Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow laborer,
1. We should not despise any persons by reason of the meanness of their outward condition; we should love and esteem men, not so much by the rank and place they bear in the world as by the inward qualities and graces of their souls; we should not treat even servants with an air of haughtiness and insolence, as if they were creatures of another kind from us, and of a species below us, but should show them all that humanity, which is due to them as men, who are partakers of the same nature, and with all that love and affection which are due to them as Christians, partakers of the same grace with ourselves.
2. We should use that interest we have with men of power and authority for the advantage of those who stand in need of our patronage and help.
3. We should not despair of the reclaiming of any sinners, be they at present never so wicked.
4. When sinners are reclaimed from their vicious courses, we should not upbraid them with their past faults.
5. Those who have ministered to others in spiritual things should not from thence assume over them a right of commanding and influencing them in temporal affairs.
6. We should not look upon the first preachers of the gospel as men of no skill, no learning, no address. We have a convincing proof to the contrary in this Epistle.
7. If this part of Scripture, which hath been generally looked upon as the most dry, and barren, and unedifying, is thus fruitful of wholesome, and practical, and useful truths, we should have an high esteem and reverence of these Divine oracles, which are so well fraught with wisdom and knowledge.
Parallel VersesKJV: Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,