Anna Domini cir. 61. I. PETER. Anna Domini dr. 61.
and it rained not on die earth by the space of three sinner from the error of his way shall - save a soul
years and six months. from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
18 And he prayed apin, and the heaven gave
rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. atpiratioml MAY these concluding words be deeply im-
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, pressed on all our minds, and excite us, in our sphere and sta-
and one convert hint ; tion, to labour that we may be instrumental iii converting sin-
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the ners, and thereby in saving souls from death and ruin. Amen.
passions," must imply a state liable to the irregular workings of I conclude this epistle with the following exhortation ; " Bre-
passions, a state not ffee from the sinful infirmities of nature ; thren, if any of you do err from the truth, and tine convert him,"
otherwise, it is an instance foreigl to the purpose. It does by no through the blessing of God on his earnest endeavours, " let hint
means answer the -end designed, which is to encourage the heart, know, that he that is successful in this way shall save a soul from
and strengthen the faith, even of frail, N-veak, ofihnding creatures. death," which is a matter of infinite importance, " and shall hide,
" He prayed that it might not rain," &c. His success ought to or prevent, a multitude of sins."
encourage praying souls in nil ages.
THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF
CHAP. I. and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for
1-7 The nature and benefit (.)f trials, and the joy by which you,
they are counterbalanced. S, 9 Faith in Jesus is spoken of, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through
love to him, and rejoicing in his salvation. 10-12 7 -he pro- faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last
phets looked forward to gospel times. 13-1 7 This should time.
animate Christians to a holy conduct. 15 - 25 They are re- 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a
deemed by the blood of Christ, and born again of incorruptible
season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through ma,
nifold temptations :
p ETER, scattered throughoutChrist, toGa-
an apostle of Jesus
the 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more
precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be
latia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, tried with fire, might be found unto praise and ho-
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God nour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ :
the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, S Whom having not seen, ye love ; in whom,
unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of ,Jesus though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye re-
Christ : Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. joice with joy unspeakable and full of glory :
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the sal-
Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant vation of your souls.
mercy bath begotten us again unto a lively hope 10 Of which salvation the prophets have en-
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, quired and searched diligently, who prophesied of
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, the grace that should come unto you :
PETER.] This Epistle was probably written about the year of of any good thing foreseen in them. They bad before them an
Christ sixty-one ; and the evident design of it was, to excite the inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and uncading, which was
Christian converts in various parts of the world, to maintain a con- safely reserved in heaven for them; while, on the other hand, they
versation, in all respects, worthy of the gospel ; and to support were secured to the possession of it, " being kept, as with a gar-
and comfort them under the persecutions and trials which they rison, by the power of God, through faith, unto that salvation
now endured, or might endure; and this the apostle does, by the which was ready to be revealed, in its full glory, in the last time."
-noblest conaidcrations which the religion of Jesus can suggest. In which salvation, says the apostle, " ye greatly rejoice," and
CHAP. 1. Ver. 1 9. Peter, an apostle qrJesus Christ, &c. This
- have done so in times past, though now for a little season, if God
Epistle is addressed to the strangers who were scattered abroad sees it to be necessary, ye are in heaviness through manifold
through various countries, the elect and chosen of God according temptations and persecutions. But the intention of these is, " that
to his foreknow7e lge, to whom is known all his works from the the trial of year thith, which is far more precious and valuable
beginning of the world. They were chosen to salvation by means than gold which perishes, may be found, in the issue, to praise,
of the sanctification of the Spirit, to prepare them for the hea- and honour, and glory, in the revelation of Jesus Christ." This
venly world, chosen to evangelical obedience, and interested in will certainly be the case, " when ye receive the end of your
pardoning mercy, through the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus faith in the complete salvation of your souls."
Christ. The apostle prayed that grace and peace might be mul- Ver. 10-12. (if which salvation the prophets have inquired, fice.]
tiplied unto them. lie then breaks out in strains of praise and Their minds were attentively fixed on the glorious things to be
thanksgiving, for the great things which God had done for them, accomplished by Christ, and revealed in gosp& times ; searching,
in that they were begotten again to a lively hope of heavenly fe- with the deepest reflection, " what manner or time the Spirit of
licity, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ ; and all this was ac- Christ which was in them did signify, when he testified long be-
tording to the abundant mercy of God, mid not in consequence forehand of the amazing sufferings of Christ, and of the unutterable
Atm Domini .cir. 61. - CHAPTER H. Anno Domini dr. 61.
ii Searching what, or what manner of time the the brethren, see that ye love one another with a
Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, pure heart fervently :
when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but
and the glory that should follow. of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth
it Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto and abideth for ever.
themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of
which are now reported unto you by them that have man as the flower of grass. The grass witheretb,
preached the gospel unto you with the holy Ghost and the flower thereof falleth away
sent down from heaven ; which things the angels 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.
desire, to look into. And this is the word which by the gospel is preach.
