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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT
1 TIMOTHY 2
Ver. 1. Intercessions, as in the Prot. translation. If men's intercessions to God in favour of others, are no injury to Christ, as our mediator, how can it be any injury to Christ for the Angels and saints in heaven to pray or intercede to God for us? Wi. — S. Austin writes thus on this verse: By supplications are meant what are said before the consecration. By prayers, are what are said in and after the consecration and communion, at mass, including the Pater Noster; which S. Jerom also says, our Lord taught his apostles to recite at the daily sacrifice of his body. l. iii. cont. Pelag. c. 5. By intercessions, what are said after the communion: and by thanksgivings, what both the priest and people give to God for so great a mystery then offered and received. ep. 50. ad Paulin. See S. Chrys. in hunc locum.
Ver. 2. For kings, who were then heathens, this being in Nero's time. Wi. — Upon the happiness of the king generally depends that of his subjects. We pray for the emperors, says Tertullian, that God would grant them a long life, a secure throne, and a safe family, brave armies, a faithful council, and a just people. In fine, that he would grant them peace, and whatever else they could wish, either for themselves or their empire. Apologet. cap. 30.
Ver. 4. All men to be saved. They contradict this, and other places of the Scripture, as well as the tradition and doctrine of the Catholic Church, who teach that God willeth only the salvation of the predestinated, of the elect, and as they say, of the first-begotten only: and that he died only for them, and not for all mankind. But if it is the will of God that all and every one be saved, and no one resists, or can frustrate the will of the Almighty, whence comes it that every one is not saved? To understand and reconcile divers places in the holy Scriptures, we must needs distinguish in God a will that is absolute and effectual, accompanied with special graces and assistances, and with the gift of final perseverance, by which, through his pure mercy, he decreed to save the elect, without any prejudice to their free will and liberty; and a will, which by the order of Providence, is conditional, and this not a metaphorical and improper will only, but a true and proper will, by which he hath prepared and offered graces and means to all men, whereby they may work their salvation; and if they are not saved, it is by their own fault, by their not corresponding with the graces offered, it is because they resist the Holy Ghost. Acts vii. 51. If in this we meet with difficulties, which we cannot comprehend, the words of S. Paul, (Rom. ix. 20.) O man, who art thou, who repliest against God? may be sufficient to make us work our salvation with fear and trembling. Wi.
Ver. 5-6. One mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: who gave himself a redemption for all. Take all these words together, and we may easily understand in what sense the apostle calls our Saviour Christ, the one or only mediator; that is, he is the only mediator, who at the same time is our Redeemer; the only mediator who could mediate betwixt God, the person offended by sin, and men the offenders; the only mediator who reconciled God to mankind by his incarnation and death, by the infinite price of his blood, by his own merits, independently of the merits of any other. All Catholics allow that the dignity and office of mediator in this sense belongs only to our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made man to save us. The sense then of this place is, that as there is but one God, who created all, so there is but one mediator, who redeemed all. But yet the name of mediator is not so appropriated to Christ, but that in an inferior and different sense the Angels and saints in heaven, and even men on earth, who pray to God for the salvation of others, may be called mediators, intercessors, or advocates; and we may apply ourselves to them to pray, intercede, and mediate for us, without any injury to Christ, since we acknowledge that all their intercession and mediation is always grounded on the merits of Christ, our Redeemer. The same word for mediator, in the Greek as well as in the Latin, is given to Moses, God's servant. Gal. iii. 19. See also Deut. v. 5. The words of our Saviour himself, (Mat. xxiii.) taken according to the letter, contain an express prohibition of being called masters, or fathers; and this reason is given, because all men have one Father in heaven, and because Christians have one master, Christ. Yet no one can justly pretend from thence, that in a different sense, a man may not be called father or master, without any injury to God, or to Christ. Wi. — Christ is the one and only mediator of redemption; who gave himself, as the apostle writes, a redemption for all. He is also the only mediator, who stands in need of no other to recommend his petitions to the Father. But this is not against our seeking the prayers and intercessions, as well of the faithful upon earth, as of the saints and Angels in heaven, for obtaining mercy, grace, and salvation, through Jesus Christ. As S. Paul himself often desired the help of the prayers of the faithful, without any injury to the mediatorship of Jesus Christ. Ch. — If there be other mediators among the Angels and saints, they are only so in subordination to the first, who by themselves have no right to mediation or favours, and who cannot demand them but through the merits of him who is our only essential mediator. Estius, Menoch. &c. Consult. Judg. iii. 9. 2 Esd. ix. 17. Acts vii. 35. — A redemption for all. Not only for the predestinated, not only for the just, not only for the faithful, but for all Gentiles and infidels: and therefore he says again, (c. iv. 10.) that Christ is the Saviour of all men, and especially of the faithful. See S. Aug. and S. Chrysostom. Wi.
Ver. 8. How beautifully does S. Paul teach that modesty and chastity are the greatest ornaments of the female sex, not only in the sight of God and of Angels, but also of men, who although by their own neglect they have not always grace and courage sufficient to be virtuous themselves, cannot help admiring virtue wherever they see it in others. Even the pagan fully acknowledges the native attractions of virtue. Virtus per se placet: Virtue pleases with unborrowed charms.
Ver. 11. In silence. See 1 Cor. xiv. 34. See S. Chrys. Wi.
Ver. 12. S. Paul only means in public. See note on v. 11. of the next chapter. It would appear from this regulation of the apostle, as well as from the writings of the earliest fathers, that the practice and condemnation of women interfering at all in spiritual affairs, in not new. Tertullian says: We do not permit a woman to teach, to baptize, or to arrogate to herself any part of the duty which belongs to man. De Veland. Virg. cap. 9. — The woman has tried once to teach, when she persuaded Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, and has wofully failed. Let her now be content to remain in silence, and subjection to man; (S. Chrys. hic.) as appears also from the order of the creation. See v. 13. Seduction began with Eve, a subject of profound humiliation for women; but this ought not to deprive them of confidence in God's mercy, nor take from them the hope of salvation. V.
Ver. 13-14. Adam was first formed . . . and was not seduced. That is, was not at least seduced first, as the woman. Wi.
Ver. 15. She shall be saved by bearing children, &c. and performing other duties of a wife, with a due submission to her husband, taking care to serve God, and bring up her children in the faith of Christ, in piety, &c. Wi. — This would perhaps be more properly rendered, from the Greek, by the bringing up of her children in faith, charity, and holiness. This is the duty of the woman; upon the faithful discharge or neglect of which she must expect her salvation, or reprobation, to hang. Thus repairing the evil which the first of all women brought upon man, by seducing him to evil. V.