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themselves with mankind r, those who steal men to sell them for
slaves ; liars, perjured persons; and (such as do] whatever is Il contrary to wholesome doctrine, according to the glorious gospel
of the blessed God, with which I was intrusted.
REFLECTIONS. CHRIST is indeed our hope, or we have nothing which can deserve to be called hope. For in us he is the hope of glory. On him therefore let us build; to him let us with the most joyful consent commit our souls; and, dismissing all vain questionings and endless unprofitable controversies, ever attend to godly edifying, and bear in our memories and in our hearts the great end of the command. ment. And may the great God of love work that love in our hearts which is so justly represented in that view ; love proceeding from a good conscience, and from faith unfeigned.-We rejoice in the gospel, and let us reverence the law, and endeavour to use it lawfully and properly. Let it regulate our lives ; let it awaken our consciences, and lead us to look for a better righteousness than this alone can af. ford. Blessed be God, that it is providentially made the means of restraining many who act on motives merely legal, from much wickedness, which they might otherwise commit. But let the glorious gospel of the blessed God, intrusted to the apostle, be the great foundation on which our souls build. It is glorious indeed : may the great Author of it ever be blessed, and the great end of it answered in our hearts, not only in preserving us free from those gross enormities of which the apostle has given so black a catalogue, and against whicly the law was more immediately directed, but in forming us to a stricter obedience, a sublimer purity, and more exalted hope, than any other dispensation which God himself has given could inspire.
Paul adores the divine goodness in calling him to the Christian faith and
ministry. Ch. i. 12-17.
12 A ND I return thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath
A strengthened me, and that he accounted me faithful, putting 13 me into the ministy; who was before a blasphemer and a perse
cutor and an oppressor. But I obtained mercy, because I did it ig14 norantly in unbelief: but the grace of our Lord supcrabounded 15 with faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus.- This is a faithful
for true) saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus
came into the world, that he might save sinners; of whom I am 16 chief. But for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me, as the chief
of sinners, Jesus Christ might exhibit all long-suffering, as a pat
tern for those who should afterwards believe on him to eternal life. 17 Now to the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God,
be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
REFLECTIONS. Who can wonder, that a person of Paul's experience and piety, should thus, on the mention of the gospel, digress to indulge his reflections on that singular and astonishing interposition of divine grace, by which he had been brought to embrace it, and honoured with the charge of it! Who can wonder, that such blasphemies, and such outrages as he had uttered and committed, such a zeal for persecution as he had exerted, should leave a deep impression on his heart, and engage him, notwithstanding all his care in the externals of the law, and blameless as he was touching all its righteousness to call himself the first, the chief of sinners, and to celebrate that as superabundant grace, which had been extended to him !
Well was he who had received it, thereby fitted to proclaim it to all the world. Let us gladly receive it from the pen of this once malignant and blasphemous persecutor, but now holy and happy apostle, as a most certain truth, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus, the Son of God, bath, in unutterable and inconceivable compassion come into this world of ours to save sinners, even the chief of them. Let us thakfully accept this abridgment of the whole gospel, and apply to the Saviour thus triumphant in mercy, with whatever aggravated guilt our consciences may charge us. Let us also remember, that Paul obtained mercy not on his own account alone, but that the compassions extended to him might be considered as an example of what this gracious Redeemer is ready to extend to all them who, like him, shall believe. Let us pause upon it, till our hearts glow within us in all thankful acknowledgement of his mercy, and then let our lips burst forth in praise to the King eternal, immortal, and invisibie, to the only wise God, who hath found out such an admirable way at once to glorify his justice and his grace, in pardoning and accepting the chief of sinners in his Son. May our hearts be more and more disposed to celebrate his power, wisdom, and goodness, and to begin those songs of praise upon earth, which we hope will be our everlasting employment in heaven!
He charges Timothy to a conscientious care in his whole behaviour, and gives 'several directions relating to prayer, and to the conduct of Christian women. Ch. i. 18.-ii.
18 THIS charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, that thou
1 mayest, according to former prophecies of holy men con
cerning thee, by remembrance of them, maintain a good warfare 19 against the enemies of the gospel ; holding r (fast) faith and a good
conscience; which some having thrust away, concerning faith 20 have made shipwreck ; of which number is Hymenæus and Alex
ander, whom I have delivered unto Satan*, that they may learn not to blaspheme the truths of Christ or revile his servants.
* . e. To be smitten with bodily diseases. 1. Cor. v. 5.
ü. Now I exhorto in the first place, that supplications, prayers,
intercessions, and thanksgivings be made [unto God] for all men : 2. for kings, and all who are in exalted stations ; that we may pass a 3 peaceful and quiet life, in all piety and gravity. For this is good 4 and acceptable in the sight of our Saviour God : who wills that all
men should be saved, and come to the acknowledgment of the 5 truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and 6 man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, to 7 be attested* in due time. Of which I was appointed an herald,
and an apostle (I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not) a teacher of 8 the Gentiles in faith and truth. I therefore will, that men pray in
every place, holding up holy hands without wrath and doubtingt. 9 In like manner I charge women also to adorn themselves with de
cent apparel, with modesty, and sobriety : not with r plaited hair, 10 or gold, or pearls, or costly ornaments ; but (which becometh Il women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman 12 learn in silence with all submission. - But I permit not a woman to
teach, nor to usurp authority over the nian, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve as a partner and helper to him. 14 And Adam was not deceived by the serpent, but the woman being 15 deceived by it, was first in the transgression. Yet she shall.
be saved by child-birtht, [the female descendants of Eve] if they continue in faith, and love, and holiness with sobriety.
