Nil aetum reputans, dum quid superesset agendum.” — Ed.
fta124 ”By his silence he confirmed the truth of God his Father, and the death which he underwent was intended to give authority to the gospel; so that, when the doctrine of salvation is preached at the present day, in order that we may be confirmed in the faith of it, we must direct our view to the blood of the Lamb without spot, which was shed. As anciently, under the Law, the book was sprinkled with the blood of the sacrifice, so now, whenever we are spoken to in the name of God, the blood of Christ must be brought to our remembrance, and we must know that the gospel is sprinkled with it, and that our faith rests upon it in such a manner, that the utmost efforts of Satan cannot shake it.” — Fr. Ser.
fta125 “Sans macule et sans reprehension:” “Without spot and without censure.”
fta126 That is, they may be either in the accusative case masculine, agreeing with Timo>qeon, or in the accusative case feminine, agreeing with ejntolh>n. — Ed.
fta127 “Nonobstant il est beaucoup plus propre de les rapporter a sa personne.” “Nevertheless it is much more suitable to view them. as relating to his person.”
fta128 “Believers might, indeed, be weakened in their faith, when they looked at present things. For, as to the great people in this world, what would they wish but to rise above the Church, and trample God under their feet? We see that they sport with religion as with a ball. We even see that they are deadly enemies of it, and that they persecute it with such rage that everybody is terrified at them. We see these things. Yet what shall be said of the children of God? They are pointed at with the finger, they are thought to be fools, so that what is said by the Prophet Isaiah is today fulfilled in us, that unbelievers reckon us to be monsters. (<230818>Isaiah 8:18.) “What? These poor fools? What are they thinking about? What do they mean? We must live with the living, and howl with the wolves. They wish to be always in a state of perplexity. They speak of nothing but eternal life, and have no leisure for enjoyment.’ Thus it is that we are accounted fools and madmen by unbelievers. And Peter says, (<610302>2 Peter 3:2-4,) that this must be fulfilled in us, as the prophet Isaiah had made the complaint in his time; Christians must experience the like in the presentday.” — Fr. Ser.
fta129 “It will be useless to say to us, What are the riches of this world? We see that there is no certainty of them. What are honors? They are but smoke. What is even this life? It is but a dream. There is but a turn of the hand, and we become dust and ashes. It will be useless to argue with us on these grounds. All this will serve no purpose, till God has been presented to our minds, till it has been demonstrated to us that we must direct all our affections and confidence to him alone. And that is the reason why all the fine remonstrances urged by the philosophers had no effect. For they spoke of the frailty of this earthly life and the uncertain condition of men. They showed that it was vain to think of finding happiness in our possessions, in our lordships, or in anything else. They showed that it is delusive to think of having anything here below on which we might vaunt ourselves. Those great philosophers knew nothing about God, yet being convinced by experience, discussed and argued ably on these subjects. But still they did no good, because they did not seek the true remedy, to fix the hearts of men on God, and to inform them, that it is He alone in whom they can find contentment, and till we have come to this, we shall always be involved in many perplexities.”
fta130 Kenofwni>ai, derived from ceno>v, “empty,” and fwnh<, “a voice,” literally signifies “empty voices” or “words.” — Ed.
fta131 “Autrement, ou, diverse doctrine.” “Differently, or, different doctrine.”
fta132 “Que tu as soigneusement suivie.” “Which thou hast carefully followed.”
fta133 “Les prestres on aneiens.” “The presbyters or elders.”
fta134 “Repren publiquement.” “Rebuke publicly.”
fta135 “Avec suffisance, ou, contentement.” “With sufficiency, or, with contentment.”
ftb1 “Although, in all that Paul has left us in writing, we must consider that it is God who speaks to us by the mouth of a mortal man, and that all his doctrine ought to be received with such authority and reverence as if God visibly appeared from heaven, yet still there is in this epistle a special object to be kept in view, that Paul, being in prison and perceiving his death to be at hand, wished to ratify his faith, as if he had sealed it with his blood. So then, as often as we read this epistle, let the condition in which Paul was at that time come before our eyes, namely, that he was looking for nothing but to die for the testimony of the gospel (which he actually did) as its standard-bearer, in order to give us stronger assurance of his doctrine, and that will affect us in a more lively manner. Indeed, if we read this epistle carefully, we shall find that the Spirit of God has expressed himself in it in such a manner, with such majesty and power, that we are constrained to be captivated and overwhelmed. For my own part, I know that this epistle has been more profitable to me than any other book of Scripture, and still is profitable to me every day; and if any person shall examine it carefully, there can be no doubt that he will experience the same effect. And if we desire to have a testimony of the truth of God, which pierces our heart, we may well fix on this epistle; for a man must be in a profound sleep, and remarkably stupid, if God do not work in his soul, when he hears the doctrine that shall be drawn from it.”-Fr. Ser.
ftb2 “Oui par acquit.”
ftb3 “Comme en celuy qui pent a bon droict estre nomme son fils.”
ftb4 “Car le mot Grec se prend plus souvent pour Comme.” “For the Greek word generally signifies as.”
ftb5 “Quand il se laschoit la bride a convoiter, comme si la chose n’eust point illicite.” “ When he gave loose reins to lust, as if it had not been an unlawful thing.”
ftb6 “Le mot d’Esprit est yci pries pout les dons qui en procedent, suy. vent la figure nommee Metonymie.” “The word Spirit is here taken for the gifts which proceed from him, agreeably to the figure called Metonymy.”
ftb7 “He shews, in the first place, that the gospel cannot be without afflictions. Not that God does not call all men to unity in the faith, and the doctrine of the gospel is the message of reconciliation; but yet, on the one hand, there are those who are drawn by the power of his Holy Spirit, while unbelievers remain in their hardness; and, on the other hand, there is the fire that is kindled, as, when thunders are generated in the air, there must be great troubles, so is it when the gospel is preached. And now, if the gospel brings afflictions, and if our Lord Jesus Christ wishes that what he endured in his person shall be fulfilled in his members, and that every day he shall be, as it were, crucified, is it lawful for us to withdraw from that condition? since, therefore, all our hope lies in the gospel, and since we ought to lean upon it, let us ponder what Paul says, that we must lend support to our brethren, when we see that they are assailed, that men trample them under their feet, spit in their face, and insult them, let us choose to be their companions for enduring the reproaches and base conduct of the world, rather than to be honored, to be in good reputation and credit, and yet to be estranged from those who suffer for the cause which we have in common with them.”-Fr. Ser.
ftb8 “La certitude de salut.” The certainty of salvation.”
ftb9 A figure of speech, by which the parts of a proposition seem to be interchanged, uJpallagh> compounded of nJpo> and ajlla>ssw `I change.’-Ed.
ftb10 See Calvin’s Commentaries on Galatians and Ephesians, pp. 197-201. --Ed.
ftb11 th~v ejpifanei>av. “This Theodoret well explains by ejnanqrwph>sewv, the expression being one especially used by the ancient writers, of the appearance of the gods on earth. So Joseph. Ant. 18. 3. 4, we have thneian ejcdihgei~tai tou~ Anou>bidov [she relates the appearing of (the god) Anubis.] jEpifa>neia here denotes Christ’s first appearance in the flesh though elsewhere the term always means his second appearance to judge the world.” --Bloomfield.
ftb12 “Des Docteurs ou Pasteurs fideles.” “Of faithful Teachers or Pastors.”
ftb13 “Si nostre salut dependoit de nous, et qu’il fust en nostre garde” “If our salvation depended on us, and were under our protection.”
ftb14 “He was not barely to assert the words of Scripture, but he was to hold fast the summary, or system of the truths he had heard from his spiritual father, and, in a way of dependence on Christ, to show his fidelity and love to his Redeemer. This system of doctrine he was to keep, as a pledge committed to his trust, by the help of the Holy Spirit. Ministers are to hold fast every truth, but, above all, those particular truths which are the peculiar butt of the devil’s opposition, and meet with rough treatment in the times in which they live; so doing, they comply with the command which their exalted Master laid upon the pastor of the Church at Philadelphia, and then they may hope for the blessing he promised. (<660308>Revelation 3:8,10,11.)’-Abraham Taylor.
