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NOW we that are stronger, ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Ver. 1. &c.  We that are stronger, &c.  The apostle goes on with his exhortation not to scandalize, or offend such as are weak, and not well instructed in faith.  He brings the example of Christ, who pleased not himself, who submitted himself to the law of circumcision, when he was above the law, who bore with the weakness and sins of others, their reproaches, their blasphemies, which he could not but hate, but this to gain their souls.  Wi.


2 Let every one of you please his neighbour unto good, to edification. 3 For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written: The reproaches of them that reproached thee, fell upon me.

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4 For what things soever were written, were written for our learning: that through patience and the comfort of the scriptures, we might have hope. 5 Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind one towards another, according to Jesus Christ:

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6 That with one mind, and with one mouth, you may glorify God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Wherefore receive one another, as Christ also hath received you unto the honour of God.

Ver. 7.  Receive one another, in the spirit of charity, peace, patience, as Christ also hath received you, and bore with your infirmities.  Wi.

 

--- Mutually support each other for the glory of God: learn to practise a grand lesson of Christian morality, to bear and to forbear.  A.


8 For I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.

Ver. 8.  Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision, who came both for the salvation of the Jews, and of the Gentiles, who preached and would have his gospel first preached to the Jews, for the truth of God to confirm the promises made to the fathers, that he, the Messias, should be sent for their salvation; but at the same time also for the salvation and conversion of the Gentiles, which he confirms by divers evident testimonies of the holy Scriptures.  Wi.

 

--- He calls our Saviour the minister of circumcision, that is, of the Jews, because he appeared amongst them, dwelt amongst them, and himself preached amongst them.  This was a privilege which the Gentiles did no enjoy, having never seen, nor heard Jesus Christ, since he confined his preaching to the strayed sheep of the house of Israel; and this, to accomplish the promises made to their fathers.  Calmet.


9 But that the Gentiles are to glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: Therefore will I confess to thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to thy name.

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10 And again he saith: Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11 And again: Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and magnify him, all ye people.

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12 And again Isaias saith: There shall be a root of Jesse; and he that shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, in him the Gentiles shall hope.

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13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing; that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost. 14 And I myself also, my brethren, am assured of you, that you also are full of love, replenished with all knowledge, so that you are able to admonish one another. 15 But I have written to you, brethren, more boldly in some sort, as it were putting you in mind: because of the grace which is given me from God.

Ver. 15. &c.  I have written to you, brethren, more boldly, &c.  S. Chrys. admires with what mildness he addresses himself to them, yet puts them in mind, that he is the minister, and the apostle of the Gentiles, in which he may have reason to glory, or boast.

 

--- Sanctifying the gospel of God, preaching it in a holy manner, that the Gentiles may be sanctified by it.  Wi.

 

--- To be the minister of Jesus Christ among the nations, exercising in their regard the rite of sacrifice, as we read in the Greek, ierourgounta.

 

--- For I dare not, I shall forbear to speak of any thing but my labours: I need not mention the power of miracles and wonders, which the Holy Ghost hath done by me in many places, from Jerusalem to Illyricum, in places where Christ had not been preached by others.  And now having no more place, nor occasion to preach in these countries, when I begin my journey to Spain, &c. by which, it appears, he designed at least to go into Spain.  Wi.


16 That I should be the minister of Christ Jesus among the Gentiles; sanctifying the gospel of God, that the oblation of the Gentiles may be made acceptable and sanctified in the Holy Ghost. 17 I have therefore glory in Christ Jesus towards God. 18 For I dare not to speak of any of those things which Christ worketh not by me, for the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 19 By the virtue of signs and wonders, in the power of the Holy Ghost, so that from Jerusalem round about as far as unto Illyricum, I have replenished the gospel of Christ.


20 And I have so preached this gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation.

Ver. 20.  S. Paul does not mean to say, that he never preached where the gospel had before been announced; this would not have been true, for he preached at Damascus, where there were already Christians, whom he formerly wished to take in chains to Jerusalem; and again in this epistle he announces the truths of the gospel to the Romans already converted by the preaching of S. Peter.  But he means to say, that on these occasions he acts not as an apostle, whose office it is to preach to infidels; but as one that waters, confirms, comforts, as he says in the beginning of this epistle: and this he did as occasion offered, as the subsequent verses shew, where he tells us his design in calling on the Romans, in his journey to Spain.  Estius.


21 But as it is written: They to whom he was not spoken of, shall see, and they that have not heard shall understand.

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22 For which cause also I was hindered very much from coming to you, and have been kept away till now. 23 But now having no more place in these countries, and having a great desire these many years past to come unto you, 24 When I shall begin to take my journey into Spain, I hope that as I pass, I shall see you, and be brought on my way thither by you, if first, in part, I shall have enjoyed you:

Ver. 24.  It is a matter of dispute, whether S. Paul ever executed this his design of visiting Spain.  The proofs of the Spaniards, who consider it as certain, are by no means unanswerable.  There remain no certain monuments of this journey of his.  The proof taken from the words of S. Clement, who lived at Rome in the time of S. Paul, is not certain, since he only says, that S. Paul came to the very extremities of the west.  It is a subject on which commentators appear pretty equally divided.  Calmet.

 

--- There is an old tradition that S. Paul, in his journey to Spain, left three of his disciples in Gaul; Trophimus at Arles, Crescentius at Vienne, and Paul at Narbonne; but this very tradition is disputed.  V.




25 But now I shall go to Jerusalem, to minister unto the saints.

Ver. 25-28.  But I shall go to Jerusalem, &c.  By this S. Paul is thought to have written this epistle at Corinth, where he was about to set forward for Jerusalem, with the charities collected in Achaia and Macedonia, for the poor Christians in Judea.  This he calls to minister to the poor saints, or to be serviceable to them.  And to exhort others to the like charitable contributions, he says, (v. 27.) they are their debtors; that the converted Gentiles are debtors to the converts, who had been Jews, as having been made partakers of the promises, particularly made to the people of the Jews, and sharers of those spiritual blessings, which Christ promised to the Jews, but were also conferred upon the Gentiles.  He looks upon it, therefore, reasonable, that they relieve the Jews in their temporal wants.  The apostle says, he goes to consign to them this fruit, to deliver to them their contributions.  Wi.




26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a contribution for the poor of the saints that are in Jerusalem.


27 For it hath pleased them; and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, they ought also in carnal things to minister to them.

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28 When therefore I shall have accomplished this, and consigned to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.


29 And I know, that when I come to you, I shall come in the abundance of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.

Ver. 29.  I know, by the Spirit of God revealing it to me, that God will give a blessing to my labours, when I come to you.  That I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, from the unbelieving Jews, foreseeing the persecution he should there meet with.  That I may be refreshed with you, have comfort by finding peace and union among you.  Wi.


30 I beseech you therefore, brethren, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the charity of the Holy Ghost, that you help me in your prayers for me to God, 31 That I may be delivered from the unbelievers that are in Judea, and that the oblation of my service may be acceptable in Jerusalem to the saints.


32 That I may come to you with joy, by the will of God, and may be refreshed with you.

Ver. 32.  The word in the original signifies to combat with another, to teach us, that to beg the prayers of our friends will be of little assistance to us, if we do not join our prayer also, and labour, on our part, to the best of our power.  Calmet.


33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
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