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Julian Period 4763.

Vulgar Æra,



3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day Corinth. shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

be "taken out of the way," when the barbarous nations made
their first incursions, after which the western empire was divided
into the ten kingdoms prefigured in Daniel's vision as the ten
horns of the fourth beast, when the Bishops of Rome made
themselves its sovereigns, and became at the same time the pre-
dicted little born which had "the eyes of a man, and a mouth
speaking great things." In process of time they obtained pos-
session of three of the divided kingdoms of the western empire,
fulfilling the prophecy of the little horn plucking up by the roots
three of the horns of Daniel's fourth beast; and they assumed
the title of the vicars of Christ, and pretended that Christ had
transferred to them all his divine authority. But unlike their
holy Master, they called down fire from heaven, on all who ven-
tured to differ from or oppose them, and by their cruel and
bloody persecutions they wore out the saints of the Most High,
and were drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of
Jesus. (Rev. xvii. 6.) They assumed uncontrollable and su-
preme power, inventing new ceremonies and conditions of sal-
vation, opening the gates of heaven, and shutting them at
their pleasure, according to their own avarice and caprice;
or to the wealth and relative situation of the supplicant,
making the word of God of none effect by their traditions.
The coming of the man of sin, or the lawless one, is after
the working (or energy) of Satan with all power and signs
and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteous-
ness: this prediction is abundantly fulfilled by the records of
every age, which fully prove the many pretences to miracles
made by the Church of Rome. This Church, indeed, from its
carliest infancy, has been supported by feigned miracles and
visions, impostures and artifices of various kinds. Even in our
own day the miracles of the Church of Rome have revived. The
mystery of iniquity, we read ver. 7, began to show itself in the
apostle's time; idolatry was stealing into the Church, (1 Cor. x.
14.) and a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, (Colos,
ii. 18.) adulterating the word of God, (2 Cor. ii. 17. iv. 2.) a
vain observation of festivals, and distinctions of meat, (Gal. iv.
10. 1 Cor. viii. 8.) with many other innovations and corrup-
tions. May we not add to these beginnings, that system of igno-
rance which was essential to the success of the Romish supersti-
tions and observances, which induced the necessity of keeping
the Scriptures from the common people; and had not St. Paul
suspected that this Epistle would not have been read to all the
Church of Thessalonica, is it probable he would have command-
ed it to have been done in so solemn a manner? We, who have
lived to see the wonderful accomplishment of this prophecy, by
the concurrent testimony of history, must consider it as ano-
ther evidence of the truth of Revelation, and one safeguard
against the attacks and innovations of Popery. It is the fashion,
indeed, of the present day, to make loud boasts of liberality and
candour, and to suppose that the Church of Rome is too enlight-
ened to retain any longer the former persecuting spirit, or more
irrational dogmas. A great change is said to have taken place
-But in what is the Church of Rome changed? Has it abated
any one of its lofty pretensions to infallibility, miracle, or the
possession of exclusive truth? Has any council been called to
repeal one objectionable dogma of their religious faith? Has


Julian Pe- 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is Corinth. riod, 4763. called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, Vulgar Era, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is



5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

6 And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time.

7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the way.

8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders,

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not
the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

any bull from their spiritual father commanded them to prefer
their allegiance to their sovereign, as Christian subjects, to their
imaginary duty to the Roman Pontiff? Are the poor allowed
the free use of the Scripture? Are they allowed to read and to
meditate on the word of life? The members of the Church of
Rome are still kept in the same darkness, still bound by the
same spiritual tyranny, and actuated even at the present day
by the same mad, cruel, and ferocious fanaticism. They declare
their Church unalterable, and are themselves unaltered.

The causes which first compelled our ancestors to preserve
their liberties and religion by vigilant jealousy of the members
of the Church of Rome, exist in their original force-the Papist
remains the same-the Protestant alone is changed, and has
become, it is to be feared, too lukewarm and too indifferent.
Under the well-meant disguise of universal charity and tolera-
tion, he welcomes the enemy to the citadel, with bows and
smiles. He feels himself enlightened, and supposes the Papist is
equally so. He forgets that infallibility or unchangeableness is
the very foundation of the creed of the Romanist, precluding
thereby all possibility of reformation. The errors of the

Church of Rome are not merely to be attributed to the dark-
ness and superstitions of any particular ago, but are interwoven
with the very frame-work of this corrupt religion. Unless the
pages of history are written in vain, and the experience of the
past is to direct us no longer, the statesmen of a Protestant
country are required to preserve to the present generation, and
to hand down unimpaired to our posterity, that code of laws
which secures to the majority of the people of England a pure
religion, and well defined liberties; and provides also for a
succession of rulers who shall maintain the same, so long as it
shall please God to continue the power, the splendour, or even
the existence of the monarchy.


