THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE THESSALONIANS.



[Effectuall fayth.]





CHAP. I.


1 He therefore beginneth with thankesgiuing, 4 to put them in minde that whatsoeuer was prayse worthy in them, it came of Gods goodneße: 8 and that they are ensamples vnto others.

1 Pavl, and Siluanus, and Timotheus, vnto the Church of the Thessalonians, which is in God the Father, and in the Lord Iesus Christ: Grace be with you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Iesus Christ.

2 [Note: [1] An example of a right Christian reioycing, whereby also we learne, that such as haue great giftes in them, are in two sortes brideled, to wit, if they consider that they haue receiued all from God, and that continuance must be desired at his hands, whereunto also the whole Epistle exherteth the Thessalonians. ] We giue God thankes alwayes for you all, making mention of you in our prayers

3 [Note: [2] Hee commendeth them for three special gifts, effectuall fayth, continuall loue, and patient hope: to the ende they might be ashamed being indued with such excellent gifts, not to continue in Gods election. ] Without ceasing, remembring your effectuall faith, and diligent loue, and the patience of your hope in our Lord Iesus Christ, in the sight of God euen our Father,

4 Knowing, beloued brethren, that ye are [Note: [a] Word for word, that your election is of God. ] elect of God.

5 [Note: [3] An other reason why they ought in no wise start backe but continue to the end, because they cannot doubt of his doctrine which hath bene so many wayes confirmed vnto them, euen from heauen, as they themselues did well know. ] For our Gospell was not vnto you in worde only, but also in power, and in the holy Ghost, and in [Note: [b] Paul sheweth by two things that there followed very great fruite of his preaching, to wit, by these giftes of the holy Ghost, and that certaine aßurance which was throughly setled in their mindes, as appeared by their willing bearing of the Croße. ] much assurance, as ye know after what maner we were among you for your sakes.

6 [Note: [4] An other reason, because euen to that day, they embraced the Gospel with great cheerefulnes, in so much that they were an example to all their neighbours: so that it should be more shame to them to faint in the mid race. ] And ye became followers of vs, and of the Lorde, and receiued the worde in much affliction, with [Note: [c] With ioy which commeth from the holy Ghost. ] ioy of the holy Ghost,

7 So that ye were as ensamples to all that beleeue in Macedonia and in Achaia.

8 For from you sounded out the worde of the Lord, not in Macedonia and in Achaia only: but your faith also which is toward God, spred abroad in all quarters, that we neede not to speake any thing.

9 For [Note: [d] All the beleeuers. ] they themselues shew of vs what maner of entring in we had vnto you, [Note: [5] It is no true conuersion to forsake Idoles, vnlesse a man therewithall worship the true and liuing God in Christ the onely redeemer. ] and how ye turned to God from idoles, to serue the liuing and true God,

10 And to looke for his sonne from heauen, whome he raised from the dead, euen Iesus which deliuereth vs from [Note: [e] This worde (That) is not put here without cause: and by (wrath) is meant that reuenge and punishment, wherewith the Lorde will iudge the worlde at length in his terrible wrath. ] that wrath to come.


CHAP. II.


1 He declareth how faithfully hee preached the Gospel vnto them, 5 seeking neither gaine, 6 nor prayse of men: 10 and he prooueth the same by their owne testimonie: 14 that they did couragiously beare persecutions of their countrey men: 17 that he desireth very much to see them.

[Against men pleasers.]




1 For [Note: [1] That which he touched before shortly concerning his Apostleship, he handleth nowe more at large, and to that ende and purpose which we spake of. ] ye your selues knowe, brethren, that our entrance in vnto you was not in vaine,

2 [Note: [2] The vertues of a true Pastour are, freely, & without feare to preach the Gospel, euen in the midst of dangers. ] But euen after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated at [Note: Actes 16.12. ] Philippi, (as ye knowe) we were bolde in [Note: [a] Through God his gracious helpe. ] our God, to speake vnto you the Gospell of God with much striuing.

