And I myself also am persuaded of you
This is said by way of prevention to an objection that might he made to the apostle's prayers and exhortations by the Romans. What does the apostle mean by all this? what does he think of us, or take us to be? men that live in malice to one another, devoid of all humanity, and mutual respect? a parcel of fools and ignorant men, that know nothing of divine things? and though there may be some that are much to be blamed for their conduct and carriage to their fellow Christians, what, are there none among us fit to give advice and admonition? To which the apostle replies, that he was far from entertaining such thoughts of them; that though he had not seen them in person, yet he had had such an account of their faith and practice, which were famous throughout the world, that he was thoroughly persuaded of better things of them, though he thus spake; and therefore, to mollify them, and abate their resentment, he adds,
testifying his affection to them, owning the spiritual relation they stood in to him, and declaring the great esteem he had for them, and the high opinion he had of them: saying,
that ye also are full of goodness;
not naturally, for there is no good thing in men by nature, but what they had was from the Spirit of God, whose fruit is "goodness": and by which may be meant, either the good gifts of the Spirit of God, or rather his graces, even the good work of grace in general, and which is goodness itself: it comes from a good cause, the good Spirit of God; is good in its own nature, not having the least mixture or tincture of evil in it; and good in its effects, since it makes and denominates a man a good man; now these saints might be said to be full of this, to denote the abundance, the superabundance of grace in this work: or particularly beneficence, humanity, and sympathy to fellow Christians, may be intended. The Vulgate Latin version reads, "full of love": but the copies and eastern versions read as we do.
Filled with all knowledge;
not with every sort of knowledge, with the knowledge of all languages, or of all the arts and sciences, of all things, natural and political; but with all spiritual knowledge relating to God, his nature and perfections, his mind and will; to Christ and the work of redemption by him; to the Spirit, and the operations of his grace; to the Gospel, and the doctrines of it; to their duty to God, fellow creatures, and fellow Christians; in short, with all knowledge necessary to salvation, though as yet not perfect, and which will not be in this world, but in another:
able also to admonish one another;
as they must be, since they were both good and knowing; goodness and knowledge are necessary to admonition, and qualify persons for it: if a man is not a good man himself, he is not fit to admonish another; and if he has not knowledge, he will not be able to do it as it should be; and without humanity and tenderness, he will not perform it aright, and with success; but all this being in these persons, they were able and fit for it. Some copies read it, "able also to admonish others"; so the Syriac version renders; which makes the expression still stronger, and enlarges their praise and commendation.