2 Timothy 2:4

I. THE DUTY OF SUFFERING HARDSHIP IN THE GOSPEL. "Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ."

1. The minister is a soldier of Christ, enrolled by him, trained by him, armed by him, supported by him, as the Captain of our salvation. The ministry is a warfare, involving, not only the "good fight of faith," but an increasing struggle against false teachers.

2. As a good soldier, he must be prepared to suffer hardships. Like the soldier, he must often leave home and friends, expose himself to cold and hunger and fatigue; he must fearlessly meet the enemies of his Lord, and die, if need be, in the arms of victory.

3. The apostle strengthens his admonition by an appeal to his own hardships and sufferings. Timothy took a sympathetic interest in the career of the greatest of the apostles. The tried veteran appeals to the young soldier.

II. ENCOURAGEMENTS TO BE DRAWN FROM THE DUTIES AND REWARDS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. There are three pictures presented to our view - one military, another agonistical, and another agricultural.

1. The supreme unembarrassed devotion of the soldier to his commander. "No one that serveth as a soldier entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who enrolled him to be a soldier." The Roman soldier was isolated by express law from all trades and interests and agencies that would interfere with the discipline of his profession.

(1) The minister who is supremely concerned about the affairs of the next life must stand free from the entanglements of human occupation, so as to devote his whole energies without distraction or dispersion of thought to the business of his Master. The apostle had himself occasionally to resort to industry for his own support, under circumstances of a purely exceptional nature; but he demands an extrication of the ministry from all secular engagements in his elaborate plea to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 9.).

(2) His sole motive is to please the Master who enrolled him in this service. It is not to please himself, or to please men by seeking ease, or emolument, or social position, but to please the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose book of life his name is written.

2. The severe training and lawful striving of the athlete in the games. "But if any one also strive in the games, he is not crowned unless he have striven lawfully." The figure was a familiar one to the people of that age who dwelt in cities.

(1) It is implied that ministers, in striving for the crown of life, must strip off all encumbrances" laying aside every weight" - that they may the more easily press to the mark, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

(2) It implies that they must undergo the discipline of severe training to fit themselves for the work of ministry, and carry on their service according to the high laws of the kingdom of Christ.

3. The reward of the labouring husbandman. "The labouring husbandman must needs first partake of the fruits of his labour."

(1) This does not mean that the husbandman would be the first to partake of the fruits, but that he must first labour before he obtained the reward. There is evidently an emphasis on the fact that a laborious husbandman was the most fully entitled to reward.

(2) The minister of Christ must plough and sow before he can reap; he must use all laborious diligence in his calling, not discouraged because he does not at once see the fruits of his labour, for the seed may not sprout up quickly, but ever looking upward for the dews of Heaven's grace to descend upon the wide field of his ministry.

III. THE DUTY OF GIVING CONSIDERATION TO ALL THESE FACTS. "Consider what I say, and the Lord will give thee understanding in all things."

1. It is the Lord only who can give us a true insight into both doctrine and duty.

2. Those who enjoy this Divine help are under the greatest obligation to use their understandings upon the highest of all themes. - T.C.

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life.
were not allowed to marry or to engage in any husbandry or trade; and they were forbidden to act as tutors to any person, or curators to any man's estate, or proctor in the cause of other men. The general principle was, that they were excluded from those relations, agencies, and engagements, which it was thought would divert their minds from that which was to be the sole object of pursuit.

(A. Barnes.)

(vers. 3, 4): — Soldiers read and scan attentively the military orders which are put forth from time to time by their commanding officers. Let us see what, in the articles of Christian warfare, are placed here for our instruction to-day.

I. THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER IS TO ENDURE SUFFERING FOR CHRIST. This is the true rendering of the expression, "Endure hardness." It means, suffer or endure for Christ's sake. The faithful soldier never deserts his duty. The hardships on the battle-field are fearful, but never, in his thought, unendurable. Officers in the Crimean war (as they themselves have told me) had for weeks nothing else than the hard rock for their pillow, and the sky (often obscured by deluging rain clouds) for their ceiling. Yet they "endured" it, and the soldiers "endured" it with them, and thus they "suffered" or endured hardness together, as "good soldiers" under a gracious queen!

