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A. D. cir. 60.

The dissolution of

II. PETER

the world by fire. A. M. cir. 4064. the earth, also and the works coming of the day of God, A. M. cit. 4064.

. An. Olymp. that are therein, shall be burned wherein the heavens, being on

An. Olymp:

cir. CCIX. 4. cir. CCIX.4.

fire, shall be dissolved, and A.U.C. cír. 813. A.U.C. cir. 813. up.

11 Seeing then that all these the elements shall emelt with things shall be dissolved, what manner of fervent heat? persons ought ye to be in all holy conversa- 13 Nevertheless we, according to his protion and godliness,

mise, look for 'new heavens and a new earth, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the wherein dwelleth righteousness.

a 1 Pet. i. 15.- b1 Cor. i. 7. Tit. i. 13.- - Or, hasting

the coming.-d Ps. 1. 3. Isai. xxxiv. 4.

e Mic. i. 4. Ver. 10,- s Isai. lxv. 17. lxvi. 22.

Rev. xxi, 1.

vanic spark be made to pass through water, a portion What manner of persons ought ye to be] Some put of the fluid is immediately decomposed into its two the note of interrogation at the end of this clause, constituent gases, oxygen and hydrogen); and as the and join the remaining part with the 12th verse, thus: electric or ethereal fire is that which, in all likelihood, Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, that God will use in the general conflagration ; the noise manner of persons ought ye to be? By holy conceroccasioned by the application of this fire to such an sation and godliness, expecting and earnestly desiring immense congeries of aqueous particles as float in the the coming of the day of God, fc. Only those who atmosphere, must be terrible in the extreme. Put a walk in holiness, who live a godly and useful life, drop of water on an anvil, place over it a piece of can contemplate this most awful time with joy. iron red hot, strike the iron with a hammer on the The word σπεύδοντας, which we translate hasting part above the drop of water, and the report will be unto, should be rendered earnestly desiring, or wishing as loud as a musket; when, then, the whole strength for; which is a frequent meaning of the word in the of those opposite agents is brought together into a best Greek writers. state of conflict, the noise, the thunderings, the in- Verse 12. The heavens, being on fire] See on ver. numerable explosions (till every particle of water on 10. It was an ancient opinion among the heathens, the earth and in the atmosphere is, by the action of that the earth should be burnt up with fire ; so 017, the fire, reduced into its component gaseous parts), Met., lib. i., v. 256. will be frequent, loud, confounding, and terrific,

Esse quoque in fatis reminiscitur, adfore tempus, beyond every comprehension but that of God himself.

Quo mare, quo tellus, correptaque regia cæli The elements shall melt with fervent heat] When

Ardeat; et mundi moles operosa laboret. the fire has conquered and decomposed the water, the elements, otoixeia, the hydrogen and oxygen airs or

“Remembering in the fates a time when fire gases (the former of which is most highly inflam

Should to the battlements of heaven aspire, mable, and the latter an eminent supporter of all

And all his blazing world above should burn, combustion), will occupy distinct regions of the

And all the inferior globe to cinders turn."

DBYDES atmosphere, the hydrogen by its very great levity ascending to the top, while the oxygen from its Minucius Felix tells us, xxxiv. 2, that it was a superior specific gravity will keep upon or near the common opinion of the Stoics that, the moisture of surface of the earth; and thus, if different substances the earth being consumed, the whole world would be once ignited, the fire, which is supported in this catch fire. The Epicureans held the same sentiment; case, not only by the oxygen which is one of the con- and indeed it appears in various authors, which proras stituents of atmospheric air, but also by a great addi-that a tradition of this kind has pretty generally pre tional quantity of oxygen obtained from the decom- vailed in the world. But it is remarkable that note position of all aqueous vapours, will rapidly seize on have fancied that it will be destroyed by water. The all other substances, on all terrestrial particles, and tradition, founded on the declaration of God, was the whole frame of nature will be necessarily torn in against this; therefore it was not received. pieces, and thus the earth and its works be burnt Verse 13. We, according to his promise, look for ир.

new heavens] The promise to which it is supposed Verse 11. All these things shall be dissolved] They the apostle alludes, is found Isai. Ixv. 17: Bek dd, I will all be separated, all decomposed; but none of create new heavens and a new earth; and the former them destroyed. And as they are the original matter shall not be remembered, nor come into mind; and out of which God formed the terraqueous globe, con- chap. Ixvi. 22: For as the new heavens and the new sequently they may enter again into the composition earth which I will make shall remain before me, of a new system ; and therefore the apostle says, ver. the Lord, so shall your seed, &c. Now, although these 13: We look for new heavens and a new earth—the may be interpreted of the glory of the gospel dispenothers being decomposed, a new system is to be formed sation, yet, if St. Peter refer to them, they muse out of their materials. There is a wonderful philo- have a more extended mcaning. sophic propriety in the words of the apostle in de- It does appear, from these promises, what the scribing this most awful event.

apostle says here, and what is said Rev. xxi. 27,

seith

We should

grow

in
grace
and
CHAP. III.

in the knowledge of Christ. A.M. cir. 4064. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing are unlearned and unstable

and unstable A. M. cir. 4064. A. D. cir. 60.

