77. Sed quid est quoniam si quis non vult, et cetera? Estne hoc consilium vel praeceptum? Et videtur esse praeceptum, quia infra dicitur: si quis non obedierit verbo nostro, et cetera. Ergo omnes tenentur manibus operari. Qui igitur non operatur manibus, sed stat otiosus, peccat mortaliter.
77. But what does he mean when he says if any man will not work, neither let him eat? Is this a counsel or a precept? And it seems to be a precept, because it says below, and if any man does not obey our word by this epistle, note that man and do not keep company with him. Therefore all are bound to work with their hands. Therefore whoever does not work with his hands, but stands about idle, sins mortally.
Respondeo. Dicendum est quod est praeceptum, sed aliquid praecipitur dupliciter: simpliciter, vel sub conditione. Simpliciter praecipitur quod per se est necessarium ad salutem: et haec sunt opera virtutum. Sub conditione vero, ut quando talis est casus, quod sine opere manuali praeceptum servari non potest. Praecipitur autem homini quod corpus suum sustentet, alias enim est homicida sui ipsius. Gen. II, 16: de omni ligno Paradisi comede, et cetera. Ex praecepto ergo tenetur homo corpus suum nutrire, et similiter ad omnia, sine quibus corpus non potest vivere, tenemur. Unde quicumque non habet alias, unde corpus sustentet licite, vel possessione, vel licito negotio, tenetur laborare, ne furetur. Eph. IV, 28: qui furabatur, iam non furetur, magis autem laboret operando manibus suis, et cetera. Est ergo praeceptum, quando aliter non potest licite vivere. Unde dicit si quis non vult operari, nec manducet. Est ergo alterum duorum necessarium, ut homo possit manducare, scilicet vel quod habeat possessionem, vel quod licite procuret. Ps. CXXVII, 2: labores manuum tuarum quia manducabis, et cetera. I Thess. IV, 11: operamini manibus vestris, sicut praecepimus vobis, et cetera.
I respond. One should say that it is a precept, but something can be laid down as a precept in two ways: either simply, or given a certain condition. Whatever is necessary for salvation is laid down as a precept simply; and these are works of the virtues. But something can be laid down as a precept under a certain condition when, for example, the situation is such that without manual labor a precept cannot be kept. Now it is a precept for man that he sustain his own body, for otherwise he commits homicide against himself. Eat of every tree of paradise (Gen 2:16). Therefore a man is bound by precept to nourish his body, and we are similarly bound to everything without which the body cannot live. So anyone who does not have some other means of lawfully sustaining his body, whether it be possessions, or a lawful business, is bound to work, lest he turn to thievery. Whoever was a thief, let him steal no more, but rather labor by working with his own hands (Eph 4:28). It is therefore a precept when a man cannot otherwise lawfully live. Hence he says if any man will not work, neither let him eat. Therefore one of two things is necessary for a man to be able to eat, namely that he either have possessions or that he lawfully obtain them. You shall eat the works of your hands (Ps 127:2). Work with your hands, as we commanded you (1 Thess 4:11).
78. Deinde cum dicit audivimus, etc., ponit necessitatem huius praecepti, quia Apostolus dicit hoc non tam ex officio docentis, quam propter vitium gentis. Ideo
78. Then when he says for we have heard, he says why this precept is necessary, for the Apostle says this not so much on the basis of a duty to teach as because of the people’s fault. And so
primo ponit culpam quae inducit necessitatem praecepti;
first, he sets out the sin that makes the precept necessary;
secundo adhibet remedium, ibi his autem qui, et cetera.
second, he applies a remedy, at now we charge.
79. Dicit ergo audivimus, etc.; quasi dicat: ideo non occulto hoc praeceptum, quia audivimus quosdam, et cetera. Anima enim hominis semper oportet quod circa aliquid occupetur, et ideo necesse est quod otiosi inquietudinem patiantur circa illicita. I Thess. c. IV, 11: operam detis ut quieti sitis, et cetera. Et addit sed curiose agentes, scilicet de negotiis aliorum. Prov. XXI, 25: desideria occidunt pigrum.
79. He says, therefore, for we have heard, as though to say: the reason I do not hide this precept is that we have heard there are some among you who walk disorderly, working not at all. For a man’s soul must always be occupied with something, and so necessarily the idle suffer from an unrest regarding unlawful things. Endeavor to be quiet (1 Thess 4:11). And he adds but curiously meddling, namely in the affairs of others. Desires kill the lazy (Prov 21:25).
