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Lord give thee Understanding in all things—Keep the good things which was committed to thee by the Holy Ghost, and which dwelleth in the true Ministers of Christ. Be not wavering, or blown about by every wind of Doctrine, for God hath not given us the Spirit of Fear, but of Power, of Love, and of a sound mind; and, therefore, thou needest not be ashamed of the Testimony of our Lord, and of his Death and Resurrection; neither be thou ashamed of Me Paul, although a Prisoner for this Testimony; but, if thou art called to suffer for it, be ready with Me to become a Partaker of the Aflictions of the Gospel, according to the Power of God, striving to shew thyself a Workman that is not ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth; fleeing Youthful Lusts; following Righteousness, Faith, Charity, Peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure Heart-But foolish and unlearned Questions avoid, knowing that they do engender Strifes And the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in Meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God, peradventure, will give them Repentance to the acknowledgment of Truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the Devil, who are taken Captive by him, at his will; for this know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come! Men will be Lovers of their own selves; Covetous, Boasters, Proud, Blasphemous, Disobedient to Parents, Unthankful, Unholy, without natural affection, Truce-breakers, False Accusers, Incontinent, Fierce, Despisers of those that are Good, Traitors, Heady, High-minded,
Lovers of Pleasures more than Lovers of God; hav. ing a Form of Godliness, but denying the Power thereof. From all such turn away; for of this Sort are they which creep into Houses, and lead captive silly Women, laden with Sins, led away with divers Lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowlege of Truth.” —
What a copious catalogue of evils does the Apostle here prognosticate, which would spring up in the world, among men neglecting the Gospel, and not led by the Power thereof? They have indeed sprung up, in these latter days especially! Our own eyes have seen them; and we could enumerate the nations and people among whom they have chiefly prevailed, and do now prevail, and which the Preachers of the Gospel are called, by St. Paul, to contend against. And he has taught us how, and with what weapons to contend, in his Epistle to Titus, which immediately follows those to Timothy. It is indeed a beautiful and luminous, although a short, Epistle; teaching the Doctrines to be Preached concerning civil and ecclesiastical affairs, Order and Submission in Society; which, if they could prevail, would do away all the disorders and iniquities, which He had enumerated above.
“ Paul* a Servant of God, and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the Truth of God's Elect, and the acknowledging of the Truth, which is after Godliness; in Hope of eternal Lite, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; but hath
Titus, Ch. I. v. i.
in due times manifested his Word, Through Preaching, which is committed unto me (as an Apostle to the Gentiles) according to the Commandment of God Our Saviour."
" To Titus mine own Son, after the common Faith-Grace, Mercy and Peace from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour-For this Cause (or this great Work) left I Thee in Crete, that Thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, or left undone;" namely, that Thon shouldest “ ordain Elders in every City, as I had appointed Thee. If any be blameless, the husband of One Wife*, having faithful Children, not accused of Riot, or unruly-For a Bishop must be blameless, as the Steward of God; not Self-willed, nor soon angry, not given to Wine, no Striker, nor given to
The Husband of One Wife. St. Paul only prohibits Polygamy here, against the custom of the Jews, who did not restrain themselves, in their Number of Wives. Judaicæ Consuetudinis fuit, vel biras Uxores habere, vel plures (ut in veteri lege, de Abraham et Jacob, legimus); sed nunc intelligitur Præceptum; ne is, qui Episcopus est eligendus, uno tempore duas pariter babere Uxores." This is the Interpretation of St. Jerome, who wisely enough, and perhaps from his own experince, thought that the care of One Wife, and the care of One Church, especially in a great City, where the Chief Pastors or Bishops,“ babent per singulas Urbes constituendi Presbyteros Potestatem," the power of Government, as well as Ordination, would be enough for ONE MAN. In this opinion and interpretation, St. Jerome is supported by Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, &c. As He is supported also in another interpretation, or rather in rectifying the Error, or obviating the Scruples of some (to whose sense I believe, good Archbishop Secker leaned) who contends that St. Paul, in this place not only prohibits his Bishops from two Wives at the same time; but that, if they have once lost a Wife, they are never to marry again, or to have a second one. Multi superstitiosius magis quam verius; etiam eos, qui cum Gentiles fuerint, Unam Uxorem habuerint, (et ea amissa) Alteram duxerint, in Sacerdetem non eligendos putant.
filthy Lucre, but a Lover of Hospitality, a Lover of Good Men; sober, just, holy, temperate; holding fast the faithful Word, as he hath been taught; that He may be able, by sound Doctrine, both to exhort, and to convince the Gain-sayers; for there are many unruly and vain Talkers and Deceivers—especially they of the Circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped; who subvert Whole Houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy Lucre's sake. Against all these, my Son, speak Thou the things which become the sound Doctrine, which thou hast been taught by me.”—
Teach, “ That the Aged Men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in Faith, in Charity, in Patience; That the Aged Women likewise, be in behaviour as becometh Holiness; not false Accusers, not given to much Wine, Teachers of Good Things;—that they may teach the young women likewise to be sober, to love their Husbands, to love their Children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, obedient to their Husbands,” &c.
The Young Men, likewise, exhort to be soberminded! Exhort Servants to be Obedient to their own Masters; and to please them well in all things, nor answering again, nor purloining, but shewing all good Fidelity, that they may adorn the Doctrine of God our Saviour in all things—Put them in mind, also, to be subject to Principalities and Powers; to obey Magistrates, and to be ready to do every good work-For, unto the pure all things are pure; but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure, but even their mind and conscience is defiled
Thus even a Prophet* of their own spoke, concerning the Cretians, that they are always liars-This witness is true, wherefore, Rebuke Them Sharply," &c.
Although my years, but not the station, which I have chosen to hold in the Church, during the short remaining span of my Life, might entitle me to address you in the character of Paul to Timothy, or of a Father to a Son, in the Gospel of Christ; yet, as that is not necessary, after addressing you as above, in the Apostle's own words, respecting all that he thought necessary to give in Charge to one of the first primitive Bishops, consecrated by himself, under the authority committed to him by Jesus Christ; yet I know you will bear to be reminded, or rather fore- . warned, of many incidental obstructions, which, from the state of things in the present evil days, you will have to contend against in the discharge of your pastoral duty; and to this you will let me join the fruits of my own experience, and study of the Holy Scriptures, to assist you in your pious labours to struggle against infidelity and to propagate the Faith, as it is in
By the Word PROPHET, here, St. Paul does not mean, a Prophet of God! For the Cretians, at the time referred to, were not converted to a belief in the true God, and the word Prophet of their own, is the same as Poet of their own, viz. one claiming skill in divine things; a Sooth-sayerFatidicus, futura presentians, et vaticinans per Furorem, &c.—Theodoret says this Cretian Poet or Prophet was Callimachis; and Dr. Whitby says that Oecumenius, Theophylact and Chrysostom, cite the words from Callimachus; but as he was not a Cretian, but a Cyrenian, and has not the whole Verse, but only the beginning of (" The Cretians were always liars,") Chrysostom says the Prophet or Poet, meant by St. Paul, was Epimenides a Cretian; stiled by Plato, a Divine Man; and so he is styled also by Diodorus Siculus.