Wherefbre gird up the loins of your mind, be ed unto you.
so',;(2r, and hope to the end for the grace that is to
be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus 30"piration..1 MAy we be interested in the blessings he re
Christ ; enumerated. May we know ourselves to be begotten and bona
14 As obedient children, not flishioning your- again to a divine and spiritual life, and to a substantial and
lively hope of that glorious and 1111f:ding; inheritance which is
selves according to the former lusts in your igno-
here described. And may we gird up the loins of our mind,
rance : be sober and hope to the cud, for the grace that is to be brought
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so unto us at the revelation of Jesus Christ. May we pass the
be ye holy in all manner of conversation ; time of our sojourning here in fear, under the consideration of
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy ; for I am our being redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, as of a
holy. lamb without blemish and without spot; to whom be glory for
17 And if ye call on the Father, who without
respect of persons judgeth according to every man's
work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 1-25 The apostle exhorts those to whom he writes to receive
the word unth meekness, to live by faith, to shine as lights
its Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not re- among those who were still in darkness, and to be careful to
deemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, practise relative duties.
from your vain conversation received by tradition
from your liithers ;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a
W HEREFORE laying aside all malice, and
all guile, and hypocrisies, and, envies, and
all evil speakings,
lamb without blemish and without spot :
20 Who verily was foreordained before the foun- 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of
dation of the world, but was manifest in these last the word, that ye may grow thereby :
times for you, 3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gra-
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised cious.
him up from the dead, and gave him glory ; that 4 To whom coming as unto a living stone, disal-
your faith and hope might be in God. lowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and pre-
22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying cious,
the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spi-
and permanent glory which should follow." Unto whom it was 11 redemption; for ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as
revealed, among other thing:4, that it was not to themselves, but silver and gold, from your vain and trifling conversation, received
to us, that they ministered; for they knew, that men, in these happy by tradition from your fathers ; 4 4 but with the precious blood of
times, would have a more complete understanding of these sub- j; Christ," the Son of God, " as of a lamb without blemish and
jects than they themselves. Think yourselves happy then, that without spot," free from the least degree of defilement ; " who
these great things are more clearly and expressly declared unto indeed was foreappointed, or foreordained," to the great wor k,
you, by those who have published the gospel among you, with the " from the foundation of the world," but, by the preaching of the
authority and attestation of the 1-IolyGhost sent down from hen- gospel, " made manifest in these last times for you ;" who, by the
yen. These things are in themselves' so great, that the angels in power of his grace, are brought to trust in God, who raised hint
heaven are amazed at them, and, with earnest desire, " bow down from the dead, and gave hiai such glory as no tong can dps , ribe;
to look into them." j that so your faith and hope might be in God, the Author of all
Ver. 13, &c. Tritery-iire gird op the loins 9f gour mind, &T.] good to you. Now, seeing that, by an application to the fountai n.
:13 wt strenuous exertions, gird up i thus set open, " ye have PRri'cicd your souls in oheyim?; th e t i. oth Thatyoumecpblfh
the loins of your mind, he resolutely sober and temperate, watch- . through the Spirit unto uMtagned love of the brethren," let it b e
ing agaimt every thing that wetdd ensnare you, and hoping stead- , your study and care, to love one another with a pure heart fer-
fastly to the cud, " for the wace that is to be hronOtt unto you yently," and abidingly. This in Py I exnected from you, as
at the revelation of Jesus ch rist." D em ean yourselves as-obedis " being horn again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,"
eat children in the family of God ; " not fashioning yourselves ac- even by the efficacy of " the word of Cod, which lives and abides
cording to the former lusts," which you indulged in the time of for ever." For as the prophet declares, Isa. xl. 6, " All flesh is
your ignorance, when you knew not God ; " but as he that has , as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the ,grass ; the
called you by grace is !icily, even so h e ye h oly in all manner grass withereth, and the flowei thereof quickly fallein ; but the
of conversation ;" for ye know that it is written, '' Be ye holy; word of the Lord abideth For ever," in force and vigour, nor can
fir I am holy," Lev. xi. Since ye are employed in calling any thing prevent its efficacy. " .A_nd this is the 7,vord which is
ouo.1 Goa Hw Father of all, who, without partiality to Jews or !' j preached to you in the gospel of our Redeemer."
