Imágenes de páginas

formerly departed from him in Pamphylia';" and the person who was then taken by St. Paul with him into Asia, in the place of Mark, was no other than Silas, -as he is called in the Acts,—or, as he is called by St. Paul, Silvanus. But now St. Mark had returned to the work, and was in much esteem with St. Paul'; and he is honoured by St. Peter with the affectionate title-" Marcus my son."

Here then we have another indication of the fraternal relation of St. Peter to St. Paul; and of the graces of love, joy, and peace shed by the Holy Spirit on their hearts, and on those of their friends; graces which soothed every angry passion, and joined them together in Christ.

The Second Epistle of St. Peter was written soon after the first, and it was addressed to the same persons as the First Epistle'; and the reference which he makes at its close to "all the Epistles" of his "beloved brother Paul," and the testimony which he bears to his wisdom, and to the divine inspiration of those Epistles, complete the evidence of St. Peter's affectionate regard for the Apostle of the Gentiles; and of his perfect agreement with him in the holy doctrine which he taught.

Finally, Almighty God, Who had called these two great Pastors of His flock, and had assigned to each of them his proper work, in tending and feeding the sheep which He had purchased to Himself with the precious blood of His dear Son, was pleased to bring them together in their old age to the same place.

That place was the capital of the world, Rome. The Apostle of the Circumcision was united there with the Apostle of the Gentiles in a blessed martyrdom for Christ; and thus the great Head of the Church vouchsafed to manifest to the world their perfect brotherhood in life, doctrine, and death; and He commended their example to the imitation of all Pastors and People; and taught the world, by their means, that temporary failings of our frail bumanity may, under the gracious influence of the Holy Ghost, be corrected by watchfulness and prayer, humility, gentleness, meekness, and charity; and be made occasions of spiritual victories; and He has displayed a cheering vision of that blessed consummation, when Jew and Gentile will be brought together into one fold under one Shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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of Corinth, in the 2nd Century, in Euseb. ii. 25. Irenæus iii. 1; and in Euseb. v. 8, and Tertullian de Præscr. hær. c. 36; de Baptismo, 4; Marcion iv. 5; Scorpiac. 15; Caius in Euseb. ii. 25, and Origen in Euseb. iii. 1. Cyprian ad Antonianum, Ep. 55, and ad Cornelium, Ep. 59. Lactantius, Inst. iv. 21; De Morte Persecut. c. 2. Euseb. H. E. ii. 22. 25; iii. 2. Demonst. Evang. iii. p. 116. From these authorities it may be concluded that St. Peter came to Rome at the end of his Apostolic career, and there suffered martyrdom by crucifixion; see also above, Introduction to St. Paul's Epistles to Timothy, p. 424.



Ι. 1· ΠΕΤΡΟΣ, ἀπόστολος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδήμοις σπορᾶς Πόντου, Γαλατίας, Καππαδοκίας, ̓Ασίας, καὶ Βιθυνίας, 2 κατὰ γνωσιν Θεοῦ Πατρὸς, ἐν ἁγιασμῷ Πνεύματος, εἰς ὑπακοὴν καὶ ῥαντισμὸν ματος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη πληθυνθείη.

CH. I. 1. Пéтроs, àñóσтoλos] Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect sojourners of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.

Concerning the authorship and design of this Epistle see the Introduction.

They, to whom St. Peter writes, are addressed as elect;

The Jews gloried in being the elect people of God (see Deut. iv. 37; vii. 6. Ps. cv. 6. 43); and St. Peter assures them that by becoming Christians, they do not cease to be God's favoured people, but are a chosen generation in Christ. (See ii. 9.)

He also declares that they are at home in Christ's Church, although they are sojourners and strangers in the world (wapeníEnμosпápоikos, Hesych.), being removed far away from Jerusalem and Judæa, as their fathers were, by their exile in Babylon, from which place St. Peter is now writing; and although they are scattered abroad in many heathen lands.

Upon this their condition as pilgrims in this world he grounds an admonition to them as strangers and sojourners (ii. 11; cp. Heb. xi. 13) to abstain from fleshly lusts, having their conversation, or intercourse, honest among the Gentiles, among whom they are commingled in their Dispersions, and to set their affections on their heavenly inheritance, their "promised land" above. Cp. Phil. iii. 20. Heb. xiii. 14.

