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doctrine of the Gospel which in all points is conformable to true morality, he is puffed up with pride, and knoweth nothing, either of the Jewish or of the Christian revelation, although he pretends to have great knowledge of both; but is distempered in his mind about idle questions and debates of words, which afford no foundation for such a doctrine, but are the source of envy, contention, evil speakings, unjust suspicions that the truth is not sincerely maintained, keen disputings carried on contrary to conscience, by men wholly corrupted in their mind, and destitute of the true doctrine of the Gospel, who reckon whatever produces most money is the best religion. From all such impious teachers, withdraw thyself and do not dispute with them. Macknight's Paraphrase, 1 Tim. vi. 3–5.
" These things which I have been mentioning, take care, 0 Timothy, to teach, and exhort thine hearers always to maintain a due regard to them. And if any one teach otherwise, if he attempt to broach principles contrary to these great maxims, and attend not to such sound and wholesome words, even to those of our Lord Jesus Christ, as these may with strict propriety be called, and which express the doctrine that is agreeable and subservient to the great cause of practical Godliness, which it is the declared design of the Gospel to promote in the world : whatever fair shows of simplicity and humility he may affect, he is certainly proud, and, whatever conceit he may have of his superior knowledge, he is one who knows nothing to any good purpose ; but like a man raving and delirious in a fever, he runs on, declaiming on idle questions, and useless debates about words; from whence no good can be expected to arise, but, on the contrary, a great variety of mischief, envying those more regarded than themselves, contention with others who will not submissively yield to what such selfsufficient teachers dictate abusive language, which their intemperate zeal deals around to all who offend them, and evil suspicions, and obnoxious representatives of the worthiest and most amiable characters. Angry debates of men whose minds are corrupted and averse from the truth, for which they pretend so eagerly to plead ; while they seem to suppose that which promises the largest quantity of gain to be most worthy of their pursuit; and would, if possible, varnish it over with the venerable name of godliness. Turn away therefore from such, and have no intimacy with them." Doddridge Par. of the same.
"These things Timothy was directed to teach and enforce, as matters of the greatest importance; and if any persons taught otherwise, and conseuted not to such salutary words, which were indeed the words of Christ, and an essential part of the doctrine according to Godliness, he must be considered as a self conceited ignorant man, who being puffed up with an opinion of his own abilities was ambitious of distinction and applause, though entirely unacquainted with the real nature and tendency of the Gospel. Such persons were to be considered as acting or talking wildly, like sick and delerious persons, about hard questions, and disputes of words, names, forms or notions, which had no connection with the power of godliness."— Scott.
7. From such false, disputatious, mischief-making teachers, faithful ministers in order to obtain the approbation of God, must withdraw themselves. They must turn away from such, and have no fellowship or connection with them, or be partakers of their deeds and of their just condemnation. "Neither have acquaintance with them, says Scott, nor spend time in disputing against them.” A heretic in doctrine may be admonished once or twice with some hope of his recovery; but the erroneous sentiments, evil practices, and bad passions of these false teachers are so plainly and entirely opposed to the Scriptures, so impious, and of such ruinous tendency, as to leave no room to doubt as to their real character, and no excuse for those who have any association with them, or do not unequivocally and wholly renounce and turn from them.
be very bold, assuming, and zealous ; may labour to conceal or explain away the plainest precepts of the Bible; and may perhaps persuade themselves that their doings are at least humane; but whatever may be their pretensions, their errors are such as to render it improper to hold any controversy or have intercourse with them.
8. The like benevolent and conscientious conduct which is required of slaves toward their masters, is required of masters toward their slaves. In neither case is the obedience enjoined limited by political obligations or civil law, but is to be rendered as obedience to Christ under a deep conviction of duty and accountability to him.
9. There may be converted masters as well as converted slaves. There is nothing in the relation between them either before or after the change to bar the conversion of one
or the other ; nor is there any thing of that nature in the Gospel. In the first age both were converted, and continuing in the same relation as before, appropriate directions and exhortations were addressed to them respectively by the inspired writers.
