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1: He desireth a good work - An excellent, but laborious,
2: Therefore - That he may be capable of it. A bishop - Or
pastor of a congregation. Must be blameless - Without fault or
just suspicion. The husband of one wife - This neither means
that a bishop must be married, nor that he may not marry a
second wife; which it is just as lawful for him to do as to
marry a first, and may in some cases be his bounden duty. But
whereas polygamy and divorce on slight occasions were common
both among the Jews and heathens, it teaches us that ministers,
of all others, ought to stand clear of those sins. Vigilant,
prudent - Lively and zealous, yet calm and wise. Of good
behaviour - Naturally flowing from that vigilance and prudence.
4: Having his children in subjection with all seriousness - For
levity undermines all domestic authority; and this direction, by a
parity of reason, belongs to all parents.
6: Lest being puffed up - With this new honour, or with
the applause which frequently follows it. He fall into the
condemnation of the devil - The same into which the devil fell.
7: He ought also to have a good report - To have had a fair character
in time past. From them that are without - That are not Christians.
Lest he fall into reproach - By their rehearsing his former life, which
might discourage and prove a snare to him.
8: Likewise the deacons must he serious - Men of a grave,
decent, venerable behaviour. But where are presbyters? Were
this order essentially distinct from that of bishops, could
the apostle have passed it over in silence? Not desirous of
filthy gain - With what abhorrence does he everywhere speak of
this! All that is gained (above food and raiment) by
ministering in holy things is filthy gain indeed; far more
filthy than what is honestly gained by raking kennels, or
emptying common sewers.
9: Holding fast the faith in a pure conscience - Steadfast in faith,
holy in heart and life.
10: Let these he proved first - Let a trial be made how they believe.
Then let them minister - Let them be fixed in that office.
11: Faithful in all things - Both to God, their husbands,
and the poor.
13: They purchase a good degree - Or step, toward some higher office.
And much boldness - From the testimony of a good conscience.
15: That thou mayest know how to behave - This is the scope of the
epistle. In the house of God - Who is the master of the family.
Which is - As if he had said, By the house of God, I mean the church.
16: The mystery of godliness - Afterwards specified in six
articles, which sum up the whole economy of Christ upon earth.
Is the pillar and ground - The foundation and support of all
the truth taught in his church. God was manifest in the flesh
- In the form of a servant, the fashion of a man, for three and
thirty years. Justified by the Spirit - Publicly "declared to
be the Son of God," by his resurrection from the dead. Seen
- Chiefly after his resurrection. By angels - Both good and bad.
Preached among the gentiles - This elegantly follows. The
angels were the least, the gentiles the farthest, removed from
him; and the foundation both of this preaching and of their
faith was laid before his assumption. Was believed on in the
world - Opposed to heaven, into which he was taken up. The first
point is, He was manifested in the flesh; the last, He was
taken up into glory.