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The end of the wicked.

19 Wherefore let those, who suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him, in well-doing, as to a faithful Creator. CHAPTER V.

A. D. 63. Elders ought to feed the flocks committed to them; the younger to obey, and all to be sober and constant in the faith, and to resist the enemy.


1: THE elders that are among you I exhort, who am a fellow-elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the 2 glory that shall be manifested: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the care

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER IV. 1. The recollection of the sufferings of our Lord for us, and the end and design of them, should excite our zeal in his sacred cause. If he has so loved us as to endure the cross and to despise the shame, that he might redeem us from iniquity and bring us to God, shall we shrink from suffering the least degree of shame or reproach for him? O let us not live according to the evil desires and lusts to which many are subjected; but let the will of God revealed in the gospel, be the rule of our conduct. And to stimulate us to this, let us reflect with deep regret on our past offences and crimes, and on that large portion of our time and life which has been spent in them; and humbly adore the grace which has pardoned us and delivered us from these excesses. Let us remember the account we must give to God, and that if he should even suffer us to fall by persecution, we shall still live to him and with him as to the spirit. Fear not them who can kill the body, but have no more that they can do. 2. Let us ever keep in mind that the end of all things is near, as to each of us in particular. Soon shall all be numbered with the dead. God will change our countenance, and send us away; and all our opportunities of service for God and one another will end also. O let us then work while it is day, be sober-minded, and watch unto prayer; and maintain and exercise forbearance and candour, fervent love, and good-will towards all. And if we are blessed with a habitation, and a sufficiency of the good things of life, let us be kind and hospitable, receiving any christian brother with esteem and pleasure. And if

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Duty of elders.

of it, not by constraint, but willingly; not for base gain, but with a ready mind; Not as 3 having dominion over those allotted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when 4 the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves to 5 the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.". Humble yourselves therefore 6 under the mighty hand of God, that he may

God has called us to any office in his church, and enriched us with any gift of his good spirit, be it our care to employ and improve it to his glory, and the peace and edification of the church. Let those who speak in his name speak according to the lively oracles. Let the doctrines taught, the precepts given, the promises and encouragements stated, be all derived from, and agreeable to the inspired word of truth. And in every ministry and service we perform, let us do it with readiness and delight, that in all things God may be glorified.

3. Let christians take heed that they never bring persecutions and sufferings on themselves by their own imprudence, intermeddling with other men's affairs, or by any improper conduct and behaviour. And if, notwithstanding, fiery persecutions and trials should await us, let us remember that our Lord foretold us of them; and if in this manner we are conformed to him, we shall share with him the glory and joy, the exceeding joy of his final triumph. Suffering in so good a cause we have no just reason to be ashained. Indeed suffering with meekness and patience, we may be accounted happy, as the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon us; and on our part he is honoured and glorified. If it were necessary in those unhappy times for the righteous to endure such severe trials and tribulations, and God begin first with his people, how dreadful must the end of the sinner be? Where can they obtain safety? Sinners of every class, and especially persecutors, will then receive condign punishment. O how necessary then is it to commit the keeping of our souls to God!

of, &c. He had attended him during his ministry, and was present in the garden and at the crucifixion; and he knew that he should be a partaker of future glory.Feed the flock. Teach and instruct it, taking the care of it, or overseeing it, not by constraint, &c.; not for base gain, inaking merchandize of souls, but with a ready mind, willing to spend and be spent for the good of the church.— As having dominion, &c. Here lordly dominion is forbidden to the elders or pastors of any church; and this one scripture is decisive against any original superiority among the elders, and equally against any civil ecclesiastical establishment, which necessarily confers such dominion over the flock, whether it be that of Episcopacy or Presbyterianism, or any other form.——Allotted to you. In the providence of God; and among which separate assemblies and flocks you are called to labour, and to be examples of christian prudence, piety, zeal, knowledge, and holiness. And when the chief, &c.

5. Ye younger, &c. Respect and submit to those advanced in age, as more able to give you advice. Yea, let all condescend to each other, and be clothed with that peculiar grace of Christ, in humility. See James iv. 6, &c. 443

Humility and watchfulness.


