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I PETER II.
A. D. 63. The relation of believers to Christ, as their foundation; the misery of unbelievers; obedience due to magistrates; duty of servants enforced; example of Christ, &c.
WHEREFORE, laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all 2. evil-speakings, As new-born babes, earnestly desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye 3 may grow thereby to salvation:" Since ye 4 have tasted that the Lord is gracious. gracious. whom coming, as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen of God, and pre5 cious, Ye also, as living stones, being built up, are a spiritual temple, a holy, priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to 6 God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore it is contained in the scripture, "Behold, I lay in Zion
the unseen Saviour. This proof of their graces will be found to praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ, when faith shall cease in the enjoyment of that finished salvation and glory which Christ by his sufferings has effected and procured.
3. What a sure foundation for faith and hope is the blessed gospel! However perishing earthly things are, and however preca rious and uncertain all human dependencies, the word of God, by which believers through his Spirit are regenerated, abideth for ever. This This is the incorruptible seed sown in the heart, and which springs up and yields a harvest of spiritual fruit. Let the consideration of the price of our redemption, and the blessings conferred on us, stimulate us to constant, affectionate obedience. How vain and sinful was our beha
seed of the word.All flesh is, &c. What is born of flesh 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, &c. Since ye have been regenerated by the seed of the word, lay aside all malice, ill-will towards others, and all guile in your conversation with them, and in religious concerns, all hypocricies, &c.—— Milk of the word. Of the pure unadulterated word of the gospel, which only is suitable to reasonable beings. Rom. xii. 1. The word sown in the heart is the principle of divine life, and it is the food by which it is nourished to salvation. Earnestly desire this, since ye have tasted that the, &c. 2 Thess. i. 6.
4, 5. Living stone. A stoue, in a spiritual or figurative sense, rejected indeed, &c.———————A spiritual temple, &c. In which God dwells and is worshipped; yea, "a holy priesthood," to offer the spiritual sacrifices of prayer, praise, &c.
Christ precious to them."
a chief corner-stone, elect, precious and he that confideth in it shall not be ashamed." To you therefore who believe it is precious: 7 but to those who believe not, that stone which the builders rejected, is become the chief of the corner. And "a stone of stumbling, and 8 a rock of offence;" against which they who believe not the word stumble, to which they were indeed appointed. But ye are a chosen 9 race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people; that ye should show forth the perfections of him who hath called you out of darkness into his wonderful light: Who 10 in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers 11 and sojourners, abstain from fleshly desires,
6-8. "I lay in Zion, &c." See Is. xxviii. 16, and note.-—It is precious. In the 4th verse this stone is said to be "chosen of God and precious" or honourable and esteemed; and here it is said to be precious, or esteemed by all believers. I consider the noun used adjectively, as it often is, and our translators have rendered properly. Macknight renders, "To you who believe is this honour," namely, of being built upon him, which though indeed true, does not express the value, the high esteem which believers have for him. -That stone, &c. The Jewish builders, the priests and magistrates re
2. Mss. fathers. Griesb.
viour, walking after our carnal desires as our sinful forefathers did, when God called us by his grace in consequence of our redemption by his Son. Let us cultivate undissembled brotherly love; and not fashioning ourselves according to our former desires in our ignorance, but as he who hath called us is holy, so may we be holy in all manner of behaviour. And, as it is our duty, and privilege to call on the Father, who, as final judge, has no respect of persons, but will render to all according to their characters and works; so let us pass the time of our sojourning here in fear of offending, and of that final and awful sentence which will then be pronounced upon us. And how delightful is it to anticipate the language, "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Lord."
