Page images


which we commanded you, we have commanded you, he enables ye both do, and will do.' you, and will still enable you to per

form. 5 Now may the Lord 5 Now, May the Lord direct your direct your hearts to the hearts to the love of God, and to the love of God, and to the patience which Christ exercised in all patience of Christ. 2 his afflictions, that ye may be pre

served from apostasy. 6 Now we command 6 In my former letter (chap. v. you, brethren, by the name 14.), I ordered your rulers to reof our Lord Jesus Christ, buke them who walked disorderly; that withdraw your- but their rebukes have been disreselves from every brother garded. Wherefore, now we comwho walketh disorderly,' mand you, brethren, by the authority and not according to the of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye shun tradition which he re- the company of every brother, who, ceived from us.

having been once and again admonished, still walketh disorderly, and not according to the precepts which he

received from me. 7 For yourselves know 7 My own conduct entitles me how ye ought to imitate to rebuke the disorderly. For yourus: because we did not walk selves know, that ye ought to imitate disorderly among you ; me, because I did not go about in idle

ness among you, meddling in other

people's affairs. 8 Neither did we eat 8 Neither did I eat meat as a gift bread as a gift from any from any one, but with great labour one, but with labour and and fatigue I wrought daily for my toil we wrought night and own maintenance and for the mainday, in order not to overload tenance of my assistants (Acts xx. any of you.

34.) in order that I might not overload any of you with maintaining us.

ing to its precepts. See 1 Thess. v. 14. note 1. What the apostle condemned under this description, was idleness (ver. 11.) and by the solemnity with which he introduces his charge, we are taught that it is most offensive to God, and dangerous to ourselves and others, to encourage, by our com. pany and conversation, such as live in the practice of any open and gross sin. May all who have a regard to religion, attend to this! The same charge is repeated, ver. 14. See note 2. on that verse. 2. Tradition, which he received from us. See chap. ii. 15. Col. ii. 6. notes:



9 Not because we have 9 Ουχ ότι ουκ εχομεν εξnot power, but to make ουσιαν, αλλ' ίνα εαυτους τυourselves an ensample un- πον δωμεν υμιν εις το μιto you to follow us.

μεισθαι ημας. 10 For even when we 1o Και γαρ οτε ημεν προς were with you, this we υμας, τουτο παρηγγελλομεν commanded you, that if



ει τις ου θελει ερany would not work, nci- γαζεσθαι, μηδε εσθιετω. ther should he eat. 11 For we hear that

11 Ακουομεν γαρ τινας πεthere are some which walk

ριπατουντας εν υμιν ατακamong you disorderly,

τως, μηδεν εργαζομενους, αλworking not at all, but are

λα περιεργαζομενους. busy bodies. . 12 Now them that are

12 Τοις δε τοιουτοις παρsuch we command, and αγγελλομεν, και παρακαλου

Ver. 9.-1. Not because we hade not right. When our Lord first sent out the twelve to preach, he said to them, Matth. x. 9. The workman is worthy of his meat ; and by so saying, conferred on his apostles a right to demand maintenance from those to whom they preached. See 1 Cor. ix. 4. note. this right Paul did not insist on among the Thessalonians, but wrought for his own maintenance, while he preached to them. Lest, however, his enemies might think this an acknowledgment that he was no apostle, he here asserted his right, and told them, that he had demanded no maintenance from them, to make himself a pattern to them of prudent industry.

2. That we might give ourselves to you for a pattern. The apostle's working for his maintenance, ought to have put the idle among the Thessalonians to shame, who perhaps excused themselves from working, on pretence they were attending to their neigybours' affairs. For if the apostle did not make the necessary, and laborious work of preaching the gospel an excuse for not working, the Thessalonians had no reason to excuse themselves from working, on pretence of their minding other people's affairs ; which in truth was but officious meddling. Ver. 10.-1. If any one will not work, neither let him eat.

From this precept of the gospel, we learn that all men, without distinction, ought to employ themselves in some business or other which is useful; and that no man is entitled to spend his life in idleness. From the lower classes of mankind it is required, that they employ themselves in agriculture, or in the mechanic arts, or in such other services as are necessary to society. And from them who are in higher stations, such exercises of the mind are expected, as may advance the happiness of others, either in this life, or in that which is to come. Whether, therefore, we fill higher or lower stations, let us apply ourselves diligently to such useful occupations, as are suitable to our


[ocr errors]

9 Not because we have 9 This course I followed, not benot right, but that cause I had not right to maintenance might give ourselves to you from you as an apostle; but that I for a pattern, to imitate might give myself, to such of you as

are disposed to be idle, for an example of industry, in which ye

ought to imitate me. 10 (K«t yap, 93.) And 10 And ther fore when I was with therefore, when we were you, this I commanded, that if any with you,


we com- person among you capable of workmanded you, that if any ing, will noi work for his own mainone will not work, neither tenance, let him not eat of your meat, let him eat. 1

lest it encourage him in his idle


11 For we hear that 11 This injunction I now renew, there are some who STILL because I hear that there are some walk among you disor- who still walk among you disorderly, derly.' not working at contrary to reason, and to the gosall, but prying into other pel, applying themselves to no useful people's affairs.

labour, but going about prying into other people's affairs ; misrepresent

ing what they have heard and seen. 12 Now them whO ARE 12 Now such idle parasites I comsuch we command and mand, by the authority, and beseech

particular rank, that when we give account of ourselves to God, we may be found to have lived not altogether uselessly in the world. This passage of the word of God ought likewise to be regarded by such as go about beg: ging their bread, notwithstanding they are able, and have opportunity, to work for their own maintenance. In the apostle's judgment, such have no right to maintenance, and therefore to give them alms is to encourage them in vice; a practice which the apostle has forbidden, ver. 6. and should be avoided by all conscientious Christians, lest by sapplying such disorderly persons' wants, they make themselves accessaries to their idleness and wickedness.