Gentiles, " judgeth according to every man's work, pass the ti " i Ver. I iffh:.TsfrsIi all malice, S- c.1
of your sojourning here in humble fear " and caution. As a far- As you throw aside an old gor e . eat which you have worn too long,
ther inducement to this, remember the wonders of grace in your and twe Ltertnutcd never to put on again, even so, lay aside all
Anno Domini cir. 61. L PETER. /IMO Doinii,i cir. 61.
ritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spi- sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and
ritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. for the praise of them that do well.
6 . Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, 15 For so is the will of God, that with well
Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish
precious : and he that believeth on him shall not be men :
confounded. 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is pre- of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
cious : but unto them which be disobedient, the 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood.
stone which. the builders disallowed, the same is Fear God. Honour the king.
made the head of the corner, 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all
8- And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of of- fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to
fence, even to them which stumble at the word, be- the froward.
ing disobedient : whereunto also they were ap- 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for con-
pointed. science toward God endure grief, suffering wrong-
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priest- fully.
hood, an holy nation, a peculiar people ; that ye 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted
should shew forth the praises of him who hath for your faults ye shall take it patiently ? but if;
called you out of darkness into his marvellous when ye do wel and suffer for it, ye take it pa-
light: tiently, this is acceptable with God.
10 Which in time past were not a people, but 21 For even hereunto were ye called : because
are now the people of God : which had not ob- Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example,
tained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. that ye should follow his steps :
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers 22 Wlio did no sin, neither was guile found in
and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war his mouth :
against the soul ; 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again;
12 Having your conversation honest among the when he suffered, he threatened not ; but com-
Gentiles : that, whereas they speak against you as mitted himself to him that judged' righteously :
evildoers, they may by your good works, which 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own
they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visita- body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins,
tion. should live unto righteousness : by whose stripes
13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man ye were healed.
for the Lord's sake : whether it be to the king, as 25 For ye were as sheep going astray ; but are
supreme ; now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of
14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are your souls.
malice and all guile, and all hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil be the great, the only foundation of his church. But ye, brethren,
speakings. These should be resolutely laid aside, as inconsistent who unfeignedly believe in Jesus, " are a chosen generation, a
with the nature of the gospel; and, with the simplicity of new- royal priesthood," bearing the sanctity of priests, and the dignity
born babes, regenerated by divine grace, desire the sincere, the of kings, " an holy nation, a peculiar people," set apart for the
uncorrupted milk of the word, as your proper nourishment, that service of God, " that ye should show forth the virtues and the
ye may grow thereby. This may be expected from you, " if so praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvel-
be," or since, " ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious," (Greek lous light. Ye once were not a people, but ye are now the people
Text.) " Unto whom ye are to he continually corning, as to a of God ;" ye once lay in the ruins of the Gentile world, and had
ing stone," who gives spiritual life to those who are joined to him ; not obtained mercy, but now ye have obtained it. " Dearly be-
who is disallowed and rejected indeed of men, but chosen of God loved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims in the world," sit
and precious ; ye also, as lively, or living, stones, being conformed loose to present things, and " abstain from fleshly lusts, which
to Christ, are to be built up as a spiritual house, consecrated to make war against the immortal soul." Let your conversation be
the service of God. And, in another view, ye may be considered upright and honest among your neighbours, the Gentiles ; that,
as a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices unto God, whereas they speak evil of you as evil doers, they may ho con-
which are acceptable by Jesus Christ. You know it is contained vinced of the contrary, and may glorify Goa on your behalf: The
in scripture, Isaiah xxviii. 16 " _Behold," Sx. These words un-
, exhortations to relative duties are, in general, the same with those
Aloubtedly refer to the Messiah, as the found.nion of all our hope. we have met with several times in Paul's epsties. " For this is
" Unto you theseforc which believe he is precious ;" nay, even thankworthy, if a man, for conscience towards God, endure grief,
preciousness itself, (Greek Text.) You rest your salvation on suffering wrongfully." if when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye
this foundation-stone, as knowing its value, and the safety it affords. take it patiently, this is grateful before God, and acceptable in his
But to those who are disobedient, " the stone which the builders sight. And, indeed, " we are hereunto called, because Christ
yejected is become the head of the corner ;" for ail their opposi- himself," pure and holy as he was, " suffered for us, leaving us an
tion to it is vain. To them "it is a stone of stumbling,aml a rock of example that we should walk in his steps."
