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Titus 2:6-10

6. Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.

6. Juvenes similiter hortare ut sobrii sint

7. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

7. In omnibus to ipsum praebe exemplum bonorum operum in doctrina integritatem gravitatem

8. Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

8. Sermonem sanum inreprehensibilem ut is qui ex adverso est vereatur nihil habens malum dicere de nobis

9. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;

9. Servos dominis suis subditos esse in omnibus placentes non contradicentes

10. Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

10. Non fraudantes, sed in omnibus fidem bonam ostendentes ut doctrinam salutaris nostri Dei ornent in omnibus

6 Exhort likewise younger men He merely enjoins that young men be instructed to be temperate; for temperance, as Plato shows, cures the whole understanding of man. It is as if he had said, “Let them be well regulated and obedient to reason.”

7. In all things shewing thyself For doctrine will otherwise carry little authority, if its power and majesty do not shine in the life of the bishop, 242242     “En la vie du pasteur.” — “In the life of the pastor.” as in a mirror. He wishes, therefore, that the teacher may be a pattern, which his scholars may copy. 243243     “As if he had said, that the man who has the office and duty of proclaiming the word of God ought to preach throughout his whole life, since God has chosen him to that condition; when it shall be seen how he governs, when it is found that it is an approbation of the doctrine which he teaches, and that he profits and edifies not only by the mouth, showing what ought to be done, but likewise by his example, when it shall be known that he speaks in sincerity, and not in hypocrisy, that he may be edified by it. And would to God that this were duly observed; for the truth of God would be received with greater reverence than it is. But however that may be, we shall not be held excused, since God wishes to make use of us so as to regulate others, and to direct our life in such a manner that, when they shall follow as with one accord, we may strive to honor God, and give no occasion to despise the sacred word, since God has made us instruments, and wishes that his doctrine should be received from us, as if he spoke in his own person.” — Fr. Ser.

A pattern of good works in doctrine, uprightness, gravity In the original Greek the style is here involved and obscure, and this creates ambiguity. First, he makes use of the words in doctrine, and then adds, in the accusative case, integrity, gravity, etc. 244244     “At ἐν τὣ διδασκαλίᾳ ἀδιαφθορίαν repeat παρεχόμενος in the sense ἐνδεικνύμενος.” Bloomfield. Without mentioning the interpretations given by others, I shall state that which appears to me to be the most probable. First, I connect these words, of good works in doctrine; for, after having enjoined Titus that, in teaching he shall inculcate the practice of good works, he wishes that good works, which correspond to this doctrine, may be visible in his life; and consequently the preposition in means that they shall be suitable, or shall correspond, to the doctrine. What follows is in no degree obscure; for; in order that he may exhibit a representation of his doctrine in morals, he bids him be “upright and grave.”

8. Sound speech, unblamable 245245     “Irreprehensible, ou qu’on ne puisse condemner.” — “Unblamable, or that cannot be condemned.” “Sound speech” relates (in my opinion) to ordinary life and familiar conversation; for it would be absurd to interpret it as relating to public instruction, since he only wishes that Titus, both in his actions and in his words, shall lead a life that agrees with his preaching. He therefore enjoins that his words shall be pure and free from all corruption.

Unblamable may apply either to the words or the person of Titus. I prefer the latter view, that the other nouns in the accusative case (which the Greek syntax easily allows) may depend upon it in this sense — “that thou mayest shew thyself unblamable in gravity, in integrity, and in sound words.”

That the adversary may be ashamed. Although a Christian man ought to look at other objects, yet this must not be neglected, to shut the mouth of wicked men, as we are everywhere taught that we should give no occasion for slander. Everything that they can seize on as improper in our conduct is maliciously turned against Christ and his doctrine. The consequence is, that, through our fault, the sacred name of God is exposed to insult. Accordingly, the more we perceive that we are keenly observed by enemies, let us be the more attentive to guard against their calumnies, and thus let their malignity strengthen in us the desire of doing well.

9. Servants, that they be subject to their masters It has been already said that Paul merely glances at some things by way of example, and does not explain the whole of these subjects, as if he undertook, expressly, to handle them. Accordingly, when he enjoins servants to please their masters in all things, this desire of pleasing must be limited to those things which are proper; as is evident from other passages of a similar nature, in which an exception is expressly added, to the effect that nothing should be done but according to the will of God.

It may be observed that the Apostle dwells chiefly on this point, that they who are under the authority of others shall be obedient and submissive. With good reason he does this, for nothing is more contrary to the natural disposition of man than subjection, and there was danger lest they should take the gospel as a pretext for becoming more refractory, as reckoning it unreasonable that they should be subject to the authority of unbelievers. So much the greater care and diligence ought pastors to use for either subduing or checking this rebellious spirit.

10 Not thievish but shewing all good faith He censures two vices that are common among servants, petulant replies, and a propensity to steal. 246246     “Here we see how strictly Paul observed those of whom he was speaking. For the slaves who were in that age were addicted to pillage; and besides, they were contradictory, as if they had not dreaded the strokes with which they were chastised. We find that they sometimes grew hardened, because their masters did not use them gently, but treated them as brute beasts, struck them, teased them, put them to the torture, and frequently beat them, when they were absolutely naked, so that the blood flowed on all sides. Being thus hardened to evil, we must not be astonished if they had such corruption as to take revenge on their masters when they had any opportunity. But now Paul does not fail to exhort them to please their masters, that is, in everything that was good and right — an exception which he makes in other passages” — Fr. Ser. The comedies are full of instances of excessively ready talk, by which servants cheat their masters. Nor was it without reason that an exchange of names took place in ancient times, by which “servant “and “thief “became convertible terms. Thus prudence requires that we make our instructions apply to the morals of each individual.

By faith he means fidelity to their masters; and therefore, to shew all faith is to act faithfully, without using fraud or doing injury, in transacting the affairs of their masters.

That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things This ought to be a very sharp spur of exhortation to us, when we learn that our becoming conduct adorns the doctrine of God, which, at the same time, is a mirror of his glory. And, indeed, we see that this usually happens; as, on the other hand, our wicked life brings disgrace upon it; for men commonly judge of us from our works. But this circumstance ought also to be observed, that God deigns to receive an “ornament” from shaves, whose condition was so low and mean that they were wont to be scarcely accounted men; for he does not mean “servants,” such as we have in the present day, but slaves, 247247     “Des esclaves ou serfs.” — “Slaves or serfs.” who were bought with money, and held as property, like oxen or horses. And if the life of those men is an ornament to the Christian name, much more let those who are in honor take care that they do not stain it by their baseness.


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