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A45335 A practical and polemical commentary, or, exposition upon the third and fourth chapters of the latter epistle of Saint Paul to Timothy wherein the text is explained, some controversies discussed, sundry cases of conscience are cleared, many common places are succinctly handled, and divers usefull and seasonable observations raised / by Thomas Hall ... Hall, Thomas, 1610-1665. 1658 (1658) Wing H436; ESTC R14473 672,720 512

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422 Truth hath many Opposers Page 440 Traditions vain p. 298 Traytors of three sorts Page 115 Truth abideth p. 187 V. VErtues are concatenated Page 21 Vnholy who P. 73 74 Vnrighteous dealing dangerous Page 81 82. Vnthankefulnesse How Vile Page 68 69 Vnitie its Excellency Page 392 W. WAlk with God Page 361 The weakest may be helpfull Page 427 The World inordinately loved breeds Apostates p. 417 Weak things must not be despised Page 464.469 Women some good ones p. 469 Wicked men grow worse and worse p. 229 230. They draw others to wickedness p. 232 Witches must be put to death p. 228. Many seducing Quakers Witches Page 225 226 The Word to be Preacht on all occasions p. 326 Y. YOuth must be given to God Page 247 Z. ZEal becometh the Ministers of the Gospel p. 223.333 What zeal is p. 337 338. Signes of it p. 336. Cavils against it answered p. 341. Motives to it p. 343. Zealous men must expect opposition p. 203. The godly are zealous p. 332. They are the Pillars of a Land Page 336. FINIS Books Printed for and sold by Iohn Starkey at the Miter at the North-door of the middle Exchange in St. Pauls Church-yard A Martyrology containing a Collection of all the Persecutions that have befallen the Church of England with the lives of ten of our late famous English Divines by Samuel Clark in Folio Justification justified or a Treatise of Justification by Faith by a learned Divine in the West of England in Quarto Master Thomas Gataker Gods eye on his Israel being an Exposition on Numb 23 21. and two Sermons on the same Authors in Quarto The life of Christina Queen of Sweden translated out of French by I. H. Letters of affairs Love and Courtship written in French by the Exquisite pen of Mounsieur de Voiture and Englished by I. D. Master Thomas Halls Beauty of Holiness or a description of the Excellency Amiableness Comfort and content which is to be found in wayes of Purity and Holyness in Octavo Master Thomas Halls Homesius Enervatus or a Confutation of the Millenarian Opinion Plainly shewing that Christ will not raign with the Saints for 1000. years on earth with a word to our fifth Monarchy men 8● Masters Thomas Halls Phaetons folly or the Downfall of Pride being a Translation of the second Book of Ovids Metamorphosis Paraphrastically and Grammatically with an Essay of Ovid de Tristibus in Octavo A Sermon of the Passion of Christ by William Cartwright in Octavo The Mystery of the two Witnesses unveiled by Iohn Robotham Minister at Dover in Octavo A Silver Watch-bell to awake to repentance with a Treatise on the Sacrament by Tho. Tymme in Octavo The Art of Giving or a guide to Charity by Thomas Cooper in Octavo A Magical description of the Soul by Agricola Carpentar in Octavo The Synopsis of Christianitie in an Exposition of the Commandements Lords Prayer and Creed by Richard Sedgwick in Octavo Master Tho. Hooker of N. England his pattern of Perfection with other Treatises in twelves Tho. Gataker De Iustificatione in twelves De Dipthongis in twelves A Christian Alphabet containing grounds of Knowledge unto salvation by Iohn Phillips Gildas his Description of the State of great Brittain written 110. years since in twelves Mr. Adam Harsnets Gods summons unto a general Repentance in 12● Mr. Henry Beachams Truth of times revaled in twelves Becons display of the Popish Mass in twelves The Compleat Tradesman or a Guide for the true stating of any question touching Interest of six per Cent. per Annum with other useful Tables by I.H. in twelves Tertullians Apologie or Defence of the Christians in quarto An Abrid●ement of the New Testament in Welch in octavo Mr. Shepherds Catechism in octavo Mr. Crawshers Catechism octavo * Magistrates may see their duty in the Treatise it self on 2 Timothy 3.2 p. 26.27 * The excellency of a zealous Magistrate you may see on 2 Tim. 2.4 * Si eritis inseparabiles eritis insuperabiles Erat fidelium cor unum anima una non Physicè sed Moralitèr q. d. Ita animis sensibus erant concordes ac si omnes unum idemque hab●issent cor à Lapide in locum Ubi plura See Motives to Unitie Burroughs Irenicum Chapter 31. c. Gournall on Ephes. 