viii.), 
" his delights are with the sons of men." But 
on the other hand, he does not banish from 
his thoughts as if it were unpractical the dear 


prospect of another world. He is not foolish 
enough to talk of " other-worldliness," as if 
it were a selfish thing to " lay up treasure in 
heaven," and so to have " his heart there also." 
For him the present could not possibly be 
what it is in its interests, af^ctions, and pur- 
poses, if it were not for the revealed certainties 
of an everlasting future in the presence of 
the King. "He faints not," in the path of 
genuine temporal toil and duty, because " he 
looks at the things which are not seen." 

But now, what is the secret of the equili- 
brium ? We saw in our last chapter what was 
the secret of the unruffled peace with which 
St Paul could meet the exquisite trials occa- 
sioned by the separatist party at Rome. It 
was the Lord Jesus Christ. And the secret 
of the far more than peace with which here 
he meets the alternative of life and death is 
precisely the same ; it is the Lord Jesus Christ. 
He has no philosophy of happiness ; he has 
something infinitely better ; he has the Lord. 
What gives life its zest and charm for him ? 
It is, that life " is Christ." What makes death 
an object of positive personal " desire " for 


him, matched, let us remember, against a 
"life" with which he is so deeply contented? 
It is, that "to depart" is to be with Christ, 
which is "far, far better." On either side of 
the veil, Jesus Christ is all things to him. So 
both sides are divinely good ; only, the con- 
ditions of the other side are such that the 
longed-for companionship of his Master will 
be more perfectly realized there. 

We might linger long over this golden 
passage. It would give us matter for more 
than one chapter to unfold adequately, for 
example, its clear witness to the conscious and 
immediate blessedness in death of the servants 
of God. We may ponder long what it implies 
in this direction when we remember that its 
'* far, tar better" means "better" not than 
our present life at its worst but than our 
present life at its holiest and best ; for, as we 
have observed already, it is " far, far better " 
than a life here which " is Christ." Whatever 
mysteries attend the thought of the Inter- 
mediate State, and however distinctly we 
remember that the dise^nbodied spirit must, as 
such, be circumstanced less perfectly than the 


Spirit lodged again in the body, " the body of 
glory," yet this at least we gather here ; the 
believer's happy spirit, *' departing" from " this 
tabernacle," finds itself not in the void, not 
in the dark, not under penal or disciplinary 
pain, but in a state "far, far better" than its 
very best yet. It is, in a sense so much better 
in degree as to be new in kind, " with Christ." 

"Yes, think of all things at the best; in one rich thought 

All purest joys of sense and soul, all present love and light ; 
Yet bind this truth upon thy brow and clasp it to thy 

And then nor grief nor gladness here shall claim too great 

a part — 
All radiance of this lower sky is to that glory dim ; 
Far better to depart it is, for we shall be with Him." ^ 

ii. But even on this theme I must not linger 
now. Not only because " the time would fail 
me," but because we have to remember that 
^/le main incidence of the Apostle's thought 
here is not upon the blessedness ot death but 
upon the joy of duty, the " fruit of labour," in 
continued life. He looks in through the gate, 

' From the writer's volume of verse, In the House of the 


not to sigh because he may not enter yet, but 
"to run with all his might," in the path of 
unselfish service, "because he is close to the 
goal " — the goal of being with Christ, to whom 
he will belong for ever, and whom he will serve 
for ever, " day and night in His temple." He 
" knows that he shall remain, and that, side by 
side with " his dear converts at Philippi. And 
his " meat is to do the will of Him that sent 
him, and to finish His work." 

The remainder of our chosen portion is 
altogether to this purpose. He has said 
enough about himself now, having just indi- 
cated how much Christ can be to him for peace 
and power in the great alternative. Now his 
thoughts are wholly at Philippi, and he spends 
himself on entreating them to live indeed, to 
live wholly for Christ ; and to do so in two 
main respects, in self-forgetting unity, and in the 
recognition of the joy and glory of suffering. 

" Only let them order their life in a way 
worthy of the Gospel of Christ." ** Only " ; 
as if this were the one possible topic for him 
now. This will content him ; nothing else 
will. He "desires one thing of the Lord" — 


the practical holiness of his beloved converts ; 
and he cannot possibly do otherwise, coming 
as he has just come from " the secret of the 
presence," felt in his own experience. Will 
they be watchful and prayerful ? Will they 
renounce the life of self-will, and entirely live 
for their Lord's holy credit and glory ? Will 
they particularly surrender a certain temptation 
to jealousies and divisions ? Will they recollect 
that Christ has so committed Himself to them 
to manifest to the world that it is the " only " 
thing in life, after all, in the last resort, to be 
practically true to Him ? Then the Missionary 
will be happy ; his "joy will be fulfilled," 

What pastor, what evangelist, what worker 
of any true sort for God in the souls of others, 
does not know something of the meaning of 
that " only " of the Apostle's ? 

Then he passes, by a transition easy indeed 
in the case of the Philippian saints, to the 
subject of suffering. In that difficult scene, the 
Roman colonia, to be perfectly consistent, must 
mean, in one measure or another, to suffer ; it 
must mean to encounter " adversaries," such 
open adversaries, probably, as those who had 



dragged Paul and Silas to the judgment seat 
and the dungeon, ten years before. How were 
they to meet that experience, or anything 
resembling it ? Not merely with resignation, 
nor even with resolution, but with a recognition 
of the joy, nay of the ''gift," of ** suffering for 
His sake." 

Circumstances infinitely vary, and so there- 
fore do sufferings. The Master assigns their 
kinds and degrees, not arbitrarily indeed but 
sovereignly ; and it is His manifest will that 
not all equally faithful Christians should equally 
encounter open violence, or even open shame, 
" for His sake." But it is His will also, 
definitely revealed, that suffering in some sort, 
" for His name's sake," should normally enter 
into the lot of " all that will live godly in Christ 
Jesus." Even in the Church there is the world. 
And the world does not like the allegiance to 
Christ which quite refuses, however modestly 
and meekly, to worship its golden image. To 
the end, pain must be met with in the doing 
here on earth of the "beloved will of God." 

But this very pain is "a gift " from the 
treasures of heaven. Not in itself; pain is 


never in itself a good ; the perfect bliss will 
not include it; "there shall be no more pain." 
But in its relations and its effects it is " a gift " 
indeed. For to the disciple who meets it in 
the path of witness and of service for his 
Master amongst his fellows, it opens up, as 
nothing else can do, the fellowship of the 
faithful, and the heart of Jesus. 

"Lord, we expect to suffer here, 
Nor would we dare repine; 
But give us still to find Thee near, 
And own us still for Thine. 

"Let us enjoy, and highly prize, 
These tokens of Thy love, 
Till Thou shalt bid our spirits rise 
To worship Thee above." 





"Our glorious Leader claims our praise 
For His own pattern giv'n ; 
While the long cloud of witnesses 
Shew the same path to heav'n." 





Philippians ii. l-il 

IN the section which we studied last we / 

found the Apostle coming to the weak 
point of the Christian life of the Philippians. 
On the whole, he was full of thankful and 
happy thoughts about them. Theirs was no 
lukewarm religion ; it abounded in practical 
benevolence, animated by love to Christ, and 
it was evidently ready for joyful witness to the 
Lord, in face of opposition and even of perse- 
cution. But there was a tendency towards 
dissension and internal separation in the 
Mission Church ; a tendency which all through 
the Epistle betrays its presence by the stress 
which the Apostle everywhere lays upon holy 
unity, the unity of love, the unity whose secret 
lies in the individual's forgetfulness of self. 



Such dangers are always present in the 
Christian Church, for everywhere and always 
saints are still sinners. And it is a sad 
but undeniable fact of Christian history that 
the spirit of difference, dissension, antagonism, 
within the ranks of the believing, is not least 
likely to be operative where there is a gene- 
rally diffused life and vigour in the community. 
A state of spiritual chill or lukewarmness may 
even favour a certain exterior tranquillity ; for 
where the energies of conviction are absent 
there will be little energy for discussion and 
resistance in matters not merely secular. But 
where Christian life and thought, and the 
expression of it, are in power, there, unless 
the Church is particularly watchful, the enemy 
has his occasion to put in the seeds of the tares 
amidst the golden grain. The Gospel itself 
has animated the disciples' affections, and also 
their intellects ; and if the Gospel is not 
diligently used as guide as well as stimulus, 
there will assuredly be collisions. 

Almost every great crisis of life and blessing 
in the Church has shewn examples of this. 
It was thus in the period of the Reformation, 


the moment the law of love was forgotten by 
the powerful minds which were so wonderfully 
energized as well as liberated by the re- 
discovery of eternal truths long forgotten. It 
was thus again in the course of the Evangelical 
Revival in the last century, when holy men, 
whose whole natures had been warmed and 
vivified by a new insight for themselves into 
the fulness of Christ, were betrayed into dis- 
cussions on the mysteries of grace carried on 
in the spirit rather of self than of love. " We 
that are in this tabernacle do groan, being 
burthened." The words are true of the 
believing individual ; they are true also of 
the believing Church. That which is perfect 
is not yet come. In the inscrutable but holy 
progress of the plan of God in redemption 
towards its radiant goal, it is permitted that 
temptation should connect itself with our very 
blessings, both in the person and in the com- 
munity. And our one antidote is to watch 
and pray, looking unto Jesus, and looking away 
from ourselves. 

It was thus in measure at Philippi. And 
St Paul cannot rest about it. He plies them 


with every loving argument for the unity of love, 
ranging from the plea of attachment to himself 
up to the supreme plea of " the mind that was 
in Christ Jesus" when He came down from 
heaven. He has begun to address them thus 
already. And in the wonderful passage now 
before us he is to develope his appeal to the 
utmost, in the Lord's name. 

Ver. I. If therefore, in connexion with this theme 
of holy oneness of love and life, there is such a thing 
as comfort, encouragement (7rapdK\r)ai<;), in Christ, 
drawn from our common union with the Lord, if 
there is such a thing as love's consolation, the tender 
cheer which love can give to a beloved one by meet- 
ing his inmost wish, if there is such a thing as Spirit- 
sharing,^ if there are such things as hearts (aTrXdyxva, 

' Koivavia nvevfiaTos : "participation in the Spirit"; shar- 
ing and sharing alike in the grace and power of the Holy 
Ghost. I venture to render Trvevfiaros as if it were tov nvevfiaros, 
having regard to the great parallel passage, 2 Cor. xiii. 14, 
T] Koivcovia TOV ayiov Ilvfvfiaros. With a word SO great and 
conspicuous as nvevna it is impossible to decide by the mere 
absence of the article that the reference is not to ^ke (personal) 
Spirit. Kvpios, Qfos, Xpia-ros, are continually given without 
the article where the reference is definite ; because they are 
words whose greatness tends of itself to define the reference, 
unless context withstands. Uveiifia in the N. T. is to some 
extent a parallel case with these. 


viscera) and compassions, feelings of human tender- 
ness and attachment, through which I may appeal 
to you simply as a friend, and a friend in trouble, 

Ver. 2. calling for your pity ; make full my joy, 
drop this last ingredient into the cup of my thankful 
happiness for you, and bring the wine to the brim, 
by bemg^ of the same mind {(ftpovrj/Ma, feeling, attitude 
of mind), feeling (ej^oi^re?) the same love, " the same " 
on all sides, soul and soul together (o-y/ii/ry^j^ot) in a 

Ver. 3. mind which is unity itself.^ Nothing (fiijBev, 
implying of course prohibition) in the way of (Kara) 
personal or party spirit ; ' rather (aWa), as regards your 
(t^^) humblemindedness, your view of yourselves learnt 
at the feet of your Saviour, reckon * each other superior 

* "Iva . . . (ppojnJTt : my English is obviously a mere para- 
phrase here. More exactly we may render, " make full my 
joy, so as to be," etc. ; words which come to much the same 
effect, but are less true to our common idioms. 

* To fv (f)povovvTfs : a difficult phrase to render quite ade- 
quately. We may paraphrase it either as above, or, 
"possessed with the idea, or sentiment, of unity." But the 
paraphrase above seems most satisfactory in view of the 
similar phrase just before, r6 avro (ppovrJTe. This phrase seems 
to echo that, only in a stronger and less usual form. The 
thought thus will be not so much of unity as the object of 
thought or feeling as of unity as (so to speak) the substance 
or spirit of it. 

' Kara ipiOeiav : my long paraphrase attempts to give the 
suggestion that the epiBela might be either purely individual 
self-assertion or the animus of a clique. 

* 'Hyou/ici'ot : the participle practically does the work of an 


to yourselves; as assuredly you will do, with a logic 
true to the soul, when each sees himself, the person- 
ality he knows best, in the light of eternal holiness 

Ver. 4. and love. Not to your own interests look 
{a-K07rovvTe<i), each circle of you, but each circle^ to those 

Ver. 5. of others also. Have this mind {(^povelre) in 
you, this moral attitude in each soul, which was, and 
is,^ also in Christ Jesus, (in that eternal Messiah whom 
I name already with His human Name, jESUS ; for 
in the will of His Father, and in the unity of His 
own Person, it was as it were His Name already 

Ver. 6. from everlasting,) who in God's manifested 
Being ^ subsisting,* seeming divine, because He was 
divine, in the full sense of Deity, in that eternal 

imperative. See Rom. xii. for a striking chain of examples of 
this powerful and intelligible idiom. 

' "E/caoTot, not e/cao-Tos, should probably be read in the first 
clause here, and certainly in the second. By Greek idiom, 
the plural gives the thought of a collective unity under 

^ The Greek gives no verb. I have written " was, and is," 
in the paraphrase, because the limitation of the reference of 
our blessed Lord's <^p6vr\\t.a to the pre-incarnate past is not 
expressed in the Greek. 

' 'Ei/ [i-op^xi : /u.op0)7 is imperfectly represented by our common 
use of the word "form," which stands often even in contrast 
to " reality." Mop^ij is reality in manifestation. 

* 'Ynapxcov : R.V. margin, "originally being." The word 
lends itself to such a reference, but not so invariably as to 
allow us to press it here. 


world, reckoned it no plunderer's prize ^ to be on an 
equality with God;^ no, He viewed His possession 
of the fulness of the Eternal Nature as securely and 
inalienably His own, and so He dealt with it for our 
sakes with a sublime and restful remembrance of 
others ; far from thinking of it as for Himself alone, 
as one who claimed it unlawfully would have done, 
Ver. 7. He rather {aWd) made Himself void by His 
own aet,^ void of the manifestation and exercise of 
Deity as it was His on the throne,* taking^ Bond- 

' 'Kpivayfiov : the word is extremely rare, found here only in 
the Greek Scriptures, and once only in secular Greek. Strictly, 
by form (-/idf), it should mean, " a process of plunder" rather 
than " an object of plunder" (-/ua). But parallel cases forbid 
us to press this. The A.V. rendering here suggests the 
thought that our Lord "thought it no usurpation to be equal 
with God, and yet made Himself void," etc. But surely the 
thought is rather, " and so made Himself void." So sure was 
His claim that, so to speak, with a sublime un-anxiety , 
while with an infinite sacrifice, He made Himself void. 

^ 'lo-a Gew : the neuter plural calls attention rather to the 
Characteristics than to the Personality. — Through this whole 
passage we cannot too distinctly remember that it occurs in 
the Scriptures, and in the writings of one who was trained in 
the strictest school of Pharisaic Monotheism. St Paul was 
not the man to use such terms of his Saviour and Master had 
he not seen in Him nothing less than the very " Fellow of 
Jehovah" (Zech. xiii. 7). 

^ "E,avTov eKevcoa-e : eavrov is slightly emphatic by position ; I 
attempt to convey this by the words " by His own act." 

* See further below, pp. 98, etc. 

* AajScDv : the aorist participle, in Greek idiom, unites itself 


servant's (Bovkov) manifested being {fiop^rj), that is 
to say, the veritable Human Nature which, as a 
creaturely nature, is essentially bound to the service 
of the Creator, the bondservice of the Father ; coming 
to be, becoming, y€v6fi€vo<i, in men's similitude, so truly 
human as not only to be but to seem Man, accepting 
all the conditions involved in a truly human exterior, 
Ver. 8. " pleased as Man with men to appear." And 
then, further, being found, as He offered Himself to 
view, in respect of guise (o-^jy/^aTi), in respect of out- 
ward shape, and habit, and address, as Man, He went 
further, He stooped yet lower, even from Humanity 
to Death ; He humbled Himself, in becoming obedient,^ 
obedient to Him whose Bondservant He now was 
as Man, to the length'^ of death, aye (Se), death of Cross, 
that death of unimaginable pain and of utmost 
shame, the death which to the Jew was the symbol 
of the curse of God upon the victim, and to the 
Roman was a horror of degradation which should 

closely in thought with the aorist verb e/ceWo-e just previous. 
The resulting idea is not " He made Himself void, and then 
took," but "He made Himself void by taking.'' The 
" Exinanition " was, in fact, just this — the taking the form 
of the ^ovkoi : neither less nor more. 

' Note again the aorist verb and aorist participle : fraTrtlvua-e 
. . . yfvofievos. 

^ The Greek, ^xe^pl Bavdrov, makes it plain that the Lord 
did not obey death but obeyed the Father so utterly as even 
to die. 


be " far not only from the bodies but from the 
imaginations of citizens of Rome." ^ 

So He came, and so He suffered, because " He 

Ver. 9. looked to the interests of others." Wherefore 
also God, His God (6 0eo9), supremely exalted Him, in 
His Resurrection and Ascension, and conferred upon 
Him, as a gift of infinite love and approval (ixapia-aro), 
the Name which is above every name ; THE Name, 
unique and glorious ; the Name Supreme, the I Am ; 
to be His Name now, not only as He is from eternity, 
the everlasting Son of the Father, but as He became 
also in time, the suffering and risen Saviour of 
sinners,'^ In His whole character and work He is 
invested now with the transcendent glory and great- 
ness of divine dignity ; every thought of the suffering 
Manhood is steeped in the fact that He who, looking 
on the things of others, came down to bear it, is now 
enthroned where only the Absolute and Eternal King 

Ver. 10. can sit ; so that in the Name of Jesus,^ in 
presence of the revealed majesty of Him who bears, 
as Man, the human personal Name, Jesus, every knee 
should bow, as the prophet (Isa. xlv. 23) foretells, of 

1 Cicero, ^ro Rabir to, c. 5. 

- Bishop Lightfoot has well vindicated this reference of the 
ovo}ia here. I venture to refer the reader also to my com- 
mentary on Philippians, in The Cambridge Bible for Schools 
and Colleges. 

^ Not "the Name Jesus," but "the Name of, belonging 


things celestial, and terrestrial, and subterranean, of all 
created existence, in its heights and depths ; spirits, 
men, and every other creature ; all bowing, each in 
their way, to the imperium of the exalted Jesus, 
Ver. II. Jehovah-Jesus; and that every tongue 
should confess, with the confessing of adoring, praising, 
worship {e^o^o\o'yi]ar]TaC), that Jesus Christ is nothing 
less than Lord, in the supreme and ultimate sense of 
that mighty word, to God the Father's glory. For the 
worship given to " His Own Son " (Rom. viii. 32), 
whose Nature is one with His, whose glories flow 
eternally from Him, is praise given to Him.^ 

So closes one of the most conspicuous and 
magnificent of the dogmatic utterances of the 

to, Jesus." The grammar admits either rendering, but the 
context, if I explain it aright, is decisive. "The Name" is 
still the Supreme Name, Jehovah, as just above. — "In the 
Name" should be explained, in view of the context, not of 
worship through but worship yielded to the Name. See 
Lightfoot for examples of this usage. 

' Chrysostom brings this great truth nobly out in his 
homiletic comments here {Horn. vii. on Philippians, ch. 4) : 
" A mighty proof it is of the Father's power, and goodness, 
and wisdom, that He hath begotten such a Son, a Son nowise 
inferior in goodness and wisdom . . . like Him in all things, 
Fatherhood alone excepted." Nothing but the orthodox 
Creed, with its harmonious truths of the proper Godhead 
and proper Filiation of the Lord Christ, can possibly satisfy 
the whole of the apostolic language about His infinite glory 
on the one hand and His relation to the Father on the other. 


New Testament. Let us consider it for a 
few moments from that point of view alone. 
We have here a chain of assertions about our 
Lord Jesus Christ, made within some thirty 
years of His death at Jerusalem ; made in 
the open day of public Christian intercourse, 
and made (every reader must feel this) not 
in the least in the manner of controversy, of 
assertion against difficulties and denials, but 
in the tone of a settled, common, and most 
living certainty. These assertions give us on 
the one hand the fullest possible assurance 
that He is Man, Man in nature, in circum- 
stances and experience, and particularly in 
the sphere of relation to God the Father. 
But they also assure us, in precisely the same 
tone, and in a way which is equally vital to 
the argument in hand, that He is as genuinely 
Divine as He is genuinely Human. Did He 
" come to be in Bondservant's Form " ? And 
does the word Form, fxop(j)r], there, unless the 
glowing argument is to run as cold as ice, 
mean, as it ought to mean, reality in manifesta- 
tion, fact in sight, a Manhood perfectly real, 
carrying with it a veritable creaturely obliga- 



tion (SovXeta) to God? But He was also, 
antecedently, " in God's Form." And there 
too therefore we are to understand, unless the 
wonderful words are to be robbed of all their 
living power, that He who came to be Man, 
and to seem Man, in an antecedent state of 
His blessed Being was God, and seemed God. 
And His '* becoming to be " one with us in 
that mysterious but genuine Bondservice was 
the free and conscious choice of His eternal 
Will, His eternal Love, in the glory of the 
Throne. ".When He came on earth abased " 
He was no Victim of a secret and irresistible 
destiny, such as that which in the Stoic's 
theology swept the Gods of Olympus to their 
hour of change and extinction as surely as 
it swept men to ultimate annihilation. ** He 
made Hi7nself void," with all the foresight and 
with all the freewill which can be exercised 
upon the Throne where the Son is in the Form 
of the Eternal Nature. Such is the Christo- 
logy of the passage in its aspect towards Deity. 
Then in regard of our beloved Lord's Man- 
hood, its implications assure us that the perfect 
genuineness of that Manhood, which could not 


be expressed in a term more profound and 
complete than this same fj-opcf^rj BovXov, Form 
of Bondservant, leaves us yet perfectly sure 
that He who chose to be Bondservant is to us 
only all the more, even In His Manhood, Lord. 
Was it not His own prescient choice to be true 
Man? And was it not His choice with a 
prescient and infallible regard to " the things 
of others," to "us men and our salvation " ? 
Then we may be sure that, whatever is meant 
by the "made Himself void," 'Eavrw eKevcocrev, 
which describes His Incarnation here, one thing 
it could never possibly mean — a " Kenosis " 
which could hurt or distort His absolute fitness 
to guide and bless us whom He came to save. 
That awful and benignant " Exinanition " 
placed Him indeed on the creaturely level 
in regard of the reality of human experience 
of growth, and human capacity for suffering. 
But never for one moment did it, could it, 
make Him other than the absolute and infallible 
Master and Guide of His redeemed. 

