WRITTEN FROM MACEDONIA, A. D. 56.
3. AS I entreated thee to continue in Ephesus, when going into Macedonia, so do, that thou mayest charge some not to teach differently. Nor to give heed to fables, and endless genealogies, which occasion disputes, rather than great edification, which is through faith. Now the end of the charge is love, from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and unfeigned faith; from which thigns some having swerved, have turned aside to foolish talking. Desiring to be teachers of the law, though they neither understand waht they say, nor concerning what things they strongly affirm. We know indeed that the law is good, if one use it lawfully. Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disorderly, the ungodly and sinners, the unholy and profane, murderers of fathers, and murderers of mothers, manslayers, fornicators, sodomites, man-stealers, liars, false swearers, and if any other thing be opposite to wholesome doctrine; according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I am entrusted. Now I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath strengthened me, because he reckoned me faithful when he appointed me to the ministry; who was formerly a defamer, and a persecutor, and an injurious person. But I received mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief. And the favour of our Lord hath superabounded with the faith and love which is required by Christ Jesus. This saying is true and worthy of all reception, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However for this cause I received mercy, that in me the chief of sinners, Jesus Christ might show forth all long suffering, for a pattern to them who should hereafter believe on him in order to everlasting life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to the wise God alone, be honour and glory, for ever and ever. Amen. This charge I commit to thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before concerning thee, that thou mayest carry on through them the good warfare; holding fast faith and a good conscience; which some having put away, with respect to the faith have made shipwreck. Of whom are Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to satan, that they might be taught by chastisement, not to defame.
II. Now I exhort first of all that deprecations, supplications, intercessions, and thanksgivings, be made for all men; for kings, and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our saviour, who commandeth all men to be saved, and to come to an acknowledgment of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. Who gave himself a ransom for all; of which the testimony is in its proper season. For which I was appointed a herald*[Or proclaimer.] and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. I command, therefore, that the men pray every where, lifting up pious hands, without wrath, and disputings. In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in decent apparel, with modesty and sobriety, not with plaited hair [only,] or gold, or pearls, or costly raiment. But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. For I do not allow a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over a man, but to be silent. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. Besides, Adam was not deceived. But the woman being deceived, was in transgression. However she shall be saved through childbearing, if they live in faith and love and holiness, with sobriety.
III. This saying is true, if one earnestly seeketh the office of a bishop,*[Or overseer.] he desireth an excellent work. Therefore a bishop must be unblamed, the husband of one wife, vigilant, prudent, of comely behaviour, hospitable, fit to teach. Not given to wine, no striker, not one who earns money by base methods, but equitable, not a brawler, nor covetous. One who ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection to him with all gravity. For if one know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the congregation of God? Not a new convert, lest being puffed up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must even have a good testimony from those without, that he may not fall into reproach, and the snare of the devil. The deacons in like manner must be grave, not double-tongued, not giving themselves to much wine, not person who earn money by base methods; holding fast the secret of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also be proved first, then let them exercise the deacon's office, being unaccused. The women*[App. No. LXV.] in like manner must be grave, not slanderers, but vigilant, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling well their children and their own houses. For they who have performed the office of a deacon well, procure to themselves an excellent degree, and great boldness in the faith, which is in Christ Jesus. These things I write to thee although I hope to come to thee soon. Or if I tarry long that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the congregation of the living God.*[App. No. LXXXVII.]
16. The pillar and support of the truth is, (and confessedly great is the secret of godliness,) God has been manifested in the flesh, was justified through the Spirit, was seen of messengers, was proclaimed to the Gentiles, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
IV. But the Spirit expressly saith, that in after times, some will apostatize from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and to doctrines concerning demons. Through the hypocrisy of liars, who are seared in their own conscience; who forbid to marry, and command to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, who thoroughly know the truth; that every creature of God is good, being received with thanksgiving, and nothing is to be cast away. For it is sanctified by the command of God and by prayer. Laying thse things before the brethren, thou wilt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished by the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine, to the knowledge of which thou hast attained. But profane and old wives' fables reject; and exercise thyself to godliness. For bodily exercise is profitable for little: but godliness is profitable for all things, having the promise of the present life, and of that to come. This saying is true, and worthy of all reception. Besides, for this we both labour and suffer reproach, that we trust in the living God, who is the saviour of all men, especially of believers. These things give in charge and teach. Let no one despise thy youth: but be thou a pattern to the believers in speech, in behaviour, in love, in spirit, in faith, in chastity. Till I come, apply thyself to reading, to exhortation, to teaching. Neglect not the spiritual gift which is in thee, which was given thee according to prophecy, together with the imposition of the hands of the eldership. Make these things thy care. Be wholly employed in them, that they proficiency may be evident to all. Take heed to thyself, and to thy doctrine; continue in them: for, in doing this, thou wilt both save thyself, an them who hear thee.
