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we are to “ occupy
occupy till He comed.” For, “ of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things; to whom be glory for
Luke xix. 13.
e Rom. xi. 36.
2 TIMOTHY ji. 15.
Rightly dividing the word of truth. In the course of the inquiry already instituted into the subject of Scripture-interpretation, those points have chiefly been discussed, which relate to certain primary principles necessarily affecting every subordinate rule, and indispensably requisite towards the attainment of a clear and consistent view of the Christian system. These principles being established, it remains to consider how we may most securely build on such foundations.
And here we may select, in the first place, as a topic of main importance, the admonition in the text, given by St. Paul to Timothy, that he should “ study to shew hịmself approved “ of God, a workman that needeth not to “ be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.”
The Apostle, in giving this direction to him whom he calls his own son in the “ Faith,” undoubtedly intended the edification, not of Timothy only, but also of all who, after him, should succeed to the Office of the Ministry ; since upon a right division or distribution of the truth into its respective parts, by the Preacher of the Word, would depend the clear conception of it by the people committed to their charge, and their security against any counterfeit representations which false or ignorant teachers might attempt to impose upon them. And although it concerns not the plain unlettered Christian to be an adept in the arts of controversy, or to be able to unravel every perplexity in which minute inquirers may seek to entangle him ; yet is it highly important, that he should not, either through his own misapprehension or that of his appointed instructors, be led to hold opinions subversive of “ the hope that is in him;"-a hope, intended to be “ an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast a Heb. vi. 19.
What then is the purport of the Apostle's injunction, “ rightly to divide the word of 66 truth ?”
On the critical meaning of the word opforougira, here rendered
rightly dividing,” it is unnecessary to dilate. What-, ever metaphorical signification we assign to it, (for it is capable of more than one,) its application in this passage will be nearly the same.
It denotes a judicious distribution or arrangement of the subject matter of Holy Writ; such an analysis of its component parts, as may enable the reader to judge of their respective purposes, and of their connection with the general design. This cannot but be requisite in a work so multifarious in its contents, composed by various authors, treating on various subjects, referring to various times, persons, and occurrences, and yet manifesting one uniform and consistent purpose, in which all mankind are equally concerned. It is also the more necessary, because, for obvious reasons, the Scriptures themselves are not presented to us in a systematic form. The several dispensations of Re