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Words, The Labourer
19 Against an el-
19. But, to return to the Cafe of Censuring a Prefbyter of the Church. Entertain no Complaint against fuch Officers, fo far as to determine and give Sentence upon it, but upon the utmoft Caution, and full Evidence of Two or Three Witneffes, at least.
*Communion of the Church again. For by granting A.D.65. either of these Admiffions, to unworthy People, you entail
a Share of their Guilt upon your felf: And therefore keep your felf clear.
23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy ftomach's fake, and thine often
23. Though your Sacred Office obliges you to great Temperance in the Ufe of Wine; yet remember, Wine was given us for neceffary Refreshment; and, as you have a
weak Stomach, and are of an infirm Conftitution, I advife you to use it as a Cordial, and not confine your felf wholly to Water.
24 Some mens fins are open beforehand, going before to Judgment; and fome men they follow after. 25 Likewife alfo the good works of fome are manifeft before. hand; and they that are otherwise, cannot be hid f.
24 & 25. As to the Caution I gave you (Ver. 22.) you need not understand it of Perfons whofe Principles or Practices are plain and notorious. Some are fo openly scandalous, that there need no Witneffes to come in against them; while others are of fo good and clear a Reputation, that little or no Examination will ferve to their Admiffion, either into the Church as Penitents, or into Holy Orders. But fome there are, that have the Art to conceal and varnish over their Crimes for the prefent, and appear fair. But due Time and Care, will discover and prevent them from impofing themselves upon you; at leaft, you will have done your Part, and difcharged your own Confcience +.
Which was ufually done with laying on of Hands.
And they that are otherwife cannot be hid: Not, they cannot be hid at all, but they cannot be hid long and always.
Ibid. They that are otherwife. Perhaps this may refer, not to the Sins of bad Men, in the foregoing Verfe, but to the good Works of others in this Verfe. So the Apoftle's Similitude is Compleat and Elegant; viz. That neither the fecret Vices of some, nor the hidden Virtues of others, fhall be long and always concealed. So the Excellent Dr. Clarke's Serm. Vol. I. p. 254.
Christianity exempts none of its Profeffors from their Natural and Civil Obligations: Not Servants or Slaves from paying due Service and Fidelity even to Heathen Mafters, much less to Chriftian ones. The Reasonablenefs of being contented in every Condition, where a Competency is to be had; and the Danger of an immoderate Love of Riches. Rich Men obliged to Courtesy and Charity. The Charge to Timothy renewed.
2 And they that have believing ma
2. And, as the Privilege of Chriflianity exempts none from difchargfters, let them not ing their Duties to Heathen, much defpife them, becaufe lefs do it to Chriftian Matters: But they are brethren : but rather do them is a ftill ftronger Argument to fervice, because they fuch Slaves, not to withdraw their are faithful and be- Services from Them, upon account loved, partakers of of their being upon the Level with the benefit. These them in Religion, but to ferve them things teach and exthe more chearfully; as confidering, hort. they labour for those who are Partners with them in the fame Divine Favours, and common Hopes of Salvation.
3, 4 & 5.
3 If any man teach
otherwise, and confent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jefus Christ, and to
doctrine which is ac
Mark X. 44.
3, 4 & 5. Be fure, therefore, to A.D. 65. inculcate this upon all Chriftian Slaves. And if any of the Jewish Converts 1, contrary to the plain Matth. Defign of the Chriftian Religion, M. 27. fet up *, and plead for an unjuft Pref. to Liberty; look on them as a Proud Ephef. §4. and Prejudiced People, led away by a perverfe Fondness for their vain Traditions, that tend to nothing but mifchievous Quarrels and Disputes: And avoid their Converfation, as Perfons that make Religion nothing but a Trade for Worldly Profit and p tings of men of cor. Advantage.
cording to godliness;
rupt minds, and deftitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godlinefs from fuch withdraw thy felf.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
6. For, one of the fureft Methods of rendring Religion truly advantageous to us in the next World is, to be Contented and Induftrious in the Condition that Providence has allotted to us in This.
7 For we brought 7. And good Reason we have to nothing into this be fo: For, as we came Naked world, and it is cer- into the World, and are supplied tain we can carry no- with the Neceffaries of it, by Dithing out. vine Providence; fo, whatever Affluence we have here, must be left behind, and the greateft Plenty muft die with us.
8 And having food and raiment, let us be
9 But they that will be rich, fall into temptation, and a fnare,
8. A bare Competency, therefore, of the prefent Enjoyments ought to be enough to fatisfy any Chriftian.
9. And for Men to thirst after more, and be bent upon growing Rich, by any Means whatever, is N 2
*Ver. 3. And confent not to wholefome Words) sportipXeral. See Dr. Bently's Remarks on Freethinking, Part. I. pag. 72, 73. μὴ προσέρχεται, attends not to.
4.D.65. fnare, and into many foolish and hurtful lufts, which drown men in deftruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil, which while fome coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many forrows.
the most miferable
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, pa
only to pamper their foolish Lufts and Paffions; which will destroy their Virtuous Principles here, and themselves hereafter.
10. For the immoderate Love of Temporal Riches and Grandeur, is the Inlet to all mifchievous Principles and Practices; as is too plain from the Examples of fome People, who have already renounced their very Chriftianity for the fake of them, and brought themselves into Condition.
11. But you, Timothy, as a Minifter of God, must be perfectly averfe to fuch a Temper; and endeavour to become Mafter of that Juftice that will fuffer us to defraud no Man; that Godliness, that renders us contented with what we have; that Faith in God and Chrift, that makes us rely upon his good Providence in all Eftates; that Love and Charity, that obliges us to diftribute freely, when we are in Plenty; that Patience that fupports us under Adverfity; and that Meeknefs that keeps us kind and forgiving to fuch as Injure and Defraud us.
12 Fight the good 1 Cor. ix. fight of Faith, lay hold on eternal Life, whereunto thou art alfo called, and haft profeffed a good profeffion before many witneffes.