Page images

welfare and the glory of God, yet on the whole expressing a hope that he should again visit them, (ch. i. 20—26.); exhorts them to a holy life, and to mutual love and candour, after the example of Jesus Christ; and to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, that he may rejoice in the day of Christ on their account, (ch. i. 21—30. ii. 1-17.); promises to send Timothy and Epaphroditus, whom he highly commends, (ch. ii. 19—30.); solemnly cautions them against Judaizing teachers, and others who were enemies of the cross of Christ, (ch. iii. iv. 1.); gives suitable admonitions to certain individuals, and some general exhortations to cheerfulness, moderation, prayer, thanksgiving, and universal good behaviour, (ch. iv. 2-7.); thanks them for their seasonable and liberal supply, though he had learned to be content in every situation, (ch. iv. 10—14.); mentions some particular cases in which they had ministered to him; promises them a supply of all their spiritual wants through the riches of Christ, to whom he ascribes eternal glory, (ch. iv. 15—20.); and concludes with salutations from himself and friends at Rome, and a solemn benediction, (ch. iv. 21-23.)*

In the EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS, the Apostle, after saluting the Church at Colosse, (ch. i. 1, 2.), thanks God for the good account which he had heard from Epaphras of their faith and love, (ch. i. 3—8.); assures them that he prayed for their increase in knowledge, holiness, patience, joy, and gratitude for redeeming love, (ch. i. 9-14.); declares, in the most exalted terms, the personal and mediatorial glory of Christ, and the fulness and freeness of his salvation, (ch. i. 15-23.); expresses his joy in his labours and sufferings for their sakes, as the Apostle of the Gentiles, and his earnest solicitude to fulfil his ministry among them in the most successful manner, assuring them of his concern and prayers for them and the other churches in the neighbourhood, that they might be united in love, and thus comforted, and that they might be established in their adherence to the Christian faith, (ch. i. 28, 29. ii. 1—7.); warns them against the vain philosophy and human traditions of the new teachers, and their superstitious adherence to the law, (ch. ii. 8—17.); shews the superiority of Christ to angels, and warns them against worshipping them, (ch. ii. 18— 23.); exhorts them to set their affections on things above, to mortify their carnal lusts, to put away malice, to seek conformity to Christ in holiness, to love each other and be ready to forgive injuries, to let the word of Christ dwell in them richly, to abound in grateful praises, and to do all things in the name of Christ, (ch, iii, 1—17.); gives suitable instructions respecting the relative duties of husbands and wives, children and parents, servants and masters, (ch. iii. 18-25. iv. 1.); exhorts them to perseverance in prayer, and to prudence and edifying speech, (ch. iv. 2-6.); commends Tychicus and Onesimus by whom he sends the Epistle, (ch. iv. 7-9.); and concludes with salutations, admonitions, and directions, (ch. iv. 10-18.)

In the FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS, the Apostle, after saluting

the church at Thessalonica, (ch. i. 1.), and thanking God for their faith, love, and patient hope, (ch. i. 2-4.), shews the Divine origin of the Gospel by its happy effects among them, highly commending their faith. and constancy, (ch. i. 5—10.); reminds them of his affectionate, faithful labours, and holy life, among them, (ch. ii. 1—12.); expresses his satisfaction at the manner in which they received the Gospel, and their constancy amidst persecution, (ch. ii. 13, 14.) shews the guilt and ruin of the unbelieving Jews, especially for opposing the preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, (ch. ii. 15, 16.); evinces his joy on their account, his desire of seeing them again, and his hope of a joyful meeting at the coming of Christ, (ch. ii. 17-20.); declares that his care for them had induced him to send Timothy to establish and encourage them, (ch. iii. 1—5.), whose good report respecting them had greatly comforted him in his distresses, (ch. iii. 6—8.); again thanks God on their behalf, and shews how earnestly he desires to see them, (ch. iii. 9, 10.); prays that he may be enabled to visit them, and further their growth in holiness and love, and perseverance to the end, (ch. iii. 11-13.); exhorts them to increasing diligence in obeying Christ, to chastity and integrity in all things, to abound in love to one another, to industry in their respective callings, and for moderate sorrow for deceased brethren, from the assured expectation of the coming of Christ to raise the dead, to change the living, and to receive all his people to himself, (ch. iv.); and, as this advent of Christ will be sudden, and bring inevitable destruction on the wicked, he shews that the children of light' are especially called on to prepare for it, in vigilance and sobriety, with faith, love, and hope, and to comfort and edify one another, (ch. v. 1-11.); and then, after various exhortations, instructions, admonitions, and encouragements, (ch. v. 12—25.); he concludes with affectionate prayers and salutations, (ch. v. 26−−28.)*

