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1: To the sojourners - Upon earth, the Christians, chiefly
those of Jewish extraction. Scattered - Long ago driven out of
their own land. Those scattered by the persecution mentioned(Ac 8:1), were scattered only through Judea and Samaria,
though afterwards some of them travelled to Phenice, Cyprus,
and Antioch. Through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and
Bithynia - He names these five provinces in the order wherein they
occurred to him, writing from the east. All these countries lie
in the Lesser Asia. The Asia here distinguished from the other
provinces is that which was usually called the Proconsular Asia
being a Roman province.
2: According to the foreknowledge of God - Speaking after the manner
of men. 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. This is therefore no other than an instance
of the divine condescension to our low capacities. Elect - By the free
love and almighty power of God taken out of, separated from, the world.
Election, in the scripture sense, is God's doing anything that our merit
or power have no part in. The true predestination, or fore - appointment of
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 the final issue
depends 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, it is.
- He that believeth shall be saved from the guilt and power of sin.
- He that endureth to the end shall be saved eternally.
- 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.
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
predestinarian 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, a countenancer of it. He is no more a fountain of
spiritual life in the soul 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.
- Cruel respect of persons; an unjust regard of one, and an unjust
disregard of another. It is mere creature partiality, and not
- 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.
- We are bid to choose life, and reprehended for not doing it.
- It is inconsistent with a state of probation in those that must be
saved or must be lost.
- 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.
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 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."
3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
- His Father, with respect to his divine nature; his God, with
respect to his human. Who hath regenerated us to a living hope
- An hope which implies true spiritual life, which revives the
heart, and makes the soul lively and vigorous. By the
resurrection of Christ - Which is not only a pledge of ours, but
a part of the purchase - price. It has also a close connexion
with our rising from spiritual death, that as he liveth, so
shall we live with him. He was acknowledged to be the Christ,
but usually called Jesus till his resurrection; then he was also
4: To an inheritance - For if we are sons, then heirs.
Incorruptible - Not like earthly treasures. Undefiled - Pure and
holy, incapable of being itself defiled, or of being enjoyed by
any polluted soul. And that fadeth not away - That never decays
in its value, sweetness, or beauty, like all the enjoyments of
this world, like the garlands of leaves or flowers, with which
the ancient conquerors were wont to be crowned. Reserved in
heaven for you - Who "by patient continuance in welldoing, seek
for glory and honour and immortality."
5: Who are kept - The inheritance is reserved; the heirs
are kept for it. By the power of God - Which worketh all in all,
which guards us against all our enemies. Through faith - Through
which alone salvation is both received and retained. Ready to
be revealed - That revelation is made in the last day. It was
more and more ready to be revealed, ever since Christ came.
6: Wherein - That is, in being so kept. Ye even now
greatly rejoice, though now for a little while - Such is our whole
life, compared to eternity. If need be - For it is not always
needful. If God sees it to be the best means for your spiritual
profit. Ye are in heaviness - Or sorrow; but not in darkness; for
they still retained both faith, (1Pe 1:5), hope, and love; yea,
at this very time were rejoicing with joy unspeakable, (1Pe 1:8).
7: That the trial of your faith - That is, your faith which
is tried. Which is much more precious than gold - For gold,
though it bear the fire, yet will perish with the world. May be
found - Though it doth not yet appear. Unto praise - From God
himself. And honour - From men and angels. And glory - Assigned
by the great Judge.
8: Having not seen - In the flesh.
9: Receiving - Now already. Salvation - From all sin into
all holiness, which is the qualification for, the forerunner
and pledge of, eternal salvation.
10: Of which salvation - So far beyond all that was
experienced under the Jewish dispensation. The very prophets
who prophesied long ago of the grace of God toward you - Of his
abundant, overflowing grace to be bestowed on believers under
the Christian dispensation. Inquired - Were earnestly inquisitive.
And searched diligently - Like miners searching after precious
ore, after the meaning of the prophecies which they delivered.
11: Searching what time - What particular period. And what
manner of time - By what marks to be distinguished. The glories
that were to follow - His sufferings; namely, the glory of his
resurrection, ascension, exaltation, and the effusion of his
Spirit; the glory of the last judgment, and of his eternal
kingdom; and also the glories of his grace in the hearts and
lives of Christians.
12: To whom - So searching. It was revealed, that not for
themselves, but for us they ministered - They did not so much by
those predictions serve themselves, or that generation, as they
did us, who now enjoy what they saw afar off. With the Holy
Ghost sent down from heaven - Confirmed by the inward, powerful
testimony of the Holy Ghost, as well as the mighty effusion of
his miraculous gifts. Which things angels desire to look into
- A beautiful gradation; prophets, righteous men, kings, desired
to see and hear what Christ did and taught. What the Holy Ghost
taught concerning Christ the very angels long to know.
13: Wherefore - Having such encouragement. Gird up the loins
of your mind - As persons in the eastern countries were wont, in
travelling or running, to gird up their long garments, so gather
ye up all your thoughts and affections, and keep your mind always
disencumbered and prepared to run the race which is set before
you. Be watchful - As servants that wait for their Lord. And
hope to the end - Maintain a full expectation of all the grace - The
blessings flowing from the free favour of God. Which shall be
brought to you at the final revelation of Jesus Christ - And which
are now brought to you by the revelation of Christ in you.
14: Your desires - Which ye had while ye were ignorant of
16: (Le 11:44).
17: Who judgeth according to every man's work - According
to the tenor of his life and conversation. Pass the time of
your sojourning - Your short abode on earth. In humble, loving
fear - The proper companion and guard of hope.
18: Your vain conversation - Your foolish, sinful way of life.
19: Without blemish - In himself.
Without spot - From the world.
21: Who through him believe - For all our faith and hope
proceed from the power of his resurrection. In God that raised
Jesus, and gave him glory - At his ascension. Without Christ we
should only dread God; whereas through him we believe, hope,
22: Having purified your souls by obeying the truth
through the Spirit, who bestows upon you freely, both obedience
and purity of heart, and unfeigned love of the brethren, go on
to still higher degrees of love. Love one another fervently
- With the most strong and tender affection; and yet with a pure
heart - Pure from any spot of unholy desire or inordinate passion.
23: Which liveth - Is full of divine virtue. And abideth
the same for ever.
24: All flesh - Every human creature is transient and
withering as grass. And all the glory of it - His wisdom,
strength, wealth, righteousness. As the flower - The most
short - lived part of it. The grass - That is, man. The flower
- That is, his glory. Is fallen off - As it were, while we are
speaking. (Isa 40:6), &c.