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“ lant, sober, of good behaviour, given to
hospitality, apt to teach; not given to “ wine, no'striker, not greedy of filthy “ lucre, but patieut, not a brawler, not co
vetous; one that ruleth well his own 66 house."
“ No striker:" That is the article which I single out from the collection as evincing the antiquity at least, if not the genuineness, of the epistle, because it is an article which no man would have made the subject of caution who lived in an advanced æra of the church. It agreed with the infancy of the society, and with no other state of it. After the government of the church had acquired the dignified form which it foon and naturally assumed, this injunction could have no place. Would a person who lived under a hierarchy, such as the Christian
" they work, and eat their own bread.” Could a designing or diffolute poor take advantage of bounty regulated with so much caution; or could the mind which dictated those sober and prudent directions be influenced in his recommendations of public charity by any other than the properest motives of beneficence?
hierarchy became when it had settled into a regular establishment, have thought it necessary to prescribe concerning the qualification of a bishop, “ that he should be no ftriker?” And this injunction would be equally aliene from the imagination of the writer, whether he wrote in his own character, or personated that of an apostle.
Chap. v. ver. 23.
66 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy sto“ mach's sake, and thine often infirmities."
Imagine an impostor sitting down to forge an epistle in the name of St. Paul. Is it credible that it should come into his head to give such a direction 'as this ; fo remote from every thing of doctrine or discipline, every thing of public concern to the religion or the church, or to any sect, order, or party in it, and from every purpofe with 'which such an epistle could be written ? It seems to me that nothing but reality, that is, the real valetudinary situation of a real
person, could have fuggested a thought of so domestic a nature.
But if the peculiarity of the advice be observable, the place in which it stands is more so. The context is this: “ Lay hands “ suddenly on no man, neither be partaker s of other men's sins; keep thyself pure; “ drink no longer water, but use a little “ wine for thy stomach's fake, and thine 66 often infirmities : fome men's fins are
open beforehand, going before to judg“ ment; and some men they follow after." The direction to Timothy about his diet stands between two sentences, as wide from the subject as possible. The train of thought feems to be broken to let it in. Now when does this happen? It happens when a man writes as he remembers'; when he puts down an article that occurs the moment it occurs, left he should afterwards forget it. Of this the passage before us bears strongly the appearance. In actual letters, in the negligence of a real correspondence, examples of this kind frequently take place; seldom I believe in production. For the moment a man re
gards what he writes as a composition, which
Chap. i. ver. 15, 16. “ This is a faithful
saying, and worthy of all acceptation, " that Christ Jesus came into the world to “ fave finners, of whom I am chief. How“ beit, for this cause I obtained mercy,
that “ in me first Jesus Christ might sew forth “ all long-suffering, for a pattern to them 66 which should hereafter believe in him to “ life everlasting.”
What was the mercy which St. Paul here commemorates, and what was the crime of which he accuses himself, is
apparent from the verses immediately preceda ing: “ I thank Christ Jesus, our Lord, who " hath enabled me, for that he counted me
faithful, putting me into the ministry, “ who was before a blasphemer, and a perse
“ cutor and injurious; but I obtained mercy, “ because I did it ignorantly in unbelief” (ch. 1. ver. 12, 13). The whole quotation plainly refers to St. Paul's original enmity to the Christian name, the interposition of providence in his conversion, and his subsequent designation to the ministry of the gospel; and by this reference affirms indeed the substance of the apostle's history delivered in the Acts. But what in the passage strikes my mind most powerfully, is the obfervation that is raised out of the fact: "For this cause I obtained mercy, " that in me first Jesus Christ might shew “ forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to “ them which should hereafter believe on “him to life everlasting.” It is a just and solemn reflection, springing from the circumstances of the author's conversion, or rather from the impression which that great event had left upon his memory. It will be said, perhaps, that an impostor, acquainted with St. Paul's history, may have put such a fenciment into his mouth; or, what is the same ching, into a letter drawn up in his name. But where, we may ask, is such an impof