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ter Diotrephes 68 seems to have been charged, whom the Apostle John denominates QiaoMPUTEww, one who loves pre-eminence, a character which, not many ages after, became too general in the church.

12. It was not, therefore, so much the titles, as that sort of authority which was understood, among the Jews, to be conveyed under them, that was our Saviour's object in those admonitions. Indeed a fondness for title, a solicitude about precedency, or an affectation of being distinguished by such outward marks of reverence, are evidently condemned by him, as a kind of earthly ambition unbecoming the meekness and humility of his disciples, and that unremitted deference to the divine authori. ty, which they ought ever to maintain. The practice of the Apostles, and indeed the whole tenour of the New Testament, supply us with this commentary on the words. Whereas the customary marks of mere civil respect, so far from being condemned in Scripture, are always used by the inspired penmen themselves, when there is a proper occasion of giving them.

§ 13. So much for the import of the principal titles of honour which occur in the New Testament, and the difference, in respect of application, between them and those commonly supposed to correspond to them, amongst us.

86 3 John, 9.


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