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He desires Timothy to salute his friends.

ever and ever. Amen.

SECT. tian faith, or ministerial office, and thus will pre- to whom be glory for serve and conduct [me] to his heavenly kingdom with peace and triumph; to him therefore [be] IV. 18. glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Tim.

19 Salute Prisca and

20 Erastus abode at Corinth; but Trophi

mus have I left at Miletum sick.

19 I must conclude with desiring thee to salute Aquila, and the housePriscilla and Aquila, those dear friends, with hold of Onesiphorus. whom I have had so agreeable an acquaintance and intercourse these many years; and also the family of good Onesiphorus. In my last journey through Asia and Greece I had the affliction to part with some of our common friends, whose conversation and company would have been very 20 desirable, had Providence permitted it. Erastus in particular abode at Corinth and Trophimus, I left sick at Miletus: nor did the Lord, who hath made me an instrument of miraculous healing to so many strangers, permit me at that 21 time to be so to him. Endeavour therefore 21 Do thy diligence as I am deprived of these agreeable friends, and to come before winter, surrounded with so many dangers and enemies and Pudens, and Linus, Eubulus greeteth thee, which threaten my life, to come to me before and Claudia, and all winter!. Several Christians here at Rome the brethren. desire I would send their commendations to thee; and in particular Eubulus salutes thee, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia, and indeed 22 all the brethren in general. My heart is as at all times full of the tenderest affection for thee;

ħ Priscilla and Aquila.] This has often been urged, as a conclusive argument, to prove that Timothy was now at Ephesus, because it was there that Apollos met with them, (Acts xviii. 26;) but they might have removed from thence, as they did from Corinth, to which place they came when first banished from Rome. Ib. ver.2. i Erastus abode at Corinth, &c.] It is probable this was his native city, or at least a place where he had a stated charge. See Rom. xvi. 23. It seems, by this clause that he was in Paul's company when he parted with Timothy, as it is likely Trophimus also was. And, as none can suppose Paul would have mentioned those things to Timothy in this connection, if they had happened many years before, (Acts xix. 22,) I look upon this as a very material argument to prove that he returned into these eastern parts, between his first and second imprisonment at Rome; though probably, if he ever saw Ephesus again, most of the ministers of that and the neighbouring places, with whom he had the celebrated interview at Miletus, mentioned Acts xx, were either dead or removed. See ver. 25, note f, and ver.


22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit.

38, note r, Vol. VIII. p 209, and 213.Compare the Introduction to the first epistle to Timothy, Vol. IX. p. 566.

k Left sick.] It has been very justly argued from this text, that a power of working miracles did not always reside in the apostles; and indeed, if it had, one can hardly imagine that any good and useful man would have been sick, and died under their notice, which would have been quite inconsistent with the scheme of Providence. Timothy's frequent infirmities afford a farther argument to the same purpose. Compare Acts viii. 21, note d, Vol. VIII. p. 22. But such good men as these did not need the miraculous cure of their own distempers, to confirm their faith in the gospel.


1 Come to me before winter.] Lloyd in his Funeral Sermon for Bishop Wilkins, p. 6, comparing with this text Heb. xiii. 23, concludes that Timothy did come, and was seized at Rome, and confined longer than Paul himself; but it seems much more probable that the epistle to the Hebrews, was written during Paul's first imprisonment, and consequently sevę, ral years before this.

Reflections on Paul's being deserted in his apology;




rit. Grace be with which I cannot express better than by praying, you. Amen. as I most sincerely do, that the Lord Jesus Christ, himself may[be]ever present with thy spi- 2 Tim. rit,and shed abroad those sanctifying, quicken- IV, 22. ing, and comforting influences of Divine grace, which may fit thee for all thou hast to do and bear under thy Christian and ministerial character. And wherever this finds thee, I desire thou wouldst assure my fellow-Christians that I wish them well. May grace [be] with you all, as your circumstances require, to render you more eminently useful in the present state, and prepare you for complete and everlasting happiness in the next. Amen.


Be this our prayer for ourselves and our friends, that the grace of Ver. our Lord Jesus Christ may be with their spirits and ours; that 22 though we have not seen him here, neither can see him, we may ever feel his vital presence, and may live and act as ever near him, 17 and as conscious that he is ever with us. Then may we promise ourselves that while he stands by us, we shall be strengthened, how weak soever we are in ourselves; that we shall be comforted, who ever may desert us; that we shall be rescued from the extremest 18 dangers, delivered out of the mouth of the infernal lion, and safely preserved to his heavenly kingdom.

That such a confessor as the holy apostle St. Paul should have been deserted, at the time of his apology, when there must have been so large a number of Christians at Rome, may justly appear 16 one of the most surprising circumstances recorded in the sacred history. It teaches us to cease from man, and to repose ourselves with some caution upon the friendship of the very best. It teaches us to watch over ourselves, lest the fear of man should bring a snare upon us, (Prov. xxix. 25,) and lead us to be ashamed of Christ in his members. It concurs with the apostacy of Demas, to warn us that we beware of loving this present world, and keep 10 our eyes more steadily fixed on a better, in which our highest interest lies, and by regarding which, our souls will acquire a certain uniform tenor, that will prove their honour and their safety. The readiness of Paul, amidst such a dearth of true and faithful friends, to part with those that yet remained, when he thought the service of Christianity required it, is an amiable and instructive part of his character. They know not the heart of a man, and the duty of a Christian aright, who know not that even the tender


10, 12



Reflections on Paul's being deserted in his apology, &c.

SECT. and friendly passions are to be guarded against, and admitted no farther than reason and religion will warrant; and that such society as is far dearer to us than any animal delight, or secular accommodation, is often to be given up, that our fidelity to God may Ver. be approved.

13 Once more, it is obvious to remark, that Paul, though favoured with such extraordinary degrees of Divine inspiration, sets a proper value upon books, and expresses a great concern about their being safely conveyed to him. Let us therefore pity the ignorance, rather than imitate the enthusiasm and madness, of those that set learning at defiance, especially in the ministers of the gospel. Let us thankfully acknowledge the Divine goodness, in having furnished us with so many excellent writings of wise and pious men in all ages; and let us endeavour, by frequent converse with them, to improve our furniture, that our profiting may appear unto all men. Yet let us all remember, that how large and well-chosen soever our library may be, the sacred volume is of infinitely greater importance than all that Greece, or Rome, or Britain has produced, or the united labours of all the best of men who have written since it was concluded. And let the Christian minister remember, that the two epistles, through which we have now passed, and that which we are next to survey, are to be esteemed by him amongst the most edifying and important parts even of that incomparable and Divine book.












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