THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAVL TO THE THESSALONIANS.



[The day of the Lord.]





CHAP. I.


3 He comraendeth the increase of faith, and charitie, 4 and the patience of the Theßalonians: 6 and describing Gods vengeance against such as oppresse the godly, 10 hee teacheth the godly to waite for the last iudgement.

1 Paul and Siluanus, and Timotheus, vnto the Church of the Thessalonians, which is in God our Father, and in the Lord Iesus Christ:

2 Grace be with you, & peace fro God our Father, and from the Lorde Iesus Christ.

[To loue the ministers of God.]




3 [Note: 1.Theß.1.2. ] [Note: [1] The first part of the epistle, wherein he reioyceth that through the grace of God, they haue manfully susteined all the assaults of their enemies, wherein hee confirmeth them, moreouer shewing with what giftes they must chiefly fight, to wit, with faith and charitie, which must dayly increase. ] We ought to thanke God alwayes for you, brethren, as it is meete, because that your faith [Note: [a] That whereas it grew vp before, it doth also receiue some increase euery day more & more. ] groweth exceedingly, and the loue of euery one of you toward another, aboundeth,

4 So that we our selues reioyce of you in the Churches of God, because of your patience & faith in al your persecutions & tribulatios that ye suffer,


[Page 92]

[Vengeance reserued for the wicked.]




5 [Note: Iude 6. ] [Note: [2] He openeth the fountaine of all true comfort, to wit, that in afflictions which we suffer of the wicked for righteousnes sake, we may beholde as it were in a glasse the testimonie of yt iudgement to come, and the ende thereof most acceptable to vs, and most sharpe to his enemies. ] Which is a manifest token of the righteous iudgement of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdome of God, for the which ye also suffer.

6 [Note: [3] A proofe: God is iust, therefore he will worthily punish the vniust, and wil doe away the miseries of his people. ] For it is a righteous thing with God, to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you,

7 And to you which are troubled, rest [Note: [4] He confirmeth them also by the way, by this meanes, that the condition both of this present state and the state to come, is common to him with them. ] with vs, [Note: 1.Theß.4.16. ] [Note: [5] A most glorious description of the second comming of Christ, to be set against all the miseries of the godly, and the triumphes of the wicked. ] when the Lorde Iesus shall shewe himselfe from heauen with his mightie Angels,

8 In flaming fire, rendring vengeance vnto them, [Note: [6] There is no knowledge of God vnto saluation, without the Gospel of Christ. ] that doe not know God, and which obey not vnto the Gospel of our Lord Iesus Christ,

9 Which shall be punished with euerlasting perdition, from the presence of the Lord, & from the glory of his power,

10 When he shall come to be glorified in his Saints, and to be made marueilous in all them that beleeue ( [Note: [7] The children of God shalbe counted by the faith which they haue in the Gospel, which is preached vnto them by the Apostles. ] because our testimonie toward you was beleeued) in that day.

11 [Note: [8] Seeing that we haue the marke set before vs, it remaineth that we goe vnto it. And we goe to it, by certaine degrees of causes: first by the free loue and good pleasure of God, by vertue whereof of all other inferiour causes worke: from thence proceedeth the free calling to Christ, and from calling, faith, whereupon followeth both the glorifying of Christ in vs, and vs in Christ. ] Wherefore, we also pray alwayes for you, that our God may make you worthy of [Note: [b] By (calling) he meaneth not the very act of calling, but that selfe same thing whereunto we are called, which is the glory of that heauenly kingdome. ] this calling, and fulfill [Note: [c] Which hee determined long since onely vpon his gracious and mercifull goodnes towards you. ] all the good pleasure of his goodnes, and the [Note: [d] So then, faith is an excellent worke of God in vs: and we see here plainely that the Apostle leaueth nothing to free will, to make it checkemate with Gods working therein, as the Papists dreame. ] worke of faith with power,

12 That the Name of our Lorde Iesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God, and of the Lorde Iesus Christ.


CHAP. II.


2 He sheweth that the day of the Lorde shall not come, till there be a departure from the faith, 3 and that Antichrist be reueiled, 8 whose destruction hee setteth out, 15 and thereupon exhorteth to constancie.

1 Nowe [Note: [1] The second part of the Epistle, conteining an excellent prophecie of the state of the Church, which shall be from the Apostles times vnto the latter day of iudgement. ] we beseech you, brethren, by the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ, and by our [Note: [a] If we thinke earnestly vpon that vnmeasurable glory, which we shalbe partakers of with Christ, it will be an excellent remedie for vs against wauering and impatience, so that neither the glistering of the worlde shall allure vs, nor the dreadfull fight of the croße dismay vs. ] assembling vnto him,

2 [Note: [2] We must take heede of false prophets, especially in this matter, which goe about to deceiue, and that for the most part, after three sortes: for either they brag of fained propheticall reuelations, or they bring coniectures and reasons of their owne, or vse counterfeite writings. ] That ye be not suddenly mooued from your minde, nor troubled neither by [Note: [b] By dreames and fables, which men pretend to be spirituall reuelations. ] spirit, nor by [Note: [c] Either by worde of mouth, or by bookes written. ] worde, nor by [Note: [d] Either by forged letter, or falsely glosed vpon. ] letter, as it were from vs, as though the day of Christ were at hand.

