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1: More and more - It is not enough to have faith, even
so as to please God, unless we abound more and more therein.
3: Sanctification - Entire holiness of heart and life:
particular branches of it are subjoined. That ye abstain from
fornication - A beautiful transition from sanctification to a
single branch of the contrary; and this shows that nothing is
so seemingly distant, or below our thoughts, but we have need
to guard against it.
4: That every one know - For this requires knowledge, as
well as chastity. To possess his vessel - His wife. In
sanctification and honour - So as neither to dishonour God
or himself, nor to obstruct, but further, holiness;
remembering, marriage is not designed to inflame, but
to conquer, natural desires.
5: Not in passionate desire - Which had no place in man
when in a state of innocence. Who know not God - And so may
naturally seek happiness in a creature. What seemingly
accidental words slide in; and yet how fine, and how vastly
6: In this matter - By violating his bed. The things
forbidden, here are three: fornication,(1Th 4:3);
the passion of desire, or inordinate affection in the married
state, (1Th 4:5); and the breach of the marriage contract.
8: He that despiseth - The commandments we gave.
Despiseth God - Himself. Who hath also given you his Holy
Spirit - To convince you of the truth, and enable you to be holy.
What naked majesty of words! How oratorical, and yet with what
great simplicity! - a simplicity that does not impair, but improve,
the understanding to the utmost; that, like the rays of heat
through a glass, collects all the powers of reason into one
orderly point, from being scattered abroad in utter confusion.
9: We need not write - Largely. For ye are taught of
God - By his Spirit.
11: That ye study - Literally, that ye be ambitious: an
ambition worthy a Christian. To work with your hands - Not a
needless caution; for temporal concerns are often a cross to
them who are newly filled with the love of God.
12: Decently - That they may have no pretence to say,
(but they will say it still,) "This religion makes men idle,
and brings them to beggary." And may want nothing - Needful
for life and godliness. What Christian desires more?
13: Now - Herein the efficacy of Christianity greatly
appears, - that it neither takes away nor embitters, but
sweetly tempers, that most refined of all affections, our
desire of or love to the dead.
14: So - As God raised him. With him - With their living head.
15: By the word of the Lord - By a particular revelation.
We who are left - This intimates the fewness of those who
will be then alive, compared to the multitude of the dead.
Believers of all ages and nations make up, as it were, one body;
in consideration of which, the believers of that age might put
themselves in the place, and speak in the person, of them who
were to live till the coming of the Lord. Not that St. Paul
hereby asserted (though some seem to have imagined so) that
the day of the Lord was at hand.
16: With a shout - Properly, a proclamation made to a
great multitude. Above this is, the voice of the archangel;
above both, the trumpet of God; the voice of God, somewhat
analogous to the sound of a trumpet.
17: Together - In the same moment. In the air - The wicked
will remain beneath, while the righteous, being absolved, shall
be assessors with their Lord in the judgment. With the Lord - In