Titus 2

CHAPTER II.

Sundry directions to aged men, 1, 2.

To aged women, 3.

To young women, 4, 5.

To young men, 6.

Directions to Titus, relative to his own conduct, 7, 8.

Directions to servants, 9, 10.

What the Gospel of the grace of God teaches all men, 11, 12.

The glorious prospect held out by it; salvation from all sin,

and final glory, 13-15.

NOTES ON CHAP. II.

Verse 1. But speak thou the things] This is a conclusion

drawn from the preceding chapter: the Judaizing teachers not only

taught a false doctrine, but they led an unholy life; Titus was to

act directly opposite; he must teach a sacred doctrine, and the

things which become it; he must proclaim the truth, and illustrate

that truth. The people must not only be well instructed, but they

must be holy in their lives. Principle and practice must go hand

in hand.

Verse 2. That the aged men be sober] It is very likely that

the word aged is to be taken here in its literal sense; that it

refers to advanced years, and not to any office in the Church: the

whole context seems to require this sense.

For an old man to be a drunkard, a light and trifling person,

and a glutton, and not to be sober, grave, and temperate, is not

only blamable but monstrous. Seneca has well said: Luxuriosus

adolescens peccat; senew insanit. "A young man addicted to a life

of luxury transgresses; an old man thus addicted runs mad."

Verse 3. The aged women likewise] I believe elderly women are

meant, and not deaconesses.

That they be in behaviour] ενκαταστηματιιεροπρεπεις. That

they be in their dress, gait, and general deportment, such as

their holy calling requires; that they be not like the world, but

like the Church, decent without, and adorned with holiness within.

Not false accusers] μηδιαβολους. Not devils; we have had the

same expression applied in the same way, 1Ti 3:11, where see the

note.

Not given to much wine] ηοινωπολλωδεδουλωμενας. Not

enslaved by much wine, not habitual drunkards or tipplers; habit

is a species of slavery. Both among the Greeks and Romans old

women were generally reputed to be fond of much wine; hence the

ancient scholiast on Homer, II. vi., speaking of old women, says:

χαιρειτωοινωηηλικιααυτη. At this age they delight in wine;

which words Ovid seems to have translated literally: Vinosior

aetas haec erat. It is likely, therefore, that it was customary

among the elderly women, both Greeks and Romans, to drink much

wine, and because it was inconsistent with that moderation, which

the Gospel requires, the apostle forbids it: doubtless it was not

considered criminal among them, because it was a common practice;

and we know that the Greek philosophers and physicians, who denied

wine to young persons, judged it to be necessary for the aged.

See Clarke on 1Ti 5:23.

Verse 4. That they may teach the young women to be sober]

That it was natural for the young to imitate the old will be

readily allowed; it was therefore necessary that the old should be

an example of godly living to the young. St. Jerome, taking it

for granted that drunkenness and impurity are closely connected,

asks this serious question: Quomodo potest docere anus

adolescentulas castitatem, cum, si ebrietatem vetulae mulieris

adolescentula fuerit imitata, pudica esse non possit? "How can an

elderly woman teach young women chastity, when, if the young woman

should imitate the drunkenness of the matron, it would be

impossible for her to be chaste?"

To love their husbands] The duties recommended in this and the

following verses are so plain as to need no comment; and so

absolutely necessary to the character of a wife, that no one

deserves the name who does not live in the practice of them.

Verse 5. Keepers at home] οικουρους. A woman who spends much

time in visiting, must neglect her family. The idleness,

dirtiness, impudence, and profligacy of the children, will soon

show how deeply criminal the mother was in rejecting the apostle's

advice. Instead of οικουρους, keepers of the house, or keepers at

home, ACD*EFG, and several of the Itala, have οικουργους,

workers at home; not only staying in the house and keeping the

house, but working in the house. A woman may keep the house very

closely, and yet do little in it for the support or comfort of the

family.