We are beset at the present day, on many 
sides, with speculations about the "Ken6sis" 
of the Lord which in some cases anyhow have 


it for their manifest goal to justify the thought 
that He condescended to be falhble ; that He 
" made Himself void " of such knowledge as 
should protect Him from mistaken statements 
about, for example, the history, quality, and 
authority of the Old Testament Scriptures. 
I have said once and again elsewhere ^ that 
such an application of the " made Himself 
void," 'EavTov eKivoiaev, of this passage (from 
which alone we get the word Kenosis for the 
Incarnation) is essentially beside the mark. 
The Kenosis here is a very definite thing, as 
we see when we read the Greek. It is just 
this — the taking of " Bondservant's Form." 
It is — the becoming the absolute Human 
Bondservant of the Father. And the Absolute 
Bondservant must exercise a perfect Bond- 
service. And this will mean, amidst all else 
that it may mean, a perfect conveyance of the 
Supreme Master's mind in the delivery of His 
message. " He whom God hath sent, speaketh 

' In my Vent Creator and To my Younger Brethren, and 
more recently in a University Sermon quoted at the close of 
a little book published Easter, 1896, by Seeley : Prayers and 


the words of God" The Kenosis itself (as 
St Paul meant it) is nothing less than the 
guarantee of the Infallibility. It says neither 
yes nor no to the question, Was our Redeemer, 
as Man, " in the days of His flesh," omniscient ? 
It says a profound and decisive yes to the 
question. Is our Redeemer, as Man, " in the 
days of His flesh," to be absolutely trusted as 
the Truth in every syllable of assertion which 
He was actually pleased to make ? *' He whom 
God hath sent, speaketh the words of God!' 

The dogmatic treasures of this wonderful 
passage are by no means exhausted, even when 
we have drawn from it what it can say to 
us about the glory of the Lord Christ Jesus. 
But it is not possible to follow the research 
further, here and now ; this imperfect indica- 
tion of the main teachings about Him must be 

But now, in closing, let us remember for our 
blessing how this passage of didactic splendour 
comes in. It is no lecture in the abstract. 
As we have seen, it is not in the least a 
controversial assertion. It is simply part of 


an argument to the heart. St Paul is not 
here, as elsewhere in his Epistles, combating 
an error of faith ; he is pleading for a life 
of love. He has full in view the temptations 
which threatened to mar the happy harmony 
of Christian fellowship at Philippi. His long- 
ing is that they should be "of one accord, 
of one mind " ; and that in order to that 
blessed end they should each forget himself 
and remember others. He appeals to them 
by many motives ; by their common share in 
Christ, and in the Spirit, and by the simple 
plea of their affection for himself But then — 
there is one plea more ; it is " the mind 
that was in Christ Jesus," when " for us men 
and for our salvation He came down from 
heaven, and was made Man, and suffered for 
us." Here was at once model and motive 
for the Philippian saints ; for Euodia, and 
Syntyche, and every individual, and every 
group. Nothing short of the " mind " of the 
Head must be the " mind " of the member ; 
and then the glory of the Head (so it is 
implied) shall be shed hereafter upon the 
member too : " I will grant to him to sit with 


Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, 
and am set down with My Father in His 

What a comment is this upon that fallacy 
of religious thought which would dismiss 
Christian doctrine to the region of theorists 
and dreamers, in favour of Christian " life " ! 
Christian doctrine, rightly so called, is simply 
the articulate statement, according to the 
Scriptures, of eternal and vital facts, that we 
may live by them. The passage before us is 
charged to the brim with the doctrine of the 
Person and the Natures of Christ. And why ? 
It is in order that the Christian, tempted to 
a self-asserting life, may " look upon the 
things of others," for the reason that this 
supreme Fact, his Saviour, is in fact thus 
and thus, and did in fact think and act thus 
and thus for His people. Without the facts, 
which are the doctrine, we might have had 
abundant rhetoric in St Paul's appeal for 
unselfishness and harmony ; but where would 
have been the mighty lever for the affections 
and the will? 

Oh reason of reasons, argument of argu- 


merits — the Lord Jesus Christ ! Nothing 
in Christianity lies really outside Him. His 
Person and His Work embody all its dogmatic 
teaching. His Example, "His Love which 
passeth knowledge," is the sum and life of 
all its morality. Well has it been said that 
the whole Gospel message is conveyed to us 
sinners in those three words, ** Looking unto 
Jesus." Is it pardon we need, is it acceptance, 
free as the love of God, holy as His law? 
We find it, we possess it, " looking unto 
Jesus " crucified. Is it power we need, victory 
and triumph over sin, capacity and willingness 
to witness and to suffer in a world which loves 
Him not at all ? We find it, we possess it, 
it possesses us, as we " look unto Jesus " risen 
and reigning, for us on the Throne, with us 
in the soul. Is it rule and model that we 
want, not written on the stones of Horeb only, 
but " on the fleshy tables of the heart " ? We 
find it, we receive it, we yield ourselves up 
to it, as we " look unto Jesus" in His path of 
love, from the Throne to the Cross, from the 
Cross to the Throne, till the Spirit inscribes 
that law upon our inmost wills. 


Be ever more and more to us, Lord Jesus 
Christ, in all Thy answer to our boundless 
needs. Let us " sink to no second cause." 
Let us come to Thee. Let us yield to Thee. 
Let us follow Thee. Present Thyself ever- 
more to us as literally our all in all. And so 
through a blessed fellowship in Thy wonderful 
humiliation we shall partake for ever hereafter 
in the exaltations of Thy glory, which is the 
glory of immortal love. 

" Make my life a bright outshining 

Of Thy life, that all may see 
Thine own resurrection power 

Mightily shewn forth in me; 
Ever let my heart become 
Yet more consciously Thy home." 

Miss J. S. PiGOTT. 

1 06 



*' O Jesus Christ, grow Thou in me, 
And all things else recede ; 
My heart be daily nearer Thee, 
From sin be daily freed. 

" More of Thy glory let me see, 

Thou Holy, Wise, and True; 
I would Thy living image be 

In joy and sorrow too." 
H. B. Smith, from the German of J. C. Lavatir. 



Phiuppians ii. 12-18 

WE have just followed the Apostle as he 
has followed the Saviour of sinners 
from the Throne to the Cross, and from the 
Cross to the Throne. And we have remem- 
bered the moral motive of that wonderful para- 
graph of spiritual revelation. It was written 
not to occupy the mind merely, or to elevate 
it, but to bring the believer's heart into a 
delightful subjection to Him who " pleased 
not Himself," till the Lord should be reflected 
in the self-forgetting life of His follower. 

In the passage now opening before us we 
find St Paul's thought still working in con- 
tinuity with this argument. He has still in 
his heart the risks of friction at Philippi, and 

the need of meeting them in the power ot the 



Lord's example. This will come out particu- 
larly in the fourteenth and fifteenth verses, 
where he deprecates " murmurings and dis- 
putings," and pleads for a life of pure, sweet 
light and love. But the line of appeal, though 
continuous, is now somewhat altered in its 
direction. The divine greatness of the love 
of the Incarnation has, during his treatment 
of it, filled him with an intense and profound 
recollection of the greatness of the Christian's 
connexion with his God, and of the sacred 
awfulness of his responsibility, and of the 
fulness of his resources. So the appeal now 
is not merely to be like-minded, and to be 
watchful for unity. He asks them now to 
use fully for a life of holiness the mighty fact 
of their possession of an Indwelling God in 
Christ. The details of precept are as it were 
absorbed for the time into the glorious power 
and principle — only to reappear the more largely 
and lastingly in the resulting life. 

Ver. 12. So, my beloved ones, (he often introduces his 
most practical appeals with this term of affection : 
see for example i Cor. x. 14, xv. 58 ; 2 Cor, vii. i,) 


just as you always obeyed^ me, obey me now. Not 
{^rjy the imperative negative) as in my presence only, 
influenced by that immediate contact and intercourse, 
but now much more in my absence, (" much more," 
as my absence throws you more directly on your 
resources in the Lord,) work out, develope, your own 
salvation, your own spiritual safety, health, and joy, 
with fear and trembling; not with the tortures of 
misgiving, not driven by a shrinking dread of your 
gracious God, but drawn by a tender reverence and 
solemn watchfulness, lest you should grieve the 
eternal Love. Yes, " work out yotir own salvation " ; 
do not depend upon me ; take four own souls in hand, 
in a faith and love which look, without the least 
earthly intermediation, straight to GOD and to Him 
alone.^ For indeed He is near to you ; far nearer 
than ever a Paul could be ; "a very present help," for 
Ver. 13. your safety, and for your holiness. For God 
it is who is effecting {evep^Syv) in you, in your very 
being, in " the first springs of thought and will," both 

' 'YnrjKova-aTf : the aorist. It gathers into one thought the 
whole recollection of his work at Philippi. 

' " There is not the slightest contradiction here to the pro- 
found truth of the Justification by Faith only ; that is to say, 
only for the merit's sake of the Redeemer, appropriated by 
submissive trust ; that justification whose sure issue is glori- 
fication (Rom. viii. 30). It is an instance of independent 
lines converging on one goal. From one point of view, that 


your (to) willing and your eflfecting, your carrying out 
the willing, for His (t^?) good pleasure's sake ; in order 
to the accomplishment through you of all His holy 
purposes. Here, in this wonderful immanence, this 
divine indwelling, and in its living, operative power, 
you will find reason enough alike for the " fear and 
trembling" of deepest reverence, and for the calm 
resourceful confidence of those who can, if need be, 
" walk alone," as regards dependence upon even an 
apostolic friend beside them. Live then as those 
who carry about with them the very life and power 
of God in Christ. And what will that life be ? A 
life of spiritual ostentation ? Nay, the beautiful and 

Ver. 14. gentle opposite to it. Do all things without, 
apart from (^wp/?), in a definite isolation from, 
murmurings and disputes, thoughts and utterances of 
discontent and self-assertion towards one another, 
grudgings of others' claims, and contentions for your 

Ver. 15. own ; so that you may become (yivrjcrOe), what 
in full realization you scarcely yet are, unblamable 
and simple (aKepaiot, " unadulterated "), single-hearted, 

of justifying merit, man is glorified because of Christ's work 
alone, applied to his case through faith alone. From another 
point, that of qualifying capacity, and of preparation for the 
Lord's individual welcome (Matt. xxv. 21 ; Rom. ii. 7), man 
is glorified as the issue of a process of work and training, in 
which in a true sense he is himself operant, though grace 
lies below the whole operation" (Note on this verse in TAe 
Ca7Hb7-idge Bible for Schools and Colleges). 


because self-forgetting ; God's children (jkicva), shewing 
what they are by the unmistakable family-likeness of 
holy love ; blameless as such, true to your character ; 
in the midst of a race {<yeveaq) crooked and distorted, the 
members of a world whose will always crosses the will 
of God who is Love ; among whom you are appearing, 
like stars which come out in the gloom, as luminaries 
{<^oiarrrjpe<i), light-bearers, kindled by the Lord of 
Light, in the world ; in which you dwell ; not of it, 
but in it, walking up and down " before the sons of 
men " (Ps. xxxi. 19), that they may see, and seek, 

Ver, 16. your blessed Secret ; holding out {eirexovre'^ ^), 
as those who offer a boon for acceptance, the word 
of life, the Gospel, with its secret of eternal life in 
Christ ; at once telling and commending His message ; 
to afford me, even me (ifioi), exultation, in view of (eZ?) 
Christ's Day, in anticipation of what I shall feel then ; 
because not in vain did I run, nor in vain did I toil.^ 
But let me not speak of " toil " as if I sighed over 
a hard lot, or wished to suffer less on your behalf 

Ver. 17. Nay, even if I am being poured out as 
a drink-offering (airevBo/jiai) on the sacrifice and ritual 

' It is possible to render Xoyov ^w^s errexovTes, " serving as 
life (to the world)." But it is unlikely. See Philippians in 
T^e Cambridge Greek Testament, Appendix. 

' The aorists obviously are anticipatory ; giving the re- 
view of the past as he will then make it, Cp. e.g. (ca^ws 
fnfyvaa-drjv, I Cor. xiii. 12. 



(XeiTovpjLa) of your faith — on j/ou, so to speak, as you 
in faith offer yourselves a living sacrifice to God ^ — 
I rejoice, and I congratulate (avyx^'lpa)) you all, on your 
faith and holiness, for which it was well worth my 
while to die as your helper and example. And in 
Ver. i8. the same way (to Se avro) do you too rejoice, 
and congratulate me,^ as true partners with me in the 
martyr-spirit and its joys. 

Here let us pause in our paraphrasing 
version, and sit down as it were to gather 
up and weigh some of the treasures we have 

' " He views the Philippians, in their character of conse- 
crated beUevers (cp. Rom. xii. i), as a holocaust to God; 
and upon that sacrifice the drink-oflfering, the outpoured 
wine, is his own life-blood, his martyrdom for the Gospel 
which he has preached to them. Cp. Num. xv 5 for the 
Mosaic libation, olvou els (rnovbrjv . . . jrotijcrerc cVt ttjs oXokov- 
raa-eas. Lightfoot thinks that a reference to pagan libations 
is more likely in a letter to a Gentile mission. But surely 
St Paul familiarized all his converts with Old Testament 
symbolism. And /it's own mind was of course full of it" 
(Note here in The Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools). 
— This and Rom. xv. 16 are the only two passages where 
St Paul connects the language of " sacerdotalism " with the 
distinctive work of the Christian ministry ; and both passages 
speak obviously in the tone of figure and, so to say, poetry. 

' Xaipere : avyxaipfre. The form leaves us free to render 
either indicative or imperative. But the latter is most likely 
in the context. 


i. We have had before us, in the whole 
passage, that ever-recurring lesson. Holiness 
in the Truth, as Truth — " the Truth as it is 
in Jesus " — is the living secret of Holiness. 
We have still in our ears the celestial music, 
infinitely sweet and full, of the great paragraph 
of the Incarnation, the journey of the Lord 
of Love from glory to glory by the way of 
the awful Cross. May we not now give 
ourselves awhile wholly to reverie, and feast 
upon the divine poetry at our leisure? Not 
so ; the immediate sequel is — that we are to 
be holy. We are to act in the light and 
wonder of so vast an act of love, in the wealth 
and resource of " so great salvation." We are 
to set spiritually to work. We are to learn 
that all-important lesson in religion, the holy 
and humble energy and independence which 
come to the man who " knows whom he has 
believed," and is aware that he possesses " all 
spiritual blessing " (Eph. i. 3) in Him. We 
are to rise up and, if need be, walk alone, alone 
of human help, in the certainty that Christ has 
died for us, and reigns for us, and in us. Our 
Paul may be far away in some distant Rome, 


and we may sorely miss him. But we have 
at hand Jesus Christ, who " took Bondservant's 
Form," and obeyed even unto death for us, and 
who is on the eternal throne for us, and who 
lives within us by His Spirit. Looking upon 
Him in the glory of His Person and His 
Work, we are not only to wonder, not only 
even to worship ; we are to work ; to " work 
out " our spiritual blessings ^ into a life which 
shall be full of Him, and in which we shall 
indeed be "saved" ourselves, and help others 
around us to their salvation. In the " fear 
and trembling" of those who feel the blissful 
awfulness of an eternal Presence, we are to set 
ourselves, with the inexhaustible diligence of 
hope, to the business of the spiritual life. We 
are to bring all the treasures of a manifested 
and possessed Redeemer to bear upon the 
passing hour, and to let Him be seen in 
us, " Christ our Life," always formative and 

ii. We have here in particular that deep 
secret of the Gospel, unspeakably precious to 

' 2a)TT]p[a must here include not only final glory but the 
whole blessing possessed now and always in the Swrijp. 


the soul which indeed longs to be holy — the 
Indwelling of God in the believer. It here 
appears in close and significant connexion with 
the revelation of the love and work of the 
Incarnate and Atoning Lord ; as if to remind 
us without more words that He who gave 
Himself for us did so not only to release us 
(blessed be His Name) from an infinite peril, 
from the eternal prison and death of a violated 
law, but yet more that He might bring His 
rescued ones into an unspeakable nearness in 
Him to God. His was no mere compassion, 
which could set a guilty captive free. It was 
eternal love, which could not be content with- 
out nearness to its object, without union with 
it, without a dwelling in the very heart by 
faith. As if it was a matter of course in the 
plan of God, St Paul passes from the Cross 
and the Glory of Jesus to the Indwelling of 
God in the Christian, and to all the rest and 
all the power which that Indwelling is to bring. 
" It is God who is working in you, effecting 
alike your willing and your working ; for the 
sake of His good pleasure." These are words 
of deep mystery. They contain matter w^hich 


has exercised the closest thought of some of 
the greatest thinkers of the Church. Operatiir 
in nobis velle ; " He worketh in us to will." 
How is this to be reconciled with the reality, 
and in that sense the freedom, of the human 
will ? What relation does it bear to human 
responsibility, and to the call to watch, and 
pray, and labour ? Very soon, over such 
questions, we have, in the phrase of the Rabbis, 
to " teach our tongue to say, / do not know!' 
But the words appear in this context with a 
purpose perfectly simple and practical, what- 
ever be their more remote and hidden indica- 
tions. They do indeed intimate to us a reality 
and energy in the divine sovereignty which 
may well correct those dreams of self-salvation 
which man is so ready to dream. But their 
more immediate purpose is as simple as it is 
profound. It is on the one hand to solemnize 
the disciple with the remembrance of such an 
inward Presence, and on the other hand to make 
him always glad and ready, recollecting that 
such an inward Power is there, altogether for 
his highest good, and altogether in the line of 
the eternal purpose (evSoKta). For the while at 


least let us drop out of sight all hard questions 
of theoretical adjustment between the finite will 
and the Infinite, and rest quite simply in that 
thought : — God is in me, working the willing 
and the doing. The willing is genuine, and is 
mine. The working is genuine, and is mine. 
My will chooses Him, and my activity labours 
for Him ; both are real, and are personally 
mine. But He is at the back ; He is at 
"the pulse of the machine"; I, His personal 
creature, am held in no less a hold than His, to 
be moulded and to be employed ; His imple- 
ment, His limb. 

Not very long ago I was in conversation 
with a young but deeply thoughtful Christian, 
who, placed on a difficult social height, was 
seeking with deep desire not only to " follow 
the Lamb whithersoever He goeth " but to 
lead others similarly circumstanced to do the 
same. I was struck with the strong conscious- 
ness which possessed that heart, that the 
religious life must inevitably be a weary and 
exhausting effort on any other condition than 
this — " God working in us, to will and to do." 
" Ah, they all say that it is so hard ; no one 


can really do it ; no one can keep it up. But 
we must speak to them about the indwelling 
Spirit of God, about the Lord's power in us ; 
then they will find that it is possible, and is 

Xw/3t9 IjLioi) — ** isolated from Me (John xv. 5) 
— ye can do nothing " ; and what seems our 
" doing " will, in such isolation, be only too 
sorely felt to be a weary toil. But let us accept 
it as true, at the foot of the atoning Cross, that 
the Indwelling of God in Christ is as much 
a fact as our pardon and adoption in Him, 
and we shall know something of the blessed 
life. Only, we must not only accept it as 
true, but use it. " Work out — for it is God 
who is working in you." 

And, let us remember it once more, we shall 
learn in that quiet School not only a restful 
energy but also that holy independence {jy)v 
eavTuv (TcoTrjpLav) which is, in its place, the 
priceless gain of the Christian. Our spiritual 
life is indeed intended to be social in its issues 
— but not at its root. We accept and thank- 
fully use every assistance given us by our 
Lord's care, as we live our life in His Church ; 


yet our life, as to its source, is to be still 
" hidden with Christ in God." We are to 
be so related to Him, in faith, that our soul's 
health, growth, gladness, shall depend not on 
the presence of even a St Paul at our side, 
but on the presence of God in our hearts. 
Let us cherish this blessed certainty, and 
develope it into experience, in these strange 
days of unrest and drift. That secret independ- 
ence will do anything but isolate us from our 
fellows. It will make us fit, as nothing else 
could make us, to be their strength and light, 
in truest sympathy, in kindest insight, in the 
fullest sense of loving partnership. But we 
must learn independence in God if we would 
be fully serviceable to man. 

iii. We have in this passage one ot the 
richest and most beautiful expressions found 
in the whole New Testament of that great 
principle, that at the very heart of a true life 
of holiness there needs to lie the law of holy 
kindness. The connexion of thought between 
ver. 13 and ver. 14 is deeply suggestive here. 
In ver. 13 we have the power and wonder of 
the operative Indwelling of God. In ver. 14 


we have depicted the true conduct of the 
subjects of the Indwelling ; and it shines with 
the sweet light of humility and gentleness. 
It is a life whose hidden power, which is 
nothing less than divine, comes out first and 
most in the absence of the grudging, self- 
asserting spirit ; in a watchful consistency and 
simplicity ; in the manifestation of the child- 
character, as the believer moves about " in 
the midst of" the hard and most unchildlike 
conditions of an unregenerate world. There 
is to be action as well as patience ; this we 
shall see presently. The disciple is to be 
aggressive, in the right way, as well as 
submissive. But the first and deepest char- 
acteristic of his wonderful new life is to be 
the submission of himself to others, " in the 
Lord, and in the power of His might." We 
have this aspect of practical holiness presented 
to us often in the general teaching of the New 
Testament ; but seldom is it so explicitly con- 
nected as it is here with that other spiritual 
fact, the presence in us of the divine power. 
Perhaps our best parallels come from the 
two other Epistles of the Roman Captivity, 


Ephesians and Colossians. In Ephesians, 
the third chapter closes with the astonish- 
ing prayer that the Christian (the everyday 
Christian, be it remembered) may be, through 
the Indwelling of Christ, " filled unto all the 
fulness of God " ; and then the fourth chapter 
begins at once with the appeal to him to live 
" therefore " a life of " all lowliness, meekness, 
longsuffering, and forbearance in love." In 
Colossians we have the same sequence of 
thought in one noble sentence (ver. ii) of the 
first chapter : " Strengthened with all strength, 
according to the might of His glory, unto ah 
patience and longsuffering, with joy T^ In all 
three passages comes out the same deep and 
beautiful suggestion. " The Lord is not in the 
wind" so much as in "the still small voice." 
Omnipotent Love, in its blessed immanence 

' "Observe the holy paradox of the thought here. The 
fulness of divine power in the saints is to result primarily not 
in ' doing some great thing ' but in enduring and forbearing, 
with heavenly joy of heart. The paradox points to one deep 
characteristic of the Gospel, which prepares the Christian 
for service by the way of a true abnegation of himself as his 
own strength and his own aim" (Note on Col. i. ii in The 
Cambridge Bible'). 


in the believer's soul, shews its presence and 
power most of all in a life of love around. 
It is to come out not only in self-sacrificing 
energy but in the open sympathies of an 
affectionate heart, in the " soft answer," in 
the generous first thought for the interests 
of others — in short, in the whole character 
of I Cor. xiii. The spiritual " power " which 
runs rather in the direction of harshness 
and isolation, which expends itself rather in 
censures than in ** longsuffering, gentleness, 
goodness, and meekness," is not the kind of 
" power " which most accords with the apos- 
tolic idea. Nothing which violates the plain 
precepts of the law of love can take a true 
part in that heavenly harmony. 

