[WRITTEN FROM ROME, A. D. 62.]
PAUL, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy the brother, to Philemon the beloved, and our fellow-laborer; and to Apphia the beloved; and to Archippus our fellow-soldier, and to the congregation in your house: Favor to you, and peace from God our Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ.
4.--I give thanks to my God always, making mention of you in my prayers, (having heard of the faith, which you have toward the Lord Jesus, and of your love to all the saints,)--that the communication of your faith may become effectual by the acknowledgment of every good thing that is among us toward Christ Jesus. For we hav much joy and consolation in our love; because the souls of the saints are refreshed by you, brother. Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjon you what is fit; yet, for love's sake, I rather beseech, being such a one as Paul, an old man, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. I beseech you for my son, whom I have begot in my bonds, even Onesimus; who formerly was to you unprofitable, but now will be very profitable to you, even as he has been to me;--whom I have sent back: do you, therefore, receive him as an object of my tenderest affection; whom I was desirous to have detained with myself, that, in yuour stead, he might have ministered to me, in thse bonds for the gospel: but without your mind I would do nothing, that the good derived might not be as if by constraint, but as voluntary. Perhaps also, for this reason he was separated for a little while, that you might hve him for ever: no longer as a slave only, but above a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me;--and how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord! If, then, you hold me as a partner, receive him as myself. And if he have injured you in any thing, or owes you, place it to my account. I, Paul, have written with my own hand--I will repay. I forebear to urge on you, that you owe to me even your ownself. I beseech you, brother, let me have joy of you in the Lord;--gratify my tender affections for Christ's sake. Having confidence in your obedience, I have written to you, knowing that you will even do mroe than I ask. But at the same time, prepare me also a lodging; for I hope, that through your prayers, I shall be granted to you. These salute you, Epaphras, my fellow-prisoner for Christ Jesus; Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow-laborers. The favor of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
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