WRITTEN FROM CORINTH, A. D. 52.
We are bound to thank God always concerning you, brethren, as it is fit, because your faith groweth exceedingly, and the love of every oe of you all towards each other aboundeth; so that we ourselves boast of you to the congregations of God, on account of your patience and faith in all your persecutions and afflictions which ye sustain. This is a proof of the righteous judgment of God, in that ye were counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye even suffer. Notwithstanding, it is just with God to give, in return, affliction to them who afflict you.--And to you the afflicted rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty messengers; inflicting punishment with flaming fire, on them who know not God, and on them who obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall suffer punishment, even everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. In that day, when he shall come to be glorified through the saints, and to be admired by all the believers; [and by you] (because our testimony was believed by you.) On which account also, we always pray concerning you, that our God may count you worthy of the calling, and fulfil all the good will of his goodness in you, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified through you, and ye through him, according to the favour of our God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. Now we beseech you brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together around him; that ye be not soon shaken from your purpose, nor troubled, neither by spirit nor by word, nor by letter from us, intimating that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any method; for that day shall not come, unless there come the apostacy first, and there be revealed that man of sin, that son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above every one who is called a god, or an object of worship. So that he, in the temple of God, as a god sitteth openly showing himself that he is a god. Do ye not remember, that when I was still with you, I told you these things? And ye know what now restraineth him in order to his being revealed in his own season. For the secret of iniquity already inwardly worketh, only till he who now restraineth be taken out of the way. And then shall be revealed that lawless one; him the Lord will consume by the breath of his mouth, and will render ineffectual, by the bright shining of his coming; of whom the coming is after the strong working of satan, with all power and signs, and miracles of falsehood. And with all the deceit of unrighteousness, among them who perish, because they embraced not the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this cause God will send to them the strong working of error, to their believing a lie. That all may be condemned who have not believed the truth, but have taken pleasure in iniquity. But we are bound to give thanks to God always concerning you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath chosen you from the beginning of salvation, through a sanctification of spirit*[App. No. LXXXVI.] and belief of truth; to which he called you, by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Well then, brethren, stand, and hold fast the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by our word, or by our letter. And may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God even our Father, who hath loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope through favour, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and deed.
III. Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run, and be glorified, even as among you. And that we may be delivered from brutish and wicked men: for all men have not faith. However, the Lord is faithful, who will establish and keep you from the evil one. For we are persuaded in the Lord concerning you, that the things which we commanded you, ye both do, and will do. Now may the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God, and to the patience of Christ.
6. Now we command you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother who walketh disorderly, and not according to the tradition which he received from us. For yourselves know how ye ought to imitate us; becasue we did not walk disorderly among you; neither did we eat bread as a gift from any one, but with labour and toil we wrought night and day, in order not to overload any of you. Not because we have not right, but that we might give ourselves to you for a pattern, to imitate us. And therefore, when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any one will not work, neither let him eat. For we hear that there are some who still walk among you disorderly, not working at all, but prying into other people's affairs. Now them who are such we command and beseech by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. And ye, brethren, be not weary in well-doing. Now, if any one do not obey our command in this letter, point out that man, and keep no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. And may the Lord of peace himself, give you peace always, in every shape. The Lord be with you all. The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: thus I write. The favour of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.