Sermon cont... Whose names are in the book of life; either they were chosen of God from all eternity, or registered and enrolled in the corporation and society to which the privilege of eternal life belongs, alluding to the custom among the Jews and Gentiles of registering the inhabitants or the freemen of the city. So we read of their names being written in heaven (Luke x. 20), not blotting his name out of the book of life (Rev. iii. 5), and of those who are written in the Lamb's book of life, Rev. xxi. 27. Observe, There is a book of life; there are names in that book and not characters and conditions only. We cannot search into that book, or know whose names are written there; but we may, in a judgment of charity, conclude that those who labour in the gospel, and are faithful to the interest of Christ and souls, have their names in the book of life.
Sermon Phil 4:1-3 I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow. Who this person was whom he calls true yoke-fellow is uncertain. Some think Epaphroditus, who is supposed to have been one of the pastors of the church of the Philippians. Others think it was some eminently good woman, perhaps Paul's wife, because he exhorts his yoke-fellow to help the women who laboured with him. Whoever was the yoke-fellow with the apostle must be a yoke-fellow too with his friends. It seems, there were women who laboured with Paul in the gospel; not in the public ministry (for the apostle expressly forbids that, 1 Tim. ii. 12, I suffer not a woman to teach), but by entertaining the ministers, visiting the sick, instructing the ignorant, convincing the erroneous. Thus women may be helpful to ministers in the work of the gospel. Now, says the apostle, do thou help them. Those who help others should be helped themselves when there is occasion. "Help them, that is, join with them, strengthen their hands, encourage them in their difficulties."--With Clement also, and other my fellow-labourers. Paul had a kindness for all his fellow-labourers; and, as he had found the benefit of their assistance, he concluded how comfortable it would be to them to have the assistance of others. Of his fellow-labourers he says, cont..