3 [Note: [3] To teach pure doctrine faithfully and with a pure heart. ] For our exhortation was not by deceite, nor by [Note: [b] By any wicked and naughtie kinde of dealing. ] vncleannes, nor by guile.

4 [Note: [4] To approoue his conscience to God, being free from all flatterie and couetousnes. ] But as we were [Note: [c] Seeing there is this difference betweene the iudgements of God and the iugdements of men, that when men choose, they respect the qualities of those things which stand before them, but God findeth the reason of his counsell onely in himselfe, it followeth that seeing we are not able to thinke a good thought, that whom soeuer he first chuseth to those holy callings, he maketh them able, and doeth not finde them able. And therefore in that we are allowed of God, it hangeth vpon his mercie. ] allowed of God, that the Gospel should be committed vnto vs, so we speake, not as they that please men, but God, which [Note: [d] Which liketh and alloweth of them. ] approoueth our hearts.

5 Neither yet did we euer vse flattering wordes, as ye knowe, nor coloured couetousnes, God is recorde.

6 [Note: [5] To submit himselfe euen to the basest, to winne them, and to eschew all pride. ] Neither sought we prayse of men, neither of you, nor of others, when we might haue bene [Note: [e] When I might lawfully haue liued vpon the expences of the Church. ] chargeable, as the Apostles of Christ.

7 But we were [Note: [f] We were not rough, but easie, and gentle as a nource, that is neither ambicious nor couetous, but taketh all paines as patiently as if she were a mother. ] gentle among you, euen as a nource cherisheth her children.

8 [Note: [6] To haue the flocke that is committed vnto him in more estimation then his owne life. ] Thus being affectioned toward you, our good will was to haue dealt vnto you, not the Gospel of God onely, but also our owne soules, because ye were deare vnto vs.

9 [Note: [7] To depart with his owne right, rather then to be chargeable to his sheepe. ] For ye remember, brethren, [Note: Act.20.34. 1 cor.4.12. 2.theß.3.8. ] our labour and trauaile: for we laboured day & night, because we would not be chargeable vnto any of you, and preached vnto you the Gospel of God.

10 [Note: [8] To excell other in example of godly life. ] Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily, and iustly, and vnblameably we behaued our selues among you that beleeue.

11 [Note: [9] To exhort and comfort with a fatherly mind and affection. ] As ye knowe how that we exhorted you, and comforted, and besought euery one of you (as a father his children)

12 [Note: [10] To exhort all men diligently and earnestly to leade a godly life. ] That ye [Note: Ephes.4.1. philip.1.27. coloß.1.10. ] would walke worthy of God, who hath called you vnto his kingdome and glorie.

13 [Note: [11] Hauing approoued his ministerie, he commendeth againe (to that ende and purpose that I spake of) the cherefulnes of the Thessalonians which was answerable to his diligence in preaching, and their manly patience. ] For this cause also thanke we God without ceasing, that when ye receiued the worde of God, which ye heard of vs, ye receiued it not as the worde of men, but as it is in deede the worde of God, which also worketh in you that beleeue.


[Page 91]

[Appointed to afflictions.]




14 [Note: [12] He confirmeth them in their afflictions which they suffered of their owne people, because they were afflicted of their owne countrey men: which came as well (saith he) to the Churches of the Iewes, as to them: and therefore they ought to take it in good part. ] For brethren, ye are become folowers of the Churches of God, which in Iudea are in [Note: [g] Which Christ hath gathered together. ] Christ Iesus, because ye haue also suffred the same things of your owne [Note: [h] Euen of them which are of the same countrey, and the same towne that you are of. ] countrey men, euen as they haue of the Iewes,