6.15 c. 13. p. 422. Fenner on Rev. 3.1 p. 10. to 21. folio V. Mr. Blake on the Covenant Chap. 31. p. 240. V. The Answer of the Assembly to the dissenting Brethren In fine p. 60.61 See Master Gage his Defence of Parish Churches See Master Cawdry Independency a great Schism To cull out ten or twenty and make them the Church excluding two hundred or two thousand in some places as dogs and swine doth exceedingly puffe up the one so that Ministers can scarce tell how to please them but in a short time they picke quarrels and fall all to pieces and discourageth the other and so prejudiceth them against their Ministery that it loseth the operation it should have upon their hearts * See 20. considerations to quicken you in 2 Tim. 3.15 Civitatis eversio morum non murorum casus Aug. Boni cives civitatis maenia Spartanis multis seculis Civium virtus Vrbis murus fuit Pezel Mellif Histor. P. 1. p. 234. edit ult * See 20. considerations to quicken you in 2 Tim. 3.15 To incourage you to the Dutie See an excellent little Tract of Master Cawdry called Family-Reformation and of Mr. Philip Goodwins Treatise on the same subject In tenui labor est Vocum Phrasium enodatio tenuis gloria at non tenuis Vtilitas Scultetus * Though the lively voice more pierce the heart and be apter to move affection yet men seldome take the paines or time to lay down things in speech as they doe for publick writings Robinsons Essayes Observat. 23. Vbi plura And Master Philip Goodwin in his Epistle Dedicatory to his Family-Religion * Non omnis moriar multaque pars mei Vitabit Libitinam Horat. Ode 30. Lib. 3. Emanuel Sa was nigh fourtie yeares in composing his Aphorismes In hoc opus per Annos ferè quadraginta diligentissimè incubui Em. Sa Praefat. in Aphorism p. 2. * Lucilius saepè Ducentos versus dictabat stans pede in uno Horat. Serm. Lib. 1. Sat. 4. * Saepè caput scaberet vivos roderet ungues l. 1. Sat. 10. * Carmen reprehendito quod non multa dies multa litura coercuit atque perfectum decies non castigavit ad unguem Horat. de Arte Poet. Ducentis viginti Annis à tota Asia factum fuit Munsteri Geograph Lib. 5. Page 983. * It was Reprinted 1628. * Sandersons History of King Charles page 1116. * I mean the better half not in Quantitie onely as bigger but in Qualitie as better done then the former part by Mr. B. who though he were a good man a good 〈◊〉 and a good Preacher was yet in Scholastical faculties and furniture abilitie
fare the better for them every day why is the heap of chaff kept from burning but because there 's some wheat mixt with it but if once the wheat were out the chaff should soon be set on fire When once the number of Gods Elect is accomplisht the world shall not stand a moment 'T is just with God to take them from us for our abusing them we cast dirt and God casts dust on them many great men are fallen of late in this our English Israel nigh an hundred godly Ministers are taken from us within the space of three years past many of them young and eminent for Piety so that we this day are weakned both in Church and State Ioseph is not and Simeon is not and Benjamin is not all these things are against us This is and should be a Lamentation to us Now since there is such aboundance of false fire and fein'd zeal in the world we had the more need to try our own Some are mislead by a blind zeal Rom. 20.2 Others by an indiscreet zeal Matth. 26.51 Luke 9.52 53 54. Iohn 8. ult Others by an hyrocritical zeal they pretend Religion but they intend their own inriching So Demetrius pretended the preservation of Religion when indeed he intended his own silver Trade Acts 19 24. 1. True zeal is known by the Rise and Original of it 1. If it be wrought in our hearts by the Spirit of God we are not born zealous for God his Truth and People but by nature are full of enmity to all these Acts 9.1 Phil. 36. Paul in his natural state persecutes the Church out of a blind zeal many mistake the fire of their own flints and the fire of Hell for this celestial fire But the Author of all true zeal and Heavenly fire is the holy Spirit of God which is oft called fire Acts 2.3 4. Matth. 3.11 because like fire it inlightens and heats our cold and frozen hearts Luke 24.32 A man that hath fire in his bosom will quickly be sensible of it Prov. 6.27 28. 2. T is operative like fire daily burning up our lusts purging out our dross and working out our scumme 'T is the true purgatory fire which all beleevers pass through Isay 4.4 2. It springs from knowledge as David first beleeved and then spake so the zealous man first knows Gods Will and then is zealous in the prosecution of it Blind zeal is rather fury and madness rashness and rudeness then zeal 'T is celeris cursus extra viam It 's like mettle in a blind Horse which carries the Rider into many dangers Like a Ship without a Pilot which runs it self on many Rocks and Sands Like wild-fire in a Fools hand or the Devil in the Demoniack which cast him sometimes into the fire and anon into the water The Jews had a zeal after Legal Rites and Ceremonies but 't was a blind zeal that But spoiled all Rom. 10.2 as without knowledg the mind is not good so neither is the man nor his zeal Prov. 19.2 as blind obedience is no obedience so blind zeal is not zeal Such is the zeal of Papists and Sectaries 3. It springs from a Love to Christ this constrains us to do and suffer for Christ. 