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The Epistle of St Paul the Apostle
Paul the prisoner of *Jesu Christ, and brother Timotheus. *Jesu: Hebrew for Jesus
Unto Philemon the beloved, and our helper, and to the beloved Appia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the congregation of your house.
Grace be with you and peace, from God our father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God, making mention always of you in my prayers, when I hear of your love and faith, which you have toward the Lord Jesu, and toward all saints: so that the fellowship that you have in the faith is fruitful through knowledge of all good things, which are in you by Jesus Christ. And we have great joy and consolation over your love: For by you (brother) the saints hearts are comforted.
Wherefore though I be bold in Christ to enjoin you, that which becomes you: yet for loves sake I rather beseech you, though I be as I am even Paul aged, and now in bonds for Jesu Christs sake. I beseech you for my son Onesimus whom I begat in my bonds, which in time passed was to you unprofitable: but now profitable both to you and also to me whom I have sent home again. You therefore receive him, that is to say mine own bowels, whom I would fain have retained with me, that in your stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the Gospell. Nevertheless, without your mind, would I do nothing, that, that good which springs of you, should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.
Haply he therefore departed for a season, that you should receive him for ever, not now as a servant: but above a servant, I mean a brother beloved, specially to me: but how much more unto you, both in the flesh, and also in the Lord? If you count me a fellow, receive him as myself. If he have hurt you or owes you anything that lay to my charge. I Paul have written it with mine own hand. I will recompense it. So that I do not say to you, how that you owe unto me even your own self. Even so brother, let me enjoy you in the Lord. Comfort my bowels in the Lord. Trusting in your obedience, I wrote unto you, knowing that you will do more than I say for. Moreover prepare me lodging: for I trust through the help of your prayers, I shall be given unto you. There salute you, Epaphras my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesu, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my helpers. The grace of our Lord Jesu Christ be with your spirits: Amen.
This ends the epistle of saint Paul the Apostle to Philemon Sent from Rome by Onesimus a servant.
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