He addresses them all as elect, according to the foreknowledge of God; and thus he teaches, that all members of the visible Church, who profess the Faith, and partake in the Sacraments, of Christ, are to be regarded by men as elect, and foreknown by God in Christ. Vocation presupposes election; and wherever we see men called, we are to presume them to be elect.

In the same manner St. Paul addresses the Ephesian Christians, as chosen in Christ by God the Father, before the foundation of the world, and as predestined to the adoption of sons in the Beloved, according to the gracious purpose of God's will in Him. See on Eph. i. 3-5, and the Introduction to the Epistle to the Romans, p. 195.

But though the members of the Visible Church are elect, and are addressed by the Apostles as such, they are not yet finally assured of salvation; but they are exhorted by St. Peter "to give diligence to make their calling and election sure." (2 Pet. i. 10.)

Пóvтov] of Pontus; placed first among the Asiatic regions here specified; whence this First Epistle of St. Peter is cited by some ancient Fathers as addressed "ad Ponticos." Tertullian, Scorp. c. 12. Cyprian, Lib. Test. iii. 36, 37.

Пóνтον, гaλaτías, K.T.λ.] of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. The Jewish Christians to whom St. Peter writes in his two Epistles (as is affirmed by the ancient Expositors, Euseb. iii. 4, Didymus in loc., Hieron. Cat. Scr. i., Ecumenius, and others) are specially those of the Asiatic dispersion (see here and 2 Pet. iii. 1); and he enumerates them in the order in which they would occur to the mind of a writer addressing them from the east. (See below on v. 13.) This consideration confirms the opinion, that Babylon, from which this Epistle is dated (v. 13), is not any city west of Asia Minor, as Rome, but the literal, Assyrian, Babylon. See Introduction, p. 37.


δια- η John 7. 35. πρόαπ.

Acts 2. 5, 9, 10. James 1. 1. b Eph. 1. 4. ch. 2. 9. &

ver 14.

Rom. 8. 29. & 16. 26. & 1. 7. 2 Thess. 2. 13. Heb. 12. 24. 2 Pet. 1. 2.

This observation is illustrated and confirmed by a passage in the writings of St. Peter's brother Apostle, St. John. St. John, writing his Revelation from Patmos to the Christian Churches of Asia, specifies them in their geographical order, from West to East (see Rev. i. 11; ii. 1; iii. 14, inclusive). Here they are reckoned by St. Peter in the opposite order, i. e. from East to West. St. John was writing from the West of Asia, namely, from Patmos; St. Peter is writing from the East, namely, from Babylon. Hence the difference.

St. Peter, on the Day of Pentecost, at Jerusalem, had preached to the various Dispersions of Jews who had come up to Jerusalem to that Feast. (Acts ii. 9-14.) Those several Dispersions are thus enumerated in the Acts of the Apostles :

(1) Parthians, Medes, &c., i. e. the Babylonish Dispersion. (2) Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia; i. e. the Asiatic Dispersion. (3) Egypt, and the parts of Libya toward Cyrene; i. e. the Alexandrine Dispersion.

(4) Strangers of Rome; those especially which had been carried thither by Pompey the Great.

See above, note on Acts ii. 9-11.

St. Peter, as a wise master-builder, is now consolidating the work which, by the aid of the Holy Ghost, he had begun at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. He does this as follows:

(1) He went in person to Babylon (v. 13), and edified the Assyrian Dispersion of Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and dwellers in Mesopotamia.

(2) From Babylon, he wrote this Epistle to the Asiatic Dispersion of the strangers scattered abroad in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Asia, i. e. Proconsular Asia. See above on Acts xvi. 6; xix. 10; and below on Rev. i. 4.


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(3) He afterwards sent St. Mark, Marcus his son (v. 13), reach to the Egyptian, or Alexandrine, Dispersion. above, Introduction to St. Mark's Gospel, p. 112.

(4) Finally, he himself strengthened the faith of the Roman Dispersion, by visiting Rome, and dying as a martyr there.

Thus St. Peter completed the work which he had begun on the day of Pentecost. Thus this Fisher of men (Luke v. 10) drew the net of the Gospel through the sea of the world to the shore of eternal life, and enclosed therein a large multitude, and finished the labour, symbolized by the miraculous draught of fishes, after the Resurrection of Christ. See above on John xxi. 1 -14; and Introduction to this Epistle, pp. 36-40.

2. év åɣiaσμ Пveúμaтos] by the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. See next note.