2 Cor. 5.14 As Christ loved us and spent himself for us so the sense of this love being shed abroad in our hearts will make us to spend our selves for him This fire of Gods love to us will make us contemn all other fire 4. When it springs from a Love and Compassion to our Brethren when all our admonishions and reproofs come from a spirit of love and tenderness and are mixt with meekness and mourning this is true zeal Thus Samuel 1.16 tells Saul plainely and sharply of his sin yet mourns for his person Lot reproves the Sodomites for their wickedness yet calls them Brethren Gen. 19.7 Christ was angry at the sin yet mourned for the sinners Mark 3.5 So doth Paul 2 Cor. 12.22 Hot and moist is the best temper both in nature and grace When men rave and rage and are full of bitterness then Satan casts out Satan and they do more hurt then good These hate the sinner and not the sin when the good man is merciful to the sinner but cruel and unmerciful to the sin 2. True zeal is known by its End viz. Gods glory It can be content to decrease so Gods honor may increase Iohn 3.30 As true zeal comes from God so 't is for God and his glory and not for self The hypocrite may seem very zealous but 't is for his own ends like the Sheca●ites that would be cirumcised that they might get cattle Gen. 34.33 Iehu did an act that for the matter was good but his selfish Vain-glorious ends marred all and made it murder Hosea 1.4 3. By the properties and effects of it which are five 1. It increaseth by opposition Like Fountain-water 't is hottest in the coldest weather As water cast on lime by an Antiperistasis burnes more fiercely The more the wicked oppose Gods Law the more David loves it Psal. 119.126 If Michol mock David for dancing before the Ark he 'l resolve to be yet more vile 2 Sam. 6.22 True zeal over-looks and over-leaps all lets and impediments difficulties are but whet-stones to fortitude Heroick spirits know not what discouragements mean Many waters of opposition cannot quench this ardent love but intend it rather Cant. 8.6 7. As we see in Iacob Gen. 32.24 25 26. and the Woman of Canaan Tell Caleb there are Anakims and he 'l say le ts go up couragiously against them Numb 13.30 Tell Paul of bonds why he fears not death Hypocrites make a great shew till they meet with oppositions and then like snailes they pull in their horns 2. It will make us abound in duty if there be the fire of zeal within there will be a flame of a holy Conversation without love especially zealous love is bountiful it thinks it can never do enough for God he 's glad he hath any thing of worth to lose for him and resolves with the Martyr if he had as many lives to lose as he hath haires on his head and as much blood to venture as there is water in the Sea it should all go for Christ. They are ready to act to their power yea and beyond their power 2 Cor. 8.3 Zeal is a very high and intensive heat of all the affections it makes us burn in our love to God in our desires after him our joy in him our fear to offend him our indignation against all that speak or do any thing against him or his Psal. 139.21 Ier. 13.9 10. 'T is not so much any one Affection as the intensive Degree of all when they are all improved to the utmost for the furtherance of Gods glory and the good of his People A zealous man is a man of mettle and spirit he 's all life and activity 'T
preach the Gospel purely and sincerely not shrinking from his Duty for any persecutions or troubles whatsoever Evangelists were Extraordinary Officers but Temporary they were Coadjutors and Helpers of the Apostles in spreading and publishing the Gospel They for the most part attended on them and watered what they planted Acts 8.39 40. Ephesians 4.11 such a one was Timothy as appeareth 1 Corinthians 4.17 and 16.10 and 2.1 1. Philippians 2.19.22 Now Paul maketh ●n honourable mention of Timothies office First The better to incourage him in the faithfull discharge of his Duety against all Opposition Secondly That the VVorld might see he had Authoritie for what he did 4. Sincerity Least any should accuse thee of negligence make full proof of thy Ministery fulfill and accomplish it Let it be fully known q. d. So behave thy self in this Office that men may be able to charge thee justly with nothing but rather approve of thee in all things Let the VVorld see that thou makest it thy own and onely work to winn soules by a faithfull discharge of every part of thy Ministery both in publick and private revealing the whole Counsel of God and boldly rebuking all sorts of sinners By Ministery is not here meant any Civil Office or attendance on the Poor as the Word importeth in Scripture but it noteth the Office of Preaching the Gospel which is called The Ministery Colossians 4.17 and the Preachers of it Ministers 1 Corinthians 5.3 Colossians 1.7 by way of Eminency Verse 6. The Apostle giveth a Reason for this his so serious an Exhortation drawn from the time of his death which he discerned to be now at hand and therefore he Exhorteth Timothy to be so much the more diligent that the Church might not suffer by his negligence after his departure g. d. So long as I lived I was a Father a Counsellor and a quickner of thee both by word