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(a). i. 1–11. After the inscription and salutation, Paul expresses his gratitude to God on behalf of the Philippians, his continual mention of them in prayer since the time they received the gospel, and his confident expectation that the work of sanctification in their hearts would be carried on until the day of death, and perfectly completed. He calls God to witness his deep-seated affection towards them, praying that their love and knowledge might be still more abundant, and the fruits of their righteousness yet more productive. (b). i. 12—ii. 18. That the Philippians might not be dejected on account of what had befallen him, he informs them that God had overruled his imprisonment for good, by rendering it subservient to the advancement of the gospel. His bonds had been made known in the praetorium and throughout the city; and by witnessing his patience and fortitude, several of the brethren had been induced to preach the gospel all the more fearlessly. Not that the motives of all who proclaimed Christ were pure, for some envied the apostle's popularity, but yet, as long as Christ is preached, the apostle rejoices. He expresses his confidence in the fact that the Redeemer should be magnified, either by his life or his death, although he thinks it, on the whole, more desirable, for the sake of the Philippians and others, that he should live a little longer, that he might joyfully meet them again. But whatever might be the issue of his present captivity, he exhorts them to lead a holy life, to be firmly united in one spirit, and not to be terrified by their enemies. In the most tender and pathetic strains he beseeches them to cultivate mutual love, to avoid vain glory, and to be exceedingly humble in the estimate of their own attainments. To enforce the duty of humility the more impressively, he next introduces the example of Christ, who left the glories of the heavenly state to live on earth a life of lowly obedience and suffering for the sake of men. Having described the Saviour's person, both in his humiliation and exaltation, he exhorts them to work out their salvation with reverential fear, remembering that the divine energy was not inactive within them; to avoid murmurings under their sufferings, and disputings for pre-eminence; to be blameless and harmless in the midst of an evil generation; and not only to hold fast, but also to diffuse the word of life around, that the apostle might rejoice in the day of Christ on their account. (c.) ii. 19—30. He promises to send Timothy to them, of whom he speaks as a disinterested, zealous, affectionate minister, and one whose excellence was well known to themselves. But still he was in expectation of being shortly released, and of following Timothy to Philippi. He then gives a reason for WOL. XVII. Y Y
sending Epaphroditus to them in the mean time. He mentions the dangerous sickness of their messenger, his earnest longing to return to his flock, and the self-sacrificing fidelity with which he had laboured. Him he commends to their esteem and honour, as a workman worthy of their highest regards. (d). iii. 1–iv. 1. Having understood from Epaphroditus that there were Judaising teachers at Philippi, the apostle in this paragraph warns the believers against them, affirming that they are the true people of God who place no confidence in conformity to the law of Moses, Had this law furnished ground for glorying, he might certainly boast of it, for he was descended of Jewish parents, circumcised, a rigid Pharisee, observing all its outward requirements. But he was willing to forego all these pretensions for Christ, while he sought justification by faith in His righteousness alone. Hence his great object was to know the Saviour, to become experimentally acquainted with Him in the efficacy of his resurrection producing a spiritual resurrection in him, and preparing him for a glorious immortality; to endure like sufferings with the Redeemer for His sake; and being united to Him, to attain to the certainty of a blessed resurrection. He proceeds to describe his christian experience as progressive. He always aimed at higher attainments in the christian life: hence he exhorts them to follow his example, by walking after the same rule as they had done already. In contrast with his own aims and conduct, he places the practices of the Judaisers, whom he describes as enemies of the true doctrine, sensual, unclean, wordly-minded, selfish. How unlike this to the apostle whose citizenship was in heaven, and who was always looking for the Saviour to raise him to a blessed immortality The Philippians, therefore, as having the same faith and prospect, are exhorted to stand fast in the Lord. (e). iv. 2–9, Paul beseeches Euodias and Syntyche to be reconciled; entreats his ‘true yoke-fellow * to assist several pious women in their evangelical labours, who had maintained the truth of the gospel along with himself and Clement. After this, he subjoins a few general precepts relative to spiritual joy, moderation, and contentment. Virtue is recommended in all the different forms in which the wisdom of ancient philosophy had presented it; and as the Philippians had seen it so embodied in himself, they are enjoined to practise it in its widest aspect. (f). iv. 10–23. He thanks the Philippians for the signal proof of their kindness towards him, but intimates, with a delicacy and nobleness of soul never surpassed, that he had learned to be contented in whatever circumstances he might be
placed; prepared to suffer want if needful, or to have an abundance of the conveniencies of life, with equanimity of temper trained in the school of Christ. The Saviour's strength enabled Paul to do and to suffer all His will concerning him. After stating that he was more pleased with their gift as an evidence of their christianity than as a supply of his own wants, he encourages them to expect an abundant fulfilment of all their desires from God the Father, to whom he ascribes all the glory. The Epistle closes with salutations, and the usual benediction.