The true doctrine of grace. 7 exalt you in due time: Casting all your anx-fect, establish, strengthen, settle you, To 11 ious care upon him; because he careth for him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. 8 you, Be sober, be watchful; because your Amen. adversary the devil, walketh about as a roaring 9 lion, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist, stedfast in the faith; knowing that the same sufferings are accomplished in your brethren who are in the world. .10. Now the God of all grace, who hath called us to his everlasting glory by Christ Jesus, after ye have suffered awhile, make you per

By Silvanus, a faithful brother, as I judge, 12 I have written to you briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true doctrine of God's grace in which ye stand. The church that is 13 at Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Mark my son. Salute ye 14 one another with a kiss of love. Peace be with you all that are in C st Jesus. Amen. Jesus.

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER V. 1. With what condescension and love does Peter address and exhort the Elders and Pastors of the different churches of Christ. He might have assumed authority as an eminent and distinguished apostle; but he only styles himself their fellow-elder. He properly indeed mentions that he was a witness of the sufferings of Jesus. He went with him into the garden, and witnessed in some degree the sorrows of his holy soul; and he saw him affixed to the cross, and most probably beheld all his suffering until he expired. He had seen him glorified on the mount, and now lived in the assurance of partaking of his glory, when he should be manifested. Let all elders listen to his advice, and take the care of, and feed, instruct and rule, the flock of God, not by constraint, but willingly; not from the base motives of gain, but from a love to souls, and the Saviour. And never let any assume a lordly dominion or exercise a spiritual tyranny over the flock allotted to them; but on the contrary. by love, purity, condescension, humility, and the most engaging behaviour, let them aim to become examples to them. Such Elders, however they may be despised by the world, will be approved by Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, and from him will they receive the crown of life.

2. We should all learn to behave in a manner suitable to our

age, condition, and character. Let younger christians respect the

6-9. The mighty hand, &c. Who now permits you to be persecuted and tried, to exercise your faith and patience. In this state cast all your anxious care upon him, being assured from past experience that he careth for you.- Be sober, &c. As there is an enemy seeking to devour, be watchful against him, and steadily resist him in the faith of Christ's promise, who said, "As I have overcome, &c."

10, 11. Now the God, &c. The author and original source of all the grace of the blessed gospel, and of every gracious gift, who has called us to

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aged, and learn wisdom from their experience and more matured judgment; and let the aged advise, counsel, and encourage the younger disciples. Let the more wealthy assume no haughty airs, nor the poor envy and repine at them; but let all be subject to one another, and be invested with the most honourable robe which a christian can wear, humility. And what an inducement is it to be humble, that God opposes the proud, but shows his favour and dispenses his grace to them. Humble persons may cheerfully cast all their anxious cares upon God, because he assuredly careth for them, and will show it, by supplying their needs, supporting their souls, and finally raising and exalting them.

3. We are exhorted to watchfulness from the subtilty, malice, and incessant arts and assaults of our great enemy. He goes about seeking to devour and destroy the sheep of Christ; and let us not give him an advantage over us, by our negligence, or by the commission of any known sin. We should ever be sober-minded, exercising a stedfast faith in Christ, and continuing in prayer, if we hope successfully to resist this enemy, and cercome him. We must not contend in our strength, but in that of our dear Lord. We must call in the mighty aids of grace, that we may be established, strengthened, and settled, in the true doctrine of God's grace; and enjoy the delightful hope of a complete deliverance from the comparatively short afflictions of this life.

be heirs, and to enjoy the hope of glory, after ye have suffered awhile, &c. 12-14. True doctrine, &c. The truths which I have, now stated, and the other truths which you have heard from inspired teachers, are the true doctrines of grace which you have received, and on which your hope is founded. -At Babylon. There was a place in Egypt thus called; but many think that Peter called Rome by this name; and if so, he knew of its apostacy in future days. See Lardner and Macknight, &c. As many Jews were settled at Babylon, Peter might go and visit them.

