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1: To them that have obtained - Not by their own works,
but by the free grace of God. Like precious faith with us
- The apostles. The faith of those who have not seen, being
equally precious with that of those who saw our Lord in the
flesh. Through the righteousness - Both active and passive.
Of our God and Saviour - It is this alone by which the justice
of God is satisfied, and for the sake of which he gives this
2: Through the divine, experimental knowledge of God and
3: As his divine power has given us all things - There is a
wonderful cheerfulness in this exordium, which begins with the
exhortation itself. That pertain to life and godliness - To the
present, natural life, and to the continuance and increase of
spiritual life. Through that divine knowledge of him - Of Christ.
Who hath called us by - His own glorious power, to eternal glory,
as the end; by Christian virtue or fortitude, as the means.
4: Through which - Glory and fortitude. He hath given us
exceeding great, and inconceivably precious promises - Both the
promises and the things promised, which follow in their due
season, that, sustained and encouraged by the promises, we may
obtain all that he has promised. That, having escaped the
manifold corruption which is in the world - From that fruitful
fountain, evil desire. Ye may become partakers of the divine
nature - Being renewed in the image of God, and having communion
with them, so as to dwell in God and God in you.
5: For this very reason - Because God hath given you so
great blessings. Giving all diligence - It is a very uncommon
word which we render giving. It literally signifies, bringing
in by the by, or over and above: implying, that good works the
work; yet not unless we are diligent. Our diligence is to
follow the gift of God, and is followed by an increase of all
his gifts. Add to - And in all the other gifts of God. Superadd
the latter, without losing the former. The Greek word properly
means lead up, as in dance, one of these after the other, in a
beautiful order. Your faith, that "evidence of things not
seen," termed before "the knowledge of God and of Christ," the
root of all Christian graces. Courage - Whereby ye may conquer
all enemies and difficulties, and execute whatever faith
dictates. In this most beautiful connexion, each preceding
grace leads to the following; each following, tempers and
perfects the preceding. They are set down in the order of
nature, rather than the order of time. For though every grace
bears a relation to every other, yet here they are so nicely
ranged, that those which have the closest dependence on each
other are placed together. And to your courage knowledge
- Wisdom, teaching how to exercise it on all occasions.
6: And to your knowledge temperance; and to your
temperance patience - Bear and forbear; sustain and abstain;
deny yourself and take up your cross daily. The more knowledge
you have, the more renounce your own will; indulge yourself the
less. "Knowledge puffeth up," and the great boasters of
knowledge (the Gnostics) were those that "turned the grace of
God into wantonness." But see that your knowledge be attended
with temperance. Christian temperance implies the voluntary
abstaining from all pleasure which does not lead to God. It
extends to all things inward and outward: the due government of
every thought, as well as affection. "It is using the world,"
so to use all outward, and so to restrain all inward things,
that they may become a means of what is spiritual; a scaling
ladder to ascend to what is above. Intemperance is to abuse
the world. He that uses anything below, looking no higher, and
getting no farther, is intemperate. He that uses the creature
only so as to attain to more of the Creator, is alone temperate,
and walks as Christ himself walked. And to patience godliness
- Its proper support: a continual sense of God's presence and
providence, and a filial fear of, and confidence in, him;
otherwise your patience may be pride, surliness, stoicism; but
7: And to godliness brotherly kindness - No sullenness,
sternness, moroseness: "sour godliness," so called, is of the
devil. Of Christian godliness it may always be said,
"Mild, sweet, serene, and tender is her mood,
Nor grave with sternness, nor with lightness free:
Against example resolutely good,
Fervent in zeal, and warm in charity."
And to brotherly kindness love - The pure and perfect love of God
and of all mankind. The apostle here makes an advance upon the
preceding article, brotherly kindness, which seems only to
relate to the love of Christians toward one another.
8: For these being really in you - Added to your faith.
And abounding - Increasing more and more, otherwise we fall
short. Make you neither slothful nor unfruitful - Do not suffer
you to be faint in your mind, or without fruit in your lives.
