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This Epistle was directed to the christians scattered through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia ; and with most expositors, I consider it directed both to those converted from Judaism and Heathenism. It was written when the brethren were suffering great and trying afflictions and persecutions; and abounds with various topics of comfort and direction to them in that state. Without much order or connexion, he writes with great dignity and energy, enforcing moral duties with the strongest motives. It was probably written about Anno Domini 63.
To an inheritance incorruptible, and undetiled, 4
and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, A. D. 63. He blesseth God for spiritual privileges and favours; showeth
that salvation by Christ is no new thing, but prophesied of long since ; Who are kept by the power of God, through 5 he exhorteth to a suitable behaviour, &c.
faith, to salvation ready to be revealed in the 1 Peter, an 'apostle of Jesus Christ, to the last time: Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though 6
sojourners scattered throughout Pontus, Ga- now for a season, (if need be,) ye be grieved
according to the preordination of God the faith, which is much more precious than that
Whom, having not seen, ye love; in whom, 8 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord | though not now seeing him, yet believing, ye Jésus Christ, who, according to his abundant rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: mercy, hath begotten us to a lively hope by Receiving the end of your faith, even the 9 the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead ; | salvation of your souls. Of which salvation 10
CHAP. I. 1. Sojourners scattered, 8c. Literally, “sojourners of the dispersion.” From this some conclude that Peter wrote only to converted Jews; but Macknight answers, in scripture all pious men are called sojourners, (Gen. xlvii. 9. Ps. xxxix. 12,) and they may said to be scattered, on account of their small pumber. Some things refer to the Gentiles only. Ch. ii. 10.
2. Elect according, 8c. Some would render, “Elect in the foreknowledge, &c." I have adopted the secondary sense of apoyowois as most suitable.
-Through sanctification, &c. According to his own gracious purpose, God has been pleased to impart his Spirit, by whose holy influence you have been called, and so far sanctified as to yield the obedience of faith, and have received the blessing of pardon, having the blood of Christ sprinkled on your consciences to cleanse you from dead works, and to impart to you all necessary favours; may grace and peace, &c.
3. Hath begotten us, &c. Regenerated and called us to enjoy “a lively hope" of future happiness" by the resurrection of Christ ;" by which he is proved to be the Son of God, who died for our sins, and who after his resurractic as our forerunner, hath entered into heaven for us; and is able to save to the' uttermost, &c.
4. To an inheritance, &c. By faith in him we are become beirs to sa inheritance incorruptible, holy, and unfading, the inheritance of heaven.
5. Power of God, through faith, &c. As this inheritance is reserved for you, so you are kept by the power of God, by the continued exercise of faith in his truth and promises, to the enjoyment of it, when the salvation now begun, but in respect to some of its glories imperfectly known, shall be fully completed.
7. That this proof, &c. The proof of your faith is of much more inportance than the proof of gold, which at last perisheth, however pure;
but the proof of your faith will be found to end in praise to God, and in honoar and glory to yourselves. The proof of their faith by the sufferings, persecktions, and in many instances, by their death on account of the guspel, not obly showed the full conviction of its truth, but became a moral demonstrationof it to all future ages.
8. Having not seen, &c. When in the flesh, as must bave been the case with most of those whom Peter addresses. In whom, though, 8c. As they
red him as made known to them in the gospel, so now Rot seeing him, het
Sufferings of Christ foretold.
I PETER I.
We are redeemed by his blood. the prophets, who prophesied of the grace work, pass the time of your sojourning here
that should come to you, have inquired and in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were 18 11 searched diligently; Searching as to what not redeemed with corruptible things, as with
people, or what manner of time the Spirit silver and gold, from your vain behaviour
he testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb 12 and the glories which were to follow: To without blemish and without spot: Who was 20
whom it was revealed, that they ministered indeed appointed before the foundation of the not to themselves, but to us the things which world, but made manifest in these last times have now been declared to you, by those who for you, Who by him believe in God, who 21 have preached the gospel to yon with the Holy raised him up from the dead, and gave him Spirit sent down from heaven; into which glory; so that your faith and hope might be things angels desire to look.
in God. Having therefore purified your souls 22 13
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, by obeying the truth through the Spirit to be sober, and hope to the end for the grace unfeigned brotherly love, see that ye love one
which will be brought to you at the manifes- another with a pure heart fervently: Having 23 14 tation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, been born again, not from corruptible seed,
not fashioning yourselves according to your but from incorruptible, by the word of God, 15 former desires in your ignorance; But as he which liveth and remaineth for ever. “ For 24
who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all flesh is as the herb, and all its glory as the 16 all manner of behaviour; Because it is writ- flower of the herb. The herb withereth, and 17 ten, “Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
holy; for I am holy.” And if its flower falleth off: But the word of the 25 ye call on the Father, who without respect Lord remaineth for ever:” and this is the of persons judgeth according to every man's word which by the gospel is preached to you.
