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Thessalonians :

By the reuerend Father lohn Iewel, late Bishop of


Printed by Iohn NORTON,
Printer to the Kings most ex-
cellent Maiestie.






It is now some long time sithence that learned reverend father bishop Jewel delivered unto the people of his charge the exposition upon the epistles of St Paul to the Thessalonians; when many his hearers thought it worthy to be made common, and besought him earnestly (even as since his blessed departure out of this life they have often required me to publish the same. It is very likely that he would, if he had lived, have perused these his travails, and some others, and have drawn them to the use and benefit of the church, and rather have spent his time in setting forth matters profitable for all men to understand towards 3 the attainment of salvation, than in following their humour any longer, whom neither the weakness of their own cause, nor the force of the truth, nor the defence thereof by so weighty authorities of the holy scriptures, of the ancient catholic fathers, and of general councils, could content, or persuade them to forsake the way of contention whereunto they were entered, and of troubling the church of God with their writings against the truth.

This his purpose he partly declared in giving his last answer to a book written by Master Harding, intituled, “A detection of sundry foul errors,” &c. For answer whereof he thought not good to charge with number of books, or to encumber the world with needless labours; but only by a short augmentation of his former defence of the Apology of the Church of England to discharge Master Harding's quarrels. For reason whereof he saith: “ I cannot imagine that any my poor labours shall be able to end these quarrels. For a contentious man will never lack words...I have endeavoured for my simple part to say so much as to a reasonable man may seem sufficient... If any thing be left unanswered, either it was nothing, or nothing worth 4." Wherein he was of like mind unto that famous learned man, Master Bucer, who, speaking of the new and fresh supply that is

the adversaries of our christian religion, said thus: Veteribus respondimus, novos quotidie legimus: nihil adferunt novi; quid ergo faciemus? “Answer hath been made by us to their old writers : we read their new writers which come forth daily, which yet bring no new matter or proofs with them. What then shall we do ?” What else, but (as he giveth counsel) lay down all affection and favour of parties, and peruse that hath been said in matter of controversy on both sides, and judge justly of that is alleged, and with fear and reverence be careful of our own salvation? For, after the truth is once found out, whosoever seeketh farther seeketh not for the truth, but for error. The apostle willeth 5 Titus to “stay foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and brawlings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain:” and also to "reject him that is an heretic after once or twice admonition.” In like case he said unto 6 Timothy: “If any man teach otherwise, and consenteth not to the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is puffed up, and knoweth? nothing, but doateth about questions and strife of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, froward disputations of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, which think that gain is godliness : from such separate thyself."

Now, because he himself had some good liking to publish this exposition, and

made among

[" This is the preface to the original edition (1583) of this Commentary. It does not appear in the folios.) [? Since, 1594.)

[3 Toward, 1594.)

[* This is in the “ Preface to the Reader" prefixed to the new edition of the Defence of the Apology.] [5 Wills, 1594.)

[ To, 1594.] [? Knows, 1594.]

[8 Comes, 1594.)

the matter thereof is so fit for our time as nothing may be more, and there is not (as I can learn) any interpreter upon these epistles in the English tongue, and his sermons upon them were the last fruits and travails he bestowed in the cathedral church of Sarum; I made choice of it among many other excellent monuments of his pains taken in the church of God, and gave my best diligence to peruse his notes thereupon, and to draw them to some such perfection as might carry to the reader the whole weight of his matter, without any diminution, even as fully as he declared it, so far forth as the notes which remain under his own hand might direct me. The which I most humbly commend to the favourable protection of your honour; whom I beseech so to accept my simple endeavour herein, as I have been careful to answer your honour's commandment, in giving forth some part of his labours to light.

In this discourse, as there are many good things fruitfully declared, the use and practice whereof is common to your honour with all Christians; so are there two matters, the one of usury, the other of antichrist, that is, of the bane and poison of the commonwealth, and of the infection and decay of the church, wherein he bestowed more pains to open them and make them manifest, that all men might know and abhor them, and beware of them. What hath been

wrought by these two mischiefs to the undoing in conscience and substance, and to the utter destruction of the souls and bodies of many thousand subjects of this realm, within these late years, it is, to the grief of all good men, too well known.

If therefore, in the duty of a good bishop, he standing in his watch hath descried these enemies to all civil and christian estates; and if now, so many years after his entrance into rest, by these means he call upon your good honour to step forth in fresh courage into the battle of the Lord of hosts, and to use and employ the great gifts of wisdom and authority which God hath bestowed upon you, and to excite and stir up others, the worthy and notable captains set over the people, to be a fenced wall between them and these so perilous monsters and dangerous enemies; what remaineth, but that your honour put to your hand, and do that for the comfort of God's people, which, besides her excellent majesty and her honourable council, no other can do, in giving life to

all such laws which have been devised by men of great
godliness and experience, and have been confirmed by
high authority to the suppression of usury and to
the setting forth of God's glory? The God of
glory and of power, who hath called
your honour to his service in high
place, strengthen you to do his
will, and grant you many and
prosperous days, to the
comfort of his church
and this? com-


Your honour's most humble to command,


['His, 1584: 1594 omits the word.)

[' Dr Garbrand, the friend of bishop Jewel, who left him his papers, was fellow of New College

Oxford, and afterwards prebendary of Sarum, and rector of North Crowley, Buckinghamshire, where he died in 1589.]




Gal. iv.

