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never dwells; that the strife and turmoils which desolate this world below, are unheeded and unknown. It is there alone, with God's protection and aid, we may build in safety the tabernacle of our home, and exclaim with grateful and humble piety, “Lord it is good for us to be here."

SERMON III.

2 Tim. iii, 15.

And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scrip

tures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

To those who take delight, as every Christian must do, in studying the characters of the persons who are introduced in the sacred writings, the gleapings wbich they will be able to collect, of the disposition and qualities of Timothy, will be a source of much pious satisfaction and instructive reflection. He was a native of Lystra, a town in Lycaonia ; his father was, or bad been a Gentile, but his mother, Eunice, was a Jewess. He was ordained, with imposition of hands, by St. Paul, during his third voyage to Lystra. St. Luke, in the Acts, informs us that this was done in consequence of the favourable testimony borne to his character by the Christians of Lystra and Iconium. St. Paul, however, assigns a far higher motive for his selection of Timothy, than the mere report of mortal tongues; for in committing to him the superintendence of the church of Ephesus, he assures bim, in the most solemn manner, that he was induced to do so at the instigation of the Holy Spirit himself. “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou hy them mightest war a good warfare." By the expression of “the prophecies,” the apostle refers to those miraculous revelations, by which, in the early times of the church, the vocation of its pastors was directed. A striking instance of this is recorded in the Acts, where it is stated, that when certain prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the “Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” Indeed, on the first propagation of the Gospel, it would have been impossible for the apostles, without such direction, always to have selected the most proper persons for keeping alive in the churches, in their absence, the faith which they had established. Their sojourning in the same place was necessarily too short, to enable them to obtain, by merely natural observation, an insight into the different characters of their new converts. It was a matter, too,

of the utmost importance, that the shepherds, put over the flocks, should be found faithful ; and as from the reasons just mentioned, the first preachers of the Gospel had no means themselves of previously ascertaining the qualifications of the pastors, God was graciously pleased to direct them in their choice, by the inspiration of his Holy Spirit. It may be observed here, that in later times, when the church became more firmly established, and men had leisure to investigate the moral and religious capabilities of each other, the necessity for this extraordinary interposition was in a great measure removed, and it ceased accordingly. Both Timothy and Titus, as is evident from the directions given them by St. Paul, were to be guided in their selection of presbyters, as well by observation and experience of their conduct and abilities, as by the recommendation of the brethren.

Such, then, being the high authority on which Timothy was elected to the office of a Christian pastor, we may reasonably infer his extreme fitness, in every respect, for the performance of the duties which devolved upon him. If we reflect, too, for a moment upon the times, in which he was thus called upon to superintend the church at Ephesus, we shall be induced to entertain the most exalted ideas of his fortitude and patience. The difficulties he had to struggle with were many, and alarming. The heathen and superstitious practices of the Ephesians, to which they were more than commonly addicted ; the schisms and divisions which had sprung up amongst their own members; all tended to render the office of an overseer one of painful and unceasing exertion. It was a post, too, of imminent danger; and it is generally said, that Timothy obtained the crown of martyrdom at Ephesus, some years after the death of St. Paul, in prosecution of the duties of the high office to which he was called. However this may be, it is clear that he discharged faithfully the trust committed to him: for the converts of Ephesus were peculiarly the objects of St. Paul's affection, from their "faith in the Lord Jesus, and their love unto all the saints." And no better test can be given of the diligence and zeal of a minister, than the spiritual improvement of the flock over which he presides. The great apostle, too, always addresses Timothy in the kindest and most affectionate manner; and appears to have entertained for him the care and concern of a father. Will it not then be an object with every

Chris tian, to ascertain, if possible, the causes by which Timothy was enabled to attain so high and boly a character: It is well known, indeed, that

every good and perfect gift is from above; merely human agency, can, in itself, be of no avail : Paul

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