Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 1.djvu/220

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and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee, keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." And, in reminding him of this indwelling of the Holy Ghost, the promise of Christ to His Ministers, the Apostle endeavours, with evident anxiety, to embolden Timothy, by filling him with a sense of the authority and power committed to him. "I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind[1]." "Thou, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also[2]." This last passage is very important, because it shows so clearly that the testimony which the Apostles bore to Christ did not cease with their ministry, but was to be transmitted along the sacred line of those whom they ordained, and so handed down to those who were to come after. And where does this line end? Blessed be God, it has not ended yet; and Christ's promise gives us the comfortable assurance that it shall last "even to the end of the world." Down to our days, the Church has been "a witness and keeper of Holy Writ," (Art. xx.) and so faithful a witness, and so watchful a keeper, that we can feel as certain of the facts of the Gospel History, and so of the glorioirs doctrines which rest upon them, as if we heard them from the Apostles' own lips. And how beautifully are we reminded of St. Paul's dying charge to Timothy, when we see the Fathers of our own Church laying their hands on the heads of their sons in the faith, bidding them receive the Holy Ghost for their high office and work in the Church of God, and charging them to be faithful dispensers of the Word of God and His Holy Sacraments; and then delivering into their hands that Holy Book which the Church has preserved and handed down, with authority to preach it in the congregation! Thus is the testimony of the Apostles still delivered in the Church, which is "the pillar and ground of the truth;" and

  1. So, writing to the Corinthians, St. Paul joins Timothy with himself, and claims for him like authority. "If Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear; for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. Let no man therefore despise him."
  2. Comp. 1 Tim. i. 18.