1 Thessalonians 1:2-5
2. We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
2. Gratias agimus Deo semper de omnibus vobis, memoriam vestri facientes in precibus nostris,
3. Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
3. Indesinenter 1 memores vestri, propter opus fidei, et laborem caritatis, 2 et patientiam spei Domini nostri Iesu Christi coram Deo et Patre nostro,
4. Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
4. Scientes, fratres dilecti, 3 a Deo esse electionem vestram.
5. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
5. Quia Evangelium nostrum non fuit erga vos in sermone solum, sed in potentia, et in Spiritu sancto, et in certitudine multa: quemadmodum nostis quales fuerimus in vobis propter vos.
He assigns a reason, however, why he cherishes so strong an affection towards them, and prays diligently in their behalf--because he perceived in them those gifts of God which should stir him up to cherish towards them love and respect. And, unquestionably, the more that any one excels in piety and other excellences, so much the more ought we to hold him in regard and esteem. For what is more worthy of love than God? Hence there is nothing that should tend more to excite our love to individuals, than when the Lord manifests himself in them by the gifts of his Spirit. This is the highest commendation of all among the pious--this the most sacred bond of connection, by which they are more especially bound to each other. I have said, accordingly, that it is of little importance, whether you render it mindful of your faith, or mindful of you on account of your faith.
When he says,
By the term power some understand miracles. I extend it farther, as referring to spiritual energy of doctrine. For, as we had occasion to see in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul places it in contrast with speech 15--the voice of God, as it were, living and conjoined with effect, as opposed to an empty and dead eloquence of men. It is to be observed, however, that the election of God, which is in itself hid, is manifested by its marks--when he gathers to himself the lost sheep and joins them to his flock, and holds out his hand to those that were wandering and estranged from him. Hence a knowledge of our election must be sought from this source. As, however, the secret counsel of God is a labyrinth to those who disregard his calling, so those act perversely who, under pretext of faith and calling, darken this first grace, from which faith itself flows. "By faith," say they, "we obtain salvation: there is, therefore, no eternal predestination of God that distinguishes between us and reprobates." It is as though they said--"Salvation is of faith: there is, therefore, no grace of God that illuminates us in faith." Nay rather, as gratuitous election must be conjoined with calling, as with its effect, so it must necessarily, in the mean time, hold the first place. It matters little as to the sense, whether you connect
1 "En nos prieres, sans cesse ayans souuenance; ou, En nos prieres sans cesse, Ayans souuenance;"--"In our prayers, without ceasing having remembrance; or, In our prayers without ceasing, Having remembrance."
2 "De vous pour l'Ïuure de la foy, et pour le trauail de vostre charite; ou, de l'effect de vostre foy, et du trauail de vostre charite;"--"Of you for the work of faith, or for the labor of your love; or, of the effect of your faith, or of the labor of your love."
3 "Freres bien--aimez, vostre election estre de Dieu; ou, freres bien--aimez de Dieu, vostre election; ou, vostre election, qui est de Dieu;"--"Brethren beloved, your election to be of God; or, brethren beloved of God, your election; or, your election, which is of God."
4 "Est vn benefice procedant de la liberalite de Dieu;"--"Is a kindness proceeding from God's liberality."
5 The words are
6 The rendering of the Vulgate is as follows: "Sine intermissione memores operis fidei vestrae." Wiclif (1380) renders as follows: "With outen ceeysynge hauynge mynde of the werk of youre feithe." Cranmer, (1539,) on the other hand, renders thus: "And call you to remembrance because of the work of your faith--Ed.
7 "Quant a la substance du propos;"--"As to the substance of the matter."
8 The rendering of Erasmus is as follows: "Memores vestri propter opus fidei;"--"Mindful of you on account of your work of faith."
9 "D'afflictions quasi sans nombre;"--"By afflictions, as it were, without number."
10 "Foibles et debiles en la foy;"--"Weak and feeble in faith."
11 "Ce poinct a nommeement este adiouste par Sainct Paul;"--"This point has been expressly added by St. Paul."
12 "Car ce n'estoit vne petite consideration pour inciter St. Paul et les autres, a auoir les Thessaloniciens pour recommandez, et en faire esteme;"--"For it was no slight motive to induce St. Paul and others to hold the Thessalonians in estimation, and to regard them with esteem."
13 "A l este comme seellé et ratifié par bons tesmoignages et approbations suffisantes;"--"Had been there, as it were, sealed and ratified by good testimonies and sufficient attestations."
14 "Et en estoit l'autheur;"--"And was the author of it."
15 See Calvin on the Corinthians, vol. 1. pp. 100, 101.
16 "Au reste, les mots de ceste sentence sont ainsi couchez au texte Grec de Sainct Paul, Scachans freres bien--aimez de Dieu, vostre election: tellement que ce mot de Dieu, pent estre rapporté a deux endroits, ascauoir Bien--aimez de Dieu, ou vostre election estre de Dieu: mais c'est tout vn comment on le prene quant au sens;"--"Farther, the words of this sentence are thus placed in the Greek text of St. Paul; knowing, brethren beloved of God, your election: in such a way, that this phrase of God may be taken as referring to two things, as meaning beloved of God, or, your election to be of God; but it is all one as to the sense in what way you take it."
17 "Quels auoyent este St. Paul et ses compagnons;"--"What manner of persons St. Paul and his associates had been."