1. The good soldier of Jesus Christ will often "endure" suffering by reproaches for Christ's name.

2. And you must not wonder, if you have to endure persecution also, by taunts openly spoken in your hearing.


1. The Christian is a warrior — is a "man that warreth." There is the daily watch to he kept over yourself, and to bar out Satan, and to keep out the world. Ay, and all is not done even then, for there are those occasional surprises, when the enemy would pounce upon us from an ambush; for the Christian knows that sometimes he is vigorously assaulted at the time, and from the point where he thought injury impossible, and when he deemed himself quite secure. Then, too, there is the well planned attack, when Satan brings all his legionaries to the fight, and the hosts of temptations are directed against you with unceasing violence.

2. Well, then, be mindful you do not entangle yourself. You need not be entangled — if you become so, you entangle yourself.

(1)You may entangle yourself by a worldly spirit.

(2)Or, you may become entangled by evil company.

(3)Or, you may become en tangled by any business or any pleasure. How, then, are these dangers to be avoided?I answer —

1. By watchfulness against first dangers. You know in an army, "pickets" are sent to the very outskirts of the camp, who give signal of the earliest beginning of any attack. Be you always on your guard; let conscience have fidelity and watchfulness, ever on the alert to give notice of the least cause of danger.

2. Then, next, daily prayer is as needful to a Christian soldier as daily food is to the winner of the earthly fight.

3. And, lastly, you will do well to make a profession. A man is just as brave in fustian as in full regimentals, but it is a fact long ago established, that the ornament and distinctive dress are extremely useful.

(Geo. Venables.)

1. I begin with the particular matter suggested by the apostle; viz., the putting off or excision of the world, as an interruptive and disqualifying power. The only way to make great soldiership, as the military commander well understands, is to take his men completely out of the home world and have them circumscribed and shut in by drill, as being mortgaged in body and life for their country.. Trained to flinch at nothing, and suffer anything, he makes them first impassive, and so, brave. And under this same law it is that all Christian disciples are required to strip for the war, throwing off all their detentions, all the seductions of business, property, pleasure, and affection. All such matters must now drop into secondary places, for the understanding is, that no one gets the great heart, or becomes in any sense a hero, till his very life is drunk up in his commander, and his supreme care to please him that hath chosen him to be a soldier.

2. Consider next how the military discipline raises spirit and high impulse by a training under authority, exact and absolute. Does it reduce the soldiers and all the subordinate commanders of an army to mere cyphers, when they are required to march, and wheel, and lift every foot, and set every muscle by the word of authority; when even the music is commandment, and to feed, and sleep, and not sleep are by requirement? Why, the service rightly maintained invigorates every manly quality rather; for they are in a great cause, moving with great emphasis, having thus great thoughts ranging in them and, it may be, great inspirations. God's all dominant, supreme authority is our noblest educator.

3. How often is it imagined by outside beholders, or felt by slack-minded, self-indulgent disciples, that the military stringency of the Christian life is a condition of bondage. Liberty is not the being let alone, or allowed to have everything oar own way. If it were, the wild beasts would be more advanced in it than all states and peoples. No, there is no proper liberty but under rule, and in the sense of rule. It holds high sisterhood with law, nay, it is twin-born with law itself.

4. Ungenial and repulsive as the law of the camp may be, there is no such thing in it as enduring hardness for hardness' sake, no peremptory commandment for commandment's sake. Such kind of discipline would not be training, but extirpation rather. And yet how many of us Christian disciples fall into notions of Christian self-denial that include exactly this mistake. As if it were a proper Christian thing to be always scoring, and stripping, and mortifying ourselves. The truth is, that our human nature is made to go a great deal more heroically than some of us think; and our soldiers in the field are just now making this discovery. Why, if the fires of patriotic impulse can help our sons and fathers in the field to rejoice in so great sacrifice for their country, what pain can there be to us in our painstakings, what loss in our losses, when the love of God and of His Son is truly kindled in us?