εἰς ὑπακοὴν καὶ ῥαντισμὸν αἵματος] unto hearkening to the Gospel, and joyful acceptance of it (see Rom. i. 5; xv. 18; and below, vv. 14. 22), and unto the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. St. Peter had begun with a recital of privileges; here is a declaration of duty. Ye are elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, Whose paternal love is the source of all good to men; but ye are elect, not to any presumptuous selfassurance, much less to any recklessness of living; but ye are elect to hearkening unto His word; ye are elect to obedience; or, as St. Paul expresses it (Eph. i. 3-5), ye are elect and predestined to holiness in love, to the praise and glory of His grace;

c John 3. 3, 5.

1 Cor. 15. 20.

2 Cor. 1. 3.

James 1. 18.

d Col. 1. 5.

2 Tim. 1. 12.


3 ° Εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς καὶ Πατὴρ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὁ κατὰ



τὸ πολὺ αὐτοῦ ἔλεος ἀναγεννήσας ἡμᾶς εἰς ἐλπίδα ζῶσαν δι' ἀναστάσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐκ νεκρῶν, 4 4 εἰς κληρονομίαν ἄφθαρτον καὶ ἀμίαντον καὶ ἀμάραντον, 3 τετηρημένην ἐν οὐρανοῖς εἰς ὑμᾶς, 5 τοὺς ἐν δυνάμει Θεοῦ φρουρουμένους διὰ

e John 10. 28, 29.

& 17. 11, 12, 15. Jude 1, 24. Eph. 2. 8.

ye are elect to the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, which was once shed on the cross, and was actually and personally applied to you by the sanctifying operation of the Holy Spirit, and was sprinkled on you, the covenanted people of God; as the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean under the Law, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh. See Heb. ix. 12-14, and compare x. 22. Exod. xxiv. 8.

That blood was sprinkled upon you, and was made effectual for your salvation, when you professed your faith in Christ, Who sprinkleth many nations (Isa. lii. 15), and cleanseth from all sin (1 John i. 7); and when you received the Sacrament of Baptism, which derives its efficacy from Christ's blood; and it is ever and anon sprinkled on you,-at your sincere repentance, in the administration of the Holy Communion of His body and blood, and saves you, the true Israel of God, from the wrath to come, as the blood of the Paschal Lamb, when sprinkled on the lintels and door-posts of the Israelites, procured their deliverance from destruction (see Exod. xii. 22, 23); and it makes atonement with God for your sins, as the sprinkling of the Blood of the sinofferings, which was sprinkled seven times before the Lord, i. e. towards the veil (Lev. iv. 4-6); and on the great day of atonement was sprinkled within the Veil, upon, and before, the Mercy Seat. Lev. xvi. 14.

For, as St. Paul says to the Ephesians, they have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

These blessings, which flow from the love of God the Father, through the mediation of God the Son, are applied personally to each believer by the sanctification of the Spirit,-God the Holy Ghost.

Thus, as is observed by Cassiodorus, each of the Three Persons of the ever-Blessed Trinity is here presented to us by the Apostle, as co-operating in the work of our salvation. Compare the words of St. Paul, 2 Thess. ii. 13, "God from the beginning chose you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, whereunto He called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ," and Eph. ii. 17, 18; and note on 2 Cor. xiii. 14.

The preamble of St. Paul's Epistle to the greatest Church of Asia, Ephesus, bears a remarkable resemblance, in the exuberant flow, and majestic splendour of its diction, and in the sublime grandeur of its substance, to that of this Epistle of his brother Apostle, St. Peter, to the Jewish Christians of the same country. These two Epistles throughout present clear evidence of the unity of teaching of the two Apostles on the doctrines of Universal Redemption, Election, and Predestination. See above on Eph. i. 1-8, and the Introduction to this Epistle of St. Peter, p. 43, and below, Introduction to the second Epistle.


χάρις-πληθυνθείη] Grace to you and Peace be multi

This salutation of the Apostle from Babylon recalls to the mind the greeting sent forth from the same City to all its provinces, by the two Kings of the two successive Dynasties,--the Assyrian and Medo-Persian,-under the influence of the Prophet Daniel, and other faithful men of the first Dispersion. They proclaimed in their royal Epistles the supremacy of the One true God, the God of Israel. "Nebuchadnezzar the king to all people to you Peace be multiplied" (eiphvn vμîv πλnovveeín, Dan. iv. 1). Darius the king wrote to all people, " to you Peace be multiplied." (Dan. vi. 25.)

