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For this cause we thank God also without ceasing, that, when ye received the word of God which ye heard from us, ye embraced it, not as the word of men, but (as it is in truth) the word of God, which powerfully 14 worketh also in you that believe. For ye, brethren, are become imitators of the churches of God in Judæa, which are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things from your own countrymen, even as they have from the 15 Jews; who both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God, 16 and are against all men: forbidding us to speak to the gentiles, that they may be saved: so that the Jews fill up the measure of their sins always for anger hath over

taken them to utter destruction.

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Now we, brethren, having been bereaved of you for a short time, in presence, not in heart, have abundantly 18 endeavoured with great desire to see your face. Wherefore we have been willing to come unto you (even I Paul) both once and again; but Satan ¶ hath hindered For what is** our hope, or joy, or crown of glorying? arett not even ye in the presence of our Lord 20 Jesus [Christ] at his coming? for ye are indeed our

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glory and our joy.

CH. III. Wherefore, being no longer able to bear our solici2 tude, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; and sent Timothy our brother‡‡, and fellow-worker together with God in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and 3 to comfort you concerning your faith; that no man

should be moved by these mine afflictions: for yourselves 4 know that we are appointed to this. For, when we were

*Or "not as a word of men, but (as it truly is) a word of God." See Chandler.
Their own prophets, R. T.
+ Symonds, 5.

Or, at a moment's warning, Wakefield.

"Wicked men, the instruments of Satan," N. Or, in general, any other obstruction.

** will be, N.

+ will, N.

# our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow-labourer in the gospel, R. T.

with you, we told you beforehand that we should suffer affliction; even as it hath come to pass, and ye know. 5 For this cause also, being no longer able to bear my 80licitude, I sent to know your faith; fearing lest by some means the tempter had tempted you*, and our labour 6 might be in vain. But now, when Timothy came from you to us, and brought us glad tidings of your faith and love, and that ye have a good remembrance of us al7 ways, longing to see us, as we also do to see you; for

this cause, brethen, we were comforted concerning you 8 in all our affliction and distress, even by your faith: for 9 now we live indeed, if ye stand firmly in the Lord. For what thanks can we return to God because of you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sakes before our 10 God; night and day praying very exceedingly, that we

might see your face, and might perfect that which re11 maineth behind of your faith? Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ†, direct our 12 way to you. And may the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all 13 men, even as we do toward you: that he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus [Christ] with

all his saints.

CH. IV. FINALLY then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that, as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk, and to please God, ye would 2 abound more and more. For ye know what command

ments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification; that ye abstain from fornication; that every one of you know

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* i. e. lest you had suffered some grievous persecution. Or, "lest you should be shaken by the persecutions which I suffer." Newcome.

The apostle in his missionary labours was under the immediate direction of Christ, who occasionally appeared to him for his guidance and encouragement. See Acts xxfi. 17; 2 Cor. xii. 8, 9.

how to keep his body in sanctification and honour; 5 (not in the passion of desire, even as the gentiles who 6 know not God;) so as not to go beyond and overreach his brother in this matter: because the Lord is an avenger

of all such, as we have formerly also told you, and tes7 tified. For God hath not called us to uncleanness, but 8 to sanctification. He therefore who despiseth, despiseth not man, but God; who hath also given to us his holy spirit t.

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Now as concerning brotherly kindness, ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of 10 God to ove one another and indeed ye do this toward all the brethren that are in all Macedonia. But we beseech you, brethren, that ye abound in love still more; 11 and that ye earnestly strive to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your [own] hands, as 12 we formerly commanded you; that ye may walk becomingly toward those that are without, and that ye may have need of nothing.

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Now we would not ‡ have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those that are fallen asleep; that ye grieve not, 14 even as others that have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again; so also that God, through Jesus, will bring with him those also that are fallen 15 asleep. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we who shall be alive ¶, and who shall re

* Gr. vessel, N. m.

+ Or, who hath given his holy spirit for our (or, as some copies read, for your) benefit. So Wakefield.

I would not, etc. R. T.

"Even so," N. The sense of this verse is: "If we believe, as we do, the death and resurrection of Christ; we have equally just reason to believe that God has power to raise the dead at the last day." N.

¶ "We Christians, who may be considered as one body, church, or people, in whatever age we live." See Deut. xxvi. 6~9. Ps. Ixvi. 6. Matt, xxiii. 35. 'ye slew.'"' Newcome. This is true; but it is not certain that the apostle might not expect to live till the second appearance of Christ. It appears from the second epistle, that he knew that the day of Christ was not immediately approaching, and that great events would antecedently take

main to the appearance of the Lord, shall not be before 16 those that are fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the 17 dead in Christ will rise first: afterward, we who shall

be alive, and who shall remain, shall be caught up together with them into the clouds *, to meet the Lord in 18 the air and then we shall ever be with the Lord. Where

fore comfort ye one another with these words t. CH. V. But concerning the times and the seasons ‡, brethren, 2 ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves

well know that the day of the Lord will come as a thief 3 in the night. When men shall say," Peace and safety;" then sudden destruction will come upon them, as pangs upon a woman with child: and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that the last day 5 should overtake you as a thief. All ye are sons of light,

and sons of the day; we are not of the night and of dark6 ness. So then let us not sleep, even as others; but let 7 us watch, and be sober. For those that sleep, sleep by

night; and those that are drunken, are drunken by night. 8 But let us, that are of the day, be sober; and put on the breast-plate of faith and love, and, for an helmet, the 9 hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to

anger, but to the obtaining of salvation by our Lord Je10 sus Christ; who died for us, that, whether we are waking

place. But he might not know how long a period these events would occupy. The times and seasons were reserved by the Father in his own power, Acts i. 7. and Jesus himself was not informed of the exact period when his second advent was to be introduced. Mark xiij. 32.

* "In clouds," as in triumphal chariots. Chandler. Comp. Acts i. 9.

† Observe here, that all the consolation, which the apostle administers to the bereaved and mourning Thessalonians, is derived from the Christian hope of a resurrec tion, and from what would happen at that awful and glorious period. He takes no notice of an intervening state of perception and felicity of which their deceased friends were even then in possession. A circumstance which the apostle could hardly have omitted, had the existence of such a state been revealed to him,

the time and the season of this, N.

or sleeping* at that day, we may live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort each other, and edify one another, even as ye do.

12 Now we beseech you, brethren, to acknowledge those

who labour among you, and preside over you in the 13 Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly

in love for the sake of their office. Be at peace among 14 yourselves. And we exhort you, brethren, admonish

those that are disorderly, comfort the feeble-minded, sup15 port the weak, be long-suffering toward all men. See

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that none render evil for evil to any man; but always follow that which is good, [both] toward one another 16 and toward all men. Rejoice always. Pray without 18 ceasing. For every thing give thanks: for this is the 19 will of God through Christ Jesus concerning you. 20 Quench not the spirit. Despise not prophesyings: but prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain 23 from all appearance of evil. And may the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly: and may your whole spirit, and soul, and body be preserved unblameably to the ap24 pearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he who 25 calleth you; and he will also do this. Brethren pray for 26 us. Salute all the brethren with a holy kiss. I adjure you by the Lord that this epistle be read to all the [holy] 28 brethren. The favour of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

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"whether we wake or sleep at the last day,” N. day, or whether we sleep in death." Ch. iv. 15. 17.

“Whether we be alive at the last Newcome.

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