He thanketh God for them, 4 and gathereth that they are elect, because his preaching at their
first connection was with diuine power, and they on the otherside receiued it with al ioy, not
withstanding the great persecution that was raised against them.
1. PAVL and Syluanus and Timothee to the Church of the Thessalonians in God the Father, and our Lord Iesvs Christ. Grace to you and peace.
2. ⋮ The Epistle vpon the 6. Sunday after the Epiphanie. We giue thankes to God alwaies for al you; making a memorie of you in our praiers without intermission,
3. mindful of the worke of your faith and labour, and of the charitie, & of the enduring of the hope of our Lord Iesvs Christ, before God and our Father:
4. knowing, Brethren beloued of God, your election:
5. that our Ghospel hath not been to you in word only, but in power & the holy Ghost, & in much fulnesse, as you know what manner of men we haue been among you for your sakes.
6. And you became Followers of vs.
Religious persons imitation of diuers holy men is the imitation of Christ himself.
S. Paul is bold to commend them for imitation of him, yea and to ioyne himself in that point with Christ, to be their paterne to walke after. Where without curiositie he nameth himself first, and our Lord afterward, because he was a more neer and ready obiect then Christ, who was not nor could be followed but through the preaching and conuersation of the Apostle, who was in their sight or hearing. And this imitation of some holy man or other, hath made so many Religious men of diuers Orders and Rules, al tending to the better imitation of Christ our Lord. See the like words of the Apostle, 1. Cor. 11,1 and Philip. 3,17. followers of vs, & of our Lord; receiuing the word in much tribulation, with ioy of the Holy Ghost:
7. so that you were made a paterne to al that beleeue in Macedonia & in Achaia.
8. For from you was bruited the word of our Lord: not only in Macedonia and in Achaia, but also in euery place, your faith which is to God-ward, is proceeded, so that it is not necessarie for vs to speake any thing.
9. For they themselues report of vs what manner of entring we had to you; and how you are turned to God ✟ In this & the like places the Heretikes maliciously and most falsely translate, construe, and apply al things meant of the Heathen idols, to the memories and images of Christ and his Saints, namely the English Bibles of the yeares 1562. 1577. See the Annotation 1. Io. 5,21. from Idols, to serue the liuing and true God,
10. and to expect his Sonne from Heauen (whom he raised vp from the dead) Iesvs, who hath deliuered vs from the wrath to come.