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16 Confess your offences to one another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elijah was a man of like infirmities with us; and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it rained not on the land for

and he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its produce. 19 Brethren, if any among you err from the truth, and one turn him back to it; 20 let him know, that he who turneth a sinner back from the error of his way, saveth a soul from death, and

three years and six months: 18 covereth his multitude of sins.”

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER.

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CHAP. I.

1 PETER, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the sojourners scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia: 2 chosen to obedience, and a sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of spirit: may favour and peace be multiplied to you.

3 BLEssed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his great mercy, hath begotten us again to a lively hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; 4 even to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God, through faith, to salvation, ready to be revealed in the last

time: 6 wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now, for a short time, (if need be), ye be grieved by various trials; 7 that the proof of your faith, which is much more precious than that of gold, which, though proved by fire, perisheth, may be found to praise, and honour, and glory, in the revelation of Jesus Christ;8 whom, not having seen, ye love; on whom, not now looking, but believing, ye greatly rejoice, with joy unspeakable, and full of glory; 9 receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.t 10 Of which salvation the prophets, who prophesied concerning this favour of God to you, inquired and searched diligently; 11 searching what time, or what kind of time, the spirit of Christ; in them signified, when it witnessed beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories which were to follow : 12 to whom it was revealed, that they ministered not to themselves, but to you, the things which have now been told you, by those who have preached the gospel to you [through] the holy spirit sent down from heaven; which things even angels desire to look into.” 13 WHEREFor E gird up the loins of your mind, and being sober, fully hope for the favour to be conferred on you in the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to your former desires in your ignorance : 15 but according as he who hath called you, is holy, be ye also holy in all your behaviour : 16 because it is written, “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 17 And if ye call on the Father, who, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every one's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18 knowing that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as with silver and gold, from your vain behaviour delivered down from your fathers; 19 but with the precious blood of Christ,t as of a spotless and unblemished lamb : 20 who was indeed foreknown before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these latter

* This excellent epistle is one of those the genuineness of which was disputed in the primitive church. But it is not unworthy of the apostle to whom it is generally ascribed.

t i.e. yourselves. A part here is taken for the whole. See Rom. xii. 1; xiii. 1,

+ i. e. the spirit which prophesied concerning Christ.

times for your sake, 21 who, through him, believe in God who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Having therefore purified your lives by obeying the truth [through the shirit] to unfeigned brotherly kindness, see that ye love one another, with a pure heart, fervently; 23 having been born again, not from corruptible seed but from incorruptible, through that word of God which liveth and remaineth. 24 For “all flesh is as the herb, and all its glory as the flower of the herb : the herb withereth, and [its] flower falleth off: 25 but the word of the Lord remaineth to the age:” and this is the word which is preached to you by the gospel. Ch. II. 1 Wherefore lay aside all maliciousness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil-speakings, 2 and, as new-born babes, earnestly desire the sincere shiritual milk, that ye may grow thereby to salvation: 3 since ye have tasted that the Lord is kind. 4 In coming to whom, as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen and honourable with God, 5 ye also, as living stones, being built up, are a spiritual temple, and an holy priesthood to offer up spritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

* Perhaps the meaning of the apostle may be, that the messengers who are now employed to promulgate this glorious doctrine, cannot fully comprehend its import, and are desirous of im

proving their aquaintance with it.

See Eph. iii. 18, 19,

t i. e. delivered from your former state of heathenism, prejudice, and vice, by the gospel; which

was ratified by the blood of Christ.

6 Wherefore it is contained in the scripture, “Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner-stone, chosen, and honourable : and he who believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” 7 To you therefore who believe, he is the honour : but to those who disbelieve, “ this stone which the builders rejected, is become the head of the corner,” 8 and “a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence,” even to those who stumble at the word; disbelieving that to which they were even appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, 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 into his wonderful light : 10 who in time past were not a people,” but are now the people of God: who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11 BELovED, I beseech you as strangers and sojourners, to abstain from carnal desires, which war against the soul; 12 having your behaviour good among the nations: that, in whatsoever they speak against you as evildoers, because of your good works which they have seen, they may glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Submit yourselves [therefore] to every human creation of magistrates, for the Lord’s sake:t whether it be to the king, as supreme ; 14 or to gover

nors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of those who do evil, and for the praise of those who do well : 15 (for such is the will of God,

that by well-doing ye put to.

silence the ignorance of inconsiderate men :) 16 as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men : love the brotherhood: fear God: honour the king. 18 SERVANTs, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is wellpleasing, if any one for conscience towards God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what praise is it, if, having committed faults and are buffeted, ye bear it patiently But if, having done well and suffer, ye bear it patiently, this is wellpleasing to God. 21 For to this ye were called: because even Christ suffered for

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* “This language is *. to gentiles only. See also ch. i. 18; iv. 3.” Newcome.

