Page images

Disorderly walkers must

and wicked men: for all men have not fideli3 ty. But the Lord is faithful, who will estab4 lish you, and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that ye both do, and will do, the things which 5 we command you. And may the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God, and to the patience of Christ..

6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not according to the doctrine 7 which he received from us. For yourselves know how ye ought to imitate us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8 Nor did we eat any man's bread for nought; but worked with labour and toil night and day, that we might not be burdensome to any 9 of you Not because we have no right; but to make ourselves an example unto you, that 10 ye might imitate us, For when we were with



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER III. 1. With great humility Paul desires the prayers of his weak christian brethren, and directs them to one object, interesting to his own heart, the success of the gospel. There are no real brethren in Christ, but who are men of prayer. From a sense of their own necessities they are constrained to pray; and they continue the exercise as a part of the worship which they constantly render to God, and as the appointed medium of communion with God, and of receiving spiritual blessings from him. Having felt the power of the gospel on their own hearts, God having glorified it as the instrument of their conversion and repentance, they cannot but desire that it may have free course, roll on like a river, which refreshes and fertilizes the regions through which it passes. In connexion with the spread of the gospel, we should pray for the ministers, that they may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men-men who are governed by their passions, and who are not to be trusted, as being destitute of fidelity. It is delightful to turn from such men to God, who is ever faithful, and who will establish those that trust in him, and keep them from evil. May we continue to do whatever he commands us; and

Jesus direct your hearts to the love of God, the noblest object, and who has so loved you; and to the patience of Christ, such patience as he exercised under his sufferings, which includes constancy.

6. To withdraw, &c. Not to countenance any such person as does not live according to the doctrine which we have preached. Ch. ii. 15.

7-9. To imitate, &c. As to diligence and industry; so that we would not be burdensome to any of you, though we had a right to support. 1 Thess. ii. 6. 10. Neither let him eat. When he is able to work, and will not for idleness, do not give him your food, lest you should sanction and encourage his idleness.

be rebuked and expelled.

you, this we commanded you, that if any be not willing to work, neither let him eat. For 11 we hear that some among you walk disorderly; doing no business, but prying into the business of others. Now those that are such we com- 12 mand and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they do their own business, and eat their own bread. But, brethren, be 13 not ye weary in well-doing. And if any man 14 obey not our word by this epistle, mark that man, and keep no keep no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as 15 an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace 16 always by all means. The Lord be with you all. The salutation by the hand of me Paul, 17 which is the token in every epistle: so I write. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with 18 you all. Amen.


The second epistle to the Thessalonians
was written from Athens.

11, 12. We hear that, &c. We are credibly informed that some among you are acting in a manner unsuitable to the gospel, doing no business

[ocr errors]

may be direct our hearts to the love of himself and to the patience of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

2. It is grevious to the sincere consistent disciples of Christ, tó find any who profess his name, walking disorderly. Such are they who neglect their proper business and calling, and spend their time in intermeddling with the concerns and affairs of others. Such characters ought to be marked, and reprehended, and should not receive the bread of charity, which belongs to the aged and infirm. We have many examples of honest and honourable industry set before us; and none more singular and striking than that of Paul and his fellow-labourers. With what propriety could they say, "For yourselves know, how ye ought to imitate us; for we did not eat any man's bread for naught, but worked with labour and toil." Such self-denying conduct deserves and will meet with due applause and reward. Let us then be diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; and may the Lord of peace himself, give us peace always by all means. And may the free grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us and abound towards us. Amen.

&c. Such persons busy themselves in what does not concern them, as the mere effect of their own idleness, and as an exercise to their own thoughts and prejudices. Now those that are such, &c.

13-15. Be not ye weary, &c. Continue to be industrious, both for your own sakes, and for that of others; and make your displeasure known to such men as I have named, by maintaining no intercourse with them, that they may be ashamed of their own conduct; yet do not regard them as enemies, but kindly admonish them as professing christian brethren.

16. Now the Lord of peace, &c. The author of all peace, happiness, and prosperity, give you this blessing at all times, and in all circumstances.