jected this stone, as unworthy the honourable place it was destined to occupy; and to those who believe not this stone is a stone of stumbling, &c. (see Ps. cxviii. 22, and note;) because in spite of their efforts it has become the chief of the corner. -To which they were, &c. The verb wṣoʊxowtovcı implies a reference to virga, 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 are, &c. Ye who believe, deserve, and enjoy the honourable titles given to God's spiritual Israel, "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, &c." Deuter. vii. 6. Exod. xix. 6. Is. xxiii. 21.—The perfections, &c. The wisdom, goodness, justice and truth of God, who hath called, &c.. -In time past were, &c. Were in heathen darkness, worshipping idols; but are now enjoying the wonderful light of the gospel. Comp. Hos. ii. 23. Rom. ix. 25. 11, 12. War against the soul. As being called to the hope of eternal life, and being but strangers and sojourners here, indulge not carnal desires, as they war against the soul, against its present peace and future happiness; and in whatsoever unbelievers speak against you as evil-doers, as seditious, and as atheists, because ye do not worship their idols, they may, from the good works, the submission, kindness and charity which you exercise, and which they cannot but behold, glorify God, by renouncing their folly and supersti. tion, in a day or time of visitation and calamity, when you are called to suffer for your faith. It is well known that the virtues with which the first christians suffered often converted the beholders.
13-17. Appointment of man, &c. Every civil institution, from a regard
Obedience to governors.
12 which war against the soul; Having your behaviour good among the Gentiles; that, in whatsoever they speak against you as evil-doers, they may, from the good works which they be13 hold, glorify God in the day of visitation. SubImit yourselves to every appointment of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, 14 as supreme; Or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of those who do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that by well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish As free, and not using your freedom for a cloke of wickedness, but as the servants 17 of God. Honour all men: love the brother18 hood: fear God: honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the 19 froward. For this is well-pleasing, if a man for
I PETER II.
21. ▾ Mes. Others, us.
by those who professed to be his people, and to be waiting for him as the consolation of Israel. While to all believers he is precious, highly esteemed and honoured; by the unbelieving, even by those who con
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER II. 1. How diligent should we be in cultivating the christian temper here recommended! And how unsuitable to a believer, a professed follower of the meek, humble, and 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 duty 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 such, and stay ourselves upon him, that our minds may be kept in perfect peace. And we have just cause to do so, from the fulness of his grace, the perfection of his righteousness, and the merit of his blood.
2. How dreadful is the end of the unbelieving and disobedient. Through pride, self-esteem, prejudice, and carnal affections, the blessed Saviour has been despised and rejected; despised and rejected
to the will of Christ. To the king. To the Roman emperor; for in the
The example of Christ. conscience towards God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye 20 are beaten for your faults, ye shall bear it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer, ye bear it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For to this were ye called; because 21 even Christ suffered for you," leaving you" an example, that ye should follow his steps; Who did no sin, nor was guile found in his 22 mouth; Who, when he was reviled, reviled 23 not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his ownself bore our 24 sins in his own body on the cross, that we having become dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but have 25 now returned to the Shepherd and overseer of your souls.
18-20. Servants, be subject, &c. Comp. Eph. vi. 5. Coloss. iii. 22. -And suffer, ye bear, &c. Sometimes christian servants and slaves were ill-treated on account of their religion; but the apostle suggests, that
3. Believers are reminded how they ought to live and to discharge the duties they owe to God, to themselves and to others. In respect to themselves they are to guard against all sinful carnal indulgence. The lusts and desires of the flesh war against the soul; when inordinately indulged, they defile and pollute it, they darken and enslave it; and unless they are conquered and mortified they will he its everlasting ruin. Considering that we are but strangers and sojourners here, passing through this world to another, let us set our
when they bore this patiently, they might expect to be rewarded of God, &c. 21-25. To this ye were, &c. After the example of Christ, who though holy and innocent, suffered with meekness, fortitude, and the most perfect resignation; who, when he was reviled, did not revile again; nor when suffering on the cross did he threaten his crucifiers with vengeance, but prayed for them, and committed himself, &c.—His own self bore, &c. See note, Hebr. ix. 28. He bore it as the appointed sin-offering for the people; and by his sufferings he expiated our sins, so that we having become, &c.Stripes ye, &c. Is. iii. 5. As sheep going, &c. Wandering from God, and in danger of perishing; but have, by the gospel, returned to the good Shepherd, &c.
The duty of wives.
I PETER III!
A D. 63. The duty of wives and husbands to each other; exhortation to unity and love; to suffer persecution; Christ by his Spirit preaches to the old world.
