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new moral power. This introduction is hardly felt the firmness of his own position, marked by peculiar effects ; is attended by and was anxious to recommend what ke its own evidences; is to be recognised by had to say with all the force he could emtokens that cannot be mistaken and that ploy. We see also in this a very natural could not have been fabricated.
solicitude, and a proof, that the apostle was And observe the general spirit of this new a faithful and honest witness for Jesus, who moral power, as indicated in the letter of sought to aid his own influence, not by high which we have given an analysis. Looking, and exclusive pretensions, but by such means as all the composition does, to Jesus Christ as lay before him; and who therefore assoas the author and giver of this new life, it ciated with himself two persons well known exhibits the essentials of his system in moral to the Christian community in Thessalonica perfection-in the love of God and the love The possession of the power of working and service of man-carried to their most miracles did not supersede, with the aposdisinterested, loftiest, and most sanctifying tles, the employment of ordinary prudence. pitch. And yet, while the most elevated An additional illustration of this fact is seen spiritual excellence is required, all wears a in that our Lord himself sent forth his sober practical air. The apostle descends to messengers by two and two' (Mark vi. 7). the virtues which stand lowest in the moral So Barnabas and Paul, then Barnabas and scale, if also he ascends to those which are John Mark, and Paul and Silas, went out, near heaven itself. He enters into the ordi- each pair together, to the work of the minary concerns of life; he makes religion a nistry. The reason of this is found not work-mate with the handicraftsman—a com- merely in the Jewish law which required the panion and a monitor on the marts of com- testimony of two men (John viii. 17), but merce. And yet this quiet tone, this tone as generally in the confirmation that a second of every day life, which breathes through a witness gives to the statements of a first. large portion of the letter, is put forth by It was historical facts that Paul had first to one who had only a few years before received publish, as the groundwork of all his teachinto his bosom facts and ideas of the most ings; and historical facts greatly increased rousing and exciting nature; and is addressed in credibility when attested by two competent to persons who were agitated by a conviction witnesses. that the end of the world was at hand, and This letter did not accomplish all that was who needed, under the injustice and perse- required and that the apostle wished. Ners cution they were suffering, every sustaining came to him which revived and in some way aid which Christianity could afford.
augmented his solicitude. In faith and love, The tranquil and sober tone of the letter indeed, the disciples had continued to gror; shows on the part of Paul a true and earnest buttheir misconceptions regarding the appearmind. We are content to put the question ance of the Lord Jesus had become greater of his sincerity on the verdict which twelve and more operative on their lives. Hence intelligent men may give after the careful Paul was led to write the Second Epistle ta perusal of this one composition. And then the Thessalonians. mark how, while the writer is gentle as a The evidence of this letter's having pronurse, he is also faithful and admonitory as ceeded from Paul is involved in the recog. a judge. There is much in this letter that nition as his of the First Epistle to the same must have given pain and might have occa- church (ii. 15). It refers to the same subsioned offence. Yet this reproof is written, jects as the First, and treats of them genethis reproof is endured. More still, the rally in a (similar manner. There is, indeed, Thessalonians perpetuate the memory of a difference, but this difference favours the their own misdeeds by carefully preserving hypothesis that both proceeded from Paul. the letter in which they are spoken of and The difference to which we allude is in the blamed. Are not all these signs of reality? tone taken in the Second letter-the tone of Do they not prove that the Thessalonians a now confirmed and rightful authority, had undergone a great moral change, and which would seem to justify the ancients in were undergoing a greater still? Do they regarding this as the Second letter, written not show us the apostle's consciousness, posterior to that which is denominated the as spotless and full of a divine peace? The First. Accordingly, his apostolic authority study of the Scriptures themselves is the is now so established that he no longer, best preventive or the most effectual cure of as in the First letter, admonishes in a subunbelief.