offence," even to them that stumble at the word, which contains 'Per. 611., &e. Who his own seIf Sic.] The words are very for-
the revelation of the divine will ; they stumble at it, through the cible ; lie bare—himself bare—our sins—in his own body. They
pride and prejudices of their hearts, being disobedient. The conse- seem particularly intended, one wohid imagine, to make the article
quence of this must be their ruin, according to what the Lord had re- of Christ's suffering in our stead clear beyond all misapprehen-
pcatedly said in his word. He had purposed, he had res,lved, and sion, and sore beyond all dispute. This is conformable to a great
constantly declared, that those who finally reject Christ must number of other testimonies.—" Messiah shall be cut off," says
perish. This seems to be the plain mooning of these words, " they Daniel ; " but not for himself:" If it is asked, For whom then,
were appointed " to this. It was the righteous determination of and for what, slitill he be cut off? Another prophet answers, in
God, as early as his first purpo;,:e by which he eraained his Son to the name ofhmi aaster, 44 For the transgression of may people Wail
Anno DOMini cir. 61. CHAPTER III. Anno Domini cir. 61.
aqtration.1 MAY we receive the word of God with the whose daughter ye are, as long as ye do well, and
simplicity of new-born babes, desiring to be fed with it, as they are not afraid with any amazement.
desire the breast, that we may grow thereby, in knowledge,
faith, love, and holiness. May Christ be ever more and more
7 Likewise, ve husbands, dwell with them ac-
precious to our souls, while others treat him with neglect and cording to knowledge, giving honour unto die wife,
contempt. May our hearts be suitably affected with a sense of as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs toge-
the divine goodness, in calling us to be a people, who were not a ther of the grac of life ; that your prayers be not.
people, and in esteeming us beloved, who had nothing lovely hindered.
in us. He hath called us, we trust, out of darkness into his 8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compas-
marvellous light, and, as such, may it be our care to show
forth his praise. May the love of Christ, in bearing our sins in
sion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be
his own body on the tree, ever fill us with astonishment, and courteous :
constrain us to love and serve him with our whole hearts. Be 9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for rail-
came, as the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, to seek and to save ing : but contrariwise ,blessing ; knowing that ye
that which was lost. May we return, and ever abide steadfast in are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a bless-
our adherence to him. Amen. ing.
CHAP. III. 10 For he that will love life, and see good days,
1-7 Wives are exhorted to submit themselves to their husbands, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips
and husbands to treat their wires with tenderness. 8-17 Per- that they speak no guile :
suasives to an inoffensive and useful life, and to steadfastness 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good ; let him
in religion. 18 22 The example of Christ again urged.
seek peace, and ensue it.
IKEWISE, ye wives, be in subjection to your 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the right-
TA own husbands ; that, if any obey not the eous, nd his ears are open unto their prayers : but
word, they also may without the word be won by the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
the conversation of the wives ; 13 And who is he that will harm you, Wye be
2 While they behold your chaste conversation followers of that which is good ?
coupled with fear. 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake,
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward happy are ye : and be not afraid of their terror,
adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of neither be troubled ;
gold, or of putting on of apparel ; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts :
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in and be ready always to give an answer to every
that which is not corruptible, even the ornament man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in
of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of you with meekness and fear :
God of great price. 16 Having a good conscience ; that, whereas
5 For after this manner in the old time the holy they speak evil of you, as of evil doers, they may be
women also, who trusted in God, adorned them- ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation
selves, being in subjection unto their own hus- in Christ.
