WRITTEN FROM ROME, A. D. 61.
IV. Now I, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling by which ye are called, with all humbleness of mind, and meekness, and with long suffering, support one another in love. Carefully endeavor to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the bond of peace. There is one body, and one spirit, as also ye have been called to one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one immersion, one God and Father of all, who is over all, and with all, and in you all. But to every one of us is given favour, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. For he saith, "He ascended on high, he took captivity captive, and gave gifts to men." Now, this expression, "He ascended," what is it, unless that also he had descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is the same who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all.) And he appointed some, indeed, apoostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the sake of fitting the saints for the work of the ministry, in order to the building of the body of Christ: till we all come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, even to the measure of the stature of the fulness o Christ: that we may no longer be children, tossed and whirled about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and by craftiness, formed into a subtle method of deceit: but that, speaking the truth in love, we may make all the members grow in him who is the head, even Christ. By whom the whole body being aptly joined together, and compacted through the service of every joint, he maketh increase of the body in measure according to the inworking of each particular part, to the building of himself by love. Wherefore, this I commmand and testify of the Lord, that ye no longer walk as the other Gentiles walk in the foolishness of their mind. Being darkened in the understanding, they are alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance which is in them, and through the blindness of their heart: who being without feeling, have given themselves up by lasciviousness to the working of all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; since, ye have heard him, and have been taught concerning him, as the truth is in Jesus. Also I command with respect to the former conversation, that ye put off the old man, which is corrupted by the deceitful lusts; and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore, putting off lying, speak the truth every one to his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Are you excited to anger? Do not therefore sin.*[App. No. LXXXI.] Let not the sun go down on your wrath. Neither give space to the devil. Let him that stole, steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands that which is good, that he may have to distribute to him who hath need. Let no corrupt discourse come out of your mouth; but if any speech be good for the use of edification, speak it, that it may minister pleasure to the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, with whom ye are sealed until the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and anger, and wrath, and clamour, and detraction, be taken away from among you, with all malice. But be ye to one another kind, tender hearted, forgiving each other, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
V. Be ye, therefore, imitators of God, as children beloved; and walk in love, even as Christ loved us, and gave himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God, for a sweet smelling savour. But whoredom and all uncleanness, and inordinate desire, let them not even be named among you, as it becometh saints. All obscenity, and foolish talking, and double meanings, are things not proper; but thanksgiving rather is proper. For t his ye know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor lascivious man, who is an idolater, hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, and of God. Let no one deceive you with false speeches; for on account of these things, the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience. Wherefore, be not joint partakers with them. For ye were formerly darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord; walk as children of light. (Now, the fruit of the Spirit*[Light.--Griesbach.] consists in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth. Approve what is well pleasing to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them. For the things which are secretly done by them, it is base even to mention. Now all things to be reproved are made manifest by light; and every thing which maketh manifest is light. Wherefore it saith, 'Awake thou who sleepest, and arise from the dead,' and Christ will shine upon thee. See then that ye walk accurately, not as unwise, but as wise men: gaining time, because the days are evil. For this, do not become mad men; but understand ye what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine by which cometh dissoluteness; but be ye filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord. Give thanks at all times for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God, even the Father. Be subject to one another in the fear of God. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the congregation; because he is the saviour of the body. Therefore, as the congregation is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your own wives, even as Christ also loved the congregation, and gave himself for her; that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her with a bath of water, and with the word. That he might present her to himself, glorious, a congregation not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that she might be holy, and without blemish. So ought husbands to love their own wives, as their own bodies: he who loveth his own wife, loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, as even the Lord the congregation: because ye are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this reason shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall adhere to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This secret*[App. No. LXVI.] is great, but I speak concerning Christ, and concerning the congregation. Therefore, also, let every one of you in particular, so love his own wife as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
VI. Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is just. Honour thy father and mother, (which is the first commandment with a promise,)--that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest be long lived in the land. Now, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath; but bring them up in the correction and instruction of the Lord.
5. Servants, obey your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the integrity of your heart, as to Christ. Not with
eye-service, as men-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, do the will of God from the soul; with good will, acting as servants to the Lord and not to men only. KNowing that whatever good work any one doth, for that he shall receive of the Lord, whether he be a slave or a freeman. And masters, do the same things to them, moderating threatening, knowing that the master even of you yourselves is in heaven, and respect of persons is not with him. Finally, my brethren, be strong through the Lord, and through the power of his might. Put on the complete armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the crafty ways of the devil. For we wrestle not with flesh and blood only; but with governments, with powers, with the rulers of the darkness of this world, and with the wicked spirits in the heavenly regions.*[i. e. In the air.] For this reason, take up the complete armour of God, that ye may be able to resist in the evil day, and [they] having fully wrought every thing, to stand. Stand, then, having your loins girded about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness. And having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Over all, take up the shield of faith, with which ye will be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And receive the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all supplication and deprecation, pray at all seasons in spirit, and for this very purpose watch with all perseverance and prayer for all the saints. Especially for me, that eloquence may be given me in the opening of my mouth with boldness, to make known the secret of the gospel; for which I execute the office of an ambassador in a chain, that I may speak boldly concerning it, as it becometh me to speak. Now that ye also may know the things relating to me, and what I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother, and faithful minister in the Lord, will make known to you all things. Whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that ye may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts. Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Favour be with all them who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.