1: I who am a fellow - elder - So the first though not the head of the apostles appositely and modestly styles himself. And a witness of the sufferings of Christ - Having seen him suffer, and now suffering for him.
2: Feed the flock - Both by doctrine and discipline. Not by constraint - Unwillingly, as a burden. Not for filthy gain - Which, if it be the motive of acting, is filthy beyond expression. O consider this, ye that leave one flock and go to another, merely because there is more gain, a large salary! Is it not astonishing that men can see no harm in this? that it is not only practised, but avowed, all over the nation?
3: Neither as lording over the heritage - Behaving in a haughty, domineering manner, as though you had dominion over their conscience. The word translated heritage, is, literally, the portions. There is one flock under the one chief Shepherd; but many portions of this, under many pastors. But being examples to the flock - This procures the most ready and free obedience.
5: Ye younger, be subject to the elder - In years. And be all - Elder or younger. Subject to each other - Let every one be ready, upon all occasions, to give up his own will. Be clothed with humility - Bind it on, (so the word signifies,) so that no force may be able to tear it from you.(Jam 4:6,Pr 3:34 )
6: The hand of God - Is in all troubles.
7: Casting all your care upon him - In every want or pressure.
8: But in the mean time watch. There is a close connexion between this, and the duly casting our care upon him. How deeply had St. Peter himself suffered for want of watching! Be vigilant - As if he had said, Awake, and keep awake. Sleep no more: be this your care. As a roaring lion - Full of rage. Seeking - With all subtilty likewise. Whom he may devour or swallow up - Both soul and body.
9: Be the more steadfast, as ye know the same kind of afflictions are accomplished in - That is, suffered by, your brethren, till the measure allotted them is filled up.
10: Now the God of all grace - By which alone the whole work is begun, continued, and finished in your soul. After ye have suffered a while - A very little while compared with eternity. Himself - Ye have only to watch and resist the devil: the rest God will perform. Perfect - That no defect may remain. Stablish - That nothing may overthrow you. Strengthen - That ye may conquer all adverse power. And settle you - As an house upon a rock. So the apostle, being converted, does now "strengthen his brethren."
12: As I suppose - As I judge, upon good grounds, though not by immediate inspiration. I have written - That is, sent my letter by him. Adding my testimony - To that which ye before heard from Paul, that this is the true gospel of the grace of God.
13: The church that is at Babylon - Near which St. Peter probably was, when he wrote this epistle. Elected together with you - Partaking of the same faith with you. Mark - It seems the evangelist. My son - Probably converted by St. Peter. And he had occasionally served him, "as a son in the gospel."
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