1 Peter 1

Verse 17. To him that knoweth to do good] As if he had said:

After this warning none of you can plead ignorance; if, therefore,

any of you shall be found to act their ungodly part, not

acknowledging the Divine providence, the uncertainty of life, and

the necessity of standing every moment prepared to meet God-as you

will have the greater sin, you will infallibly get the greater

punishment. This may be applied to all who know better than they

act. He who does not the Master's will because he does not know

it, will be beaten with few stripes; but he who knows it and does

not do it, shall be beaten with many; Lu 12:47, 48. St. James

may have the Christians in view who were converted from Judaism to

Christianity. They had much more light and religious knowledge

than the Jews had; and God would require a proportionable

improvement from them.

1. SAADY, a celebrated Persian poet, in his Gulistan, gives us

a remarkable example of this going from city to city to buy and

sell, and get gain. "I knew," says he, "a merchant who used to

travel with a hundred camels laden with merchandise, and who had

forty slaves in his employ. This person took me one day to his

warehouse, and entertained me a long time with conversation good

for nothing. 'I have,' said he, 'such a partner in Turquestan;

such and such property in India; a bond for so much cash in such a

province; a security for such another sum.' Then, changing the

subject, he said, 'I purpose to go and settle at Alexandria,

because the air of that city is salubrious.' Correcting himself,

he said, 'No, I will not go to Alexandria; the African sea (the

Mediterranean) is too dangerous. But I will make another voyage;

and after that I will retire into some quiet corner of the world,

and give up a mercantile life.' I asked him (says Saady) what

voyage he intended to make. He answered, 'I intend to take

brimstone to Persia and China, where I am informed it brings a

good price; from China I shall take porcelain to Greece; from

Greece I shall take gold tissue to India; from India I shall

carry steel to Haleb (Aleppo;) from Haleb I shall carry glass

to Yemen (Arabia Felix;) and from Yemen I shall carry printed

goods to Persia. When this is accomplished I shall bid farewell

to the mercantile life, which requires so many troublesome

journeys, and spend the rest of my life in a shop.' He said so

much on this subject, till at last he wearied himself with

talking; then turning to me he said, 'I entreat thee, Saady, to

relate to me something of what thou hast seen and heard in thy

travels.' I answered, Hast thou never heard what a traveller

said, who fell from his camel in the desert of Joor? Two things

only can fill the eye of a covetous man-contentment, or the earth

that is cast on him when laid in his grave."

This is an instructive story, and is taken from real life. In

this very way, to those same places and with the above specified

goods, trade is carried on to this day in the Levant. And often

the same person takes all these journeys, and even more. We learn

also from it that a covetous man is restless and unhappy, and that

to avarice there are no bounds. This account properly illustrates

that to which St. James refers: To-day or to-morrow we will go

into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and

get gain.

2. Providence is God's government of the world; he who properly

trusts in Divine providence trusts in God; and he who expects

God's direction and help must walk uprightly before him; for it is

absurd to expect God to be our friend if we continue to be his

enemy.

3. That man walks most safely who has the least confidence in

himself. True magnanimity keeps God continually in view. He

appoints it its work, and furnishes discretion and power; and its

chief excellence consists in being a resolute worker together with

him. Pride ever sinks where humility swims; for that man who

abases himself God will exalt. To know that we are dependent

creatures is well; to feel it, and to act suitably, is still

better.

THE FIRST GENERAL EPISTLE

OF

PETER.

Chronological Notes relative to this Epistle.

-Year of the Constantinopolitan era of the world, or that used

by the Byzantine historians, and other eastern writers, 5568.

-Year of the Alexandrian era of the world, 5562.

-Year of the Antiochian era of the world, 5552.

-Year of the world, according to Archbishop Usher, 4064.

-Year of the world, according to Eusebius, in his Chronicon,

4288.

-Year of the minor Jewish era of the world, or that in common

use, 3820.

-Year of the Greater Rabbinical era of the world, 4419.

-Year from the Flood, according to Archbishop Usher, and the

English Bible, 2408.

-Year of the Cali yuga, or Indian era of the Deluge, 3162.

-Year of the era of Iphitus, or since the first commencement of

the Olympic games, 1000.

-Year of the era of Nabonassar, king of Babylon, 809.

-Year of the CCIXth Olympiad, 4.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Fabius Pictor,

807.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Frontinus, 811.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to the Fasti

Capitolini, 812.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Varro, which was

that most generally used, 813.

-Year of the era of the Seleucidae, 372.

-Year of the Caesarean era of Antioch, 108.

-Year of the Julian era, 105.

-Year of the Spanish era, 98.

-Year from the birth of Jesus Christ, according to Archbishop

Usher, 64.

-Year of the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 60.

-Year of Claudius Felix, governor of the Jews, 8.

-Year of Vologesus, king of the Parthians, 11.

-Jesus, high priest of the Jews, 1.

-Year of the Dionysian period, or Easter Cycle, 61.

