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CHAP. I. 1. PETER, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the sojourners scattered through Pontus, Galatia, Cappa2 dock, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect (according to the fore
CHAP. I. Ver. l. To the sojourners—Upon earth, the Christians, chiefly those of Jewish extraction, scattered—Long ago driven out of their own land, (those scattered by the persecution mentioned Acts viii. 1, were scattered only through Judea and Samaria, though afterwards some of them travelled to Fbenice, Cyprus, and Antioch,) through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia—He names these five provinces in the order wherein they occurred to him, writing from the East. All these countries lie in the lesser Asia. The Asia here distinguished from the other provinces, is that which was usually called The Proconsular Asia, being a Roman province.
V. s. According to the foreknowledge of God—Speaking after the manner of men. Strictly speaking, there is no foreknowledge, no more than after-knowledge with God: but all things are known to him as present, from eternity to eternity. This is therefore no other than an instance of the divine condescension to our low capacities. Elect—By the free love and almighty power of God taken out of, separated from the world. Election, is the scriptural sense, is God's doing any thing that our merit or power has no part in. The true predestination, or fore-appointment of God is, l. He that believeth shall be "red, from the guilt and power of sin. s. He that endureth to the end, shall be saved eternally. 3. They who receive the precious gift of faith, thereby become the sons of God: and being sons, they shall receive the Spirit of holiness, to walk as Christ also walked. Throughout every part of this appointment of God, promise and duty go hand in hand. All is free gift; and yet such is the gift, that the final issue depends on our future obedience to the heavenly call. But other predestination than this, either to life or death eternal, the Scripture knows not of. Moreover, it is, l. Cruel respect of persons: an unjust regard of one, and an unjust disregard of another. It is mere creature partiality, and not infinite justice: 2. It is not plain Scripture doctrine, (if true,) but rather, inconsistent with the express written Word, that speaks of God's universal offers of grace: his invitations, promises, threatening!, being all general. 3. We are bid to choose life, and reprehended for not doing it. 4. It is inconsistent with a state of probation in those that must be saved or must be lost. 5. It is of fatal consequence; all men being ready, on very slight grounds, to fancy themselves of the elect unmber. But the doctrine of predestination is entirely changed from what it formerly was. Now it implies neither faith, peace, nor purity. It is something that will do without them all. Faith is no longer, according to the modern predestinarian scheme, a divine evidence of things not seen, wrought in the soul by the immediate power of the Holy Ghost: not any evidence at all; but a mere ,notion. Neither is faith made any longer a means of holiness; but something that will do without it. Christ is no more a Saviour from sin; but a defence, a countenance of it. He is no more a fountain of spiritual life in the soul «f believers, but leave* his elect inwardly dry, and outwardly unfruitful; and is made little more than a refuge from the image of the heavenly: even from righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; through sanctiftcation of the Spirit—Through the renewing and purifying influences of his Spirit on their •puis: unto obedience—To engage and enable them to yield themselves up to all holy obedience, the foundation of all which is, the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ—The atoning blood of Christ, which was typified by the spriakling of the blood of sacrifices under the law; in allusion to which it is called) the blood of sprinkling.
10 salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets, who prophesied of the grace of God toward you, inquired
11 and searched diligently, Searching what, and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them sign in
'lied, when he testified before hand the sufferings of Christ
12 and (he glories that were to follow. To whom it was revealed, that not for themselves, but for us they ministered the things which have been now declared to you by them that have preached the gospel to you, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven : which things angels desire
13 to look into. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be watchful and hope perfectly for the grace that shall be
14 brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, conform not yourselves to your former
13 desires, in your ignorance; But as he who hath called you is holy, so be ye yourselves also holy in all manner
16 of conversation: For it is written, * Be ye holy; for I
17 am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work,
* Lev. xi. 44.
V. 10. Of which talvation—So far beyond all that was experienced under the Jewish dispensation, the very prophets who prophesied long ago of the grace a)' God toward you—Of his abundant, overflowing grace to be bestowed on believers under the Christian dispensation, enquired—Were earnestly inquisitive, and searched diligently (like miners searching after prectons ore) after the meaning of the prophecies which they delivered.
V. II. Searching what time—What particular period; and what manner of ttme—TSy what marfis to be distinguished; the glories that were to follow— His sufferings: namely, the glory of his resurrection, ascension, exaltation, and the effusion of his Spirit; the glory of the last judgment, and of his eternal kingdom: and also the glories of his grace, in the hearts and lives of Christians.
V. 12. To whom—So searching, it Was revealed, but not for themselves, but for us they ministered—They did not so much by those predictions serve themselves, or that generation, as they did us, who now enjoy what they saw afar off: with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven—Confirmed by the inward, powerful testimony of the Holy Ghost, as well as the mighty effusion of his miraculous gifts; which things angels desire to look into—A beautiful gradation; prophets, righteous men, kings, desired to see and hear what Christ did and taught. What the Holy Ghost taught concerning Christ, the very angel* long to know.
V. 13. Wherefore—Having such encouragement, gird up the loins of your mind—As persons in the eastern countries were wont in travelling or running, to gird up their long garments, so gather ye up all your thoughts and affections, and keep your minds always disincumbered and prepared to run the race which is set before you: Be watchful—As servants that wait for their Lord, and hope to the end—Maintain a full expectation of all the grace—The blessings flowing from the free favour of God, which shall be brought to you: at the^Hnui revelation of Jesus Christ: and which are now brought to you, by the revelation of Christ in you.