5. The military discipline has as little direct concern to beget happiness, as it has to compel self-abnegation. It is never altogether safe for such as we to be simply happy, and that may be the reason why the best and solidest of us never are.

6. There is yet one other point of this military analogy, where in fact it is scarcely any proper analogy at all, but a kind of universal law, running through all kinds of mortal endeavour, secular, moral, mental, and spiritual; viz., that whatever we get, we must somehow fight for it. What begins in the conflicts of tribes and empires runs down through all kinds of experience. Fighting a good fight is the only way to finish the course, and the crown of glory comes in nowhere, save at the end.

(H. Bushnell, D. D.)

What are the things with which we are in danger of entangling ourselves?

1. Doubtless we are in the greatest danger from our sins and especially from our besetting sin, i.e., that peculiar sin to which each one is liable either from some natural bias, or from acquired habit arising out of the evil within. We are in danger of entangling ourselves with our sins —

(1)From their deceitfulness.

(2)From the power and force of habit.

(3)Because we cannot be the slaves of sin and be the servants of God.

2. But the Christian's dangers arise not only from his sins, but also from the ordinary affairs of daily life. These are more especially meant in the text. And what snare can be greater? Actual sin we may generally know to be sin. But in the affairs of this life, our daily occupations and our lawful enjoyments, it is often hard to find where the entanglement begins. If as moralists say and as experience proves, the difference between things lawful and unlawful is frequently one of degree, it must require both an enlightened conscience and much self-examination to ascertain the middle path of safety. Then keep as your safeguard the motive the text supplies: "to please Him who hath chosen you to be a soldier." It is possible, we may think we do God service by acts which a more enlightened judgment would convince us do not; we cannot mistake a sincere desire to please Him. The old Crusader who, his heart aroused by the preaching of a Bernard or a Peter, laid his hand on his breast and swore to scare away the infidel from the holy sepulchre by his good broadsword, needed more light to learn that "our weapons are not carnal"; and yet who can doubt his desire to please his Saviour? Let us, then, see to it that we have this motive — Am I desirous to please Him who hath chosen me to be a soldier?

(G. Huntingdon, M. A.)

1. From weakness of judgment.

2. From inordinate affection.

3. From the rebellion of the will. Let us use all helps to avoid the danger; and(1) We must get a sound judgment, to understand what is the chiefest good, and how we are to dispose of all inferior things, for the procuring of it.(2) Labour to see the vanity of all earthly and sublimary things, what, and wherein their natural worth consisteth.(3) Make the Lord thy portion, and be thou assured that He only can content thy heart.(4) Refrain things indifferent (if in thy choice), and watch over thy outward senses.(5) Strive for a taste of spiritual things. They who tasted of the grapes which came from Canaan, desired to see the land: coveted more. So will it be in better things.(6) Beat Satan with his own weapons, outshoot him in his own bow. Doth he show thee the glory of this world? Tell him, it is thy Father's; and in serving of Him He will give thee a better. Tempts he thee to wear two swords? Say that thou art weak, and one sufficeth. Art thou enticed by Rebecca's beauty? Consider the king's daughter, who is all glorious within. Saith he, thou art a sinner? Reply, else what needed I a Saviour?

(J. Barlow, D. D.)

St. Paul does not suggest that Christians should keep aloof from the affairs of this life, which would be a flat contradiction of what he teaches elsewhere (1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12). He has a duty to perform "in the affairs of this life," but in doing it he is not to be entangled in them. They are means, not ends; and must be made to help him on, not suffered to keep him back. If they become entanglements instead of opportunities, he will soon lose that state of constant preparation and alertness which is the indispensable condition of success.

(A. Plummer, D. D.)

