2 Timothy 1** The first design of this epistle seems to have been, toapprize Timothy of what had occurred during the imprisonment ofthe apostle, and to request him to come to Rome. But beinguncertain whether he should be suffered to live to see him, Paulgives a variety of advices and encouragements, for the faithfuldischarge of his ministerial duties. As this was a privateepistle written to St. Paul's most intimate friend, under themiseries of imprisonment, and in the near prospect of death, itshows the temper and character of the apostle, and containsconvincing proofs that he sincerely believed the doctrines hepreached. * Paul expresses great affection for Timothy. (1-5) Exhorts himto improve his spiritual gifts. (6-14) Tells of many who baselydeserted him; but speaks with affection of Onesiphorus. (15-18)1-5 The promise of eternal life to believers in Christ Jesus,is the leading subject of ministers who are employed accordingto the will of God. The blessings here named, are the best wecan ask for our beloved friends, that they may have peace withGod the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. Whatever good we do,God must have the glory. True believers have in every age thesame religion as to substance. Their faith is unfeigned; it willstand the trial, and it dwells in them as a living principle.Thus pious women may take encouragement from the success of Loisand Eunice with Timothy, who proved so excellent and useful aminister. Some of the most worthy and valuable ministers thechurch of Christ has been favoured with, have had to bless Godfor early religious impressions made upon their minds by theteaching of their mothers or other female relatives. 6-14 God has not given us the spirit of fear, but the spirit ofpower, of courage and resolution, to meet difficulties anddangers; the spirit of love to him, which will carry us throughopposition. And the spirit of a sound mind, quietness of mind.The Holy Spirit is not the author of a timid or cowardlydisposition, or of slavish fears. We are likely to bearafflictions well, when we have strength and power from God toenable us to bear them. As is usual with Paul, when he mentionsChrist and his redemption, he enlarges upon them; so full was heof that which is all our salvation, and ought to be all ourdesire. The call of the gospel is a holy call, making holy.Salvation is of free grace. This is said to be given us beforethe world began, that is, in the purpose of God from alleternity; in Christ Jesus, for all the gifts that come from Godto sinful man, come in and through Christ Jesus alone. And asthere is so clear a prospect of eternal happiness by faith inHim, who is the Resurrection and the Life, let us give morediligence in making his salvation sure to our souls. Those whocleave to the gospel, need not be ashamed, the cause will bearthem out; but those who oppose it, shall be ashamed. The apostlehad trusted his life, his soul, and eternal interests, to theLord Jesus. No one else could deliver and secure his soulthrough the trials of life and death. There is a day coming,when our souls will be inquired after. Thou hadst a soulcommitted to thee; how was it employed? in the service of sin,or in the service of Christ? The hope of the lowest realChristian rests on the same foundation as that of the greatapostle. He also has learned the value and the danger of hissoul; he also has believed in Christ; and the change wrought inhis soul, convinces the believer that the Lord Jesus will keephim to his heavenly kingdom. Paul exhorts Timothy to hold fastthe Holy Scriptures, the substance of solid gospel truth inthem. It is not enough to assent to the sound words, but we mustlove them. The Christian doctrine is a trust committed to us; itis of unspeakable value in itself, and will be of unspeakableadvantage to us. It is committed to us, to be preserved pure andentire, yet we must not think to keep it by our own strength,but by the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in us; and it willnot be gained by those who trust in their own hearts, and leanto their own understandings. 15-18 The apostle mentions the constancy of Onesiphorus; he oftrefreshed him with his letters, and counsels, and comforts, andwas not ashamed of him. A good man will seek to do good. The dayof death and judgment is an awful day. And if we would havemercy then, we must seek for it now of the Lord. The best we canask, for ourselves or our friends, is, that the Lord will grantthat we and they may find mercy of the Lord, when called to passout of time into eternity, and to appear before the judgmentseat of Christ.
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