hilemon was an inhabitant of Colosse, a person of some note
and wealth, and a convert under the ministry of St. Paul.
Onesimus was the slave of Philemon: having run away from his
master, he went to Rome, where he was converted to the Christian
faith, by the word as set forth by Paul, who kept him till his
conduct proved the truth and sincerity of his conversion. He
wished to repair the injury he had done to his master, but
fearing the punishment his offence deserved might be inflicted,
he entreated the apostle to write to Philemon. And St. Paul
seems no where to reason more beautifully, or to entreat more
forcibly, than in this epistle.