Daniel and the three children turned the hearts of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, and moved them to declare the glory of the true God in Letters written to all people." The Apostle St. Peter now carries on the work of the ancient Prophets, and writes an Epistle from Babylon, by which he builds up the Christian Sion in all ages of the world (cp. 2 Pet. i. 1, 2, and below on v. 13), and proclaims to all, "Peace be multiplied unto you!"

On this Oriental salutation, very suitable to be used in an Epistle from the East, see Schoettgen here.

Grace is put before Peace, because Peace is the fruit of Grace.

3. Evλoynτós] Blessed be God, Who is also the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Who of His great mercy has begotten us again to a living hope, through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

God the Father is the Fountain of all Blessing; and all


Blessing descends through God the Son; and is applied by God the Holy Ghost; and so St. Paul teaches, Eph. i. 3—17; cp. note above, 2 Cor. xiii. 14.

St. Peter presents to us the three several ways in which we are sons of God. He is our Father

(1) By Creation. (See v. 2.)

(2) By our New Birth in Baptism, when the Blood of Christ was sprinkled on us, and we were delivered from death. (See v. 2.) (3) And now we, who have been already born again into a life of Grace, are born again into a living hope of future and everlasting Glory, by the Resurrection of Christ.

By that Resurrection, we, who are in Christ, our Representative and Head, were publicly declared by God to be pardoned and accepted; for He rose again for our Justification. (See on Rom. iv. 25.) We are already the sons of God, and "we know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him.' (1 John iii. 2.) We have been baptized into His death, that is, into conformity to it, and to a participation n its benefits; and if we have become connate, or born together (ovμpuтo), with Him by the likeness of His Death, we shall also be born together with Him in the likeness of His Resurrection. See above on Rom. vi. 5. Cp. Bp. Andrewes, ii. pp. 198. 266. 322; and Bp. Pearson on the Creed, Art. i. p. 50; and on the analogies between Birth, and Baptism, and Resurrection, see below, Rev. xx. 5.

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eis éλmida (@oav] to a living hope; to a hope that liveth; and which, as living, and bearing fruit, is contrasted with the state of death in which we once were, "having no hope, and being without God in the world" (Eph. ii. 12), "and having fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph. v. 11).

This is the hope which springs forth from the Grave, by the Resurrection of Christ our "First-fruits" (1 Cor. xv. 20), Who "was dead and is alive and liveth for evermore" (Rev. i. 18).

This hope therefore never dies, as earthly hopes do; and, it is not like the hope of those among your fathers, who looked only for an earthly Canaan (Theophyl.), but the hope of the true Israel is a hope which is ever growing, till it is consummated in everlasting fruition in the heavenly Jerusalem; and by "this hope we are saved" (Rom. viii. 24).

3, 4.] On these two verses see the exposition of Bp. Andrewes, Sermons, vol. ii. pp. 364–382.

4. εἰς κληρονομίαν ἄφθαρτον] to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, unfading; the first of these epithets concerns the inner being of the inheritance; the second, its unalloyed being; the third, the continuance of its beauty. The Heavenly Inheritance is perfect in every one of these three respects; but all earthly inheritances are imperfect in them all. Cp. Bp. Andrewes, ii. p. 378.

The inheritance of the earthly Canaan was an object of earnest desire to your fathers; and they were settled in the allotments of their Kλпpovoμía by Joshua; but you, though scattered abroad, have a better inheritance than they, an inheritance typified by theirs, and one in which the true Joshua will settle you for


Didymus (the master of St. Jerome) in his note on this passage says, "Since the inheritance which the Apostle here propounds to our desires is in heaven, and is eternal, surely they (the Millenarians), who put before us the hope of an earthly Jerusalem for a thousand years, propose to us what is unsatisfying and vain."

· Teτnρnμévny] reserved in heaven for you, or unto you.

The Inheritance is reserved; therefore do not look for it now; but wait patiently, and strive earnestly for it; and it is reserved in heaven, and therefore it is safe from all changes and chances of earth (cp. 2 Tim. iv. 8). God Himself is your portion. Here is another contrast to the hopes of those who have their portion in this life. Ps. xvii. 14. Cp. Bp. Sanderson's Sermons, i. p. 379.

