An ANALYTICALL EXPOSITION Of both the Epistles of the Apostle PETER, Illustrated by Doctrines out of every Text. And applyed by their Uses, for a further progresse in Holinesse. By the Reverend and faithfull Minister of God, William Ames, D. D. and late of Christs Colledge in Cambridge.

LONDON, Printed by E. G. for Iohn Rothwell, at the [...] in Pauls Church [...] [...]

1 Peter 1, 2, &c.

Verse 1. Peter an Apostle of Iesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia;

Verse 2. Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Fa­ther, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Iesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace be multiplyed.

The Analysis.

THe Scope of this Epistle is to exhort the faithfull to continue stedfast in that grace of God wherein they stood, as it is expres­ly set downe, chap. 5. vers. 12. But because that grace of God is considered in a two­fold respect; either as it doth put a man into the state of grace, and so it equally belongs unto all the faithfull; or as it doth direct the faith­full in the performing of their duties towards others, accor­ding to that speciall condition wherein they are placed: therefore in the first place the Apostle exhorts them to hold fast that grace, because it belongs to the state of the regenerate man: from the beginning of the Epistle to the 13 verse of the 2 chap. and then he commends and perswades them un­to that speciall grace, which doth in the first place direct sub­jects in their obedience towards the Magistrates, to the 18 [Page] vers. Servants in obedience towards their Masters, to the end of the chapter. Wives in their subjection to their husbands, from the beginning of the third chapter to the seventh verse. Husbands in their duty towards their wives, vers. 7. Brethren in their duty towards their brethren, vers. 8. The afflicted to­wards their persecutors, from the 9 vers. to the beginning of the 5 chap. The Elders towards their Churches, from the be­ginning of the 5 chap. to the 5. vers. The younger towards their elders, at the beginning of the 5. vers. and finally, all both towards others and towards themselves, to the 10 vers. where the whole foregoing exhortation is turned into a short prayer which serves for a forcible conclusion of the whole Epistle.

To the Epistle it selfe there belong two common adjuncts. An Inscription, vers. 1, 2. A Subscription, in the three last. In the Inscription there is contained, according to the usuall man­ner of Epistles, a holy salutation, shewing first, by whom this Epistle was written, secondly, to whom, thirdly, with what minde or affection it was written unto them; which is set forth by that pious wish, wherein he wisheth unto them the greatest good, Grace and Peace. In the person writing, and the good wished there are all things the same with those that are spoken of in the second Epistle. But the description of the persons to whom it was written, is something fuller here then there; now they are described, first by their outward condition, strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Asia, Gala­tia, Cappadocia. Secondly, by their inward spirituall condi­tion, which is set forth, 1. by the fundamentall cause of it, Election, to wit, of God, 2. by the finall cause, Sanctification. 3. by the subservient cause, Reconciliation, to wit, conferred in obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Iesus Christ: which three causes of our sanctification are set forth by the three persons of the Deity, to whom as to the authors thereof they are di­stinctly ascribed, Election to God the Father, Sanctification to the holy Spirit, Reconciliation to Jesus Christ. By the strangers scattered, to whom this Epistle is chiefly directed, we are to understand the Jewes, together with the other Israe­lites, who did imbrace the faith. For Iames, Iohn and Peter, discharged their Apostleship amongst the circumcised Israe­lites, [Page] Gal. 2 8, 9. Therefore as Iames doth expresly direct his Epistle to the twelve Tribes scattered, so here also by the same reason, by the strangers scattered we are to understand the twelve Tribes scattered.

By the foreknowledge of God, according to which the faith­full are here said to be elect, we are to understand election it selfe, as it is in God, Rom. 8. 29. and by election the same act of God, as it is terminated in the faithfull, and put in executi­on by effectuall vocation.

By sanctification of the Spirit, we are to understand the whole spirituall change of our condition, even unto perfect holinesse and glory, because sanctification is the meanes of salvation unto which we are chosen, 2 Thess. 2. 13.

By obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Christ we are to understand the whole worke of Redemption, together with the application thereof unto justification and reconciliation with God, Ephes. 1. 6. 7.

The Doctrines that we may draw from this are these.

Doct. 1. The beginning and fountaine of all our happinesse and consolation consists in this, that we are the elect of God.

This is gathered from hence, that the Apostle purposing in this description to make mention of those things that did most of all pertaine to the consolation of the faithfull, puts election in the first place, 1 Thess. 1. 4.

Reason 1. Because all our happinesse comes wholly from God, who is the author and fountaine of all good: now it comes from him not by the way of nature, but of counsell and free election, and so it proceeds from election it selfe.

2. Because all his speciall blessings which belong unto our salvation, depend upon election, Ephes. 1. 3▪ 4.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us to use all diligence to make our election certaine and sure. 2 Peter 1. 10.

Doct. 2. There is no other cause or reason to be given of our election unto salvation, but onely the good pleasure of God.

This is drawne from those words: Elect according to the foreknowledge of God: for if there were any cause extra Deum, out of God, that could possibly be discerned by the eye or sense of men, it is most likely that the Apostle would have [Page 4] named that, as being more knowne and discernable, and so more properly belonging to that consolation and congratu­lation which he proposed to himselfe.

Reason 1. Because the counsels and decrees of God do not depend upon those things that are extra Deum, without God, but they depend upon Gods decrees: for the decrees are first, and they last.

2. Because otherwise all the glory of our election and sal­vation should not wholly be ascribed unto God, and conse­quently all praise and thanksgiving should not be due unto him alone.

3. Because if our election did depend upon our selves, who are weake and changeable every houre, our election also it selfe would be changeable and uncertaine, and so would af­ford us no sound consolation.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute those, that make Gods election to depend upon our faith and perseverance, as a cause or condition requisite.

2. To exhort us to acknowledge this wonderfull grace of God towards us, and to give him all the praise and glory of it, both in the inward desires of our hearts, and the joyfull profession of our tongues, and our lives answerable thereunto.

Doct. 3. True sanctification is a certaine fruit of election.

This is gathered from these words; Elect to sanctification, Ephes. 1. 4.

Reason 1. Because sanctification is a certaine effect and signe of the singular love of Christ, Ephes. 5. 25, 26. Now this singular love, which hath respect to spirituall blessings, doth nothing differ from election, as touching the thing it selfe.

2. Because sanctification is, as it were, actuall election: for as by the election of God, the heires of salvation are di­stinguished from others in God himselfe, or in his intention and counsell; so also by regeneration and sanctification are they distinguished from others in themselves. For to sanctifie, according to the generall signification of the word, is to set apart to some use.

3. Because sanctification, although it be imperfect, yet it is that salvation and life begun unto which we are elected.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute those men that make sancti­fication [Page 5] the common possession of those that are not elect.

2. To comfort all those that are partakers of true sanctifi­cation: because thereby they may the more assured of their election.

3. To exhort us to be very carefull to encrease our sancti­fication.

Doct. 4. The mediation of Christ, and reconciliation made for us in him, is the only meanes whereby the force of our election is derived unto us, and our sanctification and salvation is pro­pagated.

This is gathered from those words: by obedience and sprink­ling.

Reason 1. Because God made Christ our Mediator, nei­ther is there any other name under heaven whereby we may be saved.

2. Because God made him the Mediator of our redempti­on by vertue of his election: for those whom God elected, he gave unto Christ to be redeemed and saved, Iohn 17. 6. John 6. 37.

3. Because Christ is the second Adam, the Father, the head of all those that are elected and to be saved: therefore as life naturall was derived unto all men first from Adam, so also from Christ, and in him is all life spirituall communica­ted unto us.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the Papists and others which have chosen to themselves other meanes and media­tors extra Christum, besides Christ, and have departed from that way of salvation which the eternall election of God hath presc [...]ibed.

2. To exhort us to put our whole trust and confidence in Christ alone, and daily to seeke after a neerer and neerer uni­on with him.

Doct. 5. In that chaine of our salvatian, the beginning is from God the Father, the dispensation of it is through his Sonne Iesus Christ, the application of it is through the Holy Ghost.

This is intimated in that solemne benediction which the Church received from the Apostle.

Reason. Because this order of operation doth best agree with the order of subsisting, which the Scripture attributes to the Divine persons.

[Page] Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, by no meanes to put a sunder those operations which God hath joyned together: Now this they doe, which do either divide Christ from electi­on, or election from Christ, or the election of the Father and Christ from the sanctification of the holy Ghost, promising to themselves salvation, either by vertue of election, or of Christ, when they have not the least part of the sanctification of the holy Ghost.

2. To comfort all the true faithfull, which do joyne these things together: because they can want nothing to salvati­on, which is not abundantly provided for them in that co-operation of God the Father, Sonne, and holy Ghost.

Verse 3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us againe unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Iesus Christ from the dead.

Verse 4. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.

Verse 5. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.

The Analysis.

BEcause the Apostles scope in the generall and former part of this Epistle, was to commend unto the faithfull that true grace of God wherein they stood, therefore he doth first describe that grace, vers. 3, 4, 5.

