2 Timothy 2:2
And the things that you have heard me say among many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be qualified to teach others as well.
A Faithful CustodianA. McAulay.2 Timothy 2:2
Able TeachersW. Birch.2 Timothy 2:2
Admonition to Timothy Respecting the Appointment of Faithful PreachersT. Croskery 2 Timothy 2:2
An Ignorant Preacher2 Timothy 2:2
College LifeH. Allon, D. D.2 Timothy 2:2
How the Church is to be ContinuedJ. Barlow, D. D.2 Timothy 2:2
Setting Others to WorkW. Fullerton.2 Timothy 2:2
The Genius of the True TeacherH. O. Mackey.2 Timothy 2:2
The Undying Energy of TruthC. H. Spurgeon.2 Timothy 2:2
The Worth of Colleges2 Timothy 2:2
Hardship in Connection with the Christian MinistryR. Finlayson 2 Timothy 2:1-13
At such a period of unfaithfulness and timidity, it was necessary to provide for the continuous wants of the Church.

I. THE TRUST TIMOTHY IS TO DELIVER TO FAITHFUL MEN. "The things which thou heardest from me among many witnesses."

1. Timothy heard these things from the apostle at his ordination, but oftener still during his long missionary travels, when he would hear the apostle discourse to large and varied congregations of both Jews and Gentiles.

2. The substance of his Trenching would be the grand outlines of Pauline theology, as they are exhibited in the Epistles, Jesus Christ being the central theme.

3. There is nothing here to countenance the Roman idea of tradition, as if Timothy was to transmit a body of oral instruction to the latest generations, through successive generations of teachers. The instructions in question are actually contained in the Scriptures, and are no longer committed to the doubtful custody of human memory.

II. THE PERSONS TO WHOM THE TRUST WAS TO BE COMMITTED. "The same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."

1. Timothy was to judge of their qualifications. They were not to judge of their own fitness; they were not to find their place as teachers by self-appointment.

2. Their ordination in itself was to be no qualification; for they might possibly have been wholly destitute of teaching gifts. There is nothing in the passage to justify the idea of apostolic succession.

3. Their qualifications were to be twofold.

(1) Faithfulness; for "a steward of the mysteries of God" must be faithful, not betraying the charge committed to him, declaring the whole counsel of God, and keeping back nothing that is profitable.

(2) Teaching power. "Who shall be able to teach others also." The bishop must be "apt to teach," with a true understanding of the Scriptures, a gift of explication, and a faculty of edifying speech. - T.C.

The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses commit to faithful men, able to teach others also.
I. CARE IS TO BE HAD THAT THE CHURCH MAY BE CONTINUED. Art thou a ruler in Christendom, like Jehosaphat? Send Levites into the dark corners of the land. Rich? Found colleges, relieve the sons of the prophets, and repair the decayed walls of Jerusalem. Hast thou children? Nurse them up in the fear of God, teach them the principles in the holy letters, and, with Hannah, dedicate thy firstborn to the Lord. If thou be poor, yet pray for Jerusalem.



IV. ALL MINISTERS ARE TO TEACH THE SAME THINGS. AS there is but one true God, one Saviour, Redeemer, Faith, Love, etc., so but one law, gospel, doctrine, baptism, which is to be preached for their glory and our salvation. Thrash thy corn out of God's barn, beat it forth of the apostolical rick of the holy letters; bring thy grain into the market of the Church, which prophetical spirits have in former ages set to sale; and it shall feed thee and thine to life eternal, for be thou assured that the soundest testimony is this, that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

V. MINISTERS MUST BE FAITHFUL. And this faithfulness is in —

1. Doctrine.

2. Life.Thou hast known, saith Paul to Timotheus, my doctrine, manner of living. To be faithful in doctrine, the matter what, and the manner how, to be delivered are both to be regarded. For matter, it must be what we have received from the Lord. For the manner, a double condition is to be observed. First, that the word of truth be divided aright; each person have his portion, according to his spiritual estate and disposition. And secondly, the doctrine must be intelligible, else how should the people be edified? Now, as faithfulness in doctrine, so in life is required of a minister. What they preach they are to practice, for the vulgar sort be more led by examples than rules, patterns than precepts. Should ministers be faithful? Then let such as have in their power ordination, and induction, lay hands rashly on no man; make choice of faithful, able persons.


1. Some knowledge of the tongues and arts is necessary. For as the form lieth closely couched in the matter, the kernel in the shell, so doth the truth in the several languages.

2. To be an able man requires a sound memory. For the truth being invented, orderly disposed, is then firmly to be retained.

3. A door of utterance is also necessary. When we have invented, judged, and methodically disposed of Divine truths, then we must clothe them with the garment of apt words.

4. And to omit many; an able minister must have his whole carriage in the delivery of his doctrine, suitable and correspondent to it. His countenance, elevation, pronunciation, gesture, and action, are to vary and be altered as the matter in handling requireth. And let all men make mention of them in their prayers.

VII. THE SAME TRUTH SHALL BE CONTINUED UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD. For Christ received it from the Father, the Holy Ghost from Christ, the apostles from Him, faithful men from them; and so by a successive communication it shall continue for ever. As one sun shall enlighten the world, so one gospel the minds of men, until Jesus returns to judge all the posterity of Adam.

(J. Barlow, D. D.)