That the word of God be not blasphemed.] The enemies of the

Gospel are quick-eyed to spy out imperfections in its professors;

and, if they find women professing Christianity living an

irregular life, they will not fail to decry the Christian doctrine

on this account: "Behold your boasted religion! it professes to

reform all things, and its very professors are no better than

others! Our heathenism is as good as your Christianity." These

are cutting reproaches; and much they will have to answer for who

give cause for these blasphemies.

Verse 6. Young men-exhort to be sober-minded.] Reformation

should begin with the old; they have the authority, and they

should give the example. The young of both sexes must also give

an account of themselves to God; sober-mindedness in young men is

a rare qualification, and they who have it not plunge into

excesses and irregularities which in general sap the foundation of

their constitution, bring on premature old age, and not seldom

lead to a fatal end.

Verse 7. In all things showing thyself a pattern] As the

apostle had given directions relative to the conduct of old men,

Tit 2:2,

of old women, Tit 2:3,

of young women, Tit 2:4,

and of young men, Tit 2:6,

the words περιπαντα, which we translate in all things, should be

rather considered in reference to the above persons, and the

behaviour required in them: showing thyself a pattern of good

works to all these persons-being, in sobriety, gravity,

temperance, what thou requirest others to be.

In doctrine showing uncorruptness] Mixing nothing with the

truth; taking nothing from it; adding nothing to it; and

exhibiting it in all its connection, energy, and fulness.

Verse 8. Sound speech] λογονυγιη. Sound or healing

doctrine. Human nature is in a state of disease; and the doctrine

of the Gospel is calculated to remove the disease, and restore all

to perfect health and soundness. All false doctrines leave men

under the influence of this spiritual disease; the unadulterated

doctrine of the Gospel alone can heal men.

He that is of the contrary part] Whether this may refer to the

Judaizing teachers in general, or to some one who might, by his

false doctrine, have been disturbing the peace of the Churches in

Crete, we cannot tell.

Having no evil thing to say of you.] Against a person who is

sound in his doctrine, and holy in his life, no evil can be justly

alleged. He who reports evil of such a person must be confounded

when brought to the test. Instead of περιυμων, of YOU, περι

ημων, of US, is the reading of CDEFG, and about forty others;

with both the Syriac, all the Arabic, Slavonic, Vulgate, Itala,

and several of the primitive fathers. This reading makes a better

sense, and is undoubtedly genuine.

Verse 9. Exhort servants to be obedient] The apostle refers

to those who were slaves, and the property of their masters; even

these are exhorted to be obedient ιδιοιςδεσποταις, to their own

despots, though they had no right over them on the ground of

natural justice.

Please them well in all things] They were to endeavour to do

this in all things, though they could not hope to succeed in every

thing.

Not answering again] μηαντιλεγοντας. Not contradicting or

gainsaying. This is no part of a servant's duty; a servant is

hired to do his master's work, and this his master has a right to

appoint.

Verse 10. Not purloining] μηνοσφιζομενους. Neither giving

away, privately selling, nor in any way wasting, the master's

goods. The word signifies, not only stealing but embezzling

another's property; keeping back a part of the price of any

commodity sold on the master's account. In Ac 5:2, we translate

it, to keep back part of the price; the crime of which Ananias and

Sapphira were guilty. It has been remarked that among the

heathens this species of fraud was very frequent; and servants

were so noted for purloining and embezzling their master's

property that fur, which signifies a thief, was commonly used to

signify a servant; hence that verse in Virgil, Eclog. iii. 16:-

Quid domini faciant, audent cum talia FURES?

"What may not masters do, when servants (thieves) are so bold?"

On which Servius remarks: Pro SERVO FUREM posuit, furta enim

specialiter servorum sunt. Sic Plautus de servo, Homo es trium

literarum, i.e. fur. "He puts fur, a thief, to signify a

servant, because servants are commonly thieves. Thus Plautus,

speaking of a servant, says: Thou art a man of three letters,

i.e. f-u-r, a thief." And Terence denominates a number of

servants, munipulus furum, "a bundle of thieves." Eun. 4, 7, 6.

