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Paul complains that all the Asiatics had left him.
14 That good thing
SECT. and exactly to adhere to the form of sound words of me,in faith and love that system of divine and everlasting truths which is in Christ Jewhich thou hast heard of me; keep it, not mere4. 13. ly in thy memory, but in thine heart, with cordial faith, and that sincere, fervent love, which is the great badge of our being in Christ Jesus, and which will finally secure our being owned by him as his true disciples. And as thou 14 desirest to have the same cheerful confidence, let it be thy care to keep that good thing which is deposited with thee, even the gospel of Christ lodged in thine hands: assert its honours, by the aid of the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in us, and which will, I trust, enable thee to act with that integrity and zeal which so arduous and important a service requires.
which was committed
unto thee, keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
15 This thou know. est, that all they which
are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus
16 The Lord give
Thou knowest this, that all those of Asia, who are at Rome, and were known to me by a profession of Christianity, are turned from me, and have proved treacherous friends, after all their forward pretences; of which number are Phygellus and Hermogenes; whom it is with great concern that I am obliged particularly to point 16 out on such an occasion. But it is with proportionable pleasure that I mention another mercy unto the house person, of a very different character, whose af- of Onesiphorus ; for he oft refreshed me, fection and zeal was illustrated by their baseness and was not ashamed and disingenuity. May the Lord grant his mercy of my chain. to his family! I mean to the household of Onesiphorus; for he hath often refreshed me, both by his visits and liberalities, and hath not been ashamed of my chain, Eph. vi. 20; but has rather esteemed it his honour to own me, while I was under disgrace and persecution in so good a cause. 17 But being here in Rome,he sought me out so much the more diligently on that very account, and when
a Form of sound words.] Archbishop Tillotson explains this, of that profession of faith which was made by Christians at their baptism, (Works Vol. II. p. 38.) and the author of Miscellanea Sacra observes, that it is not said that Timothy received this form by immediate inspiration, but heard it of Paul, as according to him, the word of wisdom, was given only to the apostles. Chap. ii. 2; iii. 14; 1 Tim. iii. 15.
b That good thing which is deposited.] See the note on ver. 12.
c Those in Asia, &c.] The Asiatics were infamous for their cowardice and efseminacy. Paul probably alludes to their
17 But when he was in Rome, he sought
behaviour at Rome, (chapter iv. 16,) of which Timothy might have been informed by travellers. But Dr. Whitby refers this to those of Ephesus who had deserted the apostle, giving ear, as he supposes, to the seduction of Cerinthus and the Ebionites, by whom he had been represented as a despiser of the Mosaic law. Neverthe'ess, I prefer the former interpretation, as evidently more natural.
& Phygellus and Hermogenes.] Probably he mentions these two persons as known to Timothy, or as having distinguished themselves by their profession, so that there was particular reason to expect a different conduct from them.
and found me.
He animates Timothy to courage and resolution.
me out very diligently, when he had found [me] took every opportunity SECT. of expressing his unfeigned love and veneration for a servant and apostle of Christ in such a 18 The Lord grant circumstance. The Lord grant unto him that, 1.18. unto him that he may after having enjoyed all the blessings of a long find mercy of the Lord in that day. And in and useful life, he may find mercy of the Lord in how many things he that great day, to which our eyes and hopes, as ministered unto me at Christians, are continually directed. And on Ephesus, thou knowest how many occasions he ministered [to me] in very well. Ephesus, thou very well knowest, as thou wert an eye-witness to it, while we were together there.
II. 1. Thou there
in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of nesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able
me among many wit
to teach others also.
Thou therefore, my dearly beloved son Timo- II. 1 fore, my son, be strong thy, animated by such an example of fidelity and courage, be strong, in humble and continual dependence upon the grace which is in Christ Jesus, and resolve never to be ashamed of any of his faithful servants under disgrace and difficulties, while adhering to his cause. And the 2 things which thou hast heard from me, and which I have solemnly testified again and again, before many witnesses, in one place and another, these commit thou with all diligence and care to faithful men, who may be able also to teach others; that so there may be, throughout all ages, a succession of such, who shall deliver them down from one to another, even till the end of time, according to God's gracious purposes in reveal3 Thou therefore en- ing them to us. And especially do thou see 3 dure hardness, as a to it thyself, that thine own temper and conduct be such as may engage them to fidelity in bearing their testimony. Therefore, as thy lot is cast in a time when we are called to suffer so many severe things for the truth, prepare thyself steadily and resolutely to endure afflictions and hardships, as it becomes a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and one whom he hath honoured with a distinguished rank in his army, that thou mayest marshal and lead on others. And, to pursue the 4 metaphor, remember, that no one who goes out to war entangles himself with secular affairs, but him who hath chosen relinquishes every other calling and employment, that he may please him under whom he is inlisted, and be ready to receive and execute his commands. Accordingly keep thyself as much
good soldier of Jesus Christ,
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please
him to be a soldier.
e Commit to faithful men.] This is quot ed by many, as an argument that the people were not left to chuse their own ministers. But if they did chuse them, or propose
them to Timothy, it might yet be his ap-
Reflections on the duty of ministers to maintain the gospel.
5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, ex
SECT. as possible disengaged from worldly business, and from every thing which might tend to take off thy thoughts from thy great work, and renII. 5. der thee less active in thy sacred warfare. And thou also knowest, that if any one wrestles, or contends in any other of those games for which cept he strive lawfully. Greece is so celebrated, if he do gain an advantage over his antagonist, he is not crowned, unless he wrestle, or perform any other athletic exercise, according to the law of the respective contention. So let us take care to learn the rules which Christ has laid down to direct us in our attempts, and act according to them. 6 And be not inpatient, though the expected and promised reward should be long delayed; for that laboureth, must be thou well knowest that the husbandman must fruits." first labour, and wait while the harvest is growing, through succeeding weeks and months, [and then] partake of the fruits produced by his toils f.
