THE FIRST EPISTLE
AP OSTLJE PAUL
t. PAUL, and Silvanus, and Timothy, to the congregation of the Thessalonians in God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Favour be to you, and peace, from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making men-
3 f ion of you in our prayers, remembering incessantly the work of your belief, and the labour of your love, and the perseverance of your hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of
4 our God and Father; knowing, brethren beloved of God, the choice made of you—that our glad tidings did not come to you in word only, but with power, and with a holy spirit, and with much assurance.
5 As you knew what manner of persons we were among you
6 for your sakes, you indeed became imitators of us, and of the Lord, having embraced the word in much affliction, with the
7 joy of a holy spirit; so that you became patterns for all the fc believers in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you the word
of the Lord hath been sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia; but, in every place, your belief in God is spread 9 to such a degree, as rendereth it unnecessary for us to say any thing. For they themselves relate concerning us what an entrance we had among you; and how you turned to God from the idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for 10 his son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, namely Jesus, who delivered! us from the wrath to come*
II. For you, brethren, yourselves know that entrance of ours
2 among you, that it was not in vain. Though we indeed had suffered before, and had been treated injuriously, as you know, at Fhilippi; we had'the courage, by the help of our God, to declare to you the glad tidings of God with much earnestness.
3 For our exhortation did not proceed from error, nor from im-
4 purity; nor was it with deceit; but as we had been approved by God to be entrusted with the glad tidings, so we speak,
5 not as pleasing men, but God who tricth our hearts. For never did we at any time use flattering words, as you know; nor a pretext for covetousness, God is witness; nor were we seek-
6 ing human glory- either from you or from others. We might have appeared with weight as Christ's apostles; but we were
7 gentle among you. Our affectionate regard for you being such,
8 as that with which a nursing mother would cherish her own children, we were willing to impart to you not only the glad tidings of God, but even our own lives, because you were
9 dear to us. For you, brethren, remember our labour and our toil: for working day and night that we might not be burthen- some to any of you, we proclaimed to you the glad tidings of
10 God. You are witnesses, and God is witness, how holy, how
11 just, how irreproachable our behaviour was to you who believed—how, as you know, we [exhorted] every one of you, as a
12 father would his children, exhorting you, and comforting you, and testifying that you should walk worthy of God who invit-
13 ethyou to his kingdom and glory. On this account also we give thanks to God continually, because, when you received from us this message of God, you embraced it, not as a word of men, but, as it really is, a word of God, which operateth
14 with powerful effect in you who believe. For 3-011, brethren, became imitators of the congregations of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus.
Because you suffered from your countrymen the same treatment as they did from the Jews (from those indeed who slew the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and persecuted
6 us, and who please not God, and are in opposition to all men, hindering us from speaking to the nations that they may be saved ; thus, filling up the measure of their sins continually :
7 but the wrath is at last coming upon them,) therefore we bre
I. THESSALONIANS. II. III. IV.
thren, being torn from you for a short time—in person, not in heart, did the more earnestly endeavour to see your face.
18 Having therefore a longing desire, we wished to come to you, (particularly I Paul) once and again, but Satan obstructed us.
19 For what is our hope, or will be our joy, or crown of rejoic-
20 ing? Will it not be you in the presence of our Lord Jesus
III. Christ at his coming ? For you are our glory and our joy. Wherefore not being able to bear any longer, we acquiesced
2 in being left alone in Athens, and sent Timothy our brother, and a minister of God, and our fellow labourer in the glad tidings of the Christ, to establish you and comfort you concerning your belief; that none of you might be staggered by
3 those afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are de-
4 stined for this. For when we were with you, we told you beforehand that we should soon be afflicted, as it hath actually
5 come to pass, and you know; therefore not being able to bear any longer, I sent to know your faith, for fear the tempter
6 might have tempted you, and our labour be in vain. But Timothy having now come to us from you, and brought us the good news of your belief and love, and that you have always a good remembrance of us, earnestly desiring to see us, as
7 we do to see you ; we therefore, brethren, under all our affliction and distress are comforted in respect to you, by your faith.