A. D. cir. 60, An. Olymp that ye look for such things, be wrest, as they do also the other An. Olymp.

cir. CCLX. 4. A. U.C. cir.813. diligent a that ye may be found scriptures, unto their own de

A.U.C. cir. 813. of him in peace, without spot, struction. and blameless :

17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know 15 And account that the long-suffering of these things before, e beware lest ye also, our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved being led away with the error of the wicked, brother Paul also, according to the wisdom fall from your own stedfastness. given unto him, hath written unto you ; 18 * But grow in grace, and in the know

16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in ledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. them of these things; in which are some - To him be glory both now and for ever. things hard to be understood, which they that Amen.

* 1 Cor. i. 8. xv. 58. Phil. i. 10. 1 Thess. iii. 13. v. 23. Rom. Ü. 4. 1 Pet. iii. 20. Ver. 9. -c Rom. viii. 19.

e Eph. iv, 14. Ch. i. 10, 11. ii. 18.- Eph. iv, 15. 1 Pet. Cor. xv. 24. 1 Thess, iv. 15. — Mark xiii. 23. Ch. ï. 12. 3. 2.-52 Tim. iv. 18. Rev. i. 6.

xxii. 14, 15, that the present earth, though destined by which he was qualified for the divine work, and to be burnt up, will not be destroyed, but be renewed by which he was so capable of entering into the deep and refined, purged from all moral and natural imper- things of God. It is worthy of remark that Paul's fection, and made the endless abode of blessed spirits. epistles are ranked among the scriptures; a term But this state is certainly to be expected after the applied to those writings which are divinely inspired, day of judgment; for on this the apostle is very and to those only. express, who says the conflagration and renovation Verse 16. As also in all his epistles, speaking in are to take place at the judgment of the great day; them of these things] Paul, in all his epistles, says see ver. 7, 8, 10, and 12. That such an event may Dr. Macknight, has spoken of the things written by take place is very possible ; and, from the terms used Peter in this letter. For example, he has spoken of by St. Peter, is very probable. And, indeed, it is Christ's coming to judgment ; 1 Thess. iii. 13, iv. more reasonable and philosophical to conclude that 14–18; 2 Thess. i. 7–10; Titus ii. 13. And of the the earth shall be refined and restored, than finally resurrection of the dead, 1 Cor. xv. 22 ; Phil. ii. 20, destroyed. But this has nothing to do with what 21. And of the burning of the earth ; 2 Thess. i. 8. some call the millennium state ; as this shall take And of the heavenly country; 2 Cor. v. 1–10. And place when time, with the present state and order of of the introduction of the righteous into that country; things, shall be no more.

1 Thess. iv. 17; Heb. iv. 9, xii. 14, 18, 24. And of Verse 14. Seeing that ye look for such things] As the judgment of all mankind by Christ; Rom. xiv. 10. ye profess that such a state of things shall take place, In which are some things hard to be understood] and have the expectation of enjoying the blessedness Avovonta Tiva: That is, if we retain the common of it, be diligent in the use of every means and in- reading ev ois, in or among which things, viz., what he fluence of grace, that ye may be found of himthe says of the day of judgment, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the Judge of quick and dead, without body, &c., &c., there are some things difficult to be spot-any contagion of sin in your souls, and blame- comprehended, and from which a wrong or false less—being not only holy and innocent, but useful in meaning may be taken. But if we take the reading Four lives.

of AB, twelve others, with both the Syriac, all the Verse 15. And account that the long-suffering of Arabic, and Theophylact, ev ais, the meaning is more our Lord] Conclude that God's long-suffering with general, as ev aiç must refer to Etiotolars, epistles, for the world is a proof that he designs men to be saved; this would intimate that there were difficulties in all eren as our beloved brother Paul. “ This epistle being the epistles of St. Paul; and indeed in what ancient written to those to whom the first epistle was sent, writings are there not difficulties ? But the papists the persons to whom the apostle Paul wrote con- say tbat the decision of all matters relative to the cerning the long-suffering of God were the Jewish faith is not to be expected from the scriptures on this and Gentile Christians in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, very account, but must be received from the church; Asia, and Bithynia. Accordingly, we know he wrote i.e. the Popish or Romish church. But what evidence to the Ephesians (chap. ii. 3, 4, 5), to the Colossians have we that that church can infallibly solve any of (chap. i. 21), and to Timothy (1 Epist., chap. ii. 3, those difficulties? We have none ! And till we 4), things which imply that God’s bearing with sin- have an express, unequivocal revelation from heaven ners is intended for their salvation. The persons to that an unerring spirit is given to that church, I say, whom Peter's epistles were sent were, for the most for example, to the present church of Rome, with the part, Paul's converts.”Macknight.

