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3. That the water of the flood, which bare up Noah and his family in the ark, and preserved them from perishing, was a type of the water of baptism, and of its efficacy in saving those, who, besides being washed with that water, give the answer of a good conscience, agreeable to the true meaning of baptism.-4. That the devil gocth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may swallow up consequently, that evil spirits are now employed in tempting men; and that their purpose in tempting them, is to destroy them, chap. v. 8.
As the design of this epistle is excellent, its execution, in the judgment of the best critics, does not fall short of its desigu Ostervald says of the first epistle of Peter, "It is one of the "finest books in the New Testament," and of the second, "That "it is a most excellent epistle, and is written with great strength "and majesty."-Erasmus's opinion of Peter's first Epistle is, "It is worthy of the Prince of the apostles, and full of apostoli "cal dignity and authority." He adds, "It is (verbis parca, "sententiis differta) sparing in words, but full of sense."-Lardner observes, that Peter's two epistles, with his discourses in the Acts, and the multitudes who were converted by these discourses, are monuments of a divine inspiration; and of the fulfilment of Christ's promise to Peter and Andrew, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Peter's epistles, therefore, being of great and general use, and so excellently composed, should, like the other inspired writ ings, be read and studied by Christians in every age, with the utmost care; not only for comforting them under affliction, but for directing them to a right behaviour in all the different relations of life.
Of the Place and Time of writing Peter's First Epistle.
From Peter's sending the salutation of the church at Babylon, to the Christians in Pontus, it is generally believed that he wrote his first Epistle in Babylon. But as there was a Babylon in Egypt, and a Babylon in Assyria, and a city to which the name of Babylon is given figuratively Rev. xvii. xviii. namely Rome, the learned are not agreed, which of them is the Babylon meant in the salutation.
Pearson, Mill, and Le Clerc, think the apostle speaks of Babylon in Egypt. But if Peter had founded a church in the Egyp
tian Babylon, it would have been of some note. Yet, if we may believe Lardner, there is no mention made of any church or bishop at the Egyptian Babylon, in any of the writers of the first four centuries: consequently, it is not the Babylon in the salutation.-Erasmus, Drusius, Beza, Lightfoot, Basnage, Beausobre, Cave, Wetstein, and Benson, think the apostle meant Babylon in Assyria. And in support of this opinion, Benson observes, that the Assyrian Babylon being the metropolis of the Eastern dispersion of the Jews, Peter, as an apostle of the circumcision, would very naturally, when he left Judea, go among the Jews at Babylon: And, that it is not probable, he would date his letter from a place by its figurative name.-But Lardner says the Assyrian Babylon was almost deserted in the apostle's days; and adds, can. vol. iii. page 246. "If the Assyrian Babylon was not "now subject to the Romans, but to the Parthians, which I sup66 pose to be allowed by all, it cannot be the place intended by "Peter. For the people to whom he writes, were subject to the "Romans: And at the time of writing this epistle, he must have "been within the territories of the same empire, 1 Ep. ii. 13, 14. "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's "sake: Whether it be to the king, or rather Emperor, as supreme, or unto governors sent (from Rome) by him for the "punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do "well. Again, ver. 17. Honour the king: or rather the EmpeIf St. Peter had not now been within the Roman terri"tories, he would have been led to express himself in a diffe"rent manner, when he enforced obedience to the Roman Em"peror.-St. Peter requires subjection to governors sent by the "Emperor; undoubtedly meaning from Rome. I suppose that "way of speaking might be properly used in any part of the em"pire. But it might have a special propriety, if the writer was "then at Rome." To these particulars, I add that Peter's letter was directed only to the inhabitants of the lesser Asia.
Whitby, Grotius, and all the learned of the Romish communion, are of opinion that by Babylon, Peter meant figuratively Rome, called Babylon by John likewise, Rev. chap. xvii. xviii. And their opinion is confirmed by the general testimony of antiquity; which, as Lardner observes, is of no small weight.—Eusebius, E. H. L. ii. c. 15. informs us, that Clemens in the sixth book of his Institutions, and Papias bishop of Jerusalem, said that Mark's gospel was written at the request of Peter's hearers in Rome; and "that Peter makes mention of Mark in his first
"Epistle, which was written at Rome itself. And that he (Pe"ter) signifies this, calling that city figuratively, Babylon; in "these words, The church which is at Babylon, elected jointly “with you, saluteth you. And so doth Mark my son." This passage Jerome transcribed in his book of illustrious men. (Art. Mark) from Eusebius, and adds positively, "That Peter men"tions this Mark in his first Epistle, figuratively denoting Rome "by the name of Babylon; The church which is at Babylon,&c.” -It is generally thought, that Peter and John, gave to Rome the name of Babylon figuratively, to signify, that it would resemble Babylon in its idolatry, and in its opposition to and persecution of the church of God. And that, like Babylon, it will be utterly destroyed. These things however, the inspired writers Idid not think fit to say plainly, concerning Rome, for a reason which every reader may easily understand.
