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ONE WITNESS, MANY CONFESSORS
You will observe that ‘a good confession,’ or rather ‘the good confession,’ is said here to have been made both by Timothy and by Christ. But you will observe also that whilst the subject-matter is the same, the action of Timothy and Jesus respectively is different. The former professes, or rather confesses, the good confession; the latter witnesses. There must be some reason for the significant variation of terms to indicate that the relation of Timothy and Jesus to the good confession which they both made was, in some way, a different one, and that though what they said was identical, their actions in saying it were different.
Then there is another point of parallelism to be noticed. Timothy made his profession ‘before many witnesses,’ but the Apostle calls to his remembrance, and summons up before the eye of his imagination, a more august tribunal than that before which he had confessed his faith, and says that he gives him charge ‘before God’ for the same word is used in the original in both verses, ‘who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus.’ So the earthly witnesses of the man’s confession dwindle into insignificance when compared with the heavenly ones. And upon these thoughts is based the practical exhortation, ‘Keep the commandment without spot.’ So, then, we have three things: the great Witness and His confession, the subordinate confessors who echo His witness, and the practical issue that comes out of both thoughts.
I. We have the great Witness and His confession.
Now, you will remember, perhaps, that if we turn to the Gospels, we find that all of them give the subject-matter of Christ’s confession before Pilate, as being that He was the King of the Jews. But the Evangelist John expands that conversation, and gives us details which present a remarkable verbal correspondence with the words of the Apostle here, and must suggest to us that, though John’s Gospel was not written at the date of this Epistle, the fact that is enshrined for us in it was independently known by the Apostle Paul.
For, if I may for a moment recall the incident to you, you will remember that when Pilate put to the Saviour the question, ‘Art Thou a King?’ our Lord, before He would answer, took pains to make quite clear the sense in which the judge asked Him of His royal state. For He said, ‘Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of Me? If it is your Roman idea of a king, the answer must be, "No." If it is the Jewish Messianic idea, the answer must be, "Yes." I must know first what the question means, in the mind of the questioner, before I answer it.’ And when Pilate brushes aside Christ’s question, with a sort of impatient contempt, and returns to the charge, ‘What hast Thou done?’ our Lord, whilst He makes the claim of sovereignty, takes care to make it in such a way as to show that Rome need fear nothing from Him, and that His dominion rested not upon force. ‘My Kingdom is not of this world.’ And then, when Pilate, like a practical Roman, bewildered with all these fine-spun distinctions, sweeps them impatiently out of the field, and comes back to ‘Yes, or No; are you a King?’ our Lord gives a distinct affirmative answer, but at once soars up into the region where Pilate had declined to follow Him: ‘To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I might bear witness to the truth.’ ‘Before Pontius Pilate he witnessed the good confession.’ And His confession was His royalty, His relation to the truth, and His pre-existence. ‘To this end was I born,’ and the next clause is no mere tautology, nor a non-significant parallelism, ‘and for this cause came I into the world.’ Then He was before He came, and birth to Him was not the beginning of being, but the beginning of a new relation.
So, then, out of this great word of our text, which falls into line with a great many other words of the New Testament, we may gather important and significant truths with regard to two things, the matter and the manner of Christ’s witnessing. You remember how the same Apostle John--for whom that word ‘witness’ has a fascination in all its manifold applications--in that great vision of the Apocalypse, when to his blessed sight the vision of the Master was once given, extols Him as ‘the faithful witness, and the First-begotten from the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth.’ And you may remember how our Lord Himself, after His conversation with Nicodemus, says, ‘We speak that we do know, and bear witness to that we have seen,’ and how again, in answer to the taunts of the Jews, He takes the taunt as the most intimate designation of the peculiarity of His person and of His work, when He says, ‘I am one that bear witness of Myself.’ So, then, we have to interpret his declaration before Pilate in the light of all these other sayings, and to remember that He who said that He came to bear witness to the truth, said also, ‘I am the truth,’ and therefore that his great declaration that He was the witness-bearer to the truth is absolutely synonymous with His other declaration that He bears witness of Himself.