dued manner, but speaks in a firm and It is worthy of notice that this letter ema- decided tone, almost blaming his pupils for nated from Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy. their indocility (ii. 1, seq.). In the same This is expressly set forth (i. 1), and was, way he now, as a master, bids them to therefore, not an accidental circumstance. observe his teachings (ii. 15), and to conWe see in this fact a proof that the First duct themselves after the manner that he Epistle to the Thessalonians was an early prescribes (iii. 6, 12); nay, disregard to composition of the apostle's, who as yet his authority was to be expressly marked (iii. 14). He no longer speaks of the intro- vengeance fall on their persecutors and on duction of Christianity into Thessalonica, all who did not receive the truth ; while but of its growth and diffusion (iii. 1). faithful Christians would be rewarded abun
The time when the letter was written was dantly and for ever. Hence the apostle rewhen Silvanus and Timothy were still with quests the prayers of his readers to aid him Paul. It must, as we have just seen, have in his work. He expresses his confidence been posterior to the First letter. Silvanus that they will be obedient to his instructions and Timothy seem to be among the brethren and wait patiently for Christ. Disorders, of whom Paul took leave on quitting Corinth too, required a remedy. In the false notion (xviii. 18). Timothy appears again in con- that the world was near its end, some had nection with Paul only some time after, and discontinued to work, and songht their sup. Silas never (xix. 22). Therefore we seem port in the resources of others, meanwhile justified in fixing the era of its composition wasting their time in goiug about in a dis. towards the termination of the period during orderly way, augmenting men's fears and which the apostle remained at Corinth. alarms. If needful, these persons were to
The immediate cause of these false views be avoided by the church, yet not as enein the minds of the Thessalonians which mies, but as brothers to be admonished. induced Paul to pen the letter, appears to
Let all bear in mind Paul's own example, have lain in new persecutions which had who ate no man's bread for nought, but broken out against them, and which they wrought with labour and travail night and were led to consider as the token of the day in order not to be chargeable to any one. immediate appearance of Christ (i. 4–7; So let these mistaken persons work with ii. 2). The way in which the apostle sought quietness and eat their own bread, and if to correct these false notions will appear in any one obeyed not Paul's word as commu. the summary we are about to give of the nicated by this Epistle, note that man and contents of the Epistle.
have no company with him, that he may be After greeting his readers, the apostle ex- ashamed. Finally, he prayed that the church presses his gratitude to God for the increase at large might not be weary in well-doing, of their faith and their mutual love; in but have peace always of the Lord. And consequence of which they were regarded in order that no forged letter might be im. by him as his glory, knowing, as he did, posed on the church, he wrote the salutation how firm and patient they were under the with his own hand, and intimated that this persecutions which they were then enduring. was to be accounted the token of his authorThese sufferings were to be regarded as a ship in every succeeding Epistle. token of God's being well pleased with them, This conclusion would seem to imply since what they endured prepared them for that the apostle contemplated the possibility what they would shortly enjoy in the kingdom of his sending other letters to Thessalonica of God; and so would they be recompensed Whether he did so or not we are not in. for their tribulation, while wrath awaited formed. If he sent other letters, they have their persecutors, who would receive terrible perished. punishment at the manifestation of the Lord. Various are the opinions as to what the
This retributory recompence is the general 'man of sin' (ii. 3—12) was of which the idea of the letter. Its application in parti- apostle speaks. It is styled the 'apostacy? cular cases follows (i.).
or falling away, that is, from the gospel. Paul Having established this retribution as a gives the marks by which it was to be known fact, the writer begs his pupils, by their when it appeared. These marks have all been belief in that appearance of Christ which signally verified in the Roman apostacy, and would occasion it, not to be troubled in in it alone. their minds as if the event were near. Some THEUDAS is by Gamaliel (Acts v. 34, persons had been endeavoaring to make a seq.) described as one who, boasting himself wrong use of the fact. They had misin- to be somebody, rose up before the census terpreted the apostle's words. They had by Cyrenius (cir. A.D. 7), and, gathering even brought forward a letter as if from around him a band of four hundred men, Paul. Thus had they tried to deceive the was slain, and his associates put to flight. church. But an event which had not taken Josephus (Antiq. xx. 5, 1) mentions an place must first happen, of which the apostle, insurgent by the name of Theudas, who was when with the Thessalonians, had given put down under Fadus, procurator of Judea them information; namely, an evil power, (cir. 44 A.D.). But this cannot be the per. the mystery of iniquity, which claimed di- son of whom Gamaliel spoke in probably vine honours, but which was
A.D. 33. Another person it was to whom strained, would, ere the coming of the Lord, Gamaliel referred, and who, under the name rise into influence and seduce even believers: of Matthew (the Hebrew form of Theodotos, when this wicked one should have been re- which in Aramaic is Theudas, each signifying vealed, Jesus would come and consume him "given of God'), raised, in the latter days of with the spirit of his mouth. Then would Herod the Great, a band of his scholars, in
order to effect a social reform, by destroying THORNS AND THISTLES must have the heathen works which the king had erected been abundant in the lands of the Bible, for contrary to the law. Matthias, Matthew, or in the Hebrew we find them denominated by Theudas, was punished with death (Antiq. some sixteen words, the exact import of xvii. 6, 2, 4).