and example thou hast hitherto had my help but now thou must shift for thy selfe and swimme without one to hold thee up for the time of my Martyrdome is now at hand Hence briefly Observe That we must not onely be go●d whilest we have good company as King Joash was when de had good Jehojada the Priest to quicken him 2 Kings 12.2 but when good men leave us yet must we not leave our goodnesse Galathians 4.18 Philippians 2.12 A man that is truely good is alwayes good in all places times and companies he is still the same In this verse we have Pauls intimation of his death Verse 7. We have a briefe Narration of his life Verse 8. VVe have his hope and expectation after this life 1. By a Spiritual instinct he saw that his departure was at hand and his Martyrdome near He was now in his last bonds and he saw the cruell actings in Nero's Court against him and therefore he concludes he had not long to live 2. The Terms and Titles by which the Apostle setteth forth his death unto us are worth the observing 1. He calleth it an offering I am now ready to be offered up as a sweet sacrifice to God in my Martyrdome for his Name 'T is usual in Scripture to put that in the Present Tense as done which yet was not done till afterward Thus Christs body is said to be broken and his blood powred out Matthew 26.28 i. This was shortly after to be done on the Crosse So Matthew 26.45 Iohn 20.15 and 14.3 The Word in the Original is very Pathetical and Emphaticall it signifieth a Drink-offering he was now ready to be offered up as a Drink-offering on Gods Altar he chuseth this word rather then that of Sacrifice 1. because the Drink-offering saith Chrysostome was offered up whole but so was not the Sacrifice for part of it was given to the Priests 2. This consisting of Wine and Oyle which was powred out when a meat-offering was made was most fit to set forth the death by which he should die viz. by shedding his blood for Christ which he cheerfully powred out as a Drink-offering to God in sealing of his Truth This is the most genuine sense of the Word it signifieth a Libation or Drink-offering of which we have frequent mention in the Law which the Septuagint render by the word in the Text when they powred out Wine Water Oyle or the like in Sacrifice to God this they called a Powred-out-offering or an effusion because it was onely of moist things Thus Genesis 14. Exodus 30.9 Leviticus 23.13 Numbers 6.15 and 15.5.12 and 28.7 Deuteronomy 32.33 2 Samuel 23.16 17. 2 Kings 16.13 Ieremiah 32.29 and 44.17.25 So that by this allusion he seemeth to Intimate the manner of his death which was not by being offered as an Holocaust or Burnt-offering by fire as the Martyrs were but by a death wherein his blood was shed and powred out viz. by beheading He doth not say I shall now be slain as some vile guilty person but I shall now be offered up in Martyrdome as a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God 3. He useth this Metaphorical word to intimate his Confirmation of the Truth he had preached As the aspersion of blood Blood or Wine was used in sacrifices for the Confirmation of Covanants or as Covenants were confirmed by effusion of VVine which the parties contracting had first tasted of so his death was not onely an oblation or Sacrifice but a Libamentum a Drinke-offering powred out for Comformation of the Gospel which he had preached The Apostle expresseth this more clearly Phil. 2.17 Yea if I be offered upon the Sacrifice and service of your faith ● joy with you all q. d. I have not onely laboured amongst you but if I may die for the confirmation of your Faith and be powred out as a drink-offering for the sealing of the Doctrine which I have taught you it shall be that whereof I shall rejoyce together with you Let Nero kill me because I converted you and others to the Faith it shall not tro●ble me but I will freely give my self in sacrifice for you that you may be ●n Oblation to God and my Blood the Drink-offering that so I may offer up an intire Sacrifice to God Briefly the Levitical Sacrifice consisted of two parts 1. There was the Victima the Sacrifice it self viz. a Bullock a R●m or the like 2. There was the Libamen the Drink-offering of Wine Oyle or the like now the Philippians faith was the sacrifice which was seasoned with Pauls blood as a Drink-offering 2. He setteth forth his death unto us by the term of A departure or dissolution T is not a destruction but a resolution or loosing of the soul from the bonds of the body Death is a taking asunder the parts of which we are composed 't is a freeing the soul from this house of Clay The same word is used Philippians 1.23 I desire to be dissolved q. d. I desire to be discharged and released out of the Prison of
