business she hath need of you." Phebe seems to have goneto Rome on some business of her own, of the nature of whichit would be fooHsh and silly to conjecture. They were toshow their kindness by forwarding for her the object of her journey. Such, in similar cases, is our duty. It is the dutyof ordinary friendship, and much more should it be felt theduty of Christian love, — There is a special reason assignedin the case before us for their practical regard : — " for shehath been a succourer of many, and of myself also." Theword is by some rendered patroness. It means one whostands forward for the help of another. + It is unnatural toconsider this as relating to the discharge of her official func-tions. In this view the aid would have been, not so muchhers as the church's; and it is very unlikely that suchaid should either have come to the Apostle and his fellow-labourers through her hands, or, if it had, should have been sowarmly commended by him as if it had been her own. — Shewas probably a woman of substance, who had in this way agood deal in her power. There were such godly women in ourLord's time — "women which had been healed of evil spirits andinfirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went sevendevils, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, andSusanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.":}: The record is to their perpetual honour.To what higher or better purpose could they apply any por-tion of their wealth, than in contributing to His relief, who,"though rich, yet for our sakes became poor;" and whosevoluntary poverty was such that he could say, " Foxes haveholes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head?" — We know that there* Heb* xiii. 1,2. f ^i'trrdns. X Luke viii. 2, 3.ROMAS XVI. 1—15. 329were, in various places, women of rank and property broughtunder the saving power of the truth.* — Phebe was neitherashamed nor reluctant to " take upon her the fellowship of the ministering to the saints." She felt it an honour to bea "servant of the church for Jesus' sake;" and in minis-tering of her own private substance for the support and com-fort of the servants and brethren of Christ, she rememberedHim who said, " Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye havedone it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye havedone it unto me."