Now, here we come upon one of the great peculiarities of Christ as a religious teacher. The new thing, the distinctive peculiarity, the differentia between Him and all other teachers, lies just here, that His theme is not so much moral or religious principles, as His own nature and person. He was the most egotistical man that ever lived on the face of the earth, with an egotism only to be accounted for, if we believe, as He Himself said, that in His person was the truth that He proclaimed, and that when He witnessed to Himself He revealed God. And thus He stands, separate from all other teachers, by this, that He is His own theme and His own witness.
So much for the matter of the good confession to which we need only add here its pendant in the confession before the High Priest. To the representative of the civil government He said, ‘I am a king,’ and then, as I remarked, He soared up into regions where no Roman official could rise to follow Him, and to the representative of the Theocratic government He said, ‘Hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of God, and coming in the clouds of heaven.’ These two truths, that He is the Son of God, who by His witness to the truth, that is, Himself, lays the foundations of a Monarchy which shall stretch far further than the pinions of the Roman eagles could ever fly, and that he is the Son of Man who, exalted to the right hand of God, is to be the Judge of mankind--these are the good confessions to which the Lord witnessed.
Then with regard to the manner of His witness. That brings us to another of the peculiarities of Christ’s teaching. I have said that He was the most egotistical of men. I would say, too, that there never was another who clashed down in the front of humanity such tremendous assertions, with not the faintest scintilla of an attempt to prove them to our understandings, or commend them by any other plea than this, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you!’
A witness does not need to argue. A witness is a man who reports what he has seen and heard. The whole question is as to his veracity and competency. Jesus Christ states it for the characteristic of His work, ‘We speak that we do know, and bear witness to that we have seen.’ His relation to the truth which He brings to us is not that of a man who has thought it out, who has been brought to it by experience, or by feeling, or by a long course of investigation; still less is it the relation which a man would bear to a truth that he had learnt from others originally, however much he had made it his own thereafter: but it is that of one who is not a thinker, or a learner, or a reasoner, but who is simply an attester, a witness. And so He stands before us, and says, ‘The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, they are life. Believe Me, and believe the words, for no other reason, primarily, than because I speak them.’ In these two respects, then, the matter and the manner of His witness, He stands alone, and we have to bow before Him and say, ‘Speak, Lord! for thy servant heareth.’ ‘Before Pontius Pilate He witnessed a good confession.’
II. We have here suggested to us the subordinate confessors who echo the Lord’s witness.
It is a matter of no consequence when, and before whom, this Timothy professed his good profession. It may have been at his baptism. It may have been when he was installed in his office. It may have been before some tribunal of which we know nothing. That does not matter. The point is that a Christian man is to be an echo of the Lord’s good confession, and is to keep within the lines of it, and to be sure that all of it is echoed in his life. Christ has told us what to say, and we are here to say it over again. Christ has witnessed; we are to confess. Our relation to that truth is different from His. We hear it; He speaks it. We accept it; He reveals it. We are influenced by it; He is it. He brings it to the world on His own authority; we are to carry it to the world on His.
Be sure that you Christian men are echoes of your Master. Be sure that you reverberate the note that He struck. Be sure that all its music is repeated by you And take care that you neither fall short of it, nor go beyond it, in your faith and in your profession. Echoes of Christ--that is the highest conception of a Christian life.
But though there is all the difference between the Witness and the confessors, do not let us forget that, if we are truly Christian, there is a very deep and blessed sense in which we, too, may witness what we have seen and heard. A Christian preacher of any sort--and by that I mean, not merely a man who stands in a pulpit, as I do, but all Christian people, in their measure and degree--will do nothing by professing the best profession, unless that profession sounds like the utterance of a man who speaks that he knows, and who can say, ‘that which our eyes have beheld, that which we have handled, of the Word of life, we make known unto you.’ And so, by the power of personal experience speaking out in our lives, and by the power of it alone, as I believe, will victories be won, and the witness of Jesus Christ be repeated in the world. Christian men and women, the old saying which was addressed by a prophet to Israel is more true, more solemnly true of us, and presses on us with a heavier weight of obligation, as well as lifts us up into a position of greater blessedness: ‘Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord.’ That is what you and I are here for--to bear witness, different and yet like to, the witness borne by the Lord. We have all to do that, by words, though not only by them. That is the obligation that a great many Christian people take very lightly. That yoke of Jesus Christ many of us slip our necks out of. If He has witnessed, you have to confess. But some of you carry your Christianity in secret, and button your coats over the cockade that should tell whose soldiers you are, and are ashamed, or too shy, or too nervous, or too afraid of ridicule, or not sufficiently sure of your own grip of the Master, to confess Him before men. I beseech you remember that a Christian man is no Christian unless ‘with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,’ as well as ‘with the heart’ belief is exercised unto righteousness.