Saviour what in us lieth to all the world this is to do the work of an Evangelist viz. soundly and sincerely to publish the Gospel True Ministers must preach the Law but then it must be preparatory to the Gospel to convince them of their sin and misery and so fit them for mercy and after their conversion as a Rule for direction c. This work is so that Christ tells us it was the primary end of his coming into the world viz. to preach the glad tidings of the Gospel Isai. 61.2 3. Luke 4.18 'T is true the four Apostles which wrote the Gospel are properly or rather appropriately called Evangelists but in a large sense he 's an Evangelist that teacheth the Gospel Observation 8. Timothy was no Diocesan Bishop He was an Evangelist and so not fixt as Bishops were to any particular Congregation City of Diocess but he was to go up and down pro re natâ as occasion required and to preach the Gospel as other Evangelists did Objection In the Post-script 't is said that Timothy was Bishop of Ephesus Answer These Post-scripts are no part of Canonical Scripture but were added by the Scribes who wrot out the Epistles 2. It contradicts the Text which expresly calls him an Evangelist which was a distinct Officer from a Pastor or Bishop Ephes. 4.11 3. It may help to take up the Cavel of Sectaries who would have us live as Timothy and others did without Tythes or fit Maintenance when the case is not the same For 1. They were not tyed to any particular charge as we are 2. The Magistrate was an Heathen and an Enemy 3. They had all things common and they sold all and brought the money to the Apostles 4. The Apostles had their learning by inspiration and they could work miracles and so could not want maintenance Observation 9. Make full proof of thy Ministry Observe Ministers must fully and faithfully discharge all the duties of their callings They must so behave themselves in their office that they may be charged justly with nothing Thus Barnabas and Saul fulfilled their Ministry Acts 12. ult and 14.26 so did Paul 2 Cor. 4.1 2. Archippus Colos. 4.17 must not do his duty to halves but he must perform it in every respect as it ought to be done and accomplish all the parts of his Ministry strengthning the weak comforting the afflicted raising the lapsed reproving the wicked convincing the erronious and confirming the strong adorning our pure doctrine with a pure conversation This is to fulfil our Ministry Verse 6. OBSERVATIONS 1. When God takes away faithful and laborious Ministers those that survive them must stand up in their stead supply their loss and be so much the more active careful and vigilant in the discharge of their office When Paul dyes then Timothy must double his diligence If Eliah be taken away Elisha must pray for a double portion of his spirit to carry on the work Eleazer succeeds Aaron Haggai and Zachary supply th● loss of Daniel and Christ ariseth in Iohn Baptists stead Observation 2. 2. The godly by a spiritual instinct and sagacity foresee their ends so did Iacob Gen. 48.21 and Ioshua 23.14 and Christ Iohn 17.2 and Peter 2.14 They alwayes watch and wait for their Masters coming Their acts diseases and disquietments which they meet withall from the world are as so many petty deaths unto them A man that dwells in an old crazy house where the walls fall down the foundation sinks the pillars bend and the whole building craks concludes such a house cannot long stand As for the wicked they are insensible and secure and though gray hairs which are signes of old age and death approaching be here and there upon them yet they know it not Hos. 7.9 Observation 3. 3. Death is not dreadful to good men The Apostle speaks of it here not by way of Lamentation but of Exultation and in an holy triumph tells us that he had fought a good fight and finisht his course and now the time of his departure was at hand when he should receive a crown of glory Death to him was but a departing from one room to another from a lower room to an higher from earth to Heaven from troubles to rest from mortality to immortality They are long since dead to the world and so can part with it more easily Paul died daily he was sending more and more of his heart out of the world so that by that time he came to dye he was fully weaned from the world and desirous to be gone Phil. 1.23 When Moses had finisht his course God bids him go up and dye that 's all Deut. 32.49 50. Death which to wicked men is the King of terrours and makes them fear and tremble Iob 18.14 That to a good man is the King of comforts and like the Valley of Achor a door of hope In an holy security at death and destruction they can laugh Iob 5.21 22. The wicked look on death as a dreadful dismal thing but Gods people looking on it through the Spectacles of the Gospel s●e it to be a conquered enemy having its sting taken out Hos. 13.15 so that what Agag said vainly and vauntingly Christian may speak truly and seriously The bitterness of death is past 1 Sam. 15.32 As Christ said of Lazarus this sickness is not to death but unto life so may we now say this death is not unto death but unto life So that now the Saints can embrace it go forth to meet it and bid it welcome They know 't is but winking and they are presently in Heaven This made the Martyrs go as cheerfully to their Stakes as others do to a Feast or Marriage when Basils enemies threatned to kill him if he would not turn he boldy answered Oh that I might dye for the truth Hilarion chides himself for his backwardness why dost thou fear Oh my Soul to dye thou hast served thy God these seventy years and art thou now afraid to dye Egredere anima egredere Even Seneca makes it the property of a wise man to desire death We must not judge of death or of any other thing as Sin Riches Afflictions c. as the world judgeth of them but as Scripture speaks Now the Spirit of God in Scripture cloaths death with very lovely and pleasing expressions 1. It calls it a going to our Fathers Gen. 15.15 A going to the Spirits of just men made perfect Heb. 12. 