Page images

15 not struck with fear of them, nor be ye troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. [And] be always ready to make a defence, with meekness and reverence, to every man that asketh you a reason' of the hope which is in you: 16 having a good conscience; that, in whatsoever they speak

against you as evil-doers, they may be ashamed who slan 17 derously accuse your good behaviour in Christ. For it is

better that ye suffer, if the will of God be so, when ye do 18 well, than when ye do evil. For even Christ suffered once

for sins*, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to death indeed in the flesh, but 19 restored to life by the spirit: by which, after he was gone, 20 he preached to the spirits in prison †; who formerly disbe

lieved ‡, when the long-suffering of God earnestly waited' in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, wherein 21 few (that is, eight) persons were saved by water§. And what answereth 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 toward God,) by the resurrection 22 of Jesus Christ; who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; messengers and authorities and powers having been made subject unto him .

'Or, an account, N. m. 2 when once the long-suffering of God waited, R.T.

* Christ suffered for sin, not by bearing the punishment due to sin, but to in troduce and ratify a dispensation by which the idolatrous heathen would be admitted into covenant with God. See Heb. vii. 27, and the note there.

+ i. e. By the holy spirit, which after his ascension (see ver. 22) he conmunicated to his apostles, he preached to spirits, i. e. to persons in prison, to idolatrous heathen, the slaves of ignorance and vice: he thus proclaimed liber ty to the captives; Isaiah xlii. 6, 7; xlix. 9. The Primate's version is, " by which also he went and preached to the spirits now in prison." See Mr. Lindsey's Sequel, p. 285, 286.

He preached, not to the same individual persons, but to men like them, in the same circumstances, to the race of the gentiles, to the descendants of those who had formerly been disobedient, and refused the call of the spirit in Noah's time. But it was now very different. Many had been obedient. The apostle is contrasting the success of the gospel with the unsuccessfulness of Noah's preaching under the direction of the same spirit of God. Lindsey, ibid. p. 288.

i. e. the water supporting the ark. "through the water." N.
q. d. All prophets and authorised teachers, and those who were endued

CH. IV. Since therefore Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh,

arm yourselves also with the same mind; (for he that hath 2 suffered [in] the flesh, hath ceased from sin * ;) that ye may

not live the rest of your time in the flesh, according to the 3 desires of men, but according to 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, in evil desires, in excess of wine, in revellings, in banquetings, 4 and in wicked' idolatries: and they think it strange that

ye run not with them herein to the same excess of dissolute5 ness, speaking evil of you: but they will give account to 6 him that is prepared to judge the living and the dead. For the gospel hath been therefore preached to those also that were dead in sins, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.


Now the end of all things is near: be ye therefore sober, 8 and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent love among yourselves: for love will cover a multitude of 9 sins. Use hospitality one to another without murmurings. 10 According as every man hath received the free gift of the spirit, so minister it one to another, as good stewards of the 11 manifold favour of God. If any man speak, let 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 belongeth praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Beloved, think it not strange that a fiery persecution + among you cometh to pass for your trial, as though some

Gr. lawless. Or, are surprised, N. m. 3 covereth, Mss. and N. 4Or, be not surprised at the fiery persecution among you, which cometh &c. ver. 4. N. m.

with spiritual gifts and miraculous powers. Christ in his exalted state was empowered to send out messengers and ministers with authority to preach the gospel, and to furnish them with the gifts and powers of the holy spirit to ensure success. See also Simpson's Essays, p. 364. "Angels," N.

* q. d. he that has suffered persecution for the faith has renounced heathenism and its vices.

13 strange thing befel you: but be glad, inasmuch as ye share the sufferings of Christ; that, when his glory shall be ma14 nifested, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be

reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye: for the spirit of glory, and of power1, and of God, resteth upon you. [On their part he is evil-spoken of, but on your part 15 he is glorified.] For let none of you suffer as a murtherer, or

as a thief, or as an evil-doer, or as a busy meddler in other 16 men's affairs. But if any man suffer as a christian, let him not 17 be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this account. For

the time is come that judgement must begin from the household of God: and if it begin from us, what will the end be 18 of those who believe not the gospel of God? And if the

righteous be scarcely preserved, where will the ungodly 19 and the sinner appear? Wherefore let those also, who suf fer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as to a faithful creator. CH. V. The elders that are among you I exhort, that am a fellow-elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and 2 an heir3 also of the glory which will be manifested; feed the flock of God which is among you, being overseers of it, not by constraint, but willingly; nor for base gain, but with 3 a ready mind; nor as domineering over those allotted to 4 you, but as being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive an unfading crown of glory.



Likewise, ye younger, be subject to the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility": for "God resisteth the proud; but bestoweth favour on the humble."

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of 7 God, that he may exalt you in due time: having cast all

5 having

1" and of power" wanting in R. T. 2 in this, or for this name, Ms. 3 Gr.
a partaker. 4 taking the care [or charge] of it. S. 74. N. m.
6 humility of mind: N. See Wakefield.

dominion, N.


your anxiety upon Him, inasmuch as He careth for you. 8 Be sober, be watchful: your adversary' the false accuser walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may de9 vour: whom resist, steadfast in the faith; knowing that the same sufferings are undergone3 by your brethren who are in the world.


Now the God of all favour, who hath called us to his everlasting glory by Christ Jesus, himself prepare you; he will support, strengthen, stablish you, after ye have suf 11 fered a short time. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever.



By Silvanus, a faithful brother to you, as I suppose", I have written in few words; exhorting you, and testifying that this is the true gracious gospel of God in which ye 13 stand. The church which is at Babylon, elect together 14 with you, saluteth you: and so doth Mark, my son. Salute ye one another with a kiss of love. Peace be with you that are in Christ' [Jesus]. "


because your adversary, R. T. and N. sary, Wakefield. 3 Gr. accomplished.


2 devil, N. your slanderous adver4 prepare, support, strengthen,

stablish you, R. T. and N. himself will prepare, Mss. Or, perfectly unite, Sn, Gr. ages of ages. Or, as judge. 7 Amen. R. T. and N.


*“Dr. Mill supplies yon, and supposes that Peter's wife may be meant," Newcome,




1 SIMON Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the justification of our God', and of our Saviour 2 Jesus Christ: favour and peace be multiplied to you, through 3 the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord; according as his divine power hath given us all things relating to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath call4 ed us by his glory and virtue': by which very great and precious promises are given unto us, that by these ye might be partakers of a divine nature, having escaped the corrup 5 tion which is in the world through evil desire. And, to this end, use all your diligence, and add to your faith fortitude, 6 and to fortitude knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, 7 and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly-kindness, and to brotherly-kindness 8 love. For when these things are in you, and abound, they you that ye shall not be barren and unfruitful in the


1 "through the method of justifying as provided by our God, &c.” Newcome. 2 Or, glorious virtue. Or, glorious power. By his own glory and virtue: Mss.

*This epistle is placed by Eusebius amongst those books of the New Testament, the genuineness of which was disputed in the primitive ages. Of these Dr. Lardner says, "they should be allowed to be publicly read in Christian assemblies for the edification of the people, but not be alleged as affording alone sufficient proof of any doctrine." Lardner's Hist. of the Apostles, vol. i. ch. ii. Some have thought the first and third chapters genuine, but from the difference of style have doubted of the second.

« PreviousContinue »