bands : 17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that
6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord : ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
he stricken." This article being of the last importance, it is re- Ver. 3-6. Whose adorning let it not be, Sze.] Let it not be
peated, it is confirmed, it is explained, with the most remarkable merely external, nor consist in the plaiting and braiding of the
particularity, us that on which hangs all human hope. The sacred hair, or putting chains of gold about the neck, or in wearing of
writers, not only assert this doctrine, but use every diversity of sumptuous and costly apparel. But, ye wives, let your adorning
speech, in order to give it the fullest evidence, and the strongest consist in a well regulated temper of mind, and in having your
establishment. The end to be answered by the Redeemer's death, hearts rightly formed ; for " a meek and quiet spirit is in the sight
among other important purposes, was, " that we being dead to sin of God of great price." This has long been the prevaiE,Ig care
should live unto righteousness ; by whose stripes ye yourseives of those who belong to the family of (;ocl for so the holy women
were healed," according to the declaration of the propact, Isaiah of eL.11, who trusted in him, adorned theiaselves, being in subjection
liii.1-6 ; " For ye were as sheep going astray," arid must have to their own husbands. Thus .7;zn-ali obeyed Abraham, calling him
fallen a prey to the roaring lion that sought to devour yen ; but ye her lord, though she herself has been held in veneration in an
have been sought out by the Good Shepherd, who giveth his life ages ; wilose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not
for the sheep; and, through his mercy, ye have been brought back, meanly terrified with any amazement, so as to be induced to do any
and haVe returned to him, who is the Shepherd and itishop of thing inconsistent with your character. Fortitude, in all cases of
your souls, who has graciously received you under his care, and IS 61 . great importance to you.
will maintain that inspection over you which will be your etecnal or. 7, Likewise, .4 ,e husbands, dwell with them, &c.] Live
security. with them in such a manner as becomes those who have the know-
CHA i. HI. Ver. 1, 2. Likewise, Ne wives, be in suYection, &e.] ledge of the will of God, and of the gospel of Christ. The wife is
The apostle next gives directions to Christian wives and husbands, the weaker vessel, incapable of great hardship and fatigue, and
respecting their dutiful behaviour, as a matter ofgreat importance, sab,je n t to many infirmities ; yet due honoar and respect should be
for the credit of that holy religion which they profess. In general, F 11'211 to hen. You should consider yourselves as being heirs toge-
married women are exhorted to be subject to their own husbands, ther nr the grace of life, and hi; em such harmony and love with
in all lawful things, Gen. iii. 16. 1 Con. vii. 10-16, and xi. 3-16. each other, that your r ay.ars be not hindered, nor the pleasure of
This must be attended to with care, that they may adorn the devotion spoiled, by any uaLind or improper behaviour. "
gospel ; and if their husbands be unconverted persons, their de- be ye all in one mind, hex dig sympathy one with another ; at all
sign should be to win upon them, that, if any obey not the word, times, love as brethren, and be Ji ii ain't courteous." Never re-
they may be gained to a good opinion of religion, by the cha:,te, turn evil for evil, and reproach for reimatch ; but, on the contrary,
modest, and holy conversation of their wives. return a blessing' and a p; ayar or the language of unkindness,
Anno Domini eir. 61. I. PETER. Anno Domini cir. 61.
18 For Christ also bath once sufferea for sins, the same mind : for he that bath suffered in the
the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to flesh hath ceased from sin ;
God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his
by the Spirit ; time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will
19 By which also he went and preached unto of God.
the spirits in prison ; 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we
the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine,
while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries :
eight souls were saved by water. 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not
21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil
also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of you:
of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience 5 Who shall give account to him that is ready
toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ : to judge the quick and the dead.
22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right 6 For for this cause was the gospel preached
hand of God ; angels and authorities and powers also to them that are dead, that they might be
being made subject unto him. judged according to men in the flesh, but live ac-
cording to God in the spirit.
25310itiOn.] We would be seriously concerned to exercise 7 But the end of all things is at hand : be ye
'a conscience void of offence towards God and man, knowing therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
that nothing can be so well opposed to the enmity of men's 8 And above all things have fervent charity
minds against the truth, as the holy lives of its professors. May among yourselves : for charity shall cover the multi-
we be enabled to put to shame all those who falsely accuse us, tude of sins.
by our good conversation in Christ. And may we always rest
satisfied, that it is better to suffer for well doing, than for evil
9 Use hospitality one to another without grudg-
CHAP. IV. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so
1-6 We should cease from sin, since Christ hath suffered for
minister the same one to another, as good stewards
it, and live holy lives in expectation of a faturejudgment. of the manifold grace of God.