Ver. 11.-1. We bear that there are some who still walk among you disorderly. From this it appears, that after writing the former letter, the apostle had received a particular account of the state of the Thessalonian church. Probably the messenger who carried that letter, gave him an account of their affairs at his return; or brought him a letter from some of the pastors of the church, wherein they informed him of their state. The things mentioned, chap. ii. 1, 2. afford another proof of this. Besides, the apostle would not so soon have wrote a second letter to the Thessalonians, if he had not been informed of some particulars which made it necessary.


exhort by our Lord Jesus μεν δια του Κυριου ημών ΙηChrist, that with quietness σου Χριςου, ένα μετα ησυχιας they work, and eat their εργαζομενοι, τον εαυτων αρτον own bread. .

εσβιωσιν. 13 But ye, brethren, be 13 Υμεις δε, αδελφοι, μη not weary in well doing.

εκκακησητε καλοποιουντες 14 And if any man obey 14 Ει δε τις ουχ υπακούει not our word by this epis- τω λογω ημων δια της tle, note that man, and ςολης, τουτον σημειουσίες και have no company with

μη συναναμιγνυσθε αυτω, ένα him, that he may be asha

εντράπη. med. .

15 Yet count him not as 15 Και μη ως εχθρον ηan enemy, but admonisti γεισθε, αλλα νουθετειτε ως him as a brother.

αδελφον. 16 Now, the Lord of 16 Αυτος δε ο Κυριος της peace himself give you ειρηνης δωη υμιν την peace always, by all means.



παντος εν παντι The Lord be with

τροπώ. Ο Κυριος μετα παντων υμων.


you all.

Ver. 12.-1. We command and beseech. To his command, the apostle added earnest entreaty; and he did so by the authority and direction of Christ. The meaning may be as in the commentary.

Ver. 13.-1. Be not weary in well doing. Μη εκκακησητε, properly signifies, do not flag through sloth or cowardice. See Eph. iii. 13. note 1. The Thessalonians were not to flag in the performance either of their civil, or of their religious duties.

. Ver. 14.-1. Point out that man. A like direction is given, Rom. xvi. 17. 1 Cor. v. 9. 11. 13. Phil. iii. 17. Beza thinks the word σημειεσθε, put a mark upon that man, means excommunicate him ; to which meaning the subse.. quent clause seems to agree. Grotius construes the words δια της επιςολής, with τετον σεμειεσθε: give me notice of that man by a letter. But the phrase in that sense is not common. See Benson on the passage.

2. Keep no company with him, that he may be ashamed. From this and other passages, particularly, Matt. xviii. 15.-17. Tit. iii. 10. and ver. 6. this chapter, it appears, that Christ hath established a wholesome discipline in his church, to be exercised by the pastors and people for reclaiming those who sin. This discipline does not consist in corporal punishments, imprisonments, fines, and civil incapacities ; but in the administration of admo


beseech i by our Lord Je- by the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, sus Christ, that with quiet- that forbearing meddling in any ness they work, and eat shape with other people's affairs, and their own bread.

remaining guictly at home, they work,

and feed themselves with their own meal. 13 And ye, brethren, 13 And ye, brethren, who hitherto be not weary 1 in well- by your honest industry, have not doing

only fed yourselves, but the poor,

do not flag in that good work. -14 (41) Now, if any one 14 Now if any one do not obey our do not obey our (Royw, 60.) command given to all in this letter, command in this letter, that they work for their own mainpoint out that man,' and tenance, do ye, the rulers of the keep company with church, point out that man to the rest, him, that he may be that, as I said before, ver. 10. none ashamed.2

of you may keep company with him, in order that being shunned by all as an evil doer, he may be ashamed of

his conduct, and amend. 15 Yet do not count 15 Yet do not behave towards him Him as an enemy, but ad- as an infidel, who is incorrigible, but monish him as a brother. in your public discourses, and in

private, as ye have opportunity, ad. monish him as brother, who may

still be reclaimed. 16 And may the Lord 16 And may Christ, the author of of peace himself, give all happiness, himself give you happiyou peace always, in every ness in every shape, by bestowing on shape. The Lord be with you diligence in your worldly busi

ness, concord among yourselves, and good agreement with your heathen neighbours. The Lord be with you all, to direct you.


you all.

nitions and rebukes. When these are without effect, and the offender continues impenitent, he is to be excluded from joining the church in the offices of religion. In that case, however, the faithful must not lose, either their affection for the offending party, or their hope of his recovery ; but must continue to admonish him as a brother, till he appears incorrigible. When this happens, he is to be cast out of the society, and avoided as a person with whom to bave any intercouse, except in the offices of humanity, would be dangerous. Matt. xviii. 17.

Ver. 16.-1. The Lord of peace. The apostle calls Christ the Lord of

« PreviousContinue »