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formation of which they are the subjects in the courts. above; and to feel his joy swelled and augmented to the utmost when he learns that his humble ministry was so blest of God, that such and so bright are the monuments and the evidences of it. But what has made this great transformation ? The grace of God, and that alone. Has it lost its efficacy? Not in the least; it is as able now to transform Saul into Paul as then. Paul says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief; and he saved me that I might be now and ever a precedent for all that believe.” “The grace of God teacheth to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts; and to live soberly, and righteously, and godly.” “My grace is sufficient for you,” is still true; there is nothing in our case that distinguishes us from the case of the sinners in Thessalonica ; or any reason in the nineteenth century why its people should not be holy and happy for ever, that did not exist in the first and second century of the Christian era. Years have changed, climates have altered, governments have fallen, and governments have risen; science has advanced, literature has become more brilliant; but the human heart is now what it ever was. by nature ; and God's grace is now what it has been from the beginning-equal to the worst, able to overcome and transform the chiefest and the oldest of sinners. And if it be so, then we have no excuse for not becoming what these Thessalonian Christians became. There is the same God, the same Saviour, the same grace, the same promise, the same Holy Spirit. Thereis no harder heart in your bosom than there was in theirs; and if there were, there is grace equal to every demand, pardon for the greatest crime, acceptance for
the greatest criminal who renounces the crime, heartily hating it, and seeks forgiveness through the blood of Christ, that can wash it all away. Let us, not only for our own sake, but for the sake of those who have been instrumental in turning us from darkness to light, pray that we too, by grace, may be, like the Thessalonians, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ ; that we too, by grace, may belong to that happy group that are ensamples to all that believe, from whom sounds forth the Word ; who showed by living specimens that they turned from idols to serve the living God ; that they became followers of the Lord ; that they received the Word, though in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost; and are now waiting for Christ from heaven, who delivered us from the wrath to come.
BIBLE VERSION-TEXTUAL DIVISIONS—TIMOTHY'S MISSION-PAUL'S
AFFLICTIONS NOT JUDICIAL-SUFFERINGS AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE-PAUL'S COMFORT IN TROUBLE- HIS DESIRES AND PRAYERS.
We noticed, in the course of our expository remarks on the previous chapter, that a great deal of this Epistle is strictly the expression of pastoral experience, and presents to us a beautiful picture as well as precedent of the love which a true Christian minister bears to his flock, and the feelings of gratitude and reverence which they return to him in Christ and for Christ's sake.
This chapter is the continuation of the previous one; and, in fact, as far as arrangement is concerned, might have been added to it, and have become properly a part of it; for you will recollect, what perhaps it is needless to repeat, that with all the excellence of our version of the Bible, the version of 1611, the chapters are not always well and wisely divided. The last division into texts or verses was made by Stevens, a very able and learned printer, who states, as an apology for the imperfection of his divisions, that he did it whilst he was riding on horseback. A thing done so cursorily could not, necessarily, be well done. But, in order to obviate these defects, there need not be a new version. A copy of what is called the Paragraph Bible prints the numbers of the chapters and verses in the margin; and you would suppose, in reading the text, that you were reading an ordinary book, without a division at all. A very admirable comment is published by Bagster ; from its structure, extremely valuable. It presents a section of an epistle or other book in the Bible, and appends to it all the parallel passages at full length. Thus you have a text or a passage illustrated from the Bible itself. These are inspired comments on inspired texts. Perhaps it is more expedient that you should look out the texts yourselves than have them looked out for you. It is a very common law, that what costs us no trouble very often makes a faint impression ; but that which we have carefully searched out, and examined, and applied, makes a deeper impression on the memory, and presents itself in a far more striking and interesting light. At all events, the command is,—“Search the Scriptures ;" and they that search most carefully will find the richest seams: the Bible is like an ocean; they that dive the deepest and the oftenest will bring up the greatest number of the most precious pearls from its great depths.
The apostle begins this chapter by saying, “Wherefore," alluding to what he had said in the previous one, “when we could no longer forbear,” that is to say, when we could no longer endure the anxiety we felt about your condition, your happiness, comfort, and progress in the gospel, "we sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow-labourer in the gospel of Christ, in order that he might establish you ;" that is, strengthen your convictions, build you up more thoroughly in your Christian faith ; "and also
might comfort you ;" the end of the gospel being not only to convince, but to comfort; not only to show us how our sins may be forgiven, but also how our sorrows may be mitigated, our tears diluted, our hearts comforted, and our spirits refreshed and revived as with the very perfume of heaven and of God.
“As ministers, especially they who are of elder standing and best known in the church, are bound to give their deserved testimony unto others of the Lord's servants, for gaining them respect and credit among the people of their charge ; so then is a minister sufficiently qualified and worthy to be commended as a complete minister, when, first, he is a man in all appearance truly pious, for Paul commendeth Timothy from this, he was a 'brother. Secondly, when he is painful and laborious about his Master's work : Timotheus was a labourer.' Thirdly, when he is a lover of unity, and entertaineth peace with others of his Master's servants, striving to work with them (Phil. i. 27), and not against them, in a way of his own separate from them : "Timotheus was a fellow-labourer. And, fourthly, when he is a lover of truth, as well as of peace, and studieth unity but in so far as it thwarteth not with virtue: for he is commended as a fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ.' . “The office of an evangelist, among other things (see upon Eph. iv. 11), was to confirm and establish in the faith those churches which the apostles had already planted : for Timotheus, an evangelist (2 Tim. iv. 5), was sent by Paul to confirm and establish this church in the faithi'
“Such is Satan's enmity against the grace of faith, and so many are his onsets, what by one means, what