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3. Warning Against Idleness

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. 3But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 4And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. 5And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

6Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 7For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 8Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 9Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. 10For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 13But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. 14And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 16Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

17The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. 18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

10 He that will not labor. From its being written in Psalm 128:2

Thou art blessed, eating of the labor of thy hands,

also in Proverbs 10:4,

The blessing of the Lord is upon the hands of him that laboreth,

it is certain that indolence and idleness are accursed of God. Besides, we know that man was created with this view, that he might do something. Not only does Scripture testify this to us, but nature itself taught it to the heathen. Hence it is reasonable, that those, who wish to exempt themselves from the common law, 710710     “De la loy et regle commune;” — “From the common law and rule.” should also be deprived of food, the reward of labor. When, however, the Apostle commanded that such persons should not eat, he does not mean that he gave commandment to those persons, but forbade that the Thessalonians should encourage their indolence by supplying them with food.

It is also to be observed, that there are different ways of laboring. For whoever aids 711711     “Aide et porte proufit;” — “Aids and brings advantage.” the society of men by his industry, either by ruling his family, or by administering public or private affairs, or by counseling, or by teaching, 712712     “En enseignant les autres;” — “By instructing others.” or in any other way, is not to be reckoned among the idle. For Paul censures those lazy drones who lived by the sweat of others, while they contribute no service in common for aiding the human race. Of this sort are our monks and priests who are largely pampered by doing nothing, excepting that they chant in the temples, for the sake of preventing weariness. This truly is, (as Plautus speaks,) 713713     The passage alluded to is as follows: “Musice, Hercle, agitis aetatem“ —(“By Hercules, you pass life musically”) Plaut. Mostellariae, Act in. Sc. 2, 40. — Ed. to “live musically.” 714714     “Plaute poete Latin ancien, quand il vent parler de gens qui viuent a leur aise, il dit qu’ils viuent musicalement, c’est a dire, en chantres. Mais a la verite on pent bien dire de ceux-ci, en tout sens qu’on le voudra prendre, qu’ils viuent musicalement;” — “Plautus, the ancient Latin poet, when he has it in view to speak of persons who live at their ease, says that they live musically, that is to say, like singers. But truly it may be well said of those persons, in every sense in which one might choose to take it, that they live musically.”


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