III. Lastly, we have here the practical issue of all this.
‘I charge thee before God, who quickeneth all things, and before Jesus Christ, that thou keep the commandment without spot.’ The ‘commandment,’ of course, may be used in a specific sense, referring to what has just been enjoined, but more probably we are to regard the same thing which, considered in its relation to Jesus Christ, is His testimony, as being, in its relation to us, His commandment. For all Christ’s gospel of revelation that He has made of Himself to the world, is meant to influence, not only belief and feeling, but conduct and character as well. All the New Testament, in so far as it is a record of what Christ is, and thereby a declaration of what God is, is also for us an injunction as to what we ought to be. The whole Gospel is law, and the testimony is commandment, and we have to keep it, as well as to confess it. Let me put the few things that I have to say, under this last division of my subject, the practical issue, into the shape of three exhortations, not for the sake of seeming to arrogate any kind of superiority, but for the sake of point and emphasis.
Let the life bear witness to the confession. What is the use of Timothy’s standing there, and professing himself a Christian before many witnesses if, when he goes out into the world, his conduct gives the lie to his creed, and he lives like the men that are not Christians? Back up your confession by your conduct, and when you say ‘I believe in Jesus Christ,’ let your life be as true an echo of His life as your confession is of His testimony. Else we shall come under the condemnation, ‘Nothing but leaves,’ and shall fall under the punishment of the continuance of unfruitfulness, which is our crime as well as our punishment. There is a great deal more done by consistent living for, and by inconsistent living against, the truth of the Gospel, than by all the words of all the preachers in the world. Your faults go further, and tell more, than my sermons, and your Christian characters will go further than all the eloquence of the most devoted preachers. ‘There is no voice nor language, where their sound is not heard. Their line is gone out into all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.’
Again, let the thought of the Great Witness stimulate us. He, too, took His place by our sides, though with the differences that I have pointed out, yet with resemblances which bring Him very near us. He, too; knew what it was to stand amongst those who shrugged their shoulders, and knit their brows at His utterances, and turned away from Him, calling Him sometimes ‘dreamer,’ sometimes ‘revolutionary,’ sometimes ‘blasphemer,’ and now and then a messenger of good tidings and a preacher of the gospel of peace. He knows all our hesitations, all our weaknesses, all our temptations. He was the first of the martyrs, in the narrower sense of the word. He is the leader of the great band of witnesses for God. Let us stand by His side, and be like Him in our bearing witness in this world.
Again, let the thought of the great tribunal stimulate us. ‘I give thee charge before God, who quickeneth all things--and who therefore will quicken you--and before Jesus Christ, that thou keep this commandment.’ Jesus, who witnessed to the truth, witnesses, in the sense of beholding and watching, us, knowing our weakness and ready to help us. ‘The faithful witness, and the first begotten from the dead, and the Prince of the kings of the earth,’ is by us, as we witness for Him. And so, though we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, the saints in the past who have witnessed for God, and been witnessed to by Him, we have to turn away from them, and ‘look off’ from all others, ‘unto Jesus.’ And we may, like the first of the noble army of martyrs, see the heavens opened, and Jesus ‘standing’--started to His feet, to see and to help Stephen--’at the right hand of God.’
Brethren, let us listen to His witness, let us accept it, setting to our seals that God is true. Then let us try to echo it back by word, and to attest our confession by our conduct, and then we may comfort ourselves with the great word, ‘He that confesseth Me before men, Him will I also confess before My Father which is in Heaven.’