REFLECTIONS UPON CHPTER 1. 1. How wise, holy, and the conscience, and the work of the Spirit on the heart, sanctifying us sovereign is God in the dispensation of his grace! And what a beau- so as to secure our sincere and humble obedience to the divine will. tiful harmony is there in the election of the Father, the redemption of 2. What reasons have believers to admire and praise the abundant the Son, and the sanctification of the Spirit, in order to obedience here, mercy and grace of God towards them, for baving begotten them to a and glory hereafter! Are we anxious to know our election of God ? lively and assured hope of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and How can we ascertain this but by application to the sprinkling of the unfading, reserved in heaven for them! O let them ever keep it in view, blood of Jesus for our pardon, and by the sanctifying infuences of the and earnestly pray to be kept by the power of God through faith to the Holy Spirit on our minds? If we are without concern for our souls, enjoyment of it. And if, while in this state, affliction should be their and are treating with neglect the precious blood of our Saviour, and lot, and they be grieved and distressed by their various trials, still let living in the transgression of the law, and disobeying the call of the them rejoice in the prospect of that complete salvation which is ready to gospel, what pretence can we have to be the elect of God. God never be revealed ; and even while suffering, let them remember that the separates the means from the end ; and if he has chosen any to salvation, gracious design of God is, to make apparent 10 themselves and others, it is in connexion with the application of the atoning blood of Christ to the reality and purifying nature and strength of their faith in, and love 10
believing in him as their Saviour, they rejoiced with joy, &c. receiving, as fully and perfectly hoping for the grace and mercy, &c.—Former desires, they did the end of their faith, even the, &c.
&c. When you ignorantly indulged every unholy passion ; but now cousider 10-12. As to what people, &c. As to what people or to what period of what obligations you are under to be obedient and holy in all your behaviour, time the Holy Spirit referred, when he foretold the sufferings and death of from the favour shown you, and from the character of God who has called you. Christ, with all the glories which should follow. They diligently studied 19-21. Respect of persons. Under the gospel, showing no favour or these things; and to them it was only made known, that they ministered as partiality towards any people or nation, but judgeth men according to their prophets in foretelling these much more to us, who see them fulfilled, than works. Hence live in the fear of God, knowing that you have been redeemed, they did to themselves, and to the men of their own time. - Things into not with gold and silver, from your sins and foolish conduct, imitating your which, &c. It has often beeu observed that there is an allusion to the posture fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, who was perfect and spotless. of the cherubs, bending and looking on the mercy-seat: they look with earnest- Who was in the counsels of divine love appointed to be a sacrifice, and has
become one, in which you are interested, who by him believe in God, &c. 13-16. Gird up, &c. Prepare for every duty as you do for labour, by 22—25. See that ye love, &c. Act agreeably to your profession, and to girding up your loose,robes, and be sober and watchful, hoping to the end, or that new birth you have experienced by the living, and therefore incorruptible
Believers a spiritual temple. !
I PETER II.
Christ precious to them. CHAPTER II.
l'a chief corner-stone, elect, precious : and he
that confideth in it shall not be ashamed." A. D. 63. The relation of believers to Christ, as their foundation ; the
To you therefore who believe it is precious: 7 misery of unbelicvers; obcdience due to magistrates; duty of servants enforced; example of Christ, &c.
but to those who believe not, that stone which
the builders rejected, is become the chief of 1 WHEREFORE,
, laying aside all malice, and the corner. And “a stone of stumbling, and & all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all a rock of offence;
a rock of offence;” against which they who 2. evil-speakings, As new-born babes, earnestly believe not the word stumble, to which they
desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye were indeed appointed. But ye are a chosen 9 3 may grow thereby a tó salvation :"
race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a 4 have tasted that the Lord is gracious. To purchased people; that ye should show forth
whom coming, as to a living stone, rejected the perfections of him who hath called you out
indeed by men, but chosen of God, and pre- of darkness into his wonderful light: Who 10 5 cious, Ye also, as living stones, being built in time past were not a people, but are now
up, are a spiritual temple, a holy, priesthood, the people of God; who had not obtained
to offer 'up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 6 God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore, it is con- Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers 11
tained in the scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion and sojourners, abstain from fleshly desires,
2. Mss. fathers. Griesb. the unseen Saviour. This proof of their graces will be found to praise viour, walking after our carnal desires as our sinful forefathers did, and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, when faith shall when God called us by his grace in consequence of our redemption by cease in the enjoyment of that finished salvation and glory which Christ his Son. Let us cultivate undissembled brotherly love; and not by his sufferings has effected and procured.