Is like manner, ye wives, be subject to your own husbands; that, if any believe not the word, they also may, without the word, be 2 won by the behaviour of their wives; While they behold your chaste behaviour joined with 3 reverence. Whose ornament let it not be only that outward one of plaiting the hair, and of 4 wearing gold, or of putting on apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great 5 price. For thus in former times holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, 6 being subject to their own husbands:
as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him her lord whose daughters ye are, while ye do well, and are not afraid with any terror. 7 In like manner, ye husbands, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honour to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being joint-heirs of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
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
· Finally, be all of the same mind, be com- 8 passionate, love as brethren, be tender-hearted, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or 9 reviling for reviling; but, on the contrary do ye bless; knowing that you are hereunto called, that ye may inherit a blessing. "For he 10 that would love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil; and his lips from speaking guile. Let him avoid evil, and 11 do good; let him seek peace, and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, 12 and his ears are open unto their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." And who is he that will hurt you, if 13 ye be followers of that which is good? But 14 if ye even suffer for the sake of righteousness, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, nor be troubled; But sanctify the Lord God 15 in your hearts: and be always ready to give an answer, with meekness and reverence, to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you: Having a good con- 16 science; that, in whatsoever they speak against you, as evil-doers, they may be ashamed who falsely accuse your good behaviour in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God so be, that 17
CHAP. III. 1, 2. In like manner, &c. As servants should be to their masters, so let wives be subject to their own husbands; that if any believe not the word, &c. See I Cor. ix. 19-22.
3-6. Whose ornament, &c. The Greek idiom like the Hebrew, using the negative particles in a comparative degree, requires the version given. The incorruptible ornament of a meck and quiet spirit should be more cultivated than any outward ornament. For in this manner holy women, &c.- -Whose daughters ye, &c. As Abraham is called the father, so Sarah may be called the mother of believing women, who while they do well in showing reverence and subjection to their husbands, as she did, are not afraid with any terror, so as to renounce their christian profession. Macknight renders in the past time, "Whose daughters ye have become, by doing well, and not being frightened with any terror.."
7. Dwell with your, &c. 1 Cor. vii. 3. Eph. v. 25.—Giving honour. In opposition to neglect and contempt; "as to the weaker vessel,” as of less firm body or mind, that your joint or separate prayers be not hindered by discord and hatred.
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 himself 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.
8-12. Finally, be all, &c. Cultivate a spirit of peace, compassion and brotherly love; and when injured do not return it; or reviled, revile not again; but return their evil language in praying for blessings to descend on them; especially as ye are called to inherit the blessing of God in all things. Would love life, &c. That would enjoy the comforts of it, let him refrain, &c. Comp. Ps. xxxiv. 1—6, to which the apostle alludes rather than quotes, adapting it to his purpose.
13. Followers of, &c. Actually doing what is good, and imitating those noble examples set before you in the holy scriptures.
14-16. But if ye even, &c. As some of you have done and others may; yet ye are happy according to the language of Christ, Matt. v. 10-12.— Of their terror. With which your persecutors threaten you, nor even be troubled; but sanctify the Lord, &c. by believing him to be good, holy, and just, and even your Father, notwithstanding your sufferings; and be ever ready to give an answer to any that may inquire concerning the hope you profess of present pardon, peace, and future happiness.- -Accuse your good, &c. See Ch. ii, 12.
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER III. 1. We learn that while it is the duty of believers to marry in the Lord, it did often occur on the first preaching of the gospel, and does often yet occur, that the wife may be called by grace to faith in Christ, while the husband abides in unbelief. In this case let the wives show all dutiful subjection, and by an amiable christian spirit and modest behaviour, endeavour to gain their husbands. In this manner should all plead the cause of their Lord and Saviour. And this silent and powerful eloquence, through the divine blessing, will be often found most prevailing. While persons see the holy influence of true religion, in restraining the pas sions, and rendering us humble, gentle, modest, kind, and obliging, they cannot fail to be impressed with some regard to it. How superior in the eye of reason is the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, to all the outward ornaments of dress, however splendid. In this incorrupt. ible ornament, let all be adorned, and especially women professing godliness, that they may prove themselves the daughters of such as are recorded and commended in the word of God. And let believing husbands honour their wives as the weaker vessel; and so let both conduct themselves towards each other, as that their joint prayers may be more fervent and effectual.
