2 Timothy 3:14-15
But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them;…
1. Paul found Timothy, in their earliest acquaintance, a person who, though young in years, was fitted to enter the world in situations of great trust and confidence.
2. Paul had to think of Timothy, whilst employed in the onerous duties of his vocation, as one whose bodily constitution was sickly, and hence as one who was liable to severe illness or early death.
3. Paul had to experience the contemplation of being shortly separated from Timothy, having before his own eyes the certain prospect of martyrdom. Yet, in all his reflections, arising from the various circumstances attending his connection with this beloved disciple, one sufficient consolation filled St. Paul's affectionate heart. He knew that Timothy, even from his childhood, had known the Holy Scriptures; and this knowledge relieved him from all apprehension and anxious pain about his beloved friend. He could confidently trust him in the world; he could bear to lose him out of it; and he could with comfort leave him in it, when his own expected death arrived.And you who have children of your own, or are in any way entrusted with the guardianship of the young, will find that those three cases which I have cited concerning Paul and Timothy, may minutely represent your connection with the rising members of the human family.
1. In the first place, many a parent's heart is often anxiously burdened with a conviction that soon the world must be opened to a son or a daughter; that the veil of domestic virtue and innocence, which has hitherto screened these children's eyes from a sight of the vanity and wickedness which exist in the highway of life, must be rent asunder; and that the allurements of pleasure, the fascinations of sin, the temptations of gain, the suggestions of ambition, will all assail their inexperienced feelings, with a force to which their own natural inclinations will only lend congenial aid; and this will be so, even with these who have been most carefully and religiously trained. How, then, are parents to defend their offspring, and how are the young to be secured from the corrupting influence of the ordeal through which, in entering the world, these inexperienced ones must necessarily pass? Shall they be supplied with money, to save them from the thirst of gain, when it will give them the means also of indulging in sinful pleasure? Shall they be highly educated, and taught all that the accumulated learning of the philosopher has discovered, when this may fill the head without cleansing one affection of a naturally depraved heart? Shall they be shut out from the world, when the devil has already taken possession of them in those bosom lusts and appetites which human flesh and spirit universally inherit along with breath? All these resources, and all which are like unto them, are useless, vain, and idle; and the only effectual fortification against the seductions of this world, which it is the duty of all men to enter and purify by a good example, is that Divine knowledge acquired in childhood, which Timothy, when a child, had been taught by a holy mother. Armed with this instruction, the parent may trust his child to the duties of life; and youth may boldly go into the world, to bless and be blessed by contact with its evil influences, to which he will neither conform nor yield.
2. It is the sad lot of many parents to see, in the early life of those for whom a mother's pangs bare been borne, the blighting shadow of infirmity, or the ravages of violent disease, appear, with ominous warning that sickness and death are no respecters of age. Even in the contemplation of a sickly or a dying child, there is a consolatory reaction from the grief which the spectacle presents, if father and mother can then conscientiously feel that, even from a child, their dear one had known the Holy Scriptures, whatever else they might have omitted in their instructions; and that whether renewed health come, or death carry off their treasure, they have thus made their young one wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
3. Parents constantly have the prospect before them of separation, by their own deaths, from those who, naturally, owe their lives to them. It were well, therefore, that they should make provision for this day of consternation and account. To leave riches without righteousness is the poorest of all inheritances; and poverty, though accompanied by patience and decency, will be no excuse for the want of that holiness which springeth only of faith. Happy only, therefore, can be the death of that parent, be he rich or poor, high or low, who can say, with his last breath, to each of his offspring, "From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures."
(A. Garry, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;