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happily regenerated and become children unto God, do ye demean yourselves and be affected accordingly; and, therefore, laying aside all malicious disposition, and all guile and hypocrisies, &c.
II. 4, 5. To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
To whom being joined in this spiritual structure, as unto a sure corner-stone, rejected indeed and disallowed of inen, but chosen and fully accepted of God, Ye also, as so many living stones, are laid in this spiritual building, to make up a spiritual temple unto God: and, that ye may be every way answerable to those legal institutions, ye are also a holy, but Evangelical, priesthood; to offer up, not material and bodily, but spiritual sacrifices of yourselves, and of praises and thanksgivings, acceptable unto God, by Jesus Christ.
II. 8. Whereunto also they were appointed.
Unto which offence they were given up by the most just decree of God, who hath holily and justly ordained to punish one sin with another, in the wilfully disobedient.
II. 11. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.
My brethren, ye are strangers and pilgrims, in respect of your earthly home, from which ye are driven, much more in respect of your heavenly, whither ye are travelling : I beseech you, therefore, that ye carry yourselves thereafter; abstaining from all those carnal and sensual desires, which worldly hearts are wont to be taken up with, and which are very pernicious to the soul, and utterly opposite to the peace and welfare thereof.
II. 13. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme.
Subject yourselves to every superior power, that is appointed over you; whether it be to that of kings, or other their subordinate governors: and that, not so much out of fear, as out of the conscience of your obedience to God, who hath ordained them.
II. 15. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
For so is the will of God, that ye so behave yourselves, as that, by the integrity and innocence of your carriage, ye may stop the mouths of those ignorant and malicious infidels, which seek advantages against you:
II. 16. As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
As those, that are indeed a free people; free, not from the due obedience to authority, but from the spiritual bondage of
sin; truly freed by the ransom of Christ's blood from your spiritual servitude, but not licentious and making an ill use of this your liberty, as if, under pretence of that, ye were privileged to cast off the yoke of all obedience and subjection to government and wholesome laws of your superiors; but so demeaning yourselves, as that ye remember, that notwithstanding your freedom, ye are still servants to that God, who hath prescribed unto you due obedience and submission to your superiors.
II. 24. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness.
Who, in his own person, did take upon him the heavy burden of our sins; and did, in his very own body, both undergo and pay upon the Cross, those punishments, which were due to us, for all our sins, &c.
III. 2. While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
While those infidel husbands shall see your holy and chaste conversation, joined with a reverent awe and due respects to themselves, as your head.
III. 4. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible.
But let their chief ornaments be in the inward disposition of a holy and good heart; in those Christian virtues and graces, which are not subject to corruption.
III. 6. Whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
Whose daughters ye are, if ye follow her example in well doing, boldly and constantly; and not in those weak fears, whereto she yielded, and was drawn into inconvenience and dissimulation thereby : I know your sex is subject, by reason of the infirmity of it, to manifold fears and suspicions; as if, by the submissive yieldance unto your husbands, ye should expose you to their tyranny and contempt; but do ye that, which your place and duty requireth, and be not affrighted and disquieted with these doubts and distrusts, leaving the ordering of all events to the wisdom and providence of God.
III. 7. Giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel.
Giving unto them all tender and due respects, as those towards whom, by reason of the weakness of their sex, all gentle and favourable usage is required of you.
III. 15. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts : and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
But give ye utno God, in your hearts, that honour which is due unto him; in trusting to his promises, and relying upon his providence, by a stedfast confidence and reposition: and, since ye live amongst heathens and professed enemies to the Gospel, be not ye daunted with their oppositions and persecutions; but be ready, when ye are thereunto duly called, to make profession of that true faith and religion, which ye have received; but let not this be done in a turbulent and seditious manner, but with all meekness of spirit, and reverence to that authority whereby ye are called thereunto.
III. 18. Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
Being put to death in his human body, in regard of the separation of his soul therefrom, for a time; but being quickened and raised up to an immortal life, by the power of his Divine Spirit or Deity :
III. 19. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
By the power of which Divine Spirit of his, long before his manifestation in the flesh, he came to the old world; and, by the mouth of Noah, that preacher of righteousness, spake to them, whose spirits are now fast prisoned in hell;
III. 20. Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing:
Which were, in their life time, wicked and disobedient to his holy counsels; when the patient longsuffering of God gave a large respite to them for their repentance and conversion, even all the while that the Ark was preparing by Noah.
