Page:An Exposition of the Old and New Testament (1828) vol 6.djvu/611

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doubt, with decency and respect, not from pride and conceit.

12. Concerning Paul himself; (v. 18.) The salutation of me Paul. Remember my bonds. He had a scribe to write all the rest of the epistle, but these words he wrote with his own hand; Remember my bonds. He does not say, "Remember I am a prisoner, and send me supply;" but, "Remember I am in bonds as the apostle of the Gentiles, and let that confirm your faith in the gospel of Christ:" it adds weight to his exhortation; I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy, Eph. 4. 1. "Grace be with you. The free favour of God, and all good, the blessed fruits and effects of it, be with you, and your portion."









Completed by Mr. D. Mayo.

THESSALONICA was formerly the metropolis of Macedonia; it is now called Salonichi, and is the best peopled, and one of the best towns for commerce, in the Levant. The apostle Paul, being diverted from his design of going into the provinces of Asia, properly so called, and directed after an extraordinary manner to preach the gospel in Macedonia, (Acts 16. 9, 10.) in obedience to the call of God went from Tarsus to Samothracia, from thence to Neapolis, and from thence to Philippi, where he had good success in his ministry; but met with hard usage, being cast into prison with Silas his companion in travel and labour; from whence being wonderfully delivered, they comforted the brethren there, and departed. Passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where the apostle planted a church that consisted of some believing Jews, and many converted Gentiles, Acts 17. 1–4. But a tumult being raised in the city by the unbelieving Jews, and the lewd and baser sort of the inhabitants; Paul and Silas, for their safety, were sent away by night unto Berea: and afterward Paul was conducted to Athens, leaving Silas and Timotheus behind him, but sent directions that they should come to him with all speed.

When they were come, Timotheus was sent to Thessalonica, to inquire after their welfare, and to establish them in the faith, (I Thess. 3. 2.) who returned to Paul while he tarried at Athens, and was sent again, together with Silas, to visit the churches in Macedonia. So that Paul, being left at Athens alone, (I Thess. 3. 1.) departed from thence to Corinth, where he continued a year and a half; in which time Silas and Timotheus returned to him from Macedonia, (Acts 18. 5.) and then he wrote this epistle to the church of Christ at Thessalonica; which, though it is placed after the other epistles of this apostle, is supposed to be first in time of all Paul's epistles, and to be written about A. D. 51.

The main scope is to express, the thankfulness of this apostle for the good success his preaching had among them, to establish them in the faith, and persuade them to a holy conversation.



After the introduction, (v. 4.) the apostle begins with a thanksgiving to God for the saving benefits bestowed on them, v. 2..5. And then mentions the sure evidences of the good success of the gospel among them, which was notorious and famous in several other places, v. 6..10.

1.PAUL, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessaloni-}}