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Julian Period, 4762, Vulgar Æra, 51.
FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS-CHAP. XII.
§ 8. 1 THESS. iv. 13-18.
St. Paul warns them against those zealous Jews who would
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive, and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
St. Paul shews the Necessity of Holiness from the sudden and
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken, are drunken in the night.
8 But let us who are of the day, be sober, putting on
Julian Pe- the breast-plate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the Corinth. riod, 4762. hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
10. 1 THESS. v. 12-28.
St. Paul admonishes them to have a due regard for their spi-
12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble-minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.
15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spirit.
20 Despise not prophesyings.
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly:
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
27 I charge you by the Lord, that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.
35 St. Paul addresses himself to the whole Church in many of his epistles-in those to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians; but here he does it in a most solemn and peculiar manner-adjuring them “by the Lord, that it should be read to all the holy brethren." From this deviation from his usual manner, it is conjectured that the apostle might have had some cause of suspicion. It is possible that at this time the Scriptures were prohibited from the people at large, and that the adjuration of the apostle was directed to the
FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS-CHAP. XII.
Julian Pe- 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Corinth. riod, 4762. Amen. Vulgar Æra,
The first epistle unto the Thessalonians was written from
"mystery of iniquity which then began to work." (Sce 2d Epis.
In the Romish Church, the Scriptures are, in general, with-
It is evident, from this passage, that the epistles of St. Paul were not designed mercly for the teachers of the Churches. The Spirit of God, which gave the Scriptures of the Old Testament for the common benefit of the Jewish Church, was now completing the New Testament for the use of all mankind.. Wherever, therefore, the doctrines of Christianity are to be inculcated, the Scriptures are to be in the possession of the people. Their perusal is one means of grace. In this opinion all descriptions of Protestants are united. It is curious to observe the manner in which opposite errors meet. The Romish Church prohibits the universal perusal of the Scriptures, and the learned Semler, the Unitarian theologian, has argued that the epistles were not designed for the people at large (a.)
There has been, it is true, of late years, much discussion respecting the manner in which the Scriptures ought to be distributed. That the common people, however, should receive them, and read and study them, is the opinion of all Protestants. One class of religionists would distribute them in every way possible, whenever an opportunity presents itself; and would unite for that purpose every description of persons, whatever be their theological opinions, as in any other charitable labour. Another class, however, have decided, that in all our attempts to do good, regard must be paid to the means, as well as to the end; and that the indiscriminate union, for religious purposes, of the maintainers of every opposite opinion, sanctions error. The only controversy, therefore, between Protestants is not whether the people should read the Scriptures, but by whom they should be given to the people.
(a) Communis fuit doctrina, sed non fuit in omnium manibus epistolarum aut librorum aliorum exemplum: doctrina tradebatur a presbyteris, qui doctrinæ auctoritatem derivabant ex his libris, quos, ab apostolo alii atque alii acceperant. Itaque recte quidem epistolæ dicuntur destinari ecclesiæ seu ecclesiis, sed intelligitur doctrina, quam presbyteri, et doctores ex libris, vel epistolis apostolorum hauriunt; et Christianis, per partes commodas, impertiunt, Manserunt igitur omnes libri sacri in manibus clericorum, seu ministrorum; quidam tradeban
riod, 4762. St. Paul being rejected by the Jews, continues at Corinth, Vulgar Æra,
Julian Period, 4763. Vulgar Era,
preaching to the Gentiles.
ACTS Xviii. 6—11.
6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads: I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord, with all his house and many of the Corinthians hearing, believed, and were baptized.
9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee, to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
St. Paul writes his Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, in
tur lectoribus; alii presbyteris et episcopis tantum patebant. Quod vel
36 The Second Epistle to the Thessalonians is generally sup-
St. Paul having been informed that some expressions in his first epistle had been either perverted or misunderstood by the Thessalonians, (sce 1 Thess. iv. 15. 17. v. 4. 6.) who supposed the end of the world and the coming of Christ to be at hand, immediately addresses them for the purpose of refuting this error; which, while resting on apostolical authority, would be
SECOND EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS-CHAP. XII.
§ 1. 2 THESS. i. 1, 2.
1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
§ 2. 2 THESS. i. 3—6.
St. Paul rejoices at their Constancy under Persecution; and
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, bre-
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that endure ”;
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you.
3. 2 THESS. i. 7—12.
St. Paul predicts the coming of Christ to Judgment, and
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us; when the
37 In the former epistle (1 Thess. i. 3. 6-10. ii. 14. and xiv. 9, 10.) the apostle thanks God for the beginnings of their faith, love, and patience-in this and the following verses he mentions their increase. In 1 Thess. i. 9. he speaks of their ready reception of the Gospel. St. Paul and his fellow-labourers now glory in them.