fashioning ourselves according to our former desires in our ignorance, 3. What a sure" foundation for faith and hope is the blessed but as he who hath called us is holy, so may we be holy in all manner gospel! However perishing earthly things are, and however preca- of behaviour. · And, as it is our duty, and privilege to call on the rious and uncertain all human dependencies, the word of God, by which Father, who, as final judge, has no respect of persons, but will render believers through his Spirit are regenerated, abideth for ever. This to all according to their characters and works; so let us pass the time is the incorruptible seed sown in the heart, and which springs up and of our sojourning here in fear of offending, and of that final and awful yields a harvest of spiritual fruit. Let the consideration of the price sentence which will then be pronounced upon us. And how delightful of our redemption, and the blessings conferred on us, stimulate us to is it to anticipate the language, “Well done, good and faithful servant, constant, affectionate obedience. How vain and sinful was our beha- enter into the joy of thy Lord."
seed of the word. All flesh is, 8c. What is born of Aesh is flesh, and perishing; but the word of God lives for ever; and this powerful living word is preached by the gospel.
CHAP. II. 1-3. Wherefore, laying, 8c. Since ye have been rege. nerated by the seed of the word, lay aside all malice, ill-will towards others, and all guile iu your conversation with them, and in religious concerns, all bypocricies, &c.-Milk of the scord. Of the pure unadulterated word of the gospel, which only is suitable to reasonable beings. Rom. xii. 1. The word
jected this stone, as unworthy the honourable place it was destined to occup); and to those who believe not this stone is a stope of stumbling, &c. (see Pa. cxviii. 22, and pote;) because in spite of their efforts it has become the chief of the corner -To rehich they were, 8c. The verb-wpOXSTTIUGI implies a reference to ritza, and as this makes clear the construction, it gives the sense of the last clause. The unbelieving are appointed to fall and perish for their sin.
9, 10. But ye ure, &c. Ye who believe, deserve, and evjoy the honour. able titles given to God's spiritual Israel, “a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
the the sown in the heart is the principle of divine life, and it is the food by which it &c.” Deuter. vii. 6. Exod. xix. 6. Io
. xxii. 21.—The perfections, se. The
is nourished to salvation. Earnestly desire this, since ye have tasted that wisdom, goodness, justice and truth of God, who hath called, &c.the, &c. 2 Thess. i. 6.
past were, &c. Were iu heathen darkness, worshipping idols; but are now 4, 5. Living stone. A stoue, in a spiritual or figurative sense, rejected enjoying the wonderful light of the gospel. Comp. Hox. ii. 23. Rom. ix. 25. indeed, &c.-A spiritual temple, 8c. In which God dwells and is wor. 11, 12. War ugainst the soul. As being called to the hope of eternal shipped; yea, “ a holy priesthood," to offer the spiritual sacrifices of prayer, life, and being but strangers and sojourners here, indulge not carnal desires, praise, &c.
as they war against the soul, against its present peace and future happiness; 6-8. “ I lay in Zion, &c." See 18. xxviii. 16, and note.--It is pre- and in whatsoever unbelievers speak against you as evil-doers, as seditious, cious. In the 4th verse this stone is said to be chosen of God and precious" and as atheists, because ye do not worship their idols, they may, from the good or honourable and esteemed; and here it is said to be precious, or ésteemed works, the submission, kindness and charity which you exercise, and which by all believers. I consider the noun used adjectively, as it often is, and our they cannot but behold, glorify God, by renouncing their folly and superstitranslators have rendered properly. Macknight renders, “To you who be- tion, in a day or time of visitation and calamity, when you are called to sufer lieve is this honour," namely, of being built upon him, which though indeed for your faith. It is well known that the virtues with which the first christrue, does not express the value, the high esteem which believers have for tians suffered often converted the bcholders. him.-That stone, $c. The Jewish builders, the priests and magistrates re- 13-17. Appointment of man, 8c. Every civil institution, from a regard ix. 28. He bore it as the appointed sin-offering for the people; and by his 18–20. Serrants, be subject, &c. Comp. Eph. vi. 5. Coloss. iii. 22.) sufferings he expiated our sins, so that we having become, &c.
Obedience to governors.
I PETER II.
