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III. 10. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Men are wont to make use of the same tongue, both for the blessing of God in their devotions, and for the cursing of their brethren in their uncharitable speeches and censures: but, my brethren, this ought not to be; neither can these two things stand well together.
III. 13. Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
Let him, in his conversation, give clear proof of his good works; not in a rough and sullen austerity and frowardness, but in a wise and discreet meekness.
III. 14. Glory not, and lie not against the truth.
Never brag vainly that ye are Christians; and do not shame and contradict that truth which ye profess, by a real denial of the profession thereof.
III. 15. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. Ye
may make a kind of ostentation of wisdom; but I must tell you, this wisdom is not heavenly, but earthly; not spiritual, but sensual; not holy and divine, but devilish.
III. 18. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
There is a great and near relation, betwixt righteousness and peace; so as they, that are truly desirous to advance peace, are careful of setting forward good works and maintenance of justice; and again, those shall be sure to reap the fruits of righteousness and glory, which have sown the seeds of peace and concord.
IV. 1. From whence come wars and fightings among you ? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members ?
But, while I speak of righteousness and peace, I perceive there is just cause to complain of unquiet broils and injustice : for, from whence are those wars and brawlings and unchristian quarrels amongst you, but from your own unruly and inordinate lusts and desires ? if they did not fight against grace in your bosoms, ye would not be so apt to fight with each other.
IV. 2. Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye hare not, because ye ask not.
Ye long after others' commodities, and go without them: ye are rancorously and murderously affected to each other, in an envious desire of what is theirs, and cannot obtain it: ye quarrel and strive one with another, and carry not away that which ye sue for: and, whereas ye should crave of God what ye want, ye have it not, because ye ask it not.
IV. 3. Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
And if ye do ask, ye receive not, because ye ask amiss: either begging unmeet things; or slightly and heartlessly wishing things fit to be asked; or calling for them upon a wrong ground, and to a wrong purpose; namely, not desiring them for the glory of God, and the good of others, but only to spend it upon your own intemperate lusts and pleasures.
IV.4. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
O ye vain men, that are thus palpably corrupted with the love of the world, having formerly plighted your troths to God; do ye not know and consider, that there is such a discord betwixt God and the world, that ye cannot possibly affect both; that so much love as ye bear unto the world, so much hatred ye incur with God? Whosoever, therefore, will be a devoted friend to the world, is, in so being, a very enemy to God.
IV. 5. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
This the Scripture beateth upon, every where : and do ye think it speaketh thus in vain? Certainly, every word thereof is to excellent purpose, and shall be truly verified upon us. Doth, then, that Spirit of God, which we profess to have dwelling in us, lust after envy, and envy the good things of others ?
IV. 6. But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Surely no: so far is he from that, as that he giveth more grace
where he hath given some already: wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.
IV. 8. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Ye are naturally aloof from God, in your corrupt affections: now labour ye with your hearts, to draw them near unto God, in your holy desires ; and he shall draw nigh to you, in a gracious condescent and approbation.
IV. 11. Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law : but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
The Law of God requires at our hands a reverent and loving respect to our brother, and forbids us any evil speeches or rash judgments concerning him; so as we cannot revile or unjustly censure our brother, but we make head against the Law, and offer an open affront thereunto, in charging it with injustice : and if we do thus censure and charge the Law, we are far from
being the doers of the Law, but presumptuously take upon us to be the judges and condemners of the Law.
IV. 12. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
It is God alone, who, as he was the Maker and Author of the Law, so is he the just and powerful Judge of the violation of his Law; having, in his own Almighty Hands, the power and liberty both to save and to destroy: who art thou therefore, that darest to pass thy judgment upon another, since he is only reserved to the Tribunal of God?
IV. 16. But now ye rejoice in your boastings : all such rejoicing is evil.
But now, your hearts are lifted up with the over-valuing conceits of this earthly prosperity, and are immoderately affected therewith: these are not the things, that are fit for you to set your hearts upon : all such transportations with worldly delights or confidences are evil.