In the SECOND EPISTLE to the THESSALONIANS, after saluting the church of Thessalonica, (ch. i. 1, 2.), the Apostle thanks God for their growth in faith and love, and their patience and perseverance under persecution, in which he encourages them by the glorious coming of Christ, as universal Judge, for the destruction of unbelievers, and the complete salvation of his people, (ch. i. 3—10.); prays for their perfect sanctification and meetness for the heavenly felicity, (ch. i. 11, 12.); warns them against groundlessly supposing that the day of the Lord' was at hand, which he shews must be preceded by a great apostasy, in which the man of sin' would cause the destruction of numbers, and then sink himself into perdition, (ch. ii. 1-12.); thanks God for his grace in choosing and calling the Thessalonians 'unto salvation and glory,' exhorts them to stedfastness, praying that they may be comforted and established in every good word and work,' (ch. ii. 13-17.); requests their prayers for himself and his coadjutors, especially for the success of their ministry, at the same time expressing his confidence in them, and praying for them, (ch. iii. 1-5.);

• Comprehensive Bible, Introd. to 1 Thessalonians.

charges them to censure and withdraw from disorderly walkers, who neglected their own business and intermeddled with that of others, interspersing suitable arguments, directions, and exhortations, (ch. iii. 6—15.); and concludes with solemn benedictions, (ch. iii. 16-18.)*

In the FIRST EPISTLE to TIMOTHY, the Apostle having saluted Timothy, (ch. i. 1, 2.); reminds him of the purpose for which he was left at Ephesus, (ch. i. 3, 4.); shews that the end of the commandment is love, from a pure heart, and unfeigned faith,' from which some having swerved, in attempting to preach the law had perverted it, and that the law is good, but intended to condemn transgressors, which accords also with the gospel, (ch. i. 5—11.); expresses his gratitude to God for his own conversion, by which encouragement was given to sinners in every age, (ch. i. 12— 17.); charges Timothy to maintain faith and a good conscience, and mentions some who had renounced the truth, and whom he had delivered to Satan, (ch. i. 18-20.); gives particular directions concerning the performance of public worship in the Ephesian church, enjoining prayers and thanksgivings for all men, and especially for kings and rulers, the modest dress of women, &c. (ch. ii.); delivers instructions respecting the qualifications of the persons whom Timothy was to ordain as bishops and deacons of that church, (ch. iii.); foretells a great apostacy, and corruption of Christianity, in after times, (ch. iv. 1—5.); directs Timothy in respect of his doctrine and personal conduct, (ch. iv. 6—16.); how to admonish elders, and younger persons, men and women, (ch. v. 1, 2.); how to treat widows, (ch. v. 3—16.); diligent rulers and teachers, (ch. v. 17, 18.); accused elders and offenders, (ch. v. 19, 20.); delivers a solemn charge to faithfulness and impartiality in ordaining pastors, (ch. v. 21, 22.); advises Timothy concerning his health, &c. (ch. v. 23—25.); shews the duty of servants, (ch. vi. 1, 2.); teaches Timothy to shun, as corrupters of the gospel, those who preach things contrary to the Apostle's doctrine, (ch. vi. 3-5.); declares the advantages of godliness with contentment, (ch. vi. 6—8.); shews the mischiefs arising from the love of money, (ch. vi. 9, 10.); exhorts Timothy to flee from these evils, to follow after righteousness,' 'to fight the good fight of faith,' and to be faithful till the coming of Christ, (ch. vi. 11—14.); ascribes glory to the eternal God, (ch. vi. 15, 16.); teaches him to charge the rich to avoid pride and confidence in wealth, and to abound in liberality, as seeking a treasure in heaven, (ch. vi. 17—19.); exhorts him to adhere to the faith, avoiding profane and vain controversies, and concludes, (ch. vi. 19, 20.)†

In the SECOND EPISTLE to TIMOTHY, the Apostle having affectionately saluted Timothy, with thanksgiving and prayer, (ch. i. 1-3.); he expresses a great desire to see him, remembering his faith, and that of his grandmother and mother, (ch. i. 4, 5.); exhorts him to stir up the gift of God which is in him, (ch. i. 6.); charges him not to be ashamed of the Divine testimony, or of him the Lord's prisoner, but to prepare for suffer

[ocr errors]

ing, as having been saved, and called by the grace of God, according to the gospel, which fully reveals life and immortality, (ch. i. 7-10.); and of which he, Paul, had been made an Apostle, for which cause he suffered, without either being ashamed or afraid, as he knew the power of him in whom he trusted, (ch. i. 11, 12.); exhorts Timothy to stedfastness and faithfulness, (ch. i. 13, 14.); shews that those of Asia had turned from him, (ch. i. 15.); commends the diligent and courageous kindness of Onesiphorus, praying fervently that he and his family may find mercy from God at the last day, (ch. i. 16-18.); exhorts Timothy to appoint faithful ministers, and to courage, fidelity, and patience, as the good soldier of Christ,' in remembrance of Christ as risen from the dead, in imitation of the Apostle's example, and in assured faith and hope, (ch. ii. 1— 13.); charges him to warn the flock against false teachers, and vain controversies, studying, as an approved workman, 'rightly to divide the word of truth,' (ch. ii. 14-16.); shews the pernicious effects of the error of Hymeneus and Philetus, though the foundation of God stands sure,' (ch. ii. 17-21.); teaches him what to flee and what to follow, to shun disputatious questions, and to instruct opposers with meekness, (ch. ii. 22 -26.); foretells grievous times in the last days, through the devices and opposition of false teachers, (ch. iii. 1-9.); proposes to him his own example, exhorting him to continue in the faith, (ch. iii. 10-14.); shews the excellency, authority, and sufficiency of the Sacred Scriptures, which Timothy had known from his youth, (ch. iii. 15-17.); charges him to be diligent and faithful in his ministry, especially as he had nearly finished his work, (ch. iv. 1—8.); presses him to come to him, and bring Mark with him, (ch. iv. 9-15.); shews how his brethren had forsaken him, and how the Lord had supported him, (ch. iv. 16-18.): and concludes with salutations and benedictions, (ch. iv. 19-22.)*