V. Do not severely rebuke an old man, but beseech him as a father, and the young men as brothers; the old women as mothers, and the young as sisters with all chastity.
3. Honour widows who are really widows. But if any widow have children, or grand children, let these learn first piously to take care of their own family, and then to requite their parents. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God. Now she who is really a widow and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in deprecations and prayers, night and day. But she who liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. Now these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. For if any one provide not for his own, and especially those of his family, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let not a widow be taken into the number under sixty years old, having been the wife of one husband: borne witness to for good works; that she hath brought up children, that she hath lodged strangers, that she hath washed the saints' feet, that she hath relieved the afflicted, that she hath diligently followed every good work. But the young widows reject; for when they become impatient of the restraints of the Christ, they will wish to marry, incurring blame for having violated their former engagement. And at the same time also they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and meddlers, speakign things which they ought not. I command therefore, young widows to marry, to bear children, to govern the house, to give no occasion to the adversary for reproach. For already some are turned aside after satan. If any believing man or believing woman have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the congregation be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows. Let the elders who preside well be counted worthy of double honour, especially those who labour in word and teaching. For the scripture saith, "The ox treading out the corn thou shalt not muzzle;" and, "The labourer is worthy of his hire."
19. Against an elder receive not an accusation unless by two or three witnesses. Those who sin, rebuke before all, that others also may be afraid.
I charge thee in the presence of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the elect messengers, that thou observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality. Lay hands hastily on no one, neither partake of other men's sins. Keep thyself pure. No longer drink water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thy frequent infirmities. Of some men the sins are very manifest, going before to condemnation; but in some especially they follow after. In like manner also, the good works of some are very manifest, and those which are otherwise cannot long be hidden.
VI. Let whatever servants are under the yoke, esteem their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God, and the doctrine of the gospel be not evil spoken of. And they who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren: but let them serve them more, because they are believers and beloved who receive the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any one teach differently, and consent not to the wholesome commandments which are our Lord Jesus Christ's, and to the doctrine according to godliness; he is puffed up with pride, knowing nothing, but is distempered about questions, and debates of words, whereof come envy, strife, evil speakigns, unjust suspicions, perverse disputings of men wholly corrupted in mind, and destitute of the truth; who reckon gain to be religion. From such withdraw thyself. But godlienss with a competency is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and plain it is, that neither can we carry any thing out. Wherefore, having food and raiment, let us be therewith contented. But they who will be rich, fall into temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which plunge men into destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil, which some eagerly desiring, have wholly erred from the faith, and pierced themselves all around with many sorrows. Therefore do thou, O man of God, flee these things, and pursue righteousness, piety, faith, love, patience, meekness. Combat the good combat of faith: lay hold on eternal life, to which also thou wast called, and confess the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I charge thee in the presence of God, who maketh all alive, and of Christ Jesus, who witnessed under Pontius Pilate the good confession, that thou keep this commandment without spot, unblamable till the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Which in his own season, the blessed and only potentate, will show, even the King of kings, and the Lord of lords: who alone hath immortality, and dwelleth in light inaccessible, whom no man hath seen, nor can see, to whom be honour and might everlasting. Amen. Charge the rich in the present world, not to be elated in mind, nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in God who liveth, and who supplieth to us richly, all things for enjoyment. To work good, to be rich in lovely works, ready to distribute, communicative, providing for themselves a good foundation for hereafter, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, guard the thing committed in trust to thee, avoiding profane vain babblings, and oppositions of knowledge, falsely so named: which some professing, have erred with respect to the faith. Favour be with thee. Amen.