Elz. has nuas here; but iμâs is in A, B, C, G, K, and is received by Griesb., Scholz, Lach., Tisch., Alford.

5. τοὺς ἐν δυνάμει Θεοῦ φρουρουμένους] you who are being guarded by the power of God; as sheep are safely guarded in a fold against the wolf; or, as citizens are securely garrisoned in a fortress against the enemy, so ye are protected from your ghostly Enemy by the power of God, in the Fold and City of His Church. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe" (Prov. xviii. 10). Salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks (Isaiah xxvi. 1). And ye are

2 Cor. 4. 17. Wisd. 3. 5.

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πίστεως εἰς σωτηρίαν, ἑτοίμην ἀποκαλυφθῆναι ἐν καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ· σε ἐν ᾧ ἀγαλ- 1 Rom. 12. 12. eis f λιᾶσθε, ὀλίγον ἄρτι, εἰ δέον ἐστὶ, λυπηθέντες ἐν ποικίλοις πειρασμοῖς, 7ε ἵνα τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως, πολὺ τιμιώτερον χρυσίου τοῦ ἀπολλυμένου, διὰ πυρὸς δὲ δοκιμαζομένου, εὑρεθῇ εἰς ἔπαινον καὶ δόξαν καὶ τιμὴν, ἐν ἀποκαλύψει

guarded, not as prisoners to be brought out eis dλeopov, to execution, but ye are guarded for salvation; ye are caught and kept in the Net of the Church, but ye are there (wypoμevol, caught and kept alive, and in order to live for ever (see on Luke v. 10). And ye are kept through faith; if ye hold fast the beginning of your confidence unto the end. (Heb. iii. 14.)

Faith is a second cause of your preservation; because it applies the first cause, which is the power of God. Cp. 1 John v. 4, and Abp. Leighton here.

6 év & àyaλλíâσbe] in which ye exult; though now for a little while, if need be-for ye are not chastened by God without need, but for your profit-and He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men (Lam. iii. 33. Heb. xii. 10),—ye were grieved in manifold temptations.

Ye exult in the last season (cp. Ecumen.), because ye do not live in the present season, but ye look forward, and dwell by faith on the glory that shall be revealed in you hereafter (cp. v. 8), and ye compare its greatness with the light afflictions of this transitory time (Rom. viii. 18), which lead you on to, and qualify you for, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. iv. 17), and ye “rejoice and are exceeding glad," even in persecution, because "great is your reward in heaven" (Matt. v. 10). "Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh" (Luke vi. 21).

TOIKĺλois Teipаoμoîs] by divers temptations, see James i. 2. By this phrase and by many others in the beginning of this Epistle, St. Peter connects his own Epistle with that of his brother Apostle, St. James. See Introduction to it, p. 12.

Some of these parallelisms between the two Epistles may be cited here.

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v. 6

v. 9

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υ. 7, τὸ ὄνομα τὸ ἐπι κληθέν.

And against the practice of judging, as an invasion of the office of God, see James iv. 11; v. 9.

James i. 18, àπEKÚŋσEV ἡμᾶς λόγῳ ἀληθείας.


James i. 10, ὡς ἄνθος χόρ του παρελεύσεται ὁ ἥλιος ἐξήρανε τὸν χόρτον καὶ τὸ ἄνθος αὐτοῦ ἐξέπεσε

James iv. 1.

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iii. 13. v. 20.

i. 2.

iv. 6. iv. 10. iv. 7.

St. Peter does not mention St. James by name; indeed the writers of Holy Scripture seem purposely to have abstained from lauding one another with personal eulogies. St. Peter's reference to St. Paul in his second Epistle (iii. 15), is an exception, produced by special considerations which render it more remarkable. See the note on that passage.

But St. Peter, in this Epistle, adopts much of the substance, and often the words, of St. James; and thus he shows his reverence for that Apostle, and commends his Epistle to the thankful acceptance and pious meditation of the Church; and gives a precept and example of unity to all Christians, and especially to Christian Ministers.

This remark may be extended to the allusions which St. Peter makes to St. Paul's Epistles.

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Cp. ii. 16 (see note)

ii. 18

ii. 21

iii. 1

iii. 3

iii. 8, 9

iii. 22

iv. 1, 2 iv. 10, 11

v. 1

v. 8

v. 14

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This silent interweaving of one Apostolic Epistle with another, and of one Gospel with another (see Introduction to the Four Gospels, p. xlv), may serve to remind the Christian reader, that all the Books of the New Testament form one harmonious whole.. They are like the coat of Christ, woven throughout, without seam (John xix. 23). Although written by the instrumentality of different men, they come from the same Divine Author, -the Holy Ghost.