ftb15 “Le mot Grec duquel il use, que nous traduisons bon.” “The Greek word, which he employs, which we translate good.”
ftb16 “Seeing that God hath taken up his abode in us, and wishes that we may be his temples, and dwells in those temples by his Holy Spirit, are we afraid that he will not give us power to persevere till the end, that he will not keep us in certain possession of the benefits which we have received from his hand? True, the devil will labor to deprive us of it, but, as our souls will not be a prey to him, because our Lord Jesus Christ has taken them under his protection, having been committed to him by God the Father; so nothing that God has appointed for our salvation will be a prey to Satan. And why? Because we have the Spirit to defend us against all his efforts. And where is that Spirit? We must not go to seek him above the clouds. It is true that he fills the whole earth, and that his majesty dwells above the heavens; but if we feel that he dwells in us, since he has been pleased to exercise his power on such poor creatures as we are, let us know that that power will be sufficient for defending us against the assaults of Satan; that is, provided that we, on our part, are not negligent. For we must not flatter ourselves in our sins, so as to be careless, but must pray to God, committing everything to him, and hoping that he will always strengthen us more and more. And because he has begun to make us ministers of his grace, let us know that he will continue, and in such a way that our salvation and that of our neighbor’s shall always be carried forward more and more to his glory.”-Fr. Ser.
ftb17 “Car c’est la coustume des apostats, et de ceux qui Laissent la vocation de Christ.” “For it is customary with apostates, and with those who forsake the calling of Christ.”
ftb18 “Pource qu’on les en depose a cause de leur mesehancete et vie scandaleuse.” “Because they are deposed on account of their wickedness and scandalous life.”
ftb19 “Tous les blasphemes et accusations qu’ils peuvent.” “All the blasphemies and accusations that they can.”
ftb20 See Calvin on Genesis, vol. 1. p. 512, where that remarkable expression is copiously explained. — Ed.
ftb21 “No Christian can read this passage without being powerfully affected by it; for we see that Paul was, as it were, transported, when be spoke of that coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the final resurrection. He does not say, “May the Lord grant that he may find favor at his coming, on the day of our redemption, when he shall appear again to judge the world!” But he says, “On that day;” as if he presented the Lord Jesus visibly, with his angels. Paul did not speak those things coldly, or like a man, but he rose above all men, that he might be able to exclaim, “That day, that day!” And where is it? True, none of those who wish to be wise in themselves will take any pains to find it; for that saying must be fulfilled,-” Eye hath not seen, ears have not heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, what God hath prepared for them that love him.” (<236404>Isaiah 64:4.) Let men task their powers to the utmost to know it, it will be to them a dark and mysterious thing, and they will not be able to approach to it. But when we shall embrace the promise which he hath given to us, and after having known that Christ, being risen from the dead, displayed his power, not for his own sake, but to gather together all his members, and to unite them to himself, then shall we be able truly to say, That day.”-Fr. Ser.
ftb22 “Loyaux et digne auxquels on se fie.” “Faithful and trustworthy.”
ftb23 “Entre plusieurs tenmoins, ou, en presence de plusieurs temoins.” “Among many witnesses, or, in presence of many witnesses.”
ftb24 “Il ne vent pas dire qu’il ait appele des tesmoins, comme c’est la coustume es contrats et autres actes solennels.” “He does not mean that he called witnesses, as is customary in contracts and other solemn acts.”
ftb25 “By tou~ bi>ou pragmatei>aiv is meant the business of life in general, the plural being used with allusion to the various kinds thereof, as agriculture, trade, manufactures, etc. Now, by the Roman law, soldiers were excluded from all such. See Grotius.” — Bloomfield.
ftb26 “Brief, qu’il nous souvienne du proverbe ancien duquel les Latins ont use en faisant leurs sacrifices, Hoc age, c’est a dire, Fay ceci, ou, Pense a ceci, ascavoir que tu as entre mains, lequel signifie, que quand il est question du service de Dieu, il s’y faut tellement employer, que nous ne soyons ententifs ni affectionnez ailleurs.” “In short, let us remember the old proverb which the Latins used in offering their sacrifices, Hoc age, that is to say, ‘Do this,’ or, ‘Think of this,’ ‘Do (or think of) what thou hast in hand,’ which means, that when the worship of God is the matter in question, we must be employed in it in such a manner that we shall not give our attention or our heart to anything else.”
ftb27 “Je scay bien que les autres ont tradoit ce passage autrement: Il faut que le laboureur travaillaut (ou, qui travaille) prene premier des fruits.” “I am well aware that others translate this passage differently: The husbandman laboring (or, who laboreth) must first partake of the fruits.”
ftb28 “The agonistic metaphor now passes into an agricultural one, (such as we find at <460910>1 Corinthians 9:10; <590507>James 5:7.) The sense, however, will depend upon what prw~ton is to be referred to. It is most naturally connected with metalamba>nein, and such is the construction adopted by the generality of Expositors, ancient and modern. The sense, however, thus arising, either involves what is inconsistent with facts, or (even when helped out by the harsh ellipsis of i[na kopia~|, ‘in order that he may be enabled to labor,’) contains a truth here inapposite; and the spiritual application thence deduced is forced and frigid. It is not, however, necessary, with some, to resort to conjecture. We have only to suppose, what is common in his writings, a somewhat harsh transposition, and (with many of the best Expositors) to join prw~ton with kopiw~nta, as is required by the course of the argument; the true construction being this: — dei~ tonein, where kopiw+nta is the participle imperfect, and the literal sense is, — — It is necessary that the husbandmen should first labor, and then enjoy the fruits (of his labor.)” — Bloomfield.
ftb29“Enten ce que je di, of, Considere.” “Understand what I say, or, Consider what I say.
ftb30 “De la vie eternelle.” “Of eternal life.”
ftb31 “Que seulement il y avoit en luy une apparence d’homme, et non pas une vraye nature humaine.” “That there was in him only an appearance of man, and not a real human nature.”
ftb32 “If we wish to be victorious over all the temptations of Satan, we must have great steadfastness, and must know that it is not at random that we believe in Jesus Christ, that this is not a doubtful matter, but that he came to us from God to be our Redeemer. And for this reason Paul here points out that he is of the lineage of David, and of his seed, for we know the promises that are contained in the Holy Scriptures, namely, that the whole world should be blessed in the seed of Abraham. Now, God confirmed this to David, by shewing that from him the Redeemer should proceed, that is, from the tribe of Judah, and from the house of David. Thus, the reason why Paul claims for him this title is, that, having the promises which God had formerly made to the fathers, concerning that Redeemer who hath been given to us, we may not doubt that we ought to receive him with full conviction, and have no reason to doubt whether he is, or is not, the Messiah. Why? He is descended from the house of David; and, although at that time, it had no royal dignity, yet that defect could not lessen the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, but, on the contrary, was fitted to confirm more fully our belief that it was he who should be sent. And why? The Prophet Isaiah did not say that he would be born in a palace, or that he would be brought up in great splendor; but he said, that he would grow as a small twig (<231101>Isaiah 11:1) from the root of Jesse; as if he had said, that, although Jesus Christ was of royal lineage, nevertheless his parents were poor, and were held of no account in worldly matters, having no rank or grandeur.” — Fr. Ser.
ftb33 “It might be replied, that it is superfluous that Paul should ‘endure for the elect.’ ‘Cannot God save those whom he elected and adopted before the creation of the world, without the assistance of men? Has the immutable decree of God any need of human help, or of creatures? Why then does Paul say that he endures on account of the elect?’ Now, it us true that God will conduct his people to the inheritance which is prepared for them but yet he is pleased to make use of the labor of men. Not that he is under a necessity of borrowing anything from us, but he confers on us this honor by his undeserved goodness, and wishes that we should be instruments of his power. Thus Paul does not boast that the salvation of the children of God depends on his steadfastness or on the afflictions which he had to endure; but he only means that God wishes to conduct his people by means of the word, and that he employs men whom he has chosen for that purpose, as for his own work, and makes them instruments of the power of his Holy Spirit.” — Fr. Ser.