-Year of the Grecian Cycle of nineteen years, or Common Golden

Number, 4; or the second after the first embolismic.

-Year of the Jewish Cycle of nineteen years, 1; or two years

before the first embolismic.

-Year of the Solar Cycle, 13.

-Dominical Letter, it being Bissextile, or Leap Year, FE.

-Day of the Jewish Passover, the second of April, which happened

in this year on the fourth day after the Jewish Sabbath.

-Easter Sunday, the sixth of April.

-Epact, or age of the moon on the 22d of March, (the day of the

earliest Easter Sunday possible,) 3.

-Epact, according to the present mode of computation, or the

moon's age on New Year's day, or the Calends of January, 11.

-Monthly Epacts, or age of the moon on the Calends of each month

respectively, (beginning with January,) 11, 13, 12, 13, 14,

15, 16, 17, 19, 19, 21, 21.

-Number of Direction, or the number of days from the

twenty-first of March to the Jewish Passover, 12.

-Year of the reign of Caius Tiberius Claudius Nero Caesar, the

fifth Roman monarch, computing from Octavianus, or Augustus

Caesar, properly the first Roman emperor, 7.

-Roman Consuls, the Emperor Nero Augustus, the fourth time, and

Cossus Cornelius Lentulus.

CHAPTER I.

Of the persons to whom this epistle was directed, and their

spiritual state, 1, 2.

He describes their privileges, and thanks God for the grace by

which they were preserved faithful in trials and difficulties,

3-5.

The spiritual benefit they were to receive out of their

afflictions, 6, 7.

Their love to Christ, 8.

And the salvation they received through believing, 9.

This salvation was predicted by the prophets, who only saw it

afar off and had only a foretaste of it, 10-12.

They should take encouragement, and be obedient and holy, 13-16.

Thy should pray, and deeply consider the price at which they

were purchased, that their faith and hope might be in God,

17-21.

As their souls had been purified by obeying the truth through

the Spirit, they should love each other with a pure and fervent

love, 22, 23.

The frailty of man, and the unchangeableness of God, 24, 25.

NOTES ON CHAP. I.

Verse 1. Peter, an apostle] Simon Peter, called also Kephas:

he was a fisherman, son of Jonah, brother of Andrew, and born at

Bethsaida; and one of the first disciples of our Lord. See the

preface.

The strangers scattered throughout] Jews first, who had

believed the Gospel in the different countries here specified; and

converted Gentiles also. Though the word strangers may refer to

all truly religious people, see Ge 47:9; Ps 39:12, in the

Septuagint, and Heb 11:13, yet the inscription may have a special

reference to those who were driven by persecution to seek refuge

in those heathen provinces to which the influence of their

persecuting brethren did not extend.

Pontus] An ancient kingdom of Asia Minor, originally a part of

Cappadocia; bounded on the east by Colchis, on the west by the

river Halys, on the north by the Euxine Sea, and on the south by

Armenia Minor. This country probably derived its name from the

Pontus Euxinus, on which it was partly situated. In the time of

the Roman emperors it was divided into three parts: 1. Pontus

Cappadocius; 2. Pontus Galaticus; and, 3. Pontus Polemoniacus.

The first extended from the Pontus Polemoniacus to Colchis, having

Armenia Minor and the upper stream of the Euphrates for its

southern boundary. The second extended from the river Halys to

the river Thermodon. The third extended from the river Thermodon

to the borders of the Pontus Cappadocius.

Six kings of the name of Mithridates reigned in this kingdom,

some of whom are famous in history. The last king of this country

was David Comnenus, who was taken prisoner, with all his family,

by Mohammed II. in the year 1462, and carried to Constantinople;

since which time this country (then called the empire of

Trebizond, from Trapezas, a city founded by the Grecians, on the

uttermost confines of Pontus) has continued under the degrading

power of the Turks.

Galatia] The ancient name of a province of Asia Minor, now

called Amasia. It was called also Gallograecia, and Gallia Parva.

It was bounded on the east by Cappadocia, on the south by

Pamphylia, on the north by the Euxine Sea, and on the west by

Bithynia. See the preface to the Epistle to the Galatians.

Cappadocia] An ancient kingdom of Asia, comprehending all the

country lying between Mount Taurus and the Euxine Sea.

Asia] This word is taken in different senses: It signifies, 1.

One of the three general divisions of our continent, and one of

the four of the whole earth. It is separated from Europe by the

Mediterranean Sea, the Archipelago, the Black Sea, the Palus

Maeolis, the rivers Don and Dwina; and from Africa by the Arabic

Gulf, or Red Sea: it is everywhere else surrounded by water. It

is situated between latitude 2� and 77� N., and between longitude

26� E. and 170� W.; and is about 7,583 miles in length, and 5,200

miles in breadth.

2. Asia Minor, that part of Turkey in Asia, now called Natolia,

which comprehends a great number of province situated between the

Euxine, Mediterranean, and Archipelago.

3. That province of Asia Minor of which Ephesus was the

capital. It appears, says Calmet, that it is in this latter sense

that it is used here by St. Peter, because Pontus, Galatia, and

Bithynia, are comprised in the provinces of Asia Minor. See

Calmet.

Bithynia] An ancient kingdom of Asia, formerly called Mysia,

Mygdonia, Bebrycia, and Bithonia. It was bounded on the west by

the Bosphorus, Thracius, and part of the Propontis, on the south

by the river Rhyndacus, and Mount Olympus, on the north by the

Euxine Sea, and on the east by the river Parthenius. This place

is in some sort rendered infamous by the conduct of Prusias, one

of its kings, who delivered up Hannibal, who had fled to him for

protection, into the hands of the Romans. Nicomedes IV.

bequeathed it to the Romans; and it is now in the hands of the

Turks.

Verse 2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God] If the

apostle had directed his letter to persons elected to eternal

life, no one, as Drs. Lardner and Macknight properly argue, could

have received such a letter, because no one could have been sure

of his election in this way till he had arrived in heaven. But

the persons to whom the apostle wrote were all, with propriety,

said to be elect according to the foreknowledge of God; because,

agreeably to the original purpose of God, discovered in the

prophetical writings, Jews and Gentiles, indiscriminately, were

called to be the visible Church, and entitled to all the

privileges of the people of God, on their believing the Gospel.

In this sense the word elected is used in other places of

Scripture; see 1Th 1:4, and the note there.

The Rev. J. Wesley has an excellent note on this passage, which

I shall transcribe for the benefit of those of my readers who may

not have his works at hand.

"Strictly speaking, there is no foreknowledge, no more than

afterknowledge, with God; but all things are known to him as

present, from eternity to eternity. Election, in the scriptural

sense, is God's doing any thing that our merit or power has no

part in. The true predestination or foreappointment of God is, 1.

He that believeth shall be saved from the guilt and power of sin.

2. 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 it depends in the final

issue 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, 1. It is 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,

threatenings, 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 number. 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 predestination scheme, a Divine evidence

of things not seen wrought in the soul by the immediate power of

the Holy Ghost; not an 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 and a countenancer of it. He is no more a fountain of

spiritual life in the souls of believers, but leaves 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 sanctification of the Spirit-through the renewing and

purifying influences of his Spirit on their souls, 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 Jesus Christ which

was typified by the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifices under

the law, in allusion to which it is called the blood of

sprinkling.

Verse 3. Blessed be the God and Father] ευλογητοςοθεοςκαι

πατηρ. Blessed be God even the Father, or blessed be God, the

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The και, and, is omitted by the

Syriac, Erpen's Arabic, and the AEthiopic. But if we translate

και, even, a meaning which it frequently has in the New

Testament, then we have a very good sense: Let that God have

praise who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and who

deserves the praise of every human being for his infinite mercy to

the world, in its redemption by Christ Jesus.

Begotten us again unto a lively hope] I think the apostle has

a reference here to his own case, and that of his fellow apostles,

at the time that Christ was taken by the Jews and put to death.

Previously to this time they had strong confidence that he was the

Messiah, and that it was he who should redeem Israel; but when

they found that he actually expired upon the cross, and was

buried, they appear to have lost all hope of the great things

which before they had in prospect. This is feelingly expressed by

the two disciples whom our Lord, after his resurrection, overtook

on the road going to Emmaus, see Lu 24:13-24.

And the hope, that with them, died with their Master, and seemed

to be buried in his grave, was restored by the certainty of his

resurrection. From Christ's preaching, miracles, &c., they had a

hope of eternal life, and all other blessings promised by him; by

his death and burial this hope became nearly, if not altogether,

extinct; but by his resurrection the hope was revived. This is

very properly expressed here by being begotten again to a living

hope, ειςελπιδαζωσας, as some MSS. and versions have it, εις

ελπιδαζωης, to the hope of life; which one copy of the Itala,

with Augustine, Gildas, Vigilius of Tapsum, and Cassiodorus, have

considered as meaning eternal life, agreeably to the context; and

therefore they read vitae aeternae.

The expressions, however, may include more particulars than

what are above specified; as none can inherit eternal life except

those who are children in the heavenly family, and none are

children but those who are born again: then St. Peter may be

considered as laying here the foundation of the hope of eternal

life in the regeneration of the soul; for none can legally inherit

but the children, and none are children of God till they are

spiritually begotten and born again.

It is the Gospel alone that gives the well grounded hope of

eternal life; and the ground on which this hope rests is the

resurrection of Christ himself. The certainty of our Lord's

resurrection is the great seal of the Gospel. Without this what

is vision, what is prophecy, what is promise, what are even

miracles, to that unbelief which is natural to man on such a

subject as this? But the resurrection of the human nature of

Christ, the incontestable proofs of this resurrection, and the

ascension of our nature to heaven in his person, are such

evidences of the possibility and certainty of the thing, as for

ever to preclude all doubt from the hearts of those who believe in

him.

Verse 4. To an inheritance] Called an inheritance because it

belongs to the children of God. Eternal life cannot be a gift to

any but these; for, even in heaven, the lot is dealt out according

to law: if children, then heirs; if not children, then not

heirs.

Incorruptible] αφθαρτον. It has no principles of dissolution

or decay in it; and, therefore, must be totally different from

this earth.

Undefiled] αμιαντον. Nothing impure can enter it; it not only

has no principles or seeds of dissolution in itself, but it can

never admit any; therefore its deterioration is impossible.

Fadeth not away] αμαρνατον. It cannot wither, it is always in

bloom; a metaphor taken from those flowers that never lose their

hue nor their fragrance. From the Greek αμαραντος we have our

flowers called amaranths, because they preserve their hue and

odour for a long time.

Reserved in heaven] Such a place as that described above is

not to be expected on earth; it is that which was typified by the

earthly Canaan, and in reference to which the patriarchs endured

all trials and difficulties in this life, as seeing Him who is

invisible.

Verse 5. Who are kept] φρουρουμενονς. Who are defended as in

a fortress or castle. There is a remarkable correspondence

between the two verbs used in this sentence: the verb τηρεω,

signifies to keep, watch, guard; and τηρησις, is a place of

custody or prison. And φρουρεω, from φρουρος, a sentinel,

signifies to keep as under a military guard. See on Ga 3:22, 23.

The true disciples of Christ are under the continual watchful

care of God, and the inheritance is guarded for them. In some

countries military posts are constantly kept on the confines, in

order to prevent irruptions from a neighbouring people; and, in

many cases, heirs, while in their minority, are kept in fortified

places under military guards.

By the power of God] ενδυναμειθεου. By the mighty and

miracle-working power of God; for nothing less is necessary to

keep and preserve, in this state of continual trial, a soul from

the contagion that is in the world. But this power of God is

interested in the behalf of the soul by faith; to believe is our

work, the exertion of the almighty power is of God. No

persevering without the power, and no power without faith.

Ready to be revealed] Or rather, Prepared to be revealed. The

inheritance is prepared for you; but its glories will not be

revealed till the last time-till ye have done with life, and

passed through your probation, having held fast faith and a good

conscience. Some by salvation understand the deliverance of the

Christians from the sackage of Jerusalem, the end of the Jewish

polity being called the last time; others suppose it to refer to

the day of judgment, and the glorification of the body and soul in

heaven.

Verse 6. Wherein ye greatly rejoice] Some refer wherein,

ενω, to the salvation mentioned above; others, to the last time,

καιρωεσχατω, in 1Pe 1:5; others think that it applies to the

being kept by the power of God through faith; and others, that it

refers to all the preceding advantages and privileges. It was in

the present salvation of God that they rejoiced or gloried, though

not without having an eye to the great recompense of reward.

Though now for a season] ολιγοναρτι. A little while

yet-during your pilgrimage here below, which is but a point when

compared with eternity.

If need be] ειδεονεστι. If it be necessary-if your

situation and circumstances be such that you are exposed to trials

and persecutions which you cannot avoid, unless God were to work a

miracle for your deliverance, which would not be for your ultimate

good, as he purposes to turn all your trials and difficulties to

your advantage.

Sometimes there is a kind of necessity that the followers of

God should be afflicted; when they have no trials they are apt to

get careless, and when they have secular prosperity they are

likely to become worldly-minded. "God," said a good man, "can

neither trust me with health nor money; therefore I am both poor

and afflicted." But the disciples of Christ may be very happy in

their souls, though grievously afflicted in their bodies and in

their estates. Those to whom St. Peter wrote rejoiced greatly,

danced for joy, αγαλλιασθε, while they were grieved,

λυπηθεντες, with various trials. The verb λυπεω signifies to

grieve, to make sorrowful: perhaps heaviness is not the best

rendering of the original word, as this can scarcely ever consist

with rejoicing; but to be sorrowful on account of something

external to ourselves, and yet exulting in God from a sense of his

goodness to us, is quite compatible: so that we may say with St.

Paul, always sorrowing, yet still rejoicing.

Verse 7. That the trial of your faith, being much more

precious than of gold] As by the action of fire gold is separated

from all alloy and heterogeneous mixtures, and is proved to be

gold by its enduring the action of the fire without losing any

thing of its nature, weight, colour, or any other property, so

genuine faith is proved by adversities, especially such as the

primitive Christians were obliged to pass through. For the word

was then, "Renounce Jesus and live," "Cleave to him and die;" for

every Christian was in continual danger of losing his life. He

then who preferred Christianity to his life gave full proof, not

only of his own sincerity, but also of the excellency of the

principle by which he was influenced; as his religion put him in

possession of greater blessings, and more solid comforts, than any

thing the earth could afford.

Though it be tried with fire] That is: Though gold will bear

the action of the fire for any given time, even millions of years,

were they possible, without losing the smallest particle of weight

or value, yet even gold, in process of time, will wear away by

continual use; and the earth, and all its works, will be burnt up

by that supernatural fire whose action nothing can resist. But on

that day the faith of Christ's followers will be found brighter,

and more glorious. The earth, and universal nature, shall be

dissolved; but he who doeth the will of God shall abide for ever,

and his faith shall then be found to the praise of God's grace,

the honour of Christ, and the glory or glorification of his own

soul throughout eternity. God himself will praise such faith,

angels and men will hold it in honour, and Christ will crown it

with glory. For some remarks on the nature and properties of gold

see at the end of the chapter.

Verse 8. Whom having not seen, ye love] Those to whom the

apostle wrote had never seen Christ in the flesh; and yet, such is

the realizing nature of faith, they loved him as strongly as any

of his disciples could, to whom he was personally known. For

faith in the Lord Jesus brings him into the heart; and by his

indwelling all his virtues are proved, and an excellence

discovered beyond even that which his disciples beheld, when

conversant with him upon earth. In short, there is an equality

between believers in the present time, and those who lived in the

time of the incarnation; for Christ, to a believing soul, is the

same to-day that he was yesterday and will be for ever.

Ye rejoice with joy unspeakable] Ye have unutterable happiness

through believing; and ye have the fullest, clearest, strongest

evidence of eternal glory. Though they did not see him on earth,

and men could not see him in glory, yet by that faith which is the

evidence of things not seen, and the subsistence of things hoped

for, they had the very highest persuasion of their acceptance with

God, their relation to him as their Father, and their sonship with

Christ Jesus.

Verse 9. Receiving the end of your faith] Ye are put in

possession of the salvation of your souls, which was the thing

presented to your faith, when ye were called by the Gospel of

Christ. Your faith has had a proper issue, and has been crowned

with a proper recompense. The word τελος, end, is often used so

as to imply the issue or reward of any labour or action.

Salvation of your souls.] The object of the Jewish

expectations in their Messiah was the salvation or deliverance of

their bodies from a foreign yoke; but the true Messiah came to

save the soul from the yoke of the devil and sin. This glorious

salvation these believers had already received.

Verse 10. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired] The

incarnation and suffering of Jesus Christ, and the redemption

procured by him for mankind, were made known, in a general way, by

the prophets; but they themselves did not know the time when these

things were to take place, nor the people among and by whom he was

to suffer, &c.; they therefore inquired accurately or earnestly,

εξεζητησαν, and searched diligently, εξηρευνησαν, inquiring

of others who were then under the same inspiration, and carefully

searching the writings of those who had, before their time, spoken

of these things. The prophets plainly saw that the grace which

was to come under the Messiah's kingdom was vastly superior to any

thing that had ever been exhibited under the law; and in

consequence they made all possible inquiry, and searched as after

grains of gold, hidden among sand or compacted with ore, (for such

is the meaning of the original word,) in order to ascertain the

time, and the signs of that time, in which this wondrous display

of God's love and mercy to man was to take place; but all that God

thought fit to instruct them in was what is mentioned 1Pe 1:12.

Verse 11. The glory that should follow.] Not only the glory

of his resurrection, ascension, exaltation, and the effusion of

his Spirit; but that grand manifestation of God's infinite love to

the world in causing the Gospel of his Son to be everywhere

preached, and the glorious moral changes which should take place

in the world under that preaching, and the final glorification of

all them who had here received the report, and continued faithful

unto death. And we may add to this the ineffable glorification of

the human nature of Jesus Christ, which, throughout eternity, will

be the glorious Head of his glorified body, the Church.

Verse 12. Unto whom it was revealed] We may presume that, in

a great variety of cases, the prophets did not understand the

meaning of their own predictions. They had a general view of

God's designs; but of particular circumstances, connected with

those great events, they seem to have known nothing, God reserving

the explanation of all particulars to the time of the issue of

such prophecies. When they wished to find out the times, the

seasons, and the circumstances, God gave them to understand that

it was not for themselves, but for us, that they did minister the

things which are now reported unto us by the preaching of the

Gospel. This was all the satisfaction they received in consequence

of their earnest searching; and this was sufficient to repress all

needless curiosity, and to induce them to rest satisfied that the

Judge of all the earth would do right. If all succeeding

interpreters of the prophecies had been contented with the same

information relative to the predictions still unaccomplished, we

should have had fewer books, and more wisdom.

Angels desire to took into.] παρακυψαι. To stoop down to; the

posture of those who are earnestly intent on finding out a thing,

especially a writing difficult to be read; they bring it to the

light, place it so that the rays may fall on it as collectively as

possible, and then stoop down in order to examine all the parts,

that they may be able to make out the whole. There is evidently

an allusion here to the attitude of the cherubim who stood at the

ends of the ark of the covenant, in the inner tabernacle, with

their eyes turned towards the mercy-seat or propitiatory in a

bending posture, as if looking attentively, or, as we term it,

poring upon it. Even the holy angels are struck with astonishment

at the plan of human redemption, and justly wonder at the

incarnation of that infinite object of their adoration. If then

these things be objects of deep consideration to the angels of

God, how much more so should they be to us; in them angels can

have no such interest as human beings have.

We learn from the above that it was the Spirit of Christ in the

Jewish prophets that prophesied of Christ; it was that Spirit

which revealed him; and it is the same Spirit which takes of the

things of Christ, and shows them unto us. Christ was never known

by prophecy, but through his own Spirit; and he never was known,

nor can be known, to the salvation of any soul, but by a

revelation of the same Spirit. It is he alone that bears witness

with our spirits that we are the children of God.

Verse 13. Gird up the loins of your mind] Take courage from

this display of God's love now made known to you; and though you

must expect trials, yet fortify your minds with the consideration

that he who has given you his Son Jesus will withhold from you no

manner of thing that is good. The allusion here is to the long

robes of the Asiatics, which, when they were about to perform any

active service, they tucked in their girdles: this they did also

when they waited on their superiors at meals.

Hope to the end for the grace] Continue to expect all that God

has promised, and particularly that utmost salvation, that

glorification of body and soul, which ye shall obtain at the

revelation of Christ, when he shall come to judge the world.

But if the apostle alludes here to the approaching revelation

of Christ to inflict judgment on the Jews for their final

rebellion and obstinacy, then the grace, χαριν, benefit, may

intend their preservation from the evils that were coming upon

that people, and their wonderful escape from Jerusalem at the time

that the Roman armies came against it.

Verse 14. Not fashioning yourselves] As the offices of

certain persons are known by the garb or livery they wear, so are

transgressors: where we see the world's livery we see the world's

servants; they fashion or habit themselves according to their

lusts, and we may guess that they have a worldly mind by their

conformity to worldly fashions.

Verse 15. But as he which hath called you] Heathenism

scarcely produced a god whose example was not the most abominable;

their greatest gods, especially, were paragons of impurity; none

of their philosophers could propose the objects of their adoration

as objects of imitation. Here Christianity has an infinite

advantage over heathenism. God is holy, and he calls upon all who

believe in him to imitate his holiness; and the reason why they

should be holy is, that God who has called them is holy,

1Pe 1:15.

Verse 17. And if ye call on the Father] Seeing ye invoke the

Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and your Father through Christ,

and profess to be obedient children, and sojourners here below for

a short time only, see that ye maintain a godly reverence for this

Father, walking in all his testimonies blameless.

Who without respect of persons] God is said to be no respecter

of persons for this reason among many others, that, being

infinitely righteous, he must be infinitely impartial. He cannot

prefer one to another, because he has nothing to hope or fear from

any of his creatures. All partialities among men spring from one

or other of these two principles, hope or fear; God can feel

neither of them, and therefore God can be no respecter of persons.

He approves or disapproves of men according to their moral

character. He pities all, and provides salvation for all, but he

loves those who resemble him in his holiness; and he loves them in

proportion to that resemblance, i.e. the more of his image he

sees in any, the more he loves him; and e contra. And every man's

work will be the evidence of his conformity or nonconformity to

God, and according to this evidence will God judge him. Here,

then, is no respect of persons; God's judgment will be according

to a man's work, and a man's work or conduct will be according to

the moral state of his mind. No favouritism can prevail in the

day of judgment; nothing will pass there but holiness of heart and

life. A righteousness imputed, and not possessed and practised,

will not avail where God judgeth according to every man's work.

It would be well if those sinners and spurious believers who fancy

themselves safe and complete in the righteousness of Christ, while

impure and unholy in themselves, would think of this testimony of

the apostle.

Verse 18. Ye were not redeemed with corruptible things] To

redeem, λυτροω, signifies to procure life for a captive or liberty

for a slave by paying a price, and the precious blood of Christ is

here stated to be the price at which the souls of both Jews and

Gentiles were redeemed; is was a price paid down, and a price

which God's righteousness required.

Corruptible things mean here any thing that man usually gives

in exchange for another; but the term necessarily includes all

created things, as all these are corruptible and perishing. The

meaning of the apostle is, evidently, that created things could

not purchase the souls of men, else the sacrifice of Christ had

not been offered; could any thing less have done, God would not

have given up his only-begotten Son. Even silver and gold, the

most valuable medium of commerce among men, bear no proportion in

their value to the souls of a lost world, for there should be a

congruity between the worth of the thing purchased and the

valuable consideration which is given for it; and the laws and

customs of nations require this: on this ground, perishable

things, or things the value of which must be infinitely less than

the worth of the souls of men, cannot purchase those souls.

Nothing, therefore, but such a ransom price as God provided could

be a sufficient ransom, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins

of the world.

Vain conversation] Empty, foolish, and unprofitable conduct,

full of vain hopes, vain fears, and vain wishes.

Received by tradition from your fathers] The Jews had

innumerable burdens of empty ceremonies and useless ordinances,

which they received by tradition from their fathers, rabbins, or

doctors. The Gentiles were not less encumbered with such than the

Jews; all were wedded to their vanities, because they received

them from their forefathers, as they had done from theirs. And

this antiquity and tradition have been the ground work of many a

vain ceremony and idle pilgrimage, and of numerous doctrines which

have nothing to plead in their behalf but this mere antiquity.

But such persons seem not to consider that error and sin are

nearly coeval with the world itself.

Verse 19. The precious blood of Christ] τιμιωαιματι. The

valuable blood; how valuable neither is nor could be stated.

As of a lamb] Such as was required for a sin-offering to God;

and THE Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.

Without blemish] In himself, and without spot from the world;

being perfectly pure in his soul, and righteous in his life.

Verse 20. Who verily was foreordained] προεγνωσμενου.

Foreknown; appointed in the Divine purpose to be sent into the

world, because infinitely approved by the Divine justice.

Before the foundation of the world] Before the law was given,

or any sacrifice prescribed by it. Its whole sacrificial system

was appointed in reference to this foreappointed Lamb, and

consequently from him derived all its significance and virtue.

The phrase καταβοληκοσμου, foundation of the world, occurs often

in the New Testament, and is supposed by some learned men and good

critics to signify the commencement of the Jewish state. Perhaps

it may have this meaning in Mt 13:35; Lu 11:50; Eph 1:4;

Heb 4:3; 9:26. But if we take it here in its common

signification, the creation of universal nature, then it shows

that God, foreseeing the fall and ruin of man, appointed the

remedy that was to cure the disease. It may here have a reference

to the opinion of the Jewish doctors, who maintain that seven

things existed before the creation of the world, one of which was

the Messiah.

Last times] The Gospel dispensation, called the last times, as

we have often seen, because never to be succeeded by any other.

Verse 21. Who by him do believe in God] This is supposed to

refer to the Gentiles, who never knew the true God till they heard

the preaching of the Gospel: the Jews had known him long before,

but the Gentiles had every thing to learn when the first preachers

of the Gospel arrived amongst them.

Gave him glory] Raised him to his right hand, where, as a

Prince and a Saviour, he gives repentance and remission of sins.

That your faith] In the fulfilment of all his promises, and

your hope of eternal glory, might be in God, who is unchangeable

in his counsels, and infinite in his mercies.

Verse 22. Seeing ye have purified your souls] Having purified

your souls, in obeying the truth-by believing in Christ Jesus,

through the influence and teaching of the Spirit; and giving full

proof of it by unfeigned love to the brethren; ye love one

another, or ye will love each other, with a pure heart fervently.

These persons, First, heard the truth, that is, the Gospel; thus

called in a great variety of places in the New Testament, because

it contains THE truth without mixture of error, and is the truth

and substance of all the preceding dispensations by which it was

typified. Secondly, they obeyed that truth, by believing on Him

who came into the world to save sinners. Thirdly, through this

believing on the Son of God, their hearts were purified by the

word of truth applied to them by the Holy Spirit. Fourthly, the

love of God being shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost,

they loved the brethren with pure hearts fervently, εκτενως,

intensely or continually; the full proof that their brotherly love

was unfeigned, φιλαδελφιανανυποκριτον, a fraternal affection

without hypocrisy.

Verse 23. Being born again] For being born of Abraham's seed

will not avail to the entering of the kingdom of heaven.

Not of corruptible seed] By no human generation, or earthly

means; but of incorruptible-a Divine and heavenly principle which

is not liable to decay, nor to be affected by the changes and

chances to which all sublunary things are exposed.

By the word of God] διαλογουζωντοςθεου. By the doctrine of

the living God, which remaineth for ever; which doctrine shall

never change, any more than the source shall whence it proceeds.

Verse 24. For all flesh is as grass] Earthly seeds, earthly

productions, and earthly generations, shall fail and perish like

as the grass and flowers of the field; for the grass withereth,

and the flower falleth off, though, in the ensuing spring and

summer, they may put forth new verdure and bloom.

Verse 25. But the word of the Lord] The doctrine delivered by

God concerning Christ endureth for ever, having, at all times and

in all seasons, the same excellence and the same efficacy.

And this is the word] τοπνμα, What is spoken, by the Gospel

preached unto you. "This is a quotation from Isa 40:6-8, where

the preaching of the Gospel is foretold; and recommended from the

consideration that every thing which is merely human, and, among

the rest, the noblest races of mankind, with all their glory and

grandeur, their honour, riches, beauty, strength, and eloquence,

as also the arts which men have invented, and the works they have

executed, shall decay as the flowers of the field. But the

Gospel, called by the prophet the word of the Lord, shall be

preached while the world standeth."-Macknight. All human schemes

of salvation, and plans for the melioration of the moral state of

man, shall come to naught; and the doctrine of Christ crucified,

though a stumbling block to the Jews, and foolishness to the

Gentiles, shall be alone the power of God for salvation to every

soul that believeth.

As the apostle, on 1Pe 1:7,

mentions gold, and gold chemically examined and tried; and as

this figure frequently occurs in the sacred writings; I think it

necessary to say something here of the nature and properties of

that metal.

Gold is defined by chemists to be the most perfect, the most

ductile, the most tenacious, and the most unchangeable of all

metals. Its specific gravity is about 19.3. A cubic foot of pure

gold, cast and not hammered, weighs 1348lbs. In its native state,

without mixture, it is yellow, and has no perceptible smell nor

taste. When exposed to the action of the fire it becomes red hot

before it melts, but in melting suffers no alteration; but if a

strong heat be applied while in fusion, it becomes of a beautiful

green colour. The continual action of any furnace, howsoever long

applied, has no effect on any of its properties. It has been kept

in a state of fusion for several months, in the furnace of a glass

house, without suffering the smallest change. The electric and

galvanic fluids inflame and convert it into a purple oxide, which

is volatilized in the form of smoke. In the focus of a very

powerful burning glass it becomes volatilized, and partially

vitrified; so that we may say with the apostle, that, though gold

is tried by the fire-abides the action of all culinary fires,

howsoever applied, yet it perisheth by the celestial fire and the

solar influence; the rays of the sun collected in the focus of a

powerful burning glass, and the application of the electric fluid,

destroy its colour, and alter and impair all its properties. This

is but a late discovery; and previously to it a philosopher would

have ridiculed St. Peter for saying, gold that perisheth.

Gold is so very tenacious that a piece of it drawn into wire,

one-tenth of an inch in diameter, will sustain a weight of 500lbs.

without breaking.

One grain of gold may be so extended, by its great

malleability, as to be easily divided into two millions of parts;

and a cubic inch of gold into nine thousand, five hundred and

twenty-three millions, eight hundred and nine thousand, five

hundred and twenty-three parts; each of which may be distinctly

seen by the naked eye!

A grain and a half of gold may be beaten into leaves of one

inch square, which, if intersected by parallel lines, drawn at

right angles to each other, and distant only the 100th part of an

inch; will produce twenty-five millions of little squares, each of

which may be distinctly seen without the help of glasses!

The surface of any given quantity of gold, according to Mr.

Magellan, may be extended by the hammer 159,092 times!

Eighty books, or two thousand leaves, of what is called leaf

gold, each leaf measuring 3.3 inches square, viz. each leaf

containing 10.89 square inches, weigh less than 384 grains; each

book, therefore, or twenty-five leaves, is equal to 272.25 inches,

and weighs about 4.8 grains; so that each grain of gold will

produce 56.718, or nearly fifty-seven square inches!

The thickness of the metal thus extended appears to be no more

than the one 282.020th of an inch! One pound, or sixteen ounces

of gold, would be sufficient to gild a silver wire, sufficient in

length to encompass the whole terraqueous globe, or to extend

25,000 miles!

Notwithstanding this extreme degree of tenuity, or thinness,

which some carry much higher, no pore can be discerned in it by

the strongest magnifying powers; nor is it pervious to the

particles of light, nor can the most subtile fluids pass through

it. Its ductility has never yet been carried to the uttermost

pitch, and to human art and ingenuity is probably unlimited.

Sulphur, in the state of a sulphuret, dissolves it; tin and

lead greatly impair its tenacity; and zinc hardens and renders it

very brittle. Copper heightens its colour, and renders it harder,

without greatly impairing its ductility. It readily unites with

iron, which it hardens in a remarkable manner.

The oxigenated muriatic acid, and the nitro-muriatic acid,

dissolve gold. In this state it is capable of being applied with

great success to the gilding of steel. The process is very

simple, and is instantaneously performed, viz.:-

To a solution of gold in the nitro-muriatic acid add about

twice the quantity of sulphuric ether. In order to gild either

iron or steel, let the metal be well polished, the higher the

better: the ether which has taken up the gold may be applied by a

camel hair pencil, or small brush; the ether then evaporates, and

the gold becomes strongly attached to the surface of the metal.

I have seen lancets, penknives, &c., gilded in a moment, by being

dipped in this solution. In this manner all kinds of figures,

letters, mottoes, &c., may be delineated on steel, by employing a

pen or fine brush.

The nitro-muriatic acid, formerly called aqua regia, is formed

by adding muriatic acid, vulgarly spirit of salt, to the nitric

acid, formerly aqua fortis. Two parts of the muriatic acid to

one of the nitric constitute this solvent of gold and platina,

which is called the nitro-muriatic acid.

Gold was considered the heaviest of all metals till the year

1748, when the knowledge of platina was brought to Europe by Don

Antonio Ulloa: this, if it be a real metal, is the hardest and

weightiest of all others. The specific gravity of gold is, as we

have seen, 19.3; that of platina is from 20.6 to 23: but gold will

ever be the most valuable of all metals, not merely from its

scarcity, but from its beautiful colour and great ductility, by

which it is applicable to so many uses, and its power of

preserving its hue and polish without suffering the least tarnish

or oxidation from the action of the air.

Copyright information for Clarke