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FIRST EPISTLE TO THE THESSALONIANS-CHAP. XII.
Corinth. riod, 4762 Vulgar Æra,
St. Paul warns them against those zealous Jews who would 51.
deprive them of their Hope of a future Happiness—they
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
17 Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught
9. 1 Thess. v. 1–11.
terrible Appearance of Christ, and the inevitable De-
| 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
7 For they that sleep, sleep in the night ; and they
Julian Pe- the breast-plate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the Corinth. riod, 4762. hope of salvation. Vulgar Æra, 61.
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
§ 10. 1 THESS. v. 12—28.
ritual Instructors, with various other impressive Exhor-
13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their
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;
16 Rejoice evermore.
18 In every thing give thanks : for this is the will of
19 Quench not the Spirit.
23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly:
your whole spirit and soul and body be
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
27 I charge you by the Lord, that this epistle be read
35 St. Paul addresses himself to the whole Church in many of his epistles-in those to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatiaus, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians; but here be 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 TIE THESSALONIANS-CHAP. XII.
Julian Pe- 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Corinth. riod, 4762. Amen. Vulgar Æra, 51.
The first epistle unto the Thessalonians was written from
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 doctrinos 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 wbich 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 chari. table 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 tbat the indiscriminate univn, 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 exemplam : 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
Corinth. riod, 1762. St. Paul being rejected by the Jews, continues at Corinth,
preaching to the Gentiles.
ACTS xviii. 6-11.
7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain
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.
order to refute an Error which they had fallen into con52.
cerning the sudden coming of the Day of Judgment—He
Apostacy in the Christian Church 36.
38 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 band, 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.
Corinth. riod, 4763. Vulgar Æra.
St. Paul's Salutation. 52.
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
§ 2. 2 Thess. i. 3—6.
assures them that their patient endurance is an Evidence
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
also suffer :
§ 3. 2 THESS. i. 7-12.
the everlasting Destruction of all who have rejected his
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us; when the
37 In the former cpistle (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."