17. The token, &c, Paul dictated his epistles, but signed them with his own hand, by which they were known to be his.

[ocr errors]

> for






WHEN Paul wrote this epistle has been much disputed, some considering it written as early as the year 54, and others not until 65, after Paul's first imprisonment. The difficulties attending the former opinion have induced many able divines to embrace the latter; and from the Acts and other epistles of Paul, it is certain that Timothy was never long absent from Paul until after his release. As to the objections urged against this, Paley and Macknight have replied with great force; and such is the positive proof, that no trifling objection can subvert it. The design of it was to direct Timothy as to the errors he was to refute; and as to the qualifications of the persons he was to ordain to the office of pastors and deacons ; mentions the heresies which would arise; the method in which Timothy was to admonish both the old and young of both the age age of widows to be employed in teaching the younger women, and finally the duties which he was to inculcate on slaves.



A. D. 65. Timothy is reminded of the charge given to him; of the right use and end of the law ; of Paul's call to be an apostle, and of Hymeneus and Alexander.


1 PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the appointment of God our Saviour, and of Christ 2 Jesus," who is our hope; To Timothy, my own son in the faith; Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 I besought thee to remain still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou might est charge some not to teach other doctrines, 4 Nor to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

godly edification" in the faith : Now the 5 end of this charge is love from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned; From which some have swerved and turned 6' aside unto vain babbling; Desiring to be 7 teachers of the law; yet not understanding what they say, nor those things which they so confidently affirm. But we know that the 8 law is good, if a man use it agreeably to its design; Knowing this, that no law is made 9 for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for murderers of other men, For fornicators, for sodomites, 10


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

4. dispensation of God. Griesb.

from which some have swerved, &c. Desiring to be, &c. Setting up them-selves as teachers of the law of Moses, without understanding its nature, design, and genuine influence. For the sense given to xagayrıkiaç, see Acts v, 28.; xvi. 24.

[ocr errors]

8-11. Agreeably to its, &c. That is, to be a rule of his conduct, and its sanctions to deter him from transgression; knowing this, that a law of any kind is not made for a righteous man, for one who is governed and lives agreeably to the principles of natural justice and equity, and much less for christians, who are influenced by far higher motives, and act from principles of love and gratitude to God.- But for the lawless, &c. That is, to restrain and punish them. The crimes mentioned were then, and are now, but too common in society; and were it not for law and punishment agreeably to it, they would much more obtain, &c.-Contrary to sound, &c. That which condemns all wickedness and sin, and which affords the strongest obligations to a holy life, as does the glorious gospel, &c. See Doddridge's note.

The faithful saying.

for male-stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is 11 contrary to sound doctrine; ¡According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which 12 hath been committed to my trust. And

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath given me strength, that he accounted me faithful, 13 and put me into the ministry ; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did these things ignorantly through unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant with faith and love which are in 15 Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy the acceptance of all, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;' of



[ocr errors][merged small]


Stedfastness in the faith.

whom I am chief. But for this cause I obtain- 16 ed mercy, that in me the chief of sinners Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for an example to those who should hereafter beIlieve on him to everlasting life. Now to the eter- 17 nal King, the immortal, invisible, the only ° God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

This charge I commit to thee, son Timothy, 18 according to the prophecies which went before concerning thee, that by them thou mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a 19 good conscience; which some having put away, as to the faith have made shipwreck : Of 20 whom is Hymeneus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may be taught not to blaspheme.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER 1. 1. While we believe and rejoice in Christ Jesus as the only sure foundation of hope, let us cleave to him as such, nor fear any final disappointment. As sinners, we have no other name given whereby we can be saved; and there is, therefore, no other in whom we can confide and hope with perfect security. Building on him let us not spend our time in discussing useless ques+ tions, or engaging in endless controversies, but rather attend to godly edification. Let us keep in mind the apostle's charge, and the end and design of it; which is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and faith unfeigned. Possessed of this love, arising from faith, and connected with a pure heart and a good conscience, we shall be enabled in some degree to honour the law by a course of obedience. When men are not governed by any regard to the will of God, how dreadful the crimes they often commit! And were it not for the punishments which are inflicted, they would more awfully abound. Not only the divine, but civil laws, are necessary, to restrain human depravity and wickedness. As believers, let us study the glorious gospel, and may its glad tidings and holy influence, constrain us to pursue the attainment of purity, holiness, and endless bliss. Those are the great concerns in life; and as such should be supremely regarded.