15 [Note: [13] He preuenteth an offence which might be taken, for that the Iewes especially aboue all other persecuted the Gospel. That is no newe thing, saith hee, seeing they slewe Christ himselfe, and his Prophetes, and haue banished mee also. ] Who both killed the Lord Iesus & their owne Prophets, & haue persecuted vs away, [Note: [14] He foretelleth the vtter destruction of the Iewes, least any man should be moued by their rebellion. ] and God they please not, and are contrary to [Note: [i] For the Iewes would neither enter into the kingdome of God themselues, nor suffer other to enter in. ] all men,

16 And forbid vs to preach vnto the Gentiles, that they might be saued, to [Note: [k] Vntil that wickednes of theirs which they haue by inheritace as it were of their fathers, be growen so great, that the measure of their iniquitie being filled, God may come foorth to wrath. ] fulfill their sinnes alwayes: for the [Note: [l] The iudgement of God being angrie, which in deede appeared shortly after in the destructio of the citie of Hierusalem, whither many resorted euen out of diuers prouinces, when it was besieged. ] wrath of God is come on them, to the vtmost.

17 [Note: [15] He meeteth with an obiection, why he came not to them straight wayes being in so great misery. I desired oftentimes (saith he) & it lay not in me, but Sata hindred my endeuours, & therfore I sent Timothy my faithful companion vnto you, because you are most deare to me. ] For asmuch, brethren, as we [Note: [m] Were kept asunder fro you, and as it were orphanes. ] were kept from you for a season, concerning sight, but not in the heart, we enforced the more to see your face with great desire.

18 Therefore we would haue come vnto you (I Paul, at least once or twise) but Satan hindered vs.

19 For what is our hope or ioye, or crowne of reioycing? are not euen you it in the presence of our Lord Iesus Christ at his comming?

20 Yes, ye are our glory and ioy.


CHAP. III.


1 To shewe his affection towards them, he sendeth Timothie vnto them: 6 He is so mooued by the report of their prosperous state, 9 that he cannot giue sufficient thankes, 11 and therefore he breaketh out into prayer.

1 Wherefore since we coulde no longer forbeare, wee thought it good to remaine at Athens alone,

2 [Note: Actes 16.1. ] And haue sent Timotheus our brother and minister of God, and our labour felow in the Gospel of Christ, to stablish you, and to comfort you touching your faith,

3 That no man should be moued with these afflictions: [Note: [1] The wil of God who calleth his on this condition, to bring them to glory by affliction, is a most sure remedie against al afflictios. ] for ye your selues knowe, that we are appointed thereunto.

4 For verily when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulations, euen as it came to passe, and ye knowe it.

5 Euen for this cause, when I could no longer forbeare, I sent him that I might knowe of your faith, lest the tempter had tempted you in any sort, and that our labour had bene in vaine.

6 [Note: [2] Because they haue hitherto gone so well forward, he exhorteth them againe to make an ende of the rest of the iourney, seeing that therein also they shall doe him their Apostle a great pleasure. ] But now lately when Timotheus came fro you vnto vs, and brought vs good tidings of your faith and loue, & that ye haue good remembrance of vs alwayes, desiring to see vs, as we also do you,

7 Therefore, brethren, we had consolation in you, in all our affliction and necessitie through your faith.

8 For nowe are wee [Note: [a] For now you can not otherwise thinke me safe and in good case, vnlesse you go forward in religion and faith. ] aliue, if ye stand fast in the Lorde.

9 For what thankes can wee recompense to God againe for you, for all the ioy wherewith we reioyce for your sakes before our God,

10 Night and day, [Note: Rom 1.10. and 15.23. ] praying exceedingly that wee might see your face, and might [Note: [b] Paul was constrained through the importunate dealing of the enemies to leaue the building which he had scarce begonne: And for that cause he had left Silas and Timothie in Macedonia, and when Timothie came to Athens to him, he sent him backe againe straight way. So that he desireth to see the Theßalonians, that he may throughly accomplish their faith and religion, that was as yet imperfect. ] accomplish

[Increase in loue and holinesse.]



that which is lacking in your faith?