7-1 1 Exhortations to sobriety, watchfidness, love, and hos- 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles
pitality. 12 19 Encouragements to patience, and confidence
- of God ; if any man minister, let him do it n of the
in God. ability which God giveth : that God in all . b'rigs-
FOR ASMUCH then as Christ hath suffered for may be glorified through Jesus Christ ; to v, lion be
' us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with praise and dominion for ever and ever. An: n.
The words of the psalmist should be kept in mind, " He that might bring us to God, and into a state of acceptance ,eith him ;
would love life," in the best sense of loving and enjoying it, " and " being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by du Spirit."
would see happy and good days, let him refrain his tongue from By which Spirit he went forth in ancient times, in the ministry of
evil, and his lips from speaking deceit ; let him avoid that which Noah, to those notorious sinners whose spirits are now ;n prison,
is evil, and let him do good to the extent of his power ; let him , who had been disobedient, when once the insulted longsuffering of
seek after peace, and pursue it, even when it seems to fly from him; God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, in
for the eyes of the Lord are, in a favourable way, over the right- which few, namely eight souls, were carried safely through the
eous, and his ears are open to their prayers ; but the face of the water, while all the rest were drowned. " The like figure where-
Lord, full of displeasure, is set against them that do evil," Psalm unto even baptism cloth also now save us," in a symbolical way.
xxxiv. 12, 13. And who shall have the power or ability to harm But then it is to be remembered, that this ordinance is not a put-
you, if ye be followers of hini that is good, and of that which he ting away the filth of the flesh : it does not cleanse from sin ; for
approves ? But if you should suffer on account of righteousness, that only can be done by the blood of Christ ; hut it is the answer
ye are still happy, as being objects of Divine favour. Therefore of a good conscience towards God. A good conscience is an en-
fear not with the fear of your enernies,neither be troubled, as they lightened and %veil informed conscience, and the answer to it is an
are, under the calamities of life ; for they, alas ! are destitute of obedient compliance with what God commands. Such is baptism,
support. " But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts," maintain- rightly attended to. In this ordinance, the resurrection of Christ
ing honourable thoughts of his perfections, fearing nothing so much is prefigured, in a striking manner ; who is gone into heaven, and
as his displeasure, and trusting yourselves, and your all, in his hands, is on the right hand of God; angels, authorities, and powers, being
as Isaiah viii. Never renounce nor conceal your religion, made subject to him.
especially when brought before the higher powers; be prepared to CHAP. IV. Ver. 1-11. Forasmuch then as Christ &all suffered,.
plead the cause of truth, and to testify your belief of its excellency. &c.] Since Christ hath suffered for us, as has been 'observed,
When a magistrate, or a private person, asketh you a reason of chap. iii. 18, and since he suffered with such constancy and pa-
the hope that is in you of salvation by Jesus Christ, this question tience, ye should be armed with the same mind. Cultivate a meek,
you should be ready to answer, with meekness, and in the fear of resigned, self-denying, and steadfast frame of spirit, that ye may
t;o:l. Having a good conscience ; that, whereas they are disposed be fortified against despondency, and weariness of' mind ; " for
to speak evil of you, as evil-doers, and to lay to your charge crimes he that hath suffered in the flesh bath ceased from sin," from the
of a hateful nature, they may be ashamed that thus falsely accuse habitual practice of it, and is considered as dead to sin. His car-
your good conversation in Christ ; for, if it be the will of God, it nal nature is mortified ; he resists the influence of sin in his heart,
is much better, on all accounts, that ye suffer for well doing, than and endeavours to prevent its breaking forth in his life ; " that be
for evil doing. The testimony of a good conscience will be a pow- no longer should live—to the lusts of men, but to the will o
mild support ; " fur Christ also bath once suffered for sins, the God," in a holy conformity to his precepts. For the time of' life
just for the unjust ; for this very purpose, that by his death he that is past may surely appear to be sufficient, and more than sia,
AM20 Domini cir. 61. CHAPTER V. Anno Domini cir. 61.
12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the CHAP. V.
fiery trial which is to try you, as though some 1-14 Cautions to ministers and privat e Christians; exhorta-
strange thing happened unto you : tions to humility, and to the discharge of several duties, with
13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of suitable encouragements.