2. By the effect of it, to wit, joy, and rejoycing, which re­dounds unto all the faithfull from the partaking of this grace, from the 6 vers. to the 10.

3. He doth illustrate it and confirme it by that testimony, which the Prophets gave unto this grace, vers. 10, 11, 12.

4. From thence he drawes and exhortation to holinesse an­swerable to this grace, from the 13 vers. to the end of the first chap. The meanes of which holinesse he shewes to be the re­ligious receiving of the word of God, vers. 1, 2, 3. of the se­cond chapter. The chiefe object of which word he shewes to [Page] be Christ, from the 4 vers. to the 13. where is the generall end of this institution.

The description, vers. 3, 4 5. of the state of this grace is placed in regeneration or effectuall calling in these words: hath begotten us againe: which regeneration is described, [...]. by the principall efficient cause thereof, which is set down to be, God the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, 2. By the im­pulsive cause thereof, the mercy of God, which is described by the quantity of it, abundant. 3. By the immediate effect thereof, a lively hope: the singular cause whereof is shewed to be the resurrection of Christ from the dead. 4. By the re­mote and last effect thereof, which is laid hold on also, and in some sort possessed by that hope, that is, salvation and life everlasting, vers. 4. Betwixt which effect and its cause he af­firmes that there is a very certaine connexion, when he saith, that that inheritance is reserved in heaven for all the regenerate; and he gives a most certaine reason of his connexion, vers. 5. which he shewes to consists in three things. 1. In the power of God, whereby the regenerate are kept unto salvation. 2. In their faith, whereby they adhere to this power of God. 3. in the eternall degree of God, whereby he hath both pro­vided this salvation for all the regenerate, and appointed a certaine time, wherein to bestow it upon them.

But this description of Gods grace is not simply and barely proposed by the Apostle, but after such a manner as is agree­able to the nature of the thing, that is, with thanksgiving and glorifying of the name of God, in that he hath vouchsafed to bestow so great a grace upon miserable sinners, in that fi [...]st word, Blessed be God.

The Doctrines drawne from this.

Doct. 1. The state of grace depends upon and flowes from effectuall calling.

This is gathered from hence, that the Apostle speaking of the grace wherein the faithfull stood, begins with regenerati­on, by which is understood effectuall calling.

Reason 1. Because by our true calling we have union with Christ the fountaine of all grace.

2. Because in this regeneration there is begotten in us a principle of spirituall life, which is nothing else but the grace [Page 8] of God, or the power and gift of grace quickning our soules.

3. Because from this union which we have by being made partakers of spirituall life, there doth certainly and immedi­ately follow a communion with the Father in all spirituall blessings, and consequently a change of our condition from that which before it was, to wit, sinne and death, to that whereunto we are called, grace and life.

Vse 1. This may serve to exhort us to use all diligence to make our calling sure, because without it we have no entrance to the state of grace.

2. To comfort all those that endeavour to obey Gods call; f [...]r all of them have (as it were) the door of Gods grace ope­ned un [...]o them.

Doctr. 2. God regenerates us, as the Father of our Lord Ie­sus Christ.

Reason 1. Because in Christ our Redeemer, and in our redemption performed by him, he laid the foundation of all our restoring to salvation.

2. Because he made Christ that great Shepherd, that should gather his sheepe, that is, the elect into his fold, by ef­fectuall calling and regeneration. Heb. 13. 20. Iohn 10. 16.

3. Because through Christ and his name men are called and regenerated by God, 2 Cor. 5. 18, 19, 20.

Vse. This may serve to informe us, that in all those things that belong unto our salvation, we ought alwayes to looke upon God in Christ, and consequently alwayes to call upon and praise God in Christ. The solemne title, and as it were stile of God, that was used in the celebrating of his name, was not alwayes one and the same from the beginning of the world, but diverse: first, he was called by Melchizedeck, the most high God, possessour of heaven and earth, Gen. 14. 19. After­wards by reason of that singular covenant which he made with Abraham and his posterity, he began to be called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Iacob: then againe, after that wonderfull deliverance of his people out of Egypt, for the memory of that thing there was added to his title, The God which brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: so also in the Prophet, after his delive­rance of them from the Babylonish captivity, he was called [Page 9] The Lord which brought up his people out of the North countrey, Ier. 23. 7, 8. But now under the New Testament, and the Sunne being risen, all his other workes and benefits being obscur'd by the comming of Christ, this title is most congruous and solemne, God the Father of our Lord Iesies Christ, 2 Cor. 1. 3. Ephes. 1, 3:

Doct. 3. A wonderfull great mercy of God appeares in our rege­neration.

Reason 1. Because he frees us from the greatest misery, and makes us partakers of the greatest good.

2. Because he doth this of his meere goodnesse, not only without our deserts, but even contrary to our deserts: when we did not so much as seek or wish for any such benefits to our selves, but were altogether aliens from God, and enemies to him.

Vse 1. This may serve to exhort us to attribute all to the mercy of God alone, and to raise up our minds to the admi­ration of it.

2. To be heartily affected with these mercies of God, and to be stirred up to glorifie him, Rom. 12. 1.

Doct. 4. Regeneration brings men a lively hope of eternall life.

Reason 1. Because we are called and regenerated to salvation and eternall glory, 1 Pet. 5. 10.

2 Because we have the covenant and promise of this thing confirmed to us in our very calling.

Because the Spirit wherewith we are quickned, lifts up our minds, and makes that hope to be lively.

Vse 1. This may serve to exhort us, highly to prize our calling and regeneration.

3 2. to endeavour by all meanes to cherish and increase this hope in our selves, and to take heed that it be not dead or languishing, but lively, quick, and operative.

Doct. 5. The livelinesse of our hope depends upon the resur­section of Iesus Christ from the dead.

Reason 1. Because by the resurrection of Christ, it ap­peares that death was subdued & overcome by him, and God was appeased in him; for otherwise, had he beene overcome by death, he would have beene perpetually kept under it.

[Page 10] 2. Because Christ rose, as the first fruits of all the regene­rate, 1 Cor. 15. 20. and the first borne from the dead, Col. l. 8. Apoc. 1. 5.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, for the confirmation and quickning of our hope, to put before out eyes the resurre­ction of Christ.

Doct. 6. That salvation which we hope for, is a celestiall and incorruptible inheritance, Vers. 4.

Reason 1. It comes from God our Father to us his regene­rate and adopted sonnes, as worldly inheritances use to come from fathers to their children.

2. Because it is not obtained by buying or any other such like meanes of our owne, but it comes by the will and testa­ment of our heavenly Father. Now as for these reasons, it is rightly called an inheritance; so also in the nature of it it hath this excellency above all other inheritances, that it is celesti­all and immortall: in which respect it doth not only excell worldly possessions, but also even that very condition of life which Adam had before the fall.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, not to suffer our hearts at any time to cleave to the things of this world, or to depend upon them, because our inheritance is not terrestriall, or of this world, but celestiall and incorruptible.

2. To exhort us to walke as it becommeth those that are called to so great an inheritance. For this is it which the A­postle meanes, when he usually admonisheth us to walke ac­cording to our calling, and when he prayes, that God would enlighten the eyes of our mindes, and grant us to know what is the hope of his calling, & what the riches, Ephes. 1. 18. as if that they that did cleerly see this and meditate upon it, could not faulter or faile in any duty.

Doct. 7. The exceeding great power of God, his fidelity and constancie, doth make this inheritance firme and sure unto us.

This is gathered out of the 5. verse, and you may see it prov'd, Eph. 1. 19.

Reason 1. Because God doth powerfully perform all things, whatsoever hee hath decreed and promised. 2. Because all the whole businesse of our salvation depends upon the omni­potency of God: for the enemies of our salvation, and the [Page 11] difficulties of it are so great, that no other power is able to subdue them.

Vse. 1. This may serve to refute those, that will have our salvation to depend upon the frailty of our will: they deny that God doth powerfully worke in us to salvation, when not­withstanding the Scripture doth expressely affirme it. Eph. 1. 19. & 3. 16. 20. 2. For comfort; for when wee have such a Keeper as is omnipotent, wee have no cause to feare that any thing present or to come should ever frustrate our hope, or de­prive us of our expected salvation. 3. To exhort us, to depend upon that power of God by true faith, as it is in the text.

Doct. 8. These spirituall blessings of God, should never bee mentioned or thought upon by us, without a pious desire to blesse God for them.

This is gathered from that word Blessed. So Eph. 1. 3. 12 2 Cor. 1. 3.

Vse. This may serve to reprove that sluggishnesse and Luke-warmnesse of ours, which is oftentimes so great, that wee are no otherwise affected when we speak, heare, or thinke of these things, then when we are talking of common things: yea, we are scarce so much moved, as we use to be then, when we speak of any worldly profit, which doth delight us.

Verse 6. Wherein ye greatly rejoyce: though now for a season (if need be) ye are in heavinesse through manifold temptations.

7. That the triall of your faith, being much more precious then of Gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might bee found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appea­ring of Iesus Christ.

8. Whom having not seene, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet beleeving ye rejoyce with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

9. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your Soules.