pope called Pius VII. at its head, we are not to According to the wisdom given unto him] That is, receive its pretensions. Any church may pretend the according to the measure of the divine inspiration, same, or any number of equally learned men as there

Concluding observations

II. PETER.

on thủs Epistle. are of cardinals and pope in the conclave; and, away from the truth delivered by the prophets and after all, it would be but the opinion of so many apostles, by the error of the wicked, adequwv, of the men, to which no absolute certainty or infallibility lawless—those who wrest the scriptures to make them could be attached.

countenance their lusts, exorbitant exactions, and This verse is also made a pretext to deprive the lawless practices. common people of reading the word of God; because

Fall from your own stedfastness.] From that faith the unlearned and unstable have sometimes wrested in Christ which has put you in possession of that this word to their own destruction : but if it be human grace which establishes the heart. learning, and stability in any system of doctrine, that

Verse 18. But grow in grace Increase in the qualifies men to judge of these difficult things, then image and favour of God; every grace and divine we can find many thousands, even in Europe, that influence which ye have received is a seed, a heavenly have as much learning and stability as the whole seed, which, if it be watered with the dew of heaven college of cardinals, and perhaps ten thousand times from above, will endlessly increase and multiply itself. more; for that conclave was never very reputable for He who continues to believe, love, and obey, will grow the learning of its members: and to other learned in grace, and continually increase in the knowledge bodies we may, with as much propriety, look up as

of Jesus Christ, as his sacrifice, sanctifier, counsellor infallible guides, as to this conclave.

preserver,

and final Saviour. The life of a Christian Besides, as it is only the unlearned and the unesta- is a growth; he is at first born of God, and is a little Hished (that is, young Christian converts) that are in child; becomes a young man, and a father in Christ

. danger of wresting such portions ; the learned, that Every father was once an infant; and had he not is, the experienced and the established in the know

grown,

he would have never been a man. Those who ledge and life of God, are in no such danger; and to

content themselves with the grace they received when such we may safely go for information : and these converted to God, are, at best, in a continual state of abound every where, especially in Protestant coun

infancy: but we find, in the order of nature, tbat tries; and by the labours of learned and pious men on the sacred writings there is not one difficulty sickly and soon dies; so, in the order of grace,

the infant that does not grow, and grow daily too, is

those relative to the things which concern our salvation left who do not grow up into Jesus Christ are sickly, and unexplained.

If the members of the Romish church will soon die, die to all sense and influence of heahave not these advantages, let them go to those who

venly things. have them ; and if their teachers are afraid to trust them to the instruction of the Protestants, then let

There are many who boast of the grace of their

conversion; persons who were never more than them wlio pretend to have infallibly written their exposition of these difficult places, also put them, with babes, and have long since lost even that grace, a wholesome text in the vulgar language, into the because they did not grow in it. Let him that readech

understand. hands of their people, and then the appeal will not lie to Rome, but to the Bible ; and those interpreta

To him] The Lord Jesus, be glory-all honour and tions will be considered according to their worth,

excellency attributed, both now-in this present state, being weighed with other scriptures, and the exposi- and for ever, els vipepav alvos, to the day of eternity tions of equally learned and equally in fallible men.

that in which death, and misery, and trial, and darkWe find, lastly, that those who wrest such portions,

ness, and change, and time itself, are to the righteous are those who wrest the other scriptures to their for ever at an end: it is eternity; and this eternity is destruction ; therefore they are no patterns, nor can

one unalterable, interminable, unclouded, and unsuch form any precedent for withholding the scrip-changeable DAY! tures from the common people, most of whom,

Amen.] So let it be! and so it shall be! Though instead of wresting them to their destruction, would this word is wanting in some reputable MSS., Fet i become wise unto salvation by reading them. We should be retained, as it has here more than usual may defy the Romish church to adduce a single authority in its support. instance of any soul that was perverted, destroyed, or damned, by reading of the Bible; and the insinua

Subscriptions to this epistle in the VERSIONS: tion that they may is blasphemous. I may just add The end of the Second Epistle of Peter the apostle. that the verb otpaß!ow, which the apostle uses here, Syriac. signifies to distort, to put to the rack, to torture, to The Second Epistle of Peter the apostle is ended. overstretch and dislocate the limbs ; and hence the Syriac PHILOXENIAN. persons here intended are those who proceed accord- Nothing in the printed VULGATE. ing to no fair plan of interpretation, but force unnatu- The end of the epistles of blessed Peter the apostle, ral and sophistical meanings on the word of God: a the rock of the faith.-ARABIC, practice which the common simple Christian is in no The Second Epistle of Peter is ended; and glors danger of following. I could illustrate this by a mul- be to God for ever and ever !- Æthiopic. titude of interpretations from popish writers.

