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1: Wherefore laying aside - As inconsistent with that pure
love. All dissimulation - Which is the outward expression of
guile in the heart.
2: Desire - Always, as earnestly as new born babes do,(1Pe 1:3).
The milk of the word - That word of God which nourishes the soul
as milk does the body, and which is sincere, pure from all guile,
so that none are deceived who cleave to it. That you may grow
thereby - In faith, love, holiness, unto the full stature of
3: Since ye have tasted - Sweetly and experimentally known.
4: To whom coming - By faith. As unto a living stone - Living
from eternity; alive from the dead. There is a wonderful beauty
and energy in these expressions, which describe Christ as a
spiritual foundation, solid, firm, durable; and believers as a
building erected upon it, in preference to that temple which the
Jews accounted their highest glory. And St. Peter speaking of
him thus, shows he did not judge himself, but Christ, to be the
rock on which the church was built. Rejected indeed by men - Even
at this day, not only by Jews, Turks, heathens, infidels; but by
all Christians, so called, who live in sin, or who hope to be
saved by their own works. But chosen of God - From all eternity,
to be the foundation of his church. And precious - In himself, in
the sight of God, and in the eyes of all believers.
5: Ye - Believers. As living stones - Alive to God through
him. Are built up - In union with each other. A spiritual house
- Being spiritual yourselves, and an habitation of God through
the Spirit. An holy priesthood - Consecrated to God, and "holy
as he is holy." To offer up - Your souls and bodies, with all
your thoughts, words, and actions, as spiritual sacrifices to God.
6: He that believeth shall not be confounded - In time or
in eternity. (Isa 28:16).
7: To them who believe, he is become the head of the
corner - The chief corner stone, on which the whole building
rests. Unbelievers too will at length find him such to their
sorrow, (Mt 21:44).(Ps 118:22).
8: Who stumble, whereunto also they were appointed - They
who believe not, stumble, and fall, and perish for ever; God
having appointed from all eternity, "he that believeth not
shall be damned."
9: But ye - Who believe in Christ Are - In a higher sense
than ever the Jews were. A chosen or elect race, a royal
priesthood - "Kings and priests unto God,"(Re 1:6). As princes, ye have power with God, and victory over
sin, the world, and the devil: as priests, ye are consecrated to
God, for offering spiritual sacrifices. Ye Christians are as
one holy nation, under Christ your King. A purchased people - Who
are his peculiar property. That ye may show forth - By your whole
behaviour, to all mankind. The virtues - The excellent glory,
the mercy, wisdom, and power of him, Christ, who hath called you
out of the darkness of ignorance, error, sin, and misery.
10: Who in time past were not a people - Much less the
people of God; but scattered individuals of many nations.
The former part of the verse particularly respects the gentiles;
the latter, the Jews.
11: Here begins the exhortation drawn from the second
motive. Sojourners: pilgrims - The first word properly means,
those who are in a strange house; the second, those who are
in a strange country. You sojourn in the body; you are pilgrims
in this world. Abstain from desires of anything in this house,
or in this country.
12: Honest - Not barely unblamable, but virtuous in every
respect. But our language sinks under the force, beauty, and
copiousness of the original expressions. That they by your good
works which they shall behold - See with their own eyes. May
glorify God - By owning his grace in you, and following your
example. In the day of visitation - The time when he shall give
them fresh offers of his mercy.
13: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man - To every
secular power. Instrumentally these are ordained by men; but
originally all their power is from God.
14: Or to subordinate governors, or magistrates.
15: The ignorance - Of them who blame you, because they do
not know you: a strong motive to pity them.
16: As free - Yet obeying governors, for God's sake.
17: Honour all men - As being made in the image of God,
bought by his Son, and designed for his kingdom. Honour the
king - Pay him all that regard both in affection and action
which the laws of God and man require.
18: Servants - Literally, household servants. With all
fear - Of offending them or God. Not only to the good - Tender,
kind. And gentle - Mild, easily forgiving.
19: For conscience toward God - From a pure desire of
pleasing him. Grief - Severe treatment.
21: Hereunto are ye - Christians. Called - To suffer
wrongfully. Leaving you an example - When he went to God.
That ye might follow his steps - Of innocence and patience.
22-23: In all these instances the example of Christ is
peculiarly adapted to the state of servants, who easily slide
either into sin or guile, reviling their fellowservants, or
threatening them, the natural result of anger without power.
He committed himself to him that judgeth righteously - The only
solid ground of patience in affliction.(Isa 53:4,6,7,9).
24: Who himself bore our sins - That is, the punishment due
to them. In his afflicted, torn, dying body on the tree - The
cross, whereon chiefly slaves or servants were wont to suffer.
That we being dead to sin - Wholly delivered both from the guilt
and power of it: indeed, without an atonement first made for
the guilt, we could never have been delivered from the power.
Might live to righteousness - Which is one only. The sins we
had committed, and he bore, were manifold.
25: The bishop - The kind observer, inspector, or overseer
of your souls.