GRace is here set forth by the effect and adjunct there­of, which he makes to consist in the greatest joy, in those words, wherein ye rejoyce. Now this joy is amplified by those [Page 12] manifold afflictions and temptations, which usually mak men sad rather then joyfull, in the other part of the 6. verse, where the amplification per discretum axioma, by a discret ax­iom, is to be conceived after this manner. Although by reason of manifold afflictions and temptations ye are exceeding hea­vy, yet so great is the excellency of this grace wherein yee stand, that these afflictions are no hinderance to you, because ye rejoyce in that grace with great joy.

Now that afflictions should not take away spirituall joy from the faithfull, he shewes, first, from the nature of those af­flictions, wherewith the faithfull are wont to be vexed. 2. From the nature of that grace, which produceth spirituall joy. The heavinesse of afflictions is diminished. 1. By the adjunct of duration, that they are but for a season. 2. By the adjunct of profit, that they bring fruit & utility; and for no other cause doe they befall them, in these words: if need be. 3. By the singular end and use of afflictions, by which also their profit is shewed, to wit, that they serve for the triall of their faith; which triall of faith is set forth by a similie, and that of a lesser, the triall of Gold. 4. By the effect of it, which is praise, honour and glory at the appearing of Iesus Christ.

The nature of grace he shewes to be such, as that it can over­come all afflictions: the reason whereof he makes to be this, because it joynes us with Christ, without the helpe of the outward senses, and so both against and above sense, it lifts up the mind to the greatest joy verse 8. of which joy hee decla­reth first the adjuncts of it, unspeakable and full of glory, and af­terwards the cause or argument that moves or stirres up such joy in the faithfull, to wit, that by their faith they are made surer of the salvation of their Souls; which is the end and scope of the 9 verse.

The Doctrines drawne hence.

Doct. 1. Ioy and spirituall rejoycing ariseth from the sense and participation of spirituall grace.

This is gathered from those words: Wherein ye reioyce. For exultatio, rejoycing is a vehement act of joy, as tis intimated in the end of the 8. verse.

Reason. 1. Because it is the nature of joy, for the mind to [Page 13] delight it selfe with the possession of some solid good: now there is noe good that can be Compared cum Summo bono. with that chiefe good and eternall happines; & this we begin to have possession of in having possession of saving grace; and the compleat and full possession of it is laid hold on and made sure by faith and hope; and hence it is that spirituall joy is properly the fruit of hope. Heb. 3. 6. Rom. 5. 2. Yet not­withstanding this is so to be understood, as that wee must not exclude all those from the state of grace, which have not this joy sometimes; because this joy d [...]pends upon the sence of grace; now sometimes they have not the sence of grace, that are ei­ther hindered by ignorance, or some grievous temptation, that they▪ cannot be sensible of that which they have.

Vse. 1. This may serve to refute those carnall men, who suppose the practice of religion to bee full of sadnesse and hea­vinesse, without any joy or delight; when indeed the joy of these men is nothing else but madnesse, Eccles. 2. 2. and is changed at length into the greatest sorrow: but true and so­lid joy is the priviledge of all the godly, because they alone have true cause of joy, and that joy shall never be taken from them.

2. To exhort us to raise up our mindes to the exercise of this joy, for thereunto we are called, that we should alwayes rejoyce in the Lord, Phil. 4. 4. An example hereof we have in the Eunuch, who went forward in his way with joy, after that by baptisme he was made sure of the grace of God, Acts 8. 39.

Doct. 2. Manifold afflictions may well stand with this joy.

Reason 1. Because although afflictions may makes us some­what heavie, yet that heavinesse is not in the highest degree, that it should wholly possesse and overwhelme our mindes, but it is mitigated and overcome by spirituall joy.

2. Because the afflictions themselves are turned into matter of joy and rejoycing, Iames 1. 2. Rom. 5. 3.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us not so much to feare the afflictions of this world, or at any time so to lye downe them, as to cast off all our joy.

Doct. 3. Afflictions are turned into matter of rejoycing, when there is such use made of them, as that our faith and every grace is stirred up and increased by them.

[Page 14] This is gathered from the seventh Verse.

Reason 1. Because we make great gaine by the triall of our faith, much more then can be gotten by the triall of gold, as it is in the Text.

2. Because faith by this triall becomes the stronger by reason of afflictions, and doth more firmely expect praise, ho­nour and glory in Christ, as it is in the Text.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to make it our primary and chiefest care not to faint in our faith and other graces, when we are in the midst of afflictions, as those that have but a temporary faith are wont to do, but to labour to profit by them.

Doct. 4. This joy doth not depend upon the sight or visible presence of Christ.

This is gathered from the eighth Verse.

Reason 1. Because faith and hope is properly of those things that are not seene, Rom. 8. 24. Heb. 11. 1. Now this joy ariseth from faith and hope, as it is in the Text.

2. Because we rejoyce either in the actuall possession, or in the certainty of the possession of the things we love. Now Christ having not yet seen we love, as it is in the Text.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, while we live here by faith, so to walke, rejoyce, and live, as if we did behold Christ with our eyes: For blessed are all they which have not seen and yet have beleeved, Iohn 20. 29.

Doct. 5. This joy is unspeakable and full of glory.

Reason. Because both the thing it selfe wherein we re­joyce, and the operation of the Spirit in raising our mindes unto it, is more divine, then can possibly be conceived, much lesse expressed by us.

Vse. 1. This may serve to admonish us not to be too curious in the searching after and declaring of those things that are unutterable.

2. To exhort us to apply our soules to the sense and exer­cise of this grace, because they have a divine and glorious na­ture.

Doct. 6. By this joy we begin to looke for the end of our faith, even the salvation of our soules.

Reason. Because this spirituall joy is a glorious beginning [Page 15] of our glory, and so of our salvation through Christ.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, highly to prize this spi­rituall joy, and by all meanes to be carefull to stirre up and cherish it in our selves.

Verse 10. Of which salvation the Prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you,

Verse 11. Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signifie, when it testified be­forehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Verse 12. Vnto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now re­ported unto you by them that have preached the Gospell un­to you, with the Holy Ghost sent downe from Heaven, which things the Angels desire to looke into.

TO confirme and illustrate the grace and salvation, that hath hitherto beene spoken of, the Apostle in these ver­ses brings the testimony of the Prophets; which is set forth, 1. By the principall object thereof, which is nothing else but this selfesame salvation and grace, wherein the faith­full Christians now stand, in these words: of which salvation that should come unto us they prophesied. 2. By the manner how they were imployed about this object; They did it with great care and diligent heed, in these words, they enquired and search­ed diligently. 3. By the singular description of that object whereabout they were imployed, vers. 11. and the manner how. The object, to wit, salvation and grace before spoken of, is described by the efficient cause thereof, namely, the me­diation of Christ, consisting of two parts, his humiliation and exaltation at the end of the verse. And the manner how the Prophets are said to have been imployed about this cause of our salvation, consisted in two things: 1. That they did not only desire to know the very thing it selfe, but also the ve­ry moment of time wherein it should be reveal'd, in these words, what, or what manner of time. 2. That it did not de­pend [Page 16] upon various and uncertaine conjectures, but they did religiously ask counsell of the Spirit of Christ, that was pre­sent with them, as of one that did foreknow and could fore­tell of all things that should happen, in these words, the Spirit of Christ which was in them, that testified beforehand, did sig­nifie.

The testimony it selfe of the Prophets is proposed in the 12 verse, to wit, that this grace and salvation was to be revealed at that very time wherein it appeared, and no other: which testimony of the Prophets is also set forth by the like testimo­nies of the Apostles and Angels. The similitude that is be­twixt the Apostles and the Prophets is shewed herein; that as the Prophets prophesied of these things by the Spirit of Christ, that was in them, that foretold it; so the Apostles de­clared the same things by the holy Ghost sent downe from Hea­ven. The similitude that is betwixt the Angels and the Pro­phets is shewed herein; that as the Prophets enquired and searched diligently concerning this salvation; so also the An­gels did desire to look into it, all and each of which make ve­ry much for the setting forth of this grace.

The Doctrines drawne from hence are these.

Doct. I. The chiefe part of the prophesies of all the true Pro­phets that have beene from the beginning of the world, was concer­ning the grace and salvation that should come by Iesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.

This is gathered from the tenth Verse. The like you may see, Acts 3. 18, 20. and 7. 52.

Reason I. Because the salvation of the Church in all ages depended upon Christ: Now it was the office of the Prophets to direct the Church in the seeking of their salvation.

2. All the Prophets were Ministers of Christ, and were led by his Spirit, Verse 11. and therefore ought to seeke his ho­nour.

3. Because after this manner were mens mindes to be pre­pared by degrees for the receiving of Christ that was to come: for what is said of Iohn the Baptist, doth in some sort belong unto all the Prophets, that they did prepare the wayes of the Lord.

Vse 1. This may serve for Information, to confirme and [Page 17] establish the true faith, not only against the Heathens and Jewes, but also against the Papists themselves, who say that this true doctrine of the grace revealed in Jesus Christ, is a new doctrine, and never heard of before these times; for we acknowledge no other grace, but that which those Prophets alwayes prophesied of from the beginning of the world.