80. Deinde adhibet remedium, cum dicit his autem qui, et cetera. Et
80. Then he applies a remedy, when he says now we charge. And
primo ex parte peccantium,
first, on the side of those who are sinning;
secundo ex parte aliorum, ibi vos autem, et cetera.
second, on the side of the others, at but you, brethren.
81. Dicit ergo his qui sunt eiusmodi denuntiamus severe, ut praelatus, et obsecramus caritative, ut pater eorum, ut panem suum, non alienum sed debitum sibi, scilicet licite acquisitum, cum silentio, id est, sine inquietudine, non discurrendo, manducet. Is. XXXII, 17: cultus iustitiae, silentium. Ez. XXXIII, 29: multam malitiam docuit otiositas.
81. He says, therefore, now we severely charge those who are such, speaking as a prelate, and beseech them lovingly, as their father, that they would eat their own bread, not another’s bread but what is due them, namely what has been lawfully acquired, with silence, i.e., without being troublesome, without running about. The service of justice is silence (Isa 32:17). Idleness teaches great wickedness (Ezek 33:29).
82. Deinde cum dicit vos autem, etc. ex parte aliorum non peccantium duplex adhibet remedium.
82. Then when he says but you, brethren, he applies two remedies on the side of the others who are not sinning.
Primo scilicet quod non cessent benefaciendo,
First, that they should not cease doing good;
secundo quod illos corripiant, ibi quod si quis, et cetera.
second, that they correct them, at and if any man.
83. Dicit ergo vos autem, etc., quasi dicat: nolite deficere benefaciendo, licet otiosi abutantur. Gal. V: bonum facientes, non deficiamus, et cetera. Et hoc necessarium est, etiam si operentur manibus, et non deesset illis aliquid, quia necessaria est aliis subventio.
83. He says, therefore, but you, brethren, do not be weary in doing good, as though to say: do not grow weary in doing good, even though the idle are abusing it. Doing good, we do not grow weary (Gal 6:9). And this is necessary even if they are already working with their hands and do not lack anything, because it is necessary to bring aid to others.
84. Deinde cum dicit quod si quis, etc., innuit quod corrigantur, et
84. Then when he says and if any man, he commands that they be corrected, and
primo ostendit quo ordine puniantur;
first, he shows the order in which they should be punished;
secundo ostendit effectum poenae, ibi ut confundantur;
second, he shows the effect of the punishment, at that he may be ashamed;
tertio finem, ibi et nolite, et cetera.
third, the goal, at yet do not esteem.
85. In ordine vero, primo, ponit culpam, secundo eius manifestationem, tertio eius punitionem.
85. In order therefore he sets out first the sin, second its manifestation, and third its punishment.
Culpa est inobedientia; et ideo dicit quod si quis non obedierit. I Reg. XV, 23: quasi peccatum ariolandi est repugnare, et quasi scelus idololatriae nolle acquiescere.
The sin is disobedience, and so he says and if any man does not obey. Because it is like the sin of witchcraft, to rebel: and like the crime of idolatry, to refuse to obey (1 Sam 15:23).
Manifestatio et convictio ponitur, cum dicit hunc per epistolam notate, id est, manifestate, sed per veritatis inquisitionem. Iob c. XXIX, 16: causam quam nesciebam, diligentissime investigabam.
He sets out its manifestation and proof when he says by this epistle, note that man, i.e., make him known, but through a search for the truth. The cause I did not know I diligently investigated (Job 29:16).
Poena eorum est sententia excommunicationis; unde dicit et non commisceamini cum illo, et cetera. I Cor. V, 11: cum huiusmodi nec cibum sumere. II Io. v. 10: nolite recipere eum in domum, nec ave ei dixeritis.
Their punishment is the sentence of excommunication; hence he says and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. With such a man do not even eat (1 Cor 5:11). Do not receive him in your home or say ‘hail’ to him (2 John 10).
Hic nota quod excommunicatio infligitur pro inobedientia; debet tamen esse convictus. Unde dicit si quis non obedierit, per epistolam vestram, hunc notate, id est, significate nobis, ut puniatur: et tamen vos interim ne commisceamini cum illo.
Here notice that excommunication is imposed for disobedience, but the man punished should be proven guilty. Hence he says if any man does not obey, by your epistle note him, i.e., communicate it to us that he may be punished. And in the meantime, do not keep company with him.
86. Sed effectus poenae est, ut confundatur, et ex hoc resipiscat. Eccli. IV, 25: est confusio adducens peccatum, et est confusio adducens gloriam.
