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1: Rebuke not - Considering your own youth, with such a
severity as would otherwise be proper.
3: Honour - That is, maintain out of the public stock.
4: Let these learn to requite their parents - For all their
former care, trouble, and expense.
5: Widows indeed - Who have no near relations to provide
for them; and who are wholly devoted to God. Desolate - Having
neither children, nor grandchildren to relieve her.
6: She that liveth in pleasure - Delicately, voluptuously,
in elegant, regular sensuality, though not in the use of any
such pleasures as are unlawful in themselves.
7: That they - That is, the widows.
8: If any provide not - Food and raiment. For his own - Mother and
grandmother, being desolate widows. He hath - Virtually. Denied the
faith - Which does not destroy, but perfect, natural duties. What has
this to do with heaping up money for our children, for which it is often
so impertinently alleged? But all men have their reasons for laying up
money. One will go to hell for fear of want; another acts like a heathen,
lest he should be worse than an infidel.
9: Let not a widow be chosen - Into the number of
deaconesses, who attended sick women or travelling preachers.
Under threescore - Afterwards they were admitted at forty, if
they were eminent for holiness. Having been the wife of one
husband - That is, having lived in lawful marriage, whether
with one or more persons successively.
10: If she hath washed the feet of the saints - Has been
ready to do the meanest offices for them.
11: Refuse - Do not choose. For when they are waxed wanton
against Christ - To whose more immediate service they had
addicted themselves. They want to marry - And not with a single
eye to the glory of God; and so withdraw themselves from that
entire service of the church to which they were before engaged.
12: They have rejected their first faith - Have deserted
their trust in God, and have acted contrary to the first
conviction, namely, that wholly to devote themselves to his
service was the most excellent way. When we first receive
power to believe, does not the Spirit of God generally point
out what are the most excellent things; and at the same time,
give us an holy resolution to walk in the highest degree of
Christian severity? And how unwise are we ever to sink into
anything below it!
14: I counsel therefore the younger women - Widows or virgins, such as
are not disposed to live single. To marry, to bear children, to guide the
family - Then will they have sufficient employment of their own.
And give no occasion of reproach to the adversary - Whether Jew or heathen.
15: Some - Widows. Have turned aside after Satan - Who has drawn
them from Christ.
17: Let the elders that rule well - Who approve themselves faithful
stewards of all that is committed to their charge. Be counted worthy of
double honour - A more abundant provision, seeing that such will employ
it all to the glory of God. As it was the most laborious and disinterested
men who were put into these offices, so whatever any one had to bestow, in
his life or death, was generally lodged in their hands for the poor.
By this means the churchmen became very rich in after ages, but as the design
of the donors was something else, there is the highest reason why it should
be disposed of according to their pious intent.
Especially those - Of them. Who labour - Diligently and painfully.
In the word and teaching - In teaching the word.
18: (De 25:4)
19: Against an elder - Or presbyter. Do not even receive an
accusation, unless by two or three witnesses - By the Mosaic law, a private
person might be cited (though not condemned) on the testimony of one
witness; but St. Paul forbids an elder to be even cited on such evidence,
his reputation being of more importance than that of others.
20: Those - Elders. That sin - Scandalously, and are duly
convicted. Rebuke before all - The church.
21: I charge thee before God - Referring to the last judgment, in
which we shall stand before God and Christ, with his elect, that is,
holy, angels, who are the witnesses of our conversation. The apostle
looks through his own labours, and even through time itself, and seems to
stand as one already in eternity. That thou observe these things without
prejudging - Passing no sentence till the cause is fully heard.
Or partiality - For or against any one.
22: Lay hands suddenly on no man - That is, appoint no man to church
offices without full trial and examination; else thou wilt be accessary
to, and accountable for, his misbehaviour in his office.
Keep thy self pure - From the blood of all men.
24: Some men's sins are manifest beforehand - Before any strict
inquiry be made. Going before to judgment - So that you may immediately
judge them unworthy of any spiritual office. And some they - Their sins.
Follow after - More covertly.
25: They that are otherwise - Not so manifest.
Cannot be long hid - From thy knowledge. On this account,
also, be not hasty in laying on of hands.