The apprentice, who has just entered the blacksmith's shop, may wear a leathern apron, and blacken his hands and face, but though he may try to make other boys think he is a blacksmith, everybody knows that it requires years of hard labour to make him an able workman; and even after an apprenticeship, some men are but very poor hands at their trade. So, the having one's name entered as a certified instructor does not certify that a man is an able teacher. Is not goodness higher than arithmetic, and is not virtue nobler than grammar? Is it not a glorious position to be a teacher of little children? A certain philosopher was often talking about the garden in which he studied and recreated, and one day a friend calling to see it, was surprised to find it consisted of only a few square yards. The friend said, "Why this is a very small place; it is only a few strides across!" The philosopher replied, "Small! Ah, you only look at the ground; but if you look up, you will see that it reaches to the sky!" So it is with a little child. It may be small; you have power to break its back across your knee, as well as break its heart; but in this little child there is a pathway to the heart of God, and angels walk therein. Lord Beaconsfield said of Greece, "Let it be patient; it has a great future"; so I say that you must be patient with every child, for it has a great future. Let us be gentle in the teaching of little children. Do you know how barbarous men teach bears to dance? Let me tell you. They play a flute, and put the bear on a hot iron. Do not let us teach children as if they were hears. Children have to be "trained." You know how a crooked plant is trained. It is held in its place by a soft band that will not hurt it, until it grows in the right direction. So children should be trained in mind and body, gently yet firmly, to be good and strong. No two children are alike either in body or mind, and individual peculiarities must be studied and accommodated. We should, one and all, become teachers of children by our example, which is far more powerful than precept; and we should take care that our faults do not turn them against the religion we profess.

(W. Birch.)

The grand battlefield of Drumclog is where the hardy, faithful Covenanters routed the cruel Claverhouse. I have stood upon that battlefield and looked upon a schoolhouse erected there by a Scotchman, though there was not a house to be seen near it, because he wanted the faith and the zeal of his forefathers to dwell in those that might come afterwards. I went, after looking at that field, into the house of a poor weaver. I heard he had a relic of the great fight in his possession, and I thought I should like to purchase it. He unfurled a flag that had been held by his forefathers on the great day of the fight, and on that flag were these words, "God and our sworn covenant." I asked him if he would sell the flag. "I will never sell the flag," said he, "except with my own life. I hold it as an heirloom, and, however poor I may be, I will hand it down to my children; and I hope they will hand it down to their children." The incident reminds us that Christians carry a banner, and are pledged by their covenant relationship to Christ to seek the salvation of sinners, and thus be true to the memory of those who preceded them in the holy warfare.

(A. McAulay.)

Sir Bernard Burke thus touchingly writes in his "Vicissitudes of Families": "In 1850 a pedigree-research caused me to pay a visit to the village of Fyndern, about five miles south-west of Derby. I sought for the ancient hall. Not a stone remained to tell where it had stood! I entered the church. Not a single record of a Finderne was there! I accosted a villager, hoping to glean some stray traditions of the Findernes. 'Findernes!' said he, 'we have no Findernes here, but we have something that once belonged to them: we have Findernes' flowers.' 'Shew them me,' I replied, and the old man led me into a field which still retained faint traces of terraces and foundations. 'There,' said he, pointing to a bank of garden flowers grown wild, 'there are the Findernes' flowers, brought by Sir Geoffrey from the Holy Land, and, do what we will, they will never die!'" So be it with each of us. Should our names perish, may the truths we taught, the virtues we cultivated, the good works we initiated, live on and blossom with undying energy.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Nasmyth says that when he introduced his great steam-hammer, it not only itself produced marvellous results, but "its active rhythmic sound, by some sympathetic agency, quickened the strokes of every hammer, chisel, and file in his workmen's hands, and nearly doubled the output of work." And is not ibis true of some noble workers whom we could name? More than half Mr. Moody's power consists in his capacity of setting other people to work by his own earnestness.

(W. Fullerton.)

Speaking of art training, Mr. Ruskin says: "Until a man has passed through a course of academy studentship, and can draw in an improved manner with French chalk, and knows foreshortening and perspective, and something of anatomy, we do not think he can possibly be an artist. What is worse, we are very apt to think that we can make him an artist by teaching him anatomy, and how to draw with French chalk; whereas the real gift in him is utterly independent of all such accomplishments." So the highest powers of the teacher or preacher, the power of interpreting the Scriptures with spiritual insight, of moving the hearers to camest worship and decision, may exist with or without the culture of the schools. Learned Pharisees are impotent failures compared with a rough fisherman Peter anointed with the Holy Ghost. Inspiration is more than education.

(H. O. Mackey.)

The great importance of the work none m our educational institutions for young ministers was never more strikingly emphasised than by the missionary Judson, who said, as he was approaching Madison University, "If I had a thousand dollars, do you know what I would do with it?" The person asked supposed he would invest it in Foreign Missions. "I would put it into such institutions as that," he said, pointing to the college buildings. "Planting colleges, and filling them with studious young men, is planting seed corn for the world."

Of the late Bishop Ames the following anecdote is told. While presiding over a certain conference in the West, a member began a tirade against the universities and education, thanking God that he had never been corrupted by contact with a college. After proceeding thus far for a few minutes, the bishop interrupted with the question, "Do I understand that the brother thanks God for his ignorance?" "Well, yes," was the answer; "you can put it that way if you want." "Well, all I have to say," said the bishop, in his sweetest musical tone — "all I have to say is, that the brother has a good deal to thank God for."

He whose spiritual life evaporates under processes of ministerial culture could hardly resist the temptations of any other form of life.

(H. Allon, D. D.)

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