Milton excuses Oliver Cromwell's want of bookish application in his youth thus: "It did not become that hand to wax soft in literary ease which was to be inured to the use of arms and hardened with asperity; that right arm to be softly wrapped up amongst the birds of Athens, by which thunderbolts were soon afterwards to be hurled among the eagles which emulate the sun." Carnal ease and worldly wisdom are not becoming in the soldier of Jesus Christ. He has to wrestle against principalities and powers, and has need of sterner qualities than those which sparkle in the eyes of fashion or adorn the neck of elegance.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Let not the minister of the gospel have one foot in the temple and the other in the curia.


Tamil Proverb.
Those who regard relationship are not fit for military service.

(Tamil Proverb.)

British Weekly.
The Countess of Aberdeen, speaking at Millseat, said, "If you have noticed Mr. Gladstone as I have done, he considers it a sacred duty never to think any part of his time his own while he is in office. He considers he has no right to have anything to do with his own private affairs. He has told me himself that he never reads a book which he does not think will help in some way to prepare his mind for the work which he has to do for the country. He never takes any relaxation, any recreation, but what he thinks is just necessary to prepare him in doing the work of his country. It is a life of hard and coutinuous work, and yet we all look upon that as the most honourable place in the country, that of being absolutely the servants of the country."

(British Weekly.)

That he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier
As we read his epistles, we feel that we know St. Paul better even than those who saw his face or heard his voice; and more and more the consciousness of his greatness becomes impressed upon us. There are two things in this greatness of his which strike us most forcibly. The first is his success in living the Christian life. What was the secret of this strength and success, making St. Paul's life so different from the lives of other men? Another thing which strikes us, as we read his writings, is his deep spirituality. What was the secret of this spirituality? Perhaps the text wilt furnish us with an answer. There you have the ringing key-note of St. Paul's whole life, the one thought that was ever uppermost in his mind, "'That I may please Him." There are three aims, or motives, under which men act, and these three give birth to three different kinds of lives. Each of these principles of action is exclusive.

I. LIVING TO PLEASE SELF. This is the keynote of most lives — the central force into which they resolve themselves when they are analysed and dissected. The principle first manifests itself when the unconscious life of childhood passes into the conscious life of manhood or womanhood.

II. The second type of life is THAT IN WHICH THE FIRST AIM IS TO PLEASE OTHERS. The highest good, some say, is to sacrifice all for selfish pleasure. The highest good, say others, is to sacrifice all to gain the approbation and admiration of the world. Some men will give honour and reputation for gold. Others will give gold for honour and reputation. Here you have the distinction between these two motives.

III. From the slavery of these two motives — living to please self, and living to please others — let us now turn to the glorious liberty of the third — St. Paul's motive — LIVING TO PLEASE CHRIST. The Christian religion is different from all other religions in this one respect: it is founded, not upon a system, but upon a person. Remember that this is not a dead person who lived eighteen hundred years ago, and then went back to heaven. It is not the memory of a life. It is a present life. II; is a living person — "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever." Here is the fountain of spirituality — the constant contact of heart and soul with the living Christ. We Christians are men of but one principle. We, with that feeling of loyalty in our hearts to Christ, have hut one simple rule of action: Will it please Him?

(H. Y. Satterlee, D. D.)

Nowhere else is it so true that the will of one becomes lost in that of another as in the case of the soldier. In an army it is contemplated that there shall be but one mind, one heart, one purpose — that of the commander; and that the whole army shall be as obedient to that as the members of the human body are to the one will that controls all. The application of this is obvious.

(A. Barnes.)

Ofttimes a commander is so beloved and idolised by his soldiers, that they know no higher wish than to please him for his own sake. A French soldier lay sorely wounded on the field of battle. When the surgeons were probing the wound in the breast to find the bullet, the soldier said: "A little deeper, gentlemen, and you will find the emperor." So heart-deep was his devotion to his captain. But there never, never was a captain who so held the heart and charmed the love of His soldiers as Immanuel does. For Him they fight, for Him they live, for Him they suffer, and for Him they die! if only they may "please Him who hath called them to be a soldier." This Commander loves to mention his beloved "braves" in His despatches, and these are kept as a book of remembrance.