2. The professed disciples of Christ should cultivate harmony, peace, and love, among themselves. They should be of the same mind and temper, if not of the same opinion on all points. Perhaps this latter is impossible in the present state, as men differ so much in their natural and acquired endowments; but the former may be attained, they may love as brethren, be compassionate, courteous, and condescending. And how amiable does such a temper appear; and what honour does it bring to the christian name! Let not any who name the name of Christ suffer trifles to vex and irritate them, so as to break out into passionate and railing language; much less let them render
18. For sins, the righteous, &e. He suffered for the sins of men, and in the place and stead of men; the Just One for unjust guilty sinners, that he might save us and bring us to God.. By the Spirit. Griesbach rejects the article Tw; but I think this is a case in which his attachment to his Alexandrian rescension biassed his judgment. See his authorities, Middleton also rejects the article, and argues against the personal sense of ɑ because the preposition is wanting. But is it not necessarily to be supplied, as appears from the next words? The Ethiopic has Holy Spirit; and unless He is meant I can make no sense of the passage.
His exaltation in heaven.
ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight persons, were saved by water. And what an- 21 swereth to this, even baptism, now saveth us also, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ; Who is gone into heaven, and is on 22 the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to him.
19, 20. By which also, &c. Jesus went, by his Spirit in Noah, to those men who lived in his time, and whose spirits are now as it were in prison, waiting the judgment of the great day; at that period, when the long-suffering of God waited while the ark was building, in which only eight persons were, by VOL. III. PART XXIV. 3 K
evil for evil, indulging an unforgiving, revengeful spirit. On the contrary, let them remember the precepts of their Lord, his own conduct, and especially the great design of their christian calling. They are called with a high, a holy, and heavenly calling; called to enjoy now many spiritual blessings, and finally to inherit the blessing of eternal life.
3. With what powerful arguments does the apostle enforce a humble and holy life? Godliness hath the promise of the life that now is. Though every man loves life and wishes to see good days; yet how few are there who restrain their tongues from speaking evil, and their lips from uttering guile? How few are solicitous to avoid the evil of sin, and to do good, by yielding obedienee to God? How few show themselves to be the sons of peace, by seeking peace, and pursuing it? It is by the practice of these virtues that this life is rendered tranquil and pleasant, that we see and enjoy good days. For men who thus conduct themselves will ever find God's eye is upon them for good, and his, ears are open to their prayers. In all sit ua tions his favour will encompass them as a shield. And if called to suffer for righteousness sake, what support will a good conscience and a good hope afford? But a humble upright conduct is the best answer to malicious charges, and has a powerful tendency to convince the unprejudiced and put gainsayers to shame. What a motive have we to this from the conduct of Jesus, and from the judgments which will come upon all the unbelieving and disobedient. God's long-suffering towards them will have an end, and his wrath be poured forth; but then will all his believing, obedient children, be secure in Christ, as Noah and his family were in the Ark. The sufferings, resurrection, ascension, power, reign, and glory of Jesus, secure the final triumph and happiness of his people. While, a deluge of fire consumes the wicked, they will be safe and happy in him.
means of the water supporting the ark, saved from the general ruin. Dod. dridge renders, "Were carried safely through the water;" and which is doubtless, the sense.
21, 22. What answereth, &c. The antitype of this, even baptism, now saveth us also. I do not mean the putting away "the filth of the flesh by the washing of water, but the answer of a good conscience towards God," the testimony of a good conscience that we really and sincerely believe what we profess; this saves us, as it leads to expect a glorious resurrection and future life, by the resurrection, ascension, and glorious reign of Christ, to whom angels, &c. The apostle distinguishes the outward rite of baptism from its spiritual design, as Paul did that of circumcision, Rom. ii. 23, 28.; and if the spiritual design of the former, as some contend,, makes it improper to ad-⚫ minister it to infants, the same reason would apply to the latter. 441
How we should live.