10. The Gospel contemplates slavery as a relation between different human beings, which, like that between parents and children, or that between rulers and subjects, may exist without sin. Whether or not it does so exist in any particular case, depends not on the nature of the relation, but on the question whether the parties to it mutually fulfil their obligations and discharge their respective duties.-Hence special precepts are addressed respectively to slaves and to their masters as well as to children and parents, subjects and magistrates. Were the relation in itself sinful in one of these cases any more than in another, this could by no means have happened.
11. The obedience enjoined upon slaves and masters being required as matter of conscience, and of duty and responsibility to Christ, as that by which they are to adorn his doctrine, is of far higher moment in the sight of God, and of far greater value in its connection with the spiritual and eternal interests of man, than civil or personal liberty ; inasmuch indeed that the latter is, in comparison, of no account-not to be cared for. This is so clear and palpable that those who teach otherwise are represented to be disordered in mind, and destitute of the truth, esteeming gaingain of any sort-the acquisition of liberty—to be godliness -the chief thing—the highest good.
12. The character of that sort of men who are described as disordered in mind, puffed up with pride etc. is ever the same, like the acts and methods of delusions which they employ, the spirit they manifest, and the michiefs they produce. We have in the Book of the propheses of Jeremiah a notice of such men about six hundred years prior to the Christian era. They were the prophets and divines who in the early part of the captivity of Babylon rejected the inspired truths proclaimed by Jeremiah, and denounced, opposed and sought to destroy him, while they raised a spirit of discontent among the people, declared to them that their captivity instead of enduring seventy years, would speedily terminate ; induced them to neglect the means of domestic comfort and personal well-being, and betrayed them into
measures calculated to exasperate their conquerors, and greatly to augment their own miseries. These things they did shortly after and in direct opposition to and contempt of the following and other like announcements of the holy prophet. “Thus saith the Lord to me, make thee bonds and yokes and put them upon thy neck, and send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the King of the Ammorites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah ; and command them to say unto their masters, thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, thus shall ye say unto your masters; I have made the earth, the men and the beasts that are upon the ground, by my great power, and by my outstreched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet uito me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all natious shall serve him, and his sons, and his sons' son, until the very time of his land come : and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him. And it shall come to pass that the nation and kingdom, which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, unul I have consumed them by his hand. Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon ; for they prophecy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land, and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the Lord; and they shall till it, and dweil therein. I spake also to Zedekiah, king of Judah, according to all these words, saying, bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people and live. Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the Lord hath spoken against the nation, that will not serve the king of Babylon? Therefore hearken not 110to the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying,
Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon ; for they prophecy a lie unto you. For I have not sent them saith the Lord, yet they prophecy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophecy unto you. Also I spake to the priests and to all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord, hearken not to the words of your prophets, that prophecy unto you, saying, Behold the vessels of the Lord's house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon ; for they prophecy a lie unto you. Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon and live.” Jer. xxvii.
Notwithstanding these warnings, one of the false prophets, soon after, in the spirit of some of those at the present day who call themselves abolitionists, took the yoke from the shoulders of Jeremiah and broke it, and boldly proclaimed to the people that so the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar should be broken and that the captives who had gone to Babylon should return within two years.
Under these circumstances, the same delusion being in progress among the captives already transferred to Babylon, the prophet wrote the following letter to put them on their guard : “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all who are carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon ; Build ye houses and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. Take ye wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters, that ye may be increased there and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city, whither I have caused you to be carried away captives; and pray unto the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel ; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye caused to be dreamed.” After reciting the promises of their restoration at the end of seventy years in case of their obedience, and the threatenings of their ruin if disobedient, the letter foretells the destruction of the ring-leaders of the false prophets, who to signalize the enormity of their wickedness, were, in the presence of the captives, roasted in the fire by the king of Babylon.
The same sort of men are referred to by the prophet Mica,