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ing it against the incursions of the Thracians. From him it was called Philippi. The battles fought in its vicinity are remarkable in history, especially the second, with which its name is more immediately identified. In Acts xvi. 12, Luke notices it in the following terms: 'The chief city of that part of Macedonia and a colony. The meaning of this clause has given rise to considerable diversity of opinion. There is no reason for doubting the correctness of the received reading and having recourse to conjectural emendation. When Paulus Æmilius conquered Perseus, he divided Macedonia into four parts or regions, to the first of which Philippi was assigned. Yet Amphipolis was the metropolis of the division. Npúty cannot mean the leading city or the capital, Neither can it be shewn, that after the battle of Philippi, it was elevated to the rank which Amphipolis had previously enjoyed. Some think that spórt designates locality, i.e. the first Macedonian city which one coming from proconsular Asia would naturally arrive at. There is some geographical difficulty connected with this opinion, since, on such ground, Neapolis would claim the title first, Rettig, and after him Winer, assign the following sense: (which is the first city (from the sea) of the province of Mace. donia,' i.e. of Macedonia proper, whither Paul had been directed by a vision. This interpretation is somewhat forced and unnatural. Why should a maritime town of Macedonia, such as Neapolis, be denied the appellation first in geographical relation to a person coming from Troas to Macedonia ? Why should the measurement begin at the sea on which Nea. polis is situated, rather than at the country or place from which the apostle set out on his way to Macedonia ? Surely the latter is more natural. It is better to assign a póry to rank in preference to locality; and thus the true sense has been given by our translators, viz., ' the chief city of that part of Macedonia. Philippi enjoyed certain privileges conferred upon it by the Romans. It was a Roman colony, Julius Cæsar having allowed numbers whom he had expatriated in consequence of their ad. herence to Antony, to inhabit it and other towns in the same district. The rights which it possessed were granted by Augustus, who probably bestowed the title apórn Hóass, a title which did not convey much real advantage. It is objected, however, that the honourable appellation in question belonged only to the cities of Asia Minor under the Romans, such as Nicomedia, Nicæa, Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamus, as ancient coins shew; while none of the coins relating to Philippi bear the same title. In reply, we may refer, with Credner, to the nearness and connexion between it and Asia Minor; as also to the emptiness of the epithet itself.
The apostle visited the city on his second missionary journey, accompanied by Silas, Timothy, and Luke. This was, perhaps, about the year of our Lord 53. He preached in a Jewish proseucha, for there was no synagogue. On this occasion Lydia believed. But he suffered severely from the selfish heathen, and the rash magistrates of the place, by whom he was imprisoned. After a short stay he left the city (Acts xvi.) During his absence, Luke, Epaphroditus, and perhaps Clement (iv. 3), with others not mentioned, laboured to carry forward the work, by enlarging and strengthening the church which Paul had founded. On his third missionary journey from Corinth to Jerusalem, he visited it again (Acts xx.), but this may have been the third time; for it appears from 2 Cor. vii. 5, 6, that he met Titus in Macedonia, and wrote thence—probably from Philippi—his second Epistle to the Corinthians, as the subscription states. Thus Philippi was the first European town that received the gospel. The standard of divine truth was planted where the standards of contending armies had formerly met; and the glory of a mighty conflict, embodying the antagonistic spirit of republicanism and despotism, fades before the peaceful victory of the Cross. The historian of Rome will always point to Philippi as the scene of a memorable struggle, and lament over the fallen Brutus, the stern defender of his country's freedom ; but the sacred historian will prefer to speak of a spiritual victory achieved by the gospel, and a glorious freedom thence communicated to the Philippian citizens. Brutus and Cassius, Augustus and Antony, vanish from the view of enlightened patriotism before Paul and Silas, and Luke and Epaphroditus : victors nobler far, than blood-stained Romans at the head of sanguimary armies. II. Time and place at which the Epistle was written. Several circumstances were stated in a former article to prove that the Epistle was written during the Roman, not the Caesarean captivity. It is not our intention to repeat them now. The term "garráglov, on which the burden of the proof was partly rested in favour of Rome, has been applied to Caesarea by Boettger. It is certainly used of the palace of Herod at Caesarea (Acts xxiii. 35). It is also applied to the residence or palace of the procurator of any Roman province (Mat. xxvii. 27; Mark xv. 16; John xviii. 28–33; xix. 9). But in the present epistle it appears to signify the camp or quarters of the praetorian cohorts at Rome; or the praetorian cohorts themselves; or the palace of Caesar the chief praetor, who had soldiers to guard his person. It has been alleged, that Acts xxiii. 35, as compared with xxviii. 16, shows Paul to have been kept in the prætorium at Cæsarea; while, on the contrary, he was allowed to have his own house at Rome; and, therefore, that the term, as here employed in reference to his imprisonment, must point to the former place. But it is not stated in the Epistle to the Philippians that he resided in the prætorium; all that is affirmed is, that his imprisonment for the cause of Christ was well known in all the palace. But the expression oixíce Kairugog is more explicit in favour of Rome. Herod could scarcely be termed Cæsar : this were an unusual and unauthorized application of the title: it belongs to Nero, but not to Herod. Hence we infer, that the Epistle was written during the Roman rather than the Cæsarean captivity. It now remains to show that it was composed when the time of this imprisonment was verging towards its close. In chaps. i. 12, 13, 14, and ï. 26, a considerable period is presupposed, so that the good fruit of Paul's ministry had become apparent: ‘But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel ; 80 that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places ; and many of the brethren in the Lord waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.' For he longed after you all and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. The last passage shows that some time must have elapsed from Epaphroditus's arrival. In connexion with the preceding notices, we direct attention to what the writer says in ii. 24 : But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly,' and i. 25, 26, “And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith ; that your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.' Still, however, the apostle was not without some doubts as to the issue. He was not absolutely certain of a favourable and speedy termina. tion of his captivity. Hence he writes: 'According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also, Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.