ftb34 The reader will do well to consider the author’s Commentary on that remarkable passage. — Ed.
ftb35 “On ne gaigne rien yci de se defendre et excuser, en alleguant son infirmite.” “Here nothing is gained by defending and excusing ourselves on the ground of our weakness.”
ftb36 “When any person comes to the sermon, let it not be to hear something that tickles the ears, or that gives pleasure; but let it be to make progress in the fear of God, and in humility, and to excite to prayer, and to confirm him in patience. If we have heard an exhortation to — day, and if to — morrow it is repeated to us, let us not think that this is superfluous, let us not be annoyed at it; for every person who carefully examines this subject will find it to be highly necessary for him to be reminded of the lesson which he had learned, that he may practice it well. If, therefore, God refreshes our memory with it, he has conferred on us a great favor. That is what we have to remark on this passage, when Paul says, ‘Remind them of these things.’ For undoubtedly he intended to prevent what we frequently meet with, when it is said, ‘We have heard this before. Is not that a very common remark? Where is the little child that does not know it?” Such things are said by those who would wish to be fed with useless questions. But here the Holy Spirit desires that what is useful should be brought forward every day, because we have not sufficiently understood it, and because it must be put in practice.” — Fr. Ser.
ftb37“Mais de defendre aussi aux autres qu’ils ne s’y amusent point.” “But likewise to forbid others to entertain themselves with them.”
ftb38 “Est pour donner crainte a ceux qui voudroyent faire autrement.” “Is intended to strike terror into those who would wish to act differently.”
ftb39 “We shall find fanatics who think that it is a loss of time to come to the church to be taught. ‘What? Is not all the doctrine of God contained in the Bible? What more can be said on the subject?’ It is making them little children (they will say) to come here to be taught; but grown people may dispense with it. What? Must there be all this preaching? There are but two points in Scripture, that we ought to love God and to love our neighbor. We have not heard these things merely from those who come to relate them; but the most distinguished scholars of those who vomited out these blasphemies have themselves declared them to us. I could name the day when it was said, and the houses, and the hour, and the people who were present, and how wicked men poured out their venom and their passion against God, to overthrow and destroy all religion, if it were possible; that is but too well known. On the contrary, Paul shews us here, that if we have only the Holy Scripture, it is not enough that each of us read it in private, but the doctrine drawn from it must be preached to us in order that we may be well informed “ — Fr. Ser.
ftb40 “De couper et tailler.” “Of cutting and carving.”
ftb41 “A l’ame de la doctrine.”
ftb42 See p. 173.
ftb43 “Let us not therefore be distressed by all the scandals that may arise. And yet let us study to walk in fear, not abusing the goodness of our God but knowing that, since he hath separated us from the rest of the world we must live as being in his house and as being his, in the same manner as he hath given to us the onward mark of baptism, that we may also have the signature of his holy Spirit, for he is “the earnest,” as Paul calls him, of our election, he is the pledge which we possess that we are called to the heavenly inheritance. Let us therefore pray to God that he may sign and seal in our hearts his gracious election, by his holy Spirit, and, at the same time, that he may keep us sealed and as shut up under the shadow of his wings; and if poor reprobates go astray and are lost, and if the devil drives them along, and if they do not rise again when they fall, but are cast down and ruined, let us, on our part, pray to God to keep us under his protection, that we may know what it is to obey his will, and to be supported by him. Though the world strive to shake us, let us lean on this foundation, that the Lord knoweth who are his; and let us never be drawn aside from this, but let us persevere and profit more and more, till God withdraw us from the present state into his kingdom, which is not liable to change.” — Fr. Ser.
ftb44 This quotation is taken from <235211>Isaiah 52:11, but the passage to which our author, quoting from memory, makes reference, is <470617>2 Corinthians 6:17, where the words of Isaiah have undergone considerable variation See Calvin's Com. On Corinthians, vol. 2. p. 261Calvin on 2 Corinthians 6:17. — Ed.
ftb45 “When he says, that we must be “gentle towards all, “he means that we ought to be easy and affable in receiving all who come to be taught in the gospel, for if we do not give them access it is like shutting the door against them, so that they shall never have it in their power to approach to God. We must, therefore, have that mildness and humanity dwelling in us, so as to be ready to receive all who wish to be instructed. And therefore, he adds, that we must be `qualified for teaching,’ as if he had said, that those things are connected with each other, gentleness and skill in teaching. The reason is, if a man be fierce and inaccessible, it will never be possible for us to receive instruction from him. He who wishes to be a good teacher must conduct himself with civility, and must have some way of drawing those who come to him, so as to gain their affections; and that cannot be, unless he have that ‘gentleness’ of which Paul speaks. Thus we see how he intended to confirm what he had briefly stated, that a man who is quarrelsome, and addicted to disputes and contentions, is in no degree a servant of God. And why? As servants of God, must we not labor to gain poor ignorant persons? And that cannot be, unless we are mild, unless we hear patiently what they say, unless we bear with their weakness, until by little and little they are edified. If we have not that, it is like casting them off.” — Fr. Ser.
ftb46 “Portant patiemment les mauvais.” “Patiently bearing with the bad”
ftb47 See Calvin's Com. On Galatians and Ephesians, p. 220. Calvin on Ephesians 2:2 — Ed.
ftb48 “Why does the holy Apostle, both here and elsewhere, speak of the ‘last days,’ when he forewarns believers that they most prepare themselves, and make provision for many troubles and annoyances? It is because this fancy was so common, that matters would go much better than before; because, formerly, the prophets, when speaking of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, said that everything would be astonishingly reformed, that the world would obey God, that his majesty would be adored by the high and the low, that every mouth would sing his praise, and every knee would bow before him. In short, when we hear such promises, we think that we must be in a state of angelical holiness, now that Christ has appeared. Many concluded, in their mistaken fancy, that, since the coming of the Redeemer, nothing but the most correct virtue and modesty would ever be seen, and that everything would be so thoroughly regulated, that there would be no more vices in the world.” — — Fr. Ser.
ftb49 “Mais ce sont tous vices cachez, et qui n’apparoissent pas devant les yeux des hommes.” “But all these are concealed vices, and do not show themselves before the eyes of men.”
ftb50 Thus we see, that the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of Paul, holds out two reasons to fortify us. When we see that Satan opposes, and that the truth of God is not received by all, but that there are bad men who labor to pervert everything, and who slander and falsify the truth, here are consolations provided for us. In the first place, that our Lord treats us in the same manner as he has treated the Church in all ages, that those who lived before us were not better situated in this respect; for God tried them by sending false pastors, or rather by giving free scope to Satan for sending them. Let us know what has happened since the law was published. Here is Moses, who was before the other prophets. Yet already the war was begun, and that evil has never ceased. If we must now endure the like, let us bear it with patience; for it is not reasonable to expect that our condition shall be better or easier than that of Moses, and of others who followed him. That is one argument. The second is that the result shall be prosperous and successful. Although we dislike fighting, and though it appears as if the truth of God were about to perish utterly, let us wait till God come forth in defense of it, for he will cause wicked men to be completely disgraced. After they have triumphed, God will, undoubtedly, discover their baseness, and we shall see how God takes care to support his cause, though that may not be evident for a time.” — Fr. Ser.
ftb51 “Having spoken of time troubles which were to befall the Church, and having exhorted Timothy to be firm, so as not to shrink from them, the Apostle adds, that now, for a long time, he must have been prepared for all this, because he had been taught in a good school. ‘Thou hast known intimately,’ like one who had followed him step by step; for such is the import of the word which Paul uses: “Thou hast known well the course which I have pursued.’” — — Fr. Ser.