11 Nowe God himselfe, euen our Father, and our Lord Iesus Christ, guide our iourney vnto you,

12 [Note: [3] Another part of the Epistle, wherein he speaketh of the dueties of a Christian life. And he sheweth that the perfection of a Christian life, consisteth in two things, to wit, in charitie toward all men, and inward puritie of the heart, the accomplishment whereof notwithstanding is deferred to the next comming of Christ, who will then perfite his worke by the same grace, wherewith he begonne it in vs. ] And the Lord increase you, and make you abound in loue one toward another, and towarde all men, euen as we doe toward you:

13 [Note: Chap.5.23. 1.cor.1.8. ] To make your hearts stable & vnblameable in holines before God euen our Father, at the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ wt all his Saints.


CHAP. IIII.


1 He exhorteth them 3 to holines, 9 and brotherly loue. 13 He forbiddeth them to sorow after the maner of infidels. 15 He setteth out the historie of our resurrection.

1 And [Note: [1] Diuers exhortations, the ground whereof is this, to be mindefull of those things which they haue heard of the Apostle. ] furthermore we beseeche you, brethren, and exhort you in the Lord Iesus, that ye [Note: [a] That ye labour to excell more and more, and dayly passe your selues. ] increase more and more, as ye haue receiued of vs, how ye ought to walke, and to please God.

2 For ye knowe what commaundements we gaue you by the Lord Iesus.

3 [Note: Rom.12.2. ephes.5.17. ] [Note: [2] This is the summe of those things, which he deliuered them, to dedicate themselues wholy to God. And he condemneth plainely all filthinesse through lust, because it is altogether contrary to the will of God. ] For this is the will of God euen your [Note: [b] Looke Iohn 17. 17. ] sanctification, and that ye should abstaine from fornication,

4 [Note: [3] An other reason, because it defileth the body. ] That euery one of you should know, how to possesse his vessell in holines and honour,

5 [Note: [4] The thirde, because the Saintes are discerned from them which knowe not God, by honestie and puritie. ] And not in the lust of concupiscence, euen as the Gentiles which know not God:

6 [Note: 1.Corinth.6.8. ] [Note: [5] Secondly, hee reprehendeth all violent oppression, and immoderate desire, and sheweth most seuerely as the Prophet of God, that God will reuenge such wickednesse. ] That no man oppresse or defraude his brother in any matter: for the Lord is auenger of all such thinges, as we also haue tolde you before time, and testified.

7 [Note: 1.Corinth.1.2. ] For God hath not called vs vnto vncleannesse, but vnto holinesse.

8 Hee therefore that [Note: [c] These commaundements which I gaue you. ] despiseth these thinges, despiseth not man, but God who hath euen giuen you his holy Spirit.

9 [Note: [6] Thirdly, hee requireth a ready minde to all maner of louing kindenesse, and exhorteth them to profite more and more in that vertue. ] But as touching brotherly loue, ye neede not that I write vnto you: [Note: Iohn 13.34. and 15.12. 1.iohn 2.8. and 4.21. ] for ye are taught of God to loue one another.

10 Yea, and that thing verily yee doe vnto all the brethren, which are throughout all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more,

11 [Note: [7] Hee condemneth vnquiet braines, and such as are curious in matters which appertaine not vnto them. ] And that ye studie to be quiet, & to meddle with your owne busines, [Note: [8] Hee rebuketh idlenesse and slouthfulnesse, which vices whosoeuer are giuen vnto, fall into other wickednesse, to the great offence of the Church. ] and to worke with your owne handes, as we commaunded you,

12 That yee may behaue your selues honestly towarde them that are without, and that nothing be lacking vnto you.

13 [Note: [9] The thirde part of the Epistle, which is interlaced among the former exhortations (which he returneth vnto afterwarde) wherein he speaketh of mourning for the dead, and the maner of the resurrection, and of the latter day. ] I would not, brethren, haue you ignorant [Note: [10] We must take heede that we do not immoderately bewaile the dead, that is, as they vse to do which thinke that they are vtterly perished. ] concerning them [Note: [11] A confirmation: for death is but a sleepe of the body (for he speaketh of the faithfull) vntill the Lord commeth. ] which are a sleepe, that ye sorow not euen as other which haue no hope.

