|THESSALONIANS, EPISTLE TO THE 1 AND 2 |
These were the earliest of Paulís epistles, and were written from Corinth, in A. D. 52 and 53. In the first epistle, Paul rejoices over Timothyís good report of the faith of Christians at Thessalonica; and confirms them against the persecutions and temptations they would meet, by discussing the miraculous testimony of God to the truth of the gospel, 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10; the character of its preachers, 1 Thessalonians 2:13; the holiness of its precepts, 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12; and the resurrection of Christ and his people, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11. The remainder of the epistle consists of practical exhortations.
In the second epistle, he corrects certain errors into which they were falling, particularly respecting the second coming of Christ. This, he shows, must be preceded by the career of "the man of sin," "the son of peredition," "whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders;" who usurps divine authority over the church, and "opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God." The exact fulfillment in the Romish church of these predictions, at first so contrary to human anticipation, proves that the apostle wrote by inspiration.