+ So Maeknight : see his note. Gr, tree,

i.e. he removed them and carried them away; so Christ is said, Matt, viii, fy,

f to “bear our wicknesses,” when he healed them by his miraculous power.

to the shepherd and guardian of your souls. Ch. III. 1 IN like manner, ye wives, be subject to your own husbands; that, if any believe not the word, they also, without the fireaching of the word, may be won by the behaviour of their wives; 2 having seen your chaste behaviour joined with reverence. 3 Of whom, let not the ornament be that outward one, of plaiting the hair, and of wearing gold, or of putting on apparel; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price. 5 For thus also the holy women, who trusted in God, formerly adorned themselves, being subject to their own husbands; 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him her lord :” and ye are her children while ye do well, and are not moved with any terror. 7 In like manner, ye husbands, dwell together with your wives according to prudence, giving honour to the woman as to the more infirm person,t and as being joint-heirs with her of the gift of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 8 FINALLY, be all of the same mind, be compassionate, be full of brotherly kindness, be tenderly affectioned, be humbleminded:9 not rendering evil for evil, nor reviling for reviling;

* Or, her master.

but, on the contrary, uttering blessings: [knowing] that ye are hereunto called, that ye may inherit a blessing. 10 “ For he who would love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil; and his lips, that they speak no guile. 11 Let him avoid evil, and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are often to their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 13 And who is he that will hurt you, if ye be imitators of that which is good : 14 But if ye even suffer for the sake of righteousness, happy are ye : and be not struck with fear of them, nor be ye troubled; 15 but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. And be always ready to make a defence, with meekness and reverence, to every one who shall ask 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 slanderously accuse your good behaviour in Christ. 17 For it is better that ye suffer, if the will of God be so, having done well, than having done ill. 18 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

t Gr. vessel. *

# Christ suffered for sin, not by bearing the punishment due to sin, but to introduce and ratify a dispensation, by which the idolatrous heathen should be admitted into covenant with

God. See Heb. vii. 27, and the note there,

flesh, but restored to life by the spirit; 19 in which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison;" 20 such as in former timest were hard to be convinced; as when the long-sufferings of God earnestly waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, wherein few (that is, eight) lives were saved by water.; 21 The likeness of which, even baptism, now saveth us also, (not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but an answer of a good conscience towards God,) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ; 22 who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; messengers and authorities and powers having been made subject to him.S CH. IV. 1 Since therefore Christ hath suffered [for us] in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind; (for he who hath suffered [in] the flesh, hath ceased from sin;) 2 that ye may not live the rest of your time in the flesh, according to the desires of men, but according to the will of God. 3 For the time past [of our life] may suffice [us] to have wrought the will of the nations, when we walked in lascivious

ness, in evil desires, in excess of wine, in revellings, in banquetings, and in wicked idolatries: 4 and they think it strange that ye run not with them herein to the same excess of dissoluteness, speaking evil of you : 5 but they will give account to him who is prepared to judge the living and the dead. 6 For to this end the gospel hath been preached to those also who were dead in sins,s} that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. 7 NOW the end of all things is near : be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent love among yourselves: for love covereth a multitude of sins. 9 Use hospitality one to another without murmurings. 10 According as every man hath received the free gift of the shirie, so minister it one to another, as good stewards of the manifold favour of God. 11 If any one speak, let him sfieak as the oracles of God; if any one minister, let him do it as of the ability which God supplieth : that God may be glorified in all things through

* i. e. By the holy spirit, which after his ascension (see ver, 22.) he communicated 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 liberty 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.” Im. Ver. note.

t “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.” Ibid.

+ i. e. the water supporting the ark.

§ Christ in his exalted state was empowered to send out messengers and ministers, with au. thority to preach the gospel and to furnish them with the gifts and powers of the holy spirit to ensure success. See Simpson's Essays, p. 364.

| See Eph. ii. 5, 6.

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