A. D. 63. An exhortation to cease from sin by the example of Christ, and the approaching end of life and all things; comfort under persecution,
I PETER IV.
SINCE therefore Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: (for he that hath suffered in the 2 flesh hath ceased from sin;) That ye may not live the rest of your time in the flesh, according to the desires of men, but according to 3 the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquettings, 4 and abominable idolatries: And they think it strange that ye run not with them herein to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 5 Who shall give account to him who is ready 6 to judge the living and the dead. For to this end hath the gospel been preached also to those that are dead, so that although they were condemned as to men in the flesh, yet they live as to God in the spirit.
Now the end of all things is near: be ye therefore sober-minded, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent love among yourselves: for love will cover a multitude 9 of sins. Use hospitality one to another without 10 murmuring. As every man hath received the
CHAP. IV. 1. Arm yourselves, &c. Arm yourselves with the same fortitude of mind, and if called to it, be ready to suffer for him who hath suffered ■ much for you; and especially die to sin. And this is necessary; for he that hath suffered a spiritual crucifixion in conformity to Christ, hath ceased from the prevailing love and practice of sin.
2-6. To the desires of men, &c. Gratifying the carnal appetites and passions; but rather obeying the commands of God and mortifying them. For the time past of your life, &c. They think it strange, &c. They are surprised at sentiments and self-denial; and they speak evil of and persecute you because you follow not their evil ways; but soon must they have to give an account of their conduct before the judge of all, both of the living and the dead.For to this end. To prepare them for the day of judgment, hath the gospel been preached to those that are dead; so that although they were condemned to die as to men, in respect of the flesh, the body, yet they live now, and shall live for ever as to God in the Spirit. -As to men. As to God are in opposition, as are also the verbs xgiowo and wei, condemned and live. They were condemned to die as to men, to be no more conversant with them; but when the animal life is destroyed, and its union with the spirit dissolved, each lives as to God, is conversant with them in the spirit. This preserves the opposition, and I conceive is the sense of this obscure passage. I refer the term dead to those dead by the hand of persecution; and I conceive the spirit and meaning to be the same as Matt. x. 28. In this view the text is a proof of the existence of the spirit in a separate state. Macknight renders κατα, by.
Trials to be expected.
free gift of the Spirit, so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let 11 him speak as the oracles of God: if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God supplieth: that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the 12 fiery persecution which hath come for a trial to you, as though some strange thing had befallen you: But be glad, that inasmuch as 13 ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, when his glory shall be manifested, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached 14 for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. For let none of you suffer 15 as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil-doer, or as a busy-meddler in other men's affairs. But 16 if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this account. For the time is come that judgment 17 must begin from the household of God: and if it begin from us, what will the end be of those who believe not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where 18 shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
7. The end of all, &c. The end as to us here is death; and we should be sober-minded, and watch unto prayer, that we may be ready. Some apply this to the end of the Jewish state and church. But Doddridge properly observes, that this was an event in which most of those to whom the apostle wrote, were but comparatively little concerned. Death may be considered as the end of the world and all its concerns to every particular person, as after this we have no more a portion therein.'
8. Love will cover, &c. Prov. x. 12, and note, and James v. 20. The sense some attribute to this passage subverts the gospel. For if acts of liberality to the poor will procure the covering or forgiveness of our sins, though we continue impenitent and unreformed, then mercy may be purchased with money, and grace is a term without meaning. If indeed our love to one another springs from love to God, it will induce us to put the best construction on the frailties and offences of others, and even to forgive as we hope to be forgiven.
10. Free gift of the Spirit, &c. The term yagioua refers to spiritual gifts. See Rom. xii. 6—8, and I Cor. xii. 4, &c.—Manifold grace. Grace exercised and displayed in manifold degrees and ways.
11. As the oracles of God. Let him deliver doctrines agreeable to the scriptures, to the doctrine of Christ and his apostles.—Minister. Discharg ing the office of deacon or any other, let him do it, &c.
12-14. The fiery persecution, &c. This shows that they were now suffering greatly.Some strange thing. As if you had not been forewarned
·Be glad that, &c. Be glad that ye are counted worthy to suffer for