—Him therefore I hope to send presently, as soon as I shall see how it will yo with me.' (i. 20; ii. 17, 23). Michaelis supposes, that the strong expression remodus olla, (chap. i. 25) implies that Paul was actually assured by an internal communication from heaven that he should be released. But the uncertain mode in which he speaks in other places is more suggestive of the view that in chap. i. 25, he spoke from the promptings of his own mind. He had
just arrived at the conclusion, that it was more conducive to the spiritual advantage of the believers at Philippi that he should be spared a little longer; and therefore he draws the conclusion presented in the 25th verse. By separating the participle neno16ws from oida, as our English translators have done, the expression of assurance in regard to his deliverance will be materially lessened, because the confidence will relate to his firm persuasion that the interests of the Philippians should be promoted by the continuance of his life on earth. But even if ToŰTO be governed by vida, and referred to the subsequent words, the sense of the clause should not be pressed. It should be taken in its popular, not in its rigidly exact acceptation. The apostle gives utterance to his trust in God respecting his release and future activity, although he had no direct revelation in the matter. Hence he speaks again with hesitation. From a consideration of all these circumstances, the epistle may perhaps be placed A.D. 63.
III. During his captivity at Rome, the apostle received an account of the Philippian church from Epaphroditus, one of the pastors, who had been sent to him with a pecuniary contribution. This was not the first occasion on which the same church had expressed its gratitude in similar acts of benevolence. Twice they had sent him presents to Thessalonica. (Phil. iv. 15, 16.) At Corinth he had also shared their bounty. (2 Cor. xi. 9.) Though he declined to accept eleemosynary aid from others, he received it at the hand of the Philippians, a circumstance which must have been highly gratifying to them.
The messenger was seized with a dangerous illness, the cause of which cannot now be ascertained. It may have arisen from excessive haste in his journey, and the fatigues attendant upon it; or from his great exertions at Rome in diffusing the truth, and ministering to the apostle. In the 30th verse of the second chapter it is written: 'Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service.' Here the work of Christ may include both the services rendered to Paul and also other labours undertaken for the gospel's sake, which had no immediate reference to the apostle's person. But the conclusion of the verse favours the idea that the former especially is meant. He contracted a dangerous disease from an excessive anxiety to perform in his own person all the kind offices which the members of the whole church, had they been present, would have rendered the beloved apostle, and which they desired their delegate to execute as far as he was able. The news of this severe malady had reached the church at Philippi, and rendered Epaphroditus extremely desirous to return. Hence the apostle was the mor
solicitous to send him back as soon as he was sufficiently recorered, that the regrets of pastor and people might be removed, and joy restored at their meeting. But the apostle of the Gentiles did not dismiss him without an equivalent for the seasonable present of the Philippians. Their gift had been both timely and liberal, so that the recipient could say, 'I have all and abound.' It had more than supplied his present necessities. It had left him something for future emergencies. In return for so great kindness, he writes the present letter full of ardent affection, and fraught with high encouragement to the believers at Philippi. In consolatory terms it conveys the writer's concern for their welfare in all things pertaining to godliness. Thus they were nobly repaid. With what joy would they read the epistle coming from their spiritual parent. What an incentive would it prove to the higher exercise of every Christian virtue. How would they be stimulated by its exhortations to press forward towards greater attainments, and to work out, with all holy circumspection, their own salvation. How would the apostle's own experience lead them to be followers of one so thoroughly imbued with the essential spirit of christianity. The expressions applied to Epaphroditus evince the high position he occupied in Paul's esteem. Such commendation, from such an apostle, stamps upon the man and the preacher a seal of faithfulness which an angel might envy : 'My brother-fellow-worker—fellow-soldier.'
But it may be asked how the apostle could be in want, as he seems to have been, when thus relieved by the Philippiaus. Was he neglected by the christians at Rome? Were there not many wealthy citizens who had embraced the gospel, and knew of his long imprisonment? It is sufficient, in reply, to refer to the known practice of Paul—a practice dictated by extreme delicacy and dignity. He was accustomed to work with his own hands, rather than be a burthen to any of the churches. This he could not do, now that he was a prisoner. The Romans had not been converted by him; and he would therefore regard himself as in no way entitled to maintenance from them. Besides, he had enemies in the city; and he never received remuneration for his labours in the churches where such persons had appeared, lest they should be furnished with the colour of an excuse for ascribing to him interested motives. (2 Cor. xi. 9; Acts xx. 34.) When these considerations are taken into account, it will not seem strange that his means of subsistence had been reduced to a low state. The christians at Rome may have offered what he refused to take ; for his own words are, Now, ye Philippians, know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me, as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.' (iv. 15.)