THE CONDUCT THAT SECURES THE REAL LIFE
In the first flush of the sense of brotherhood, the Church of Jerusalem tried the experiment of having all things in common. It was not a success, it was soon abandoned, it never spread. In the later history of the Church, and especially in these last Pauline letters, we see clearly that distinctions of pecuniary position were very definitely marked amongst the believers. There were ‘rich men’ in the churches of which Timothy had charge. No doubt they were rich after a very modest fashion, for Paul’s standard of opulence is not likely to have been a very high one, seeing that he himself ministered with his own hands to his necessities, and had only one cloak to keep him warm in winter time. But great or small as were the resources of these men, they were rich in comparison with some of their brethren. The words of my text are the close of the very plain things which Paul commands Timothy to tell them. He assures them that if they will be rich in good works, and ready to distribute, they will lay up for themselves a good ‘foundation against the time to come.’
The teaching in the text is, of course, a great deal wider than any specific application of it. It is very remarkable, especially as coming from Paul. ‘Lay up a good foundation’--has he not said, ‘Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ’? ‘That they may lay hold on eternal life’--has he not said, ‘The gift of God is eternal life’? Is he not going dead in the teeth of his own teaching, ‘Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but by His mercy He saved us’? I think not. Let us see what he does say.
I. First, then, he says that the real life is the future life.
Those of you who use the Revised Version will see that it makes an alteration in the last clause of our text, and instead of ‘eternal life’ it reads ‘the life which is life indeed,’ the true life; not simply designating it as eternal, but designating it as being the only thing that is worth calling by the august name of life.
Now it is quite clear that Paul here is approximating very closely to the language of his brother John, and using this great word ‘life’ as being, in substance, equivalent to his own favourite word of ‘salvation,’ as including in one magnificent generalisation all that is necessary for the satisfaction of man’s needs, the perfection of his blessedness, and the glorifying of his nature. Paul’s notion of life, like John’s, is that it is the one all-comprehensive good which men need and seek.
And here he seems to relegate that ‘life which is life indeed’ to the region of the future, because he contemplates it as being realised ‘in the time to come,’ and as being the result of the conduct which is here enjoined. But you will find that substantially the same exhortation is given in the 12th verse of this chapter, ‘Fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on the life eternal’--where the process of grasping this ‘life,’ and therefore the possession of it, are evidently regarded as possible here, and the duty of every Christian man in this present world. That is to say, there is a double aspect of this august conception of the ‘life which is life indeed.’ In one aspect it is present, may be and ought to be ours, here and now; in another aspect it lies beyond the flood, and is the inheritance reserved in the heavens. That double aspect is parallel with the way in which the New Testament deals with the other cognate conception of salvation, which it sometimes regards as past, sometimes as present, sometimes as future. The complete idea is that the life of the Christian soul here and yonder, away out into the furthest extremities of eternity, and up to the loftiest climax of perfectness, is in essence one, whilst yet the differences between the degree in which its germinal possession here and its full-fruited enjoyment hereafter differ is so great as that, in comparison with the completion that is waiting the Christian soul beyond the grave, all of the same life that is here enjoyed dwindles into nothingness. It appears to me that these two sides of the truth, the essential identity of the life of the Christian soul beyond and here, and the all but infinite differences and progresses which separate the two, are both needful, very needful, to be kept in view by us.
There is here on earth, amidst all our imperfections and weakness and sin, a root in the heart that trusts in Christ, which only needs to be transplanted into its congenial soil to blossom and burgeon into undreamed of beauty, and to bear fruit the savour of which no mortal lips can ever taste. The dwarfed rhododendrons in our shrubberies have in them the same nature as the giants that adorn the slopes of the Himalayas. Transplant these exotics to their native soil, and you would see what it was in them to be. Think of the life that is now at its best; its weakness, its blighted hopes, its thwarted aims, its foiled endeavours; think of its partings, its losses, its conflicts. Think of its disorders, its sins, and consequent sufferings; think of the shadow at its close, which flings long trails of blackness over many preceding years. Think of its swift disappearance, and then say if such a poor, fragmentary thing is worthy of the name of life, if that were all that the man was for.