3 Let no man deceiue you by any meanes: [Note: [3] The Apostle foretelleth that before the comming of the Lord, there shall be a throne set vp cleane contrary to Christs glory, wherein that wicked man shall sit, and transferre all things that appertaine to God, to himselfe, and many shal fall away from God to him. ] for that day shall not come, except there come a departing first, and that [Note: [e] By speaking of one, be pointeth out the body of the tyrannous and persecuting Church. ] that man of sinne be disclosed, euen the sonne of perdition,

4 Which is an aduersarie, and [Note: [f] All men know who he is that saith he can shut vp heauen and open it at his pleasure, and tooke vpon him to be Lord and Master aboue all kings and princes, before whome kings and princes fall downe and worship, honouring that Antichrist as a god. ] exalteth him selfe against all that is called God, or that is worshipped:

[The misterie of iniquitie.]



[Note: [4] He foretelleth, that Antichrist (that is, whosoeuer he be that shall occupie that seate that falleth away from God) shal not reigne without the Church, but in the very bosome of the Church. ] so that he doeth sit as God in the Temple of God, shewing him selfe that he is God.

5 [Note: [5] This prophecie was continually declared to the Auncient Church, but it was neglected of them that followed. ] Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I tolde you these things?

6 And nowe ye knowe [Note: [g] What hindreth and stayeth. ] what withholdeth that he might be reueiled in his time.

7 [Note: [6] Euen in the Apostles time the first foundations of the Apostaticall seate were layde, but yet so that they deceiued men. ] For the mysterie of iniquitie doeth already worke: [Note: [7] He foretelleth, that when the empire of Rome is taken away, the seate that falleth away from God shal succeede and shall holde his place, as the olde writers, Tertullian, Chrysostome and Hierome doe expound it. ] onely he which nowe [Note: [h] He which is now in authoritie and ruleth all, to wit, the Romane Empire. ] withholdeth, shall let till he be taken out of the way.

8 [Note: [8] That wickednesse shall at length be detected by the word of the Lorde, and shall vtterly be abolished by Christs comming. ] And then shall [Note: [i] Worde for worde, that lawleße fellow: that is to say, hee that shall tread Gods Lawe cleane vnder foote. ] that wicked man be reueiled, [Note: Isai.11.4. ] whome the Lorde shall [Note: [k] Bring to nought. ] consume with the [Note: [l] With his worde, for the true Ministers of the worde are as a mouth, whereby the Lord breatheth out that mightie and euerlasting worde, which shal breake his enemies in sunder, as it were an yron rod. ] Spirit of his mouth, and shall abolish with the brightnes of his comming,

9 [Note: [9] He foretelleth that Satan will bestowe all his might and power, and vse all false miracles that he can to establish that seate, and that with great successe, because the wickednes of the world doeth so deserue it: yet so, that onely the vnfaithfull shall perish through his deceite. ] Euen him whose comming is by the effectuall working of Satan, with all power, and signes, and [Note: [m] Which are partly false, and partly wrought to establish a falshood. ] lying wonders,

10 And in al deceiuablenes of vnrighteousnes, among them yt perish, because they receiued not the loue of the trueth, that they might be saued.

11 And therefore God shal send them [Note: [n] A most mightie working to deceiue them. ] strong delusion, that they should beleeue lies,

12 That all they might be damned which beleeued not the trueth, but [Note: [o] They liked lies so well, that they had pleasure in them, which is the greatest madnes that may be. ] had pleasure in vnrighteousnes.

13 [Note: [10] The elect shal stand stedfast and safe from all these mischiefes. Now election is knowen by these testimonies: Faith is gathered by sanctification: faith, by that that we accord vnto the trueth: trueth, by calling, through the preaching of the Gospel: from whence we come at length to a certaine hope of glorification. ] But we ought to giue thankes alway to God for you, brethren beloued of the Lord, because that God hath from the beginning chosen you to saluation, through [Note: [p] To sanctifie you. ] sanctification of the Spirit, and the [Note: [q] Faith which layeth holde not vpon lies, but vpon the trueth of God, which is the Gospel. ] faith of trueth,

14 Whereunto he called you by our [Note: [r] By our preaching. ] Gospel, to obtaine the glory of our Lord Iesus Christ.

15 [Note: [11] The conclusion: It remaineth then, that we continue in the doctrine which was deliuered vnto vs by the mouth and writings of the Apostles, through the free good will of God, which comforteth vs with an inuincible hope, and also in all godlines our whole life long. ] Therefore, brethren, stand fast & keepe the instructions, which ye haue bene taught, either by worde, or by our Epistle.

16 Now the same Iesus Christ our Lord; and our God euen the Father which hath loued vs, and hath giuen vs euerlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in euery worde and good worke.