23. A going to God to Christ and to the blessed Angels Phil. 1.23 2. It is called an Exaltation or lifting up Iohn 3.14 3. A sowing which will rise in glory 1 Cor. 15.43 4. An undressing and uncloathing of our selves a putting off our rags that we may put on immortal Robes 2 Cor. 5.2 2 Peter 1.14 5. A going to sleep when men are wearied with labour they desire their beds The grave is a bed of rest Isay 57.2 Iob 3.13 Dan. 12.2 Rev. 14.13
Court and the Martyrs wander up and down in Sheep-kins and Goat-skins being destitute afflicted tormented Heb. 11. Grant but this and then Cain need not fear to kill his brother Saul to persecute the Church Herod to kill the Saints Who will study to keep Gods Commandements or make any conscience of his wayes As for ourselves let us abhor that desperate Opinion which openeth the flood-gates to all villanies and abominations The broachers and obstinate defenders of such Tenents should die without mercy Zach. 13.3 And if the murderers of mens bodies must die for it then such murderers should die some remarkable death for as there are no mercies like soul mercies so there are no murders like these 2. The Immortality of our souls should make us have a special care of them we should see to them diligently Deuteronomy 4.9 Nature teacheth us to look to our bodies but grace to our souls The soul is the man and if that be lost all is lost but if you have a care of your souls God will have a care of your bodies If the Mid-wives fear the Lord he will provide them houses Exodus 1.21 If Solomon seek soul mercies God will cast in Temporal blessings into the bargain 1 Kings 3.12 There are many sicknesses now abroad the way to remove them is to cleave to the Lord and serve him with all our souls then he hath promised to bless our Land and to take all sickness from amongst us Exodus 23.25 Solomon telleth us that the soul is a precious thing Proverbs 6.26 and a wiser then Solomon hath told us that One soul is more worth then all the ●orld Matthew 16.26 Ten thousand worlds could not ransome one soul. Nothing but the precious blood of Christ who was God and Man could do it 1 Pet. 1.19 We see how careful men be for their bodies to feed them when hungry cloath them when naked Physick them when sick and arm them against dangers but the soul the immortal soul lieth starved naked sick and unarmed most with Martha carke and care for the body but few with Mary see to the better part We see how highly men prize their Natural Lives Skinn for skinn and all that they have they will give for them Iob 2.4 Offer a man all the World for his life and he can readily answer what will this profit me when I am dead but offer the same man a little gain honor pleasure for his soul and he 'l part with that for it Esau sold his soul for a mess of pottage Iudas his for 30. pieces of silver the Prodigal his for husks and the worldling for meer vanity drowns his soul in perdition 1 Tim. 6.9 Let us from time to come set a higher price on our souls let us so pray so hear so live as those that believe that our soules are immortal 'T is true we must have a moderate care of our bodies 1 Timothy 5.23 but the welfare of our soules must be chiefly regarded Matth. 6.33 Iohn 6.27 'T was an high commendation of Gajus when the Apostle wisheth he might be in health and prosper even as his Soul prospred 3 Iohn 1.2 I see more in Mr. Calamies Sermon at R. Bolto●s Funeral and Mr. Ambrose his Prima 2 P. p. 61. c. See 20. Reas. for the Souls Immortality in Mr. Baxters Saints Rest. P. 2. c. 10. S. 1. p. 298. Norton Orthodox Evangel c. 15. D. Arrowsmith Tactica S. l. 3. c. 3. S. 12. Prideaux Fascicul p. 315. Calvin de Psychopannychia inter Opuscula contra Libertinos cap. 22. Observation 5. 5. The death of the Martyrs is a most pleasing Sacrifice to God The obedient life and death of all Gods Saints is very pleasing to him Psal. 116.15 but the death of Martyrs who do actually seal to his truth with their dearest blood is a most deligthful sacrifice to him How vilely soever the world esteems of their sufferings yet they are precious in Gods eye and their blood shall pay for it who have made themselves drunk with the blood of his Saints Isay 63.13 Rev. 17.6 When ever therefore the Lord shall call for our lives especially by way of Martyrdom we should cheerfully offer them up in sacrifice to God rejoicing that we have a life or any thing of worth to loose for him We should be holily prodigal of our lives in Gods cause so were the Martyrs and so was Paul he did not value his life when he came to part with it in this kind Acts 20.24 Neither should we mourn inordinately moderately we may as they did for Steven Acts 8.2 for such as dye in the cause of Christ nor yet hinder our Relations in such resolutions but say The will of the Lord be done rejoicing that we have any children or friends that are worthy of so great an honour Observation 6. 