Art. II. The Collegian's Guide. By the Rev. * * * * * *, M.A.,
This book aims at conveying useful instruction under a form not
ther roomamen semmon thinwhere, which is
vanished as we continued the perusal of the book. In page 5, he represents some Oxford tutor talking of the enormity of a pensioner getting into debt. Now we had always understood that pensioner was exclusively a Cambridge word; and we know positively that commoner is the ordinary name at Oxford for students who are not on the foundation, and who'pay' the full college bills, without having any higher rank; which is what pensioner. means. In page 34, and elsewhere, he speaks as though to be 'chums' were a common thing: the word perhaps has of late been assuming a new sense; but 'chums'-i.e., partners of the same room—are said to have long been exceedingly rare in either university. In page 290, he tells of a man who would have been in the first class, but who, from deficiency in the knowledge of divinity, was placed in the second. This must be something new ; for it is currently and confidently stated by Oxford men, that the divinity examination affects solely the passing or not passing of the candidate; and that if he passes at all, it is not allowed to damage his prospects in the class list, however badly he may have done in that particular line. Jn page 209, he has a strange story of a deception practised on a bishop's chaplain by a candidate for orders, when required to write the usual Latin Sermon. No doubt this must mean the Latin Essay, which is written at the examination; at least, this is all that we can hear of by private information.*
Let these and other things pass; and let us turn a little to the work itself, which has many sensible passages, written with very good feeling :
"All I know about Oxford,' interrupted Fred, 'is what I have heard of wine parties, and riding home from Bullington two on one saddle, breaking glasses as soon as you have drunk out of them, and all in fact which I have picked up from a few reports of actions for debt brought by Oxford tradesmen, and treatises of college life.'
"Then, Fred, you have imbibed the very notions which I am most desirous to keep out of your mind. Such publications do a positive injury to society, showing but part of college life, and that part shamefully exaggerated. The worst is that they fill the minds of school-boys with examples of profligacy and give a taste for dissipation; and instead of things honourable and of good report, in which neither Oxford nor Cambridge would be found wanting on a fair comparison of good and bad together, scenes of folly and of vice are crowded together and set forth in flaming colours, as an average sample of the whole. And why? because forsooth, the minds of those writers who condescend, or are fit to minister to the vulgar
• Since the above was written, we have learned positively from two unquestionable sources, that our criticisms are perfectly correct.
palate, have an affinity to vice, but not to virtue, and because there are fifty readers of the lives of profligates to one admirer of such worthies as those enshrined in the pages of good old Isaac Walton. But be advised, Frederic, forget such scenes; they have as little claim to the title of Life in Oxford as a certain Tom and Jerry history of cockfights, the prize-ring, sporting taverns, and the lowest dens of thieves and drunkards, deserved to be called Life in London. ‘Stand for a moment in Cheapside; see the unwearied stream of cabs, omnibuses, merchants' waggons, and vehicles of all kinds; picture to yourself the establishment, the business, and the commerce of which each must be the representative and the product. Look at the double stream on each side of the way of busy passers to and fro, with quick step and contracted brow, each absorbed in his own enterprises; and when you have formed some kind of estimate of the countless thousands engaged in the honourable duties of commercial life, then ask yourself where are the brutes and the bullies, the madmen and the profligates, whom many are so far imposed on as to believe the chief actors on the vast stage of London life. No less erroneous are the impressions commonly received of our universities. It is not to be denied that London has its thieves, its rakes, and roués, of every grade, from the titled swindler and adulteress, to the lowest pilferer and prostitute of St. Giles's. It is not to be denied, that in Oxford there are those who glory in their shame, buy that for which they cannot pay, keep company with stage-coachmen, and seem to think it the height of gentility and manliness to affect the language of the boor and the appetites of the brute. But look about you as you pass through that city of colleges, and ask where are they, and what is the proportion they bear to the many by whom the very mention of such practises is frowned away in disgust. Compare those of academical education with the other members of society, and then say whether their manners and taste are such as to argue that the exaggerated excesses of the universities are the exception or the rule. Doubtless, youth is the age of inexperience and folly, of strong temptations to commit error, and utter carelessness to conceal it. This is the case all the world over, and not in Oxford only. Temptations are not local. They are more from within than from without; and who will deny that the same number of young men would give quite as much cause for scandal if scattered about the country, as if collected together in colleges. For, though large societies of the young engender a spirit of excitement which encourages slighter excesses, we must not forget that it also originates a public opinion and a sentiment by which the more serious failings are kept in check. “Whenever therefore we hear of defying proctors or tutors, being at the mercy of dunning creditors, and using childish tricks to evade them, climbing college walls, mixing with low company, and being countenanced in intemperance of any kind, we shall do well to consider that the persons who amuse us with such stories have only picked up a tale of the extravagances of some silly fellow in an un