REFLECTIONS. May every Christian learn by these apostolical dictates to retain faith and a good conscience and be very solicitous that no exactness in the former be thought sufficient to compensate for a defect in the latter. Soon will that faith itself suffer shipwreck, where a good conscience sits not at the helm ; or rather soon will it serve only as a talent of gold, to a man sinking in the sea, to plunge him so much the deeper. It will be a part of the character of one who desires to preserve a good conscience, to maintain a benevolence of heart towards the whole human race, and to breathe out that benevolence in prayer which at the same time expresses and increases it. And while all men have a share in it, kings and princes, in whose behaviour and temper the happiness of so many thousands are concerned, have a peculiar claim to our devout remembrance. Above all, let us pray for our own, that they may continue (as blessed be God his present majesty hath long beenll, and we have reason to hope his successors will be the minis. ters of God for good. May our life, under such a government, be in one sense as well as another quiet and peaceable, and may it be conducted in all godliness and honesty. Thus shall we do our part to subserve that gracious will of God, to effect which he hath done all that
* i.e. This is a doctrine to be attested or borne witness tom. A. 7“Without DISPUTING.” Baxter. Op. ii. p. 654. So. M.
# The sex shall be saved through the birth of the promised Seed, in which man had no part. Gen. iii. 15. : || The author had the happiness to write this in the twenty-fourth year of King George II. that father of his people. VOL. II.
it was proper for him to do, that all men may be saved, as our walking in the truth may bring many to the knowledge of it. May that knowledge prevail more and more in the world, that the one God may be universally adored, through the one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, in whom Deity dwells, and whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, we worship, as exalted above all adoration and praise.
This only-begotten Son of God became a man, that he might give himself a ransom for us, a ransom for all who should believe in him. Blessed be God, that we have received this important testimony, received it from Paul the apostle, o that faithful herald of such astonishing grace, who was divinely appointed to be a teacher of the Gentiles, and who to this day is teaching us by his writings, and in every section of them giving us lessons of infinite importance. May we learn, from what he teaches here, not only the object to whom our prayers are to be directed, and the persons for whom they are to be offered, but likewise the temper from which they are to proceed. May our hands be holy, and our hearts overflowing with love, and firmly established in faith unfeigned, resting on the promises we plead, and rejoicing in an assured hope, that the eternal JEHOVAH, who so long since styled himself the hearer of prayer, will not now say to any humble and upright souls, Seek ye me in vain. In all our conduct, let us remember we are in his presence, and let a concern to please him, and to adorn our profession, run through every action of our lives. Let it direct our expenses and our dre88. Let it engage us to maintain a constant decorum in every circumstance, sacred or civil; to be in due subjection to our superiors, and to continue in faith and love, in holiness and sobriety.
Let the sex, to whom the concluding instructions of this section are particularly addressed, while they are humbled in the remembrance of that original offence, in which Eve, our first mother, so unhappily led the way, rejoice in the great victory of the seed of the woman over the serpent. And let the other sex, on which this* was bestowed as a gift of so great value, that God judged it necessary to complete the felicity of paradise in its untainted bloom, never manifest the odious effects of the fall, by ungenerously upbraiding the daughters for the mother's fault, at the distance of so many generations ; but rather rejoice, that, as by woman came transgression, so by her came redemption too. And let us all join in improving so invaluable a favour, and endeavouring to express our gratitude for it, by acting aright, according to the several relations which we sustain in life.
* The author means, a female companion.
The qualifications of those who were to be set apart to the office of a pastor,
and deacon in the church. Ch. iii. 1–13.
i IT is a true r saying, If any one earnestly desire the episcopal 21 or pastoral office, he desireth a good work. A Bishop there
fore must be blameless, the husband of only one wife, watchful, 3 prudent, decent, given to hospitality, fit to teach ; not one that
sitteth long over wine, or ready to strike, not attached to sordid
gain*, moderate, not given to contention, not a lover of money ; 4 one who presideth well over his own house, having his children s in subjection with all gravity : for if any one cannot preside over
his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God? 6 Not one newly converted, lest he should be lifted up with pride, 7 and thus fall into the condemnation of the devil. It is necessary
also that he have a good report of those that are without, lest he fall into reproach, and the snare of the devilt.
In like manner let the Deacons be grave, not double-tongued, nor addicted to much wine, nor greedy of dishonourable gain ; 9 holding r (fast) the mystery of our holy faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let even these be first proved; then if they be found blame11 less, let them use the office of a deacan. In like manner, let the
wives off both be grave, not false accusers, watchful, faithful in all 12 things. Let the deacons be the husbands of only one wise, gov13 erning their children, and their own houses well. For they who
have discharged the office of a deacon well, procure to themselves a good degree; an advancement to an higher officet, and great boldness in professing and maintaining the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
REFLECTIONS. The teachers of others, and those who preside in the highest offices which Christ has founded in his church, may learn from this pas. sage their duty as well as their dignity and honour. Let them remember, the work they have desired and engaged in is a good work. Let them think and speak, not arrogantly and tyrannically, but respectfully and solemnly of their office, and let them cultivate all these excellent qualities, which may fit them to discharge it aright; sobriely and vigilance, gravity and hospitality, the strictest temperance, the most diffusive benevolence. Let them risc far above those low views which are to worldly-minded ministers the occasion of so many scan, dalous contentions, which so often establish a separate interest, and produce a secret and mutual aversion between them and their people.
Let the churches of Christ attend to this charge, to direct them in the choice of their pastors; and let ministers of standing and reputa
* “ Not one who earns money by base disreputable methods.” M. + So as to be tempted to renounce the gospel. Ib.
Elders or pastors were sometimes chosen from among the deacons.