12-14. Given me strength, &c. `Qualified me for the arduous duties to which he called me, by giving me his spirit.—Faithful. Reckoned that I should be so, and so far entrusted me as to put even me into his ministry; who was before a blasphemer of his holy name, a persecutor of his people, and as injurious to his cause as possible.—Ignorantly through, &c. Had I done them in violation of my own knowledge and convictions, it is probable, I should have been given up to judicial blindness; but as I ignorantly thought that I was doing God service, he had mercy on me. And in pardoning me the grace of Christ was illustriousl; displayed, and more so by the faith and love which he produced in my heart, and enabled me to exercise on himself. Faith is opposed to his former unbelief, and love to his persecuting spirit.

15. Acceptance of all. Of universal reception and approbation. Newcome renders, "worthy to be received by all."——— Of whom I am chief. Chief of those who have sinned through ignorance and unbelief. This limitation

17. wise. Griesb


2. How free, powerful, and sovereign is the grace of our Lord as displayed in the conversion of Paul! He relates his sinful conduct without any attempt to palliate; and thus teaches us the penitent sense he had of it. It is true what he did was through ignorance and unbelief; and when he was instructed, he consulted not his temporal interests, but gave up himself to Christ. The grace of Jesus was indeed exceedingly abundant in forgiving him, and putting him into the ministry, who was the chief of sinners; and in producing in him a faith which no labours or sufferings could shake, and a love to Christ and his cause, the ardour and intenseness of which nothing could abate. How encouraging is the faithful saying! It contains the leading truth of the whole gospel; and if it be worthy the acceptance of all, let my readers cordially accept of it, whatever may have been their past prac tices. You have in Paul an example of the long-suffering and mercy of Jesus. Believe in him, and you shall be pardoned and saved; you shall attain eternal life. And let such as have believed, maintain a pure conscience, that they may continué sound in the faith; lest by embracing error, or denying any part of divine truth, they should be cut off from the community of the faithful, and left to the influence of Satan the great adversary.

4 JJ



seems to be necessary, as he was not by any means the greatest sinner that
ever lived.
16, 17. All long-suffering. Or very great long-suffering in bearing with
such ignorance and unbelief, and the fruits of them in such a wicked conduct.
-For an example, &c. Of his grace and mercy to encourage those who
should hereafter be called to repentance, and to faith in him as the author and
giver of eternal life. Reflecting on the mercies he had received, suggested
the doxolory, Now to the king, &c.

[ocr errors]

18. This charge, &c. Which follows. Ch. xi. 1, &c —Prophecies. Some prophets in the christian church had foretold that Timothy would be a useful and faithful minister of Christ, Ch. iv. 14.; and hence Paul gives him suitable instructions. Was a good, &c. That encouraged by these prophecies thou mayest maintain the truth of Christ, and spread its triumphs every where.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Prayer must be offered onT


for men of every rank. dooorqor elni Hi piled, tupfilm su, oder se da him on other se dlie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith CHAPTER II. ** * To rui.* ›,') 1..ís and truth. 1, ABD, 65, Prayer to be offertil for all men, and the reason of it; in [what

11 ,,,,,



manster, women, should be attired; they are not suffered to teach in the - od quiboll gourd zilni Vi) )* )? ]af 01 T-EXHORT therefore, first of all, that sup plications, prayers, intercessions, and giving 2 of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, [[ and for all that are in authority; that we may


I therefore command that men pray every 8 where, lifting up holy hands, without anger and disputing In like manner, that women 9 also adorn themselves in decent apparel, with modesty and sober-mindedness; not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array only £ But (which becometh women professing, god 10 liness) with good works. Let a woman learn 11 in silence, with all subjection. But I suffer 12 not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over a man, but command her to remain silent. ⠀ For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And ⠀ Adam was not deceived first, but the woman being deceived, was first guilty of transgression. Notwithstanding, she shall be saved through 15 childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sober-mindedness.

lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness B and gravity. For this is good and acceptable 4 in the sight of God our Saviour; Who willeth I that all men should be saved, and come to the 5 knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also, between God and men, 6 the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all; to be testified in due time; 7 To which end. I have been appointed a preach er, and an apostle, (I speak the truth, and





[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


the 10


1 C

CHAP. 11. REFLECTIONS UPon Chapter H..That believers should abound in prayer is commanded and enforced by a variety of motives and examples. And how proper is it, to show their good-will towards all, by their devout and humble requests for them. And as kings and princes may be the instruments of great good to the people, whom they govern, or the cause of much evil, we are bound to pray for them in general; and especially for those under whom we live, that they may

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



19. Holding faith, &c. The pure doctrines of faith, and keeping a good conscience in the sight of God.—Which some, &c. Which good conscience, some teachers having put away, and acting only from low worldly motives, have, as to the faith, as to some of the leading doctrines of it, made shipwreck, and of course lost all that they possessed and hoped for.

