Ver. 1. Vain. Our entrance among you was not in vain fables, or lies; our preaching was not in trifles: (Œcumenius) or rather was not without fruit. Others have spoken of it every where; but why refer you to others when yourselves know that it was every where followed by abundance of good works, faith, patience? &c. Estius.
Ver. 3. Our exhortation was not proceeding from error.† That is, was not by promoting errors, or uncleanness. Wi.
[†] V. 3. De errore, &c. i.e. ex errore, ek planhV, &c.
Ver. 4. As we were approved of and chosen by God to announce his gospel, we have tried to correspond with his designs; and we speak in a spirit of disinterestedness, not to please men, but God. Being chosen by God, it is to him we must render an account. Have we spoken to you in words of flattery? Have we disguised the gospel truth, or concealed its austerity? Have we made piety a cloak for avarice? &c. Calmet.
Ver. 5. Nor taken an occasion of covetousness. Not so as to make the gospel a cloak for gain-sake. Wi.
Ver. 7. But we became little,† by our carriage, and by our humility and kindness. In the Greek, made ourselves gentle, good natured, &c. Wi.
[†] V. 7. Parvuli: and so nhpioi, in divers Greek copies; but in the common copies, hpioi, placidi.
Ver. 8. Because you were become most dear to us. Lit. desiring you.† S. Chrys. admires the tender expressions of love in S. Paul. Wi.
[†] V. 8. Desiderantes vos, imeiromenoi umwn. See Legh's Crit. Sacra.
Ver. 10. You are witnesses. We must necessarily conclude that the apostle speaks this not from vain glory, or personal vanity; but in the just right of defending his own character against the aspersions of enemies, and lest the faith of any might be staggered by the calumnies. In such cases self-praise is not only lawful, but frequently an imperative duty, if confined within the limits of truth. A.
Ver. 13. The word† of the hearing of God, which can only signify the word of God you heard from us. Wi.
[†] V. 13. Verbum auditus Dei, logon akohV.
Ver. 16. To full up the measure of their sins, after which God's justice would punish them. Wi.
--- The Jews filled up the measure of their iniquities by the opposition they every where manifested to the religion of Christ. The earliest Fathers of the Church testify that they dispersed people into every nation to blaspheme the name of Christ; and hence sprang the evil fame which Christians bore among the pagans. See the apologies of S. Justin, Tertullian, Origen, &c.
--- For the wrath of God is come upon them to the end. It seems a foretelling of their entire destruction, which happened not long after under Vespasian and Adrian. Wi.
Ver. 17. Being taken away from† you. Lit. become desolate, because of our separation from you. Wi.
[†] V. 17. Desolati a vobis, aporfanisJenteV.
Ver. 18. Satan hindered us. That is, has raised such an aversion to me among the pagans and Jews of Thessalonica, that my friends do not think it safe I should come among you. I am now detained from you by violence; but when this life is past, you shall form my joy and my crown. I will present you at the tribunal of my Saviour, and say: Behold me and my children; behold the fruits of my labours, the proofs of my fidelity, and my claims for a recompense. Calmet.
--- If the apostle here calls his disciples his hope, joy, glory, why may we not call the blessed Virgin Mary, or other saints, their joy and hope, for the special confidence they have in their prayers?