2. To exhort us, continually to meditate upon this grace our selves, and as occasion shall serve, to shew it forth unto o­thers, with all freenesse and readinesse of minde. for this doth become us much rather then those, that lived so long before the comming of Christ, and beheld him only afar off.

Doct. 2. Those ancient Prophets did not only prophesie of this grace, but they did also enquire and search diligently into it.

This is gathered from the same words.

Reason 1. Because it seem'd unto them, as indeed it is, a very great mystery of godlinesse, 1 Tim. 3. 16. therefore they saw that they must use the very utmost of their endeavours, to come to some measure of the knowledge of that which did lye hid therein, both for their owne comfort and the edifica­tion of the Church.

2 Because this truth was proposed unto them in a more obscure manner under types and shadowes so that they could not look into the thing it selfe without great care and labour.

Vse 1. This may serve for information, hereby we may un­derstand what manner of men the true Prophets of God were heretofore: they did not utter words without sense, or un­derstanding, or care-taking of those things that did lye be­fore them, as the diabolicall Prophets of the Heathens were wont to do in their fury: but they did wholly apply their minds to what they did.

2. To exhort us therefore to lay aside all sloth and sluggish­nesse, and to use all care and diligence in the enquiring and searching after these divine things: for this industry is much more requisite for us, then it was for them, to whom the holy Ghost did immediately dictate all things.

Doct 3. The foundation of all this gr [...]c [...] and salvation, lies in the humiliation and exaltation of our Lord Ie [...]us Christ.

This is gathered from the eleventh Verse.

Reason. Because the whole mediation of Christ, whereby [Page 18] our salvation is procured, is contained in those two parts.

Vse 1. This may serve to exhort us, alwayes to joyne those two things together, in the seeking of our salvation: for they are in their owne nature so conjoyned, that if they should be separated, our faith and hope would be made altogether void. This is the rock of offence at which the Jewes did, and to this day do stumble, in that they look for outward glory and ma­jesty in their Messias, even without any suffering or humiliati­on going before.

2. To exhort us alwayes in all things to build upon this foundation.

Doct. 4. Not only the essence it selfe of this mystery is usu­ally enquired after by the godly, but even all the circumstances thereof, as far forth as they may be comprehended.

This is gathered from those words: searching what or what manner of time.

Reason 1. Because in this mysterie there is nothing of so small consequence, as that it may be neglected without losse to our selves.

2. Because love is careful to enquire into al things that per­taine to the thing beloved, though otherwise they may seeme to be very small.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to think it enough to have some confused knowledge of the common principles of the Gospell, but to exercise our selves to come to a more full and distinct knowledge of every grace of God.

Doct. 5. All these things were alwayes declared only by the Spirit of Christ that was in the Prophets.

This is gathered from the eleventh Verse.

Reason. Because as no man knowes the things of man, but the Spirit of man, so no man knowes the things of Christ, but the Spirit of Christ, 1 Cor. 2. 11.

Vse 1. This may serve for information, hereby we may confirme our selves in the truth of Christs divine nature, be­cause the Spirit of God which spake in the Prophets from the beginning, is here expresly called the Spirit of Christ.

2. To exhort us, to depend upon Christ, and from his Spirit to seek for all light in searching the Scriptures, and inquiring after divine things.

[Page 19] Doct. 6. Although saving grace was the same, that was in the Church from the beginning of the world, yet notwithstanding great is our prerogative in this grace above the Prophets, and those to whom they prophesied before the comming of Christ.

This is gathered from the twelfth Verse, Not unto them­selves, but unto us they did minister.

Reason 1. It is by reason of that clearer light which ac­companied the comming of the Sunne, and continues from that time.

2. By reason of the greater efficacy of the holy Ghost, as it is in the text.

3. By reason of the larger communication of this grace, which is now extended unto all Nations.

Vse 1. This may serve for to comfort us, because we doe abound in this grace, our hearts ought to be strengthened a­gainst all terrours.

2. To exhort us, that as this grace doth abound, so should our thankfulnesse also abound in all practise of piety; for he that hath received much, of him is much required.

Doct. 7. So great is the excellency of the grace and salva­tion offered unto us by Christ, that even the Angels themselves desire to looke into it.

This is gathered out of those words, which things the An­gels desire to look into. So 1 Tim. 3. 16. you may see it proved.

Reason. Because there are some things in this mysterie, which the Angels themselves are yet ignorant of, Matth. 24. 36. into those things they desire to look, that they may know them: into other things that they do know they desire also to looke that they may delight themselves in beholding the glo­ry of God, as it were in a glasse.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, never to be weary of searching into these holy mysteries, whether it be in hearing the Word of God in publick, or in reading and meditating upon it in private.

Verse 13. Wherefore gird up the loynes of your minde, be sober, and hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ:

Verse 14. As ob [...]dient children, not fashioning your selves accor­ding to the former lusts in your ignorance:

Verse 15. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

Verse 16. Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.

Verse 17. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every mans worke, passe the time of your sojourning here in feare.

Verse 18. For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vaine conversation received by tradition from your fathers.

Verse 19. But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lambe without blemish, and without spot,

Verse 20. Who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

Verse 21. Who by him do beleeve in God that raised him up from the dead and gave him glory, that your faith and hope might be in God.

Verse 22. Seeing yee have purified your soules in obeying the truth through the Spirit, unto unfeined love of the brethren; see that ye love one another with a pure heart, fervently,

Verse 23. Being borne againe, not of corruptible seed, but of in­corruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Verse 24. For all flesh is as grasse, and all the glory of man as the flower of grasse: the grasse withereth, and the flower there­of falleth away;

Verse 25. But the word of the Lord endureth for ever: and this is the word which by the Gospell is preached unto you.

IN this part of the chapter, there is contein'd an exhortation to persist and goe forward in the grace of God; which is the Scope of the whole Epistle, as was shewed before: Now this duty is described in generall in the 13. verse, and after­wards [Page 21] is set forth, and pressed by divers arguments in the ver­ses following. From the description of the grace before pro­posed, there is as it were a conclusion drawne, which is infer­red by a necessary connexion and consequence from the na­ture of that grace, as it was before described; which evident­ly appeares by the conjunction Wherefore; and that is the reason why in all the parts of this exhortation, as they are distinctly propounded, there is a singular respect had to some part of the description that went before, wherein the na­ture of that grace was explained. The duty therefore to which the Apostle doth exhort, is described. First by the cause and principall part thereof; which is a lively hope, of which there was mention made before in the third verse. Secondly, By the singular object of this hope, in beholding whereof it should be confirmed and strengthned; which is that grace? that is now in some measure brought unto the faithfull, but shall hereafter be communicated more fully and perfectly; in these words: Hope for that Grace, which is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; which part of the description, is taken from the end of the 7. verse. 3. By the adjunct of constancy and perseverance, which is especially aim'd at in the whole Epistle, as the chiefe scope thereof; in these words: hope to the end. 4. There is added also the manner and meanes of performing this duty, when he tells us, that it should be done couragiously and rea­dily, with sobriety and watchfulnesse, in these words: Gird up the loines of your mind, be sober. This exhortation is set forth and pressed by divers arguments; the first of which is taken from regeneration or effectuall calling, whereby all the faithfull are made the Sonnes of God, which rea­son is taken from the 5. verse, where mention is made of the regeneration of the faithfull, by the God and Father of our Lord Iesus Christ: because by this regeneration or calling, the faithfull are translated from the state of sin, into the state of grace: therefore this reason is given in both respects; both that they should renounce their former sinnes, verse 14. and that they should conforme themselves to the holinesse of that calling, wherewith they are called, verse 15. Which is urged and enforced by a double argument: the first is taken from [Page 22] the likenesse, that ought to be betwixt the person calling and the persons called, as the Scripture it selfe in the old Test. wit­nesseth, verse 15. 16. The second is taken from the severity of Gods judgement, which they can by no meanes escape, that call God their Father, and yet dishonour his name, verse 17. The second argument of the exhortation, is taken from redemption, and the meanes and end thereof, verse 18. 19. Of which there was mention made before at the end of verse 3. and verse 11. Because the consideration of this redemption obtained by Jesus Christ, and of Christ himselfe, is very ne­cessary and effectuall to admonish, and stir up the faithfull, to take care of their duty: therefore the Apostle stayes a while upon the description of Christ, as he was from all eternity fore-ordained to performe the office of a mediatour, at the beginning of the 20. verse, and as he was manifest in time, verse 20. 21. which is taken from verse 11. 12.

The third argument is taken from sanctification, as it flowes from the regeneration of the spirit, and from the word of God, which are the proper causes thereof, verse 22. 3. 4. 5. whereby the way that part of Christian duty is commended, that hath respect to the mutuall love of the faithfull amongst themselves, verse 22. because all the faithfull by regenerati­on, are made partakers of the same spirituall life; but yet the chiefest argument, whereby we are exhorted to constancy in that and every other grace, is taken from the incorruptible na­ture of the word, whereby we are regenerated, and conse­quently of regeneration it selfe; which is set forth by a compa­rison of things that are unlike it. Verse 23, 24, 25.