20. Unto Satan, &c. To inflict on him some penal evils. 1 Cor. v. 5, and Acts xix. 33, and 2 Tim. iv. 14. '

CHAP. II. 1, 2. Supplications, &c. For averting evil, and prayers for obtaining good, intercessions for the conversion of sinners, and thanksgivings for mercies, be offered to God.For all men. And for all ranks and conditions of men ; "for kings and for, &c." that finding us good subjects they may permit us to live in the pious worship of the only true God, and in a serious and grave manner, as becometh our profession.

3,4. This is good, &c. Thus to pray for all men, especially for ignorant persecuting enemies is good and acceptable; for it is to resemble him "who willeth that all men, &c." Macknight renders in commandeth all men to be suved from their heathen ignorance and superstition; and he thinks that the next words support this sense, "and to come to the knowledge of the truth." He refers this to the command which Christ gave his apostles, "Preach the gospel to every creature." That the verb has this sense is admitted; for the declared will of a superior is a command. Matt. xiii. 29.

5. For there is one God. The creator and father of all; and "one mediator," who acts in some respects for all, "the man Christ Jesus." Doddridge judiciously observes, this clearly teaches "that though the union of the divine with the human nature qualified our Lord for his office, it is as man that he discharges it.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

7. in Christ. Griesb.

allow us to lead a quiet and peaceable life, in the exercise of religious worship, according to God's word. In doing this, we may lead others to the knowledge of the truth, and thus coincide with the revealed will of God our Saviour, who willeth that all should be saved by know ing and believing it. And no truth is more vital, than "that there is but one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who has given himself a ransom for all;" and this is now es

6. A ransom for all. Comp. Matt. xx. 28. Redeeming life by suffering the loss of life, is by most allowed to be the sense of the term ; and Christ died for us, gave up his life as a ransom-price for perishing sinners. This as to its merit was of infinite value, and sufficient for all mankind, if all apply to it and rest on it for their acceptance; and "the testimony of this doctrine is given in its proper season," that is now, since Christ died.

17. To which end, &c. That is, to give testimony to this truth or doctrine, I have been appointed a preacher, &c.


8-10. I therefore command, &c. As an apostle, knowing the will of the Lord, "That men pray every where," in the public assemblies, without anger and disputing," about the admission of the Gentiles into the church, or the obligations of the Jewish law. That women, also, &c. When they appear in the church especially, as well as at other times, “adorn themselves with, &c." Not with plaited hair, &c. From other scriptures it appears, that neither the richness nor ornaments of dress are forbidden, but that persons should dress and appear according to their situation and circumstances, Prov. xxxi. 21, 22.; and what is forbidden is a gaudy, immodest dress, unsuitable to a woman's rank in life, and iudicating vanity and pride.

11, 12. Let a woman, &c. Any woman in the church, learn in silence, &c. To teach, in the public assemblies, as ministers of the gospel do ; but they may teach in private those of their own sex, and children.

13, 14. Formed first. God intimating by this his natural superiority. 1 Cor. xi. 8, 9. Not deceived. I consider groc as implied in both the clauses of this verse. For if Adam was not deceived by the serpent he

was by the woman.

15. She shall be saved, &c. From the sin and guilt contracted through

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]




1. THIS is a true saying, "If a man earnestly
desire the office of a bishop, he desireth an
2 excellent work." A
A bishop then must be
blameless, the husband of one wife, sober,
prudent, of good behaviour, given to hospi-
3 tality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, not
a striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but mild,
4 not contentious, not covetous; One that ruleth
well his own household, having his children
5 in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man
know not how to rule his own household, how
6 can he take care of the church of God? Not
a new convert, lest being lifted up with pride
he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good testimony from
testimony from

tablished by the strongest testimony, and this testimony is still to be borne in the ministry of the gospel, among all nations. Let us duly regard the mediation of Christ, and the ransom which he has paid. On this rests our hope, peace, and comfort; and the sufficiency of this ransom is a ground of hope to all to believe in him.