Julian Period, 4763. Vulgar Era, 52.


§ 5. 2 THESS. ii. 13-17.

He rejoices over the Thessalonians, and exhorts them to
continue steadfast in the Doctrines in which they had
been instructed.

13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for
you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath
from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanc-
tification of the spirit and belief of the truth;

14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or our epistle.

16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

6. 2 THESS. iii. 1-5.

St. Paul desires them to pray for him and his Compa-
nions, that the Gospel of God may be glorified as much
in other Gentile Nations as with them; and that they
may be delivered from their Persecutors-He repeats
his Prayer for their Faith and Patience.

1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the
may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is
with you:

2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable
and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command


5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

§ 7. 2 THESS. iii. 6. to the end.

St. Paul here advises the Thessalonians how to act towards
those who still continue to live a disorderly and idle
Life, contrary to the express Commands they had receiv-
ed from him-His Prayer and Blessing.

6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every
brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradi-
tion which ye received of us".

40 In his First Epistle to the Thessalonians, chap. iv. 11, 12. St. Paul had exhorted some disorderly Christians not to be un


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7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for Corinth. we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you :

8 Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:

9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busy bodies.

12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.

15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him
as a brother.

16 Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace
always by all means. The Lord be with you all.
17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand",
is the token in every epistle: so I write.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with

4. which




St. Paul still at Corinth, is brought before the Judgment
Seat of Gallio, the Proconsul, the Brother of Seneca.
ACTS Xviii. 12. to part of ver. 18.

12 And when Gallio was the deputy of Achaia, the
Jews made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and
brought him to the judgment-seat,

13 Saying, This fellow persuadeth men to worship God contrary to the law.

ruly and slothful. He here enlarges on the subject, and re-
proves them more sharply, as not having altended to his former
admonitions. Some understand by "the tradition which they
had received," the example of St. Paul and his companions.
Perhaps he had both these arguments in view; in either case
the reading remains the same.

41 This verse appears to corroborate the idea already hinted
at in chap. ii. ver. 2. which seems to intimate that the Thessa
lonians had been led to misinterpret St. Paul's Epistle by some
spurious writing, as he here teaches them how to distinguish his
genuine Epistles from those which might be forged. Had there
been no letters of this description, tokens of authenticity would
have been unnecessary.

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14 And when Paul was now about to open his mouth, Corinth. Gallio said unto the Jews, If it were a matter of wrong, or wicked lewdness, O ye Jews, reason would that I should bear with you:

15 But if it be a question of words and names, and of your law, look ye to it; for I will be no judge of such


16 And he drave them from the judgment-seat.

17 Then all the Greeks took Sosthenes, the chief ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment-seat. And Gallio cared for none of those things *2.

18 And Paul after this tarried there yet a good while, and then took his leave of the brethren.


St. Paul having left Corinth for Crete, is compelled on his
Return to winter at Nicopolis, from whence he writes
his Epistle to Titus, whom he had left in Crete, with
power to ordain Teachers, and govern the Church in that
Island 43

TITUS i. 1-4.

§ 1. St. Paul's Salutation.

1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Nicopolis. riod, 4764. Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the Vulgar Era,


42 From the accounts of Roman authors, Gallio appears to have been a man eminent for his talents and literary attainments; and his character is represented in the most amiable light. His conduct on this occasion deserves a mixture of applause and censure: his liberal turn of mind was evinced in his refusal to punish a man for his religious opinions only, and his willingness to permit the Jews to think as they pleased, and settle their disputes among themselves. We must, however, reprobate the contemptuous indifference with which he treated matters of such stupendous moment. Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, appears to have been favourably disposed to Paul. On this account, perhaps, the Jews incited the Greeks to beat him. Some, however, suppose, that this Sosthenes was one of the most clamorous among the Jews for the punishment of Paul, and that the Greeks, standing round the tribunal, inflicted this punishment on the ringleader, as the most effectual way of quelling the tumult. Gallio was to blame for permitting this violation of the laws immediately under his own eyes.-See Witsius Meletem. Leidens. cap. vii. sect. iv. &c. &c.

43 The Epistle to Titus is placed thus early in the arrangement of the apostolic letters, on the united authority of Dr. Hales and Michaelis. The arguments of these eminent theologians appear to be strengthened by the consideration, that there is no allusion to St. Paul's sufferings or approaching death -to his age or imprisonment: all of which things are frequently mentioned in these Epistles, which we have more decided reason for referring to a late period of the apostle's life. The verbal harmony between this Epistle and that to Timothy, may be accounted for from the circumstance, that they were both written on similar occasions, and for the same purposes.-Compare 1

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