The DOCTRINES arising herence are these.

Doct. 1. The Consideration of the grace of God, that is brought unto us in Christ, should stir us up to the practice of Piety.

This is gathered from the connexion, which is intimated in that particle, Wherefore, verse 13.

Reas. 1. Because the end of Grace is to free us from sin, and to make us conformable to the image of God, Luc. 1. 74. 75. 2. Because by that meanes it is very fitting for us, to teach and further us in that practice. Tit. 2. 11. 12. 3. Be­cause [Page 23] it cannot be truly learned by us, unlesse it worke this in us, Eph. 4, 20. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemme those that turne the grace of God into wantonnes Gal. 5. 13. 2. To exhort us to use all care to make this grace effectuall in our hearts, that it may bring forth great fruits of Piety.

Doct. 2. The foundation of sound holinesse is firmely to hope for that grace that shall be revealed at the comming of Iesus Christ our Lord.

This is gathered from the 13. verse. So Phil. 3. 20. Tit. 2. 13.

Reas. 1. Because this hope is the perfection of that where­in our spirituall life doth consist. 2. Because this expectati­on represents the reward unto us, by contemplating, where­upon we are made unmoveable and abounding in the worke of the Lord. 1. Cor. 15. 58. Heb. 6. 11. 3. Because this hope begets patience, whereby with strong consolation it doth overcome all the difficulties, that are wont to befall men in the course of Godlinesse. Heb. 6. 12. 18. 19.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to have a care to lay this foundation very sure in our hearts, and daily to confirme it more and more.

Doct. 3. To keepe this hope firme and lively, we should cou­ragiously gird up our selves that we might be prepared, and ready to performe all those things that tend thereunto.

This is gathered from those words: gird up the loines of your mind; for this is it, that is signified by the habit of a man, that hath his loines girt in Scripture, that he is prepared and rea­dy to performe his duty. Luc. 12. 35.

Reas. 1. Because the difficulty to retaine this hope is ve­ry great, in so much, that it cannot be kept without earnest en­deavour. 2. Because in spirituall duties our loines are too slack, that is, the sloth of sin, and infirmity hath taken hold of all our faculties. Heb. 12. 12.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, by no meanes to yeeld to the sloth and sluggishnesse of our corrupt nature, but to strive against it as much as we can, and laying aside every weight, and the sloth that doth beset us, to runne the race that is set before us, Heb. 12. 1.

Doct. 4. Sobriety in the use of the things of this life, doth [Page 24] very much conduce to the furtherance of this endeavour.

This is gathered from this word Be sober and hope.

Reas. Because the love and immoderate use of the things of this world, doth so burden the soule, and glue it to the earth, that it cannot lift up it selfe to seeke after heavenly things.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to addict our minds to any worldly thing, but here to use this world, and not abuse it. 1 Cor. 7. 31.

Doct. V. The state of adoption, whereby we are made the sonnes of God, should stir us up to the practise of holinesse.

This is gathered from these words: As obedient Children.

Reas. 1. Because Children should beare the image of their Father: Now the image of God consists in holinesse and righteousnesse. 3. Because it is the duty of Children, readily and of their owne accord to apply themselves to the will of their Father. Now the will of God is our sanctifica­tion. 1 Thes. 4. 3. this is it that is intimated in that title, where the faithfull are called obedient Children.

Vse. 1. This may serve to condemne those, that with the wic­ked Jewes say, they are the Children of Abraham and of God, when notwithstanding, they doe the workes of the De­vill, Iohn 8. 41. 2. 4. 1 Iohn 3. 8. 10. 2. To exhort us, in all things to make it appeare, that we are the true sonnes of God, by obedience unto his will, and our practise of holinesse: for unlesse we beare the chastisements of the Lord, that by them we may be made partakers of his holinesse, hereby we shew that we are bastards, and not true sonnes. Heb. 12. 8. 10.

Doct. 6. This filiall obedience, and the fashioning of our selves a cording to the former lusts of our sins, cannot stand together.

This is gathered from the opposition, that is made betwixt these two, verse 14. where the one being affirmed, that we are obedient Children, the other is denyed, that we should not fashion our selves according to our lusts.

Reas. 1. Because they, which by regeneration are made the Children of God, are new creatures, have a new nature and new affections, so that they have wholy renounced their former nature and affections: and for this very cause they are called in the Text, Former lusts, or, which were before.

[Page 25] 2. Because the former lusts of sinne do wholly withdraw us from the will of God, which we ought to obey.

3. Because the former lusts of sinne are such, that all that are come to the knowledge of the truth, may be asham'd of them; this is intimated in the Text, where they are called lusts which were in our ignorance: because they cannot endure the light.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that professe them­selves the children of God, and call upon God as their Father, & yet follow the same course of life that the children of this world do.

2. To exhort us, not to conforme our selves to this world, Rom. 12. 2. where there is a reason also given of this exhorta­tion, in the 1 Verse, because if we do this we cannot present our selves to God as a living sacrifice, acceptable unto him. So 2 Tim. 2. 19.

Doct. 7. The calling of the faithfull doth necessarily require holinesse in them.

This is gathered from Verse 15, 16.

Reason 1. Because holinesse is one of the chiefe ends of this [...]lling, therefore it is usually called in the Scriptures a holy calling, 2 Tim. 1. 9.

2. Because God which calleth us is most holy, and he cals us to have communion with him in holinesse, as it is in the Text.

3. Because the calling it selfe is in its own nature a setting of a man apart from the common and corrupt use of the world to a sacred use; and therefore it is a consecration or dedication of men unto holinesse.

Vse 1. This may serve to rebuke and condemne those, that seek for nothing by their Christian calling, but justification and blisse, and in the meane time altogether neglect the care to live holily.

2. To exhort us, in all our conversation to endeavour to be holy, as it is in the Text; Be ye holy in all manner of conversa­tion; that is, so walke, as it becommeth the calling, where­with ye are called.

Doct. 8. The severity of Gods judgement should stirre us up to the practise of piety.

[Page 26]This is gathered from Verse 17.

Reason 1. Because God in executing his judgements is no respecter of persons, as it is in the Text. Now the name and profession of the faith, is nothing else, but the person of the Christian; as circumcision and the profession of the law was the person of the Iew: Such a profession therefore without sound holinesse cannot stand before Gods Tribunall.

2. Because God doth in some sort more severely require holinesse of those that by their calling draw neere unto God, & call him Father, as it is in the Text, then he doth of others, Levit. 10. 3. I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us not to cosen our selves in relying wholly upon the outward profession of faith, but to appeare before God alwayes with feare and reverence, as it is in the Text: because our God is a consuming fire, Heb. 12. 29.

Doct. 9. The consideration of our redemption should be a strong argument to stir up in our hearts a desire of holinesse.

Reason 1. Because we are redeemed from all our vaine con­versation, although it be commended unto us by the use and tradition of our Fathers, Vers. 18. Therefore for a man to follow such fashions, after that he is come to the knowledge of redemption, is nothing else, but to oppose himselfe against his owne redemption, and as much as in him lies, to make it void and of none effect.

2. Because by this redemption we are bought to be the ser­vants of God, 1 Cor. 6. 20. & 7. 23. So that we ought no lon­ger to serve [...], nor the world, nor to live according to our owne will and pleasure, but according to the will of God and our Redeemer.

3. Because the price wherewith we are redeemed, is of so great worth, that it doth farre surpasse all the most precious things of this world: therefore there ought to be ma [...]e an excellent use thereof; and yet notwithstanding only those that endeavour to be holy, make any esteeme of it. Vers. 18, 19.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those that by their life dishonour Christ, and put their Redeemer to an open shame, Heb. 6. 6. they doe as it were tread under foot his blood, that was the price of our redemption, and count it an unholy thing Heb. 10. 29.

[Page 27] 2. To exhort us, as often as we think of our redemption, (which we ought to do very oft,) so often should we thinke that there are as it were coales of fire heaped upon our heads, wherewith we should be inflamed to this holinesse.

Doct. 10. That we may gaine profit and benefit by the con­sideration of our redemption, we should diligently meditate upon Christs predestination, his incarnation, humiliation, and glo­rification.

This is gathered from Verse 20, 21.

Reason 1. Because by this meanes alone is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of Gods love in Christ made manifest, Ephes. 3. 18.

2. Because by this meanes alone doe we come to know, what a great worke, and of how great difficulty it was, to de­liver men from their sinnes.

3. Because by this also we may easily gather, how fit and just it is, that we should live unto God and Christ in all ho­linesse, which is the scope of this Text.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us not to passe over this mysterie slightly in our thoughts and meditations, but to con­tinue in contemplation thereupon, that so we may, as it were, suck therehence the juice of true godlinesse.

Doct. 11. The proper and immediate use of all our contem­plation upon Christ, and our redemption obtained by him, is, to con­firme our faith and hope in God.

This is gathered from Verse 21, at the end.

Reason 1. Because the end of Christs mediation is, that through him we should believe in God, as it is here affirmed.