Compare this with chap. iv. verse 6.
III. 21. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Answerable unto which preservation of the eight persons in Noah's family by water, is the benefit which we received by baptism: which doth also now save us, by and in applying unto us the power of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ; and becomes effectual unto us, not in respect of the outward element which only washeth off the filth of the flesh, but in respect of the inward efficacy of the grace thereby represented and exhibited, whereby the conscience is both quieted and assured of pardon and favour, and is thereupon enabled to treat for and expect mercy from God and reconciliation with him.
IV. 1. Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind : for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered death in his human nature,
do ye labour to conform yourselves to Christ herein ; and think this seriously with yourselves, that he, who will be like unto Christ in his death and passion which he endured in the flesh, mnst be mortified in and to the corrupt desires of the flesh, and must cease from those sins which are the actions of a carnal and unregenerate life:
IV. 2. That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
He must have nothing to do with his wonted corruptions ; neither must lead the rest of his life, which he hath to spend here below, according to the sinful lusts of carnal men, but according to the holy will of God.
IV. 6. For this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
For, for this cause was the Gospel preached, of old, to those which are long since dead, being swept away by the Deluge; that, howsoever they were, in the sight and construction of men, seized on by the fearful judgment of God, yet that some of them, being wrought upon by that word of his, and brought to a sudden repentance, might have their souls saved.
IV. 8. For charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
For true charity, if it be in us, will hide a multitude of those sins and infirmities, which are in our brethren.
IV. 11. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.
If any man be called, by God, to speak publicly, as his messenger or minister to his people, let him so deliver that word which he brings, as may become the holiness and majesty of the Oracles of God.
IV. 12. Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you. Beloved, let it not seem strange and uncouth to you,
that there is a fire of persecution begun to be kindled among you, for the profession of the Gospel; which is intended by God, for the trial of your faith and constancy.
IV. 14. For the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.
For the Spirit of God, which always brings glory and happiness with it, resteth upon you; and doth, by this means, give you good evidence of his abiding in you.
IV. 17. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
For the time is come, wherein, according to the prediction of the prophet, judgment must begin at the sanctuary or house of God; which is his Church : the wisdom of God hath thought fit, by the cruel hands of wicked men, to exercise the patience and faith of his dearest children; and, if he begin with these
sharp afflictions upon us, which are tenderly beloved and respected of him, what intolerable punishments hath he provided, and will be sure to inflict upon those, that are wilfully and rebelliously disobedient to the Gospel of God!
IV. 18. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
And, if the most righteous and dearest of all God's children shall not escape a very sore and severe trial of chastisement, such, as if they were left to their own strength, were enough to overlay and miscarry them, what shall then become of the wicked and ungodly? how shall it be possible for them to escape utter confusion?
V. 1. The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ.
Those, that are the pastors or spiritual overseers of the Church amongst you, I do exhort, who am also a partner with them of the same holy calling, and an eye-witness of all those bitter sufferings of Christ, both in his life and in his death.
V. 3. Neither as being lords over God's heritage.
Not proudly and tyrannically taking upon them to domineer over the faith of God's people; or, in an overly and imperious manner, tyrannizing over the Church, which is the heritage of God.
V. 13. The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
The Church of God, consisting of those co-elect members of Christ (whether in the properly-called Babylon, which is in Egypt, or the mystical Babylon, which is Rome) salute you.
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PETER. I. 1. That have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Who have received the gift of a true and lively faith, which is equally precious wheresoever it is in any of the elect, through the merits of Jesus Christ, who is our God and Saviour.
I. 4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, haring escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
By which Christ and by the knowledge of him, are conveyed unto us exceedingly great and precious blessings and graces, such as he had formerly promised to us believers; that by these we might be made partakers of those divine qualities of the soul, viz. of wisdom, goodness, holiness, whereby we resemble that God, according to whose image we were created ;