86. But the effect of the punishment is that he may be ashamed and so recover. There is an embarrassment that leads to sin, and there is an embarrassment that leads to glory (Sir 4:25).
87. Finis autem et intentio debet esse eius correctio, quam intendit caritas; unde dicit et nolite invicem existimare, quia non debet fieri ex livore odii, sed ex studio caritatis; quasi dicat: quod ipsum vitatis, non fiat ex odio inimicitiae. Matth. V, 44: diligite inimicos vestros, benefacite his qui oderunt vos. Et ideo dicit sed corripite ut fratrem. In quo ostenditur caritas. Ps. CXXXII, v. 1: ecce quam bonum, et quam iucundum habitare fratres in unum, et cetera.
87. Now the goal and intention should be his correction, which love intends, so he says yet do not esteem him as an enemy, because his correction should not arise from hateful spite but from a loving eagerness. You should not avoid him out of the sort of hatred you would have for an enemy. Love your enemies, and do good to those who hate you (Matt 5:44). And this is why he says but admonish him as a brother. This shows love. Behold how good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity (Ps 132:1).
88. Deinde cum dicit ipse autem, etc., concludit epistolam. Et
88. Then when he says now may the Lord, he concludes the epistle. And
primo ponitur conclusio;
first, his conclusion is set out;
secundo salutatio, quae est quasi epistolae sigillum, ibi salutatio, et cetera.
second, a greeting, which is a kind of seal on the epistle, at the salutation.
Iterum prima in duas, quia eis
And the first is in two parts, because
primo optat dona Dei,
first, he wishes God’s gifts for them;
secundo ipsum Deum, ibi Dominus sit, et cetera.
second, he wishes God himself for them, there at the Lord be.
89. Quantum ad primum dicit ipse, et cetera. Deus dicitur esse pacis quantum ad duo. Pax enim consistit in duobus, ut scilicet homo concordet ad seipsum, et ad alios. Et neutrum potest haberi sufficienter nisi in Deo: quia sibi non concordat sufficienter nisi in Deo et minus aliis quia tunc affectus hominis concordat in seipso quando quod appetitur secundum unum, sufficit quantum ad omnes, quod nihil potest esse praeter Deum. Ps. CII, 5: qui replet in bonis desiderium tuum. Quaecumque enim alia, praeter Deum, non sufficiunt ad omnes, sed Deus sufficit. Io. XVI, 33: in me pacem habebitis, et cetera. Item homines non uniuntur inter se, nisi in eo quod est commune inter eos, et hoc est maxime Deus.
89. As regards the first he says now may the Lord of peace himself give you everlasing peace in every place. God is said to be the God of peace in relation to two things. For peace consists of two things, namely that a man be in harmony with himself and that he be in harmony with others. And both can only be had sufficiently in God. For apart from God a man does not have harmony with himself, much less with others, because a man’s emotions are in harmony with themselves when what is sought to fulfill one desire suffices to fulfill all desires, and nothing but God can do this. Who satisfies your desires with good things (Ps 102:5). For anything else but God will not be enough for all desires, but God is enough. In me you have peace (John 16:33). Similarly, men are only united amongst themselves in that which is had in common among them, and this is most of all God.
Et ideo dicit Deus pacis det, non pacem temporalem, sed sempiternam, id est, spiritualem, quae hic incipit, et ibi perficitur. Ps. CXLVII, 3: qui posuit fines tuos pacem, et cetera. Et hoc in omni loco, et in toto mundo apud fideles.
And this is why he says may the Lord of peace himself give, not temporal peace, but everlasting peace, i.e., spiritual peace, which begins here and is completed there. Who makes your ends peace (Ps 147:3). And this in every place, and among the faithful in all the world.
90. Quantum ad secundum dicit Dominus sit cum omnibus vobis, quia nihil aliud bene habetur, nisi ipse habeatur per fidem et caritatem.
90. As regards the second, he says the Lord be with you all, because a man has nothing else well unless he has God through faith and love.
91. Salutatio mea, hoc dicit propter infideles pervertentes epistolas eius. Gal. ult.: videte qualibus litteris scripsi vobis manu mea, et cetera. Quod est signum, et cetera.
91. The salutation of Paul, with my own hand. He says this because of unbelievers who were twisting his epistles. See with what kind of letters I write to you with my own hand (Gal 6:11). Which is the sign in every epistle. So I write.
Gratia, id est, gratuitum donum Dei, quod gratos vos reddit Deo, et cetera. Io. I, 17: gratia et veritas per Iesum Christum facta est.
The grace, i.e., God’s gratuitous gift that renders us pleasing to God; of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).