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THIS epistle is thought to have been written about six years after the former; and notwithstanding the objections which have been made, both in early and latter times, from strong interna! evidence, it is clearly the genuine production of the apostle Peter. It appears not to have been so early known to the churches of the East, as it is not found in the first Syriac version. Peter considered when he wrote it that the time of his departure was at hand; and exhorting them to holy obedience, he forewarns then of certain false teachers that would arise, against whom he speaks with great severity, as he does against profane scoffers.


and, adverting to his own death, assures that Christ is the Son of God, &e.

of a divine nature, having escaped the corA. D, 69. He exhorteth them to consider their privileges and obligations; ruption which is in the world through evil desire. And to this end, using all diligence, 5 add to your faith fortitude; and to fortitude knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; 6 and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kind- 7 ness; and to brotherly kindness love. For 8 when these things are in you, and abound, they manifest that ye are not barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that hath not these things is blind, 9 having closed his eyes, and forgotten that he was formerly cleansed from his sins. Where- 10 fore the rather, brethren, diligently endeavour

I SIMON Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those that have obtained like precious faith with us, in the righteousness of 2 our God and Saviour Jesus Christ : Grace and peace be multiplied to you by the know3 ledge of our God, and Jesus the Lord; According as his divine power hath given unto us all things relating to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who hath called 4 us by his glory and virtue: By which are given to us exceedingly great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers

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CHAP. I. 1-4. Like precious faith in, &c. Faith is doubtless called precious as arising from divine grace, and as a principle of new spiritual obedience, and inseparably connected with all saving blessings. With some of our early translators, I render in the righteousness, and understanding his obedience unto death, on which faith rests for pardon and salvation.—— Of our God and Saviour. The justness of this version is admitted by the best Greek critics, and it has been proved that the words cannot admit of any other. See Dr. Twells, G,Sharp and Middleton.—Of our God, and Jesus, &c. Both the Syriac versions have, "of our Lord Jesus Christ" and mss. 69. Pelagius, "Of our God Jesus Christ who is our Lord." The Ethiopic, &c. mss. "Of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is Lord." As there is some uncertainty as to the text, and to the frue order of the words, I consider it most probable that Peter, in this verse, still refers to the same person he had before ealled "Our God and Saviour." According as his, &c. Here all spiritual gifts and blessings, necessary to a holy life and to godliness, are attributed to divine power, as this was signally displayed by them. -By his glory, &c. Some render, "by his glorious virtue or power." With Whitby, I understand the glorious virtue and energy of the Holy Spirit to be meant.. -By which, $4. Some mss. and versions read dior, “by whoin,” which would refer to him "who hath called us. "Indeed the text may refer to glory and virtue, denot.



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ing the glorious miracles, gifts, and influences of the Holy Spirit, by which are given and confirmed to us exceedingly great, &c. that ye might be happily made partakers of a new, a divine nature, being conformed to the divine image, having escaped the corruption and vices of the world.

5-7. Add to your, &c. Christian faith is not a notion, but a holy principle, and must be exemplified by the virtues of the christian character; fortitude in maintaining the truth; knowledge, a thorough acquaintance with the gospel; temperance, iu the enjoyment of all earthly good; patience, in bearing the ills of life without murmuring; godliness, in discharging the duties wɩ owe to God constantly; brotherly kindness, respecting one another as brethren in Christ; love, towards all men, seeking their happiness.

8,9. When these things, &c. The virtues above-named.—They manifest, &c. Or, make evident that ye are not barren, &c. The apostle uses the figure Litotes, meaning the opposite; they prove that you are growing and fruitful in the knowledge, &c.-Hath not these, &c. Is not adding to his faith, &c. but resting in a mere formal profession, "is blind" as to the real nature of the gospel, "having closed his eyes" willfully against the light of truth, "and forgot that he was formerly cleansed from his sins,” by the profession he made, and by submitting as a proof of the sincerity of it, to baptism. Acts xxii. 16.


The truth of the gospel



from the attestation of the Father. to make your calling and election sure: for, || of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witif ye do these things, ye shall never fall: nesses of his majesty. For he received from 17 11 For thus an entrance into the everlasting king-God the Father honour and glory, when such dom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ shall a voice came to him from the excellent glory, be abundantly ministered to you. saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." And this voice which 18 came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also 19 the word of prophecy now more confirmed; to which ye do well to attend, as to a lamp that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the 20 scripture is from a man's own invention. For 21 the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Wherefore I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things; though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 18 Yea, I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by reminding you; 14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ de15-clared to me. Moreover I will endeavour that