" On earth, as in the holy place, 
Nothing is great but charity."* 

iv. Meanwhile the "charity" of the saints 
is not by any means the mere amiability 
which makes itself pleasant to every one, and 
forgets the solemn fact that we who believe 

* A. Vinet, Hymn on the Crucifixion, translated by 
C. W. Moule. 


are the servants of a Master whom the world 
knows not, the messengers of a King against 
whom it is in revolt. The Philippian disciple 
was to renounce the spirit of unkindness, of 
self; he was to live isolated from {yoipii) 
''murmurings and disputings." But he was 
not to hide the sacred Light, for the sake 
of so-called peace, from the world around. 
He was to "hold out the word of life"; 
confessing his blessed Lord as the life of his 
own soul, and so commending Him to the 
souls of his fellows. He was to make this 
a part of his very existence and its activities. 
As truly as it was to be his habit to live 
a life of sweet and winning consistency, it 
was to be his habit to offer {€7r€)(CLv) the 
water of life to the parched hearts around 
him, the lamp of glory to the dark and 
bewildered whom he encountered upon the 
difficult road. The truth and beauty of a life 
possessed by Christ was to be the basis of 
his witnessing activities. But the witness 
was to be articulate, not merely implied ; he 
was to " hold out the word {\6yov) of life " ; 
he was to seize occasion to " give a reason 


{Xoyov) of the hope that was in him, with 
meekness and fear" (i Pet. iii. 15). To be, 
in his way, an evangelist was to be one main 
function of his Hfe. In benignant and gracious 
conduct he was to be as a "luminary" ((jyocrTtjp), 
moving calm and bright in the dark hemi- 
sphere of the world. But he was to be a 
voice as well as a star. He was not only 
to shine ; he was to speak. 

Here is one of the passages, by the way, 
in which the Apostle assumes, and stimulates, 
the " missionary consciousness " of the con- 
verts. It is remarkable that neither he nor 
his brethren have much to say in the Epistles 
about the duty of enterprises of evangelization, 
as laid upon all believers. The stress of 
their appeals is directed above all things on 
the supreme importance of holiness, at any 
cost, in common life. But a passage like this 
shews us how entirely they take it for granted 
all the time that the Churches would never 
concentrate themselves upon merely their own 
Christian life ; they would go out continually, 
with the beauty of holiness and with " the 
word of life," to bring the wanderers in, and 


to extend the knowledge of the blessed Name. 
So, and so only, would their Apostle feel, 
in his prison at Rome, that his " running " 
(eSpafxov) on the great circuit of his evan- 
gelistic journeys, and his pastoral " toil " 
[eKOTTLacra) for the souls of his converts, had 
not been thrown " into the void " (etg to Kevov). 
So, and so only, would his life and death 
of sacrifice for them be crowned with its 
perfect joy. Let him see his beloved converts 
living and speaking as indeed the Lord's 
witnesses, and then with what inward "glad- 
ness" {^aCpeiv), with what a call for ''con- 
gratulation " {(Tvyyai'P^i'v) on their part, would 
he go out to death as the Lord's martyr\ 

♦* O Thou who makest souls to shine 

With light from brighter worlds above, 
And droppest glistening dew divine 
On all who seek a Saviour's love, 

* Do Thou Thy benediction give 

On all who teach, on all who learn, 
That all Thy Church may holier live, 
And every lamp more brightly burn. 
* * * ie * 

" If thus, good Lord, Thy grace be giv'n 
Our glory meets us ere we die ; 
Before we upward pass to heav'n 
We taste our immortality." 

J. Armstrong. 




" Puisse la meme foi qui consola leur vie 
Nous ouvrir les sentiers que leurs pas ont presses, 
Et, dirigeant nos pieds vers la sainte patrie 
Oil leur bonheur s'accroit de leurs travaux passes, 
Nous rendre ces objets de tendresse et d'envie 
Qui ne sont pas perdus, mais nous ont devances." 




Philippians ii. 19-30 

Ver. 19. But I hope in the Lord Jesus, with an 
expectation conditioned by my union with Him in all 
things, and with you in Him, promptly to send to you 
Timotheus,^ that I too, I as well as you, who will of 
course be gladdened by his presence, may be of good 
cheer, getting, through him, a knowledge (71/0^9) of your 
circumstances (ra irepl v/xwv). I send him, and not 

Ver. 20. another, for I have — at hand, and free to 
move — no one equal-souled with him,^ one who {6a-rt<i) 
will genuinely take anxious care about your circum- 
stances; the "care" which is not a weary burthen, 
better cast upon the Lord (iv. 6), but a sacred charge, 
undertaken in and for Him, and absorbing all the 

Ver. 21. thought. For all of them (ot iravre^), all 
from whom I could in this case select, are bent on 

' TiyioBeov is slightly emphatic by its place in the Greek; 
as if to say, " Though / must still be absent, he will soon be 
with you." 

2 Not " equal-souled OT?/>^ myself^' ; which would demand 
rather, in the Greek, ovbeva SKKov e^a laoylfvxpv. 



{^rjTova-t : cp. Col. iii. i) their own interests, not the 
interests of Jesus Christ ; they plead excuses which 
indicate a preference of their own ease, or reputation, 
or affections, to a matter manifestly and wholly His. 

Ver. 22. But the test through which he, Timotheus, 
passed {rrjv SoKifirjv avrov) you remember QycvcoaKeTe, 
" you recognize," as you look back) ; you know that 
as child with father so he with me, in closest com- 
panionship and sympathy, did bondservice^ for the 
Gospel, et9 ro evwyyiXiov, " iinto it," for the furtherance 

Ver. 23. of its enterprise and message. So him then 
(rovTov fiev ovu^) I hope to send, immediately upon (0)9 
av . . . e^avrrj<i) my getting a view of (aTrtSw) my 
circumstances, my position with regard to my trial 

Ver. 24. and its result. But (though I thus allude 
to external uncertainties) I feel sure, in the Lord, in 
the light of union and communion with Him, that I 
too in person shall speedily arrive, in the track of this 
my messenger and torerunner. 

Ver. 25. But I count^ it obligatory {avayKotov), and 

^ Possibly, " entered on bondservice," " took tcp the slave's 
life," with a reference to Timothy's earliest connexion with 
St Paul (Acts xvi. 1-3). But the reference to the memories 
of Phili^^i is much more likely. The aorist, idovkevaev, will 
in this case gather up into one the whole recollection. 

^ The ToiiTov is slightly emphatic by position, for St Paul is 
about to speak of other persons also, himself and Epaphroditus. 

^ 'Hyrjaafirjv : I render the epistolary past by a present tense, 
which is the English idiom. 


not merely a matter for hopes and personal satis- 
faction, to send to you, as I now do, in charge of 
this Letter, another person, Epaphroditus, my brother, 
fellow-worker, and fellow-soldier, a man who has toiled 
and contended at my very side for the Lord and 
against the Enemy, while he is also your missionary 
and ministrant^ for my need. Yes, I feel that I ought 

Ver. 26. to send him, and to send him now ; since 
he has been suffering from home-sickness for^ all of you, 
(all, without exception ; his affection knows no party 
or partiality,) and from the distraction {uZr][jbovo}v) of 
over-wrought feeling, because you have heard that he 

Ver. 27. fell HP (rja-Oivrja-e). And so it was ; for he 
did fall ill, almost fatally (TrapairXrjaiov Oavdrw). 

' So I render airoa-Tokov, to represent something of the 
sacredness attaching by usage to the word. If I read aright, 
we have here an instance of gentle pleasantry, quite in harmony 
with the gravity of the Epistle at large. He takes the Philip- 
pians' message of love and gift of bounty as a sort of gosJ>el 
to himself, and so regards their messenger as a fnissw7tary 
to him. So also with the word Xetroup-yo'y : its usual associa- 
tions in New Testament Greek are sacred, or at least solemn ; 
and so St Paul seems to employ it here. Epaphroditus was 
no mere agent ; he was a " ministrant,^^ commissioned from 
a high quarter — the Philippians' love. 

2 'EireiSr; fnnroSwv rjv : the epistolary past (rju) is rendered in 
accordance with English idiom. 'ETn7ro6oov rjv is perhaps too 
heavily rendered above ; but the phrase is certainly a little 
stronger than iTrenodei would have been. 

^ Perhaps it was an attack of Roman fever. 


But our (6) God pitied him, sparing him the grief of 
broken hopes and purposes in the Lord's work on 
earth, and the grief of being a cause of tears to you ; 
and not only him but also me, that I might not have ^ 
sorrow upon sorrow. For had he died, I should have 
had a sore bereavement, and the sad consciousness 
that you, in a loving effort for my benefit, had lost 
a beloved friend ; and all this added to, heaped upon 
(eVi c. ace), the antecedent pain of my captivity and 
the trials which it involves. 

Ver. 28. With the more earnestness therefore I have 
sent him,^ that seeing him you may be glad again, and 
that I may feel less sorrow, finding my imprisonment, 
and also my loss of this dear friend's company, 
softened to my heart by the thought of your joy in 

Ver. 29. welcoming him back. Receive him therefore 
in the Lord, in all the union and sympathy due to 
your common share in Him, with all gladness, and 

Ver. 30. hold in high value such men as he is ; because 
on account of Christ's work he was at death's very 
door,^ playiug as it were the gambler with his life,* 

^ "Iva fifj . . . o-x<» : lit., "that I may not." But the 
English idiom asks for ^' might." The Greek puts the past 
intention into what was its present aspect. 

- "Enefx-^a avrov : the epistolary aorist. 

^ Quite literally, "up to death he drew near." It is as if 
St Paul had been about to write, fiexP'- ^(ivciTov i^uQivr^a-e, and 
then varied the expression by writing fjyyia-e. 

* Hapa^oXfya-dfjifvos ttj ■^vxj) '■ SO read, not TrnpajSovXtvadixf vos 


that he might (lit., " may ") supply your lack, do the 
service which you could not do, and so complete 
your loving purposes, in regard of the ministration 
you designed for me. 

Our present section illustrates vi^ell the inex- 
haustible variety of Scripture. That pregnant 
Christian thinker, the late Dr John Ker, has 
some good sentences on this subject : ** What 
varieties are in the Bible, side by side! The 
Book of Ruth, with its pastoral quiet after 
the Vicars ot the Judges, like an innocent child 
which has crept between the ranks of hostile 
armies ; the intense devotion of the Psalms 
after the speculative discussions of Job, and 
before the practical wisdom of Proverbs ; the 
gloom of Ecclesiastes, and then the sweetness 
of the Song of Solomon, as sharply divided 
as the eastern morning which leaps from the 
night, or, as an old Greek might have said, 
silver-footed Thetis rising from the bed of old 

(which would mean, "taking evil counsel for his life," neglect- 
ing its interests), Hapa^oXevadixevos is a well-attested reading; 
the verb is not found elsewhere, but the form is abundantly 
likely. It would be developed from the adjective Trapd^oXoy, 
"reckless," connected with the verb irapa^aWfadai, "to cast 
a die." 


Tithonus ; Isaiah's majestic sweep of eagle 
pinion, with Jeremiah's dovelike plaint ; the 
cloudlike obscurities of Ezekiel, to be solved, 
as one might expect, by piercing light from 
the sky ; and the perplexities of Daniel, to be 
opened by the movements of the nations."^ 
What a variety lies before us here ! 

" Into the heaven of heavens we have presumed, 
And drawn empyreal air"; 

while the Apostle has told us (only fourteen 
verses above) how Christ Jesus, in the glory 
of the Throne, in the Form of God, cared for 
us men and for our salvation, and made Him- 
self void, and took the creature-nature, and 
died; and how He is now on the Throne 
again in His Incarnation, to receive supreme 
and universal worship. And then again we 
came back to earth, yet so as to be led into 
the deep secrets of the Lord in the inner life 
of His saints below ; " God is working in you, 
to will and to do, for His good pleasure's 
sake." And then we have seen this inner 

* Thoughts for Heart and Life, by John Ker, D.D. (i 
p. 92- 


life expanding and shewing itself in the 
holy life without, which shines as a star in 
the dark, and speaks like a voice from the 
unseen. And then again we have watched 
the Apostle's martyr-joy as he thinks of dying 
for his Philippians, if need be. Close upon 
all these heights and depths now comes in 
this totally different passage about Timotheus 
and Epaphroditus, with its quiet, practical 
allusions to individual character, and to parti- 
cular circumstances, and to personal hopes and 
duties ; its words of sympathy and sorrow ; 
the dear friend's agitated state of mind ; his 
recent almost fatal illness ; the mercy of his 
recovery ; the pleasurable thought of his 
restoration to the loving circles at Philippi. 

Nothing could be more completely different 
than this from the grand dogmatic passage 
traversed a little while before, nor again from 
the passages to follow in the next chapter, 
where the believer's inmost secrets of accept- 
ance and of life are in view, and his foresight 
of glory. We are placed here not in the upper 
heaven, nor before the judgment-throne, nor 
in the light of the resurrection-morning. We 


are just in the " hired rooms " at Rome, and 
we see the Missionary seated there, studying 
the characters of two of his brethren, and 
weighing the reasons for asking them, at once 
or soon, to arrange for a certain journey. He 
reviews the case, and then he puts down, 
through his amanuensis, for the information 
of the Phihppians, what he thinks of these 
two men, and what he has planned about 

All is perfectly human, viewed from one 
side. I or my reader may at any time, in the 
course of life and duty, be called upon to write 
about Christian friends and fellow -workers of 
our own in a tone neither less nor more human 
and practical than that of this section. In 
any collection of modern Christian letters we 
may find the like. I open at this moment 
the precious volume of Henry Martyn's corre- 
spondence, published (1844) as a companion 
to the Memoir. There I read as follows, in 
a letter to Daniel Corrie, dated Shiraz, Decem- 
ber 12, 181 1 : "Your accounts of the progress 
of the kingdom of God among you are truly 
refreshing. Tell dear H. and the men of both 


regiments that I salute them much in the Lord, 
and make mention of them in my prayers. 
May I continue to hear thus of their state ; 
and if I am spared to see them again, may 
we make it evident that we have grown in 
grace. Affectionate remembrances to your 
sister and to S. I hope they continue to 
prosecute their labours of love. Remember 
me to the people of Cawnpore who enquire. 
Why have I not mentioned Colonel P. ? It 
is not because he is not in my heart, for there 
is hardly a man in the world whom I love and 
honour more. My most Christian salutations 
to him. May the grace of our Lord Jesus 
Christ be with your spirit, dearest brother. 
Yours affectionately, H. Martyn." 

What is the difference in quality and char- 
acter between this extract and our present 
section of Philippians, or between it and many 
another passage in the Pauline Epistles ? From 
one point of view, I repeat it, none — none that 
we either can, or should care to, affirm. Of 
the letters compared, one is as purely human 
as the other, in the simplicity of its topics, 
in its local and personal scope, in its natural 


and individual manner. I would add that, so 
far as we can tell, the one was written under 
just as much or little consciousness of a super- 
natural jprompting as the other. I feel sure 
that when St Paul wrote thus (whatever might 
be his sense of an ajflatus at other times, when 
he wrote, or spoke, or thought, abnormally) 
he " felt " exactly as we feel when writing a 
quiet letter ; he was thinking, arranging topics, 
choosing words, considering the needs of corre- 
spondents, just as simply as we might do. 

And all this is an element inestimably pre- 
cious in the structure and texture of the Bible. 
It is that side or aspect of the Bible which, 
at least to innumerable minds, brings the whole 
Book, in a sense so genuine, home ; making it 
felt in the human heart as a friend truly con- 
versant with our nature and our life. " Thy 
testimonies," writes the Bible-loving Psalmist 
(Ps. cxix. 24), " are the men of my counsel," 
ans/iiy 'atsdthi', a pregnant phrase, which 
puts vividly before us "the human element" 
of the blessed Word, its varieties and indivi- 
dualities, its living voice, or rather voices, and 
the sympathetic confidence which it invites 


as it draws close to us to advise and guide. 
How perfectly in contrast are the Bible on 
the one side, with this humanity and com- 
panionship, and such a ** sacred book " as the 
Koran on the other, with its monotonous 
oracles ! Strange, that the man-made " sacred 
book " should be so little humane and the 
God-made Book so deeply and beautifully so ! 
Yet not strange, after all. For God knows 
man better than man knows himself; and 
when He prepares a Book of books for man, 
we may expect it to correspond to the deep 
insight of Him who is Maker ot both the 
volume and the reader. 

For now on the other part we have to 
remember that this Book, so naturally and 
humanly written, as to a very large proportion 
of its contents, is yet God-made all through. 
It is, in a sense quite peculiar to itself, divine. 
I quoted a passage from a letter of Henry 
Marty n's just now, on purpose to place it 
beside this letter of St Paul's, with a view to 
shewing the likeness of the two. But are 
they like in all respects ? No ; they present 
a radical difference from another side. It is 


just this, that the biblical letter is not only- 
human as to its type and utterance ; as to 
its message, it is authoritative, it is from God. 
Henry Martyn writes as a Christian man, and 
it helps us spiritually to be in contact with 
his affectionate and holy thoughts. Paul 
writes as a Christian man, but also as "a 
chosen vessel to bear the Name " of his Lord ; 
as the messenger of the mind of Christ ; as 
he who received "his Gospel" "not of man, 
nor by man, but by the revelation ot Jesus 
Christ" (Gal. i. 12). From his own days to 
these he has been known in the Church of 
God as the divinely commissioned prophet and 
teacher. Clement of Rome in the first century 
refers to him as having written to Corinth by 
divine inspiration.^ Simon Peter, earlier than 
Clement, refers to Paul (2 Pet. iii. 16) as the 
writer of "Scriptures," ypacjyai : that solemn 
word, restricted in the language of Christianity 
to the oracles of God. 

The simplest and seemingly most naturalistic 

' See Ep. i. ad. Cor., § 47 : " Take up the Epistle of the 
blessed Paul, the Apostle. ... He wrote to you in the Spirit 
(TTveu/xariKoJs) about himself, and Cephas, and ApoUos." 


passage occurring in a Pauline letter is a 
" Scripture " ; and as such it speaks to me 
only not like the utterances of a Martyn but 
with the voice of the Lord of the Gospel. 
** Paul, Paul — his letters I have read, but not 
always I agree with him ! " So, according to 
the story, said a German literary visitor in 
an Oxford common-room, fifty years ago ; the 
words shocked the Anglican company. Very 
many people think with the German now, 
whether or no they have really " read Paul's 
letters." But their thought is not that of 
the Church ot God ; and the soul that will 
indeed make experiment of what " Paul's 
letters " can be when they are read as divine, 
and before God, will surely find itself in 
harmony in this matter with the Church. It 
will be little disposed to take up the cry 
(true enough in itself), *' Back to Christ," in 
that false sense which discredits the servant's 
words as if the Master was not committed to 
them. "If they have kept My saying, they 
will keep yours also." 

In a passage like the present therefore we 
feel the two elements or aspects, the human 


and the divine, each real and powerful, and 
both working in perfect harmony. The human 
is there, not in the least as a necessary element 
of error ; rather as an element ot delicate and 
beautiful truth, the truth of justest thought 
and feeling. The divine is there, as the 
message from Christ Himself through His 
servant ; sacred, authoritative, binding on be- 
lief, giving solid ground for the soul's repose. 
We study here St Paul's watchful and unselfish 
remembrance of the Philippians, in the case 
of Timothy and his mission, and still more in 
that of Epaphroditus. We recognize of course 
the actings of a noble human heart, and we 
are right to do so. But we find more than 
this ; we see Jesus Christ informing us, in 
the concrete example of His servant, exactly 
how it behoves us, as His servants, to feel 
and act under our responsibilities. St Paul's 
thought and action is " written for our learn- 
ing." True, the " learning " comes not as a 
mere code, or lecture. It takes the form of 
a living experience, recorded, in the course 
of correspondence, by the man who is going 
through it. But the man is a vehicle of 


revelation. He writes about himself ; but his 
Master is behind him, and is taking care 
that his whole thought shall be the well- 
adjusted conveyance of a thought greater than 
his own. 

As we come to the incidental details ot the 
passage, we find the same double aspect of 
Scripture everywhere. St Paul speaks about 
people who are " seeking their own interests, 
and not the interests of Jesus Christ " (ver. 21). 
He says this quite naturally, and with a 
reference quite local and in detail. But on 
the other side the words are an oracle ; they 
convey the message of the Master of His 
people ; they implicitly claim on His part that 
we shall seek not our own interests, but His. 
Again, quite in passing, the Apostle speaks 
of this or that " hope " or " trust " as being 
formed " in the Lord." He does so with 
no conscious dogmatic purpose, surely ; it is 
because it comes as naturally to him to do it 
as for an ordinary correspondent to say that he 
hopes to do this or that " if all goes well." 
But in the epistolary Scripture these brief 
phrases have another side ; they are authority 



and oracle ; they convey the mind of Christ 
about our right relations with Him ; they tell 
us, from Him, that it is His will that we too, 
as His, should form our hopes and plans " in 
Him," in conscious recollection of our being 
His members. 

St Paul speaks again of his human sensi- 
bilities. He tells us of his sorrows, and his 
longings for encouragement, and his thank- 
fulness that an aggravation of trial, " sorrow 
upon sorrow," has been spared him. He 
speaks of Epaphroditus, and of his generous 
carelessness of his own health and life, and 
of the illness he had contracted, and of his 
merciful recovery, and of his home-sick longing 
for Philippi, and of his " bewilderment " of 
regret as he thinks of the Philippians' anxiety 
about him. All this is quite as naturally and 
" humanly " conceived and written on St Paul's 
part as anything that I or my reader ever 
wrote about joys and griefs, our own or of 
our friends. But not one whit the less is this 
all a message, an oracle, from our Lord Jesus 
Christ, in a sense in which no letter of ours 
could possibly be such. For it is a "Scripture." 