The example of Christ. 12 which war against the soul;' Having your conscience towards God endure grief, suffering
behaviour good among the Gentiles; that, in wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye 29 whatsoever they speak against you as evil-doers, are beaten for your faults, ye shall bear it
they may, from the good works which they be patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer, 13 hold, glorify God in the day of visitation. Sub- ye bear it patiently, this is acceptable with
mit yourselves to every appointment of man God. For to this were ye called; because 21
for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, even Christ suffered for you," leaving you" 14 as supreme; Or to governors, as to those who an example, that ye should follow his steps;
are sent by him for the punishment of evil- Who did no sin, nor was guile found in his 22
doers, and for the praise of those who do well. mouth ; Who, when he was reviled, reviled 23 13 For so is the will of God, that by well-doing not again ; when he suffered, he threatened ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish not; but committed himself to him that judy
As free, and not using your freedom eth righteously : Who his ownself bore our 24 for a cloke of wickedness, but as the servants sins in his own body on the cross, that we 17 of God. Honour all men: love the brother having become dead to sins, should live to 18 hood : fear God : honour the king. Servants, righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
be subject to your masters with all fear ; not For ye were as sheep going astray; but have 25
only to the good and gentle, but also to the now returned to the Shepherd and overseer 19 froward. For this is well-pleasing, if a man for of your souls.
16 men ;
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER 11. 1. How diligent should by those who professed to be his people, and to be waiting for him as we be in cultivating the christian temper here recommended! And
the consolation of Israel. While to all believers he is precious, highly how unsuitable to a believer, a professed follower of the meek, humble, esteemed and honoured ; by the unbelieving, even by those who conand gracious Redeemer, is the indulgence of malice, envy, evil-speak | sidered themselves builders in Zion, he is disallowed. They took, ings, guile and hypocricies. On the other hand, since such have tasted and by wicked hands crucified the Lord of glory; and in so doing they that the Lord is gracious, let them earnestly desire the sincere milk of fulfilled what their own prophets had foretold. To them he became, the word, that they may grow thereby to salvation. It is designed for and to all such he still is, a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence ; this end, and when it is received and mixed with faith, it will assuredly against this rock they dash themselves and perish. How different the attain it; and especially as it exhibits to them the Lord Jesus as the state and privileges of believers. A chosen race, a royal priesthood, foundation of their hope and security. He is the living foundation, and invested with the honour of the mitre and the crown; a people purand they are living stones, built up a spiritual temple upon him. How chased by the blood of the lamb, called and sanctified, and made a excellent a foundation is Jesus, chosen of God and precious; laid in peculiar people, whose duly and happiness it is to show forth the perhis eternal counsel, and actually made the chief corner-stone, when fection of their almighty Saviour. he had finished the work given him to do. O let us come to him as 3. Believers are reminded how they ought to live and to dissuch, and stay ourselves upon him, that our minds may be kept in per- charge the duties they owe to God, to themselves and to others. In fect peace. And we have just cause to do so, from the fulness of respect to themselves they are to guard against all sinful carnal inhis grace, the persection of his righteousness, and the merit of his dulgence. The lusts and desires of the flesh war against the soul; blood.
when inordinately indulged, they defile and pollute it, they darken and 2. How dreadful is the end of the unbelieving and disobedient. || enslave it; and unless they are conquered and mortified they will he Through pride, self-esteem, prejudice, and carnal affections, the its everlasting ruin. Considering that we are bul' strangers and blessed Saviour has been despised and rejected ; despised and rejected sojourners here, passing through this world to another, let us set our
to the will of Christ. To the king. To the Roman emperor ; for in the when they bore this patiently, they might expect to be rewarded of God, &c. provinces this name, king, was given to him. Jobu xix. 15. Acts xvii: 7.
21-25. To this ye were, $c. After the example of Christ, who though To governors. Of the provinces of the empire. Matt. xxvii. 2.
holy and innocent, suffered with meekness, fortitude, and the most perfect redoing. By obedience to lawful authority and the exercise of all christian signation; who, when he was reviled, did not revile again ; por when suffer. virtues, &c. as free, yet not abusing your freedom in Christ, so as to be sedi-ing on the cross did he threaten his crucifiers with vengeance, but prayed for tious, but act as the servants of God, by honouring all to whom honour is due, ) them, and committed himself, &c.—His own self bore, &c. See note, Hebr. &c. Rom xiii. 7.
Stripes ye, -And suffer, ye bear, &c. Sometimes christian servants and slaves were &c. is. liii. 5.--As sheep yoing, 8c. Wandering from God, and in danger ill-treated on account of their religion ; but the apostle suggests, that of perishing; but have, by the gospel, returned to the good Shepherd, &c.
the old world.
The duty of wives.