CHAP. III.


1 He desireth them to further the preaching of the Gospel with their prayers, 6 and to withdrawe them selues from those, who through idlenes, 11 and curiositie peruert good order: 14 Whom he excludeth from the company of the faithfull.

1 Fvrthermore, [Note: [1] He addeth now consequently according to his maner, diuers admonitions: The first of them is, that they make prayers for the increase and free passage of the Gospel, and for the safetie of the faythfull ministers of the same. ] brethren, [Note: Ephes.6.19. colos.4.3. ] pray for vs, that the worde of the Lorde may haue free passage and be glorified, euen as it is with you,

2 And that we may be deliuered from [Note: [a] Which haue no care of their duetie. ] vnreasonable [Page]

[Of the idle.]



and euill men: [Note: [2] It is no marueile that the Gospel is hated of so many, seeing that faith is a rare gift of God. Notwithstanding, the Church shall neuer be destroyed by the multitude of the wicked, because it is grounded and stayed vpon the faithfull promise of God. ] for all men haue not fayth.

3 But the Lord is faithfull, which wil stablish you, and keepe you from [Note: [b] From Satans snares, or from euil. ] euill.

4 [Note: [3] The second admonition is, that they followe alwayes the doctrine of the Apostles as a rule for their life. ] And we are perswaded of you through the Lord, that ye both doe, & will doe the things which we warne you of.

5 [Note: [4] Thirdly, he diligently and earnestly admonisheth them of two things which are giuen vs by the onely grace of God, to wit, of charitie, and a watchful minde to the comming of Christ. ] And the Lord guide your hearts to the loue of God, and the waiting for of Christ.

6 [Note: [5] Fourthly, he sayth, that idle and lasie persons, ought not to be relieued of the Church, nay, that they are not to be suffered. ] We warne you, brethren, in the Name of our Lord Iesus Christ, that ye withdrawe your selues from euery brother that walketh inordinately, and not after the instruction, which hee receiued of vs.

7 [Note: [6] Least he might seeme to deale hardly with them, he setteth forth him selfe for an example, who besides his trauaile in preaching laboured with his hands, which he sayth hee was not simply bound to doe. ] For ye your selues know, [Note: 1.Cor.11.1. ] how ye ought to follow vs: [Note: 1.Thes.4.11. ] for we behaued not our selues inordinately among you,

8 Neither tooke we bread of any man for nought: but we wrought with labour and trauaile night and day, because we would not be chargeable to any of you.

9 Not because we haue not authoritie, but that we might make our selues an ensample vnto you to follow vs.

10 For euen when we were with you, this we warned you of, that if there were any, which would not worke, that he should [Note: [c] What shall we doe then with those idle bellied Monkes, and sacrificing Priests? A Monke (sayth Socrates, booke 8. of his Tripartite historie) which worketh not with hands, is like a theefe. ] not eate.

11 For we heare, that there are some which

[The end of the Lawe.]



walke among [Note: [7] Howe great a fault idlenes is, he declareth by that that God created no man in vaine or to no purpose, neither is there any vnto whome he hath not allotted as it were a certaine standing and roome. Whereupon it followeth, yt the order which God hath appointed, is troubled by the idle, yea broken, which is great sinne & wickednes. ] you inordinately, and worke not at all, [Note: [8] Hee reprehendeth a vice, which is ioyned with the former, whereupon follow an infinite sort of mischiefes: to wit, that there are none more busie in other mens matters, then they which neglect their owne. ] but are busie bodies.

12 [Note: [9] The Lord commandeth and the Apostles pray in the Name of Christ, first, that no man be idle, and next, that euery man doe quietly and carefully see to doe his duetie in that office and calling wherein the Lord hath placed him. ] Therefore them that are such, we warne and exhort by our Lord Iesus Christ, that they worke with quietnes, and eate their owne bread.

13 [Note: [10] We must take heede, that some mens vnworthinesse cause vs not to bee slacker in well doing. ] And ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.

14 [Note: [11] Excommunication is a punishment for the obstinate. ] If any man obey not this our saying in this letter, note him, & haue no [Note: [12] We must haue no familiaritie nor fellowship with the excommunicate. ] company with him, [Note: [13] The ende of the excommunication is not the destruction, but the saluation of the sinner, that at least through shame he may be driuen to repentance. ] that he may be ashamed:

15 [Note: [14] We must so eschewe familiaritie with the excommunicate, that we diligently seeke all occasions and meanes that may be to bring them againe into the right way. ] Yet count him not as an enemie, but admonish him as a brother.

16 [Note: [15] Prayers are the seales of all exhortations. ] Now the Lorde himselfe of peace giue you peace alwayes by all meanes. The Lorde be with you all.

17 [Note: [16] The Apostle subscribeth his letters with his owne hand, that false letters might not be brought and put in place of true. ] The salutation of me Paul, wt mine owne hand, which is ye token in euery Epistle: so I write,

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

The second Epistle to the Thessalonians, written from Athens.