X 2. We learn with what temper and spirit we are to pray; and how the weaker sex are to conduct themselves. We should not ask any thing of God in anger, but in a peaceful state of mind, lest our réquests should be improper and sinful. And when we pray for others, we should not dispute the propriety of the divine will in requiring it, even when we are required to pray for our enemies. In this duty we should maintain a holy reverence; and ask in faith that we may receive.

Those of a deacon described.

those who are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

[ocr errors]

In like manner the deacons must be grave, 8 not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mys- 9 tery of the faith with a pure conscience. And 10 let these also be first proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. In like manner must the women be grave, 11 not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, 12 ruling their children and their own households well. For those that have used the office of 13 a deacon well acquire to themselves an honourable rank, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

I write these things to thee, hoping to come 14 to thee shortly. But if I delay, I write that 15

Both men and women should conduct themselves, as persons possessing godliness; and should not spend their time or their property in dress unsuitable to their rank in life, or unbecoming their professed subjection to Christ. Let women maintain the modesty becoming their sex, and be in subjection to their own husbands, remembering, that this is the will of God. Nor let them assume the office of public teachers in the church; but learn from those who are appointed to this office. Let both sexes remember the apostacy of Adam and Eve with humility; nor let men upbraid the daughters of Eve with her orime, but consider that if the woman was first in transgression, it is by the woman that a Saviour has come into the world; and to him let all look as being able and willing to save to the uttermost.



6, 7. New convert, &c. The reason of this is evident, that to raise such a one to office might puff him up with pride in his gifts and promotion-of the devil. Who fell by pride, and is under a final sentence of condemnation. 2 Peter ii. 4 -From those without. He should be a man of whom the un converted cannot speak reproachfully, unless it be in respect to his religion. 8-10. Deacons. See Acts vi. 1, &c.-Double-tongued. Dissembling and deceitful; nor intemperate or covetous; but holding the doctrines of the gospel with sincerity. Let these also, &c. Let them be named and judged of by the church or faithful; and being found blameless, let them be chosen, and properly discharge the duties of their office, providing bread and wine for the Lord's Supper, visiting the sick, and distributing the charity of the church to the poor members.

child-bearing," or bringing forth the promised seed, who was promised to be the seed of the woman, and was actually made of a woman, Gen. iii. 15, Gal. iv. 4.; yet both Eve and all her sex, in order to their being saved, must have, and continue to exercise, faith in, and love to the Saviour, and to pursue holiness with that modesty and sobriety recommended.

CHAP. III. 1. Office of a bishop, &c. Or, of an overseer of the church. Acts xx. 28. The apostle calls this office "an excellent work" or employment, because it consisted in the performance of duties in themselves excellent, honourable, and useful. These were to lead the devotions of the faithful, to preach the word, administer baptism and the Lord's Supper, and in connexion with the church or congregation, to maintain discipline, admonishing the careless, rebuking offenders, &c. The maxim, one church or congregation, and one bishop.

2. Husband of one wife. Not guilty of polygamy, a thing then very common; but which Christ has condemned. Hospitality. Especially to christians, and the propagators of the gospel.Apt to teach Not only qualified by learning, but having the talent of speaking and instructing.

11. The women, &c. Such as were deaconesses, employed in visiting, teaching, &c., those of their own sex. See Rom. xyi. 1-3 Philip, iv. 3, &c. 13. An honourable rank, &c. Many who discharged this office were, in the primitive church, chosen to the office of bishop; but even the office of descon was an honourable rank among their fellow-christians.Great boldness, &c. In accepting such an office, and in a time of such danger nobly maintaining the faith, and relieving the poor and the persecuted.

3. Given to wine, &c. As this vice was disgraceful, it would be wholly incompatible with the office, as it would often lead to quarrels and fighting. Nor must he be a worldling, who would consider gain as godliness; but the reverse of these things, mild, peaceful, generous,

15, 16. In the house of God. The tabernacle and temple were called God's house; but under the gospel this name is uniformly given to christian

4,5. Household well, &c. Provided he be married and have a family.. churches, or those societies who profess faith in Christ, and join in worshipFor if he know not how to rule and direct his own family, &c. ping God. Paul wrote to Timothy that he might know how to act in one of

« PreviousContinue »