If there is less faithfulness, less care and watchfulness, since
we were pardoned, than there was before, and less diligence,
less outward obedience, than when we were seeking remission of
sin, we are both slothful and unfruitful in the knowledge of
Christ, that is, in the faith, which then cannot work by love.
9: But he that wanteth these - That does not add them to
his faith. Is blind - The eyes of his understanding are again
closed. He cannot see God, or his pardoning love. He has lost
the evidence of things not seen. Not able to see afar off
- Literally, purblind. He has lost sight of the precious
promises: perfect love and heaven are equally out of his sight.
Nay, he cannot now see what himself once enjoyed. Having, as it
were, forgot the purification from his former sins - Scarce
knowing what he himself then felt, when his sins were forgiven.
10: Wherefore - Considering the miserable state of these
apostates. Brethren - St. Peter nowhere uses this appellation
in either of his epistles, but in this important exhortation.
Be the more diligent - By courage, knowledge, temperance, &c.
To make your calling and election firm - God hath called you by
his word and his Spirit; he hath elected you, separated you
from the world, through sanctification of the Spirit. O cast
not away these inestimable benefits! If ye are thus diligent
to make your election firm, ye shall never finally fall.
11: For if ye do so, an entrance shall be ministered
to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom - Ye shall go
in full triumph to glory.
12: Wherefore - Since everlasting destruction attends your
sloth, everlasting glory your diligence, I will not neglect
always to remind you of these things - Therefore he wrote another,
so soon after the former, epistle. Though ye are established in
the present truth - That truth which I am now declaring.
13: In this tabernacle - Or tent. How short is our abode
in the body! How easily does a believer pass out of it!
14: Even as the Lord Jesus showed me - In the manner
which had foretold, (Joh 21:18), &c. It is not improbable,
he had also showed him that the time was now drawing nigh.
15: That ye may be able - By having this epistle among you.
16: These things are worthy to be always had in remembrance
For they are not cunningly devised fables - Like those common among
the heathens. While we made known to you the power and coming
- That is, the powerful coming of Christ in glory. But if what
they advanced of Christ was not true, if it was of their own
invention, then to impose such a lie on the world as it was, in
the very nature of things, above all human power to defend, and
to do this at the expense of life and all things only to enrage
the whole world, Jews and gentiles, against them, was no cunning,
but was the greatest folly that men could have been guilty of.
But were eyewitnesses of his majesty - At his transfiguration,
which was a specimen of his glory at the last day.
17: For he received divine honour and inexpressible
glory - Shining from heaven above the brightness of the sun.
When there came such a voice from the excellent glory - That
is, from God the Father. (Mt 17:5).
18: And we - Peter, James, and John. St. John was still
alive. Being with him in the holy mount - Made so by that glorious
manifestation, as mount Horeb was of old, (Ex 3:4,5).
19: And we - St. Peter here speaks in the name of all
Christians. Have the word of prophecy - The words of Moses,
Isaiah, and all the prophets, are one and the same word, every
way consistent with itself. St. Peter does not cite any
particular passage, but speaks of their entire testimony. More
confirmed - By that display of his glorious majesty. To which
word ye do well that ye take heed, as to a lamp which shone in
a dark place - Wherein there was neither light nor window. Such
anciently was the whole world, except that little spot where
this lamp shone. Till the day should dawn - Till the full light
of the gospel should break through the darkness. As is the
difference between the light of a lamp and that of the day,
such is that between the light of the Old Testament and of the
New. And the morning star - Jesus Christ,(Re 22:16).
Arise in your hearts - Be revealed in you.
20: Ye do well, as knowing this, that no scripture
prophecy is of private interpretation - It is not any man's
own word. It is God, not the prophet himself, who thereby
interprets things till then unknown.
21: For prophecy came not of old by the will of man - Of
any mere man whatever. But the holy men of God - Devoted to him,
and set apart by him for that purpose, spake and wrote. Being
moved - Literally, carried. They were purely passive therein.