And so it tells me from above that the free 
and loving exercise of human sympathies is 
entirely according to the will of God ; that 
human tears and longings are in perfect 
harmony with holiness. It assures me that 
from one point of view it is right to speak 
of the prolongation of the believer's life as 
a " mercy," even though " to depart is to be 
with Christ, which is far better." It assures 
me, let me notice by the way, that bodily sick- 
ness is not by any means necessarily a direct 
result or index of sinfulness in the sufferer. 
There are those who think and say that it is. 
But this is not the view of the "chosen vessel." 
He sees no sin in Epaphroditus' " falling ill, 
nigh unto death," "drawing near, up to death." 
It is for him only an occasion for fresh grati- 
tude and affection towards the sufferer, and 
for deep thanksgivings to Him who in His 
mercy has granted the recovery. All this is 
not only an experience, recorded with beautiful 
naturalness ; it is a revelation, an oracle. We 
learn by it, as by the voice of Christ, that 
although "He took our infirmities and bare 
our sicknesses," His servants do not therefore 


of necessity fail in either faith or love when 
they suffer " in this tabernacle," and " groan, 
being burthened." Let them look indeed with 
great simplicity, in humble faith, for the heal- 
ing power of their Lord, whether or not it 
may please Him to apply it through human 
agency. But do not let them think it an act 
of faith to dictate to Him, as it were, the 
necessity of their physical recovery. "If it 
be Thy will," is never out of place in such 
appeals. Faith can breathe its most absolute 
and restful reliance into that " If" 

We close the section ot Timotheus and 
Epaphroditus. We have given our main 
thought to the light which it throws upon the 
nature of the Scriptures, those blessed " men of 
our counsel." We have scarcely turned aside 
to think of the actual " men " of the passage ; 
Timotheus, and his self-forgetting devotion to 
the Lord and to St Paul, overcoming the 
sensitiveness of a tender nature ; Epaphroditus, 
at once brave and affectionate, yearning for the 
old friends in the old scene, restless in the 
thought of their trouble about him, yet ready 


to " throw his life down as a die " in the cause 
of God and of His people. But if we have 
said little about them, it is not that we do 
not love their very names, and feel our union 
with them. 

"Once they were mourning here below"; 

finding then, as we find now, that the~~tJay^ 
burthen is no dream. But we shall see them 
hereafter, in the mercy of God, " changed and 
glorified," yet the same, where there will be 
leisure to learn all the lessons that all the 
saints can teach us from their experience of 
the love of Jesus. 

Meanwhile let us pray, with the Moravians 
in their beautiful Liturgy : 

J^eep us in everlasting fellowship with our 
brethren of the Church triumphant, and let us 
rest together in Thy presence from otir laboiirs. 

"One family we dwell in Him, 
One Church, above, beneath, 
Though now di%'ided by the stream, 
The narrow stream of death. 

"One army of the living God 
To His command we bow ; 
Part of His host hath cross'd the flood. 
And part is crossing now." 

C. Wesley. 




O Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life ; Grant 
us perfectly to know Thy Son Jesus Christ to be the wa}', the truth, 
and the life ; that, following the steps of Thy holy Apostles, we may 
stedfastly walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life ; through the 
same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Collect for St Philip and St James. 




Philippians iii. i-ii 

WITH the section just closed the Epistle 
reaches its middle point and already 
looks towards its end. We may lawfully think 
of St Paul as pausing here in his dictation ; he 
returns to it after some considerable interval, 
with new topics, or rather with one important 
new topic, in his mind. Hitherto, if we have 
read him aright, we have seen him occupied, 
from one side or another, with the thought 
of Christian Unity at Philippi. That thought 
has been either explicitly developed, as in the 
close of the first chapter, and in the opening 
of the second, and again in the passage em- 
bracing ii. 14-16 ; or it has been rather implied 
than expounded. The Apostle's assurances 
of love and prayer have been often worded 



SO as to suggest it. The grand passage of 
doctrine, ii. 5-1 1, has been occasioned directly 
by it, and is made to bear immediately upon 
it ; the Lord's wonderful self-abnegation (if 
the word may be tolerated) is revealed and 
asserted there, not in an isolated way, but as 
it speaks to the believer of the spirit which 
should animate him, and which will preclude 
jealousies and separations as nothing else can. 
And even the paragraph where Timotheus and 
Epaphroditus are before us is tinged with the 
same feeling ; what the Apostle says about 
both these dear friends is so said as to unite 
the sympathies of the Philippians. 

But he has more to speak of than this sacred 
call to union of spirit and of life in Christ. 
We gather that Epaphroditus, talking over 
the condition of the Mission with his leader, 
had alluded to the presence there of serious 
doctrinal perils, which must ultimately affect 
Christian holiness. That ubiquitous difficulty, 
the propaganda of anti-Pauline Christian 
Judaism, had come on the scene, or was 
just coming. The teachers who affirmed, or 
insinuated, that Jesus Christ could be reached 


only through the ceremonial law, were now 
to be reckoned with. The converts were 
disturbed, or soon might be disturbed, by- 
being told that proselytism to Moses, sealed 
by circumcision, was a sine qua non in order 
to a valid hope of salvation through the 
Gospel ; that the man awakened from his 
paganism must be at least something of a Jew 
to be anything of a Christian ; that the door 
was not absolutely open between the sinner's 
soul and the Saviour, to be passed through 
by the one step of a living trust in the Promise. 
Let us remember that assertions like these, 
which to Christians now may seem obviously 
futile, by no means necessarily seemed so then. 
Then, much more than now, pagan enquirers 
after Jesus would be sure to be conscious that 
the true salvation offered was, in one sense, 
emphatically a Jewish salvation. It was the 
message which told of the life and death, the 
person and work, of One who was, "after 
the flesh," a Jew. It was the announcement 
that the long hope of Israel was fulfilled in 
Him. Its terminology was full of words and 
ideas altogether Jewish. And its messengers 


— above all, for the Philippians, St Paul — were 
Jews, of unmistakable nationality, training, 
and (doubtless) appearance. On a first view, 
on a hasty and shallow view certainly, it may 
have seemed a quite natural incident in such 
a message when some of its propagandists 
asserted that to reach this Hebrew Deliverer 
and King the enquirer must form a connexion 
in religion which should be definitely Hebrew. 
It is conceivable that even yet, in the history 
of the Church, this phase of error may in some 
form assert itself again. We look in the future, 
it may be in the near future, for the keeping to 
the old Israel of promises which have never 
been revoked. We believe that Rom. xi. shall 
yet find its fulfilment, and that the " receiving 
of them again shall be life from the dead " to 
the world. In that great period of blessing, 
the work of missions may (shall we not say, 
probably will ?) be very largely taken up by 
Hebrew Christians. And if any of these, like 
some of their predecessors of the first age, 
should have only a distorted view of the Gospel 
of Christ, their intense national character may 
tell not a little on the form of their message. 


But this is by the way. All that is really before 
us here is the fact that — not the open hostility 
of unconverted Jews but — the sidelong counter- 
action of Judaistic Christians was threatening 
Philippi, and must be met by the Apostle. 

Nor was this, if we explain rightly the close 
of ch. iii., the only such danger in the air. 
The antinomian traitor was also within the 
gates. There were those who could assert 
that the Gospel, the Pauline Gospel, the 
wonderful message ot Justification by Faith 
only, and of a life lived in the Spirit as its 
sequel, was the very truth they held and 
rejoiced in ; but they taught it so as to reason 
from it that practical holiness did not matter ; 
the justified, the accepted, the man of the 
Spirit, lived in a transcendental religious 
region ; he was not to be bound in conduct 
by common rules. Was he not in grace ? 
And was not grace the antithesis of works ? 
Was not grace, before everything else, the 
condonation of sin ? And the more it did that 
work, was it not the more glorious? "Shall 
we not continue in sin then, that grace may 
abound?" What does it signify, though the 


perishable and burthensome body defiles itself? 
The emancipated spirit of the " spiritual " man 
lives on another plane ; the sensual and 
the mystical elements may approach, may run 
parallel, but can never meet. The body may 
sin ; the spirit must be pure — if only the man 
is in grace. 

Such assuredly were some of the conditions 
of error and evil to be considered when on 
that far-oft day, in his Roman chamber, St Paul 
turned his soul again to Philippi, and asked 
his scribe to write. There is a solemn comfort 
in the thought. In our days of trial, when 
again and again it is as if " the foundations 
were destroyed," it is something to remember 
the awful mental and moral trials of the apos- 
tolic age. It was indeed an " age of faith " ; 
but, as the other side of that very fact, it was 
an age of clouds and darkness, trom the point 
not of " faith " but of " sight." It had a glorious 
answer to the tremendous questions that beset 
it. But that answer was not human reasoning, 
or material successes ; it was the Lord Jesus 
Christ. And so it is for us to-day. 

But now St Paul is at work ; let us listen, 

•* BE GLAD IN THE LORD " 1 59 

and we shall hear how promptly he brings that 
answer to bear in his letter to Philippi.^ 

Ver. I. For the rest (to Xolttov), my brethren, to 
turn now to another topic, as I draw towards an 
end, let me give you this comprehensive watchword 
Be glad in the Lord.^ To write the same things to you, 
to reiterate that one thought, that CHRIST is our 

* The reader may be aware that Bishop Lightfoot's theory 
of the connexion of thought at the beginning of ch. iii. is 
different from that advocated here. He thinks that St Paul 
dictated on continuously /z7/ ^Ae close of iii. i, and was 
interrupted thete, and then began de novo with iii. 2, entirely 
on another line. In this view, the words about "writing the 
same things unto you" refer still to Christian unity, on 
which St Paul was going to dilate further, but a sudden pause 
occurred, and the theme was dropped. With reverence for 
the great expositor, I cannot but think this unlikely. It 
assumes that St Paul was curiously indifferent to the sequence 
of thought in an important apostolic message, which assuredly 
he would read over again before it was. actually sent. A theory 
which fairly explains the passage, and meanwhile avoids the 
thought of such indifference, seems to me far preferable. 

^ The words obviously may be rendered, " Farewell in the 
Lord " ; and so some take them, explaining that St Paul was 
intending to close immediately, and so wrote his "Adieu" 
here ; but then changed his plan. This is very unlikely 
however. See below, iv. 4 : Xaipere ev Kvpia iravrore. The 
"always" there scarcely suits a formula of farewell, while 
it perfectly suits an injunction to be glad. And that passage 
is the obvious echo of this. — A.V. and R.V. both render 
" rejoice," though R.V. writes " or, farewell" in the margin 


glory and our joy, "to me not irksome, it is safe for 
you."^ Safe, because there are spiritual dangers 
around you from which this will be the best preserva- 
tive ; false teachings which can only be fully met 
with the gladness of the truth of Christ. Beware of, 
Ver. 2. keep your eyes open upon (/SXevrere), the 
*' dogs," the men who would excommunicate all who 
hold not with their half-Christian Pharisaism and its 
legal burthens, but who are themselves thus self- 
excluded from the covenant blessing. Beware of the 
evil workmen, the teachers whose watchword is " works, 
works, works," a weary round of observances and 
would-be merits, but who are sorry work-mot indeed, 
spoiling the whole structure of " Heaven's easy, artless, 
unencumber'd plan." Beware of the concision, the 
apostles of a mere physical wounding, which, as 
enjoined according to their principles, is nothing 
better than a mutilation {jcaTaToyJ]), a parody of 
what circumcision was meant to be, as the sacrament 

St Chrysostom in his comments here explains the passage as 
referring to the Christian's joy {xapa). The ancient Latin 
versions render Gaicdete (not valete) in Domino. 

^ I thus render rhythmically the rhythmical Greek (it is 
an iambic trimeter) : l\ioi fiev ovk oKvrjpov, vfuv 8' dcrcftaXes. It 
is probable that the words are a quotation from a Greek 
poet, perhaps a " comic" poet ; the " comedies " being full of 
neatly expressed reflexions. For such a quotation, probably 
from the " comedian " Menander, see i Cor, xv. 33 : (pdeipova-iv 
fj6t] XPW^' ofxikiai KOKai: ^^ III converse cankers fair morality" 


of a preparatory dispensation now terminated in its 
Vcr. 3. fulfilment. For not they but we are the 
circumcision, the true Israel of the true covenant, 
sealed and purified by our God; we who by God's 
Spirit worship,^ doing priestly service in a spiritual 
temple * in a life, love, and power, which is ours by 
the presence in us of the Holy Ghost, the promise 
of the Father ; and who exult, not in tribal, national, 
ceremonial prerogatives, but in Christ Jesus, our refuge 
and our crown, our righteousness and glory, with an 
exultation infinitely warmer than the legalist's can 
be, and meanwhile pure, for its source is altogether 
not ourselves ; and who, in Him, not in the flesh,^ not 

' The reading ol nvev^an Qeov (not OtS) XaTpevovres is to be 

' Aarpevfiv means first to do servants' work, then to do 
religious "service" (so almost always in LXX. and N.T.) 
and sometimes specially ^rzi^j-Z/y duty (see e.g. Heb. xiii. 10). 
This latter may be in view here : we Christians, born anew 
of the Spirit, are the true _pries Is, and we little need to be 
made Jewish proselytes first. 

^ The adp^ in St Paul is very fairly represented by the word 
" self" as used popularly in religious language. It is man 
taken as apart from God, and so man versus God ; then by 
transition it may mean, as here, the products of such a 
source, the labours of the self-life to construct a self- 
righteousness. It is hardly necessary to say that, in such 
contexts as this, where it stands more or less distinguished 
from the irvevfia, it is not a synonym for "the body." Sins 
of "the flesh" may be sins purely of the mind, as e.g. 
"emulation" (Gal. v. 20). 



in self and its workings, are confident (for confident 
we are, but it is a "confidence in self-despair," the 
confidence of those who have been driven by self- 
discovery to Christ alone). ^ I speak with a general 
reference, of all true disciples ; but let me instance 
myself as a case peculiarly in point. I speak thus, 

Ver. 4. though having (e%&)y), I, myself (e7&)), from 
their view-point, confidence even in flesh. Whoever else 
thinks of confiding in fiesh, of building a legal standing- 
place on his privilege and merit, I may do so more 
than he ; for I have reached the ne plus tiltra in that 

Ver. 5. direction. As for circumcision,^ I was an 
eight-day child ; no proselyte, operated upon in later 
life, but a son of the Covenant ; descended from 
Israel's race, one of the progeny of him who was 
a prince with God (Gen. xxxii. 28) ; of Benjamin's 
tribe, the tribe which gave the first God-chosen king 
to the nation, and which remained " faithful among 
the faithless " to the house of David at a later day ; 
Hebrew offspring of Hebrew ancestors,^ child of a home 

' I thus attempt to convey the emphasis of the words 
ovK. (V (rapid TrenoiBoTes, which is not precisely as if he had 
written ov irfn. tv crapKi. 

^ HfpiTOfjL^ : a dative of reference, a frequent construction 
with St Paul. See Rom.xii. 10-12 for several examples together. 

^ See Trench, Synonyms, § xxxix., for the special meanings 
of ^laparjKlrrjs, the member of the Covenant-people ; 'E^paios, 
the Jew who was true to his inmost national traditions ; and 
'loi/Saloy, the Jew merely as other than the Gentile. 


in which, immemorially, the old manners and the 
old speech were cherished ; in respect of the Law,^ a 
Pharisee — the votary of religious precision, elaborate 
devotion, exclusive privilege, and energetic prose- 

Ver. 6. lytism ; in respect of zeal, intense and per- 
fectly sincere, persecuting the Church; in respect of 
the righteousness which resides in the Law, as its terms 
are understood by the Pharisee, found ('yev6/jbevo<;) 
blameless.^ Such was my position, I possessed an 
ideal pedigree ; full sacramental position from the 
first ; domestic traditions pure and strict ; an absolute 
personal devotion to the cause of my creed ; the most 
rigorous observance of its rules ; the most energetic 

Ver. 7. efforts to maintain and extend its power. But 
the kind of things which (ariva) I felt (/iol rjv) so many 
gains,' these things I have . come to consider (rjyqfxai, 
perfect), because of our (rov) Christ (discovered at last 
in His glory, as the slain and risen Jesus), just one 

^ The article is absent ; but context leaves no doubt of the 
special reference here. 

2 In solemn contrast but with perfect consistency, from 
another point of view — that not of the Pharisee but of GOD 
— he can point out elsewhere that "no flesh" can possibly 
claim "righteousness" on the ground of fulfilment of code 
and precept. See especially Rom. iii. 19, 20. But his 
business here is to meet the legalist on the legalist's own 

' Notice the plural; as if, miser-like, he had counted his 
bags of treasure. And then see the contrasted singular, 
Cr]ixiav : he finds them all one mass of loss. 


loss, one deprivation ; not merely a worthless thing, 
but a ruinous one ; a robbery of the true Blessing 

Ver. 8. from my soul. Aye more, I actually (/cat) 
now consider all things, from all points of view, all 
possessions, all ambitions, to be similarly loss, depriva- 
tion, because of the surpassingness of the knowledge of 
Christ Jesus my Lord, because of the immeasurable 
betterness of a spirit-sight of what He is, in Himself, 
and as my own ; because of whom — on account of 
what He now was to me — I suffered deprivation 
{i^7]fn,o}6r]v) of my all (ra iravra), in the crisis of my 
change ; and I consider it only refuse,' rubbish, that 
I may gain ^ (in a blessed exchange of profit against 
loss, the loss of what I thought my " gains ") Christ, 
nothing less than HiM, my boundless Wealth (ttXoOto? 

Ver. 9. ave^L')(ylaaTov, Eph. iii. 8), and be found, at 
any and every " time of finding " (Ps. xxxii. 7, Heb.) 
by the Holy One, in Him, one with Him, in His 
precious merits and in His risen life, but now espe- 
cially in His merits ; not having a righteousness of my 
own, that derived from the Law, a title to acceptance 
drawn from my own supposed perfect correspondence 

' 2Kv/3aXa : the Greek etymologists derived the word from 
Kvcri /SaXeli/, " to cast to dogs." Otherwise it is traced to a 
connexion with (TKOip^ " excrement." 

^ Practically, he means "that I might gain," in the past 
transaction of conversion and surrender. He thinks the past 
over again. 


to the Law, but that which comes through faith in^ 
Christ, through reliance wholly reposed in Him, the 
righteousness which is derived not from the Law but 
from God, coming wholly out of His uncaused and 
sacred mercy, on terms of our (rrj) faith, conditioned ^ 

Ver. 10. to us by simply our accepting reliance ; in 
order to know Him, Him, my Lord, with an intuition 
possible only to the soul which accepts Him for its 
All ; and the power of His Resurrection, as that Resur- 
rection assures His people of their justification (Rom. 
iv. 24, 25), and of their coming glory (i Cor. xv. 20), 
and yet more as He, by His life-giving Spirit, shed 
forth from Him the risen Head, lives His " indis- 
soluble life" (Heb. vii. 16) in His members; and 
the partnership of His sufferings, that deep experience 
of union with Him which comes through daily 
** taking up the cross," in His steps, for His sake, and 
in His strength ; growing into conformity (a-ufx/iopcfit- 
fo/i6vo9, a present participle) with His Death, drawn 
evermore into spiritual harmony with Him who 
wrought my salvation out by an ineffable surrender 

Ver. 11. of Himself to suffer; if somehow I may 
arrive, along the appointed path of the believer's 

^ Lit., " faith 0/" nla-Tecos XpLcrrov. This use of the genitive 
with TTia-Tis, to denote its object, is frequent. Cp. e.g. Mark 
xi. 22 ; Gal. ii. 16, 20. 

^ Even as the benefit of food is conditioned to us by our 
(not buying but) eating it. 


obedience, at the resurrection which is out from 
the dead (rrjv i^avdcrraatu ttjv eK veKpwv : so read) ; 
" that blessed hope " for all who sleep in Him, 
when their whole existence, redeemed and perfected, 
shall leave the world of " the dead " behind for 

Here is a piece of consecutive rendering and 
paraphrase longer than usual. And meanwhile 
the passage before us is one of extraordinary 
fulness and richness, alike in its record of 
experience and its teaching of eternal truths. 
But it seemed impossible to break into frag- 
ments the glorious wholeness of the Apostle's 
thought and utterance. And then, the utter- 
ance is so rich, so detailed, so explanatory of 
itself, that I could not but feel that, for very 
much of it at least, my best commentary was 
the closest rendering I could offer, with a few 
brief suggestions by the way. 

Drawing now to a close, I can only indicate, 
under one or two headings, some main messages 
to the mind and soul. 

i. I gather from the connexion of the passage, 
as we have traced it, the supreme importance 
of a true joy in the Lord, a true personal sight of 


"the King in His beauty," in order to our 
spiritual orthodoxy. Let me quote again from 
the Prayer Book of the Moravians, from which 
I gave one short extract in the last chapter. 
In their " Church Litany," among the first 
suffrages, occur these petitions : " From cold- 
ness to Thy merits and death, From error and 
misunderstanding, From the loss of our glory 
in Thee, Preserve us, gracious Lord and God!' 
The words are the very soul of St Paul, as it 
conveys the Spirit's oracle to us here. St Paul 
dreads exceedingly for the Philippians the 
incursion of " error and misunderstanding" ; 
the advent of a mechanical rigorism of rule 
and ordinance, and (as we shall see in later 
pages) the subtle poison also of the specious 
antinomian lie. How does he apply the anti- 
dote ? In the form of an appeal to them to 
be sure to not to " lose their glory in the 
Lord " ; and then he writes a record of his own 
experience in which he shews them how his 
own Pharisaic treasures had all been cast away, 
or willingly given up to the spoiler ; and why ? 
Not for abstract reasons, but "because of the 
surpassingness of the knowledge of Christ 


Jesus my Lord " ; because of the irresistible 
and infinite betterness of His discovered glory, 
seen in the atoning Cross and the Resur- 
rection power. 

Let us •* arm ourselves likewise with the 
same mind." We have countless perils about 
us in our modern Christendom, things which 
only too easily can trouble the reason and 
sway the will away from the one " hope set 
before us." Let us meet them, whatever else 
we do, with the Moravians' prayer. Let us 
meet them with obedience to the Apostle's 
positive injunction, " Rejoice in the Lord." 

ii. The passage bids us remember the pro- 
found connexion between a true "knowledge" 
ot the Lord Jesus as our Atonement and a 
true "knowledge" of Him as our Life and 
Power. Both are here. In ver. 9, so it seems 
to me, any unprejudiced reader of St Paul's 
writings must see language akin to those great 
passages of Romans and Galatians which put 
before us the supreme question of our Justi- 
fication, and which send us for our whole hope 
of Acceptance before the eternal Judge, whose 
law we have broken, to the Atoning Death of 


our Lord Jesus Christ. In those passages, 
demonstrably as I venture to think, the word 
" Righteousness " is largely used as a short 
term for the Holy One's righteous way of 
accepting us sinners for the sake of the Sinless 
One, who, in our nature, was ** made a curse 
for us," " made sin for us," " delivered for our 
offences," " set forth for a propitiation," that 
we might be "justified from all things " in our 
union with Him by faith. If so, this is the 
purport of similar phrases here also. St Paul 
is thinking here first of the discovered glory 
of Christ as the propitiation for his sins, his 
peace with God, his refuge and his rest for 
ever against the accuser and the curse. That 
comes first, profoundly first. 

But then we have also here the sequel truth, 
the glorious complement. Here is Acceptance, 
wholly for Jesus Christ's most blessed sake. 
But this is but the divine condition to another 
divine and transcendent blessing ; it is revealed 
as the way in to a knowledge of this Lord of 
Peace, a deep and unspeakable knowledge of 
Him, such as shall infuse into His disciple 
the power of His Risen Life, and the secret 


of an inward assimilation ot the soul to the 
very principle of His Death, and shall be the 
path whose end shall be His glory. 