In the EPISTLE to TITUS, the Apostle, after shewing the nature and importance of his own office, and saluting Titus, (ch. i. 1—4.); states for what purpose he had left him in Crete, and what manner of persons he should ordain as elders, (ch. i. 5—9.); exposes the dangerous principles and selfishness of false teachers, and the bad national character of the Cretans, which he must 'sharply rebuke' and instruct, that they may be sound in the faith,' (ch. i. 10—16.); directs him to teach the people in their several relative duties, for the honour of the Gospel, to exemplify them in his own conduct, and to take heed to his doctrine, (ch. ii. 1—10.); enforces his exhortations by shewing the holy tendency and efficacy of the Gospel, and charges him to act with authority and firmness, (ch. ii. 11— 15.); directs him to inculcate subjection to rulers, and good behaviour to all men, from a consideration of their own sinfulness, and their salvation by the mercy of God, (ch. iii. 1—8.); cautions him to avoid foolish questions, and shews him how to deal with heretics, (ch. iii. 9-11.); and, di

• Comprehensive Bible, Introd. to 2nd Timothy.

recting him to come to him at Nicopolis, and giving instructions about other matters, he concludes with salutations, (ch. iii. 12—15).*

The EPISTLE to PHILEMON was written by St. Paul to reunite Philemon to his once unfaithful servant Onesimus, who had been converted by his instrumentality while confined at Rome.t

In the EPISTLE to the HEBREWS, the Apostle sets forth the personal and mediatorial dignity and glory of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, by whom the Father speaks to men under the Gospel dispensation, (ch. i. 1 --4.); proves from the Old Testament Scriptures, that the Messiah is far greater than the angels, and worshipped by them as their Creator and Lord, (ch. i. 5-14.); exhorts them to attend to the Gospel, from the consideration of the danger of 'neglecting so great salvation,' thus revealed and confirmed, (ch. ii. 1—4.); advances further proofs of the superiority of Christ to angels, notwithstanding his temporary humiliation in our nature, (ch. ii. 5—9.); shews the motives, reasons, condescension, and benefits, of his incarnation, temptations, sufferings, and death, as connected with his being the great High Priest and Saviour of his people, (ch. ii. 10 -18.); demonstrates and illustrates the vast superiority of Christ above Moses, (ch. iii. 1—6.); solemnly warns the Hebrews not to copy the example of their unbelieving ancestors who perished in the wilderness, (ch. iii. 7—19. iv. 1, 2.); exhibits the certainty and excellency of the heavenly rest, of which that of the Sabbath, and of Canaan, were types, (ch. iv. 3—11.); urges the energy of the word of God, the omniscience of our Judge, the compassion of our great High Priest, as powerful motives to stedfastness, and earnestness in coming to the throne of grace, (ch. iv. 12-16.); demonstrates the superiority of Christ to the Aaronic priesthood, as a High Priest after the order of Melchisedek,' (ch. v. 1— 10.); reproves the Hebrews for their small proficiency in Christianity, (ch. v. 11-14.); purposes, therefore, to lead them forward in the knowledge of Christ, (ch. vi. 1—3.); shews the desperate state of apostates, which he illustrates by the simile of barren land which no culture improves, (ch. vi. 4—8.); declares, however, his favourable opinion of them, and his desire of their fruitfulness and diligence, in order to their assured hope to the end, (ch. vi. 9—12.); expatiates on the security of the covenant of grace, as confirmed to Abraham by the promise and oath of God, for the strong consolation of all believers, (ch. vi. 12-20.); proves and illustrates the superiority of Melchisedek's typical priesthood above that of Aaron, (ch. vii. 1—10.); shews it was intended, that the priesthood should be changed, and consequently the ritual law disannulled, at the coming of the Messiah, that a better covenant and priesthood might take place, which was needful for the perfect state of the Church, and for the salvation of all who come to God by Jesus Christ, to the uttermost, and for ever, (ch. vii. 11-28.); produces further evidence of the superiority of the Messiah's priesthood to that of Aaron, and shews that it was pre

« PreviousContinue »