2. Because Christ left us an example of putting our faith and hope in God; for he in his way perfectly performed it, and by that meanes attained the highest glory.

3. Because for our sakes and for our good was that glory given unto Christ, which our faith and hope look and seeke after.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, alwayes to look unto Ie­sus Christ the author and finisher of our faith, Heb. 12. 2. and by looking unto him to quicken our faith and hope.

Doct. 12. The calling of the faithfull hath the purification of the soule joyned with it.

[Page 28] This is gathered from the beginning of the [...]2 Verse. So 2 Pet. 2. 20. Hence it is that the washing of baptisme repre­sents that grace which is given in their calling: Now this purification and washing, which is communicated in their calling, and signified by baptisme, is not by justification on­ly, which consists in the imputing thereof unto remission of sinnes, but also by sanctification and the reall clensing of the soule, 1 Cor. 6. 11. Tit. 35. And this sanctification is chiefly re­ferred to the soule as to its proper object.

Reason 1. Because outward purification and sanctification is nothing worth at all, if it be divided from the inward: for this was the hypocrisie of the Scribes and Pharisees, that are said to have made clean the outside of the cup and of the plat­ter, when within they were full of extortion and excesse, Matth. 23. 15.

2. Because the operation of the Spirit begins at the soule, and from the soule is derived to the outward man: for as all pollution proceeds first out of the heart, Matth. 15. 19. so also purification.

3. Because if the soule be once purified within, outward purity will follow of its owne accord, Matth. 23. 26.

4. Because this purity doth more properly consist in the af­fection & intention of the soule, then in the outward practise; for the same outward works may be done by impure men; but the faithull differ from all impure hypocrites by their in­ward dispositions and affections.

5. Because the faithfull themselves are oftentimes sustained and receive comfort by the purity which they have within in their will and purpose, though they cannot produce it into act according to their desire, Rom. 7. 21, 25.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those that are whited over with the name of Christians, but never look after the pu­rity of their soules: and therefore they may be rightly called whited wals, Acts, 23. 7. and whited Sepulchres, Mat. 23. [...]7.

2. To exhort us to use the utmost of our endeavours to pu­rifie our souls, that they may be made the temples of the holy Ghost.

Doct. 13. This purification is wrought by the hearing of the word, & the effectuall operation of the holy Ghost by the word.

[Page 29] This is gathered from these words: in obeying the truth through the Spirit. Where the word of God, especially of the Gospell, is called the truth, partly for that excellency of truth that it hath above all other sayings or writings, and partly because by vertue of the truth or faithfulnesse of those promi­ses which are contained in the word, this purification is wrought, together with all those spirituall blessings that per­taine to the consolation and salvation of the faithfull.

Reason 1. Because the word together with the Spirit doth reveale unto us that true purity which is pleasing and accep­table to God, whereof we are ignorant.

2. Because the word together with the Spirit is the oracle or power of God unto salvation, and consequently is able to beget every grace in us.

3. Because faith purifies the hearts of the faithfull, Acts 15. 9. and faith comes by hearing of the word, Rom. 10. 17.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the herefies of those, which either hold that there is such power in the strength of nature, that men may sanctifie themselves at their own free will and pleasure, or, which comes all to one maintaine that the out­ward preaching of the word is sufficient without the power­full operation of the Spirit.

2. To exhort us, first, to hearken diligently unto the word of God; secondly, not to rest our selves satisfied in the bare letter of the word, but alwayes to crave the grace of God and the operation of his Spirit: thirdly, in the use of the word through the Spirit to seek the purification of our soules.

Doct. 14. The effect and signe of a purified soule, is a pure, sincere, and fervent love of the faithfull, as of brethren.

This is gathered from these words: unto love of the brethren.

Reason 1. Because hatred, envie, wrath, strife, enmities, and such like affections, especially, when they reflect upon the good, are some of those fi [...]thy pollutions of the flesh, from which the soule of the faithfull is purified, Gal. 5. 19. 20.

2. Because the purification of our soules makes us to love purity in others, and no man can take delight in the purity of others unlesse he be in some measure purified himselfe.

3. Because in the mutuall love of the faithfull divers ope­rations [Page 30] are exercised, to the performing whereof, their soules are in a speciall manner purified and sanctified, as doing good, bearing with infirmities, edification of the Church, and glo­rifying the name of the Lord.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that shew them­selves great enemies to godly men: they may rightly be cal­led Cainites, for they have gone in the way of Cain, with those to whom the woe is denounced by Iude, Verse 12.

2. To exhort us by all meanes to endeavour to gaine this brotherly love of the godly: wherein there is required, First, sincerity, that it should be without hypocrisie or simulation, so that it shold not be in words or in shew, as the Apostle speaks, but in heart. Secondly, that it should be not only from the heart, but from a pure heart; because there is a kinde of love that is in some sort sincere, but yet it is impure, whiles that it doth either neglect the chiefest good or else useth such means to procure some good as are contrary thereunto: as if a man to deliver his brother from danger, should perswade him to deny the truth, or to dissemble. Thirdly, That it should be fervent, because the affection ought to be set in the highest degree upon those objects, where there is found to be the chiefest reason to stirre it up.

Doct. 15. Regeneration, that is common to all the faith­full, is a strong argument to provoke them to love one another.

This is gathered from the end of verse 22. and the begin­ning of the 23. where this reason is given, why they should love one another, because they are borne againe.

Reas. Because by this regeneration all the faithfull are brethren, begotten by the same Father, of the same blood, and partakers of the same spirit.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to be mindfull all this ar­gument, and to give it roome and power in our hearts, so that we may upon occasion say as Abraham did, Gen. 13. 8. Let there be no strife betweene me and thee; for we are brethren: and to admonish others also in those words of Moses Act. 7. 26. Sirs, Ye are brethren: Why doe ye wrong one another?

Doct. 16. The word of God is the incorruptible seed or prin­ciple of this regeneration.

This is gathered from the 23. verse,

[Page 31] Reas. 1. Because it is the word of God, (as it is in the Text;) which liveth and abideth for ever; whose nature it re­sembleth in this, that the operation thereof is not momentany or temporary, but it abideth for ever. 2. Because to speake properly, it is the word of eternall life, Iohn 6. 68. for the end and use thereof is, to bring men to eternall life. 3. Be­cause where it is once truly received, it never faileth. Iohn 4. 14.

Vse. 1. This may serve to refute the errour of those, which hold that they that are truly regenerated, usually fall away from the grace of God, and so are borne againe and againe, af­ter they have beene regenerate: This is contrary, not only to the promise and covenant of God, that he will keepe the faithfull, that they shall not depart from him Ier. 32. 40. and to that comfort which Christ gives his members, that no man shall pluck them out of his hand, Iohn 10. 28. But also to the operation of the spirit in the hearts of the faithfull, and to the nature of the life it selfe, that is communicated unto them, which is incorruptible and eternall, as it is in the Text.

2. To comfort us against all those feares and terrours, that may arise from the consideration of our own infirmities; for although of our selves we are continually falling to corrupti­on, yet there is something borne in us, if we be truly faith­full, which is incorruptible and shall abide unto eternall life.

3. To exhort us to carry our selves answerable in all Chri­stian duties, that is, to be constant and incorruptible in per­forming them: and this is it at which the Apostle doth espe­cially aime at in this place, when he stirres up the faithfull to a fervent and constant love one of another, by this argument, because they are borne againe by the incorruptible word.

Doct. 17. The condition wherein the faithfull are put by this incorruptible regeneration of the word, is farre more excellent then all the glory of this world.

This is gathered from verse 24, 25. where there is a compa­rison made betwixt flesh, grasse, the flower of grasse, and the glory of man, on the one side, and the word of God on the other; not as the word is considered in it selfe, but as it is re­ceived by the faithfull, and translates them into the kingdome of God.

[Page 32] Reason. Because as it is in the text, there is nothing in all the world but vanity, that quickly falleth away: whereas the word of God endureth for ever.

Vse 1. This may serve to exhort us to make more precious account of the word of God and of his kingdome, then of all the world, and that not only in respect of our selves, but of others also; as the Apostle doth in this place extoll the word of God and the condition of the regenerate above all the things of the world, that by this confideration among others he might move the faithfull to esteeme of others, that are re­generate more highly, and to love them more fervently, then all the things of the world.

2. To comfort us, in that God of his bounty and grace hath advanced us to such a dignity.

Doct. 18. We ought to have a singular respect unto this dignity and excellency in the word of God, as it is preached unto us by the Gospell.

This is gathered from the 22 verse at the end.

Reason 1. Because the same word of God is preached unto us, that is so much commended by the Prophets, Apo­stles, and by Christ himselfe, as it is in the Text, this is that word.

2. Because it makes much unto our salvation, as it is preach­ed unto us.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to satisfie our selves with some generall esteeme of the word, as many are wont to doe, that are weary of the word that is preached unto them, and loathing it do reject it; but religiously and reverently to receive the word that is preached unto us, as the eternall word of God.

Chapter II.

Verse 1. Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and evill speakings,

Verse 2. As new borne babes, desire the sincere milke of the word, that ye may grow thereby.