St Paul here bids us never put asunder what 
God hath joined together. " Never further 
than the Cross, never higher than Thy feet " ; 
there may we be "found," "in Him"; un- 
shaken by surrounding mysteries, and meekly 
resolute against fashions of opinion. Let us 
be recognized for those who truly know for 
themselves, and truly commend to others, 
that blessed " Justification by Faith " which is 
still, as ever, the Beautiful Gate of the Gospel. 

" 'Tis joy enough, my All in All, 
Before Thy feet to lie ; 
Thou wilt not let me lower fall, 
And who can higher fly ? " 

But then let us be known as those who, 
accepting Christ Jesus as our i\ll for peace, 
(whatever we may have to " consider to be 
loss " that we may do so,) have clasped Him 
also as our Hidden Life, our Risen Power, 
our King within. 

" O Jesus Christ, grow Thou in me, 
And all things else recede; 


My heart be daily nearer Thee, 
From sin be daily freed." ^ 

Always at the atoning Cross ; — yes, every 
day and hour ; " knowing no other stand " 
before the face of the Holy One. Always 
receiving there the Risen Life, the presence 
inwardly of the Risen One, the secret power 
tp suffer and to serve in peace ; — yes, for 
ever yes ; "to the praise of the glory of 
His grace." 

So, and only so, shall we live the life of 
real sinners really saved; ** worshipping by 
the Spirit of God, exulting in Christ Jesus, 
and confident, but not in the flesh." 

* See the whole hymn (rendered from Lavater's O Jesu 
Christe, wachs in mir) in Hymns of Cofisecration, 295. 

"We will dwell on Calvary's mountain 
Where the flocks of Zion feed, 
Oft resorting to that fountain 

Open'd when our Lord did bleed ; 

Thence deriving 
Grace, and life, and holiness." 

From the Moravian Hymn-book. 




"I WANT that adorning divine 

Thou only, my God, can'st bestow; 
I want in those beautiful garments to shine 
Which distinguish Thy household below. 

"I want, as a traveller, to haste 

Straight onward, nor pause on my way. 
Nor forethought nor anxious contrivance to waste 
On the tent only pitch'd for a day, 

"I want — and this sums up my prayer — 
To glorify Thee till I die, 
Then calmly to yield up my soul to Thy care, 
And breathe out, in faith, my last sigh." 

Charlotte Elliott. 



Philippians iii. 12-16 

IN a certain sense we have completed our 
study of the first section of the third 
chapter of the Epistle. But the treatment 
has been so extremely imperfect, in view of 
the importance of that section, that a few 
further remarks must be made. Let us ponder 
one weighty verse, left almost unnoticed when 
we touched it. 

Observe then the brief, pregnant account of 
the true Christian, given in ver. 3 : '* We are 
the circumcision, we who by God's Spirit 
worship, and who exult in Christ Jesus, and 
who, not in the flesh, are confident." This 
is a far-reaching description of the true 
member of the true Israel, the man of the 
Covenant of grace. 



Note first its positive lines. " We worship^' 
" we exult,'' " we are coiifident !' Every 
affirmation is full of divine principles of truth. 
" We worship " ; ours is a hallowed, dedicated, 
and reverent life. It is spent in a sanctuary. 
Whatever we have to be, or to do, as to 
externals ; whether to rule a province, a church, 
a school, a home ; whether to keep accounts, 
or sweep a room ; whether to evangelize the 
slums of a city, or the dark places of 
heathenism, or to teach language, or science, 
or music ; whether to be active all day long, 
or to lie down alone to suffer ; whatever be 
our actual place and duty in the world, " we 
worships "■ We have set the Lord always 
before us." We have " sanctified Christ as 
Lord in our hearts" (i Pet. iii. 15 ; so read). 
We belong to Him everywhere, and we 
recollect it. We owe adoring reverence to 
Him everywhere, and we recollect it. Let 
us reiterate the fact ; ours is a hallowed life, 
for it belongs to a divine Master ; it is a 
reverent life, for that Master in His great- 
ness is to us an abiding Presence. The fact 
of Him, the thought of Him, has expelled 


from our lives the secular air and the light 
and flippant spirit. We are nothing if not 

Then, secondly, " we exult'' Ours is a life 
of gladness, so far as it is the true Christian 
life. Constantly and profoundly chastened 
by its worshipping character, it is constantly 
quickened and illuminated by this element of 
exultation. The word is strong, Ka.vyo}[iG^oi, 
"exulting." We observe that the Apostle 
does not say that we are resigned, that we 
are at peace, that there is a calm upon us. 
This is true; but he says that "we exult T 
The " still waters," the mey rnnuchoth of 
Ps. xxiii. 2, are anything but stagnant. They 
are a lake ; but it is a lake upon a river, 
like the fair waters of Galilee, receiving and 
giving, and therefore alive with pure move- 
ment, while yet surrounded by the " rest," 
mntlchdh, which means repose not from action 
but underneath it. " We exult." Ours is not 
an autumn of feeling ; not a state of the soul 
in which the characteristics are the sighs and 
starting tears of memory and apprehension. 
It is an everlasting spring, in which the mighty 



but temperate Sun of Salvation is shining, 
and will not set ; not parching but quickening 
all day long, *' We exult." It is a happy 
life, not only with the happiness of a cheerful 
contentment, beautiful as that is ; ours is the 
happiness of wondering discovery, and rich 
possession, and ever-opening prospects ; it is 
'* quick and lively " ; it is " exultation." 

Then, " we are confident!' If I traced the 
bearing of this clause aright, in the last chapter, 
we shall feel that the word- TreTroi^ores is meant 
to carry a positive message. It is not only 
that "we do not rely on the flesh " ; it is that 
" we are reliant, though not on the flesh." 
Even so, in the true idea of the Christian life. 
" We are confidejitT We are not wanderers 
from one peradventure to another ; we are 
reliant, we are assured, we know where we 
are, and what we are, and whither we are 
bound. True, we are intensely conscious of 
the limits of our knowledge ; it is only here 
and there that we can absolutely say, " We 
know." But then, the points where we can 
say so are points of supreme importance. 
" We know that the Son of God is come." 


" We know that our sins are forgiven us for 
His name's sake." " We know that all things 
work together for good to them that love 
God." " We know that if our earthly house 
of this tabernacle is dissolved, we have a 
building of God, a house not made with hands, 
eternal in the heavens ; therefore we are 
always confident^ And all this is summed 
up in the thought that " we know whom we 
have believed, and that He is able to keep 
what we have committed unto Him." Our 
certainty is a confiding certainty. It does 
not reside in our courage, or our mental 
insight ; it is lodged in a Person, who is 
such that He claims our entire reliance on 
His work, His word. Himself 

Then from its other side this wonderful 
verse gives us the cautions, the negatives, of 
the Christian life ; though even here it speaks 
the language of the highest positive truth. 
" We worship by God's Spirit'' ; our reverence, 
our adoration, the hallowing and religiousness 
of our lives, is not a form imposed from with- 
out ; it is a power exerting itself from within, 
having come to our poor hearts from above. 


Assuredly we do not neglect or slight actions 
and rites of worship ; He who has made each 
of us soul and body, one man, does not mean 
us to despise the outward and physical in 
devotion. But we watchfully remember that 
no such actions or rites are, for one moment, 
the soul of worship, or its formative power. 
That so\A and power is "God's Spirit" only; 
the Holy Ghost dwelling in the renewed being, 
and teaching the man ** to cry Abba, Father," 
and " making intercession for him with 
groanings which cannot be uttered," and 
" taking of the things of Christ, and shewing 
it unto us." We pray, and it is " in the Holy 
Ghost." We worship, and it is " in Spirit, and 
in truth." 

Again, " we exult in Christ Jesus!' Our 
glad and animated happiness lies in nothing 
short of Him as its cause. We are thankful 
for noble religious traditions and institutions, 
and for holy parentage, and for all which 
makes Christianity correspond in practice to 
its name. But we are watchful not to let 
even these blessings take the unique place of 
"Christ Jesus" in our "exultation." " In all 

"NOT IN THE flesh" i8i 

things He must have the pre-eminence." 
Piety itself without Him, if it can be found, 
is not a body but a statue. All the privileges 
of the Church of God, without Him, though 
we reverently cherish every teaching and 
every ordinance that is Christian indeed, are 
but the frame without the picture, the casket 
without the stone. 

Then again, " not in the flesh are we con- 
fident." We have learnt a deep distrust of 
everything which St Paul classes under that 
word " flesh." It is always offering itself to 
us, in one Protean shape or another, to be 
our comfort and our repose. Sometimes it 
takes the form of our supposed usefulness 
and diligence ; sometimes of our strict and 
exemplary observances ; sometimes, putting on 
a disguise still more subtle, it sets before the 
Christian the depth, or the length, of his 
spiritual experience. Or it grows bolder, and 
is content with coarser masks ; it tempts us to 
a miserable reliance on some imagined better- 
ness when we compare ourselves, forsooth, 
with some one else. I knew long ago an old 
shepherd, in my father's parish, who based a 


hope for eternity on the fact (if such it was) 
that he was never tipsy on a Sunday. We 
are amused, or we are shocked. But this was 
only an extreme type of a vast phenomenon, 
to be found lurking in countless hearts, when 
God lets in the light ; the " reliance " on our 
being somehow, so we think, " not as other 
men are." And from this whole world of 
delusion, in all its continents and islands, the 
Lord calls us away here by His Apostle. He 
bids us migrate as it were to another planet, 
laying our whole confidence, not part of it, 
on Him ; let that other world, our old world, 
roll along without us. 

Christ presents to us Himself (as we follow 
out this rich Philippian passage) as all our 
Righteousness, in His precious justifying 
Merit, offered for the acceptance of the very 
simplest faith. And He presents Himself as 
all our Power, for deliverance and for service, 
in His resurrection Life ; coming to reveal 
Himself to us in the divine beauty of His 
sufferings. His death, through which he has 
passed for us into "indissoluble life" (Heb. 
vii. i6). Our Righteousness — it is He, "the 


propitiation for our sins." Our Sanctification 
— it is still He, in "the power of His resur- 
rection, and fellowship with His sufferings, 
and assimilation to His death." Our Redemp- 
tion, from the power of the grave — it is still 
"this same Jesus," in union with whom alone 
we " attain unto the resurrection which is out 
from the dead." 

Even so, Lord Jesus Christ ; let us thus 
be "found in Thee"; worshipping, exulting, 
confiding ; resting on Thee, abiding in Thee, 
with an accepting faith which only grows more 
simple and single as the years move on and 
gather " since we believed." 

" Help us, O Christ, to grasp each truth 
With hand as firm and true 
As when we clasp'd it first to heart 
A treasure fresh and new ; 

" To name Thy name, Thyself to own, 
With voice unfaltering, 
And faces bold and unashamed 
As in our Christian spring." ' 

But St Paul is again dictating, and we must 
follow. He has confessed and affirmed, once 

1 Dr H. Bonar. 


for all, his standing and fixity in the Lord, 
and in Him alone. Now he must emphasize 
another aspect of the living truth, his progress 
in the Lord ; the non-finality of any given 
attainment in union with Him. 

Ver. 12. Not as though I had already received 
(eXa^ov) the crown of accomplished glory, or had 
been already perfected, with the perfection which shall 
be when " we shall be like Him, for we shall see 
Him as He is." No, I am pressing on (Sccokm Se), as 
on the racer's course, if indeed, if as a fact, in blessed 
finality, I may seize (KaTaXd/Bo)) that promised crown 
with a view to which ^ I was actually (/cat) seized by 
Christ Jesus, when in His mercy He as it were laid 
violent hands upon me, to pluck me from ruin, and 
to constrain me into His salvation and His service. 
Yes, " I press on " to " seize " that crown, with the 
animating thought that it was on purpose that I 
might " seize " it that the Lord " seized " me ; and that 
so every stage in the upward and onward course of 
faith runs straight in the line of His will whose 

^ 'E0' o) KaTfXr'jipSrjv : grammatically we may render, "inas- 
much as I was seized"; cp. the Greek of Rom. v. 12; 
I Cor. V. 4. But the connexion of thought seems to be best 
met by the above rendering, which is practically that of A.V. 
and R.V. 


mighty, gracious grasp is on me as I go. Brethren, 
Ver. 13. (I speak the word of pause and of appeal, 
as if I could stand by you, and lay my hand upon 
your arm,) I (e^w), whatever others may think and 
do about theiHseXves, do not account m y self {ifiavrov, 
emphatic like €70^) to have seized the crown as yet ; 
no, one thing {ev he) — my thoughts, my purposes, are 
all concentrated on this one thing — the things behind 
forgetting, as one experience after another falls behind 
me into the past, and towards the things in front 
stretching out and onward (eVe/cTeivo/iefo?), like the 
eager racer, with head thrown forward and body 
bent towards his object, seeking for more and yet 
more, in the grace and power of my unchangeable 
Ver. 14. Saviour, goal-ward I press on {Kara ukottov 
Bkokco), " not uncertainly," with no faltering or divided 
aim, unto (et?), till I actually touch, the prize {^pa^elov, 
I Cor. ix. 24), the victor's wreath,^ the prize of, 
offered by, made possible through, the high call of 
God, the voice of His prevailing grace^ coming from 
the heights {avw) of glory and leading the believer 
at length up thither, in Christ Jesus ; for through 

1 2Te(j)avos, as in i Cor. ix. 25, Rev. iii. 11, and often. 
^Tecjiavos is properly the victor's wreath, 8id8r]ijLa the king's 
crown (Rev. xix. 12). — For a short essay on St Paul's use of 
athletic metaphors see this Epistle in T/te Cambridge Greek 
Testament, Appendix. 

^ KXj)o-if, Kokfiv, kXtjtoi, in the Epistles will be found 
regularly to refer not to the general invitations of the 


Him comes the " call," and its blessed effect is to 
unite the " called," the converted, sinner to Him, so 
that he lives here and hereafter in Him, So let all 

Ver. 15. us perfect ones {oaoi ovv reXeiot), with the 
perfection not of ideal attainment but of Christian 
maturity and entirety of experience, be of this 
mind ; the " mind " of those who rest in Christ 
immoveably for their acceptance, and press forward 
in Christ unrestingly in their obedience, ever dis- 
covering fresh causes for humility and for progress, 
as they keep close to Him. And if you are diversely 
(iripax;) minded in any thing, if in any detail of 
theory or statement you cannot yet see with me, 
this also God shall unveil to you. Sure I am that 
" the Spirit of God speaketh by me," and that 
ultimately therefore you will, in submission to Him, 
see as I have taught you. But I am not therefore 
commissioned in this rnatter to denounce and excom- 
municate ; I lay the truth before you, and in love 
leave it upon your reverent thoughts. Only, as to 

Ver. 16. what we have succeeded in reaching,^ so far 

Gospel, but to the actually prevailing power of God over 
the wills of His people. See particularly i Cor. i. 23, 24, 
where the "call" is clearly distinguished from the general 
proclamation, which alas so many "Greeks" and "Jews" 
heard, but only to reject it. 

^ 'Ecf)daa-an€v : the verb seems always to indicate not merely 
reaching, but reaching zvtYh some difficulty. I attempt to 
express this in the translation. 


as our insight into Christ has actually gone, up to 
our full present light in the Gospel, let us step in the 
same path (tw avrS) aroix^iv^), on the unchanging 
principles of faith, love, and holiness, and with a 
watchful desire to cherish to the utmost a holy 
harmony of spirit and conduct. 

Here, in suggestive contrast or complement 
to the section we studied last, the Christian 
appears in full and energetic movement, 
animated with a sacred discontent, repudiat- 
ing all thought of finality in his conformity to 
his Lord, and in his actual spiritual condition ; 
running, pressing on, remembering at every 
step that, although grace is present in power, 
and glory is in view, still this is the journey, 
not the home ; the race, not the goal ; 

JVi'l actum rej^iitans dum quid sibi restat agendum. 

The passage contains of course much divine 
teaching in detail. But two main points come 
up conspicuously " for our learning." 

i. We have here a strong, and at the 

' There is good evidence for omitting the words Kavovi, to 
avTo (ppovelv. — Iroixeiv is more in detail than irepiTraTelv : "to 
step," not only " to walk." See the Greek of Rom. iv. 12. 


same time a most tender, warning against all 
approaches to a theoretical " perfectionism." 
Under that word, as I am well aware, many 
varieties ot opinion in detail may be found. 
And again, few who hold opinions commonly 
called perfectionist like the word ** perfec- 
tionism." But I speak with practical accuracy 
when I give that title to such views as on 
the whole affirm the attainableness here below 
of a spiritual condition in which man needs 
no longer confess himself as now a sinner, 
and in which his attention tends to be drawn 
more to his perfectness than to his imperfec- 
tions of condition. That such views are held, 
and strongly held, by many earnest Christians, 
is a familiar fact. As far as my own observa- 
tion goes, such views are not uncommonly 
attended, in those who hold them, by a certain 
oblivion to personal shortcomings and incon- 
sistencies ; by an obscuration of consciousness, 
and of conscience, more or less marked, towards 
the sinfulness of ordinary, everyday violations 
of the law of holiness in respect of " meek- 
ness, humbleness of mind, longsuffering," 
sympathy, and other quiet graces. 


In the present passage the Apostle's whole 
spirit moves in just the opposite direction. 
His complete repose in Christ as the Right- 
eousness of God for him, and then his deep 
nearness to his Lord as the Power of God 
in him, alike seem not so much to banish as 
utterly to preclude any thought about himself 
but that of his own imperfection. He writes 
as one whose very last feeling is that of 
complacency in his spiritual condition. I 
deliberately do not say " self-complacency " ; 
for all Christians would repudiate that word ; 
I say, complacency in his spiritual condition. 
His s^iniudX position, in Christ, as he is "found 
in Him," fills him with much more than com- 
placency ; it is his glory and his boast. But 
when he comes to speak of his spiritual con- 
dition, the possessing thought is that all is 
imperfect and progressive. He has a perfect 
blessing ; but he is an imperfect recipient of 
it ; he has " not attained." He is deeply happy. 
But he is thoroughly humble. As we read 
the passage, we feel very sure that the man 
who wrote it would lie very tenderly and 
candidly open to reproofs, and to painful truths 


told him about himself. For his Lord, he is 
ready to bear rejoicing witness to the whole 
world. For himself, even as in Christ, he 
holds no brief; nay, he takes the other 

He has had a vision of absolute holiness 
which has completely guarded him from the 
delusion of thinking that he is himself abso- 
lutely holy, even in the fullest state of grace. 
He is so genuinely "perfect" in the sense of 
mature knowledge of his Lord that he is 
incapable of thinking himself " perfected." 

All the while, this does not for a moment 
leave him in the miserable plight of acquiescing 
in sin because he knows he is still a sinner. If 
he were merely going by a theory, it might be 
so. But he is going by the Lord Jesus Christ ; 
he is using Him, daily and hourly, as not only 
his always abasing standard, but as " all his 
salvation, and all his desire " ; as the infinitely 
blissful Object of his affections and of his 
knowledge ; as his Summum Bonum. While 
Christ is fully this to the Christian, he will 
be little likely on the one hand to say, " I am 
perfect " (Job ix. 20) ; on the other he will be 


always seeking, in the most practical of all 
ways, watching, praying, believing, for a closer 
conformity and yet closer (crvju,/Aop(^i{ojaei^os) to 
his Lord's bright image. 

And at the back of all his thoughts about 
defect and progress will lie the restful certain- 
ties to which no ideas of defect attach, and 
from which the idea of progress is absent, 
because it is out of place — the certainties of the 
Righteousness of God, "of peace with God 
through our Lord Jesus Christ " ; the being 
" found in Him." 

ii. The passage puts very distinctly before 
us the thought of the Reward of Grace. The 
writer is living, loving, working, in view of 
a " prize," ^pa/Seiov : he looks forward to the 
Master's hand as it will extend the wreath of 
victory, and to His voice as it will utter the 
longed-for words, " Well done, good and faith- 
ful Servant." This same man has laboured, in 
many an hour of public and private teaching, 
and in many an inspired page, to emphasize 
the magnificent truth that grace is grace ; that 
God owes man nothing ; that " all things are 
of God " ; that " to him that worketh not, but 


believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, 
his faith is reckoned for righteousness." He 
well knows that there is a side of truth from 
which the one possible message is the Lord's 
own solemn question and answer (Luke xvii. 9), 
" Doth he thank that servant ? I trow not." 
The most complete and laborious service 
cannot possibly outrun the obligation of the 
rescued bondservant to the Possessor, of the 
limb to the blessed Head. But then, this 
absolute servitude is to One who is, as a fact, 
eternal Love. The work is done for a Master 
who, while His claims are absolute, is such 
that He personally delights in every response 
of love to His love, of will to His will. His 
servant cannot serve Him with a grateful heart 
without thereby pleasing the heart of his Lord. 
And so, at the close of the day's work, while, 
from the side of law and claims, the Lord 
"doth not thank that servant," from the side of 
love and of moral sympathy He will welcome 
him in with " Well done, good and faithful 
servant ; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord," 
And that holy " prize " does, and must, prove 
a magnet to the Christian's will and hopes. 


What is he looking for ? Not an accession of 
personal dignity in heaven, but a word from 
his beloved Master's heart. There is nothing 
mercenary in this. True, it " has respect unto 
the recompense of reward." But the " reward " 
is what only love can give, and only love can 
take. It is love's approval of the service of 

Much discussion has been spent upon the 
theory of reward, in the matter of our service 
rendered to " our King who has saved us." 
The theme no doubt is one which admits of 
much interesting and important enquiry ; and 
it has many sides. But after all the true 
philosophy of it lies in " the truth as it is 
in Jesusr Let the Christian be seeking the 
reward of personal aggrandizement in heaven, 
" to sit on His right hand, or on His left, in 
His glory " ; and the motive is as earthly as if 
the scene of its fulfilment were to be an earthly 
palace. Let him be seeking the " well done " 
of Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ has 
redeemed him, and is dear to him ; and he 
is in the line of the will, and of the love, 
of God. 


"Sovereign Lord and gracious Master, 
Thou didst freely choose Thine own, 
Thou hast call'd with holy calling, 
Thou wilt save, and keep from falling; 

Thine the glory, Thine alone ! 
Yet Thy hand shall crown in heaven 
All the grace Thy love hath given ; 
Just, though undeserv'd, reward 
From our glorious, gracious Lord." 

F. R. Havergal. 




"We are waiting, we are yearning for Thy voice 

Through the long, long summer day and winter night; 
We are mourning till Thou bid'st our souls rejoice, 
Till Thy coming turns our darkness into light : 
Come, Lord Jesus, come again ; 
We shall see Thee as Thou art. 

Then, and not till then. 
In Thy glory bear a part ; 
Then, and not till then. 
Thou wilt satisfy each heart," 

J. Denham Smith, 




Philippians iii. 17-21 

THE Apostle draws to the close of his 
appeal for a true and watchful fidelity 
to the Gospel. He has done with his warning 
against Judaistic legalism. He has expounded, 
in the form of a personal confession and 
testimony, the true Christian position, the 
acceptance of the believer in " the righteous- 
ness which is of God by faith," and the 
sanctification ot the believer through union 
with his Lord and in an always growing com- 
munion with Him. Throughout this deep and 
most tender argument has run everywhere 
the truth with which it began, that the sure 
antidote to the spiritual errors in question is 
"joy in the Lord." The glad use of Jesus 

Christ in His personal glory and perfection, as 



He merited for us, and as we abide in Him 
— this is the way. 