Christ's sufferings ; that, when his glory shall be
revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding
T HE elderselder, and among youofexhort, who
am also an
14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, ings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that
happy are ye ; for the spirit of glory and of God shall be revealed :
rested' upon you : on their part he is evil spoken 2 Feed the flock of God which is among you,
of; but on your part he is glorified. taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but
15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or willingly • not fin- filthy lucre, but of a ready mind :
as a thief; or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in 3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but
other men's matters. being ensamples to the flock.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him 4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye
not be ashamed ; but let him glorify God on this shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
behalf: 5 Likewise,-ye younger, submit yourselves unto
17 For the time is come that judgment must be- the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another,
gin at the house of God : and if it first begin at us, and be clothed with humility ; for God resisteth
what shall the end be of them that obey not the the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
gospel of God ? 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty
18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time :
hall the ungodly and the sinner appear ? 7 Casting all your care upon him ; for he eareth
19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to for you.
the will of God commit the keeping of their souls 8 Be sober, be vigilant ; because your adversary
to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking
whom he may devour :
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing
Zspirationd MAY we be helped to keep the end of all that the same afflictions are accomplished in your
things constantly in view, so as to be excited to a becoming brethren that are in the world.
conduct in all circumstances and conditions of life. May we
he sober, and watch unto prayer, waiting for our final deliver-
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us
ance. Amen. unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye
cient, for us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, following which God giveth ; to the intent that God in all things may be-
those courses to which the heathens are addicted. Ye know that glorified through Jesus Christ." This great end should alway be
ye then walked in lasciviousness." In respect to which abominable kept in view. " To him be praise and dominion for ,ever and
course of life, your former associates " now think it strange that ever. Amen."
ye run not with them to the same excess of riot as formerly, Ver. 12, &c. Beloved, think it not strange, &c.] Be not surprised,
speaking evil of you." But they shall give an account, by and or alarmed when the fiery trial comes, through which you
by, to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead ; for it must needs pass, according to the appointment of God. Look not
was to this purpose that the gospel was preached to them that are upon it as though some strange thing had happened unto you;
dead, who died according to the course of nature, or as martyrs " but rather rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of the sufferings
for the truth, that they might be judged according to men in the of Christ," the remembrance of which should ever be dear to
flesh ; convinced, humbled, and made sensible of their deserts, in you ; " that when his glory shall be revealed," as soon it will, "ye
order that, being effectually changed, " they might live unto may be glad with exceeding great joy. Indeed, while you are in
God in the spirit." Various other senses are given of this verse, this state of trial, " if ye be reproached for the name of Christ,
which I fbrbear to mention. The above seems to me to be easy happy are ye," and ye ought to reckon yourselves to be so ; "be-
and natural. Those who are dead, and gone to glory, were once cause the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you," to sup,
sensual and carnal men; but they were reclaimed by the preaching port you, and to spread a lustre around you. Though he in whose
of the gospel, quickened, and made alive to God, that they might cause ye suffer is evil spoken of on their part, yet on your part he
live to him here, and with him hereafter. " But the end of all is glorified. "But let not any of you, by any means, suffer as an
things is at hand." Death will speedily put an end to your course offender." Yet if it be the will of God, " that any one of you
of trials and services ; " be ye therefore sober," i. e. considerate, suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed of the cross, but ra-
moderate in your worldly pursuits, and temperate in the use of all ther let him glorify God on this behalf;" fir the time is just at
lawful things, " and watch unto prayer." These exercises will hand, when judgment must begin at the house of God; for he hath
have a great influence on your whole conduct. " And above all determined to exercise even his own family with severe trials;
things, have fervent charity among yourselves ;" for this is the " and if it first begin with us, what shall be the end of those who
distinguishing badge of your religion. " And charity shall cover are obstinately disobedient to the gospel of God ?" "And if the
the multitude of sins," and induce you to look over the many righteous be saved and preserved with difficulty in these trying
filings and weaknesses of those whom you love. Be hospitable to times, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear ? But let
strangers, and to one another, without grudging at the expense them that suffer according to the will of God, commit their souls
which it brings upon you. " As every man bath received the to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator," who will regard
gift " from him who is the Giver of all good things, " even so mi- them as his creatures, and his children, and will render their im-
nister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold mortal interests secure, notwithstanding all the temporal injuries
grace of God." If any man speak in public assemblies, let him they may sustain.
handle his subject" according to the oracles of God ; if any man CHAP. V. Ver. I, &c. The elders which are among you I exhort,
miniiter " for the relief of others, "let him do it as of the ability &c.] I exhort you who are elders with the greater freedom,
6 IA, .2