IV. 17. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
And, howsoever others, that are ignorant of better things, may be carried away with the admiration of these vanities, yet it were a great shame and sin, for you, who have been well informed of heavenly and spiritual matters, to dote upon these transitory commodities or pleasures : in such case, your very knowledge of better would be an aggravation, both of your sin and judgment.
V. 3. And the rust of them shall be a witness against you : and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heuped treasure together for the last days.
And the rust of them shall justly convince you of your uncharitable and wicked covetousness; who would rather suffer these your metals to corrupt with hoarding them up in your chests, than to lay them forth upon the necessities of your brethren : yea, this very rust of your silver shall fret and eat into your very flesh and bones, and shall be a means of consuming you.
V. 11. And have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
And ye have seen the happy end, which it pleased the Lord to put unto those his patient sufferings.
V. 12. But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath : but let your yea be
your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
Be ye true and steady in all that ye affirm or deny: not inconstantly varying in what ye speak'; lest, through falsehood
and unfaithfulness, ye fall into just condemnation. See Matt. v. verses 34, 35.
V., 14. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
Is any man sick among you, let him send for the Pastors or Ministers of the Church, and let them pray for him and with him; and, while the miraculous gift of healing continueth in the Church, let them make use of that sign which Christ hath ordained for that purpose, viz. calling upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, let them anoint him with oil:
V. 15. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
And their faithful prayer shall be a means, ordinarily, to save that sick person from the danger of his disease, &c. and whereas his sins are the cause of his sickness, even those sins of his shall, upon humble and faithful prayers, be done away and forgiven.
V. 16. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.
In case of offence done, or in case of any weight which an unremoved sin lays upon the conscience, or in desire of advice concerning the avoidance of sin, do ye give ease to your souls, by a mutual confession of your faults; and pray one for another, that ye may be delivered from the guilt and punishment of your sin.
V. 19, 20. Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Brethren, if any of you be seduced, either into error of belief or uncleanness of conversation, and one of you be a means to convert and reclaim him; Let him know, that he is very happy in this deed of his; for, in thus turning away the sinner from his evil way, whether of judgment, or practice, he shall save a soul from eternal death; and shall be a means, that the many sins of that convert shall, through his true repentance, be forgiven, and not imputed unto him.
THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF PETER.
I. 1. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scat. tered throughout Pontus, doc.
Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to those Jews, which are dispersed through the regions of Pontus, &c.
1. 2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the
Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ : Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Those, who, in their outward profession and in the due judgment of charity, are justly reputed for the elect of God, according to the eternal decree and good purposes of God the Father; which election of theirs is made good unto them, by their true sanctification wrought in them by the Spirit of God conforming them to all holy obedience; and by the remission of sins, by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ; Grace, &c.
1. 3. Which hath begotten us again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Who, when we were naturally the sons of wrath, hath wrought graciously upon us, and renewed us by grace; and raised us up to the hope of everlasting glory, by the power of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I. 5. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salration ready to be revealed in the last time.
Who are, by the mighty power of God, through the means of their faith wrought in them by the Spirit of God, kept to the full obtaining and fruition of that salvation, which, having been purchased and revealed by Christ, is ready to be consummated in these last days of the world.
I. 6. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations.
In the hope and assurance of which salvation, ye do, as ye ought, greatly rejoice; although now, for a season, God sees it fit for you to be in much heaviness, through those many trials of affliction which he hath sent upon you.
I. 9. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of
Receiving, in present, the pledges and beginnings of salvation; and, thereby, the assurance of the accomplishment thereof, as the full fruit and scope, of our faith in Christ.
I. 10. Who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you.
Who, long ago, prophesied of that abundant grace, that should be given unto his Church, in these times of the Gospel.
I. 11. Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, fc.
Bending their thoughts intentively upon the earnest enquiry into the revelation of that Spirit of Christ, whereby they were informed of future things; to know when, and at what time, Christ the Messiah should come into the world, and should suffer and should re-enter into his glory.
1. 12. Unto whom it was rerealed, that not unto themselves,