6. The death of the Martyrs doth confirm the truth The Church is Gods garden and t is watered and enriched by the blood of Martyrs By sealing the truth with their blood and not loving their lives unto the death the weak are strengthened and the strong confirmed and though they be dead yet their Testimony speaks Heb. 12.4 they conquer even when they seem to be conquered and Chri●● is magnified by their death as well as by their life Phil. 1.20 Caut. Not that the sufferings or constancy of the Martyrs is the foundation of our Faith but God hath ordained it as a means to strengthen it VERSE 7 8. I have fought a good fight I have finisht my course I have kept the Faith V. 7. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of Righteousness which the Lord the righteous Iudge shall give me at that day and not to me onely but unto them also that love his appearing THE Apostle being come to the end of his race he looks about him he looks downward backward upward 1. He looks downward into the grave v. 6. whither he was going and there he sees comfort his death was a pleasing sacrifice to God and a friend to conveigh him to his fathers house 2. He looks backward and views his well-spent life with joy and comfort and in an Holy gloriation breaks forth I have fought the good fight c. A Soul that hath made its peace with God may with comfort and confidence look death in the face and say with good old Simeon Lord now let thy servant depart in peace 3. He looks upward and there he sees Heaven prepared for him v. 8. So that in these two verses we have Pauls work and Pauls wages we see what he did for God and what he expected from God Objct. But doth not this savour of vain-glory and Spiritual Pride Answer Not at all for the Apostle speaks not this Proudly or Thrasonically as if he had merited any thing at the hand of God for he testifieth against this in all his writings especially in Rom. 4. and Phil. 3. and tells us
plainly that what ever he was it was by grace 1 Cor. 15.10 By the grace of God I am that I am and through Christ that strengthened him he could do all things Phil. 4.13 and that 't was mercy and not merit that ever he was faithful 1 Cor. 7.25 But being a man of a good conscience and knowing whom he had believed in an Holy confidence exultation and triumph he breaks forth into this heavenly gloriation and publisheth this his Cygnean song I have fought a good fight c. For though in the case of Justification we must renounce our own righteousness yet out of that case we may rejoice in the good we have done 2. He speaks this partly to comfort Timothy and to incourage him to walk in his steps keeping Faith and a good conscience that as he died now in the peace thereof so he walking in the way which he had prescribed might attain to that end 3. To incourage himself against the reproach of his reproaching violent death he eyes that heavenly reward and that crown of life prepared for such as have fought the good ●ight as he had done who was now to dye not as a Malefactor but a Martyr not for any evil that he had done but for his fidelity to Christ whose faithful servant he proves himself to be by a threefold Metaphor in the Text. 1. The first is taken from a valiant Champion I have fought a good fight or I have strove a good strife and wrastled a good wrastling The life of the Apostle was a continual conflict he was never out of action but was still combating either with his own flesh and corruption 1 Cor. 9.25 Rom. 7. or with Satan 2 Cor. 12.7 or else with the instruments of Satan with Jewes and Gentiles with Pharisees and Sadducees with false brethren and seducers and such like beasts as Elymas the Sorcerer Hymenaeus and Philetus Alexander the Smith the Epicures at Athens and the beastly men at Ephesus 2 Cor. 15.32 If after the manner of men I have fought with the beasts at Ephesus what advantageth it me if the dead rise not Some take this Text literally that Paul did really fight with wild beasts it being one kind of punishment commonly inflicted on the primitive Christians when any thing went amiss presently they cast the Christians to the Lions imputing the cause of their calamities to them But the most genuine and proper sense of the words seems to be this viz. that Paul had contested with such men at Ephesus as wee Barbarous in opinion and beastly in practice such as Demetrius and his followers Acts 19.9 Such wicked men the Scripture frequently stiles beasts Psal. 68.30 Dan. 7.3 4. 