(J. J. Wray.)

In evil times it fares best with them that care most careful about duty, and least about safety.

(J. Hammond.)

Erratic Christians, who dash about like Bashi-Bazouks, working according; to no law save the bidding of their own caprice, are sorry specimens of soldiers.

(W. Landels, D. D.)

When Stonewall Jackson, who was personally a very tender man, was asked whether he had no compunctions in shelling a certain town, which had been threatened unless it surrendered, he replied, "None whatever. What business had I with results? My duty was to obey orders."

(H. O. Mackey.)

David, Hymenaeus, Paul, Philetus, Timothy
Active, Affairs, Aim, Army, Becoming, Business, Chosen, Civilian, Commanding, Duty, Enlist, Enlisted, Enrolled, Entangle, Entangled, Entangles, Entangleth, Everyday, Fighting, Free, Gets, Involved, Keeps, Officer, Please, Pleasing, Pursuits, Satisfy, Serves, Service, Serving, Soldier, Wants, Warreth, World's
1. Timothy is exhorted again to constancy and perseverance.
17. Of Hymenaeus and Philetus.
19. The foundation of the Lord is sure.
22. He is taught whereof to beware, and what to follow after.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Timothy 2:4

     5261   commander
     8302   love, abuse of

2 Timothy 2:1-4

     8775   libertinism

2 Timothy 2:3-4

     5433   occupations

2 Timothy 2:3-6

     5766   attitudes, to life

2 Timothy 2:4-5

     8110   athletics

Twenty-Seventh Day. Holiness and Service.
If a man therefore cleanse himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, meet for the Master's use, prepared unto every good work.'--2 Tim. ii. 21. 'A holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices. A holy nation, that ye may show forth the excellences of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.'--1 Pet. ii. 5, 9. Through the whole of Scripture we have seen that whatever God sanctifies is to be used in the service of His Holiness. His Holiness
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

"But Ye are not in the Flesh, but in the Spirit, if So be that the Spirit of God Dwell in You. Now, if any Man
Rom. viii. 9.--"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." Application is the very life of the word, at least it is a necessary condition for the living operation of it. The application of the word to the hearts of hearers by preaching, and the application of your hearts again to the word by meditation, these two meeting together, and striking one upon another, will yield fire.
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

In Memoriam.
DR. TALMAGE-THE MAN. BY REV. W. S. SWANSON, D.D. [Dr. Swanson was for twenty years a valued member of the English Presbyterian Mission at Amoy, and subsequently Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church of England until his death, November 24, 1893] My first meeting with Dr. Talmage took place in the early days of July, 1860, and from that day till the day of his death he was regarded as not only one of the best and most valued friends, but I looked up to him as a father
Rev. John Gerardus Fagg—Forty Years in South China

"Most Gladly Therefore Will I Rather Glory in My Infirmities, that the Power of Christ May Rest Upon Me. " -- 2 Cor. 12:9.
"It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him." -- 2 Tim 2:11,12. "Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." -- 2 Cor. 12:9. Compassed about with songs, my soul was still -- But not for lack of light its bliss to see; Thy heart, my Father, could the temple fill, And its deep silence was a song to Thee. My mind reposed in its captivity, By the clear evidence
Miss A. L. Waring—Hymns and Meditations

The victory of the Lamb
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him."--2 Tim. ii. 12. J. Heerman, 1647. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 I go from grief and sighing, the valley and the clod, To join the chosen people in the palaces of God-- There sounds no cry of battle amidst the shadowing palms, But the mighty song of victory, and glorious golden psalms. The army of the conquerors, a palm in every hand, In robes of state and splendour, in rest eternal stand; Those marriage robes of glory, the righteousness of God-- He
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)