which can be ascertained, if ever, only after If by the taxing,' apographe, Gamaliel a much more minute acquaintance with the meant, as he may have done, the enrolling vegetable kingdom in Western Asia and under Herod rather than the actual census neighbouring countries, than is at present made after his death (see CYRENIUS), then possessed. must the insurrection of Theudas have taken Thorns and thistles in the fields were place just before the decree issued by Augus- naturally hateful to the Israelites as an agritus (Luke ii. 1). The insurrection and the cultural nation (Job xxxi. 40. Micah vii. 4), enrolment were very near each other, and we and hence became an image of a hostile see in this a reason why the two facts stand people (Is. x, 17), and a bramble was the together in Gamaliel's mind. See TIME. emblem of one who could do only harm
THOMAS, in the Syriac ' a twin,' whence (Judg. ix. 15). In Palestine, which was the Greek name of the same import, Didymus poor in wood, thorns served as fuel (Ps. lviii. (John xi. 16; xx. 24), was an apostle of 9. Eccles. vii. 6), and, together with stubble, Jesus Christ (Matt. x. 3), probably a native were converted into ashes for manare (Isaiah of Galilec (John xxi. 2). Thomas was one xlvii. 14. Matt. ii. 12). The fire is rapid
in its progress. It burnt till the material was consumed, when of a sudden it went out (Ps. cxviii. 12). The stubble in the East was (and is) much longer than with us. Hence the conflagration and the consequent noise were considerable (Joel ii. 5; comp. Exod. xv. 7. Is. v. 24).
Thorns were employed for hedges. In Prov. xv. 19, we read, 'The way of the slothful is as an hedge of thorns.' Doubdan, in his Travels, relates that a few miles south of Bethlehem, he met with an orchard of olives, figs, and vines, surrounded with a hedge, the way to which was covered with thorns mixed with pomegranates. The cactas, ficus India, or prickly pear, reaches in Palestine a great height, and puts forth fine gold-coloured flowers, but only mocks those who look to it for human food.
What was the plant of which the crown of thorns, put on the Saviour's head, was made, has been much debated. The more common opinion makes it the pulrurus aculeatus, or Christ's thorn,' a shrub that abounds in Judea, and has pliable branches armed with sharp piues. Bishop Pearce and others have preferred the acanthus, or brank-ursine.' Yates is in favour of the spartium villosus, or still more probably it might be the rhas. nus, which grew in and near Jerusalem. It
'puts out early in the spring into long thin of those rash and hasty characters that, car- and pliable twigs, with a great many long and ried away on the currents of strong emotions, strong prickles.' are extreme, changeful, and sudden in every The thorns with which the mocking erown thing; eager in friendship, self-willed in of the Saviour was made, may, in Hasseldisbelief, headlong in conviction, and beyond quist's opinion, has been of the thorny plant bounds in profession. Their characteristics which the Arabs call nabeké. This was very are ardour, force of will, rashness, and ex.
suitable for their purpose, since it has many tremes (John xi. 16; xiv. 5; xx, 24, seq.). small pointed thorns which could cause Nothing certain is known of Thomas after his painful wounds, and its round and flexible appearance in Acts i. 13; though tradition iwigs could easily be bent into a chaplet. makes him to have preached the gospel, be. What confirmed him in his opinion was, that sides other places, in the East Indies, and the leaves of this plant are very like those to have there founded the church called by of ivy in form and colour. He thought it his name. The Acts and the Gospel which probable that the soldiers chose a plant bear his name are spurious.