2 Tim. 4.17 Grotius and Dr. Hammond his disciple do illustrate this from 2 Cor. 1.8 9. where Paul received the sentence of death in Asia of which Ephesus was the Metropolis q. d. If as 't is the manner of men to be put to fight with beasts in their Amphitheaters so I have been put to fight with bestial men at Ephesus and have with them been exposed to so manifest and great peril what am I the better or to what purpose have I done it if there be no Resurrection This sense agrees best with the scope of the Text especially seeing Luke describing that which happened to Paul at Ephesus Acts 19. makes no mention of his being cast to wild beasts to be torn by them and of his miraculous deliverance from them so great a matter would not have been omitted by the Evangelist who carefully sets down far lesser sufferings of the Apostle So then the Apostle glories how much he had done and suffered for Christ what death and dangers he run for him he reckons eight distinct perils in one verse 2 Cor. 11.26 Besides other hazards that he run 1 Cor. 4.9 to 14. and 2.23 to 28. He bare in his body the marks of the Lord Iesus Gal. 6.17 Yet in all these fights and conflicts he conquered still for he fought not as one that beat the air but the enemy if he had to do with Hereticks he reproved them sharply if with his own flesh he did not lightly chastise it but by force of armes he brought it into subjection 1 Cor. 9.26 27. Object But doth not the Scripture condemn fighting in a Minister 2 Tim. 3.3 and 2.24 Tit. 1.7 Answer This doubt is easily resolved by distinguishing Fighting is twofold 1. Corporal and that also is twofold 1. Lawful as when a man fights in defence of the truth and of his Relations 2. Unlawful as rash drunken quarrelling and fighting and this is that the Apostle condemns in a Minister he must be a man of patient and peaceable temper not given to fighting and quarrelling else a Minister may as occasion requires correct his children and servants and se defendendo strike an assaulter 2. There is a spiritual fight against sin and Satan and of this the Apostle here speaks Paul was a warriour his weapons were spiritual 2 Cor. 10.4 his adversaries spiritual or for spiritual respects and his victories were spiritual Rom. 7.24 25. God had placed him in the head of his Army he kept his station in despight of all opposition and through Christ that strengthned him came off a conquerour And in this sense every Minister must be a striker else God will strike him he must be a man of strife and contention not a beast must come in his way but he must give him a bang He must not play with them but fight with them he must not flatter or humour them in their sins but throw salt on them and reprove them We have seen the Apostles activity he fought We now come to the Adjunct of this fight 't is a Good sight He calls it That good fight Emphatically as being good for Matter Manner End and issue hence the Article is doubled Other fights as corporal ones for Masteries at the Olympick games such agones wrastlings and combatings are poor low sensual things not worth the mentioning but the fight that I have fought is that good fight against sin and Satan no battles like these no agonist or champion like this spiritual one who fights the good fight of faith 1 Tim. 6.12 q. d. I have fought that excellent glorious pleasant and profitable fight Glorious in Gods eye profitable to the Church Phil. 1.12 13. and pleasing and profitable to my self what ever the world judge of it and though my end may seem reproachful in their eye yet 't is glorious in mine and 't is my joy that I have broke through all impediments I have not fled from my colours nor been faithless in Gods Covenant but like a faithful Souldier of Christ I have fought against the temptations of Satan the persecutions of the world the corruption in mine own bosom and the oppositions of false Teachers 2. The second Metaphor is taken from a strenuous runner I have finisht
mention not Vain-gloriously but Thankfully against both men and devils and beastly Barbarians I have contended for the Gospel constantly and couragiously My life is a race and I have run my course even to the very goal in despight of all opposition I have maintained and defended the truth of Christs Gospel inviolably according to my Christian profession and office Apostolical and now from henceforth I comfort my self with the expectation of that crown of immortality which upon the gracious promises of a righteous God is laid up for me and not for me onely but for all the faithful who love Christ and long for his coming Observations 1. 'T is lawful sometimes to speak of those gifts and graces which God hath given us that we may comfort and quicken others by our example But of this see the Observations on chapter 3.10 2. The sweetest songs of the Saints have been towards their last ends The sun shines sweetliest when it is setting the wine of the Spirit is strongest in the Saints when they are drawing to an end His motions are quickest when natural motions are slowest as we see in Moses his Swan-like Song Deut. 31. and 32. and 33. and David how sweetly doth he sing a little before he dies of Gods mercies to himselfe of the covenant of free Grace which God had made with him and his