2 Timothy 3:1-7
1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come:
1. Illhud autem scito, quod in exremis diebus instabunt tempora periculosa (vel. gravia)
2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2. Erunt enim homines sui amantes, avari, fastuosi, superbi, maledici, parentibus immorigeri, ingrati, impii,
3. Without natural affection, truce -- breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
3. Carentes affectu, nescii faederis, calumniatores, intermperantes, inmites, negligentes bonorum,
4. Traitors, heady, high -- minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God,
4. Proditores protervi tumidi voluptatium amatores magis quam Dei
5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
5. Habentes speciem quidem pietatis virtutem autem eius abnegantes et hos devita
6. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts;
6. Ex iis enim sunt qui subintrant in familias, et captivas ducunt mulierculas oneratas peccatis, quae ducuntur concupiscentiis variis,
7. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
7. Semper discentes, quum tamen numquam ad cognitionem veritatis pervenire valeant.
Secondly, it ought to be remarked, who are the persons of whom he speaks. They whom he briefly describes are not external enemies, who openly assail the name of Christ, but domestics, who wish to be reckoned among the members of the Church; for God wishes to try his Church to such an extent as to carry within her bosom such plagues, though she abhors to entertain them. So then, if in the present day many whom we justly abhor are mingled within us, let us learn to groan patiently under that burden, when we are informed that this is the lot of the Christian Church.
Next, it is wonderful that those persons, whom Paul pronounces to be guilty of so many and so aggravated acts of wickedness, can keep up the appearance of piety, as he also declares. But daily experience shows that we ought not to regard this as so wonderful; for such is the amazing audacity and wickedness of hypocrites, that, even in excusing the grossest crimes, they are excessively impudent, after having once learned falsely to shelter themselves under the name of God. In ancient times, how many crimes abounded in the life of the Pharisees? And yet, as if they had been pure from every stain, they enjoyed a reputation of eminent holiness.
Even in the present day, although the lewdness of the Popish clergy is such that it stinks in the nostrils of the whole world, still, in spite of their wickedness, they do not cease to arrogate proudly to themselves all the rights and titles of saints. Accordingly, when Paul says that hypocrites, though they are chargeable with the grossest vices, nevertheless deceive under a mask of piety, this ought not to appear strange, when we have examples before our eyes. And, indeed, the world deserves to be deceived by those wicked scoundrels, when it either despises or cannot endure true holiness. Besides, Paul enumerates those vices which are not visible at first sight, and which are even the ordinary attendants of pretended holiness. Is there a hypocrite who is not proud, who is not a lover of himself, who is not a despiser of others, who is not fierce and cruel, who is not treacherous? But all these are concealed from the eyes of men. 2
To spend time in explaining every word would be superfluous; for the words do not need exposition. Only let my readers observe that
1 "Why does the holy Apostle, both here and elsewhere, speak of the 'last days,' when he forewarns believers that they most prepare themselves, and make provision for many troubles and annoyances? It is because this fancy was so common, that matters would go much better than before; because, formerly, the prophets, when speaking of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, said that everything would be astonishingly reformed, that the world would obey God, that his majesty would be adored by the high and the low, that every mouth would sing his praise, and every knee would bow before him. In short, when we hear such promises, we think that we must be in a state of angelical holiness, now that Christ has appeared. Many concluded, in their mistaken fancy, that, since the coming of the Redeemer, nothing but the most correct virtue and modesty would ever be seen, and that everything would be so thoroughly regulated, that there would be no more vices in the world." -- -- Fr. Ser.
2 "Mais ce sont tous vices cachez, et qui n'apparoissent pas devant les yeux des hommes." "But all these are concealed vices, and do not show themselves before the eyes of men."