Nothing in the Coptic. Verse 17. Seeing ye knoubefore] Seeing that by The end of the Second Catholic Epistle of St. prophets and apostles you have been thus forewarned, Peter.—COMPLUTENSIAN POLYGLOT. beware, pulacorobe, keep watch, be on your guard ; The end of the Second Epistle of St. Peter—Bis. cleave to God and the word of his grace, lest ye be led | Lat., Edit. antiq.

Concluding observations
CHAP. III.

on this Epistle. Subscriptions in the MANUSCRIPTS :

unction, masses, and prayers for the dead ; and not Of the Second of Peter.-Codex ALEXANDRINUS, and

one word on the most essential doctrine of the Romish Codex VATICANUS.

church, transubstantiation. Now, as all these things Of the Catholic Epistle of Peter.—Codex Ephrem. have been considered by themselves most essential to The Second Epistle of the holy apostle Peter. the being of that church ; is it not strange that he, -Other MSS.

from whom they profess to derive all their power,

authority, and influence, in spiritual and secular We have now passed over all the canonical writings matters, should have said nothing of these most necesof Peter that are extant; and it is worthy of remark sary things? Is it not a proof that they are all false that, in no place of the two epistles already examined, and forged ; that the holy apostle knew nothing of nor in any of this apostle's sayings in any other them; that they are no part of the doctrine of God; parts of the sacred writings, do we find any of the and, although they distinguish the church of Rome, do peculiar tenets of the Romish church : not one word not belong to the church of Christ? It is no wonder of his or the pope's supremacy; not one word of those that the rulers of this church endeavour to keep the who affect to be his successors ; nothing of the scriptures from the common people ; for, were they infallibility claimed by those pretended successors; permitted to consult these, the imposture would be nothing of purgatory, penances, pilgrimages, auricular detected, and the solemn, destructive cheat at once confession, power of the keys, indulgences, extreme exposed.

PREFACE

TO

THE FIRST EPISTLE

OP

JOHN.

AS

S the author of this epistle is the same who wrote the gospel, I need not detain the

reader with any particulars of his life, having taken up the subject pretty much at large in my preface to his gospel, to which I must refer for that species of information.

Two questions have been urged relative to this epistle, which are very difficult to be solved: 1. When was it written? 2. To whom was it sent? The precise year it is impos sible to determine; but it was probably written before the destruction of Jerusalem; and perhaps about the year 68 or 69, though some think not before 80. The second question Michaelis answers thus :

“ This question is still more difficult to decide than the preceding. In the Latin version it was formerly called The Epistle of St. John to the Parthians; and this title was adopted by some of the ancient Fathers, and in modern times has been defended by Grotius. But if St. John had intended this epistle for the use of the Parthians, he would hardly have written it in Greek, but would have used either the language of the country, or, if he was unacquainted with it, would have written at least in Syriac, which was the language of the learned in the Parthian empire, and especially of the Christians. We know, from the history of Manes, that even the learned in that country were for the most part unacquainted with the Greek language; for to Manes, though he united literature with genius, his adversaries objected that he understood only the barbarous Syriac. That a Grecian book would not have been understood in the Parthian empire, appears from what Josephus says in the preface to his History of the Jewish War, where he declares that a work intended for Parthian Jews must be written, not in Greek, but Hebrew. However, it is worth while to examine whence the superscription 'ad Parthos' took its rise. Whiston conjectures that an ancient Greek superscription of this epistle was apoç rapbevous (to virgins), because this epistle is chiefly addressed to uncorrupted Christians, and that this title was falsely copied tpos Iaplovę, whence was derived the Latin superscription, 'ad Parthos. But this conjecture is without foundation ; for since the faithful are not called in a single instance throughout the whole epistle by the name of maplevovs, it is very improbable that the title z poc Tapevovç was ever affixed to it. I would rather suppose, therefore, that the frequent use in this epistle of the words 'light' and 'darkness,' which occur in the Persian philosophy, and on the same occasions as those on which St. John has used them, gave rise to the opinion that St. John wrote it with a view of correcting the abuses of the Persian philosophy;

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