Consider the things which I say as matters of high importance, in which thou art intimately concerned; and may the Lord give thee a good understanding in all things, and enable thee to act in a manner suitable to the instructions thou hast received.
6 The husbandman
first partaker of the
7 Consider what I
say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
LET us all be exhorted to be strong in the grace that is in Christ ii. 1. Jesus, and, in humble dependence upon it, let us go forth cheerfully to our work and warfare as Christians. This is a strength so great, and communicated with so rich a freedom, that the Christian minister, under his peculiar difficulties, will find it adequate to them all. Let such particularly apply to themselves the exhortations and consolations which are here given or 13 suggested Let them strenuously retain the form of sound words, which the inspired apostles have delivered, with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. To this orthodoxy of principle, which a due regard to this great and only standard will teach them, let 14 them add orthodoxy of temper. And, as they desire that Christ may keep what they profess to have deposited with him, let them faithfully keep what he has lodged in their hands. And may the
f Must first labour.] It was entirely to the apostle's purpose to remind Timothy that the labour of the husbandman must precede the harvest; but whether he was to receive these fruits first was not the point
in question. We must therefore acquiesce in this transposition, and the like is necessary in several other places. See Heb. viii. 4, in the original.
Timothy is exhorted to remember Christ.
Holy Spirit dwell in them, to make them faithful in all, and di- SECT. rect them in their efforts to defend the gospel, to spread its influence on the hearts of men, and transmit it from one genera- Chap. tion to another; lodging it with faithful men, who may teach . 2. others, when their teachers and fathers in Christ shall rest from their labours. Such a succession may God continue in his churches; and may he prosper the work of those who are employed in humble and faithful attempts to promote so good a cause, by forming for this important charge those who, like Timothy, have early known the scripture, and felt its power on
Let such as are setting out in this holy warfare remember the caution which the apostle gives. May they not unnecessarily encumber themselves with secular cares, which would render them 4 less fit to please the great General under whose banner they are inlisted. Let them strive lawfully, if they hope for the crown and cultivating the ground with diligence, let them wait with patience, if they desire at length to reap that blessed harvest. Nor let that general apostacy from the power of religion, which is the shame of the present day, deter them; but rather let it whet their pious zeal to own, with more strenuous attachment, the cause of Christ and of his faithful servants. And when they have done all, may they ever retain an humble sense of their dependence on the Divine mercy and the Lord grant to us all, ministers and people, that we may find it in that great day!
Paul further animates Timothy to fidelity, by laying open the motives and hopes which supported him under the difficulties he bore in the defence of the gospel; interspersing several addresses relating to that purity, prudence, and meekness, with which he should endeavour to conduct himself in the ministry. 2 Tim. II.
2 TIM. II. S.
REMEMBER that Je
sus Christ, of the seed of David, was
2 TIMOTHY II. 8.
animate thee, O Timothy, to all the la- SECT. bours and all the sufferings of the Christian raised from the dead and ministerial life, remember Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah of the seed of David, the great 11. 8. Apostle and High-Priest of our profession, who, after having spent and laid down his life in the prosecution of his great work, was raised from the dead, and at length exalted to the right
a Remember Christ who was raised from the dead.] Our translators render it, Re
member that he was raised: as if he had
Those who suffer with Christ shall reign with him.
SECT. hand of God, there to receive the reward of all according to my gosiii. his labours and sufferings, according to the tenor pel. 2 Tim. of my gospel, which, as thou well knowest, I 11.9. every where preach and attest. In the ser
9 Wherein I suffer
even unto bonds; but
vice of which I suffer evil, [even] to bonds; trouble as an evil doer, the chief magistrates of my country sentencing the word of God is not me to confinement, after the many insults which bound. have been offered me by the dregs of the people, as if I were a malefactor worthy of some heavy punishment: but my great comfort is, that the word of God is not bound. I rejoice, that many of my brethren are at liberty to preach it publicly, and am thankful for every opportunity of bearing my testimony to so good a cause, in such a private manner as my present circumstances may admit; well knowing, that God can bless even these limited attempts, to what degree he shall in his infinite wisdom see fit. (Compare 10 Phil. i. 12.) On this account, I cheerfully endure all these things, and whatever else Providence may appoint, for the sake of the elect; that the gracious purposes of God for their happiness may be effected, and they may obtain that complete salvation which is in Christ Jesus, and which shall be attended with eternal, as well as illustrious and exalted, glory.
11 [It is] a faithful words which I have often insisted upon, and it shall undoubtedly be verified; that if we have the resolution to die with him, even with that blessed Saviour, according to the obligation of our baptismal vow, we shall also live with him, in that everlasting happiness 12 which he hath prepared for all his people. If
10 Therefore I en
dure all things for the
elect's sake, that they
11 It is a faithful
saying, For if we be also live with him:
dead with him, we shall
12 If we suffer, we
we patiently endure our part in his afflictions, shall also reign with
tion of the gospel. But though this be
b In the service of which.] Dr. Whitby
c It is a faithful word.] Some refer this to the concluding clause of the former
verse; but it seems much more reasonable to connect it with what follows, as, generally speaking, this phrase is introductory to the weighty sentence it is intended to confirm. See 1 Tim. i. 15; iv. 8, 9. Though Tit. iii. 8. seems an exception. Dr. Tillotson thinks this was a celebrated saying among Christians, which was eitber derived by tradition from Christ or some of the apostles, and it had so powerful a tendency to keep them steady to their religion, that it is no wonder it was in frequent use. Tillot. Vol. II. p. 175, 176.