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επι

exhort by our Lord Jesus μεν δια του Κυριου ημών ΙηChrist, that with quietness σου Χριςου, ένα μετα ησυχιας they work, and eat their εργαζομενοι, τον εαυτων αρτον own bread.

εσβιωσιν. 13 But ye, brethren, be 13 Υμεις δε, αδελφοι, μη not weary in well doing.

εκκακησητε καλοποιουντες 14 And if any man obey 14 Ει δε τις ουχ υπακουει not our word by this epis- τω λογω ημων δια της tle, note that man, and ςολης, τουτον σημειουσδε και have no company with

μη συναναμιγνυσθε αυτω, ένα him, that he

εντράπη. med. .

15 Yet count him not as 15 Και μη ως εχθρον ηan enemy, but admonish γεισθε, αλλα νουθετειτε ως him as a brother.

αδελφον. 16 Now, the Lord of 16 Αυτος δε ο Κυριος της peace himself give you ειρηνης δωη υμιν την peace always, by all means.

ρηνην

δια

παντος εν παντι The Lord be with you all.

τροπω. Ο Κυριος μετα παντων υμων.

may

be asha.

ει

Ver. 12.–1. We command and beseech. To his command, the apostle ad. ded earnest entreaty; and he did so by the authority and direction of Christ. The meaning may be as in the commentary.

Ver. 13.-1. Be not weary in well doing. Mn exxexuonti, properly signi. fies, do not flag through sloth or cowardice. See Eph. iii. 13. note 1. The Thessalonians were not to flag in the performance either of their civil, or of their religious duties.

Ver. 14.--1. Point out that man. A like direction is given, Rom. xvi. 17. 1 Cor. v. 9. 11. 13. Phil. iii. 17. Beza thinks the word onusixote, put a mark upon that man, means excoinmunicate bim ; to which meaning the subsequent clause seems to agree. Grotius construes the words δια της επιςολης, with TXTOY CSU 11860: give me notice of that man by a letter. But the phrase in that sense is not common. See Benson on the passage.

2. Keep no company with him, that be may be ashamed. From this and other passages, particularly, Μatt. xviii. 15.-17. Tit. iii. 10. and ver. 6. of this chapter, it appears, that Christ hath established a wholesome discipline in his rch, to be exercised by the pastors and people for reclaiming those who sin. This discipline does not consist in corporal punishments, impri. sonments, fines, and civil incapacities ; but in the administration of admo'beseech i by our Lord Je- by the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, sus Christ, that with quiet- that forbearing meddling in any ness they work, and eat shape with other people's affairs, and their own bread.

remaining quietly at home, they work,

and feed themselves with their own meal. 13 And ye, brethren, 13 And ye, brethren, who hitherto be not weary

in well- by your honest industry, have not doing.

only fed yourselves, but the poor,

do not flag in that good work. 14 (11) Now, if any one 14 Now if any one do not obey our do not obey our (20ww, 60.) command given to all in this letter, command in this letter, that they work for their own mainpoint out that man,' and tenance, do ye, the rulers of the keep no company with church, point out that man to the rest, him, that he

may be tha', as I said before, ver. 10. none ashamed.

of you may keep company with him, in order that being shunned by all as an evil doer, he may be ashamed of

his conduct, and amend. 15 Yet do not count 15 Yet do not behave towards him Him as an enemy, but ad- as an infidel, who is incorrigible, but monish him as a brother. in your public discourses, and in

private, as ye have opportunity, ad. monish him as a brother, who may

still be reclaimed. 16 And may the Lord 16 And may Christ, the author of of peace himself, give all happiness, himself give you happiyou peace always, in every ness in every shape, by bestowing on shape. The Lord be with you diligence in your worldly busiyou - all.

ness, concord among yourselves, and good agreement with your heathen neighbours. The Lord be avith you all, to direct you.

nitions and rebukes When these are without effect, and the offender continues impenitent, he is to be excluded from joining the church in the offices of religion. In that case, however, the faithful must not lose, either their affection for the offending party, or their hope of his recovery ; but must continue to admonish him as a brother, till he appears icorrigible. When this happens, he is to be cast out of the society, and avoided as a person with whom to have any intercouse, except in the offices of humanity, would be dangerous. Matt. xviii. 17.

Ver. 16.-1. The Lord of peace. The apostle calls Christ the Lord of

17 The salutation of 17 Ο ασπασμος τη εμη Paul, with mine own hand, χειρι Παυλου, ο εςι σημειον εν which is the token in

παση επιςολη: ουτω γραφω. every epistle: so I write.

18 The grace of our 18 Η χαρις του Κυριου Lord Jesus Christ δε with ημων Ιησου Χριςου μετα πανyou all. Amen.

των υμων. Αμην.

peace, in allusion to Isaiah ix. 6. where he is foretold under the character of the prince of peace, because he was to reconcile Jews and Gentiles to God and to one another, making peace between God and them ; and making of two one new man, whose members are to live in peace with one another.This prayer the apostle subjoins to the foregoing command, to intimate, that if the rulers of the church are faithful in their exhortations and admonitions, it is to be expected that the Lord will follow their labours with his blessing, aud make them effectual for producing peace and righteousness among the members of his body,

2. The Lord be with you all. This wish is founded on Christ's promise, Matt. xxviii. 20. Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. With this promise Paul may have been made acquainted by revelation.

