Not purloining - Not to appropriate to themselves what belongs to their masters. The word "purloin" means, literally, to take or carry away for oneself; and would be applied to an approbation to oneself of what pertained to a common stock, or what belonged to one in whose employ we are - as the embezzlement of public funds. Here it means that the servant was not to apply to his own use what belonged to his master; that is, was not to pilfer - a vice to which, as all know, servants, and especially slaves, are particularly exposed; see the word explained in the notes at Acts 5:2.
But showing all good fidelity - In laboring, and in taking care of the property intrusted to them.
That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things - That they may show the fair influence of religion on them, in all respects, making them industrious, honest, kind, and obedient. They were to show that the effect of the religion which they professed was to make them better fitted to discharge the duties of their station in life, however humble; or that its influence on them was desirable in every respect. In this way, they might hope also that the minds of their masters might be reached, and that they might be brought to respect and love the gospel. Hence, learn:
(1) That one in the most humble walk of life may so live as to be an ornament to religion, as well as one favored with more advantages.
(2) That servants may do much good, by so living as to show to all around them that there is a reality in the gospel, and to lead others to love it.
(3) If in this situation of life, it is a duty so to live as to adorn religion, it cannot be less so in more elevated situations. A master should feel the obligation not to be surpassed in religious character by his servant.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Titus 2:10:
1 Timothy 1:1
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