which reseinbled that with which their empe
ror and generals were crowned, in order to THRESHING of corn was in ancient make their mockery and insult more igno. times, and in the East still is effected, partly minious.
by animals, partly by rude instruments. Oxen Olin describes thorn-trees which he found or horses were driven on the corn, who trod in the plain of Jericho. Of one kind which out the ears with their hoofs. What was is very abundant he says, it grows to the called a tribula (hence tribulation'), a heavy height of a large apple-tree, though much structure of wood, like & square table, tho more slendery and it has a broad, spreading under side of which was either cut into top, sometimes resting upon a single stem, notches, so that it resembled a file, or was but more commonly formed by a cluster of furnished with sharp flint or iron, was dragged smaller shoots springing from one root. The over the corn by oxen, and made more effectrunk and limbs are rather flat than round, tual by bearing a great weight, and having the being, I should conjecture, about twice as driver seated on it. Of another kind were sevewide as they are thick. I never saw a tree ral cylinders or rollers of wood, in which so abundantly and powerfully armed with were sharp pieces of flint or iron. These cy. thorns. After several unsuccessful attempts linders, by turning round, bent out the corn. to cut a walking-stick, I was compelled to Threshing floors were placed on high abandon the design, with both hands pierced spots, so that the chaff might, by aid of the and bleeding, though they were protected by wind, be the more readily separated from the thick gloves. I was equally unsuccessful in corn. From this usage arose phrases and my endeavours to pass through the thicket images of great force (Is. xxix. 5. Ps. i. 4; to the village, which was only a few rods xxxv. 5. Job xxi. 18. Is. xli. 15); since from us, but which I was unable to reach. even a breeze on the hills of Canaan would Wherever the trees do not stand thick enough bear away bodies so small and light (Isaiah to form a line of defence, a few branches are xvii. 13. Hos. xiii. 3). Threshing floors thrown down the gap, and they form together were open level spots, kept clean with care, a formidable barrier to the approach of man aud made hard and solid by treading and and beast, as effectual as a wall of adamant. beating. Whence the description of Babylon This tree, which is called the doum or dom, in a passage (Jer. li. 33) not well rendered bears a small sour fruit, resembling the plum in the Common Version : or apple of the wild thorn. It is not unplea- The daughter of Babylon is a threshing floor sant to the taste, and was eaten freely by the When it is trodden.' common people. Another thorny tree, called In order to be threshed, the sheaves were the tockum, less abundant than the dom, collected on the floor (Job v. 26; xxxix. 12; though still quite common, bears a larger comp. Amos ii. 13). The threshing instrufruit or nut, of a green colonr and thick ment had teeth (Is. xli. 15) and wheels, being skin, from which the natives extract an oil, a kind of cart drawn by oxen, whose treading reputed to possess valuable medicinal pro. aided the separation of the corn (Is. xxviii. perties. It is applied to wounds, as well as 27, 28. Deut. xxv. 4). The process being taken for internal maladies. The pilgrims efficacious, was used as an image of divine seek for it with great avidity, attaching to it punishment (Micah iv. 13. Hab. iii. 12). a fictitious value from its accidental relation At proper intervals the cattle were unyoked, to places and traditions by them deemed that they might eat (Deut. xxv. 4. Hos. xi. sacred. This thorn is believed to be identi. 4). The corn, when beaten out, was thrown cal with the trees 'that bear myrobalanum,' into heaps, near which persons lay with a mentioned by Josephus as among the valu. view to its security (Jer. 1. 26. Ruth iii. 6, able products of this fruitful plain. He dis. 7). These heaps being large, occasioned tinguishes the myrobalanum from the balsam, pleasing emotions; comp. Cant. vii. 2. The which he denominates the most precious of corn was then sifted in a sieve, in order to all the fruits of the place' (ii. 211, 212). separate the grains from their hulls (Isaiah
XIX. 28. Amos ix. 9), and · winnowed with process the straw is broken up and becomes the shovel and with the fan' (Is. xxx. 24); chaff
. It is occasionally turned with a large whence religious teachers borrowed striking wooden fork, having two prongs, and when metaphors (Jer. xv. 7. Matt. iii. 12). At sufficiently trodden, is thrown up with the last, the pure grain was brought into the barn same fork against the wind in order to or storehouse (2 Sam. ix. 10. Is. xxxii. 10. separate the grain, which is then gathered Job xxxix. 12. Hagg. ii. 19).
