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weak, be patient toward ολιγοψυχους, αντεχεσθε των all men.
ασθενων, μακροθυμειτε προς
παντας. . 15 See that none render 15 Ορατε, μη τις κακον evil for evil unto any man ;
αντι κακου τινι αποδω αλλα but ever follow that which παντοτε το αγαθον διωκετε is good, both among your
και εις αλληλους και εις πανselves, and to all men.
τας. . 16 Rejoice evermore.
16 Παντοτε χαιρετε. . 17 Pray without ceas- 17 Αδιαλείπτως προσευχεσing.
“ elegance and force of its words, and the delicate turn of its structure. “ The union of the words within each com mma or stop, and their mutual rela“ tion and assistance, is esquisitely proper and natural. The noble period
runs on with strength and smoothness, and ends close and full. Both the ear and judgment are satisfied.” Sac. Class. vol. i. p. 257.
2. Comfort the faint-hearted. Onogo tuxon, according to Grotius, are persons, who in adversity are dejected. But in Chandler's opinion, they are persons who entertain worse thoughts of themselves than they ought to do. Of this sort, there may have been some among the Thessalonian brethren, who, having been great sinners, were oppressed with sorrow for their former offences, and afraid, lest the continued persecution to which they were exposed, should make them renounce the gospel.
3. Support the weak. Aytexeo fet, is to bear a thing on the side opposite to a person who bears it at the same time. In this place, it signifies cur assisting the weak in understanding, with our advice, when they are at a loss how to direct themselves.
Ver. 16.-1. Always rejoice. Here, and in what follows, the apostle turns his discourse to the people.— In advising us always to rejoice, he does not mean that we should be insensible of our afflictions ; but that in affliction we should not lose the joy which the glorious discoveries of the love of God and of Christ, made to us in the gospel, are fitted to yield. The truth is, affliction is the time when God gives the most abundant measures of his Spirit to his children, and raises their faith in the promises of the gospel, and strengthens their trust in his providence ; by all which they obtain such peace and joy as nothing can overcome.-Sec Philip. iv. 4. note.
Ver. 17.-1. Pray without ceasing. This does not niean, that we should never intermit praying, but that we should observe the stated seasons of prayer. Thus Luke xxiv. 53. They were continually in the temple praising God, means, that they resorted to the temple at the time of the morning and evening sacrifice ; and, according to the custom of the Jews, offered their prayers and praises while the incense was burning. See Rev. viii. 3. And comfort the faint-hearted, leaving off working, and of medsupports the weak, be of dling with other people's affairs ; a long-suffering disposition encourage them who are faint-hearttowards all.
ed, when persecution arises ; support by your counsel, them who, being weak in understanding, know not how to direct themselves; and bear long with all who err through igno
rance. 15 Take care that no one 15 By your admonitions, and by return evil for evil to any the prudent use of the censures of one, but always pursue ye the church, Take care that none of what is good, both to your flock return evil for evil to any wards one another, and But say to them, Always pur. towards all.
sue ye what is good, both towards one another, and towards all : For to overcome evil with good, is a victory
far more noble than any other. 16 Always rejoice. " 16 Whether you are in prosperity, Mat. v. 11, 12. Rom. or in adversity, always maintain that
rational joy, which the doctrines and
promises of the gospel inspire. 17 Pray without cea- 17 Sensible of your own wants sing.
and weaknesses, and of the infinite power and goodness of God, pray to him morning and evening, and embrace every fit opportunity of prayer.
as the morning and evening sacrifice is called the continual burnt offering, Exod. xxix. 42. they who regularly observed that season of prayer, were said to pray continually, and night and day. Acts xxvi. 7. Our twelve tribes instantly serving God night and day, &c.—But besides outward worship, there is due to God worship also in spirit, consisting habitually cherishing just conceptions of his character and government; in placing our affections on him as their highest object; in submitting our will to his in all things; and in relying upon him for our happiness, both in prosperity and in adversity. Where these dispositions prevail, the person may be said to pray without ceasing : and to make them babitual, care in performing the outward acts of worship is of great use. Farther, frequently and humbly to ask the asa sistance and protection of God, and to return him thanks for the blessings we derive from his providence, are duties so natural, and so necessary to our happiness, that one would think no person or family could live in the habitual neglect thereof. And yet how many are ere who do so! VOL. IV.
18 In every thing give 18 Εν σαντι ευχαριςειτε" thanks : for this is the will τουτο γαρ θελημα Θεου εν of God in Christ Jesus Xριςω Ιησου εις υμας. . concerning you.
19 Quench not the Spi- 19 Το πνευμα μη σβεννυτε: : rit.
20 Despise not prophe- 20 Προφητειας μη εξουsyings.
8ενειτε: 21 Prove all things ; 21 Παντα δοκιμαζετε το hold fast that whichis good. καλον κατεχετε
22 Abstain from all ap- 22 Απο παντος ειδους πονpearance of evil.
ηρου απεχεσθε. .
Ver. 18.-1. In every thing. This clause may be translated, for every shing give thanks. See Ephes. v. 20. note 1. But the preposition there, is vaig, not ev, as here.
Ver. 19.–1. Quench not the Spirit. Here, the Spirit, denotes the miracu. lous gifts which were bestowed on the first Christians, called, Heb. ii. 4. Distributions of the Holy Spirit. From this precept, as well as from that to Timothy, Stir up the gift of God which is in thee, 2 Tim. i. 6. it appears, that even the miraculous powers might be improved; and that the continuance of them with individuals, depended in a great measure upon the right temper of their minds, and upon the proper use which the spiritual men made of their gifts. The Greek words, in which the above-mentioned precepts are expressed, have a relation to those flames of fire, by which the presence of the Spirit was manifested, when he fell on the apostles and brethren, as mentioned Acts ii. 3. For in this passage, the banishing of the Holy Ghost is expressed by words, which signify the extinguishing of flame : To nyeupe de Men o6EPVUT!, Quench not the Spirit.' On the other hand, the strengthening the spiritual gifts, by exercising them properly, by banishing all vicious passions, and by cherishing inward purity, is expressed in words which denote the blowing up of fire into fame. 2 Tim. i. 6. I put thee in mind, ayd(wrugely to dagooue te ofr, to stir up the spiritual gift of God which is in thee, literally, to stir up as fire the spiritual gift. Some commentators suppose these precepts have a respect likewise to the ordinary influences of the Spirit, which, without doubt, equally with the extraordinary, are banished by resisting or abusing them, and by indulging sensual, malevolent, worldly dispositions ; but are cherished by yielding to their influence, and by cultivating a virtuous temper of mind.
Ver. 20.--1. Despise not prophesyings. Mu eex Fergite, literally, do not set at naught. This precept, in a more general sense, is designed for those who neglect attending the public worship of God, on pretence that they are so wise, or so well instructed, that they can receive little or no benefit from it. But such should consider, that the spiritual life is maintained in 18 (Ev wVTI) In every 18 In every condition, whether thing give thanks:' for prosperous or adverse, give thanks this is the will of God, by to God, by whose providence all Christ Jesus, (ess, 192.) things come to pass; for this is the concerning you.
will of God, made known by Christ
Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spi- 19 Quench not the gifts of the Spirit. 1 (See Ephes. v. 18. rit, by hindering others to exercise note 3.)
them, or by neglecting to exercise them yourselves, or by exercising
them with strife and tumult. 20 Despise not prophe- 20 Highly esteem the gift of prophesying. 1 (See 1 Cor. xiv. sying ; for it is the most useful of 3. note.)
all the spiritual gifts, being that by which the church is edificd, ex
horted, and comforted. 21 Prove all things.' 21 Do not believe every teacher Hold fast 2 that which is pretending to inspiration ; but exgood. I John iv. I. amine all things offered to you, com
paring them with the doctrines of Christ, and of his apostles, and with the former revelations: And hold fast that which, upon examination,
is found good. 22 Abstain from all ap- 22. Abstain from all such actions, pearance of evil.
as to yourselves, after examination, have an appearance of evil.
the soul, not so much by new knowledge, as by the recollection of matters formerly known, and by serious meditation thereon.
Ver. 21.-1. Prove all things. This precept may have been originally intended for those spiritual men, who had the gift of discerning spirits, and whose office it was to try those who pretended to prophesy, or to speak by inspiration ; and to direct the church in their opinion concerning them. Nevertheless, it may well be understood in a more general sense, as requiring Christians in all ages, before they receive any religious doctrine, to examine whether it be consonant to right reason and to the word of God. On this precept, Benson's remark is, “ What a glorious freedom of thought do “ the apostles recommend! And how contemptible in their account is a u blind and implicit faith! May all Christians use this liberty of judging * for themselves in matters of religion, and allow it to one another, and to u all mankind !"
2. Ku79797€. This word signifies to hold a thing firmly in one's hand.
23 And the very God of 23 Αυτος δε ο Θεος της peace sanctify you wholly: ειρηνης αγιασαι υμας ολοτεand I diray God your whole λεις και ολοκληρον υμων το spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless πνευμα, και η ψυχη, και το unto the coming of our σωμα αμεμπτως εν τη παLord Jesus Christ. ρουσια του Κυριου ημών Ιη
σου Χριςου τηρηθειη. .
Applied to the mind, it denotes the sincere approbation of a thing, and the close adherence to it.
Ver. 23.-1. Your whole person. So I have translated, ónoxangor ipcor', because the word signifies the whole of a thing given by lot; consequently the whole of any thing ; and here the whole frame of our nature, our whole person. Accordingly, Chandler has shewed, that this word is applied to a city, whose buildings are all standing; and to an empire, which hath all its provinces ; and to an army, whose troops are undiminished by any accident or calamity.
2. The spirit, the soul, and the body. The Pythagoreans, Platonists, and Stoics, divided the thinking part of a man into spirit and soul; a notion which they seem to have derived from the must ancient tradition, founded, perhaps, on the Mosaic account of the formation of man, Gen. ii. 7. and therefore it was adopted by the sacred writers. See Whitby's note here, who says, Gassendus and Willis have established this philosophy beyond all reasonable contradiction. But others are of opinion, that as the apostle's de. sign was to teach mankind religion, and not philosophy, he might use the popular language to which the Thessalonians were accustomed, without adopting the philosophy on which that language was founded : consequently, that his prayer means no more, but that they might be thoroughly sanctified, of how many constituent parts soever their nature consisted.
The passage of Genesis above referred to, runs thus: The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the brearb of life; and man becan:e a living soul, that is, an animal. The same appellation is given to the beasts, Gen. i. 24. God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature, (Heb. the living soul) after his kind, cattle, &c. Wherefore, the formation of the animal part of our nature only is described, Gen. ii. 7. the formation of our spiritual part having been formerly declared, Gen. i. 27. So God created mun in his own image. In the image of God created he him : Male and female created he them; both the male and the female of the human species, created he in the image of God. Moses's account, thus understood, implies, That we have both an animal and an intellectual nature : that in his animal nature, man is the same with the beast. For like the beast he hath a body united to his soul. And as the soul of the beast is the seat of its sensations, and is endowed with appetites and passions, such as anger, hatred, lust, &c. so the soul of man is the seat of his sensations, appetites, and passions. And though his body, in its form, differs from that of a beast, it resembles it in being made out of the ground; its members