The place in Plautus to which Servius refers is in Aulul., act ii.

scene iv. in fine:-

-------------Tun', trium literarum homo,

Me vituperas? F-u-r, etiam fur trifurcifer.

"Dost thou blame me, thou man of three letters?

Thou art a thief, and the most notorious of all knaves."

It was necessary, therefore, that the apostle should be so very

particular in his directions to servants, as they were in general

thieves almost by profession.

Verse 11. The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath

appeared to all men] επεφανηγαρηξαριςτουθεουησωτηριος

πασινανθρωποις. Literally translated, the words stand thus: For

the grace of God, that which saves, hath shone forth upon all men.

Or, as it is expressed in the margin of our authorized version:

The grace of God, that bringeth salvation to all men, hath

appeared. As God's grace signifies God's favour, any benefit

received from him may be termed God's grace. In this place, and

in Col 1:6,

the Gospel, which points out God's infinite mercy to the world, is

termed the grace of God; for it is not only a favour of infinite

worth in itself, but it announces that greatest gift of God to

man, the incarnation and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Now

it cannot be said, except in a very refined and spiritual sense,

that this Gospel had then appeared to all men; but it may be well

said that it bringeth salvation to all men; this is its design;

and it was to taste death for every man that its author came into

the world. There is a beauty and energy in the word επεφανη, hath

shined out, that is rarely noted; it seems to be a metaphor taken

from the sun. As by his rising in the east and shining out, he

enlightens, successively, the whole world; so the Lord Jesus, who

is called the Sun of righteousness, Mal 4:2, arises on the whole

human race with healing in his wings. And as the light and heat

of the sun are denied to no nation nor individual, so the grace of

the Lord Jesus, this also shines out upon all; and God designs

that all mankind shall be as equally benefited by it in reference

to their souls, as they are in respect to their bodies by the sun

that shines in the firmament of heaven. But as all the parts of

the earth are not immediately illuminated, but come into the solar

light successively, not only in consequence of the earth's diurnal

revolution round its own axis, but in consequence of its annual

revolution round its whole orbit; so this Sun of righteousness,

who has shined out, is bringing every part of the habitable globe

into his Divine light; that light is shining more and more to the

perfect day; so that gradually and successively he is enlightening

every nation, and every man; and, when his great year is filled

up, every nation of the earth shall be brought into the light and

heat of this unspotted, uneclipsed, and eternal Sun of

righteousness and truth. Wherever the Gospel comes, it brings

salvation-it offers deliverance from all sin to every soul that

hears or reads it. As freely as the sun dispenses his genial

influences to every inhabitant of the earth, so freely does Jesus

Christ dispense the merits and blessings of his passion and death

to every soul of man. From the influences of this spiritual Sun

no soul is reprobated any more than from the influences of the

natural sun. In both cases, only those who wilfully shut their

eyes, and hide themselves in darkness, are deprived of the

gracious benefit. It is no objection to this view of the subject,

that whole nations have not yet received the Divine light. When

the earth and the sun were created, every part of the globe did

not come immediately into the light; to effect this purpose fully

there must be a complete revolution, as has been marked above, and

this could not be effected till the earth had not only revolved on

its own axis, but passed successively through all the signs of the

zodiac. When its year was completed, and not till then, every

part had its due proportion of light and heat. God may, in his

infinite wisdom, have determined the times and the seasons for the

full manifestation of the Gospel to the nations of the world, as

he has done in reference to the solar light; and when the Jews are

brought in with the fulness of the Gentiles, then, and not till

then, can we say that the grand revolution of the important YEAR

of the Sun of righteousness is completed. But, in the meantime,

the unenlightened parts of the earth are not left in total

darkness; as there was light

"----------------------ere the infant sun

Was rolled together, or had tried his beams

Athwart the gloom profound;"

light being created, and in a certain measure dispersed, at least

three whole days before the sun was formed; (for his creation was

a part of the fourth day's work;) so, previously to the

incarnation of Christ, there was spiritual light in the world; for

he diffused his beams while his orb was yet unseen. And even now,

where by the preaching of his Gospel he is not yet manifested, he

is that true light which enlightens every man coming into the

world; so that the moral world is no more left to absolute

darkness, where the Gospel is not yet preached, than the earth was

the four days which preceded the creation of the sun, or those

parts of the world are where the Gospel has not yet been preached.