ye may be able, after my decease, to have 16 these things always in remembrance. For we followed not cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER 1. 1. We are called to contemplate the glorious person of our Lord, and to render such honour to him as is becoming his divine nature, and his character and work as. Saviour. Peter thought it his happiness to be the servant of Christ, and surely every other minister should; and especially to have a saving, sanctifying faith in his perfect and infinitely meritorious righteousness. How precious is this faith, as exercised and terminating on our God and Saviour Jesus? And how happy all those who have obtained it! Through the knowledge of him, grace and peace will be multiplied. Having called us by his glorious power and the efficacy of his Spirit, and made us partakers of a divine nature, renewing our minds, and delivering us from the corruption of the world, he hath also given and secured to us all things relating and necessary to our present life, and to the promotion of godliness. Well may the promises be alled precious, because of the invaluable blessings promised, and of their holy, animating influence on the believing mind. Let us treasure them up in our hearts, and ever plead them at the throne of grace.

2. We are reminded that christian privileges do not supersede, but enforce and strongly oblige us to christian diligence and spiritual improvement. The barren and fruitless professor, though formerly

10, 11. Election sure. Make it an assured thing to yourselves that ye are called and chosen of God, by adding to your faith, fortitude, &c. for if ye do these things, &c.- For thus an entrance, &c. You shall not only be admitted into the glorious kingdom of Christ, but admitted in the most honourable mauner, in the way of a distinguished triumph.

12-15. To remind you, &c. I know it to be necessary to exhort you in this manner, though you know these things; and I do this the more earnestly, as I am about soon to put off the tabernacle of the body in the manner our Lord Jesus declared s expressly to me before his ascension. John xxi. 18, 19. 16-18. Fables, &c. Such as the heathen poets have invented respecting their gods.The power, &c. The power displayed by Christ when he came to redeem us, in his miracles, &c. and especially when he appeared in majesty on the mount, and when the Father bore testimony to him in the most evident and glorious manner. Matt. xvii. 5, &c.

cleansed from some of his grosser sins, has just cause to doubt of his state. It is only by adding to our faith the lovely train of christian graces, and abounding in the exercise of them, that our effectual calling of God, and our election as the spring and cause of it, can be made sure to ourselves and manifest to others. He that is destitute of these things is blind, having closed his eyes, as being averse to the consideration of his own condition, and to the instructions, exhortations, and warnings of God's holy word. It is the diligent hand that maketh rich; and if we would enjoy the consolations of the gospel, and the honour of a triumphant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord, we must labour to abound in all the fruits of piety and devotion. O how desirable to enter into that state with a full tide of spiritual joy; to be welcomed to those everlasting mansions, with the acclamation of holy angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect.

3. While it is the duty of ministers to remind us of what we know, and excite us to a holy conduct, so long as life continues, it is not less ours to regard the evidence we have for the truth of the gospel. However distinguished individuals may be by their office, talents, and graces, they must put off the tabernacle of the body, leave it for a season a prey to worms, corruption, and death; and then they can be

19-21. More confirmed, &c. From what occurred at the transfiguration, "We have the word of prophecy" contained in the Old Testament, and that delivered by Christ or any of his apostles, "more confirmed" to us, as that event showed he was the Son of God, the true Messiah, the wonderful, the counsellor, &c.; and it also proved the glory he had originally with the Father, and with which he would, and even now is invested, so as to be able to accomplish all the prophecies yet unfulfilled.Lamp that shinetk, &c. Prophecy is like a lamp in the night, affording some light as to the events foretold; but the accomplishment is as the dawn of the day, when christiane understand it fully.—Of any private invention. I have adopted the rendering of Macknight as the best I have seen. Benson nearly, "It is not of private explanation," or "the explanation of a man's own mind." For the prophecy came not of old time, by the will of man; but holy men, &c. This is a reason of what precedes.

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On false teachers.




A.D. 69. He foretells of false teachers, and their punishment, from which the godly shall be delivered; their profane and impious conduct, &c.



But there were false prophets also among the Jewish people, as there will be false teachers even among you, who will craftily bring in destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them, bringing on 2 themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their impurities;" because of whom 3 the way of truth will be evil-spoken of. And through covetousness they will make a gain of you, by their feigned words: but their judgment long since foretold, now lingereth not, and their destruction slumbereth not.


