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1: But the Spirit saith - By St. Paul himself to the
Thessalonians, and probably by other contemporary prophets.
Expressly - As concerning a thing of great moment, and soon to
be fulfilled. That in the latter times - These extend from our
Lord's ascension till his coming to judgment. Some - Yea, many,
and by degrees the far greater part. Will depart from the
faith - The doctrine once delivered to the saints. Giving heed
to seducing spirits - Who inspire false prophets.
2: These will depart from the faith, by the hypocrisy of
them that speak lies, having their own consciences as senseless
and unfeeling as flesh that is seared with an hot iron.
3: Forbidding priests, monks, and nuns to marry, and
commanding all men to abstain from such and such meats at
such and such times. Which God hath created to be received
by them that know the truth - That all meats are now clean.
With thanksgiving - Which supposes a pure conscience.
5: It is sanctified by the word of God - Creating all, and
giving it to man for food. And by prayer - The children of God
are to pray for the sanctification of all the creatures which
they use. And not only the Christians, but even the Jews, yea,
the very heathens used to consecrate their table by prayer.
7: Like those who were to contend in the Grecian games,
exercise thyself unto godliness - Train thyself up in holiness of
heart and life, with the utmost labour, vigour, and diligence.
8: Bodily exercise profiteth a little - Increases the
health and strength of the body.
10: Therefore - Animated by this promise. We both labour
and suffer reproach - We regard neither pleasure, ease, nor
honour. Because we trust - For this very thing the world will
hate us. In the living God - Who will give us the life he has
promised. Who is the Saviour of all men - Preserving them in
this life, and willing to save them eternally. But especially
- In a more eminent manner. Of them that believe - And so are
12: Let no one have reason to despise thee for thy youth.
To prevent this, Be a pattern in word - Public and private. In
spirit - In your whole temper. In faith - When this is placed in
the midst of several other Christian graces, it generally
means a particular branch of it; fidelity or faithfulness.
13: Give thyself to reading - Both publicly and
privately. Enthusiasts, observe this! Expect no end
without the means.
14: Neglect not - They neglect it who do not exercise it
to the full. The gift - Of feeding the flock, of power, and
love, and sobriety. Which was given thee by prophecy - By
immediate direction from God. By the laying on of my hands
- (2Ti 1:6); while the elders joined also in the solemnity.
This presbytery probably consisted of some others, together
with Paul and Silas.
15: Meditate - The Bible makes no distinction between this
and to contemplate, whatever others do. True meditation is no
other than faith, hope, love, joy, melted down together, as it
were, by the fire of God's Holy Spirit; and offered up to God
in secret. He that is wholly in these, will be little in
worldly company, in other studies, in collecting books, medals,
or butterflies: wherein many pastors drone away so considerable
a part of their lives.
16: Continue in them - In all the preceding advices.