ftb52 “Et tous ceux aussi qui veulent vivre en la crainte de Dieu.” “And all those also who wish to live in the fear of God.”
ftb53 “Que rien ne luy est advenu que tous fideles ne doyvent aussi attendre.” “That nothing has happened to him which all believers must not also look for.”
ftb54 “Si on demande d’ou vient ceste puissance et facilite de nuire?” “If it be asked, Whence comes this power and facility of doing injury?”
ftb55 “Satan les tire, d’un coste et d’autre, a son plaisir.” “Satan leads them, on one side or another, at his pleasure.”
ftb56 “Par lequel mot il signifie qu’il est requis d’user de jugement et discretion en cest endroit.” “By this word, he means that it is necessary to use judgment and discretion in that matter.”
ftb57 “Et qui to vent commises ou desquelles plene assurance t’a este donnee.” “And which have been intrusted to thee, or of which full assurance hath been given to thee.”
ftb58 “Who is it that by nature will not desire his happiness and his salvation? And where could we find it but in the Holy Scripture, by which it is communicated to us? Woe to us if we will not listen to God when he speaks to us, seeing that he asks nothing but our advantage. He does not seek his own profit, for what need has he of it? We are likewise reminded not to read the Holy Scripture so as to gratify our fancies, or to draw from it useless questions. Why? Because it is profitable for salvation, says Paul. Thus, when I expound the Holy Scripture, I must be guided by this consideration, that those who hear me may receive profit from the doctrine which I teach, that they may be edified for salvation. If I have not that desire, and do not aim at the edification of those who hear me, I am a sacrilegious person, profaning the word of God. On the other hand, they who read the Scripture, or who come to the sermon to listen, if they are in search of some foolish speculation, if they come here to take their amusement, are guilty of having profaned a thing so holy.” — Fr. Ser.
ftb59 “Car un temps viendra.” “For a time will come.”
ftb60 “Incontinent on n’orroit autre chose que plaintes de la trop grande despense.”
ftb61 “The greater part cannot endure corrections, or threatenings, or even simple doctrine. When we denounce vices, though we do not employ violent language, they think that all is lost. Never was the world so obstinately wicked as it now is, and those who have made a profession of the gospel appear to endeavor, as far as they can, to destroy the grace of God. For we are not speaking about Papists only, who fight furiously against us, but of those who adhere to the Protestant Reformation of the Gospel. We see that they would wish to be like unbridled calves. (They care not about a yoke, or government, or anything of that sort.) Let them be allowed to do what they please, let blasphemies and all licentious conduct be permitted; it is all one, provided that they have no form of ceremony, and that they despise the Pope and idolaters. This is the way in which many who make a profession of the gospel would wish to be governed, but the reason is, that they have “itching ears.’” — Fr. Ser.
ftb62 “When the devil has raised his standard, and when scandals and disturbances abound everywhere, we cannot be sufficiently attentive to guard against them, unless we are fortified by patience, and are not discouraged by the adversity which we must endure. If this warning ever was advantageous, how exceedingly necessary is it at the present day! Has not the world arrived at the highest pitch of iniquity? We see that the majority furiously reject the gospel. As to others who pretend to welcome the gospel, what sort of obedience do they render to it? There is so much contempt and so much pride, that, as soon as vices are reproved, or more sharpness is used than suits the taste of those who would wish to have full permission to act wickedly, and whose sole aim is to destroy everything, they are filled with spite. Although Papists will permit their preaching Friars to cry out and storm against them, and at the same time do nothing but steep themselves in lies to their destruction, they who openly declare that they wish the reformation of the gospel cannot endure to be reproved when it is necessary, but gnash their teeth against God, and fulfill what Paul says to the Corinthians, that if deceivers came to impose upon them, they would bear with all tyranny, and would be quiet when they were buffeted; but if we teach them faithfully in the name of God and for their salvation, they are so fastidious that a single word will provoke them to rebellion; and if we persevere in doing our duty, war will be immediately declared. Would to God that these things were not so visible amongst us as they are!” — Fr. Ser.
ftb63 “Car de moy je m’en vay maintenant estre sacrifie.” “For, for my part, I am going to be now sacrificed.”
ftb64 “This word ‘Faith’ may indeed be taken for Fidelity; as if he had said that he was loyal to our Lord Jesus Christ, and that he never flinched, that he always performed what belonged to his office. But we may also take this word faith in its ordinary meaning, that Paul did not turn aside from the pure simplicity of the gospel, and even that he relied on the promises of salvation which had been given to him, and, having preached to others, shewed that he was in earnest in what he spoke. For, indeed, all the loyalty which God demands from us proceeds from our adhering firmly to his word, and being founded on it in such a manner that we shall not be moved by any storm or tempest that may arise.” — Fr. Ser.
ftb65 “The Papists themselves ought to observe carefully what was said by one of those whom they call their Doctors. ‘How would God render the crown as a righteous Judge, if he had not first given grace as a merciful Father? And how would there have been righteousness in us, had it not been preceded by the grace which justifies us? And how would that crown have been rendered as due, had not all that we have — been given when it was not due?’ These are the words of Augustin; and although the Papists do not choose to keep by the Holy Scripture, they ought at least not to be so base as to renounce that which they pretend to hold. But even this is not all. It is true that it is a doctrine which well deserves to be embraced, that God cannot be a righteous Judge to save us, unless he have been previously declared to be in the highest degree a merciful Father; that there will be no righteousness in us but that which he has placed there; and that he cannot reward us but by crowning his gifts. But it is also true, that, though God has given us grace to serve him, though we have laboriously done, according to our ability, all that was possible for us, though we have done so well that God accepts of it all; still there will be much to censure in all the best works that we have done, and the greatest virtue that can be perceived in us will be vicious.” — Fr. Ser.
ftb66 “Son apparition.” “His appearing.”
ftb67 “Quant au mot Grec, lequel on traduit manteline.” “As to the Greek word which is translated mantle or cloak.”
ftb68 “Et aussi qu’il vouloit eviter la despense d’en achever une autre.” “And also because he wished to avoid the expense of buying another.”
ftb69 “De leurs inspirations Divines.”
ftb70 “Above all, let those whose office it is to instruct others look well to themselves; for however able they may be, they are very far from approaching Paul. This being the case, let them resolve to commit themselves to God, that he may give them grace to have still more ample knowledge of his will, to communicate to others what they have received. And when they have faithfully taught during their whole life, and when they are at the point of death, let them still desire to profit, in order to impart to their neighbors what they know; and let great and small, doctors and the common people, philosophers and idiots, rich and poor, old and young, — let all be exhorted by what is here taught them, to profit during their whole life, in such a manner that they shall never slacken their exertions, till they no longer see in part or in a mirror, but behold the glory of God face to face. — Fr. Ser.
ftb71 “Comme un moyen ordonne de Dieu pour profiter.” “As a method appointed by God for profiting.”
ftb72 “De ce que plusieurs L’avoyent ainsi lachement abandonne en la defense de sa cause.” “From many having so basely deserted them in the defense of his cause.”
ftb73 “Le mot Grec signifie proprement une publication et proclamation qui se fait solennellement et comme a son de trompe.” “The Greek word properly denotes a publication or proclamation which is made solemnly, and, as it were, with the sound of a trumpet.”
ftb74 “Mon tres — cher fils.” “My dearly — beloved son.”
ftb75 “Et suis certain qu’en toy aussi.” “And am certain that in thee also. “
ftb76 “Et tout ce en quoy il m’a servi en Ephese tu le cognois tres — bien.” “And all that in which he served me at Ephesus thou knowest very well.”
ftb77 “Avec luy.”
ftb78 “Si nous le renions.”
ftb79 “Sans affection naturelle.”
ftb80 “Mon institution, ou, ma conduite, ou, ma maniere de faire.” “My instruction, or, my conduct, or, my manner of acting.”
ftc1 “Pour estre ministres et pasteurs de l’Eglise.” “To be ministers and pastors of the Church.”