But it is not all. There is a ‘life which is life indeed,’ over which no shadow can pass, nor any sorrow darken the blessed faces or clog the happy hearts of those who possess it. They ‘have all and abound.’ They know all and are at rest. They dread nothing, and nothing do they regret. They leave nothing behind as they advance, and of their serenity and their growth there is no end. That is worth calling life. It lies beyond this dim spot of earth. It is ‘hid with Christ in God.’
II. Secondly, notice that conduct here determines the possession of the true life.
Paul never cares whether he commits the rhetorical blunder of mixing up metaphors or not. That matters very little, except to a pedant and a rhetorician. In his impetuous way he blends three here, and has no time to stop to disentangle them. They all mean substantially the same thing which I have stated in the words that conduct here determines the possession of life hereafter; but they put it in three different figurative fashions which we may separate and look at one by one.
The first of them is this, that by our actions here we accumulate treasure hereafter. ‘Laying up in store for themselves’ is one word in the original, and it contains even more than is expressed in our paraphrase, for it is really ‘treasuring off.’ And the idea is that the rich man is bade to take a portion of his worldly goods, and, by using these for beneficent purposes, out of them to store a treasure beyond the grave. What is employed thus, and from the right motives and in the right way, is not squandered, but laid up in store. You remember the old epitaph,
‘ What I spent I lost; What I gave I have.’
Now that is Christ’s teaching, for did He not say: ‘Sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven’? Did He not say: ‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, . . . but lay up treasures in heaven’? And if anybody’s theology finds it difficult to incorporate these solemn teachings of our Lord with the rest of it, so much the worse for the theology.
I have no doubt at all that Christianity has yet a great deal to teach the Christian Church and the world about the acquisition of money and the disposal of money; and, though I do not want to dwell now upon that specific application of the general principle of my text, I cannot help reminding you, dear friends, that for a very large number of us, almost the most important influence shaping our characters is the attitude that we take in regard to these things--the getting and the distribution of worldly wealth. For the bulk of Christian people there are few things more important as sharp tests of the reality of their religion, or more effective in either ennobling or degrading their whole character, than what they do about these two plain matters.
But then my text goes a great deal further than that; and whilst it applies unflinchingly this principle to the one specific case, it invites us to apply it all round the circumference of our earthly conduct. What you are doing here is piling up for you, on the other side of the wall, what you will have to live with, and either get good or evil out of, through all eternity. A man who is going to Australia pays some money into a bank here, and when he gets to Melbourne it is punctually paid out to him across the counter. That is what we are doing here, lodging money on this side that we are going to draw on that. And it is this which gives to the present its mystical significance and solemnity, that all our actions are piling up for us future possessions: ‘treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath’; or, contrariwise, ‘glory, immortality, honour, eternal life.’ We are like men digging a trench on one side of a hedge and flinging the spadefuls over to the other. They are all being piled up behind the barrier, and when we go round the end of it we shall find them all waiting for us.
Then the Apostle superimposes upon this another metaphor. He does not care to unravel it. ‘Laying up in store for themselves a store,’ he would have said if he had been a pedant, ‘which is also a good foundation.’ Now I take it that that does not mean a basis for hope, or anything of that sort, but that it conveys this thought, that our actions here are putting in the foundations on which the eternal building of our future life shall be reared. When a man excavates and lays the first courses of the stones of his building, he thereby determines every successive stage of it, until the headstone is brought forth with rejoicing. We are laying foundations in that profound sense in this world. Our nature takes a set here, and I fail to see any reason cognisable by us why that ply of the nature should ever be taken out of it in any future. I do not dogmatise; but it seems to me that all that we do know of life and of God’s dealings in regard to man leads us to suppose that the next world is a world of continuations, not of beginnings; that it is the second volume of the book, and hangs logically and necessarily upon the first that was finished when a man died. Our lives here and hereafter appear to me to be like some geometrical figure that wants two sheets of paper for its completion: on the first the lines run up to the margin, and on the second they are carried on in the direction which was manifest in the section that was visible here.
And so, dear friends, let us remember that this is the reason why our smallest acts are so tremendous that by our actions we are making character, and that character is destiny, here and hereafter. You are putting in the foundations of the building that you have to live in; see that they are of such a sort as will support a house eternal in the heavens.
