Page:An Exposition of the Old and New Testament (1828) vol 6.djvu/821

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Completed by Mr. J. Hill.

THE penman of this epistle appears plainly to be the same who wrote the foregoing ; and whatever dif ference some learned men apprehend they discern in the style of this epistle from that of the former, this cannot be a sufficient argument to assert that it was written by Simon who succeeded the apostle James in the church at Jerusalem, inasmuch as he who wrote this epistle, calls himself Simon Peter, and an afiostle, {v. 1.) and says, that he was one of the three afiostles that ivere present at Christ's transfiguration, {v. 18.) and says expressly, that he had written a former efiistle to them ; {ch. 3. 1.) moreover, the design of this second epistle is the same with that of the former, as is evident from the first verse of the third chapter ; whence observe, that, in the things of God, we have need of precept upon precept, and line upon line, and all little enough to keep it in remembrance ; and yet these are •'he things which should be most faithfully recorded, and frequently remembered by us.



In this chapter we have, I. An introductioiij or preface, making way for, and leading to, what is principally design- ed by the apostle, v. 1 . . 4. II. An exhortation to advance and improve in all Christian graces, v. 5 . . 7. To enforce tTiis exhortation, and engage them seriously and heartily to comply with it, he adds, I. A representation of tlie very great advantage which will thereby accrue to them, v. 8 . . II. 2. A promise of the best assistance the apostle was able to give to facilitate and forward this good work, v. 12 . . 15. 3. A declaration of the certain truth and divine original of the gospel of Christ, in the grace whereof they were exhorted to increase and persevere.

1.SIMON Peter, a servant and an apos- 1^ tie of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ : 2. Grace, and peace, be mul- tiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that ■pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath call- ed us to glory and virtue : 4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises : that by these ye might be partak- ers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The apostle Peter, being moved by the Holy Ghost to write once more to those who from among the Jews were turned to faith in Christ, begins this se- cond epistle with an introduction, wherein the same persons are described, and the same blessings are desired, that are in the preface to his former letter ; but there are some additions or alterations, which ought to be taken notice of in all the three pa»ts of the introduction. I. We have here a description of the person who wrote the epistle, by the name Simon, as well as Peter, and by the title of serz'ant, as well as that of apostle; Peter, being in both epistles, seems to be the name most frequently used, and with which he may be thought to be best pleased, being given him by our Lord, upon his confessing Jesus to be Christ the Son of the Irving God ; and the very name sig- nifying and sealing that truth to be the fundamental article, the rock on which all must build ; but the name Simon, though omitted in the former epistle, is mentioned in this, lest the total omission of that name, which was given him when he was circum- cised, should make the Jewish believers, who were all zealous of the law, to become jealous ol the apos- tle, as if he disclaimed and despised circumcision ; he here styles himself a sorrow/ (as well as an apos- tle) of Jesus Christ ; in this he may be allowed to glory, as David does, Ps. 116. 16. The service of Christ is the way to the highest honour, Jolin 12. 26. Christ himself is King of kings, and I^ord of lords; and he makes all his servants kings and firiests unto God, Rev. 1. 6. How great an honour is it to be the servants of this Master! This is what we cannot, without sin, be ashamed of To triumph in being Christ's servants, is very proper for those who are engaging others to enter into, or abide in, the service of Christ. II. We have an account of the people to whom the epistle is written ; they have been described in the former epistle, as elect according to' the fore-