Of This, Then, Ye have Now Received, have Meditated...
2. Of this, then, ye have now received, have meditated, and having meditated have held, that ye should say, "I believe in God the Father Almighty." God is Almighty, and yet, though Almighty, He cannot die, cannot be deceived, cannot lie; and, as the Apostle says, "cannot deny Himself." [1765] How many things that He cannot do, and yet is Almighty! yea therefore is Almighty, because He cannot do these things. For if He could die, He were not Almighty; if to lie, if to be deceived, if to do unjustly,
St. Augustine—On the Creeds

Introductory Note to the Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus
[a.d. 130.] The anonymous author of this Epistle gives himself the title (Mathetes) "a disciple [263] of the Apostles," and I venture to adopt it as his name. It is about all we know of him, and it serves a useful end. I place his letter here, as a sequel to the Clementine Epistle, for several reasons, which I think scholars will approve: (1) It is full of the Pauline spirit, and exhales the same pure and primitive fragrance which is characteristic of Clement. (2) No theory as to its date very much
Mathetes—The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus

Epistle xxxv. To Leontius, Ex-Consul.
To Leontius, Ex-Consul. Gregory to Leontius, &c. Since in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth, and some indeed to honour but some to dishonour (2 Tim. ii. 20), who can be ignorant that in the bosom of the Universal Church some as vessels of dishonour are deputed to the lowest uses, but others, as vessels of honour, are fitted for clean uses. And yet it commonly comes to pass that the citizens of Babylon serve in task-work for Jerusalem, while
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners Or, a Brief Relation of the Exceeding Mercy of God in Christ, to his Poor Servant, John Bunyan
In this my relation of the merciful working of God upon my soul, it will not be amiss, if in the first place, I do in a few words give you a hint of my pedigree, and manner of bringing up; that thereby the goodness and bounty of God towards me, may be the more advanced and magnified before the sons of men. 2. For my descent then, it was, as is well known by many, of a low and inconsiderable generation; my father's house being of that rank that is meanest, and most despised of all the families in
John Bunyan—Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners

The vine and the Branches
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much
J. W. Byers—Sanctification

To the High and Mighty Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
Tolle malos, extolle pios, cognosce teipsum: Sacra tene, paci consule, disce pati. Christ Jesus, the Prince of princes, bless your Highness with length of days, and an increase of all graces, which may make you truly prosperous in this life, and eternally happy in that which is to come. Jonathan shot three arrows to drive David further off from Saul's fury; and this is the third epistle which I have written, to draw your Highness nearer to God's favour, by directing your heart to begin, like Josiah,
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Concerning the Sacrament of Baptism
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to the riches of His mercy has at least preserved this one sacrament in His Church uninjured and uncontaminated by the devices of men, and has made it free to all nations and to men of every class. He has not suffered it to be overwhelmed with the foul and impious monstrosities of avarice and superstition; doubtless having this purpose, that He would have little children, incapable of avarice and superstition, to be initiated into
Martin Luther—First Principles of the Reformation

That, Namely, Befalleth them which in Undisciplined Younger Widows...
26. That, namely, befalleth them which in undisciplined younger widows, the same Apostle saith must be avoided: "And withal they learn to be idle; and not only idle, but also busy bodies and full of words, speaking what they ought not." [2562] This very thing said he concerning evil women, which we also in evil men do mourn and bewail, who against him, the very man in whose Epistles we read these things, do, being idle and full of words, speak what they ought not. And if there be any among them who
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

The Apostle Has Made Known to us Certain Three Unions...
23. The Apostle has made known to us certain three unions, Christ and the Church, husband and wife, spirit and flesh. Of these the former consult for the good of the latter, the latter wait upon the former. All the things are good, when, in them, certain set over by way of pre-eminence, certain made subject in a becoming manner, observe the beauty of order. Husband and wife receive command and pattern how they ought to be one with another. The command is, "Let wives be subject unto their own husbands,
St. Augustine—On Continence