Verse 3. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Verse 4. To whom comming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

Verse 5. Ye also as lively stones are built up a spirituall house, an holy Priesthood, to offer up spirituall sacrifice, acceptable to God by Iesus Christ.

Verse 6. Wherefore it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chiefe corner stone, elect, precious, and he that be­leeveth on him shall not be confounded.

Verse 7. Vnto you therefore which believe he is precious, but un­to them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

Verse 8. And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient, where­unto also they are appointed.

Verse 9. But ye are a chosen generation, a royall Priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of him, who hath called you out of darknesse into his marvellous light.

Verse 10. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God; which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

THe same exhortation that the Apostle had be­fore proposed, he doth here againe repeat and presse, and that not simply and barely, but by that principle and meanes, whereof there may and ought to be very good use made. For by occasion of those things, which he had lately spoken of the word of God, he stirres up all the [Page 34] faithfull to the right use of this word, by whose helpe they might persist and grow in that grace, wherein they stood. The occasion and connexion of this exhortation with the words going before is intimated in that phrase or particle, Wherefore. The exhortation it selfe is to a desire or love of the word of God, which he had before commended, verse 2. Which exhortation he doth so lay downe, that in the first place he shewes, that the vices which are contrary to this du­ty, must be laid aside, and taken heed of which a [...]e five: malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, evill-speakings, verse 1. And in the second place he gives reasons agreeable thereunto, to stirre us up unto this duty, (to wit, a desire of the word.) The first reason is taken, from the use or effect of this word in respect of them, that it makes much for the edification of the faith­full: and this Use is allegorically set forth, verse 2 where the regenerate faithfull are compared to infants newly borne, and the word to sincere milke; and the edification which is made by the word, is compared to that action, which infants ob­taine by the use of wholesome milk [...]. The second reason is ta­ken, by a continuation of the same allegory, from the object of the word, which he proposed to be tasted, and that is God himselfe and our Saviour Jesus Christ: whose perfection and fitnesse for edification is declared. Verse 3 where he is said to be gracious: and is confirmed also by the experience and te­stimony of all the faithfull, who are said to have tasted this graciousnesse, ibid. if so be yee have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

In the explication of this affection that ought to be set up­on our Lord Jesus Christ, as the primary object of this word, the Apostle continues from Verse 4 to the 11. Where in the first place the affection and duty it selfe of comming unto Christ, and adhe [...]ing unto him by faith, is proposed, verse 4. To whom comming. And then the reason of this duty is allego­rically declared to wit, that Christ is the foundation of the spirituall building that liveth for ever. Ibid. as unto a living stone; and the faithfull are the parts of the building, or of the spirituall house that is to be built upon this foundation, at the beginning of verse 5. And he doth further illustrate both parts of this reason. The first, concerning the foundation or [Page 35] subject, he doth declare by divers arguments; when he saith that it was disallowed of men, but yet chosen of God, and precious, verse 4. The second, concerning the parts of the building that are joyned to it, he doth illustrate & urge from the effects, which are allegorically also set forth, to wit, that by this comming unto Christ, as unto the foundation, the faithfull are not only made a spirituall house, as the temple wherein sacrifices acceptable to God are offered up, but they shall also be the Priests that shall offer up spirituall sacrifices, acceptable to God through Iesus Christ, verse 5. This that hath beene spoken of the saving effect of Christ, as our Savi­our; which redounds unto all the faithfull, the Apostle doth confirme by the testimony of Scripture, verse 6. Which testi­mony he doth explaine and apply by the contrary affections and manners, how contrary sorts of men carry themselves towards Christ, that is, the believers, and the unbelievers: To the believers Christ is said to be precious, verse 7. at the be­ginning, because they put their whole trust and confidence in Christ, and consequently give him the honour of the true Messias and Saviour: but to the unbelievers he is a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, verse 7, 8. Because being of­fended at his humility they do not receive him as their Savi­our: whose infidelity he doth illustrate by the antecedent de­cree of God, whereby it was ordained, verse 8. at the end. Whereunto also they are appointed. As on the contrary the con­dition of the faithfull is illustrated. First, by the secret electi­on of God, that was the cause thereof, verse 9. at the begin­ning. Secondly, by the dignity which they obtaine by faith by vertue of this election, to wit, that they are a royall Priest­hood, an holy nation, Gods peculiar people. Thirdly, by the end and use of this dignity to which they are called, which is, to shew forth the praise of God, verse 9. at the end. Fourthly, by comparing the state that is unlike it, wherein they were before their calling, to this state of excellency and dignity whereinto they are now put by their calling unto faith in Christ, verse 10.

The Doctrines arising from hence are these.

Doct. 1. The right use of the word of God is the proper meanes to increase grace.

[Page 36] This is gathered from the connexion of this exhor­tation with that which went before. For when the Apostle had before exhorted to constancy in grace, and to obedience, in holinesse, and to brotherly love; by a reason also taken in the last place from the worde of God, whereby as of incorruptible seed all the faithfull are regenerated, here in the beginning of this Chapter. he commends unto us the right use of that word, as the proper and only meanes to perfect all those things.

Reas. 1. Because the word is the instrument chosen by God and sanctified to that use. 1 Cor. 1. 21. 2. Because the word, especially of the Gospell, is the ministration of the Spi­rit, who is the authour and sinisher of every grace. 2 Cor. 3. 6. 8. 3. Because the word shewes us the good and perfect will of God. Rom. 12. 2.

4. Because it furnisheth a man unto every good worke. 2. Tim. 3. 17.

Vse. 1. This may serve to refute some fanatick hereticks, that neglect the word of God and looke for immediate reve­lations, and dreame of a greater perfection then is contained in the word.

2. To exhort us, to give diligent heed unto the word of God in all things, untill we come to the end of perfection in heaven. 2. Pet. 1. 19.

Doct. 2. If we meane to use the word of God aright, wee must have our minds ready and willing to lay aside all those vices that are contrary to the power of the word.

This is gathered from the 1. verse. Where five remarkea­ble vices are propounded, to be laid aside, denyed, and morti­fied, before the word can have its due effect in our hearts.

Reas. 1. Because as the matter, if it be not fitly prepared, cannot receive the forme; neither can the field, if it be not manured, cherish the seed to bring forth fruit: So neither can the heart of man, if it be not subdued by repentance, re­ceive the word of God with profit. 2. Because such a pur­pose to forsake all that is contrary to the word of God, is the first beginning of that saving operation, which the word of God doth make, wheresoever it begins to be received, and whereby it makes way for it selfe, to perfect all operations.

[Page 37] Vse. 1. This may serve to condemne those, that will be hea­rers of the word of God, but so, that they will not forsake their accustomed sinnes. 2. To admonish us, not to take this thought and purpose into our minds in the generall, and once only at our first conversion; but upon all occasions, seriously to renew this purpose, especially when we prepare our selves to heare the word of God.

Doct. 3. We must lay aside these vices not in part only, but wholly.

This is gathered from the word, all.

Reas. 1. Because repentance is not true and unfained, un­lesse it abhor the very nature of sinne; it must with one and the same kind of hatred hate all kind of sinne. 2. Because a man may easily deceive himselfe, whiles he thinks that he hath said aside some vice, if he doth not detest all appearance of it, what Specious shew soever it may seeme to have.

Vse. This may serve to instruct us, seriously to examine our hearts, least through some deceitfulnesse thereof, there should lurke some vice, whereof we thinke our selves to be free.

Doct. 4. We should have a singular care to lay aside those vices, that are contrary to those duties, to which we are in a speciall manner called; and to that disposition, which is especially required in Christians, that they may profit by the word of God.

This is gathered herence, that the Apostle, when in the last place, he had exhorted unto unfained love of the brethren at the 21. verse of the former Chapter, doth here marke out those vices, that are most of all contrary to this love; & when he would commend the simplicitie of infants, as a disposition requisite to receive the word of God with profit, he casts aside those vices which are directly opposed to that simplicity.

Doct. 5. To make a good use of the word, besides the laying aside of those evill affections, that we speake of before, it is required that we should stirre up that good affection in our hearts, which is called appetite or desire.

This is gathered from the 2. verse. Now this desire is ex­pressed in other places of the Scripture, by a spirituall hunger and thirst. Isai. 55. 1. Apoc. 21. 6. And the degree thereof is set downe, that it should be the highest. Psal. 119. 20. 81. 82. Which containes in it, 1. a high esteeme of Gods word. Psal. [Page 38] 119 2. 2. An earnest endeavour, answerable thereunto, to use it and enjoy it. Iohn 6. 27. 3. A delight, whereby we are well pleased in the sweetnesse thereof, Psal. 119. 103.

Reas. 1. Because the word is absolutely necessary for us; without it we cannot live; for it is our milk or spirituall [...]ood, as it is in the text, 2. Because we alwayes want something that may begotten: this is also signified in the text, when we are called new borne babes; whereby it is intimated that our imperfection is so great, that by reason o [...] it, we should ear­nestly desire the helpe of the word. 3. Because the excellen­cy and perfection of the word is so great, that it should of it selfe delight us, though we stood in no need of it our selves; this is also intimated in the text▪ when there is mention made of the sincerity of the word, and of the goodnesse of God that appeares therein.

