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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 three years and six months: 18

and he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its produce.

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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 covereth his multitude of sins.*

THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER.

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

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

it witnessed beforehand the suf- | 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.

ferings 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 WHEREFORE 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."

22 Having therefore purified your lives by obeying the truth [through the spirit] 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 spiritual 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 from your vain behaviour de-men, but chosen and honourable livered down from your fathers; with God, 5 ye also, as living 19 but with the precious blood stones, being built up, are a of Christ, as of a spotless and spiritual temple, and an holy unblemished lamb: 20 who was priesthood to offer up spritual indeed foreknown before the sacrifices, acceptable to God foundation of the world, but through Jesus Christ. was manifested in these latter

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,

* 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 improving their aquaintance with it. See Eph. iii. 18, 19,

ti. 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 | 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 consciholy nation, a purchased peo-ence towards God endure grief, ple; that ye may show forth suffering wrongfully. 20 For the virtues of him who hath what praise is it, if, having comcalled you out of darkness into mitted faults and are buffeted, his wonderful light: 10 who in ye bear it patiently? But if, time past were not a people,* having done well and suffer, ye but are now the people of God: bear it patiently, this is wellwho had not obtained mercy, pleasing to God. 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

21 For to this ye were called: because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 who did no sin, nor was guile found in his mouth; 23 who, being reviled, reviled not again; they speak against you as evil-suffering, he threatened not; doers, because of your good but committed himself to him works which they have seen, who judgeth righteously: 24 they may glorify God in the and himself bare our sins in his day of visitation. own body on the cross, that we should die to sins, and live to righteousness: by whose stripes ye have been healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but ye are now turned

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 66 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

13 Submit yourselves [therefore] to every human creation of magistrates, for the Lord's sake:† whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 or to gover

"This language is applicable to gentiles only. See also ch. i. 18; iv. 3." Newcome. So Macknight: see his note.

Gr. tree, i. e. he removed them and carried them away: so Christ is said, Matt, viii. f7, to "bear our sicknesses," when he healed them by his miraculous power.

to the shepherd and guardian of but, on the contrary, uttering your souls. blessings: [knowing] that ye are hereunto called, that ye may inherit a blessing.

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 preaching 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,† and as being joint-heirs with her of the gift of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

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 sinst,

the

derly affectioned, be humble-righteous for the unrighteous, minded: 9 not rendering evil for that he might bring us to God; evil, nor reviling for reviling; being put to death indeed in the

8 FINALLY, be all of the same mind, be compassionate, be full of brotherly kindness, be ten

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 open to their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

Or, her master.

† 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 ness, in evil desires, in excess spirit; 19 in which also he went of wine, in revellings, in banand preached to the spirits in quetings, and in wicked idolprison; 20 such as in former atries: 4 and they think it timest were hard to be convinc- strange that ye run not with ed; as when the long-sufferings them herein to the same excess of God earnestly waited in the of dissoluteness, speaking evil days of Noah, while the ark of you: 5 but they will give was preparing, wherein few account to him who is prepared (that is, eight) lives were saved to judge the living and the dead. by water. 21 The likeness of 6 For to this end the gospel which, even baptism, now sav- hath been preached to those eth us also, (not a putting away also who were dead in sins,}} of the filth of the flesh, but an that they might be judged acanswer of a good conscience cording to men in the flesh, towards God,) through the re-but live according to God in surrection 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.§

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 re

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,ceived the free gift of the spirit, hath ceased from sin;) 2 that so minister it one to another, ye may not live the rest of your as good stewards of the manitime in the flesh, according to fold favour of God. the desires of men, but according to the will of God.

11 If any one speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if 3 For the time past [of our any one minister, let him do it life] may suffice [us] to have as of the ability which God wrought the will of the nations, supplieth: that God may be when we walked in lascivious-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 Pri mate's version is, " by which also he went and preached to the spirits now in prison." Im. Ver.

note.

+"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 authority 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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