7. Iva Tò dokíμlov] in order that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold, which is perishing (even in the using; cp. John vi. 27. Col. ii. 22), but is tried by fire, and is purified by it, and passes through the fire, and endures (cp. Job xxiii. 10. Prov. xvii. 3), may be found to redound to praise, and honour, and glory of God, the Giver of all the graces, by which you endure trial; and to your own praise and honour, and glory, and endless felicity in the day of the revelation of Jesus Christ the Judge of all.

A, C have TоλUTIμÓTEрov here, and so Griesb., Scholz, Tisch., Lach., Alf. That form is, indeed, in harmony with the style of St. Peter, who loves composite words. But B (see Mai), G, K, and Vulg., and the major part of the cursive MSS., and Clement, Origen, and the other Fathers, have wпоλÙ TIμιάτEрov, and see the passage quoted below from S. Polycarp's Martyrdom.

Observe, it is the trial itself, dokiμov, which is said here to be more precious. Compare James i. 3, "the trial (dokipov) of your faith by temptations worketh patience." AokiμLov is the test or touchstone by which a thing is tried (see the examples in Wetstein, p. 682). Hence it describes afflictions and calamities which are the trials of virtue; as here.

Some Interpreters suppose doxíμov here to mean the thing proved and purged by trial; the smelted ore of faith, tested and cleansed by the fire of affliction. But this seems to be rather a strained exposition. Aokiμov is the trial; it is not the residuum after suffering, but it is the suffering itself, which tries and proves St. Peter's words seem to be formed on (δοκιμάζει) the faith. those of the Psalmist, "Precious (Tíμos) in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints" (Ps. cxvi. 15). The Apostle appears to allude here to that passage, and to adopt the word Tipos from it. Our very sufferings, which are our trials, even they are precious in God's sight, Who knows to what they lead. The trial, says Bp. Andrewes (v. p. 443), of our faith is more precious than gold, as in Abraham, or when He trieth our patience, as in Job; for while we live in this world, we are made a spectacle to men and angels (1 Cor. iv. 9).

Do not therefore imagine, that even your present trials are not glorious. They make you like to Christ, they are seen and prized by God. He putteth all your tears into His bottle, they are all noted in His book (Ps. lvi. 8. 10), and will one day redound to your everlasting glory.

St. Peter acted in the spirit of this declaration when he departed from the presence of the Jewish Council, rejoicing that he was counted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake (Acts v. 41). For Christ had said, "Blessed are ye when men shall persecute you, Rejoice, and be exceeding glad" (Matt. v. 11, 12). And in a like spirit, Paul and Silas in prison, at midnight, sang praises to God (Acts xvi. 25), and St. Paul glories in tribulations (Rom. v. 3), and is exceeding joyful in them (2 Cor. vii. 4), and takes pleasure in persecutions for Christ (2 Cor. xii. 10). And St. Peter himself bids them rejoice, in that they are partakers of Christ's sufferings,-and if any one suffer as a Christian, let him glorify God (1 Pet. iv. 13-16).

In a like spirit of Evangelical piety, one of St. Peter's successors at Antioch, the Martyr S. Ignatius, calls his chains, his

h John 20. 29. 2 Cor. 5. 7.

Heb. 11. 1, 27.

i Gen. 49. 10. 2. & 9. Hag. 2. 8.

Zech. 6. 12.

Matt. 13. 17.




Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ· 8 η ὃν οὐκ ἰδόντες, ἀγαπᾶτε· εἰς ὃν, ἄρτι μὴ ὁρῶντες, πιστεύοντες δὲ, ἀγαλλιᾶσθε χαρᾷ ἀνεκλαλήτῳ καὶ δεδοξασμένῃ, 9 κομιζόμεναι τὸ τέλος dè, kai Dan 3.4 3.24 τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν, σωτηρίαν ψυχῶν· 10 · περὶ ἧς σωτηρίας ἐξεζήτησαν καὶ ἐξηρεύνησαν προφῆται οἱ περὶ τῆς εἰς ὑμᾶς χάριτος προφητεύσαντες, 11 κ νῶντες εἰς τίνα ἢ ποῖον καιρὸν ἐδήλου τὸ ἐν αὐτοῖς Πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ, προμαρτυeis

Luke 10. 24.

k Ps. 22. 7. Isa. 53. 3, &c. Dan. 9. 24. Luke 24. 26.