Already another class of mistake and danger 
has risen before his mind, and occupies it 
now exclusively. From ver, 12 onward, if I 
read the passage aright, he has been thinking 
not of the legalist only, who opposed and 
denounced his doctrine of grace and faith, 
but of the school or schools which rather would 
applaud it — and then distort it. There was 
the teacher who would assert a premature and 
delusive personal perfection, proclaiming him- 
self so close to Christ that he had already 
reached the holy goal. And there was the 
teacher who would reason so upon the perfect- 
ness of the atoning merits as to disclaim the 
need of seeking with all his soul a personal 
conformity to the Lord of the Atonement. 
Such a man would conceivably affirm for 
himself an experience of intense spiritual in- 
sight, a communion with God profound and 
direct, an exaltation into a celestial atmosphere 
of consciousness ; while yet, and on his own 
avowed theory, he was living a life in which 
sin was allowed to reign in his mortal body. 


What did it matter ? The spirit soared and 
expatiated in a higher region. The true man 
Hved in the world above, " commercing with 
the skies " ; it was but the body, soon to 
perish, which went its own way, and might be 
allowed to do so, for it could never be other 
than the uncongenial burthen of the real man. 

Such theories, as all are aware, were largely 
developed and widely spread in the sub- 
apostolic age. The word Gnosticism, so 
familiar to the reader of the early history of 
thought in and around the Church, reminds 
us of this ; for while many Gnostics were 
severe ascetics, others were practical libertines ; 
and the divergent practices sprang from one 
deep source of error, dishonour of the body. 
To both schools, spirit was good, matter was 
evil. By both therefore the body was viewed 
not as a subject of redemption, but as a barrier 
in its way. The one aimed to wear out 
the barrier, to help it to disappear. The 
others left it, as they thought, alone ; leapt, 
as they thought, over it ; as if they could 
pursue a spiritual life which should be irre- 
spective of the body's hopeless evils. 


The embryo, at least, of this latter type 
of thought was beyond doubt apparent in 
St Paul's day, and had begun to be felt at 
Philippi. There, in that loving and beloved 
community, the plague had begun, or at least 
the infection was imminent. " Many walked" 
(perhaps not actually at Philippi yet, but they 
might soon come) in the foul broad road 
which they asserted to be clean and narrow. 
Very probably they used the terms of the 
Pauline Gospel, and said much of grace, and 
faith, and the Spirit, and the things above. 
But none the less they were the victims of 
an awful self-delusion ; teachers whose doctrine 
led downwards to the pit. To them he comes 
at length, explicitly and finally. In view of 
them he places before the Philippians once 
more the fact of his own and his brethren's 
examples, and then the sanctifying power of 
that blessed hope, the Redemption of the 

Ver. 17. United imitators of me become ye, brethren; 
taking me, your long-known guide in the Lord, for 
your moral pattern, and strengthening your mutual 


cohesion (av/ji/mifi'rjTai) by so doing (an appeal 
prompted not by egotism or self-confidence, but by 
single-hearted certainty about my message and my 
purpose) ; and mark, watch, in order to tread in their 
steps,^ those who so walk as you have us, me and my 
missionary-brethren, for a model ; those whose practical 
conduct in human life and intercourse {jrepLiraTelv), 
seen among you day by day in its wholesomeness 
and truth, plainly reproduces what you remember 
of ours. There is need for this attention, and for this 

Ver. i8, discrimination. For there are many men 
walking, pursuing a line of conduct and practice, whom 
I often used to tell you of, in the days of our direct 
intercourse, but {he) now tell you of actually {kuI) with 
cries and tears (KXatoov), (so much has the evil grown, 
in extent and in depth, so awfully apparent are its 
issues, for this world and the world to come,) as the 
enemies, ^/le personal enemies (tov<; iydpov<i), as if in 
a bad pre-eminence, of the Cross of our (jov) Christ, 
that Cross of whose virtues they can say much, but 
whose power upon the soul they utterly ignore ; of 

Ver. 19. whom the end is perdition, ruin of the whole 

^ SKOTreTre : cTKoivfiv usually has reference to the attention 
which results in avoidance ; so Rom. xvi. 17 : irapaKoku) anoneiv 
Toiis TO, (TKapBaXa iroiovvTas' Koi eKKkivare, k.t.X. But here 
obviously the "looking" is for imitation, — The Philippians 
knew St Paul's teaching, and in his attached leading disciples 
among them they could see it embodied. 


being,^ final and hopeless ; of whom the god is the 
belly, (the sensual appetites, the body's degradation, 
not its function,) while they claim an exalted and 
special intimacy with the Supreme ; and their (?;) 
glory, their boast to see deeper and to soar higher 
than others, is in their shame ; men whose mind is for 
{^povouvr€<;) the things on earth, not, as they dream, 
or as at least they say, for the things of an upper 
and super-corporeal world. No ; their subtle doctrine 
of spirit and body — what is it when tested in its 
issues ? It is but a philosophy of sin ; a gossamer 
robe over the self-indulgence which has come to be 
the real interest of the theorist, the real occupation 
of his will. All is really, with them, of the earth, 
earthy. Far other is the doctrine zve have learned, 
and have striven to exemplify, at the feet oi Christ. 
Ver. 20. For our city-home, the seat of our citizenship, 
and of the conduct which it demands and inspires,^ 

* Cp. Matt. vii. 13 ; Rom. vi. 21 ; 2 Cor. xi. 15 ; Heb. vi. 8 ; 
I Pet. iv. 17. 

^ I thus attempt to give the meaning of TroXireviia, so far as 
I understand it. The R.V. renders it ''citizenship'' and 
^^commonwealth" in the margin. The usage of the word in 
Greek literature amply justifies either, and either well suits 
the general context. The Apostle means that Christians are 
citizens of the heavenly City as to their status, and are there- 
fore "obliged by their nobility" to live, however far from 
their home, as those who belong to it, and represent it. 
What seems lacking however in the rendering of the R.V. is 
the idea of locality, which (to me) was clearly present to 


subsists in the heavens, is always there, an antecedent 
and abiding fact (yirdp^^et), on which we are to act 
in life ; in that heavenly world, where the Lord is, 
and for which He is training us ; the eternal Country 
of this eternal City and Home ; out of which (city) ^ 
■we are actually (kuI) waiting for, as our Saviour, in the 
full and final sense, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will 
Ver. 21. transfigure — not annihilate, not cast away 
as essentially evil, but wonderfully change in its con- 
ditions, and so in its guise, in its semblance (a-^^ijfia) — 
the body of our humiliation, this body, now inseparably 
connected with the burthens and abasements of our 
mortality, hiiinbling us continually in the course of 
its necessities, and of its sufferings, but not therefore, 
in its essence, other than God's good handiwork ; to 
be conformed, with a resemblance based on an essenti;d 
assimilation {(Tv/j,iJiop<f)ov, fxopjuf), to the body of His 
glory, as He resumed His blessed Body when He 

St Paul's mind in his use of irokirev^ia here. The proof of 
this lies in the words e'l oil just below ; not e'| hv {ovpavwv) but 
f| ov (noXiTivfjiaTos) : I can find no ;proof of the assertion 
(Moulton's Winer, p. 177) that e'^ ov is a mere equivalent 
for oQiv, and so may refer to the plural ovpavoi. The rendering 
" sea^ of citizenship" seems fairly to represent TroXirevfia 
thus. — The A.V. ''conversation'" (Lat. conversation "inter- 
course of life ") probably represents an impression of the 
translators that the Apostle is as it were echoing i. z'j, d^ia>s 
Tov fvayyeXiov iroX it e v ( a 6 e. But the imagery here is 
different, and definite. 

' See note just above on e| ov. 


rose, and as He wears it now upon the Throne, 
and in it manifests Himself to the happy ones in 
their bliss ; according to, in ways and measures con- 
ditioned only by, the forth-putting (ivepyeca) of His 
ahility actually to subdue to Himself all things that are 
(to. iravTo). 

So the great passage, the pregnant chapter, 
ends. As it began so it closes — with Jesus 
Christ. With Him His servant can never 
have done ; " Him first, Him midst. Him 
last, and without end." Jesus Christ is the 
present joy, and the everlasting hope. His 
perfected righteousness is the believer's actual 
deep safety and repose. His unsearchable 
riches of personal grace and glory are the 
constant animation and ever-rising standard 
of the believer's spiritual progress. He is 
the eternal Antidote to our fears, and also to 
our sins. He is the infinite Contradiction to 
the least compromise, under any pretext, with 
evil ; and He is this, among other ways, by 
being Himself "that blessed Hope"; "the 
Lord Jesus Christ, which is our Hope " (i Tim. 
i. i); so that the prospect of His Return, and 
of what He will do for us, and for Himself 


(eavT(o), when He returns, is to be our mighty- 
motive in the matter of practical, aye of bodily, 
cleanness and holiness of life. 

The whole passage now before us is strongly 
characteristic of the New Testament way of 
dealing with sin. In the first place, there is 
no lack of urgent and explicit warning. The 
moral and spiritual evil is labelled unmistak- 
ably. It is pointed out as a danger not 
hypothetical but actual ; not floating in the 
air, but embodied in lives and influences : 
" Many persons walk whom I tell you of 
with tears as the enemies of the cross of 
Christ." And of these persons, as such, it is 
unflinchingly said that their end is aTrwAeta, 
" ruin," " perdition " ; dread and hopeless word. 
In all this lies a lesson for our day. In many 
quarters the solemn utterance of warning is 
now almost silent ; it is regarded as almost 
unchristian to warn sinners, even open sinners, 
to do anything so much out of the fashion as 
" to flee from the wrath to come," " the wrath 
which is coming upon the children of disobedi- 
ence." But this is not the apostolic way, nor 
the Lord's way. 


Yet this passage, this heart-searching appeal, 
while it deals with warning, does not end with 
it. Its strongest and chosen argument is not 
fear but hope; not perdition but "the coming 
again of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our 
gathering together unto Him." St Paul has 
to guard the Philippians against a most subtle 
form of sensual temptation, a masterpiece of 
the Enemy. In passing, and with bitter tears, 
he points to the gulph where that path ends. 
In closing, and with his whole heart, he points 
to the coming Lord in His benignant glory, 
and to the unutterable joy of our being then, 
finally and even in our material being, trans- 
figured for ever into His likeness. 

For our own blessing, and for that of others, 
let us follow this example. Whether in the 
pulpit to a listening throng, or in more individual 
approaches to other men, or when we turn in 
upon ourselves, and, like the Psalmists, speak to 
our own souls, in the most secret possible hour, 
let us seek to speak thus. Let us not take an 
opiate against the ideas of judgment, wrath, 
perdition — unless, with our Bibles quite open, 
we are quite sure that such things are only 


dreams of a past religious night. Let us take 
urgent heed, above all for ourselves, lest we 
lose faith in the warnings of God. But all 
the while let us present to ourselves, and to 
others, as the great argument of all for saying 
" No " to specious sin, " that blessed Hope." 
Let us consider Jesus Christ, till He shines 
upon us in something of the glory of His 
Person and His Work. Let us wait for Him 
from heaven. More and more, as the years 
roll, and the suns set, and "that day" is 
approaching, let us take our place among those 
who "love His appearing." And as for our 
bodies, and His call to be pure in body as in 
spirit, let us continually remember that " the 
body is for the Lord, and the Lord for the 
body" (i Cor. vi. 13). Let us not merely try 
to reason down temptation, or to order it down, 
in the name of abstract Tightness, or of concrete 
peril. Let us recollect as a glorious fact that 
the body is the purchased property of the Lord 
Jesus ; that He cares for it, as His dear-bought 
possession ; that He can, by His own Spirit, 
sanctify it now, through and through ; and that 
He is coming, perhaps very soon indeed, to 


" transfigure it to be conformed to the body 
of His glory." 

The whole genius of the Gospel tends to 
connect together, as closely as possible, holi- 
ness and happiness. They are to act and 
react in manifold ways in the Christian life. 
Holiness lies at the root of happiness, as its deep 
condition. But also happiness, from another 
point of view, waters the root of holiness, and 
expands its flowers, and brings its sweet fruit 
to fulness. " The joy of the Lord is your 
strength " — your strength to say to temptation 
a " No " which shall be entirely willing and 
simple. Never shall we so tread down the 
tempter, and the traitor, as when we are 
" rejoicing in Christ Jesus," and " in the hope 
of the glory of God." 

Then let us cultivate this blessed secret. 
Let us prove the power of Christ loved and 
looked for. In a very special sense let St Paul 
teach us here to apply to our present needs 
the force of a heavenly future, the future of 
His coming, and of our meeting Him and 
being transfigured by Him. In many direc- 
tions, in the Church, this rule is being practised 


now with great earnestness, and with happy 
issues ; the looking for the Lord's Return is 
indeed a reality to many. But in many direc- 
tions it is otherwise. Christian thought and 
labour too often seem to limit themselves to 
the sphere of the present, and to forget that 
the goal of the Gospel is not a state of social 
bie7i-etre developed by philanthropy under the 
auspices, so to speak, of Christ, but an immor- 
tality of holy power and service, won for us 
by His merits, prepared for us by His exaltar 
tion, while we are prepared for it by His 
Spirit working in us. Again and again we 
need to remember this. The Gospel showers 
along its path, upon the mortal life of man, 
personal and social blessings of the philan- 
thropic kind which nothing else can possibly 
bring down. It makes to-day infinitely impor- 
tant by connecting it with the eternal to-morrow. 
But the path is towards that to-morrow. " We 
look at the things not seen, for the things 
which are not seen are eternal." We " desire 
a better country, that is, an heavenly." "It 
doth not yet appear what we shall be ; we shall 
be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." 



Much current Christian teaching practically 
tends to drop immortality very nearly out of 
sight. The Lord's Return, the heavenly Life, 
'* the liberty of the glory of the sons of God" 
— these topics are either little mentioned, or 
treated too much as luxuries and ornaments 
of the Gospel. But it was not so for the Lord 
Jesus, and for His Apostles. And we shall 
find that to follow Him and them in this, as 
in other things, is best. It " hath the promise 
of the life that now is, and of that which is 
to come." Their doctrine of the future is much 
more than an antidote to death. It is the 
mighty animation of life. It makes altogether 
for present purity, and righteousness, and self- 
sacrificing love, in the concrete circumstances 
of this generation. It is the thought in which 
alone man can live his true life 7iow, as a 
being v/ho is made " to glorify God — and to 
enjoy Him {\^y for ever." 

As a matter of fact, no human life is so true, 
full, and beautiful as that which is at once 
assiduously attentive to present duty and 
service, and full of the everlasting hope. Such 
lives are being lived all around us. Which of 

MY mother's life 2 I I 

my readers has not known at least one such ? 
For me, one among many shines out in my 
heart radiant with a brightness all its own ; 
it is the life of my blessed Mother. She has 
now been a great while with the Lord, on whom 
she so long believed. But the impression of 
what that " conversation " was is not only in- 
delible ; it lives and moves, as fresh to-day as 
ever. It was a busy life — the life of a wife, 
a mother of many sons, a friend ot many 
friends, the pastor's help-mate in a poor parish. 
It was a life of minute and devoted attention 
to every duty, large and little. It was a life 
of warm and ready sympathies, and manifold 
interests. But it was a life all the while of 
divine communion, and of an unwavering "hope 
full of immortality." Dear to that heart indeed 
were husband, children, friends, neighbours, 
suffering and sinning world. Very fruitful was 
that life for individual and social blessing, just 
such as the philanthropist seeks to convey. 
Side by side with my Father, who laboured 
incessantly through a long life for God and man, 
and for men's health as well as their salvation, 
my Mother lived for others in all their present 


needs. But the springs of what she was, and 
did, were within the veil. And the choice and 
the longing were always, in perfect harmony 
with every strong human affection, directed 
towards heaven She did indeed "wait, as 
for her Saviour, for the Lord Jesus Christ." 
And the whole result, for those whom that 
life affected, was a deep, strong evidence of 
Christianity. In her we saw the Gospel 
beautify the present by lifting the veil of the 
blessed future. We recognized the reality of 
Jesus Christ now by converse with one who 
so much desired the sight of His glory then. 

As we draw to an end, let us take up the 
closing words of our paragraph, and read them 
as a special " lesson of faith." St Paul is 
telling us of a change yet to pass over us, 
over these our bodies, altogether inconceivable 
in kind and degree. They are to be " trans- 
figured into conformity to the body of our 
Saviour's glory." Yes, it is inconceivable ; 
in modern parlance, it is " unthinkable." 
" How can these things be ? " Well, Scripture 
does not invite us to " conceive " it, to 


•' think " it, in the sense of thinking it out. 
It helps us indeed elsewhere (i Cor. xv.) with 
intimations and illustrations, up to a certain 
point ; but this is not to explain, or to ask us 
to explain. What it does is something better ; 
it invites us to trust a personal Agent, who 
understands all that He has undertaken, and 
who is able. "How can these things be?" 
Not according to this or that law, principle, 
or tendency, which we can divine. No ; but 
" according to the mighty working whereby 
He is able to subdue all things unto Himself." 

The method of the Bible is to give us ample 
views of what Jesus Christ is, and then (not 
before) to ask us to trust Jesus Christ to do 
what he says He can. He says, " I will raise 
you up at the last day." And He does not 
go on to explain. He says nothing in detail 
of His modus operandi. We are in absolute 
ignorance of it, as much as the Christians ot 
five, or ten, or eighteen centuries ago. We 
do not know how. But we know Him. And 
He has said, " I will " — and has died and risen 

Shall we not rest here ? It is good ground. 


" I know whom I have believed ; and am 
persuaded that He is able." 

And what is true of His power and promise 
in this great matter of our resurrection and 
our glory, is true of course all round the circle 
of His undertakings. " He can subdue all 
things." And therefore, not only death, and 
the grave, and the mysteries of matter, but 
also our hearts, our affections, our wills. He 
can "bring every thought into captivity" 
to the holy rule of His thought. He can 
" subdue our iniquities." And he can subdue 
also all that we know as circumstance and 
condition ; making the crooked straight, and 
the rough places plain. How, we may be 
wholly ignorant beforehand; only, ** according 
to the mighty working." 

Lastly, it is eaura!,^ " unto Himself." What 
a word of rest and power ! Our expectation 
of His victories in us and for us does not 
terminate upon ourselves ; it is never safe to 
terminate things there. It rises and rests in 
Himself Our glorification, body and soul, 

1 Perhaps read avra. But the translation must remain the 


is, ultimately, "unto Him"; therefore the 
prospect, and th@ desire, are boundlessly right 
and safe. " To subdue all things unto Him- 
self \ so as to serve Him, to promote His 
ends, to do His will. Our absolute emancipa- 
tion from all the limitations of both moral and 
material evil is " unto Himself" Emancipa- 
tion on this side, it is an entire and eternal 
annexation on the other. The being will be 
fully liberated that it may fully serve — " day 
and night in His temple." 

" Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Come, to 
our full and final salvation. Come, that we, 
the beings whom Thou hast made, and remade, 
may enjoy "the liberty of the glory" (Rom. 
viii. 21) for which we were destined in Thy 
love. Come, that we may be for ever happy, 
and strong, and free, in that wonderful world 
of the resurrection. Come, that we may meet 
again with exceeding joy the beloved ones 
who have gone before us, and all Thy saints, 
and may with them inherit the everlasting 
kingdom. But oh come yet more for Thyself, 
and for Thy glory, and to take Thy full 
possession. " Subdue all things," Lord Jesus, 


'• unto Thyself." Subdue our death for ever, 
that our endless life may be, in all its fulness, 
spent for Thee. 

" For Thou hast met our longings 
With words of golden tone, 
That we shall serve for ever 
Thyself, Thyself alone ; 

*' Shall serve Thee, and for ever, 
Oh hope most sure, most fair; 
The perfect love outpouring 
In perfect service there." ' 

' F. R. Havergal. 



" Now the Christians, O King, as men who know God, ask from 
Him petitions which are proper for Him to give and for them to 
receive ; and thus they accomplish the course of their lives. And 
because they acknowledge the goodnesses of God towards them, 
lo ! on account ot them there flows forth the beauty that is in 
the world." — Apology of Aristtdcs, about a.d. 130; translated by 
Mrs Rendel Harris. 



Philippians iv. I-9 

Ver. i. So, my brethren beloved and longed for, missed 
indeed, at this long distance from you, my joy and 
crown of victory (a-recpavo^), thus, as having such 
certainties and such aims, with such a Saviour, and 
looking for such a heaven, stand firm in the Lord, 
beloved ones. 

The words are a link of gold between 
the passage just ended and that which is 
to follow. They sum up the third chapter 
of the Epistle into one practical issue. In 
view of all that can tempt them away to alien 
thoughts and beliefs St Paul once more points 
the converts to Jesus Christ ; or rather, he 
once more bids them remember that in Him 
they are, and that their safety, their lite, is to 
stay there, recollected and resolved. There is 



the point of overwhelming advantage against 
error, and against sin ; and only there. 
" Standing in the Lord," in remembrance and 
in tise of their vital union with Him, they 
would be armed alike against the pharisaic 
and the antinomian heresy. Counterfeits and 
perversions would be seen, or at least felt, 
to be such while they were thus in living and 
working contact with the Reality. There, 
with a holy instinct, they would repudiate 
utterly a merit of their own before God, and 
a strength of their own against sin. There, 
with equal inward certainty, they would detect 
and reject the suggestion that they " should 
not surely die," though impurity was cloaked 
and loved. 

But the words we have just rendered look 
forward also. St Paul is about to allude, for 
the last time, and quite explicitly, to that blot 
on the fair Philippian fame, the presence in the 
little mission Church of certain jealousies and 
divisions. One instance of this evil is promi- 
nent in his thoughts, no doubt on Epaphroditus' 
report. Two Christian women, Euodia^ and 

' So certainly read, not Euodt'as, which would be a man's 


Syntyche, evidently well-known Church mem- 
bers, possibly officials, " deaconesses," like 
Phcebe (Rom. xvi. i), were at personal 
variance. Into their life and work for Christ 
(for workers they were, or however had been ; 
they had " wrestled along with Paul in the 
Gospel,") had come this grievous inconsistency. 
Somehow (modern experiences in religious 
activity supply illustrations only too easily) 
they had let the spirit of self come in ; jealousy 
and a sense of grievance lay between them. 
And out of this unhappy state it was the 
Apostle's deep desire to bring them, quickly 
and completely. He appeals to them per- 
sonally about it, with a directness and explicit- 
ness which remind us how homelike still 
were the conditions ot the mission Church. 
He calls on his " true yoke-fellow," and on 
Clement, and on his other " fellow-labourers," 
to " help " the two to a better mind, by all the 

name, a contraction of Euodianus. Euodias as a fact is not 
found in inscriptions. Euodia on the other hand is a known 
feminine name; and the words just following ("help these 
women ") make it practically certain that the two persons just 
named were both female converts. (EvoSi'ai' of course may be 
the accusative of either EvoSm? or EvoSta.) 


arts of Christian friendship. But surely first, 
in this verse, he leads not only the Philippians 
generally but Euodia and Syntyche in par- 
ticular up to a level where the self-will and 
self-assertion must, of themselves, expire. 
" Stand firm in the Lord." In recollection 
and faith surround yourselves with Jesus 
Christ. The more you do so the more you 
will find that so to be in Him is to " be of 
one mind in Him." In that Presence self 
is put to shame indeed. Pique, and petty 
jealousies, and miserable heart-burnings, and 
"just pride," die of inanition there, and heart 
meets heart in love, because in Christ. 