8 Now because we live if you continue stedfast in the Ltnd,
9 what thanks then can we render to God respecting you, for all the joy with which we rejoice on your account, in the pre- 10 senceof our God; day and night supplicating in the most earnest;
manner to see your face and to complete the remainders of!
11 your belief! now may he himself, our God and father, andi
12 our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you ! and may thcj Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another
13 and for all men, (as we do for you) so as to establish youi hearts unblameable in holiness, in the presence of our Goc and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his holy ones.
IV. Wherefore, as to what rcmaincth, we beseech you brethren, and exhort you, by the Lord Jesus, that as you havfl received from us how you ought to walk and please God, yoi 2 would abound more and more. For you know what instruc-
3 tions we gave you by the Lord Jesus: for this is the will of God even your sanctification, that you abstain from forni-
4 cation ; that every one of you know how to use his own ves-
5 sel in sanctification and honour—not in lustful indulgence,
6 like fhe nations which know not God ; not overreaching and injuring his brother in this matter; for the Lord is the avenger
7 of all such things, as we told you before and testified. For God hath not called us for ujicleanness, but to sanctification.
8 He therefore who rejecteth [these instructions] rejecteth not man, but God, even him who hath given us his holy spirit.
9 In respect to brotherly love you have no need of our wri-
10 ting to you, for you yourselves are taught of God to love one another, and this indeed you practise to all the brethren,
11 through all Macedonia; but we beseech you, brethren, to abound therein more and more ; and to make it your ambition to live quietly, and to mind your own business, and work
12 with your own hands, as we charged you; that your walk may- appear orderly to the world, and that you may be in want of nothing.
13 Now I would not, brethren, have you ignorant in respect to them who are composed to rest, that you may not be afflict-
14 ed with grief, like others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so [should we] also, that God will, by the agency of Jesus, bring with him them who are
15 composed to rest. For this we tell you by a word of the Lord, that we the living who are left till the coming of the Lord shall not anticipate them who are laid to rest—that the Lord
16 himself, with an authoritative command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, will descend from
17 heaven, and the dead in Christ shall be raised first; afterwards we who are left alive shall, together with them, be conveyed in clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we shall be for
?8 ever with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these
words. V. Now, in respect to the times and the seasons, you,
2 brethren, have no need of our writing to you; for you your-
3 selves know very well that the day of the Lord cometh as a thief at night. For whilst they are saying, there is peace and
Vol. iv. 3 A
4 safety, sudden destruction is then upon them, like the pangs of a woman in travail, and they cannot escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that this day should break upon you at
5 unawares as a thief. You are all children of light and children
6 of the day. We are not of night, nor of darkness. Therefore let
7 us not sleep as others do; but let us watch and be sober. For
8 they who sleep, sleep at night; and they who get drunk are drunk at night. But as we are of the day, let us be sober, arming ourselves with the breastplate of faith and love, and for a
9 helmet with the hope of salvation. Because God hath not sta-
10 tioned us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord
11 Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep we may live with him; therefore comfort one another, and edify one another, as indeed you do.
12 Now we intreat you, brethren, to consider them who labour
13 among you, and preside over you in the Lord, and instruct you: and esteem them very highly in love on account of their work.
14 Be at peace among yourselves. And we exhort you, brethren; admonish the disorderly; comfort the desponding; support the
15 weak; exercise forbearance towards all; see that none return evil for evil to any one; but on all occasions do all the good
16 you can, both to one another and to all men. Be always cheer-
17 ful. Pray without ceasing. Render thanks for every thing; for
18 this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Quench not thf
19 spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things and adhere
20 to what is good. Abstain from every appearance of evil. And
21 may the God of this peace himself sanctify you entirely!
22 And may the whole of you—the spirit and the soul, and tin
23 body, be preserved blameless to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 He who calleth you is faithful, and will do this.
25 Brethren, pray for us. Salute all the brethren with a holy kiss.
27 I adjure you by the Lord that this letter be read to all to holy brethren.
28 The favour of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amer.