14 [Note: [12] A reason of the confirmation, for seeing that the head is risen, the members also shall rise, and that by the vertue of God. ] For if we beleeue that Iesus is dead, and is risen, euen so them which sleepe in [Note: [d] They die in Christ, which continue in faith whereby they are graffed into Christ, euen to the last gaspe. ] Iesus, will God [Note: [e] Will call their bodies out of their graues, and ioyne their soules to them againe. ] bring with him.
[Page]

[The day of the Lord.]




15 [Note: [13] The maner of the resurrection shalbe thus. The bodies of the dead shall be as it were raysed out of sleepe, at the sound of the trumpet of God. Christ himselfe shall descende from heauen. The Saints (for he speaketh properly of them) which shall then be founde aliue, together with the dead which shall rise, shalbe taken vp into the cloudes to meete the Lorde, and shall be in perpetuall glory with him. ] For this say we vnto you by the [Note: [f] In the Name of the Lord, as though he himselfe spake vnto you. ] worde of the Lorde, that [Note: [g] He speaketh of these things, as though he should be one of them whom the Lord shall finde aliue at his comming, because that time is vncertaine: and therefore euery one of vs ought to be in such a readines, as if the Lord were coming at euery moment. ] we which liue, and are remayning in the comming of the Lorde, shall not preuent them which sleepe.

16 For the Lorde himselfe shall descende from heauen with a [Note: [h] The word which the Apostle vseth here, signifieth properly that encouragemet which mariners vse one to another, when they altogether with one shoute put forth their oares and rowe together. ] shoute, and with the voyce of the Archangel, and [Note: 1.Cor.15.52. ] with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then shall we which liue and remaine, be [Note: [i] Suddenly and in the twinckling of an eye. ] caught vp with them also in the clouds, to meete the Lord in the ayre: and so shall we euer be with the Lorde.

18 Wherefore, comfort your selues one another with these wordes.


CHAP. V.


1 Condemning the curious searching for the seasons of Christes comming, 6 hee warneth them to be readie dayly to receiue him: 11 And so giueth them sundry good leßons.

1 Bvt [Note: [1] The day that God hath appointed for this iudgement, we knowe not. But this is sure that it shall come vpon men when they looke for nothing lesse. ] of the times and [Note: [a] Looke Acts. 1.7. ] seasons, brethren, yee haue no neede that I write vnto you.

2 For ye your selues knowe perfectly, that the day of the Lorde shall come, euen as a thiefe in the night.

3 For when they shall say, Peace, and safetie, then shall come vpon them sudden destruction, as the trauaile vpon a woman with childe, and they shall not escape,

4 [Note: [2] Returning to exhortations, he warneth vs which are lightened with the knowledge of God, that it is our duetie not to liue securely in deliciousnesse, least we be suddenly taken in a dead sleepe in pleasures: but contrary wise to haue an eye to the Lord, and not suffer our selues to be oppressed with the cares of this world, for that is meete for the darkenes of the night, and this for the light. ] But ye, brethren, are not in darkenes, that that day shal come on you, as it were a thiefe.

5 Yee are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, neither of darkenesse.

6 Therefore let vs not sleepe as do other, but let vs watch and be sober.

7 For they that sleepe, sleepe in the night, and they that be drunken, are drunken in the night.

8 [Note: [3] We must fight with faith & hope, much lesse ought we lie carelesly snorting. ] But let vs which are of the day, be sober, [Note: Esa.59.17. ephe. 6.17. ] putting on the brest plate of faith and loue, and of the hope of saluation for an helmet.

9 [Note: [4] He pricketh vs forwardes by setting most certaine hope of victorie before vs. ] For God hath not appointed vs vnto wrath, but to obtaine saluation by the meanes of our Lord Iesus Christ,

10 [Note: [5] The death of Christ is a pledge of our victorie, for therefore he died, that we might be partakers of his life or vertue, yea euen whiles we liue here. ] Which died for vs, that whether we wake

[To loue the ministers of God.]



or sleepe, we should liue together with him.