"spiritual pearls" (Ignat. Ephes. ii.), and S. Cyprian, speaking of the dress of Virgins, says, that when Christian women suffer Martyrdom with faith and courage, then their sufferings are like "pretiosa monilia," costly bracelets. The garb of suffering for Christ is a robe of beauty, precious in God's sight; far more lovely than any gilded attire; and therefore the instruments of torture by which the Martyrs suffered death (such as the sword of St. James the Great, and the fuller's club of St. James the Less, and the sword of St. Paul, the cross of St. Peter, and the lance of St. Thomas, and the gridiron of St. Laurence), are associated with them for ever in their pictures as the noblest badges of their glory. Cp. note below, v. 8.

This passage seems to be imitated by Hermas, "Aurea pars vos estis; sicut enim per ignem aurum probatur, et utile fit, sic et vos probamini; qui igitur permanserint et probati fuerint, ab eis purgabuntur; et sicut aurum emendatur, et remittit sordem suam, sic et vos abjicietis omnem tristitiam (ὀλίγον λυπηθέντες) et emendabimini in structuram turris." Hermas, Pastor, lib. i. Visio iv. p. 440, ed. Dressel.

See also Martyr. Polycarp. c. 15, and c. 18, where there is a description of the body of the holy Martyr in the flames, "like gold or silver tried in the furnace:" and after his decease his bones are gathered up as τιμιώτερα λίθων πολυτελῶν καὶ δοκιμώτερα ὑπὲρ χρυσόν.

The words of St. Peter are appropriately inserted by the Church of England in her Office for the Visitation of the Sick. 8. ὃν οὐκ ἰδόντες, ἀγαπᾶτε] Whom though ye saw Him not on earth, as I have done, ye love, as I do, John xxi. 15-17.

Elz. has eidóres with A, G, K, but idóvtes is in B, C, and several cursives, and in the Syriac, Ethiopic, and Arabic Versions; and St. Peter seems to refer to our Lord's saying, "Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed" (John xx. 29), which he himself heard; and S. Polycarp thus quotes this passage in his Epistle to the Philippians (cap. i.), els dv, oùK ἰδόντες (where the old translation has videntes) πιστεύετε, πιστεύοντες δὲ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε χαρᾷ ἀνεκλαλήτῳ καὶ δεδοξασμένῃ, εἰς ἣν πολλοὶ ἐπιθυμοῦσιν εἰσελθεῖν, εἰδότες ὅτι χάριτί ἐστε σεσωσμένοι, οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων, ἀλλὰ θελήματι Θεοῦ διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. Cp. Eph. ii. 8, 9.

It is worthy of remark that this Apostolic father, S. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John, and a Bishop of a Church in Asia, Smyrna, blends together two passages from two Apostolic Epistles to the Christians in Asia,-namely, from this Epistle of St. Peter, and from St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians. On S. Polycarp's references to this Epistle, see further below on v. 13.

S. Irenæus (iv. 9. 2) also, in the West, refers to this passage, "Petrus ait in Epistolâ suâ, Quem non videntes diligitis." And again (v. 7), "Quem, quùm non videritis, diligitis; in quem, nunc quoque, non videntes, creditis, credentes autem exultabitis gaudio inenarrabili.”

Xapa―dedoçãoμévn] with joy unspeakable and glorified; with joy unutterable,-so great is it; and with joy even now invested with glory; such as shone in the face of the first Martyr St. Stephen, at his passion (Acts vi. 15), and such as shone in the raiment and countenance of our Lord Himself, which St. Peter saw, when Christ was conversing with Moses and Elias concerning His Death. See on Luke ix. 31.

St. Peter throughout this Epistle represents the present sufferings of the Christian as occasions for joy; he seems to write the Epistle with a vivid recollection of the glory which he saw at the Transfiguration, which revealed the splendour of Christ made perfect by sufferings, and of all Christians who suffer for Him; and which is reflected upon them, even in this life, by lively Faith in Him. Therefore, he adds, that even now they are receiving the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls. Even whilst they are sowing in tears, they see, with the eye of Faith, the future harvest of joy; even now they reap it with the hand of Hope.