Concerning the time of writing this Epistle. See Pref. to 2 Peter, Sect. 2.
View and Illustration of the Precepts and Doctrines contained in this Chapter.
To comfort the brethren of Pontus, &c. under their sufferings, St. Peter put them in mind of the glories of that inheritance, of which they were the heirs, by thanking God for giving them the certain hope of a new life after death, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, ver. 3.-in order that they may be capable of enjoying that incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading inheritance, which was preserved in heaven for them who by the power of God are guarded through faith to salvation, ver. 4, 5.-This he said might be matter of great joy to them, though they suffered persecution. Then to reconcile them to their sufferings, he suggested various powerful persuasives: Such as, that their sufferings would soon be over; That they were necessary to try and improve their faith; That the improvement of their faith would be of greater value to themselves and to the world, than the finest gold, and would procure them great honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. All these arguments the apostle comprised, in two short verses, 6, 7.—Then addressing their strongest feelings, he told them, that though they had never seen their master, they loved him; and that though they did not see him now, yet behieving him to be the Son of God, they rejoiced in him with joy unspeakable, ver. 8.-knowing that from him they would assuredly receive the reward of their faith, even the eternal salvation of their souls, ver. 9.—And to shew the greatness and certainty of this salvation, he observed that it had been foretold and accurately searched into by the prophets, who testified before the sufferings which the Christ was to undergo for our salvation, and the glories following his sufferings; and that the angels desired to look attentively into these things, ver. 10, 11, 12.-By mentioning the sufferings of Christ, and the glories following, the apostle insinuated, that if his disciples suffered patiently and courageously, after his example, they might expect to be rewarded as he was.
The apostle having thus comforted the persecuted brethren to whom he wrote, by recalling to their remembrance the great objects of their faith and hope, he exhorted them to hope strongly for the blessings that were to be brought to them, at the revelation of Jesus Christ, ver. 13.-And, as became the children of God, the heirs of these great blessings, to avoid the lusts which they formerly indulged while uncoverted: ver. 14. And to imi
tate God in his holiness: ver. 15, 16.-And, from the consideration of the future judgment, to live in the fear of God, ver. 17.— . Knowing that they were redeemed from their wicked manner of living, not with silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as a sin-offering appointed by God himself before the foundation of the world; that their hope of pardon, might be firmly founded in the unchangeable purpose of God, ver. 18,— 21. Next, the apostle told the christians of Pontus, that, seeing they had purified their hearts from fleshly lusts by receiving the gospel, and had attained sincere brotherly love, he hoped they would love one another always from a pure heart, as brethren,
CHAP. I. 1 Peter, an
to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
1 Πετρος, αποςολος Ιησου apostle of Jesus Christ, Χριςου, εκλεκτοις παρεπιδημοις διασπορας Ποντου, Γαλατιας, Καππαδοκιας, Ασίας, και Βιθυνίας·
Ver. 1.-1. Pontus. The kingdom properly called Pontus was possessed by six princes of the name of Mithridates, the last of whom surnamed Eupator, waged war against the Romans many years, but being at last over. come, they seized his paternal kingdom and all his other dominions.-PORus lay on the south side of the eastern part of the Euxine sea, extending from the river Halys on the west to the country of Colchis on the east.—In the time of the Roman Emperors Pontus was distinguished into three parts. The western division was called the Galatian Pontus, because southward it was bounded by a part of Galatia. The chief city of this division was Amisus.-The eastern division was called the Cappadocian Pontus, because on the south it was bounded by Cappadocia. Its chief city was Trapezus, which being peopled by a colony from Sinope, it was properly a Grecian city.The middle division was called the Polemonian Pontus, and was separated from the Galatian Pontus by the river Thermodoön, beside which the Ama zons are fabled to have dwelled.
2. Galatia, or Gallogræcia was bounded on the west by Phrygia, on the north by Paphlagonia and part of Pontus: on the east, by the river Halys and a part of Cappadocia; and on the south by Lycaonia. It was called Galatia, from the Gauls to whom Nicomedes king of Bithynia gave it as a reward for their having assisted him in his wars against his brother. See pref. to Galatians, paragr. 1.—The chief cities of Galatia were Ancyra now called Angora, Tavium, Germa, and Pessinus. In these cities it is supposed the churches of Galatia were planted, to whom the apostle Paul wrote his epistle, which in our Canon is inscribed to the churches of Galatia. It was