The last of the metaphors under which the Apostle suggests the one idea is that our conduct here determines our capacity to lay hold of the prize. It seems to me that the same allusion is lingering in his mind which is definitely stated in the previous verse to which I have already referred, where the eternal life which Timothy is exhorted to lay hold of is regarded as being the prize of the good fight of faith, which he is exhorted to fight. And so the third metaphor here is that which is familiar in Paul’s writings, where eternal life is regarded as a garland or prize, given to the victor in race or arena. It is exactly the same notion as he otherwise expresses when he says that he follows after if that he may ‘lay hold of that for which also he is laid hold of by Jesus Christ.’ This is the underlying thought, that according to a Christian man’s acts here is his capacity of receiving the real life yonder.
That is not given arbitrarily. Each man gets as much of it when he goes home as he can hold. The tiniest vessel is filled, the largest vessel is filled. But the little vessel may, and will, grow bigger if that which is deposited in it be rightly employed. Let us lay this to heart, that Christian men dare not treat it as a matter of indifference whether to the full they live lives consistent with their profession, and do the will of their Master or no. It is not all the same, and it will not be all the same yonder, whether we have adorned the teaching, or whether our lives have habitually and criminally fallen beneath the level of our professions. Brethren, we are too apt to forget that there is such a thing as being ‘saved, yet so as by fire’; and that there is such a thing as ‘having an entrance ministered abundantly into the Kingdom.’ Be you sure of this, that if the hands of your spirits are ever to be capable of grasping the prize, it must be as the result of conduct here on earth, which has been treasuring up treasures yonder, and laying a foundation on which the incorruptible house may solidly rest.
III. And now the last word that I have to say is that these principles are perfectly compatible with the great truth of salvation by faith.
For observe to whom the text is spoken. It is to men who have professed to be believers, and it is on the ground of their faith that these rich men in Timothy’s churches are exhorted to this conduct. There is no incompatibility between the doctrine that eternal life is the gift of God, and the placing of those who have received that gift under a strict law of recompense.
That is the teaching of the whole New Testament. It was to Christian men that it was said: ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.’ It is the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself.
But there is a dreadful danger that we, with our partial vision, shall see one side of the truth so clearly that we do not see the other; and so you get two antagonistic schools of Christian teaching who have torn the one word into halves. One of them says, ‘Man is saved by faith only,’ and forgets ‘faith without works is dead’; and the other says, ‘Do your duty, and never mind about your belief,’ and forgets that the belief--the trust--is the only sure foundation on which conduct can be based, and the only source from which it is certain to flow.
Now, if I should not be misunderstood by that same narrow and contracted vision of which I have been speaking, I would venture to say that salvation by faith alone may be so held as to be a very dangerous doctrine, and that there is a very real sense in which a man is saved by works. And if you do not like that, go home and read the Epistle of James, and see what you make of his teaching: ‘Ye see, brethren, how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.’ ‘Faith wrought with his works, and by his works was his faith made perfect.’
Only let us understand where the exhortation of the text comes in. We have to begin with absolute departure from all merit in work, and the absolute casting of ourselves on Jesus Christ. If you have not done that, my brother, the teaching ‘Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation’ has no application to you, but this teaching has, ‘Other foundation can no man lay. Behold, I lay in Zion a tried corner-stone. Whosoever believeth in Him shall not make haste.’ If you have not committed your souls and selves and lives and hopes to Jesus Christ, the teaching ‘Lay hold on eternal life’ has only a very modified application to you, because the only hand that can grasp that life is the hand of faith that is content to receive it from His hands with the prints of the nails in them. But if you have given yourselves to that Saviour, and received the germinal gift of eternal life from Him, then, take my text as absolutely imperative for you. Remember that it is for you, resting on Christ, to treasure up eternal life; for you to build on that sure foundation gold and silver and precious stones which may stand the fire; for you, by faithful continuance in well-doing, to lay hold of that for which you have been laid hold of by Jesus Christ. May it be true of all of us that ‘our works do follow us’!
‘ Thy works, thine alms, and all thy good endeavour Stayed not behind, nor in the grave were trod,
But, as Faith pointed with her golden rod, Followed thee up to joy and bliss for ever.’
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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 6". MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany