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23 And may the God of 23 And that ye may be enabled peace himself sanctify you to obey this, and every precept of wholly ; and may your the gospel, May God, the author of whole person, the spirit, and all happiness, sanctify you wholly ; and the soul, and the body, 2 be

may your whole son, your under. preserved unblameable, un- standing, your affections, and your to the coming of our Lord actions, be preserved by God, without Jesus Christ.

any just cause of blame, until your trial is finished, through the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, to release you by death.

have a general resemblance to the members of a beast, the bodies of bothgare nourished by food; they grow to a certain bulk; they continue in their mature state a determined time ; after which they gradually decay; and at length die, unless destroyed before by some accident. To the life of both, the presence of the soul in the body is necessary; and to the presence of the soul, it is requisite in both, that the bodily organs, called vital parts, be in a fit state for performing their several functions. Such is the life which man enjoys in common with the beast.

Because it hath been commonly supposed that God's words to Adam, dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return, were spoken to him as an animal, some have inferred, that not his body alone, but his animal soul was made of the dust, and returned to the dust. And in support of their opinion, they appeal to Solomon's words, Eccles. iii. 18, 19. where he affirms, that the soul both of man and beast is of the dust, and returns to the dust; on which account he calls man a beast. Others affirm, that dust, or matter, however modified and refined, is not capable of sensation, the lowest degree of thought and far less of imagination, and memory; faculties which the beast seems to partake of in common with man. And, therefore, they understand the above expressions as importing, not that the soul of man and beast is material, but that it is mortal; because it is no more contrary to reason, that an incorporeal soul should cease to be, than that it should have begun to exist.

But without pretending to determine, whether the soul which man is supposed to have in common with the beast, be material or not, I observe, that although God's words, Dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou return, should be meant to import the mortality of Adam's soul, as well as of his body, it will not follow, that there is nothing in man but what was made of dust, and is mortal. Besides an animal soul, the seat of sensation, appetite, passion, memory, &c. man has an higher principle, called Spirit, the seat of intellect, reasoning, and conscience. This appears from Gen. i. 26. Let us make man in our image : for the body of man made of the dust of the ground, can be no part of the image of God. As little can the animal soul which he bath in common with beasts, be any part of that image. This superior principle in man Solomon acknowledgeth. For after describing what man hath


24 Faithful is he that 24 Πισος και καλων υμάς, ος calleth you, who also will και ποιησει. do it.

25 Brethren, pray for 25 Αδελφοι, προσευχεσθε


περι ημων.

26 Greet all the bre. thren with an holy kiss.

27 I charge you by the Lord, that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren.

26 Ασπασασθε τους αδελφούς παντας εν φιληματι αγιω. 27

Ορκιζω υμας τον Κυριον, αναγνωσθηναι την επιςολης πασι τοις αγιους αδελφους.

“ Η χαρις του Κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριςου μετα υμων. Αμην.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with


you. Amen.

in common with beasts, namely, one breath of life, he observes that their spirits are different, Eccles.iii. 21.

To comprehend the distinction between soul and spirit, which the sacred writers have insinuated, the soul must be considered as connected both with the body and with the spirit. By its connection with the body, the soul receives impressions from the senses; and by its connection with the spirit, it conveys these impressions, by means of the imagination and memory, to the spirit as materials for its operations. The powers last mentioned, through their connection with the body, are liable indeed to be so disturbed by injuries befalling the body, as to convey false perceptions to the spirit. But the powers of the spirit not being affected by bodily inju. ries, it judges of the impressions conveyed to it as accurately as if they were true representations ; so that the conclusions which it forms, are generally right.

Ver. 25.–1. Brethren, pray for us. This the apostle requested, because, whether he considered the prayers of the Thessalonians, as expressions of their earnest desire to have the gospel propagated, or of their good-will to him the apostle of Christ; or whether he considered the efficacy of their prayers with God, who to do honour to good men, heareth their prayers in behalf of others; he was sensible that their prayers might be of great use to him. See Col. iv. 3. note 1.