up and winnowed. The whole process is Threshing-floors, from their being open exceedingly wasteful. Among the Mohamand important spots, gave names to places medans, I do not remember to have seen an (2 Sam. vi. 6. 1 Chron. xiii. 9).
animal muzzled (Deut. XIV. 4). The preSpeaking of Sebustieh, the ancient Sama- cept in Deuteronomy serves to show that of ria, Robinsou (iii. 141) says, “We ascended old, as well as at the present day, only next the hill, and came soon to the threshing- cattle were usually employed to tread out floors of the village. They were still in full the grain' (comp. Hos. X. 11). operation, although the harvest seemed to be THRONE, from the Greek thronos, seems, chiefly gathered in. Here we first fell in from the import of the Hebrew root, to bave with the izledge, as used for threshing. It originally signified 'a covered seat. The consists ob iefly of two planks fastened toge. divan or cushioned elevation at the end or ther side by side, and bent upwards in front, sides of a room may bave been the primitive precisely like the common stone-sledge of throne, as in the East it is still the sest New England, though less heavy. Many where ordinarily sits the administrator of holes are bored in the bottom underneath, justice. From this custom we may derive and into these are fixed sharp fragments of the idea of covering involved in the word, hard stone. The machine is dragged by the In Judg. iii. 20, the term is rendered seat," oxen as they are driven round upon the and appears to signify merely the divan. It grain; sometimes a man or boy sits upon was, however, used of a raised seat, for on such it, but we did not see it otherwise loaded. must Eli have sat when, falling backward, The effect of it is to cut up the straw quite 'he brake his neck and died' (1 Sam. iv. fine. We afterwards saw this instrument 13, 18). This seat seems from the facts to frequently in the north of Palestine.'
have been a kind of stool (2 Kings iv. 10). Robinson (ii. 276) saw on the plain of In time, however, it came to be applied to Jericho 'a truly scriptural scene, where the the more or less decorated seat of a military reaping and the threshing go hand in hand commander (Jer. i. 15), of the high-priest (Ruth ii. 3). "The people we found were (1 Sam. i. 9; comp. Zech. vi. 13), of a judge our old acquaintances, the inhabitants of (Ps.cxxii. 5), considered, however, as the peTaiyibeh, who had come down to the Ghor culiar seat of a king engaged in administering in a body, with their wives and children, justice (Prov. xvi. 12; xx. 8, 28), the chaand their priest, to gather in the wheat- racteristic function of an Oriental monarch barvest. They had this year sown all the (Dan. vii. 9). Hence a throne was used as wheat raised in the plain of Jericho, and were now gathering it in shares; one-half being retained for themselves, one quarter going to the people of the village, and the remaining quarter to the soldiers of the garrison, on behalf of the government. The people of Jericho, it seems, are too indolent, or, as it was said, too eak, to till their own lands.
* The wheat was beautiful; it is cultivated solely by irrigation, without which nothing grows in the plain. Most of the fields were already (May 13tii) reaped. The grain, as soon as it is cut, is brought in small sheaves to the threshing-floors on the backs of asses, or sometimes of camels. A level spot is se. lected for the threshing - floors, which are then coustructed near each other, of a cir. cular form, perhaps fifty feet in diameter, merely by beating down the earth hard. Upon these circles the sheaves are spread out quite thick, and the grain is trodden out by animals. Here were no less than five such floors, all trodden by oxen, cows, and younger cattle, arranged in each case five
a symbol of monarchy (Gen. xli. 40) or regal abreast, and driven round in a circle, or ra- power (1 Kings i. 47). Great splendour was ther in all directions, over the floor. By this occasionally bestowed on thrones, especially