CONCLUSION.

As the first epistle to the Thessalonians contains a formal proof of the divine original of the gospel, founded on the knowledge and experience of the persons to whom it was addressed, its primary intention was to establish them in the faith of the gospel. Yet, like the other inspired writings, it was calculated for the benefit of all the churches of Christ to the end of the world. Accordingly, it hath been of singular use to them in every age ; for, from it we learn what the facts and circumstances were, on which the apostles built their pretensions to a divine commission, and by which they persuaded mankind to embrace the gospel. And our knowledge of these facts and circumstances leads us to believe, that the rapid progress of the gospel was owing, neither to fraud, nor to enthusiasm, nor to the power

of the sword, but to the excellent nature of the gospel; the holy lives of its first preachers and professors ; the undeniable miracles which the apostles wrought in proof of their mission from God; the gifts of the Spirit which they bestowed on their converts; the witness which they bare to the

17 The salutation of 17 The salutation of me, Paul, Paul with mine own written with mine own hand, which is hand, which is the token? the token in every epistle, by which in every epistle : thus I ye may distinguish my genuine letwrite.

ters. In this manner I write. 18 The

grace
of

18 May the graces which shone Lord Jesus Christ Be with in our Lord Jesus Christ, remain with you all. Amen.

Amen. See Eph. vi. 24. note 2.

our

you all,

Ver. 17.-1. The salutation, &-c. which is the token in every epistle. Paul commonly employed one to write, or at least to make a fair copy of his letters, especially if they were of any length. Wherefore, as impostors had now begun to forge letters in his name (2 Thess. ii. 2.), to prevent the ill consequences of that fraud, he wrote the salutation in all his letters with his own hand. And that the faithful at Thessalonica might be able to distinguish his genuine letters from such as were forged, he desired them to take particular notice of that mark. It seems the apostle's converts were generally acquainted with his hand-writing.–Doddridge insinuates, that Paul may have dictated some of his epistles, while his hands were employed in the labours of his occupation of tent-making, and says, This may account for some small inaccuracies of style at which little minds have bcen offended, but which good judges easily know how to excuse.

resurrection of their master; and their appealing to that great miracle, in proof that according to his promise, he will return from heaven to reward the righteous, and to punish the wicked. For these being matters of fact, obvious to the senses of mankind, the vulgar, equally with the learned, were able to judge of them; and being strongly impressed by them, great numbers of them became Christ's disciples. Wherefore, although no miracles are now wrought in confirmation of the gospel, and the spiritual gifts have long ago ceased in the church, we have still abundant evidence of the divinity of our religion. The first epistle to the Thessalonians affords a convincing proof, that the gospel was established in the chief city of the province of Macedonia, by its own intrinsic excellence, accompanied with miracles and with the exercise of the spiritual gifts, notwithstanding the philosophers, of whom there were many in Thessalonica, endeavoured to overturn it by reasoning; and the unbelieving Jews, to stop its progress, stirred up the heathens to persecute those who professed it. For, the miracles and spiritual gifts which accompanied the preaching of the gospel, rendered it superior to all opposition.

The second epistle to the Thessalonians, although it was written to correct a particular error, being an illustrious monument of the inspiration of its author, affords to us, who live in these later times, an additional, and I may say an increasing evidence of the truth of our religion. Certain false teachers, by misinterpreting an expression or two in the apostle's first epistle, had made the Thessalonians believe, that the coming of Christ to raise the dead, and carry the righteous into heaven, was at hand, and thereby had occasioned them to neglect their worldly affairs. To undeceive them, the apostle, in his second epistle, assured them, that, before the coming of Christ, a great apostasy or defection from the true faith and practice of the gospel would take place in the church : that that defection would not happen all at once, but would proceed by slow degrees to the height and extent determined ; and that to carry it to that height, a long series of ages was requisite. And, to shew, that the apostasy would be of a long continuance, the apostle foretold the particulars of which it was to consist, described the persons by whom it was to be introduced, and discovered the vile arts, by which they were to establish it. Withal, that the Thessalonians might not be too much afflicted with the foresight of the evils which the apostasy would occasion, and that the faithful who beheld these evils, might not be tempted to think God had cast off all care of his church, the apostle foretold, that the apostasy would be destroyed; but in as gradual a manner as it had been introduced. And even described the means by which it would be destroyed; namely, by the scriptures put into the hands of the people, and by the preaching of the true doctrine of the gospel out of the scriptures; so that the eyes of the people, long blinded by the arts of the deceivers, being opened, they would at length discern and acknowledge the truth.-No events similar to these having ever taken place in any prior age af the world, the prediction of them by the apostle, and their happening exactly as they were foretold, to us, who have seen the rise and progress, and begun destruction of the apostasy, are such a demonstration of the inspiration of St. Paul, and of the truth of our religion, as cannot be gainsaid.

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