Ver. 27.--1. I adjure you by the Lord, that this Epistle be read to all the holy brethren. See Preliminary Essay 2. This being a command to the presidents and pastors of the Thessalonian church, it is evident that this epistle must have been first delivered to them, by his order, although it was inscrib. ed to the Thessalonians in general. The same course, no doubt, he followed, us.

24 Faithful is he who 24 Faithful is God who hath called hath called you; who also you into his kingdom, and who, havwill do it.

ing promised to assist you in all your trials, and to sanctify you

wholly, also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for 25 Brethren, sensible of the im

portance and difficulty of my work as an apostle, I earnestly request

you to pray for me. 26 Salute all the bre. 26 Express your affection towards thren with an holy kiss. all your Christian brethren, in the or. (See Rom. xvi. 16. note dinary manner, by giving them a kiss, 1.)

accompanied with nothing of that criminal love, which many of the Greeks indulge towards their own


27 I adjure you br the 27 I lay you, who preside in the Lord, that this epistle be church at Thessalonica, under an read ? to all the holy (see oath by the Lord's direction, that this Ess. iv. 48.) brethren. epistle be read to all the holy brethren

professing Christianity in your own church, and in all the churches of

Macedonia. 28 The grace of our 28 I finish my letter with giving Lord Jesus Christ Be you my apostolical benediction.

Amen. (See May the favour, protection, and assisEphes. vi. 24. note 2.) tance of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose

servants ye are, ever remain with you, that ye may be approved of him. And in testimony of my sincerity in this, and in all the things written in this epistle, I say Amen.

with you.

with all liis other inspired epistles. They were sent by him to the elders of the churches for wbose use they were designed, with a direction that they should be read publicly, by some of their number, to the brethren in their assenblies for worship; and that not once or twice, but frequently, that all might have the benefit of the instructions contained in them. If this method has not been followed, such as were unlearned would have derived no advantage from the apostolical writings : and to make these writings of use to the rest, they must have been circulated among them in private ; which would have exposed the autographs of the apostle's letters, to the danger of being lost. The practice therefore of the Romish clergy, who do not read the scriptures to the common people in their religious assemblies, or who read them in an unknown tongue, is directly contrary to the apostolical injunctions, and to the primitive practice.-Farther, as the Thessalonian brethren had not been entirely obedient to their spiritual guides, the apostle may have suspected, that their pastors would be afraid to read this epistle publicly, in which a number of them were rebuked, and in which practices were expressly condemned, which many of them still followed. He therefore laid the pastors under an oath, to cause it to be read publicly to all the brethren in their own city, and in the neighbourhood.







Of the Occasion of writing the second Epistle to the Thessalonians. From the matters contained in this epistle it appears, that the messenger who carried Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians, gave him, when he returned, a particular account of their affairs, (see 2 Thess. iii. 11.) and, among other things, informed him, that many of them thought the day of judgment was to happen in that age; because in his letter the apostle seems to insinu. ate, that he was to be living on the earth at the coming of the Lord : 1 Thess. iv. 15. We who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord.-Ver. 17. Then we who are alive and remain, shall be caught up.-Chap. v. 4. But ye are not in darkness, 80 as that day should, like a thirf, lay hold on you.-Ver. 6. Therefore, let us not slees, even as the others ; but let us watch and be sober --The same person also informed the apostle, that such of the Thessalonians, as thought the coming of Christ, and the end of the world at hand, were neglecting their secular affairs, in the persuasion that all business of that sort was inconsistent with the care of their souls: That certain false teachers among the Thessalonians pretended to have a revelation of the Spirit, importing that the day of judgment was at hand: That others affirmed they were sent by the apostle to declare the same things by word of mouth : nay, That a forged letter had been handed about in Thessalonica, as from him, to the same purpose.—An error of this kind being exceedingly prejudicial to society, it was necessary to put a stop to it immediately: and



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