ftc2 “If faith be the fruit of election, the prescience of faith does not influence the electing act of God. It is called ‘the faith of God’s elect,’ Paul an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, (<560101>Titus 1:1,) that is, settled in this office to bring the elect of God to faith. If men be chosen by God upon the foresight of faith, or not chosen till they have faith, they are not so much God’s elect as God is their elect: they choose God by faith, before God chooseth them by love. It had not been the faith of God’s elect, that is, of those already chosen, but the faith of those that were to be chosen by God afterwards. Election is time cause of faith, and not faith the cause of election. Fire is the cause of heat, and not heat of fire; the sun is the cause of day, and not the day the cause of the rising of the sun. Men are not chosen because they believe, but they believe because they are chosen. The Apostle did ill else to appropriate that to the elect, which they had no more interest in by virtue of their election than the veriest reprobate in time world. If the foresight of what works might be done by his creatures was the motive of his choosing them why did he not choose the devils to redemption, who could have done him better service, by the strength of their nature, than the whole mass of Adam’s posterity? Well, then, there is no possible way to lay the original foundation of this act of election and preterition in anything but the absolute sovereignty of God.”–Charnock.
ftc3 “Thus he shews that it will never be possible for men to dedicate themselves entirely to the service of God, if they do not think more about God than about all things else. In short, there is no living root, no faith no religion, till we have been led to heaven, that is, till we know that God has not created us to keep us here in an earthly life with brute beasts, but that he has adopted us to be his heritage, and reckons us to be his children. If, therefore, we do not look up to heaven, it is impossible that we shall have true devotion to surrender ourselves to God, or that there shall be any faith or Christianity in us. And that is the reason why — among all who, in the present day, are accounted Christians, and give themselves out to be such–there are very few who have this true mark, which Paul has here given to all the children of God. It is because all are occupied with the present life, and are so firmly bound to it, that they cannot rise higher. Now perceiving this vice to be so common, so much the more ought we to guard against it, and break the force of that which we cannot altogether destroy, till we come into close fellowship with God, which will only be, when the hope of eternal life shall be actually and sincerely formed in our hearts.”—Fr. Ser.
ftc4 “Beaucoup de centeines d’ans.” “Many centuries of years.”
ftc5 “What a strange sort of men are these, that will endure to be so exposed, so scorned, so trampled upon, as they that bear the Christian name commonly are? What is the reason of it? What account will a reasonable man give, why he will so expose himself? I will tell you the reason. ‘Therefore we labor and suffer reproach, because we hope in God, in the living God, and we are pretty well persuaded we shall not finally be losers
We shall not have an ill bargain of it at last.’ As the same Apostle, when he writes himself ‘an Apostle and servant of Jesus Christ’ seems to allow that he was to doom himself to all the sufferings and calamities that the enemies of the Christian cause could load him with and lay upon him, for his assuming to himself such names of ‘an Apostle and servant of Jesus Christ.’ But why should Paul,–that wise and prudent man, that learned man, that man of so considerable reputation among his own countrymen– why should he come to be written among the Apostles and servants of Jesus Christ? Why, saith he, it is in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, hath promised. (<560101>Titus 1:1, 2.) I avow myself an Apostle and servant of Jesus Christ upon this inducement, and for this reason; and so I mean to continue unto time end. It is the hope of eternal life which God, that cannot lie, hath promised to me. He whose nature doth not allow him to deceive to whom it is impossible to lie, I firmly and securely hope in him; and, therefore, I will readily dispose myself to encounter all the difficulties and hardships which the service of Jesus Christ can lay me open to.”–Howe.
ftc5a See p. 21. commentary on I Timothy 1:2
ftc6 “Mais que les autres estoyent macons ou charpentiers.” “But that the others were masons and carpenters.”
ftc7 “Those who are guided by ambition would wish to be thought clever people on the first day; they would wish to enjoy such reputation as to have it thought that they discharged their duty so faithfully that nothing more could be desired. On the contrary, when we have labored during our whole life to edify the Church of God, still we shall not succeed to the full extent. Let us therefore know that we must not presume so far on our industry or our virtues, that he who is endued with more abundant graces call suddenly have edified the Church of God to perfection; but we must assist each other. He who is farthest advanced must know that he cannot do everything, and must bend his shoulders and ask assistance from those whom God has appointed, and must be well pleased that others make progress, provided that all aim at serving God and advancing the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we look well to ourselves, there will always be reason to grieve, because we are very far from having performed our duty. And those who make themselves believe this or that, and say, ‘Here is a church so well reformed that nothing more is needed’–are mistaken; for if they knew what reformation is, they would beware of thinking that there was no room for finding fault. Whatever pains we take in arranging matters, and bringing them into order, there are indeed many things which, when once begun, will follow in a regular train; but as to reaching perfection, we are very far from it.”—Fr. Ser.
ftc9 “Kata< po>lin, Not ‘in every city,’ but ‘in each city or town,’ (literally, ‘city by city,’) of all those which had Christian congregations. Of such there might be several in this ‘hundred-citied isle;’ though the name po>liv was often given to towns; and there is reason to think that not a few of the Cretan cities were no better.”–Bloomfield.
ftc10 “Prend sur soy toute l’envie, voulant qu’on luy impute tout ce que The fera en cest endroit.” “Takes all the blame on himself, wishing that to him may be imputed all that Titus shall do in this matter.”
ftc11 “It is true, that the servants of God will never be without blame; as he even says, that they cannot avoid walking amidst disgrace and reproach. It is true, that Paul lived so virtuously that no fault could be found with him, and that too, before he came to the faith of Jesus Christ; so that he lived without reproach, and was a mirror and a jewel of holiness. Indeed he know not what he did, for hitherto he had not been directed by the Spirit of God; but he led a life so good that it was not liable to any reproach. And yet he tells us that he was pointed at with the finger, was mocked at, was reproached, was even accursed among believers, whose ingratitude was such that in his absence he was reviled and loaded with many slanders. So it is with the servants of God. But when Paul demands that they shall be without crime, he means that we should inquire and ascertain if the life of a man be pure and without blame, and if he continues to conduct himself in that manner. Although we cannot shut the mouths of all slanderers, that they shall not revile us, yet we must be without crime; for it is said, that we shall be reviled as evil-doers, but we shall be pure and innocent. And in what way? Before God we shall have this testimony, that he approves of us, and that all the talk against us is a lie.”—Fr. Ser.
ftc12 “Un gouverneur ou superintendaet.” “A governor or superintendent.”
ftc13 “Those whom he formerly called presbyters he now calls bishops, (which means overseers or superintendents,) and he gives this name to all whose duty it is to preach the word of God. And so it was a corruption and abuse in Popery–that is, in the ancient Church–that one individual was called bishop; for that was to change the language of the Holy Spirit, and we ought to speak in accordance with the Scripture. Now we see that Satan labors incessantly to draw us aside from the simplicity of the word of God.”-Fr. Ser.
ftc14 “Selon instruction ou doctrine.”
ftc15 “Car il y en a plusieurs qui ne se peuvent ranger.” “For there are many of them who cannot submit.”
ftc16 “Parlans vanitez.” “Speaking vanities.”
ftc17 “Vanite de paroles.” “Vanity of words.”
ftc18 “If we mark such persons, and point them out with the finger, everybody will avoid them, and thus they will be prevented from doing harm This its what Paul had in his eye. Following his example, when we see people who can do nothing but contrive measures for disturbing and ruining the Church, and who are altogether addicted to evil, it is true that, if we can bring them back in a gentle manner to the right path, we should endeavor to do so. But if they persist, and if we perceive that they are obstinate in their malice, we must not be wiser than the Holy Spirit. They must be known, they must be exposed, and their baseness must be held up to public view, that they may be abhorred, and that others may withdraw from them, as we have formerly seen in other passages. As for those who murmur when we make use of such liberty, they shew plainly that they aim at nothing but confusion in the Church. They do indeed make a show of having some regard to humanity. ‘And must we degrade people, and hold them up to scorn, as if we wished to put them to shame?’ We answer, Must we leave the poor Church of God in the power of wolves and robbers? Must all the flock be scattered, the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ trampled under foot, and souls which he has redeemed at so costly a price go to perdition, and all order be set aside; and must we nevertheless be silent and shut our eyes?”—Fr. Ser.