He now proceeds to describe the blessedness of that Harvest of salvation through Christ; and proves its felicity by two arguments,

(1) that this salvation was the object of the earnest inquiries, and longing desire, of all the Ancient Prophets; and,

(2) that the Angels of heaven themselves desire to stoop down and look into it.


Be sure therefore, that the Gospel of Christ is not, as some of your Jewish fellow-countrymen allege, a novelty. No, the Hebrew Prophets inquired after it, and foretold it. And it is a thing of surpassing excellence, because they were employed in ministering to it; and the Angels of heaven are engaged in admiring it. Compare Abp. Leighton here.

9. owτnpíav vxŵv] the salvation of your souls. Your enemies imagine, that you lose your yʊxàs (lives) by dying for Christ; but by so doing you save them. Matt. xvi. 25. Mark viii. 35. Luke ix. 24.

10. Teрl hs σwτnpías] Concerning which salvation the Prophets, who prophesied concerning the grace of the Gospel which has come to you, did seek and search diligently. The Prophets of old prophesied, but were not enabled fully to understand and interpret their own prophecies. See below on 2 Pet. i. 20, 21, which text is the best comment on this passage. The Prophets had some intimation of the grace and glory which was to be revealed afterwards in the Gospel, which has been preached to you; and they were informed that they were ministering to you, and not to themselves, those things which are now declared to you by those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit Who spake of old in the Prophets, but has now been sent down from heaven to us. So great are your privileges. Cp. Matt.

xiii. 17.

11, 12. éрevvwvTes] So great is the blessedness of the salvation purchased for you by the sufferings of Christ, and to be obtained by you, treading in the road of suffering, which led Him to glory, that the ancient Prophets searched and inquired diligently, to what season and what kind of season (whether one of distress or joy, Theophyl.), the Spirit of Christ that was in them was pointing, when it was testifying beforehand the sufferings that were appointed for Christ (Winer, p. 174), and were to be laid upon Christ (els Xpioròv), on whom "God laid the iniquities of us all;" for, "He bare our griefs and carried our sorrows (Isa. liii. 4—6); and the glories (plural, both of Him and of us) that would follow after, as fruits and rewards of those sufferings: see Phil. ii. 8, 9. Rom. xiv. 9. Col. ii. 15. Heb. ii. 9, 10. 14; ix. 7-13: and cp. the exposition of Ecumenius, Erasmus, Hotlinger, Knapp, and others.

The Spirit of CHRIST, Who is the everlasting Logos, and declares God's will (John i. 1. 18) by the Holy Ghost, spake in the Prophets concerning His sufferings and glory.

"The divine Prophets," says Ignatius (ad Magnes. 8), “lived according to Jesus Christ, being inspired by His grace." The Prophets pre-announced the Gospel, and had their hopes fixed on Christ, and waited for Him, and by belief in Him they were saved. They were in the unity of Christ; and were attested by Christ, and were numbered together with us in the Gospel, which is the common hope of all. S. Ignatius (ad Phil. 5). Cp. Justin Martyr, Apolog. i. p. 49; ii. p. 76; and compare Didymus here, who refers to Matt. xiii. 17. Heb. xi. 26.

Here therefore is a clear proof of Christ's Pre-existence and Godhead. "The very Truth itself, the Son of God, the Mediator of God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus, spake first by the Prophets, then by Himself, and afterwards by His Apostles," says S. Augustine, de Civ. Dei (xi. 2).

St. Peter here asserts the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son, as well as from the Father. See Bp. Pearson on the Creed, Art. viii. pp. 601, 602, and notes; and above, notes on John xv. 26.

The Holy Spirit presignified by the Prophets that the Messiah should suffer, and so enter into His glory. (Luke xxiv. 26.) St. Peter himself had once been slow to admit this truth. "That be far from Thee!" he had said to Christ, and had been rebuked by Him for that remonstrance. (Matt. xvi. 22, 23.)

But his eyes were now enlightened by the Holy Ghost; and he who had endeavoured to dissuade Christ from suffering, rose up after the day of Pentecost, and declared to all the people at Jerusalem, that “these things which God before had showed by the mouth of all His Prophets that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled" (see Acts iii. 18). He now preaches this truth to the world; and he refers to his own illumination by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven on the day of Pentecost, Who enabled him to interpret the Prophecies of the Old Testament (see below on 2 Pet. i. 20, 21), and to preach those things

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