It is not guaranteed to us, I think, that we 
shall certainly be brought here on earth to 
perfect intellectual agreement by a realized 
union with Christ all round. Such agreement 
will certainly be promoted by such a realiza- 
tion ; we all know how powerfully, in almost 
all matters outside number and figure, feeling 
can influence reasoning ; and to have feeling 
rightly adjusted, "in Him that is true," must 
be a great aid to just reasoning, and so a great 
contribution to mental agreement. Thomas 


Scott, in his Fo7'ce of Truth, (a memorable 
record of experience,) maintains that vastly 
more doctrinal concord would be attained in 
Christendom if all true Christians unreservedly 
and with a perfect will sought for "God's 
heart" (and mind) ** in God's words." ^ But 
it is a law of our present state, even in Christ, 
that " we know in part " ; and while this is so, 
certain discrepancies of inference would seem 
to be necessary, where many minds work each 
with its partial knowledge. It is otherwise 
with ''the spirit of our mind," the attitude of 
will and affection in which we think. In the 
Lord Jesus Christ this is meant to be, and 
can be, rectified indeed, as " every thought 
is brought into captivity" to Him. If so, to 
" stand firm in Him " is the way of escape out 
of all such miseries of dissension (whether 
between two friends, or two Churches, or two 
enterprises) as are due not to reasoning but 
to feeling. " In Him " there is really no room 
for envy, and retaliation, and " the unhappy 

' Cor Deiin verbis Dei; Gregory the Great's noble descrip- 
tion of the Bible, in a letter to the courtier Theodorus, begging 
him to study daily " the Letter of the heavenly Emperor." 


desire of becoming great," and the eager 
combat for our own opinion as such. " Standing 
firm in Him " the Euodias and Syntyches of 
all times and places must tend to be of one 
mind, one attitude of mind {(jipovelv). So far as 
they are, in a sinful sense, not so " minded," 
it is because they are half out of Him. 

But now St Paul comes to them, name by 
name. What must the tender weight of the 
words have been as they were first read aloud 
at Philippi ! 

Vcr. 2. To Euodia I appeal (jrapaicaXu))} and to 
Syntyche I appeal, to be of the same mind, in the Lord ; 
to lay aside differences of feeling, born of self, in the 
power of their common union in Christ.^ Aye (read 

1 " I exhort," R.V. A slightly tenderer word seems better 
to represent tTapaKoKeiv in this personal connexion. " I 
beseech" (A.V.) is ;perhaps rather too tender. 

^ " As a curiosity of interpretation, Ellicott (see also 
Lightfoot, p. 170) mentions the conjecture of Schwegler, 
that Euodia and Syntyche are really designations of Church- 
parties [the imagined Petrine and Pauline parties], the 
names being devised and significant [Euodia = ' Good-way,'' 
Orthodoxy ; Syntyche = ' Combination,' of Gentiles and 
Jews on equal terms]. This theory of course regards our 
Epistle as a fabrication of a later generation, intended as 
an eirenicon. 'What will not men affirm?'" (Note on 
ver. 2 in The Cambridge Bible /or Schools). 


Ver. 3. vai, not Kai), and I beg thee also, thee in thy 
place, as I seek to do in mine, thou genuine yoke- 
fellow,^ help them (avTaU) — these sisters of ours thus 
at variance, women who (airti/e?) wrestled along with 
me, as devoted and courageous workers, in the cause 
of the Gospel, when the first conflicts with the powers 
of evil were fought at Philippi ; yes, do this loving 
service, with Clement ^ too, and my other fellow-workers, 
whose names are in the Book of Life ; the Lord's own, 
" written in heaven," His for ever.^ 

Wonderful is the great use of small occasions 
everywhere in Scripture. Minor incidents in 
a biography are texts for sentences which 
afford oracles of truth and hope for ever. 
Local and transitory errors, like that of the 

^ We know nothing for certain of this person. Lightfoot 
suggests that it was Epaphroditus, whom St Paul would 
thus commission not only orally but in writing, as a sort of 
credential. One curious and most improbable conjecture is 
that it was Si Paul's wife. Renan {Saint Paul, p. 148) 
renders here ma chere espouse. 

^ Perhaps the bishop of Rome of a later day. So Origen 
and Eusebius. But we cannot be certain of the identity. 

' " Cp. Rev. iii. 5, xiii. 8, xvii. 8, xx. 12, 15, xxi. 2'j -, and 
Luke x. 20. And see Exod. xxxii. T)^, 7,2^ ; Ps. Ixix. 28, 
Ixxxvii. 6; Isa. iv. 3 ; Ezek. xiii. 9; Dan. xii. i. The result 
of the comparison of these passages with this seems to be 
that St Paul here refers to the Lord's ' knowledge of them 
that are His ' (2 Tim. ii. 19 : cp. John x. 27, 28), for time and 



Thessalonians about their departed friends, 
give opportunity for a prophecy on which 
bereaved hearts are to rest and rejoice till 
the last trumpet sounds. The unhappy dis- 
agreement of two pious women at Philippi is 
dealt with in words which lead up to the 
thought of the eternal love of God for His 
chosen ; as if the very unworthiness of the 
matter in hand, by a sort of repulsion, drove 
the inspired thought to the utmost height, 
without for one moment diverting it from its 
purpose of peace and blessing. And now, in 
the passage which is to follow, the thought still 
keeps its high and holy level. It says no more 

eternity. All the passages in the Revelation, save iii. 5, are 
clearly in favour of a reference of the phrase to the certainty 
of the ultimate salvation of all true saints ... so too 
Dan. xii. i and Luke x. 20. Rev. iii. 5 appears to point in 
another direction (see Trench on that passage). But in view 
of the other mentions of the ' Book ' in the Revelation the 
language of iii. 5 may well be only a vivid assertion that the 
name in question shall be found in an indelible register. . . . 
Practically, the Apostle here speaks of Clement and the rest 
as having given illustrious proof of their part and lot in that 
' life eternal ' which is ' to know the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ whom He hath sent' (John xvii. 3). — The word ' trames' 
powerfully suggests the individuality and speciality of divine 
love." (Note in The Cambridge Bible for Schools.) 


indeed of the Book of Life. But it unfolds 
in one sentence after another the manifestation 
here below of the eternal life in all its holy- 
loveliness. It invites Euodia, and Syntyche, 
and us with them, to the sight of what the 
believer is called to be, and may be, day by 
day, as he rejoices in the Lord, and recollects 
His presence, and tells Him everything as it 
comes, and so lives " in rest and quietness," 
deep in His peace ; and finds his happy 
thoughts occupied not with the miseries of 
self-esteem and self-assertion, but with all that 
is pure and good, in the smile of the God 
of peace. 

The passage now to be translated has surely 
this among its other precious attractions and 
benefits, that it stands related to what has gone 
just before. The precepts and promises are 
not given as it were in the air ; they are 
occasioned by Euodia and Syntyche, or rather 
by what they have suggested to St Paul's 
mind, the crime and distress of an unchristian 
spirit in Christians. It is with this he is 
dealing. And he deals with it not by an 
elaborate exposure of its obvious wrong, but 


by carrying it into the sanctuary of holiness 
and peace, there to die. 

With this recollection let us read the words 
now before us. 

Ver. 4. Rejoice in the Lord always ; again I will say 
(epw), Rejoice ; I have said it above, as my antidote- 
word to every subtle error ; I come back (Trakiv) 
to say it again, as my antidote to self-will. Your 

Ver. 5. yieldingness, your selflessness, the spirit which 
will yield in anytJiing that is only of self, for Christ's 
sake, let it be known to all men, let it be proved a 
reality in real life, by all and sundry who have to do 
with you ; the Lord is near, always beside you, to 

Ver. 6. know, to lovc, to clcvatc, to calm.^ About 
nothing be anxious (fjbeptfivdre) ; never let yourselves 
be burthened and distracted as those who are alone 
from your Lord ; but in everything, however great, 
however little, by your (t^) prayer, your whole wor- 
shipping approach to Him, and your (t^) supplication, 
your definite petitions of Him, with thanksgiving, 
thanks at least for this, that you have Him to speak 
to and to trust, let your requests be made known towards 

^ I think the Apostle has in mind Ps. cxix. 151, where the 
Septuagint version has o-w eyyvs eT, Kijpte. He is thinking of 
"the secret of the Presence" (Ps. xxxi. 20). We need not 
shut out the calming thought of the Lord's approaching 
Return ; but it does not seem to be the leading thought here 


our God (77/909 Tov Geov), with perfect simplicity of 
detail, putting aside all the mysteries of prayer in the 
Ver. 7. recollection that He bids you pray. And, 
and thus, not anyhow, but thus, in adoring, trusting 
communion with Him, the peace of God, the innermost 
tranquillity caused by contact with Him, breathed by 
His Spirit into ours, the peace which transcends all 
mind, for no reasoning can explain and define its 
nature and its consciousness, shall (it is nothing less 
than a promise) safeguard, as garrison, as sentinel 
{(^povprjaei), your hearts, in all their depths of will, 
affection, and reflexion, and your thoughts, the very 
workings of those hearts in detail, in Christ Jesus. 
In Him you are, as your Fortress of rest and holiness ; 
and, while there you rest, this sacred keeper watches 
the door ; the peace of God is sentinel. 

Such was to be the condition for the true play 
of the inner life ; such, not in a dream but at 
Philippi, were to be their " hearts and thoughts, 
in Christ Jesus " ; thus happy, gentle, un- 
anxious, prayerful, thankful, all the day. And 
now, what is to be the matter for such con- 
ditions, the food for such thinking and such 
willing? There is to be no vacuum, called 
peace. These " hearts and thoughts " are to 
be active, discursive, reflective ; " reckoning," 


"calculating," " reasoning out " (Xoyt^eo-^at) in- 
numerable things — all with a view, of course, 
to the life-long work of serving God and man. 

Ver. 8. For, finally, brethren, all things that are true, 
all things that are honourable, serious, sacred, vener- 
able, self-respectful, all things that are righteous, as 
between man and man in common life, aU things 
that are pure, clean words, clean deeds, all things that 
are amiable, gracious, kindly ; for manner as well as 
matter falls under the will of God ; all things that 
are sweet to speak of, things prompting a loving and 
noble tone of conversation ; whatever virtue there is, 
truly so called, not in the pagaia sense of self-grounded 
vigour, even in right directions, but in that of the 
energy for right which is found in God ; and whatever 
praise there is, given rightly by the human conscience 
to deeds and purposes of good ; these things think 
out, reckon, reason on (Xoyl^eade). Let r/V/^/ in all 
its practical, all its noble forms, be the subject-matter 
of your considering and designing activities within. 
Strong, not in yourselves but in your Lord's presence 
and His peace, use His strength in you to work out 
every precept of His Word, every whisper of His 
Spirit, every dictate of the conscience He has given. 

Then follows one word of a more personal 
kind ; it is no egotism, but as if he would 


remind them amidst these great generahties 
of principle that they well knew a human 
life which strove to realize them in practice. 

Ver, 9. The things you learnt of me, and received as 
revealed truth from me, and heard and saw in me, 
these things practise (Trpdaaere), make them the habits 
of your lives ; and so the God of peace, Author and 
Giver of peace within, and of harmony around, shall 
be with you ; your Companion and Guardian, " Lord 
of the Sabbath " of the soul, secret of the true unity 
of the group, and of the Church, 

Thus we read over again this golden chain 
of " commandments which are not grievous " 
and " exceeding precious promises." Few 
passages ot equal length, even in St Paul's 
Epistles, at once invite more attention to 
details of language and convey richer spiritual 
messages. Very passingly and partially I have 
noted the more important details of word and 
phrase, in the course of the translation. It 
remains to say not what I would but what I 
can, in brief compass, upon the messages to 
the Christian's soul. 

Let us be quite practical, and let our study 
take the simplest form. In this wonderful 



paragraph let us not only wonder ; let us take 
its sentences as revelations of fact. Here the 
Holy Spirit through the Apostle sets before 
us some of the intended facts of the normal 
Christian life. These precepts were not meant 
to dissolve into bright dreams ; they were to 
be obeyed in Philippi then, and in England 
now ; they were spoken for not ideal but 
actual human beings, the rank and file of the 
followers of the Lord. These promises were 
not meant to be met with an aspiration, 
followed by a sigh. They were to be received 
and used, as certainties of the grace of God, 
" before the sons of men." 

Come then to the paragraph once again, to 
study it with real life in immediate view, and 
in the full consciousness of our own sin and 
weakness. Here are some of the normal 
" possibilities of grace," not for the strong and 
holy but for the very weak, for those who 
know that " in their flesh dwelleth no good 
thing," but who come to Jesus, and (if only 
for very fear and need) stay by Him. 

Here then is the fact, first, that the Christian 
life, as such, is to be, and may be, a life of 


"joy in the Lord always." Such is "the 
Lord " that He is indeed able to be a perpetual 
cause of joy. The believer has but to recollect 
Him, to consider Him, to converse with Him, 
to make use of Him, in order to have in 
himself (not of himself) ** a well of water, 
springing up unto eternal life." " In joy and 
sorrow, life and death, His love is still the 
same"; for He is still the same; and the 
believing man is His. 

He will henceforth covet, and cultivate, this 
life of holy "joy in the Lord always." It 
is not a boisterous mirth ; it is pure and 
chastened ; but it is joy. It is an unfigurative 
happiness, a deep practical cheerfulness, full 
of health for him who has it, and a most 
powerful secret for influence over those who 
have to do with him. Think of the track 
of light left behind by lives of holy joy which 
we have watched ! It was good to be near 
them. The very things and places round them 
were warmed and beautified by them. And 
their source and strength lay, not in the 
believer, but in "the Lord"; therefore the 
way is open for us too ; we may be bearers 


of such sunshine too, happy and making 

" By influence of the light divine 
Let thy own light to others shine ; 
Reflect all heaven's propitious rays 
In ardent love and cheerful praise." ^ 

Again, here is the fact that the normal 
Christian Hfe is, as such, a life of " moderation 
known unto all men," in the controlling calm 
of the nearness of the Lord. The meaning 
of this " moderation " (to eVteiKc?) we have 
seen ; it is that blessed facility, that unselfish 
yieldingness, which is not weakness at all but 
the outcome of the meekness of a heart which 
Christ has overcome. It is the instinctive 
spirit, where He is in full command of thought 
and will, when personal " grievances " cross 
us, when our personal claims are slighted, our 
feelings disregarded, and even our legitimate 
rights overridden. Of course more considera- 
tions than one have to be taken as to our 
action when our rights are overridden. We 
have to ask whether our yielding will be 

' Bishop Ken. 


helpful or hurtful to othe7's ; we have even to 
ask whether to yield may not do harm to 
the invader. But these questions, if honestly 
asked, stand clear of the spirit of self; they 
regard others. And wherever they can be so 
answered as to leave us free to yield in view 
of others, we, if Christians indeed, living really 
our Christian life, shall find it quite possible, 
in the Lord Jesus, to let our " yieldingness 
be known unto all men," in the deep calm of 
" the Lord at hand." Yes, this can be so, in 
the most complicated life, and with the most 
irritable character, if we will fully " receive 
the grace of God" (2 Cor. vi. i). And the 
"all men" who "know" it will note it, and 
will recognize, sooner or later, the Master in 
the servant. 

Yet again, the normal Christian life is given 
here as a life free from care, from that 
miserable anxiety, y.ipi\kva, which blights and 
withers human happiness far and wide, whether 
it comes in the torm of a weight of large 
responsibilities or of the most trifling mis- 
givings. " Be careful for nothing " ; " care-ful " 
in the antique sense of the word ; " burthened 


with care." In the modern sense of careful, 
no one should be more careful than we ; 
" faithful in the least," " shewing all good 
fidelity in all things," " walking circumspectly," 
accurately, (XKjOtySws (Eph. v. 15), "pleasing 
the neighbour for his good unto edification," 
" whether we eat or drink, doing all to the 
glory of God," " watching and praying always." 
But in the other sense we are, we positively 
are, enjoined to live " without carefulness " ; 
to take pains, but in peace ; to work and 
serve, but at rest within ; to ** provide," to 
think beforehand (TTpovoela 9 at, Rom. xii. 17), 
but in the repose ot soul given by the fact 
that with the morrow will come the Lord, or 
rather that He will walk with us and lead us 
into it. It is a great triumph to live such a 
life ; but it is His triumph, not ours. Let 
us leave Him free (may the word be used in 
reverence ?) to win it ; to "do this mighty 
work," to "bear our burthen daily" (so we 
may render Ps. Ixxviii. 19). Nothing will 
much more glorify Him in eyes that notice 
our daily walk than to see us always taking 
care, yet always unanxious while we take it. 


" In the calm of sweet communion 
Let thy daily work be done ; 
In the peace of soul- outpouring 
Care be banish'd, patience won." ^ 

The sweet hymn leads us straight to the 
next point. The normal Christian life, accord- 
ing to this paragraph, is a life of perpetual, 
habitual, converse with God, converse about 
everything. And such converse has every- 
thing to do with the unanxious life. The 
man who would be unanxious is to cultivate 
the practice of reverent, worshipping {TTpoaevyrj), 
thankful, detailed prayer ', so shall he enter into 
peace. Here is a large subject ; it is inex- 
haustible ; from every aspect prayer is wonder- 
ful ; and there are many kinds and types ot 
prayer, as regards the act and exercise of it. 
But the all-important thing to remember here is 
that we are called to pray as the great means 
to a divine unanxious peace ; and that we 
are called to pray in the sense of "making 
our requests known in everything!' Shall we, 
in the grace of God, set ourselves to do it ? 

* G. M. Taylor, in Hymns of Consecration, 349. 


Shall we remember the presence of the Hearer, 
and "practise the Presence"? Shall we act 
upon it ? More, and more, and always more, 
shall we really " in everything''' turn to Him, 
and tell Him? Thought is good, but prayer 
is better ; or rather, thought in the form of 
prayer is, in ten thousand cases, the best 
thought. Let us make it a rule, God helping, 
"in everything" which calls for pause, for 
consideration, for judgment, to pray first and 
then to think. Innumerable futile thoughts 
will thus be saved, thoughts made fruitless by 
a hurry of spirit, or a heat, or a hardness, 
which puts all our view out of order. We shall 
indeed need to take pains. For while nothing 
is simpler in idea than the act of speaking to 
the unseen Friend, nothing is more easy, alas, 
to let slip in practice. But the pains will 
be infinitely worth the while ; it will be all 
applied at the right point. Wonderful result, 
guaranteed here by the Hearer of prayer; 
His "peace shall safeguard our hearts and 
our thoughts, in Christ Jesus," in the living 
Sanctuary of security and strength. There all 
our powers shall be active, yet at rest ; dealing 


with a thousand things, yet always conditioned 
by Him who is " the One Thing Needful." 
Unity will lie at the heart of multiplicity ; 
Christ will rule life from the centre. 

Lastly, the normal Christian life, thus con- 
ditioned, is a life whose mental energies 
(Xoyi^ecrOe) are fully at work, always gravita- 
ing towards purposes and actions true, pure, 
gracious, virtuous, commendable ; " sowing the 
fruit of righteousness in peace," at the side of 
" the God of peace." True, the man may 
have many things to think of which are either 
perfectly secular in themselves (he may be a 
servant, he may be a man ot business, he may 
be a physician, he may be a minister of state) ; 
or which are evil in themselves (he may be 
an investigator, or a judge, of crime). Never- 
theless, this will not deflect the true current 
of the mind. These " thinkings " will all find 
place and direction in the "thought" which 
remembers that the thinker is the Lord's, and 
that in his w/io/e life he is to be true to the 
Lord's glory and the good of man. " The 
God of peace will be with him " wherever 
he goes, whatever he does ; deep below the 


surface, but so as to control the whole surface 
all the while. 

Such is the Christian life, where the Chris- 
tian " stands firm in the Lord." It was thus 
at Philippi. In the early generations of the 
Church (let the Apology of Aristides alone be 
adequate witness) it was thus, to a degree and 
to an extent most memorable, in at least very 
many Christian circles. It is thus still, in 
many an individual life. But is it in any sense 
whatever thus in the rule and average ot even 
earnest Christian lives ? Is it thus in ours ? 

" Henceforth, let us live — not unto ourselves, 
but unto Him who died for us, and rose again." 
To Him, in Him, by Him, we are bound to live 
so (Rom. viii. 12, oc^etXerat), we are able to live 
so. Let us "present ourselves to God" (Rom. 
vi. 13), watching and praying, and it shall be. 

"Two arms I find to hold Thee fast, 
Submission meek and reverent faith ; 
Held by Thy hand that hold shall last 
Through life and over death. 
"Not me the dark foe fears at all, 
But hid in Thee I take the field; 
Now at my feet the mighty fall, 
For Thou hast bid them yield.'' ^ 

* Iti the House of the Pilgrimage. 


241 16 

"Is thy cruse of comfort wasting? rise and share it with another, 
And through all the years of famine it shall serve thee and thy 

" Is thy burthen hard and heavy ? do thy steps drag wearily ? 
Help to bear thy brother's burthen ; God will bear both it and 

" Is the heart a living power ? self-entwin'd, its strength sinks 
It can only live in loving, and by serving love will grow." 

E. RuNDLE Charles. 




Philippians iv. 10-23 

THE work of dictation is nearly done in 
the Roman lodging. The manuscript 
will soon be complete, and then soon rolled 
up and sealed, ready for Epaphroditus ; he 
will place it with reverence and care in his 
baggage, and see it safe to Philippi. 

But one topic has to be handled yet before 
the end. " Now concerning the collection ! " 
Epaphroditus, who had brought with him to 
Rome the loving alms of the Philippian be- 
lievers, must carry back no common thanks 
to them. All honour shall be done by the 
Lord's great servant to those who have done 
the Lord this service in him ; they shall know 
how it has rejoiced and warmed his heart ; 
they shall be made very sure that " inasmuch 



as they have done it to " their Missionary 
" they have done it to " their King. 