ftc19 The Greek hexameter verse which Paul quotes has been rendered into Latin hexameter by Calvin himself, and into a French couplet by his translator; and it may be worth while to set down the quotation in the three languages:
ftc20 “Qu’il lise l’oraison que Basile en a faite, remonstrant aux jeunes gens comment ils se doyvent aider des livres des autheurs profanes.” “Let him read Basil’s discourse on this subject, instructing young persons how they ought to avail themselves of the assistance to be derived from heathen authors.”
ftc21 “The general character of the Cretans, noticed in Paul’s Epistle to Titus, is confirmed by the testimony of antiquity. The Apostle, writing to Titus, who had been left in Crete to regulate the affairs of the Christian Church in that island, complains of many disorderly men there, — ‘many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, who subvert whole houses, (or families,) teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake, (<560110>Titus 1:10, 11); and he quotes the following verse from ‘one of themselves, a prophet of their own,’ namely, Epimenides, who was a Cretan poet, and whose writings were by the ancients termed crhsmoi< or ‘oracles,’
The general import of which passage is, that ‘the Cretans were a false people, and united in their character the ferocity of the wild beast with the luxury of the domesticated one.’ The circumstance of Paul’s styling Epimenides ‘a prophet’ is sufficiently explained by the fact of the words Poet and Prophet being often used promiscuously by the Greeks and Romans,–probably because their poets pretended to be inspired, and were by some believed to be so. The Apostle adds, that the testimony of Epimenides is but too true, ‘this witness is true.’ How true the first part of it is, with respect to their deceit and lying, the following facts will attest. From the time of Homer, the island of Crete was regarded as the scene of fiction. Many authors affirm that, as a people, its inhabitants were infamous for their violation of truth; and at length their falsehood became so notorious, that Krhti>zein to Cretise, or imitate the Cretans, was a proverbial expression among the ancients for lying.”–Horne’s Introduction.
ftc22 “Combien que l’autheur soit profane et de nulle authorite.” “Although the author is a heathen and of no authority.”
ftc23 “De vivre en ce monde.”
ftc24 “A un mauvais noeud il faut un mauvais coin.”
ftc25 “We have to observe that here, in a single word, Paul declares to us by what means men may defend themselves. It is, by keeping the purity of faith. If, then, we do not turn aside from the simple doctrine of the gospel, but wish to be governed according to the will of God; if we are not carried away by our volatile passions, and do not walk according to our groveling appetites; in short, if we are good scholars of our God, and reckon it enough to have received the doctrine which he teaches us; if that be the case, we shall be fortified against all evil. It is true, the devil will seek to poison the whole world with his venom, and will spread his filth everywhere, so that the world will be full of so many corruptions that every place shall be infected by them. But however that may be, we must not turn aside from time simplicity of our faith, and must always seek to be instructed simply by our God. When we follow this course, though the devil may contrive all that he can, still we shall be fortified against all evil.”—Fr. Ser.
ftc26 “The Apostle joins “defiled” and “unbelieving,” to intimate that, without a true belief, nothing is clean. The understanding and the conscience are polluted. Both the man and his doings are impure.”– Hervey.
ftc27 “It is a dreadful condemnation pronounced on men, when it is said that nothing is clean to them–that all is polluted and defied, till God has renewed them. So far are we from being able to bring anything that is acceptable to him, that we can neither eat nor drink, nor put on our clothes, nor walk a single step, without corruption, and, what is more, by dwelling in the world we infect all the creatures. And this is the reason why they must call for vengeance at the last day against all unbelievers and reprobates. We have, therefore, good reason to be dissatisfied with ourselves and to be ashamed, when we see that they become hateful on our account and that we are so polluted as to have infected every thing that God had appropriated to our use, and even that there is nothing in us but all corruption — nothing but a God cursed and disowned. When we are thus humbled, let us know, on the other hand, the inestimable blessing which God bestows on us, when he brings us back to himself, and, after having cleansed us, causes us to use all his blessings and bounties: with purity of heart and when we are assured that it is lawful for us to eat and drink, provided that we do so with all sobriety, and in a reasonable manner.”– Fr. Ser.
ftc28 “1. They are said to be bdeluktoi>, abominable, or shamefully addicted to all manner of evil. The word in time original, denotes the heinousness of those practices in which they allow themselves; and is derived from a word that signifies to send forth an offensive smell. For all sentiments of right and good are not so totally lost and obliterated among mankind, but that there are some things which even pagans would detest. 2. They are said to be also ajpeiqei>v, disobedient, which expression imports perseverance and obstinacy in an evil course. They will by no means–by no importunity–by no arguments whatever, be dissuaded from practices so unjustifiable and detestable in their own nature. They are resolved to run on, whatever it costs them–to continue in sin, and in the profession of religion at the same time, which is the greatest absurdity imaginable. 3. They are said, lastly, to be pro>kimoi,reprobate to every good work; which signifies a disinclination to everything that is good, to everything that is worthy of praise. ‘The word may be taken, as it is observed, either actively or passively, and so may signify not only to be disappointed by others, but to disapprove themselves; in which latter sense we must, at present, principally understand the phrase. They disapprove all that which claims their approbation and esteem; and are disaffected to all that good which the religion they profess would oblige them to the practice of. The expression, therefore, does not so much signify their omission of what is good, as their disinclination to it; but it further denotes that, if they do anything at all in religion, it is what they neither delight in, nor can endure. ‘Every good work’ is an expression of such latitude, that it may comprehend all the works of piety, mercy, and common justice. And so it is fit we should understand it in this place. Whatever they do of this kind, their hearts are averse to it, and they bear a disaffected mind to it all. And such as here described, persons may be found to be, notwithstanding their profession.”–Howe.
ftc29 “Let the doctrine which proceeds from thy mouth be sound. For he expressly uses this word, because it is the means of upholding us in true integrity, that time word of God, which is preached to us, be our spiritual pasture. This will not be perceived at first sight, but such is the fact. And why do we not perceive it? Because we are too sensual and earthly. For when we are in want of food for our body, we are immediately terrified we become alarmed, we have not a moment of repose, for it touches us nearly. We are sensitive as to this fading life, but we are insensible to all that affects our souls; there is such brutal stupidity that we do not know our wants, though they press heavily upon us. Yet let it be observed that there is nothing but weakness in us, if we are not fed with the doctrine of God. And that is the reason why it is called ‘sound,’ for in this consists the health of our souls. As our bodies are kept in their proper condition by well-regulated nourishment, so our souls are supported by that doctrine which serves not only for nourishment but for medicine. For we are full of vices which are worse than diseases; and therefore our soul must be purged, and we must be healed of them. ‘The method of doing this is, that we profit by the word of God. And so it is not without good reason that Paul gives to it this designation, that it is ‘sound,’ or that it is ‘wholesome.’ “—Fr. Ser.
ftc30 “En quels devotes et bones oeuvres.” “In what duties and good works.”
ftc31“Ina swfroni>zwsi taav “These words point at the chief purpose of the instructions — namely, that they should teach them to be sw>fronevacting as monitresses and regulators of their morals. Those instructions (as appears from what follows) were to turn on the domestic duties suitable to young married women, and each in the order of importance. The first is, as it were, their cardinal virtue; for it was well said by Socrates, (Ap. Stob. p. 488,) eujse>beia gunaikei>a, oJ pro (‘female piety is love to her husband.’) In like manner, modesty is, by Pericles, in his Funeral Oration (Thucyd. 2:45) called ‘the virtue of the female sex.”’–Bloomfield.
ftc32 “En la vie du pasteur.” “In the life of the pastor.”