For if God spared not the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them up to chains of darkness to be reserved 5 for judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth person preserved, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought the flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 And turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah


of no more service to their fellow-saints here, by their personal labours and instructions. But how many, though dead, yet instruct, edify, warm, and animate, by their writings? So does Peter, by assuring us of the certainty of those things which we believe. He witnessed the glory of Christ on the Mount. He heard the voice from heaven,

CHAP. II. 1. False prophets. Though the true prophets spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, yet there were others who uttered only their own dreams; and there will be false teachers also among you. The connexion of this with the preceding chapter is close and obvious; and why this should be thought written by another hand, 1 confess I know not. Heresies. False doctrines, invented and taught from carnal and mercenary motives, and ading to corrupt and sinful practices, denying the sovereign Lord, &c. God is said to buy or purchase Israel by bringing them into a church state, and giving them the means of grace, (Exod. xv. 16. Deuter. xxxii. 6. ;) and in this sense Christ may be said to have purchased these false teachers.

3. Make a gain of you, &c. As they will cause many to reproach the true christian doctrine, they will impose on others their errors for the purpose of sordid gain; but their judgment long since foretold by the prophets lingareth not, &c. as the following examples prove.

Their sinful ways.

into ashes, condemned them with an utter overthrow, making them an example to those that should afterwards live ungodly; Yet de- 7 livered just Lot, who was grieved by the impure behaviour of the wicked: (For that 8 righteous man dwelling among them, by seeing and hearing, tormented his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds ;) The 9 Lord then knoweth how to deliver the godly out of trial, and to reserve the unjust to the day of judgment to be punished.

But especially those that walk after strange 10 flesh, in unclean lust, and despise dominion. Presumptuous and self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas 11 angels, who are greater in power and might, bring not a blaspheming accusation against them before the Lord. them before the Lord. But these, as brute 12 creatures, made by nature to be taken and destroyed, speaking evil of things which they understand not, shall be utterly destroyed in their own corruption: And shall receive the reward 13. of unrighteousness, as they count it pleasure to riot in the day time. They are spots and

4. The angels who sinned, &c. The sentiment of Peter is conformable to the doctrine of prophets, our Lord, and other apostles, on this subject; and how ridiculous is it to sink this passage to mean, the ten spies who did not give a true report of the good land! See note, Socinian version. The writers of this school show admirable skill in the art of the Bathos-Chains of darkness. Confined in a state of misery as by chains; and though permitted to tempt man, yet are always under a sovereigu control, and they are trembling with fear of the final judgment.

2. ▾ Mss. Others, destructive ways. saying "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased!" And how is the word of prophecy confirmed by its accomplishment in the person and work of Jesus? To this let us take heed, as to a lamp that shineth, to direct us in the right way, to the region of perfect light, love, and happiness,

5-9. Saved Noah, &c. Together with his sons and their wives, when he brought the flood, &c. Gen. Ch. vii. 8.- -And turned the cities, &c. Gen. xix. 1, &c. Making them an example, &c. Of his indignation and justice; of that misery which avails impenitent sinners. Yet he delivered Lot, who served him in Sodom; and who was grieved with the impure and unnatural behaviour of these sinners. By these facts two things are established; first, that God knows how and when to deliver the godly out of trial; and secondly, how to keep and bring on the wicked the judgment denounced against them.

10. Strange flesh, &c. Committing the sin of Sodom, Rom. i. 26, 27. Jude verse 7. Some think Peter here describes some Jewish teachers, who professing christianity, were in their practice abominable, and like their countrymen, despised the dominion of the Roman empire; while others suppose the filthy sect of the Nicolaitans is meant.

11. Whereas angels, &c. If we refer the word dignities to civil magistrates whose office is to punish such evil-doers; and whom on this account they hate and despise, then the apostle may be considered as contrasting the conduct of the holy ministering angels with theirs. In giving in their report of the conduct of these false teachers, they state matters as they are, and bring no railing or blaspheming accusation against even them before the Lord. 12-16. As brute creatures, &c. As wild beasts, which were intended to be taken and destroyed, so these speaking evil of things, &c. of laws,

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