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THIS is the first of all the epistles which St. Paul wrote. Thessalonica was one of the chief cities of Macedonia. Hither St. Paul went after the persecution at Philippi: but he had not preached here long before the unbelieving Jews raised a tumult against him and Silvanus and Timotheus. On this the brethren sent them away to Berea. Thence St. Paul went by sea to Athens, and sent for Silvanus and Timotheus to come speedily to him. But being in fear, lest the Thessalonian converts should be moved from their steadfastness, after a short time he sends Timotheus to them, to know the state of their church. Timotheus returning found the apostle at Corinth from whence he sent them this epistle, about a year after he had been at Thessalonica. The parts of it are these:

I. The inscription, Chap. i, 1

II. He celebrates the grace of God towards them,. 2-10 Mentions the sincerity of himself and his fellowlabourers, ii. 1-12 And the teachableness of the Thessalonians,. 13-16

III. He declares,

1. His desire, 17-20

2. His care, iii. 1-5

3. His joy and prayer for them, 6-13

IV. He exhorts them to grow,

1. In holiness, iv.1-8

2. In brotherly love with industry, 9-12

V. He teaches and exhorts,

1. Concerning them that sleep, 13-18

2. Concerning the times, v.1-11

VI. He adds miscellaneous exhortations, 12-24

VII. The conclusion, 25-28


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