: Finally, be all of the same mind, be com- 8 A D. 63. The duty of wives and husbands to each other; exhortalion to
passionate, love as brethren, be tender-hearted, unity and love ; to suffer persecution ; Christ by his Spirit preaches to be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or 9
reviling for reviling; but, on the contrary do 1 In like manner, ye wives, be subject to your ye bless.; knowing that you are hereunto called,
own husbands; that, if any believe not the that ye may inherit a blessing. « For he 10
word, they also may, without the word, be that would love life, and see good days, let 2 won by the behaviour of their wives; While him refrain his tongue from evil; and his lips
they behold your chaste behaviour joined with from speaking guile. Let him avoid evil, and li 3 reverence. Whose ornament let it not be only do good ; let him seek peace, and pursue it.
that outward one of plaiting the hair, and of For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, 12 4 wearing gold, or of putting on apparel; But and his ears are open unto their prayers; but
let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the the face of the Lord is against them that do incorruptible ornament of a meek and quiet evil.” And who is he that will hurt you, if 13
spirit, which in the sight of God is of great ye be followers of that which is good? But 14 5 price. For thus in former times holy women if ye even suffer for the sake of righteousness,
also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, happy are ye: and bé not afraid of their terror, 6 being subject to their own husbands : Even nor be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God 15
as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him her | in your hearts: and be always ready to give lord : whose daughters ye are, while ye do an answer, with meekness and reverence, to well, and are not afraid with any terror. every man that asketh you a reason of the
In like manner, ye husbands, dwell with hope that is in you: Having a good con- 16 your wives according to knowledge, giving science; that, in whatsoever they speak against honour to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, you, as evil-doers, they may be ashamed who and as being joint-heirs of the grace of life; falsely accuse your good behaviour in Christ. that your prayers be not hindered.
For it is better, if the will of God so be, that 17
affection on things above, and abstain from the appearance of evil. By our meekness, temperance, charity and love, let us stop the mouths of gainsayers, and win them to Christ. No pretence of freedom should lead us to reject or resist lawful civil authority. We are bound to submit to the King, and other rulers, and thus put to silence the malicious railings of foolish and wicked men. If we are servants, let us adorn our christian profession by showing all fidelity; and should
our masters be unkind and froward, and undeservedly reproach, or even punish us, let us imitate the example of our blessed Saviour, who suffered with patience, and who committed bimself to him that judgeth righteously. Let us all remember what we were, and what our Lord has done for us ; and if called to bear reproach for his sake, let us not be ashamed. How safe are we since we have returned and are under the care of the good Shepherd.
CHAP. III. 1, 2. In like manner, 8c. As servants should be to their 8-12. Finally, be all, &c. Cultivate a spirit of peace, compassion and masters, so let wives be subject to their own husbands; that if any believe brotherly love; and when injured do not return it; or reviled, "rerile pot not the word, &c. See I Cor. ix. 19-22.
again; but return their evil language in praying for blessings to descend of 3-6. Whose ornament, fc. The Greek idiom like the Hebrew, using the them ; especially as ye are called to inherit the blessing of God in all things. negative particles in a comparative degree, requires the version given. The - Would love life,&c. That would enjoy the comforts of it, let him refrain, incorruptible ornament of a meek and quiet spirit should be more cultivated &c. Comp. Ps. xxxiv. 1-6, to which the apostle alludes rather than quotes, than any outward ornament. For in this manner holy women, &c.- -Whose adapting it to his purpose. daughters ye, &c. As Abraham is called the father, so Sarah may be called 13. Followers of, 8c. Actually doing what is good, and imitating those the mother of believing women, who while they do well in showing reverence noble examples set before you in the holy scriptures. and subjection to their husbands, as she did, are not afraid with any terror, so 14–16. But if ye even, 8c. As some of you have done and others may; as to renounce their christian profession. Macknight renders in the past yet ye are happy according to the language of Christ, Matt. v.*10-12. — time, “Whose daughters ye have become, by doing well, and not being of their terror. With which your persecutors threaten you, nor even be frightened with any terror..”
troubled; bat sanctify the Lord, &c. by believing him to be good, holy, and 7. Dwell with your, &c. 1 Cor. vii: 3. Eph. v. 25.-Giving honour. || just, and even your Father, not withstanding your sufferings; and be ever In opposition to neglect and contempt; "as to the weaker vessel,” as of less ready to give an answer to any that may inquire concerning the hope you firm body or mind, that your joint or separate prayers be not hindered by dis- profess of present pardon, peace, and future happiness.-Accuse your good, cord and hatred.
8. See Ch. ii. 12.