Paul, and Sylvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians, which

is in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ; grace be with you, and
peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul preached the gospel of our Saviour Jesus Christ 3 unto the Thessalonians, as he did also in other places, from Jerusalem round about to* Illyricum. But his travail had not like success in all places. For in Damascus the governor of the people under king Aretas laid watch in the city of the 2 Cor. xi. Damascenes, and would have caught him. At Lystra they stoned Paul, and drew Acts xiv. him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. At Philippi he and Silas were Acts xvi. drawn into the market-place unto the magistrates, and accused that they troubled their city; they were beaten with rods, and cast into prison. The Corinthians received the doctrine of the gospel, and made much of the professors thereof. But they fell soon, from their good beginning. They walked like men in envying, in strife, and divisions. Some called themselves after Paul, some after Apollo, some after Cephas, and some after Christ. They stirred contention about meats: they abused the Lord's supper; and they were doubtful of the resurrection of the dead. In like manner the church of God which was gathered at Rome grew proud and high-minded, and boasted themselves over the Jews. The Galathians forsook the good way of the gospel whereunto they were called, and wherein they did walk. They gave ear to false prophets. Therefore the apostle telleth them : "I am in fear of you, lest I have bestowed on you labour 6 in vain."

But the Thessalonians, after they had heard the glad tidings of the gospel, they received it greedily, and laid it up close and safe in their hearts. Albeit the Jews withstood them and vexed them sore, albeit false brethren used divers secret means to draw them from the love of the truth; yet they kept still their stedfastness, and could not be driven from their faith, neither by cruelty of persecution nor by subtilty of crafty persuasion. Paul being at Athens, a place far distant from thence, sendeth Timothy to know in what case they stood. So careful was he for that house which he had built, for the fire which he had kindled, for the grafts? which he had planted, and for the children which he begot among them. When Timothy made report of their constancy, that they continued stedfast in those things which they had learned, he writeth this epistle to commend them, and to exhort them to abide stedfast in their faith; that they become not like the foolish Israelites, which longed after the flesh-pots of Egypt, and were unmindful of their deliverance from bondage under Pharao; that they return not like filthy dogs to their vomit, and like unclean swine too their puddles of mire; that they look not back again after they have put their hands to the Lord's plough, and so make themselves unworthy the kingdom of God.

He giveth many lessons and instructions to godliness; that they would walk worthy of God, and bring forth the fruits of the gospel. There were among them that lived idly, and did trouble the church without a cause; whom he reproveth, willing them to be quiet, and to meddle with their own matters, and work with their hands. Others mourned over the dead without measure, even as if they had no hope; whom he instructeth in the resurrection, and comforteth with the

[^ Unto, 1594.)

[Saviour Christ, 1594.]
[ In, 1584, 1594.)
[ My labour, 1584, 1594.]

[? Graffes, 1583, 1684, 1594.]
[8 Once put, 1594.]

speech of the blessed coming of our Lord, when we which live shall be caught up to meet him, and so we shall ever be with the Lord. Others reasoned fondly of the latter day, when it should be, when the Son of God should appear, and when the world should have an end; as if man might reach to the knowledge hereof. But them also he reproveth, and warneth that they take care rather to watch and look for the Lord's coming, that they may be found ready, having their loins girded and their lamps burning.

Many are desirous to see the countenance of St Paul, to see his sword, or the reliques of his blood, which was shed at his death, or of his upper garment, or of his coat, or of the hair of his head; and for purpose to see such things many take painful pilgrimage to far places, where they are deceived. How much better may they be satisfied by reading the story of his life set down in the scriptures! In these his epistles, written to the churches of God, he is to be seen in more excellent shew than when he was yet in body. For here is to be seen his heart, filled with the Holy Ghost, and the care which he had for all saints; how he did travail in birth of them again, that Christ might be formed in them, and how he did wish himself separate from Christ for their sake. The matter of this epistle is plain, and treateth not of deep and profound mysteries. The manner of utterance which the apostle useth is open and evident. So that the whole epistle is full of sweet and wholesome doctrine; wherein the simplest may find great comfort.

“Paul, and Sylvanus, and Timotheus.” These two were companions unto Paul in his journeys, and in the work of his ministry: whom here he joineth in his letter to the congregation at Thessalonica, to witness their consent and agreement with him, that they all with one mouth, and with one hand and heart, set forth the glorious gospel of our Saviour Christ: and that therefore they also which are called to the fellowship of the gospel should be like-minded, being one body and one spirit in Christ Jesus, and the children of one Father, in whom there is no dissension, but all peace and consent and unity.

“Unto the church of the Thessalonians, which is in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ.” There are sundry sorts of churches. There is a church of the wicked, whereof the prophet saith: “I have hated the assembly of the evil, and have not companied with the wicked.” Two hundred and fifty captains, men of renown and famous in the congregation, joined themselves to Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. But Moses said unto Korah : “ Thou and all thy company are gathered together against the Lord.” The builders of the great tower of Babel were many in number, and consented to that they had imagined to do, thereby to get them a name; but the Lord did confound their language, and scattered them upon the face of the earth. The scribes and Pharisees and high priests held a council, and conferred among themselves; but against the Lord, and against his Christ. John is commanded to write unto the angel of the church of the Smyrnians: “These things saith he which is first and last, which was dead, and is alive. I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” They revile you, and speak all manner of evil against you for my name's sake. They charge you with teaching false+ doctrine, and say you have departed from the church; that they are the seed of Abraham, the children of promise, the true worshippers of God, and which walk in the steps of their forefathers. But their boast hereof is vain. It profiteth them nothing that Abraham was their father, that the covenant was made with them, that they were circumcised, that a law was given unto them. Let them not trust in their fathers: let them not trust in lying words, and say, “The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lords, this is the temple of the Lord.”. If they were Abraham's children, they would do the works of Abraham. If God were their Father, then would they love Christ his Son, and seek to set forth his glory. If they were of the sheep-fold of God, they would hear his voice. They are of their father the devil, and the lusts of their father they will do.

Psal. xxvi.

Num. xvi.

Gen. xi.

Acts iv.

Rev. ii.

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