ftc33 “As if he had said, that the man who has the office and duty of proclaiming the word of God ought to preach throughout his whole life, since God, has chosen him to that condition; when it shall be seen how he governs, when it is found that it is an approbation of time doctrine which he teaches, and that he profits and edifies not only by the mouth, showing what ought to be done, but likewise by his example, when it shall be known that he speaks in sincerity, and not in hypocrisy, that he may be edified by it. And would to God that this were duly observed; for the truth of God would be received with greater reverence than it is. But however that may be, we shall not be held excused, since God wishes to make use of us so as to regulate others, and to direct our life in such a manner that, when they shall follow as with one accord, we may strive to honor God, and give no occasion to despise the sacred word, since God has made us instruments, and wishes that his doctrine should be received from us, as if he spoke in his own person.”—Fr. Ser.
ftc34 “At ejn th|~ didaskali>a| ajdiafqori>anrepeat pareco>menovin the sense ejndeiknu>menov.” — Bloomfield.
ftc35 “Irreprehensible, ou qu’on ne puisse condemner.” “Unblamable, or that cannot be condemned.”
ftc36 “Here we see how strictly Paul observed those of whom he was speaking. For the slaves who were in that age were addicted to pillage; and besides, they were contradictory, as if they had not dreaded the strokes with which they were chastised. We find that they sometimes grew hardened, because their masters did not use them gently, but treated them as brute beasts, struck them, teased them, put them to the torture, and frequently beat them, when they were absolutely naked, so that the blood flowed on all sides. Being thus hardened to evil, we must not be astonished if they had such corruption as to take revenge on their masters when they had any opportunity. But now Paul does not fail to exhort them to please their masters, that is, in everything that was good and right–an exception which he makes in other passages—Fr. Ser.
ftc37 “Des esclaves ou serfs.” “Slaves or serfs.”
ftc38 “We have seen that we ought to preach daily that grace which was declared at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a wonderful mystery, that God was manifested in time flesh, and that, at the same time, he hath strewn to us his heavenly glory, that we may be united to it. In this manner all pastors ought to be employed; for when they shall unceasingly illustrate that wisdom which God hath declared to us in the person of his Son, it is certain that the time will not be lost. And this is what Paul says in another passage, (<490318>Ephesians 3:18,) that it is the height, and depth, and length, and breadth, and thickness of all knowledge. When we shall have extended our views to explore as far as possible–when we shall descend into the depth to search out all that is concealed from us–when we shall go beyond the length and breadth of the sea, we shall have a wisdom (he says) as high and as deep, as long and as broad as this. when we shall know the infinite love of God which God hath showed to Us in the person of his only begotten Son.”—Fr. Ser.
ftc39 “We now see why Paul speaks of all men, and thus we may judge of the folly of some who pretend to expound the Holy Scriptures, and do not understand their style, when they say, ‘And God wishes that every person should be saved; the grace of God hath appeared for the salvation of every person; it follows, then, that there is free-will, that there is no election, that none have been predestinated to salvation.’ If those men spoke it ought to be with a little more caution. Paul did not mean in this passage, or in <540206>1 Timothy 2:6, anything else than that the great are called by God, though they are unworthy of it; that men of low condition, though they are despised, are nevertheless adopted by God, who stretches out his hand to receive them. At that time, because kings and magistrates were mortal enemies of the gospel, it might be thought that God had rejected them, and that they cannot obtain salvation. But Paul says that the door must not be shut against them, and that, eventually, God may choose some of this company, though their case appear to be desperate Thus, in this passage, after speaking of time poor slaves who were not reckoned to belong to the rank of men, he says that God did not fail, on that account, to show himself compassionate towards them, and that he wishes that the gospel should be preached to those to whom men do not deign to utter a word. Here is a poor man, who shall be rejected by us, we shall hardly say, God bless him! and God addresses him in an especial manner, and declares that he is his Father, and does not merely say a passing word, but stops him to say, ‘Thou art of my flock, let my word be thy pasture, let it be the spiritual food of thy soul.’ Thus we see that this word is highly significant, when it is said that the grace of God hath appeared fully to all men.”—Fr. Ser.
ftc40 “It presents us with the strongest motives to obedience. ‘The grace of God teacheth us to deny ungodliness.’ What chains bind faster and closer than love? Here is love to our nature in his incarnation, love to us, though enemies, in his death and passion: encouragements to obedience by the proffers of pardon for former rebellions. By the disobedience of man God introduces his redeeming grace, and engages his creature to more ingenuous and excellent returns than his innocent state could oblige him to. In his created state he had goodness to move him, he hath the same goodness now to oblige him as a creature, and a greater love and mercy to oblige him as a repaired creature; and the terror of justice is taken off, which might envenom his heart as a criminal. In his revolted state he had misery to discourage him; in his redeemed state he hath love to attract him. Without such a way, black despair had seized upon the creature exposed to a remediless misery, and God would have hail no returns of love from the best of his earthly works; but if any sparks of ingenuity be left, they will be excited by the efficacy of this argument.”– Charnock.
ftc41 “On the expression taavthe best comment is <620216>1 John 2:16. Swfro>nwvdenotes virtue as regards ourselves; dikai>wv, as regards our fellow-creatures; and eujsebw~v, as respects God. Similar divisions are found in passages of the classical writers cited by the commentators.”– Bloomfield.
ftc42 “En ce present monde.” “In this present world.”
ftc43 “Of these words the most natural sense, and that required by the ‘proprietas linguae,’is, beyond all doubt, the one assigned by almost all the ancients from Clem. Alex. downwards, and by the early modern expositors, as Erasmus, Grotius, and Beza, and also by some eminent expositors and theologians of later times, as Bishops Pearson and Bull, Wolff, Matthaei, and Bishop Middleton, namely, ‘Looking for (or rather, looking forward to; comp. <180209>Job 2:9, and see Grotius) the blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.’ The cause of the ambiguity in our common version is ably pointed out, and the above version established on the surest grounds, by Bishop Middleton and Professor Scholefield. But, besides the argument founded on the ‘propriety of language,’ that of Beza, who urges that ejpifa>neia is nowhere used of God, but Christ. is unanswerable. So in an able critique on Dr. Channing’s works, in the British Critic, the Reviewer justly maintains that ‘Christ must be the God here spoken of, because it is his “glorious appearing” which all Christians here are said to expect, but of God the Father we are expressly told that him “no man hath seen, nor can see.”’ Other convincing arguments for time construction here laid down may be seen in Dr. Routh’s Reliquiae Sacrae, vol. 2:p. 26. The reader is also particularly referred to Clenm. Alex. Colhort. ad Gentes, sub init., where verses 11-14 are cited by that Father, and the view of Swth~rov here maintained is adopted. The whole of time context there is deserving of great attention, as containing such plain and repeated attestations to the divinity of Jesus Christ as can rarely be found. The passage itself may be seen in Bishop Bull’s Def Fid. Nic., p. 87.”–Bloomfield
ftc44 “Christ expiated sin, not encouraged it; he died to make your peace, but he died to make you holy; ‘to purify a people to himself,’ (<560214>Titus 2:14.) The ends of Christ’s death cannot be separated. He is no atoner, where he is not a refiner. It is as certain as any word the mouth of God hath spoken, that ‘there is no peace to the wicked,’ (<234822>Isaiah 48:22.) A guilty conscience, and an impure, will keep up the amity with Satan and enmity with God. He that allows himself in any sin deprives himself of the benefit of reconciliation. This reconciliation must be mutual; as God lays down his wrath against us, so we must throw down our arms against him. As there was a double enmity, one rooted in nature, another declared by wicked works; or rather, one enmity in its root, and another in its exercise, (<510121>Colossians 1:21,) so there must be an alteration of state, and an alteration of acts.”–Charnock.
ftc45 “Toutes des principautes et puissances du monde.”