The great year is rolling on, and all the parts of the earth are

coming successively, and now rapidly, into the light. The vast

revolution seems to be nearly completed, and the whole world is

about to be filled with the light and glory of God. A heathen

poet, apparently under the inspiration of God (for God has his

witnesses every where) speaks of those glorious times in words and

numbers which nothing but the Spirit of God can equal. It

gratifies myself to refer to them, and it will gratify my reader

to find them entered here:-

Ultima Cumaei venit jam carminis aetas:

Magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo.-

Talia saecla suis dixerunt, currite, fusis

Concordes stabili fatorum numine Parcae.-

Aspice convexo nutantem pondere mundum,

Terrasque, tractusque maris, coelumque profundum:

Aspice, venturo laetentur ut omnia saeclo!

The last great age, foretold by sacred rhymes,

Renews its finish'd course; Saturnian times

Roll round again; and mighty years, begun

From their first orb, in radiant circles run.

Majestic months, with swift but steady pace,

Set out with him on their appointed race.-

The Fates, when they their happy web have spun,

Shall bless the clew, and bid it smoothly run.-

See labouring nature calls thee to sustain

The nodding frame of heaven and earth and main;

See, to their base restored, earth, seas, and air,

And joyful ages from behind appear

In crowding ranks. DRYDEN.

Hasten the time, thou God of ages! Even so. Amen. Come, Lord

Jesus!

Verse 12. Teaching us, that, denying, &c.] παιδευουσα.

Instructing us as children are instructed. Christ is the great

teacher; and men, in order to learn, must become his

disciples-must put themselves under his tuition, and learn of him.

Denying ungodliness] ασεβειαν. All things contrary to God;

whatever would lead us to doubt his being, deny any of his

essential attributes; his providence or government of the world,

and his influence on the souls of men. Every thing, also, which

is opposed to his true worship; theoretical and practical atheism,

deism, and irreligion in general.

Worldly lusts] Such desires, affections, and appetites, as men

are governed by who have their portion in this life, and live

without God in the world. Gluttony, drunkenness, lasciviousness,

anger, malice, and revenge; together with the immoderate love of

riches, power, and fame.

We should live soberly] Having every temper, appetite, and

desire, under the government of reason, and reason itself under

the government of the Spirit of God.

Righteously] Rendering to every man his due, injuring no

person in his body, mind, reputation, or property; doing unto all

as we would they should do to us; and filling up the duties of the

particular stations in which it has pleased God to fix us,

committing no sin, omitting no duty.

And godly] ευσεβως. Just the reverse of what is implied in

ungodliness. See above.

In this present world] Not supposing that any thing will be

purified in the world to come that is not cleansed in this. The

three words above evidently include our duty to God, to our

neighbour, and to ourselves. 1. We are to live soberly in respect

to ourselves. 2. Righteously in respect to our neighbour.

And 3. Godly, or piously, in respect to our Maker.

Verse 13. Looking for that blessed hope] Expecting the grand

object of our hope, eternal life. See Tit 1:2. This is what the

Gospel teaches us to expect, and what the grace of God prepares

the human heart for. This is called a blessed hope; those who

have it are happy in the sure prospect of that glory which shall

be revealed.

The glorious appearing] καιεπιφανειαντηςδοξηςτουμεγαλου

θεουκαισωτηροςημωνιησουχριστου. This clause, literally

translated, is as follows: And the appearing of the glory of the

great God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ. On this passage I must

refer the reader to the ESSAY ON THE GREEK ARTICLE, by H. S. Boyd,

Esq., appended to the notes on the Epistle to the Ephesians, where

both the structure and doctrine of this passage are explained at

large.