V. 14. Your desires—Which ye had while ye were ignorant of God.
V. 17. Who jndgeth according to every man's work—According to the tenor of his life and conversation: Pass the time of your sojourning—Your short abode •n earth, in—Humble, loving/eer-tThe proper companion and guard tf hope.
18 pass the time of your sojourning in fear: Seeing ye know ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation delivered by tradi
19 tion from your fathers, But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot,
20 Who verily was foreknown before the foundation of the
21 world, but was manifested in the last times for you, Who through him believe in God, that raised him from the dead, and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.
22 Having purified your souls by obeying the truth, thro' the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one
23 another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not by corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the word of
24 God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For * all flesh is grass, and all the glory of it as the flower of grass :
25 The grass is withered, and the flower is fallen off: "But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which is preached to you in the gospel.
CHAP. II. 1. Wherefore laying aside all wickedness, and all guile, and dissimulation, and envies, and all evil-speakings.,
2 As new born babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that
3 ye may grow thereby: Since ye have tasted that the Lord is
4 gracious: To whom coming as unto a living stone,.rejected
• lsa. *1. 6, &c.
V. 18. your coin conversation—Your foolish, sinful way of life.
V. 19. Without blemish—In himself, without spot—From the world.
V. 3|. Who through him believe—For all our faith and hope proceed from the power of his resurrection; in God—thats-aised Jesus, and gave him glory —At his ascension; without Christ we should only dread God: whereas thro' him ,we believe, hope, and love.
V. 32. Having purified your souls, by obeying the truth through the Spirit— Who bestows upon you freely, both obedience and purity of heart, and unsigned Uve of the brethren: go on to still higher degrees of love; love one another fervently—With the most strong and tender affection, and yet with a pure heart—Pure from any spot of unholy desire or inordinate passion.
V. 23. Which liveth—Is full of divine virtue, and ahideth the same for ever.
V. 34. All flesh—Every human creature is transient and withering as grass; and all the glory of it—His wisdom, strength, wealth, righteousness; as the flower—The most short lived part of it. The grass—That is, man: the flower —That is, his glory, is fallen off—As it were, while we are speaking.
CHAP. 11. Ver. 1. Wherefore laying aside—As inconsistent with that pure love, all dissimulation—Which is the outward expression of guile in the heart.
V. 3. Desire—Always, as earnestly as new born habes do, ch. i: 3, the milk «f
the word That word of God which nourishes the soul as milk does the body,
and which is sincere—Pure from all guile, so that none are deceived who cleave to it; that ye may grow thereby—In faith, love, holiness, unto the full stature of Christ.
V. 3. Since ye have tasted—Sweetly and experimentally known.
V. 4. To whom coming—By faith, as unto a living stone—Living from Meg.
5 indeed by men, but chosen of God and precious, Ye also, as living stones, are built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God
6 through Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, * Behold I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious, and he that Dene vein on him shall not be con
7 founded. There fore to you who believe, he is precious; but as to them who believe not, t The stone which the builders
8 rejected is become the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, to them who stumble, not believing the word, whereunto also they were ap
0 pointed. But ye are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people, that ye may show forth the virtues of him who hath called you out of darkness 10 into his marvellous light: Who in time past were not a people, but now are the people of God; who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
* Isa. xxviii. 16. f Psalm cxviii. 22.
nity, alive from the dead. There is a wonderful beauty and energy in these expressions, which describe Christ as a spiritual foundation, solid, firm, durable; and believers as a building erected upon it, in preference to that temple which the Jews accounted their highest glory. And St. Peter, speaking of him thus, shows he did not judge himself, but Christ to be the Rock on which the church was built: rejected indeed by men—Even at this day, not only by Jews, Turks, Heathens, Infidels; but by all Christians, so called, who live in sin, or who hope to be saved by their own works: but chosen of God—From all eternity, to be the foundation of his church: and precious—in himself, in the sight of God, and in the eyes of all believers.
V. 5. Ye—Believers, as living stones— Alive to God through him, are built VP—In union with each other, a spiritual house—Being spiritual yourselves, and a habitation of God through the Spirit: a holy priesthood—Consecrated to God, and holy as he is holy: to offer up—Your souls and bodies, with all your thoughts, words, and actions, spiritual sacrifices to God.
V. 6. He that believeth, shall not be confounded—In time or in eternity.
V. 7. To them who believe, he is become the head of the corner—The chief corner stone, on which the whole building rests. Unbelievers too will at length find him such to their sorrow, Matt. xxi. 44.
V. 8. Who stumble, wherennto also they were appointed—They who believe not, stumble, and fall, and perish forever: God having appointed from all eternity, He that believeth not, shall be damned.
V. 9. But ye—Who believe in Christ, are, —In a higher sense than ever the Jews were, a chosen or elect race, a royal priesthood—Kings and priests unto God, (Rev. i. 6.) As princes, ye have power with God, and victory over sin, the world, and the devil: as priests, ye are consecrated to God, for offering spiritual sacrifices. Ye Christians are as one holy nation—Under Christ your King, a purchased people—Who are his peculiar property: that ye may 'hem forth—By your whole behaviour, to all mankind : the virtues—The excellent glory, the mercy, wisdom, and power of him—Christ, who hath called you out of the darkness—Of ignorance, error, sin, and misery.
V. 10. Who in time past were not a people—(Much less the people of God) but scattered individuals of many nations. The former part of the verse particularly respects the Gentiles 5 the latter the Jews.