ftc46 “We ourselves, who had the oracles of God, that had greater privileges than others, were carried out with as strong an impetus naturally, till grace stopped the tide, and, after stopping, turned it against nature. When the mind was thus prepossessed, and the will made the lusts of the flesh its work and trade, there was no likelihood of any co-operation with God, in fulfilling his desires, till the bent of the heart was changed from the flesh and its principles. The heart is stone before grace. No stone can cooperate with any that would turn it into flesh, since it hath no seed, causes, or principles of any fleshly nature in it. Since we are overwhelmed by the rubbish of our corrupted estate, we can no more co-operate to the removal of it than a man buried under the ruins of a fallen house can contribute to the removal of that great weight that lies upon him. Neither would a man in that state help such a work, because his lusts are pleasures; pleasuers; he serves his lusts, which are pleasures as well as lusts, and therefore served with delight.”–Charnock.
ftc47 “The Apostle speaks of what naturally we all were. This, then, is a most merciful influence that is given forth in the regenerating work. It is as if God should have said, I see those poor creatures are perishing, not only tending to hell, but carrying with them their own hell into hell, ‘hell being at last cast into hell’ (as the expression in the Revelation is.) It is a throwing hell into hell, when a wicked man comes to hell; for he was his own hell before. God, beholding this forlorn case of wretched creatures, saith, I must either renew them or lose them; I must either transform them, or they must perish: they are in the fire of hell already. Such and such we were, but of his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing by the Holy Ghost. O! the compassionate influence that is shed upon a soul in this case! The balmy dews that descend from heaven upon a distempered soul, which quench the flames of lust, and which implant and invigorate (after their implantation) a divine principle, in-create a new life, that leads to God and Christ, and the way of holiness and heaven at last.”–Howe.
ftc48 “Perhaps the reader will give me leave to add a short expository lecture upon the most distinguished parts of this very important paragraph. I.-We have the cause of our redemption; not works of righteousness which we have done, but the kindness, the love, the mercy, of God our Savior. To these, to these alone, every child of man must ascribe both his fruition of present, and his expectation of future blessedness. II.– The effects, which are–1. Justification, being justified, having our sins forgiven and our persons accepted through the righteousness of Christ imputed; all this without any the least deserving quality in us, solely by his grace and most unmerited goodness. 2. Sanctification expressed by the washing of regeneration–that washing in the Redeemer’s blood which cleanses the soul from guilt, as the washing of water cleanseth the body from filth, which reconciles to God, give’ peace of conscience, and thereby lays the foundation of an universal spiritual change–the renewing of the Holy Ghost, whose influences, testifying of Christ, and applying his merits, introduce an improvement into all the faculties of the mind, something like that annual renovation and general smile which the return of spring diffuses over the face of nature. III–The end and consummation of all–that we should be made heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and live more in the assured hope, hereafter in the full enjoyment, of eternal.”–Hervey.
ftc49 “It remaineth that we declare what is the office of the same, what he, is unto us, as the Holy Spirit; for although the Spirit of God be of infinite, essential, and original holiness, as God, and so may be called Holy in himself; though other spirits which were created be either actually now unholy, or of defectible sanctity at first, and so having the name of spirit common unto them, he may be termed holy, that he may be distinguished from them; yet I conceive he is rather called the Holy Spirit, for the Spirit of Holiness’ (<450104>Romans 1:4,) because of the three persons in the blessed Trinity, it is his particular office to sanctify or make us holy. As, therefore, what our Savior did and suffered for us belonged to that office of a Redeemer which he took upon him; so whatsoever the Holy Ghost worketh in order to the same salvation, we look upon as belonging to his office. And because without holiness it is impossible to please God, because we all are impure and unholy, and the purity and holiness which is required in us to appear in the presence of God, whose eyes are pure, must be wrought in us by the Spirit of God, who is called Holy, because he is the cause of this holiness in us, therefore we acknowledge the office of the Spirit of God to consist in the sanctifying of the servants of God, and the declaration of this office, added to the description of his nature, to be a sufficient explication of the object of faith contained in this article–’I believe in the Holy Ghost–Bp. Pearson on the Creed.
ftc50 “When we wish to ascertain the method of our salvation, we must begin with the Son of God. For it is he who hath washed us by his blood–it is he who hath obtained righteousness for us by his obedience — it is he who is our Advocate, and through whom we now find grace it is he who procured for us the adoption by which we are made children and heirs of God. Let us carefully observe that we must seek all the parts of our salvation in Jesus Christ; for we shall not find a single drop of it anywhere else.” — Fr. Ser.
ftc51 “Par la grace et misericorde de Dieu.” “By the grace and mercy of God.”
ftc52 “Meaning, ‘and I would have you constantly insist on these truths; so that those who have believed in God may maintain good works.’ The cause of the obscurity, and consequent diversity of interpretation, arose from the Apostle not having here strewn how it should be, that the doctrine of salvation by grace should produce holiness of life. But he has done it in another kindred passage, namely, <490209>Ephesians 2:9,10, where, after having at large treated on the subject of salvation by grace, (as here,) adding that it is not of works, lest any man should boast, he subjoins, aujtou~ ga>r ejsmen, k.t.l. where the ga refers to a clause omitted, q. d. (Yet works must be done,) for, etc. Hence it would seem that kalw~n e]rgwn here must have the same sense as e]rgoiv ajgaqoi~v there.; and consequently it must not be limited, with many eminent commentators, to works of benevolence, still less to the business of our avocation, but be extended to good works of every kind.”–Bloomfield.
ftc53 “The original word proi`>stasqai has a beauty and an energy, which, I believe, it is impossible for our language to preserve by any literal translation. It implies, that a believer should not only be exercised in, but eminent for, all good works; should shew others the way, and outstrip them in the honorable race; be both a pattern and a patron of universal godliness.” — Hervey.
ftc54 “Au droit chemin.” “To the right road.”
ftc55 “Ce qu’il convient au Pasteur de faire.” “What it belongs to the pastor to do.”
ftc56 “As he said before, let them apply their mind to it. He contrasts this with the foolish presumption but too common among those who thought that they were clever men, when they had speculated on this and the other subject. You have fine speculations, says he, but yet consider what is the true excellence of the children of God; it is to shew that they have profited well in doing good, and that this is the subject to which they have given their study. And then he says, Let them learn; as if he had said, Hitherto you have employed your time very ill, for there was nothing but foolish ambition, you yielded too far to your vain fancy. You must now follow a different course. Henceforth you must excel in doing good, and not in rambling talk. Instead of being led by curiosity and ambition. let every man be employed in doing good to his neighbors). Let every man consider what is his ability; and according to the power which God has given us, let us serve one another. Thus shall we shew that it is not in vain that we have received the gospel.”—Fr. Ser.
ftc57 “La cause pourquoy je tay laisse en Crete, c’est afin que tu poursuyves de corriger les choses qui restent.” “The reason why I left thee in Crete, is in order that thou mayest continue to correct the things that are wanting.”
ftc58 “Des prestres, ou anciens.” “Presbyters, or elders.”
ftc59 “Car il y en a plusieurs qui ne se peuvent ranger” “For there are many of them who cannot submit to authority.”
ftc60 “Ou, propre a luy.” “Or, belonging to him.”
ftc61 “Adonne a bonnes oeuvres.” “Devoted to good works.”
ftc62 “Odieux, ou, hays.” “Hateful or hated.”
ftd1a “Ou, recoive ce plaisir de toy.” “Or, receive this pleasure from thee.”
ftd1 “De la douceur, moderation, et humanite.” “Of gentleness, moderation, and kindness.”
ftd2 It has sometimes occurred to me, that the intricacy of this passage might be removed, first, by the transposition suggested by Calvin, and, next, by transposing the 5th verse so as to place it before the 4th. “Hearing of thy love towards all saints, and of thy faith which thou hast towards Lord Jesus, I give thanks unto my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, That the communication of thy faith may be effectual, through the knowledge of every good thing which is in thee towards Christ Jesus.” - Ed.490209>450104>510121>234822>560214>180209>620216>540206>490318>560110>560101>560101>470617>235211>231101>590507>460910>236404>660308>610302>230818>