Some think that the blessed hope and glorious appearing mean

the same thing; but I do not think so. The blessed hope refers

simply to eternal glorification in general; the glorious

appearing, to the resurrection of the body; for when Christ

appears he will change this vile body, and make it like unto his

GLORIOUS BODY, according to the working by which he is able even

to subdue all things to himself. See Php 3:20, 21.

Verse 14. Who gave himself for us] Who gave his own life as a

ransom price to redeem ours. This is evidently what is meant, as

the words λυτρωσηται and λαονπεριουσιον imply. The verb λυτροω

signifies to redeem or ransom by paying a price, as I have often

had occasion to observe; and περιουσιος signifies such a peculiar

property as a man has in what he has purchased with his own money.

Jesus gave his life for the world, and thus has purchased men unto

himself; and, having purchased the slaves from their thraldom, he

is represented as stripping them of their sordid vestments,

cleansing and purifying them unto himself that they may become his

own servants, and bringing them out of their dishonourable and

oppressive servitude, in which they had no proper motive to

diligence and could have no affection for the despot under whose

authority they were employed. Thus redeemed, they now become his

willing servants, and are zealous of good works-affectionately

attached to that noble employment which is assigned to them by

that Master whom it is an inexpressible honour to serve. This

seems to be the allusion in the above verse.

Verse 15. These things speak] That is, teach; for λαλει,

speak, has the same meaning here as διδασκε, teach, which, as

being synonymous, is actually the reading of the Codex

Alexandrinus.

And exhort] παρακαλει. Repeat them again and again, and urge

them on their attention and consciences.

And rebuke] ελεγχε. Demonstrate the importance, utility, and

necessity of them; and show them that God requires their

obedience.

With all authority.] μεταπασηςεπιταγης. With all that

authority with which thy office invests thee, and which thou hast

received from God.

Let no man despise thee.] That is: Act so that no person shall

have any cause to despise thee, either for thy work, or the manner

and spirit is which thou dost perform it.

1. FEW portions of the New Testament excel this chapter. It

may well form the creed, system of ethics, and text book of every

Christian preacher. Does any man inquire what is the duty of a

Gospel minister! Send him to the second chapter of the Epistle to

Titus for a complete answer. There he will find what he is to

believe, what he is to practise, and what he is to preach. Even

his congregation is parcelled out to him. The old and the young

of both sexes, and those who are in their employment, are

considered to be the objects of his ministry; and a plan of

teaching, in reference to those different descriptions of society,

is laid down before him. He finds here the doctrine which he is

to preach to them, the duties which he is required to inculcate,

the motives by which his exhortations are to be strengthened, and

the end which both he and his people should have invariably in

view.

2. The Godhead of Jesus Christ is here laid down in a most

solemn and explicit manner: He is the great God our Saviour,

ομεγαςθεοςκαισωτηρ. human language can go no higher, and the

expressions are such, and are so placed, that it is impossible

either to misunderstand or to misapply them. HE who is the great

God, higher than the highest, is our Saviour; he who is our

Saviour is the great God; but Jesus Christ is our Saviour, and

Jesus Christ is here stated to be the great God.

3. The extent of human redemption is here also pointed out. The

saving grace of this great God hath shone out upon every man; none

has been passed by, none left uninfluenced, none without the first

offer of life eternal, and a sufficiency of grace to qualify him

for the state.

4. The operation of Divine grace in preparing the soul for

glory is next referred to. It cleanses us from all

unrighteousness, it purifies us unto God, and makes us fervent and

abundant in good works. This system is worthy of God, and is

properly suited to the state and necessities of man. These are

truths which must be preached, which are not preached enough, and

which cannot be preached too often. Awake, pastors! and do not

the work of the Lord carelessly. Awake, people! and believe to

the saving of your souls. How shall he who is styled a minister

of the Gospel, and who neither knows, feels, nor heartily

inculcates these things, give an account in the great day, of

himself, his calling, and his flock, to God? And when this Gospel

is preached faithfully and zealously, how shall the people escape

who neglect so great a salvation? Neglect, in such a case, is the

highest contempt which man can offer to his Maker. Surely such

conduct must expect judgment without mixture of mercy. Reader,

lay this to heart.

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