11 [Note: [6] Wee must not onely watch our selues, but we are also bounde to stirre vp and confirme one another. ] Wherefore exhort one another, and edifie one another, euen as ye doe.

12 [Note: [7] We must haue great consideration of them which are appointed to the ministerie of the word, and gouernement of the Church by God, and do their dutie. ] Nowe we beseeche you, brethren, that ye [Note: [b] That you acknowledge and take them for such as they are, that is to say, men worthy to bee greatly accompted of among you. ] acknowledge them, which labour among you, and are ouer you in the [Note: [c] In those things which perteine to Gods seruice: so, is the ecclesiasticall function distinguished from ciuill authoritie, and true shepheards from wolues. ] Lorde, & admonish you,

13 That yee haue them in singular loue for [Note: [d] So then, where this cause ceaseth, there must the honour cease. ] their workes sake. [Note: [8] The maintenance of mutuall concord, is especially to be looked vnto. ] Bee at peace among your selues.

14 [Note: [9] We must haue consideration of euery man, and as the disease is, so must the remedie bee vsed. ] We desire you, brethren, admonish them that are [Note: [e] That keepe not their ranke or standing. ] out of order: comfort ye feeble minded: beare with the weake: be pacient toward all men.

15 [Note: [10] Charitie ought not to be ouercome with any iniuries. ] [Note: Prou. 17.13. and 20.22. matth.5.39. rom.12.17. 1.peter 3.9. ] See that none recompense euil for euil vnto any man: but euer folow that which is good, both toward your selues, and toward all men.

16 [Note: [11] A quiet and appeased minde, is nourished with continuall prayers, respecting the will of God. ] Reioyce euermore.

17 [Note: Luke 18. 1. ] Pray continually.

18 In all thinges giue thankes: for this is the [Note: [f] An acceptable thing to God, and such as hee liketh well of. ] will of God in Christ Iesus toward you.

19 [Note: [12] The sparkes of the Spirit of God that are kindled in vs, are nourished with dayly hearing the worde of God: but true doctrine must be diligently distinguished from false. ] Quench not the Spirit.

20 Despise not [Note: [g] The expounding of the worde of God. ] prophecying.

21 Try all things, & keepe that which is good.

22 [Note: [13] A generall conclusion, that we wayting for the comming of Christ doe giue our selues to purenesse both in minde, will, and body, through the grace and strength of the Spirit of God. ] Absteine from all [Note: [h] Whatsoeuer hath but the very shewe of euill, absteine from it. ] appearance of euill.

23 Nowe the very God of peace [Note: [i] Separate you from the worlde, and make you holy to himselfe through his Spirit, in Christ, in whome onely you shall atteine vnto that true peace. ] sanctifie you throughout: and I pray God that your whole spirite and soule and body, may be kept blamelesse vnto the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ.

24 [Note: [14] The good will and power of God is a sure confirmation against all difficulties, whereof we haue a sure witnes in our vocation. ] [Note: 1.Corinth. 1.9. ] [Note: [k] Alwayes one, and euer like himselfe, who perfourmeth in deede whatsoeuer he promiseth: and an effectuall calling is nothing els but a right declaring and true setting foorth of Gods will: and therefore the saluation of the elect, is safe and sure. ] Faithfull is hee which calleth you, which will also [Note: [l] Who will also make you persite. ] doe it.

25 [Note: [15] The last part of the epistle, wherein with most waightie charge, he commendeth both himselfe and this epistle vnto them. ] Brethren, pray for vs.

26 Greete all the brethren with an holy kisse.

27 I charge you in the Lorde, that this Epistle be read vnto all the brethren the Saintes.

28 The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ be with you, Amen.

The first Epistle vnto the Thessalonians written from Athens.