our friends. Grace be with them, for grace com- prehends in it all that is good, and grace is an ear- nest, yea a beginning, of glory j for wherever God gives grace, he will give glory, and will not withhold any good thing from him who walketh uprightly. Grace be with you all. Amen.
SECOND EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO TIMOTHY.
Completed by Mr. Atkinson.
THIS second epistle Paul wrote to Timothy from Rome, when he was a prisoner there, and in danger of his life ; this' is evident from these words, / am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand, ch. 4. v. 6. It appears that his removal out of this world, in his own apprehension, was not far off, especially considering the rage and malice of his persecutors ; and that he had been brought before the emperor Nero, which he calls hisjirst answer, when no man stood with him, but all men for- sook him, ch. 4 v. 16. And interpreters agree that this was the last epistle he wrote. Where Timothy now was, is not certain. The scope of this epistle somewhat differs from that of the former, not so much relating to his office as an evangelist, as to his personal conduct and behaviour.
II. TIMOTHY, I.
After this introduction, (v. 1, 2.) we have, I. Paul's sincere love to Timothy, v. 3 . . 5. II. Divers exhortations given to him, v. 6.. 14. III. He speaks of Phygellus andHer- mopenes, with others, and closes with Onesiphorus, v. 15, to the end.
1.PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by Jt the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2. To Timothy, my dearly beloved son : Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3. I thank God, whom I serve from imj forefa- thers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day ; 4. Greatly desir- ing to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy •, 5. When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice ; and I am persuaded that in thee also. Here is, . The inscription of the epistle ; Paul calls him- self an apostle by the will of God, merely by the good pleasure of God, and by his grace, which he professes himself unworthy of, according to the fir o- mise of life which is in Christ Jesus, according to the gospeL The gospel is the promise of life in Christ Jesus ; life the end, and Christ the Way, John 14. 6. The life is put into the promise, and both are sure in Christ Jesus the faithiul Witness ; for all the pro- mises of God in Christ Jesus are yea, and all amen, 2 Cor. 1. 20. He calls Timothy his beloved son ; Paul felt the warmest affection for him, both because he had Ijeen an instiiiment of his conversion, and because as a son with his father he had served with him in the gospel. We here learn, (1.) St. Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God ; as he did not re- ceive the gospel of man, nor was taught it, but had it by the revelation of Jesus Christ, (Gal. 1. 12. ) so his commission to be an apostle was not by the will of man, but of God : in the former epistle he says it was by the commandment of God our Saviour, and here by the will of God ; Co<l called him to be an apostle. (2.) We have the promise of life, bless- ed be God for it, in hope oftternal life, 7vhich God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began. Tit 1. 2. It is a promise to discover the freeness and certainty of it. (3. ) This, as well as all other promises, is in and through Jesus Christ ; they all take their rise from the mercy of God in Christ,