It Behoves those who Preside Over the Churches, Every Day but Especially on Lord's Days...
It behoves those who preside over the churches, every day but especially on Lord's days, to teach all the clergy and people words of piety and of right religion, gathering out of holy Scripture meditations and determinations of the truth, and not going beyond the limits now fixed, nor varying from the tradition of the God-bearing fathers. And if any controversy in regard to Scripture shall have been raised, let them not interpret it otherwise than as the lights and doctors of the church in their
Philip Schaff—The Seven Ecumenical Councils

Under the Shepherd's Care.
A NEW YEAR'S ADDRESS. "For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."--1 Peter ii. 25. "Ye were as sheep going astray." This is evidently addressed to believers. We were like sheep, blindly, willfully following an unwise leader. Not only were we following ourselves, but we in our turn have led others astray. This is true of all of us: "All we like sheep have gone astray;" all equally foolish, "we have turned every one to his own way." Our first
J. Hudson Taylor—A Ribband of Blue

Glorious Predestination
Note, also, that Paul in this chapter has been treating of the sufferings of this present time; and though by faith he speaks of them as very inconsiderable compared with the glory to be revealed, yet we know that they were not inconsiderable in his case. He was a man of many trials; he went from one tribulation to another for Christ's sake; he swam through many seas of affliction to serve the church. I do not wonder, therefore, that in his epistles he often discourses upon the doctrines of foreknowledge,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 18: 1872

The Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Prodigal Son.
LUKE xv. The three parables of this chapter, like the seven in Matt. xiii., constitute a connected series. As soon as we begin to look into their contents and relations, it becomes obvious that they have been arranged according to a logical scheme, and that the group so framed is not fragmentary but complete. We cannot indeed fully comprehend the reciprocal relations of all until we shall have examined in detail the actual contents of each; and yet, on the other hand, a preliminary survey of the
William Arnot—The Parables of Our Lord

That the Ruler Relax not his Care for the Things that are Within in his Occupation among the Things that are Without, nor Neglect to Provide
The ruler should not relax his care for the things that are within in his occupation among the things that are without, nor neglect to provide for the things that are without in his solicitude for the things that are within; lest either, given up to the things that are without, he fall away from his inmost concerns, or, occupied only with the things that are within bestow not on his neighbours outside himself what he owes them. For it is often the case that some, as if forgetting that they have
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

God's Faithfulness
'Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him.'--DEUT. vii. 9. 'Faithful,' like most Hebrew words, has a picture in it. It means something that can be (1) leant on, or (2) builded on. This leads to a double signification--(1) trustworthy, and that because (2) rigidly observant of obligations. So the word applies to a steward, a friend, or a witness. Its most wonderful and sublime application is to God. It presents to
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Curiosity a Temptation to Sin.
"Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away."--Proverbs iv. 14, 15. The chief cause of the wickedness which is every where seen in the world, and in which, alas! each of us has more or less his share, is our curiosity to have some fellowship with darkness, some experience of sin, to know what the pleasures of sin are like. I believe it is even thought unmanly by many persons (though they may not like to say
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VIII

Answer to Mr. W's Fifth Objection.
5. The consideration that none of these raised persons did or could, after the return to their bodies, tell any tales of their separate existence; otherwise the Evangelists had not been silent in this main point, &c. p. 32. None of these persons, Mr. W. says, told any tales of their separate existence. So I suppose with him. As for the two first: How should they? being only, as Mr. W. says, an insignificant boy and girl, of twelve years of age, or thereabouts. Or if they did, the Evangelists were
Nathaniel Lardner—A Vindication of Three of Our Blessed Saviour's Miracles

"And the Life. " How Christ is the Life.
This, as the former, being spoken indefinitely, may be universally taken, as relating both to such as are yet in the state of nature, and to such as are in the state of grace, and so may be considered in reference to both, and ground three points of truth, both in reference to the one, and in reference to the other; to wit, 1. That our case is such as we stand in need of his help, as being the Life. 2. That no other way but by him, can we get that supply of life, which we stand in need of, for he
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

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