Chapter 1

(From Notes supplied by Mr. R. Lundin Brown.) Kilmarnock, Scotland: John Ritchie, Publisher Of Christian Literature. Chapter 1 This Epistle is intimately connected with the Epistle to the Ephesians. They were both written about the same time by Paul when he was a prisoner. Ephesians brings before us fully our position in Christ. Colossians—as we shall see—calls us solemnly to let that love of His, sway us wholly. While in Ephesians we learn how Christ has loved us, saved us, ...


Paul’s Ministry. (Chapter 1:23, 25.) The Gospel preached by the Apostle Paul was in advance of that of Peter and the other eleven Apostles. The ministry of the twelve is described thus:— “Of these men who have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us” (Acts 1:21). Their teaching was of a Christ upon earth, Who died and rose again; very little more generally did the twelve speak of. Paul’s Gospel was of a Christ in glory. “I have appeared u...

Chapter 4

Verse 1.—“Masters give unto your servants that which is just and equal.” Servants, even slaves, are not to be trampled on; however humble their station, they are dear to the Lord. They are not therefore to be wronged. Such matters are not too trifling for the Holy Ghost to write about, and we ought to heed them. How many bright touches there are in the Epistle to Philemon on domestic relations. Paul not only writes to Philemon, but to Apphia, for, as their servant Onesimus had robbed h...

Chapter 3

If ye then be risen with Christ.” The word “if” does not imply doubt; it means, “Since ye then were raised.” It is the common portion of all saints, and we are to regulate and correct our walk according to our standing. “Ye are risen”—that is a fact. God has accomplished this for us; it is His work. He it was who raised up Christ (Rom 6:7), and us together with Him (Eph. 2:6). Faith believes God; it feeds upon His Word. “Risen with Christ”—three little words easily utte...

Chapter 2

Here we have a glance at the intense earnestness of Paul’s service and of its aim and object. He prayed and agonised for saints whom he had never seen. Verses 2, 3.—The way the Church is built up, is by saints being drawn together. The way of the acknowledgment of the mystery is by hearts being knit together. God is gathering and welding souls together, and the apostle is very anxious that none may be drawn away. He was in conflict, lest they might be divided in heart. God’s way is ...

Galatians - Colosians

The Epistle To The Galatians. The changes in this brief Epistle need not occupy us long. In Gal. 1:6 the present force is properly given, “ye are so quickly removing” (not “removed”), and “in” (not “into”) the grace of Christ, and of course, “unto a different [not “another”] gospel:” a very considerable correction of mere renderings, and long known to be necessary, for a single verse. So also the slight shade of distinction between “should preach” in verse 8 an...

The Free Service of Christians

1 Cor. 15:15, 16; 2 Cor. 4:13; Phil. 1:14-17; Col. 2:19.

A Letter to the Irish. Or the so-called “Lay Preachers.”

Dear brethren,

My attention has been directed to the leading article in the Achill Missionary Herald, No. 332, January 10,1865. This paper deals with three classes of correspondents: first, “those who consider lay preaching as altogether unlawful;” secondly, “those who disapprove of it as a system, but who think that circumstances may warrant the occasional use of it;” and thirdly, “those who regard it with unconditional approval, and who do not entertain a suspicion that it can be productive of anything but the happiest results.”

First. The author of the article refers to a tract on “Lay Preachers” for proofs of the untenableness of the first position. He justly argues (from Acts 8:4; Acts 11:21; Revelation 22:17) that all believers may, and should make known the gospel to others, privately or in public, when they have the opportunity. Besides the necessity there may be for such preaching, he remarks “that there is not a single instance in the Old or New Testament of any one having been prohibited from preaching.” This witness is true — mark it well.


Colossians 1

It is hardly possible for the most careless reader to overlook the kindred truth set forth in this epistle and in that to the Ephesians. Union with Christ, the Head of His body the Church, has a place here beyond all other scriptures; for though 1 Corinthians may present the same doctrine (1 Cor. 12), it is evident that there is a question of the assembly of God on earth, in which the Holy Ghost is actively at work through the members, distributing to each as He will, much more than of the saints viewed in Christ above, as in Ephesians, or of Christ viewed in them below, as in Colossians.


The most cursory reader discerns at once that the epistle to the Colossians is the counterpart of that to the Ephesians. They are in nowise the same, but may be viewed each as a supplement to the other. The epistle to the Ephesians develops the body in its rich and varied privileges; the epistle to the Colossians brings before us the Head, and not only this, but the glories of Him who holds that relation to the church. There was no doubt a suitability for each line of truth in the wants of t...


Introduction The Epistle to the Colossians looks at the Christian as risen with Christ, but not, as in that to the Ephesians, as sitting in heavenly places in Christ. A hope is laid up for him in heaven; he is to set his affections on things above, not on things on the earth. He has died with Christ and he is risen with Him, but not sitting in heavenly places in Him yet. We have in it a proof of that which other epistles demonstrate, namely, the blessed way in which our God in His grace tur...
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