We do not know how much the money 
amounted to. It was not improbably a sub- 
stantial sum. Among the contributors might 
be Lydia, whose means may well have been 
comfortable ; and the Keeper of the Prison 
would be by no means a beggar : what grati- 
tude to St Paul glowed in both those hearts ! 
But not in theirs only ; the rank and file of 
the mission would do all that love could do 
for the man who had manifested Jesus to 
them. And when that is the spirit, the 
liberality will often be surprising. Not long 
ago in one of our North American missions 
a small meeting of poor Christian Indians 
apologized for the scantiness of their collection 
for missionary objects ; it was worth only £'j ; 
they would do better the next time ! 

But small or large, the Philippian gift was 
precious with the weight of love. And no 
doubt it was exceedingly useful practically. 
It would secure for the imprisoned missionary 
many alleviating personal comforts, and part 
of it would probably be spent upon the work 


of evangelization in Rome and its neighbour- 
hood ; for then as now work inevitably meant 

Ver. 10. But, to turn now from teaching to thanking 
— I rejoice (i^apw '• the English present best gives 
the point of the " epistolary " aorist) in the Lord, in 
our union of heart and life with Him, greatly, that 
now at length, after an interval which was no fault 
of yours, you have blossomed out ^ into loving thought 
on my behalf. With a view to this (icf)' a), this effort 
to aid me, you were, I know (/cat), taking thought 
{e(f)povelre), even when you made no sign ; but you 
were at a loss for opportunity for the transmission ; no 
bearer for your bounty could be spared, or found. 

Ver. II. Not that I speak thus in the tone of need 
(/ca^' vcnipi)(Ttv), as if I had been wondering, and 
fretting, and suspecting you of forgetful ness or of 
parsimony ; no, I have been in a happier mood than 
that ; for I, for my part (e^co : slightly emphatic), 
have learnt (e^iaOov : our perfect tense best gives 
this aorist) to be, in my actual circumstances, self- 

* 'AveBaXere to virep tfiov ({)pov(lv. Literally, "you shot forth 
(as a branch) thought in my behalf." (The English perfect 
best represents this aorist.) The phrase is unmistakably 
pictorial, poetical. If I read it aright, it is touched with 
a smile of gentle pleasantry ; the warm heart comes out in a 
not undesigned quaintness of expression. 


sufficing {avrdpKr)<i) ; " carrying with me all I have " ; 
independent, not of grace, but of surroundings. 

Ver. 12. I know both (/cat, not he) how to run low,^ and 
how to run over, as I do now, with your bounty ; 
and both experiences need a teaching from above 
if they are to be rightly borne. In everything and 
in all things, in the details and in the total, I have 
been let into the secret, I have been initiated into the 
" mystery," ^ of being full fed and of being hungry, of 

Ver. 13. running over and of coming short. For all 
things I am strong in Him who makes me able.^ 

But not even this joyful testimony to the 
enabling presence of his Lord must divert his 

^ TaireivoxxrOai is used in classical Greek of the falling of 
a river in drought. Perhaps such an image is present in the 
language here. 

^ Mf fxvTjfiai : the verb whose root is that of iivcrrf^piov, 
tnysterium, "mystery." In the Greek world "mysteries" 
were systems of religious belief and practice derived, perhaps, 
from pre-Hellenic times, and jealously guarded from common 
knowledge by their votaries. Admission into their secrets, 
as into those of Freemasonry now, was sought by people of 
all kinds, from Roman consuls and emperors downwards ; 
with the special hope of freedom from evil in this life and 
the next. St Paul's use of this phenomenon to supply language 
for Christian experience is beautifully suggestive. The know- 
ledge of the peace of God is indeed an o;pen secret, open to 
"whosever will" " learn of Him." But it is a secret, a mystery, 
none the less. 

3 The word Xpio-rw should be omitted from the reading. 


thought from the loving act of the Philippians, 
He seems about to dilate on the glorious theme 
of what he can be and do in Christ ; the 
wonder of that experience on which he entered 
at the crisis detailed in 2 Cor. xii. is surely 
powerfully upon him ; the " My grace is suffi- 
cient for thee " ; the sense of even exultation 
in weakness and imperfection, "that the power 
of Christ may overshadow " him. But all this 
leaves perfectly undisturbed his delicate sym- 
pathy with the dear Macedonian converts. 
And so he will assure them that no spiritual 
" sufficiency " can blunt the sense of their 
generous kindness. 

Ver. 14. Yet you did well, you did a fair, good deed, 
when you joined together {avy Koiv(tivrjcravT€<i) in partici- 
pating in my tribulation, with the partnership of a 
sympathy which feels the suffering it relieves. But you 

though perfectly right as a note or explanation. — The la-xus 
is the forth-putting of the bvva^is — the action of \hefaculiy. 
He is ready to act (or to bear) in a power always latent, 
always present, through his union with his Lord. The "all 
things " so met are, of course, the all things of the will of 
God, the choice of the Master for the servant in the way of 
circumstance and trial ; not the all things of the mere wish 
or ambition of the servant. 


Ver. 15. know, (to add a thought on your previous 
bounties, which may as it were correct (Be) the 
thought that I needed this last bounty to assure me of 
your love,) you know, Philippians,^ that in the beginning 
of the Gospel, in the early days of the mission in your 
region, when I left Macedonia, parting from you on 
my way south, in order to quit Macedonia (Roman 
Northern Greece) for Achaia (Roman Southern 
Greece), vm Thessalonica and Beroea,^ no church 
participated with me, helped me in my labours, in 
the matter of giving and taking, (they giving and I 
taking the needed monetary aid,) but you alone. But 

Ver. 16. you did so ; because even in Thessalonica ; 
even when I was still there, in a place which was 
but ninety miles away,^ and in the same province 
still ; twice over (koI aira^ koI StV) you sent aid to 
my need, within the few weeks which I spent at 

Again he will not be misunderstood. This 
w^armly expressed gratitude may conceivably 

* ^iknTTTTja-ioi : the Greek form represents a Latin Phili;p- 
penses, by which the residents in the Ro?nan "colony'^ 
would call themselves. So Corinthiensis means not a born 
Corinthian but a settler at Corinth. — Greek tends to represent 
a Latin syllable -ens by -r/s : so KX^/ijjs, Clemens. 

* See Acts xvii. 1-15. 

* On the Egnatian road. He made three stages of the 
distance; Amphipolis, ApoUonia, Thessalonica. 


be mistaken for an indirect petition, " thanks 
for favours to come." So with sensitive 
delicacy he pursues : 

Ver. 17, Not that I am in quest oi {ein^iqTS) : almost, " I 
am hunting for ") the gift, the mere sum of money, in 
and for itself ; but I am in quest of the interest that is 
accumulating to your account ; M am bent upon just 
such a developement of your generosity as will win 
from the heavenly Master more and yet more of that 
supreme reward. His own " Well done, good and 

Ver. 18. faithful." But (he is still anxious, lest this 
too should be mistaken for a personal bid for 
more) I have received in full (aTre'^o)) ; you have 
amply discharged love's obligations, in the gift now 
sent ; and I run over ; the largeness of your bounty 
makes an overflow. I have been filled full, in accepting 
from Epaphroditus what came from you; an odour of 
fragrancy, a sacrifice acceptable, pleasing to God, to 
whom you have really presented what you have sent 

' Toi/ Kapwov Tov Trkeova^ovra els Xoyov vfiwv. I venture to 
render these words as above, as a monetary phrase, relating 
to principal and interest. It is true that Kapnos is not found 
used in the sense of interest, for which the regular word is 
TOKOS. But it would easily fit into the language of the money- 
market. And St Chrysostom's comment here seems to show 
that he, a Greek, understood it thus : Spas on iKelvois 6 Kapnos 
TiKTeTai {tokos). 


to the man who serves Him — this evidence of your 
sacrifice to Him of yourselves and your possessions, 
a burnt offering (Lev. i. 9) of surrender, a peace 
offering (Lev. ii. 2, iii, 5) of thanksgiving.^ I cannot 

Ver. 19. requite you ; but my God shall fill up every 
need of yours (jraaav -yjpeiav, not it. tt}v xP-)> leaking 
up to you in His own loving providence the gap in 
your means left by this your bounty, and enriching 
you the while in soul, according to, on the scale of. 
His wealth, in glory, in Christ Jesus, Yes, He will 
draw on no less a treasury than that of " His glory," 
His own Nature of almighty Love, as it is manifested 
to and for you " in Christ Jesus," in whom " all the 

Ver. 20. Fulness dwells." ^ But now to our God and 
Father, to Him of whom I and you are alike the dear 
children, be the glory, the praise for this and for all 
like acts of His children's love, for ever and ever ; " to 
the ages of the ages," the endless cycles of eternal 
life, in which shall it be fully seen how He was the 
Secret of all the holiness of all His saints. Amen. 

' For oa-fifj evabias see Eph. V. 2. The phrase is common 
in the Septuagint to render the Hebrew "savour of rest," 
the fume of the altar pictorially represented as smelt by the 

* This reference of 86^a seems better than that which would 
connect it only with the eternal future, the glory of heaven, 
and make the sentence mean that He would hereafter requite 
them thet'e. He would indeed do so. But the phrase nXrjpovv 
iraa-av xpfl^av hardly suggests that thought here. 


So the Utterance of thanks for a loving and 
hberal collection closes. Here is another case 
of the phenomenon we have seen already — 
the beautiful skill with which a local and 
personal incident is used as the occasion for 
a whole revelation of grace and truth. We 
can easily imagine a gift like that which 
came from Philippi acknowledged with a few 
cordial words which would adequately express 
gratitude and pleasure, but would otherwise 
terminate wholly in themselves. How different 
is this paragraph ! Throughout it, side by 
side, run at once the most perfect and delicate 
human courtesy and considerateness, and sug- 
gestions of eternal and spiritual relations, in 
which " the gift " touches at every point the 
heart of the Lord, and the promises of grace, 
and the hope of glory. This message of 
thanks gives us, just in passing, such oracles 
of blessing as, " I can do all things in Him 
that strengtheneth me," and " My God shall 
supply all your need." It is on one side 
a model of nobility and fineness of human 
thought and feeling, on the other an oracle 
of God. This is just in the manner of 


Scripture. *' Never book spake like this 

Now the close comes. The greetings which 
those who are one in the Lord cannot but 
send to one another in His name, have to be 
spoken, and then the scribe's pen will rest. 

Ver. 21. Salute every saint in Christ Jesus, every holy- 
one of your circle, holy because in Him ; pass the 
greetings round from my heart to each member of the 
Church. And as I write, the Christians now around 
me, my personal friends upon the spot, must send their 
message too ; there salute you all the brethren who are 
with me. And not they only, but all the believers 
of the Roman mission, represented around me in my 
chamber as I dictate, do the same ; and among them 
one class asks to join with special warmth ; there 

Ver. 22. salute you all the saints, but particularly 
those who belong to (ol e«) the household of the Emperor 
{KaL(Tapo<i) ; the Christians gathered from the re- 
tainers of the Palace ; peculiar in their circumstances 
of temptation, and quickened thereby to a special 
warmth of faith and love.^ 

' "Bishop Lightfoot . . . {Philippians, pp. 171-178) has 
shewn with great fulness of proof that ' the household of 
Caesar ' was a term embracing a vast number of persons, not 
only in Rome but in the provinces, all of whom were either 


Nothing is left now but the final message 
from the Lord Himself; the invocation of 
that " grace " which means in fact no abstract 
somewhat but His living Self, present in His 
people's inmost being, to vivify and to bless. 

Ver. 23. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with 
your spirit.^ Amen. 

The voice is silent ; the pen is laid aside. 
In due time the papyrus roll, inestimable 
manuscript, is made ready for its journey. 

actual or former slaves of the Emperor, filling every possible 
description of office more or less domestic. The Bishop 
illustrates his statements from the . , . burial inscriptions 
of members of the ' Household ' found . . . near Rome. . . . 
These inscriptions afford a curiously large number of co- 
incidences with the list in Rom. xvi. . . . Amplias, Urbanus, 
Apelles, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, Patrobas, Philologus. . . . 
Bishop Lightfoot infers from this whole evidence the great 
probability that the * saints ' greeted in Rom. xvi. were, on 
the whole, the same ' saints ' who here send greeting from 
Rome. . . . Their associations and functions, not only in the 
age of Nero but in the precincts of his court, and probably 
(for many of them) within the chambers of his palace, give 
a noble view in passing of the power of grace to triumph over 
circumstances, and to transfigure life where it seems most 
impossible " (Note in The Cambridge Bible for Schools and 
Colleges'). See also the writer's commentary on the Ep. to 
the Romans {Expositor^ s Bible), pp. 423-425. 
^ Read /xera rov Trvfi/fiaros vnav, not fi. Travnov vy.a>v. 


And perhaps as it now lies drying the 
Missionary and his brethren turn to further 
conversation on the beloved Philippian Church, 
and recall many a scene in the days that 
are over, and which are now gliding far into 
the past of the crowded years ; and they speak 
again of the brightness of Philippian Christian 
life, and the shadows that lie on it here and 
there ; and then, while the Praetorian sentinel 
looks on in wonder, or perhaps joins in as 
a believer, they pray together for Philippi, and 
pour out their praises to the Father and the 
Son, and anticipate the day of glory. 

It is all over now ; it all happened very 
long ago. But though that blessed group of 
our elder brethren " are all gone into the 
world of light " these many more than eighteen 
hundred human years, that Letter is our 
contemporary still. " The word of God liveth 
and abideth for ever'' (i Pet. i. 23); it is 
never out of date, never touched by the 
pathetic glamour of the past, with the sug- 
gestion of farewells, and waxings old, and 
vanishings away. To us to-day, so near the 


twentieth century, the Epistle to the Philippians 
is immortal, modern, true for our whole world 
and time. 

And what is its secret, its elixir of undying 
life ? It is the Name of Jesus Christ. It is 
that these pages are the message of *• the 
chosen Vessel " about that Name. 

Our studies in the Epistle shall close with 
that reflexion. The incidental topics and 
interests of the document are numerous in- 
deed ; but the main theme is one, and it is 
Jesus Christ. From first to last, under every 
variety of reference, " Christ is preached." 

Let me quote from a Sermon preached many 
years ago, the last of a series in which I 
attempted to unfold the Epistle to a Christian 
congregation in the beloved Church of Ford- 
ington, Dorchester, then my Father's cure and 

" The mere number of mentions of the 
Saviour's name is remarkable. More than 
forty times we have it in this short compass ; 
that is to say, it occurs, amidst all the variety 


ot subjects, on an average of about once in 
every two or three verses. This is indeed 
perfectly characteristic, not of this Epistle 
only but of the whole New Testament. What 
the Apostles preached was not a thing but a 
Person ; Christ, Christ Jesus, Christ Jesus the 

" But let us not look only on this frequency 
of mention. Let us gather up something of 
what these mentions say * concerning the King.* 

" The writer begins with describing himself 
and his associates as the servants, the absolute 
bondmen, oj Jesus Christ. And truly such 
servants witness to the worthiness of their 

"He addresses those to whom he writes 
as saints, as holy ones, in Jesus Christ. Their 
standing, their character, their all, depends on 
Him ; on union with Him, on life in Him. 
Without Him, apart from Him, they would 
not be saints at all. 

" The writer speaks of his imprisonment at 
Rome ; the subject is full of Jesus Christ. 
' My bonds in Christ ' is his remarkable de- 
scription of captivity. And the result of that 



captivity was, to his exceeding joy, just this, 
amidst a great variety of conditions in detail, 
including some exquisite trials to patience 
and peace : ' Christ is being preached ' ; ' that 
Christ may be magnified in my body, whether 
by life or death.' He is kept absolutely cheer- 
ful and at rest ; and the secret is Jesus Christ. 

"He has occasion to speak of his trial, with 
its delays, and its suspense between life and 
death. The whole is full of Jesus Christ. 
' To me to live is Christ ' ; He fills, and as 
it were makes, life for me. * And to die is 
gain ' — why ? Because * to depart and to be 
with Christ is far, far better.' The dilemma 
in which he stands (for he is 'in a strait 
betwixt the two ') is a dilemma between Christ 
and Christ, Christ much and Christ more, 
Christ by faith and Christ by sight. 

"He dwells, in various places, on the life 
and duties of the Philippians. His precepts 
are all this, in effect — Christ applied to con- 
duct. * Let your life-walk be as it becometh 
the Gospel of Christ' \ 'Filled with the fruit 
of righteousness which is through Jesus 
Christ ' ; ' It is granted to you not only to 



believe in Christ but also to suffer for His 

"In particular, he has to press on them 
the homely duty of practical self-forgetfulness. 
He takes them for model and motive to the 
heaven of heavens, and shews them * Christ 
Jesus ' there, as for us men and for our 
salvation He prepares to come down, and 
comes. * Let this mind be in you,' as you 
contemplate the original Glory, the amazing 
Incarnation, the atoning Death, o{ Christ Jesus. 

"He expresses hopes, intentions, resolutions, 
as to his own actions. All is still ' in Jesus 
Christ.' * I trust in the Lord Jesus to send 
Timotheus,' ' I trust in the Lord to come 
myself shortly.' 

" Does he speak of the believer's joy ? 
• We rejoice in Christ Jesus' ' Rejoice in the 
Lord alway, and again I say. Rejoice.' Does 
he speak of pardon and of peace ? ' I counted 
all things but loss that I might win Christ, 
and be found in Him, having the righteousness 
which is of God by faith.' Does he speak of 
knowledge, and of power ? ' That I might know 
Christ, and the power of His resurrection, and 


the fellowship of His sufferings, being made 
conformable unto His death ' ; * I can do all 
things in Christ which strengtheneth me.' 

" He speaks of a holy immortality, of eternal 
glory, and of pleasures for evermore. It is 
no vague aspiration ; it is a sure and certain 
hope ; and it is altogether in Jesus Christ. 
* Our home, our citizenship, is in heaven, from 
whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord 
Jesus Christ, who shall change the body of 
our humiliation into likeness to the body of His 
glory, according to the working whereby He is 
able even to subdue all things unto — Himself 

"He bids his beloved converts stand fast ; 
it is ' in the Lord! He bids them be of 
one mind ; it is ' in the Lord! He bids them 
be always calm, always self-forgetting ; * the 
Lord is at hand.' He assures them of an 
all-sufficient resource for their every need ; 
' My God shall supply all, according to His 
riches, in glory, in Christ Jesus! 

" His last message of blessing brings 
together their inmost being and this same 
wonderful Person ; ' The grace of our Lord 
Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.' . . . 


' ' What a witness it all is to the glory of our 
beloved Redeemer; to the majesty of His 
Person ; to the fulness and perfection of 
His Work ; to the solidity, the sobriety, the 
strength, of the faith which is in Him ! There 
is no inflation or rhetoric in the language of 
the Epistle about Him. Glowing with love, 
it is all clear and calm. Yes, for Christ 
Jesus is not a phantom of the fancy ; a 
hope floating on the thick waves of a wild 
enthusiasm. He is an anchor, sure and 
steadfast. Blessed are they who ride secure 
on the deep, held fast by Him. 

" The Epistle witnesses to Him as to a 
Treasure worth all our seeking, at any cost ; 
infinitely precious to our joyful finding ; 
infinitely deserving of our keeping, of our 
holding, our ' appreheniing,' as He in His 
mercy has laid hold of us, and will keep 
hold of us, even to the end ; * unto the day 
of Jesus Christ.' As then, so now ; 

• He help'd His saints in ancient days 

Who trusted in His name ; 

And we can witness to His praise, 

His love is still the same.' 



" May the Spirit bring home to our spirit 
this great witness of the Epistle ; it has its 
perfect adaptation to each heart, to every 
life, to every hour. 

" Then hereafter we shall give God thanks 
yet better for ' Philippians,' as we too enter, 
late or soon, into that world where the Apostle, 
and Timotheus, and Epaphroditus, and Euodia, 
and Syntyche, and Clement, and the saints 
of Caesar's household, have so long beheld 
the Lord. In that land of light we, who 
have believed, shall rest with them. We shall 
know them. In the long leisure of endless 
life we shall enjoy their company, amidst the 
multitudinous congregation of the just made 
perfect. There we shall understand how, 
under the infinite differences of our earthly 
conditions, the one Hand led them and led 
us along the one way of salvation to the one 
end of everlasting life. Above all, we there, 
with them, shall know Jesus Christ, even 
as we are known. There we, with them, 
shall realize how to Him, and to Him alone, 
from all His servants, from Hebrew, and 
Roman, and Philippian, and Englishman, and 


African, from ancients and moderns, wise 
and ignorant, of all kinds and times, was due 
the whole praise of their whole salvation. 

'Conflicts and trials done 
His glory they behold, 
Where jESUS and His flock are one, 
One Shepherd and one fold.' " 


Acts xxviii. i6, 31 

" Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. . . • 
preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the 
Lord Jesus Christ." 

(the soldier loquilur.) 

Father, the dawn is near ! the shield 

Of Luna sinks remote and pale 
O'er Tiber and the Martial field ; 

The breeze awakes ; the cressets fail : 
This livelong night from set of sun 
Here have we talk'd : thy task is done. 

But yesterday I smil'd or frown'd 

To watch thy audience, soon and late, 

With scroll and style embattl'd round 
In barbarous accents ply debate ; 

While this would chide, and that would start 

Sudden, as sword-struck in the heart, 

I laugh'd aside, or, tir'd, withdrew 

From the strange sound in waking dreams 

To Umbrian hills — the home I knew — 
The cottage by Mevania's streams : 

Twas hush'd at length : the guests were flown, 

And thou wast left and I alone. 


Thou hast forgiven (I know thee now) 
The insults of this heathen tongue; 

The taunting questions why and how; 
The songs (oh madness!) that I sung: 

Thou hast forgiv'n the hateful strain 

Of dull defiance and disdain. 

Thy gaze, thy silence, they compell'd 
My own responsive : aw'd I stood 

Before thee ; soften'd, search'd, and quell'd ; 
The evil captive to the good : 

Half conscious, half entranc'd, I heard 

(While the stars mov'd) thy conquering word. 

These ears were dull to Grecian speech. 
This heart more dull to aught but sin; 

Yet the great Spirit bade thee reach, 
Wake, change, exalt, the soul within : 

I've heard; I know; thy Lord, ev'n He, 

JESUS, hath look'd from heaven on me. 

Thou saw'st me shake, and (spite of pride) 
Weep on thy hand : so stern thy truth : 

I own'd the terrors that abide 
Dread sequel to a rebel's youth : 

But soon I pour'd a happier shower 

To learn thy Saviour's dying power. 

Ah, speechless, rapt, I bent, to know 
Each wonder of that fateful day 

When midst thy zeal's terrific glow 
He met thee on the Syrian way : 

I saw, I felt, the scene : my soul 

Drank the new bliss, the new control. 


Father, the dawn is risen ! the hour 

Is near, too near, when from this hand 

Thy chain must fall — from yonder tower 
Another guard must take my stand : 

The City stirs : I go, to meet 

The foe, the world, in camp and street : — 

A Christian — yes, for ever now 
A Christian : so our Leader keep 

My faltering heart : to Him I bow, 
His, whether now I wake or sleep : 

In peace, in battle. His : — the day 

Breaks in the east: oh, once more pray I 


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Philippian studies : lessons in faith 

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