Vse. 1. This may serve to condemne that satiety and loa­thing of the word, that appeares too evidently in too too ma­ny.

2. To admonish us, not to suffer our affections to be taken up with the things of this world, thereby to lessen that desire, which we should have to the word of God. 3. To exhort us, to use the utmost of our endeavours to stir up and increase these pious affections in our selve.

Doct. 6. This affection and desire that wee ought to have to Gods word, should have respect to the sincerity thereof.

This is gathered from that, desire the sincere milke of the word: that is, the nature it selfe of the word and of the things pro­posed therein, as they are pure, and affoord nourishment fit for our Soules.

Reas. 1. Because otherwise we doe not desire the word, as it is the word of life, or the bread of life, or the milke of life, as it is in the text, but as we doe apprehend it under some car­nall shew. 2. Because this desire alone proceeds from spiritu­all life, which seekes after that in the word that tends unto life, which is intimated also in the text by the similitude of infants, that naturally desire their mothers milke.

Vse. 1. This may serve to reprove those ministers that fal­sifie the word of God by their owne mixtures and devices, and obtrude upon him an adulterate word, in stead of the simple [Page 39] and sincere word. 2. To admonish the hearers not to suffer their affections to be carried either towards the person of the speaker, or towards the manner of his speaking, much lesse towards those strange forgings which many use in their spea­king, but sincerely to seeke for the sincerity of the word.

3. To exhort us, highly to prize this sincerity of the word, and to endeavour all that we can to preserve it as well in our selves as in the Church.

Doct. 7. Then and not before, doe we use the sincere word of God aright, when we grow thereby.

This is gathered from these words: that ye may grow thereby.

This is signified in all those places of Scripture, where the end of the word is made to be the edifica [...]ion of the faithfull: for to edifie is to promote the structureof the edifice, to a grea­ter perfection, after that the foundation is already laid. This is expressed also Eph. 4. 16.

Reas. 1. Because we are imperfect, like as infants that are newly borne: now we are perfected▪ when the word of God dwells richly in us, Col [...]ss. 3. 16. 2. Because the word it selfe in its owne nature alwayes tends and leads to perfection: for it is the perfect will of God, Rom. 12. 2.

Vse. 1. This may serve to reprove those, who, when for the time they ought to be teachers doe yet remaine unskil [...]ull and infants, Hcb. 5. 12. 13. 2. To admonish us, never so to rest sa­tisfied with that which we have attained, as if there were no­thing more to be gotten; for although we have all other things, yet it is required, that we should increase more and more in it, 1. Th [...]s. 4. 1. 10. 3. To i [...]form [...] us, hereby we may understand, that the word of God is necessarily to be u­sed, not only by the ignorant and unskilfull, but also by all those that doe yet want some thing, and doe desire to increase that which they have. 4. To instruct us, to examine our selves by this marke whether we use the word of God aright or no?

Doct. 8. In the Gospell there appeares such graciousnesse and goodnesse of God, that it stirres up all the faithfull, to an ear­nest desire thereof.

This is gathered from the 3. verse▪ that the Lord is gracious: Where by God we are to understand Christ, as it appeares by the following words: by gratiousnesse we are to understand [Page 40] that grace which is revealed in the Gospell, as it evidently ap­peares by the connexion of this verse, with that which went before. So Tit. 3. 4.

Reas. 1. Because this glorious grace of God, whch brings salvation unto men by Christ, is the subject matter and argu­ment of the Gospell.

2. Because God bestowes this grace upon us, being alto­gether unworthy of it, enemies to him, and seeking no such thing of him: for after such a manner is this grace bestowed upon us, as that from the beginning to the end, the whole bu­sinesse depends upon the meere goodnesse of God.

Vse. 1. This may serve to informe us, to judge of the quality and quantity of the goodnesse and graciousnesse of Christ, no other way but by the word of the Gospell; for we must not imagine, as many use to doe, that through the graciousnesse of God, it shall be well with us, though we continue in our sinnes without repentance and turning [...]o God: no such gra­ciousnesse is revealed in the Gospell. 2. To instruct us, al­wayes to admire the riches and bounty of Christs grace, that is revealed in the Gospell. 3. To exhort us, earnestly to de­sire, to take delight, and to rejoyce in hearing and meditating upon Gods word. Psal. 27. 4. & 65 4. & 119. 103. in this respect is the use of the word of the Gospell compared to the banquet of a King, wherein all things are full of Sweetnesse and delight. Luke 14. 16. 17.

Doct. 9. This goodnesse of Christ in the Gospell is proposed to us to be tasted.

This is gathered from these words: If so be ye have tasted. So Psal. 34. 8. Taste and see. That is, we should so lay hold upon it by faith, that we may have an inward sense, and expe­rience of the vertue and power thereof.

Reas. 1. Because in the Gospell, we are called to such a neere union and communion with Christ, that he is made un­to us our spirituall bread and food, So to be tasted and eaten by faith, that he turnes to our spirituall nourishment. 2. Be­cause our comfort depends upon this, if wee perceive in our selves the savour of Christ, as it were the savour of life unto life. 2 Cor. 2. 15. 16. 3. Because the power of Christ in drawing our soules unto himselfe, for the most part consists [Page 41] in this, that we have his goodnesse and love, to be tasted, as it were, Gal. 2. 20. 2 Cor. 5. 14.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those, that doe not use the word of God, as food to be tasted and eaten, but for custome and pro forma fashion-sake only, or at least account it a thing to be understood and disputed of only; but not to be tasted.

2. To exhort us, to use all care and diligence to preserve this taste of the goodnesse of Christ in the Gospell; for this is pro­per to the regenerate, as it appeares in the text: and conse­quently it is a signe of salvation. Some indeed that are not regenerate are said to taste of the heavenly gift, of the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, Heb. 6. 4, 5. but this comes to passe, first, by some speciall operation of Gods Spirit, whereby such men are enlightned above the common sort of unregenerate men. Secondly, this is but for a little while, it is not constantly. Thirdly, in the unregene­rate it is but a sudden motion of the minde, it is not a rooted affection. Fourthly, it is either of grace only to come, which is apprehended also, but by a humane and uncertaine hope; or else it is a presumption without ground: but the taste of the faithfull is of grace, not only to come, but also present, with a divine assurance wrought by the operation of the holy Ghost, and sound faith and repentance.

Doct. 10. The regenerate in the beginning; although they be truly faithfull, yet they have but a little taste of Gods goodnesse, they do not fully comprehend it.

This is gathered from the same words.

Reason. 1. Because they are new borne babes, and there­fore weake.

2. Because God useth to bring his children by degrees un­to perfection; so that at first they do perceive but a part or the first fruits of his goodnesse, and afterwards they have the whole, as it were shed abroad in their hearts.

3. Because in the beginning they want that experience, whereby the goodnesse of God afterwards is made more per­fectly knowne unto them.

4. Because oftentimes they are also somewhat negligent; whereby it comes to passe, that they do not use the meanes of grace with that affection as they ought, as it is intimated in the [Page 42] text, when they are stirred up to a more fervent desire of the word of God.

Vse 1. This may serve for consolation against those feares that arise sometimes in the soules of the godly, for that they have but a little measure of peace joy, and the like fruits of the Spirit, whereby men perceive the goodnesse of God towards them: for they must understand that the faithfull do usually perceive but a little measure of this grace at the beginning.

2. For exhortation, so much the more to long for the state of perfection, and not to rest in these small beginnings.

Doct. 11. That taste of the grace of God which we either now have, or formerly had, should stirre us up to desire and seeke after the same more and more.

This is gathered from the connexion of these words with those that went before.

Reason 1. Because to that end is there a taste of this grace given, to stirre up the appetite.

2. Because the goodnesse of God it selfe is in a manner con­temned and vili [...]ied, if it be neglected, after it hath beene once tasted: & therefore in this respect they sinne more grievously, who when they have tasted this grace of God, do little esteem of it, then they, who out of ignorance make no reckoning of it at all.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those that have left their first love, Apoc. 2. 4.

2. To exhort us, in meditating upon the goodnesse of God in Christ, and from the sense and experience that God hath given us of it heretofore, to inflame our mindes with an ear­nest desire to have a fuller measure of this grace, and to that purpose religiously to use all meanes, whereby it is usually communicated unto men.

Doct. 12. The primary duty of Christians, whereby it is also that they are made Christians, is to come unto Christ.

This is gathered out of the fourth verse. Now to come un­to Christ, is nothing else but to believe in him. So Iohn 6. 35. He that comes unto me, and he that beleeves in me, are made all one. So Iohn 5. 40. To come unto Christ, to receive Christ, and to believe in him, are one and the same. And Heb. 10. 22. We are said to draw neere by an assurance of faith.

[Page 43] Reason 1. Because our salvation depends upon that union which we have with Christ: whence it is also, that we are said to come unto Christ, that we may have life, Iohn 5. 40.

2. Because by nature we are strangers and far remote from Christ, and salvation obtained by him, yea and after that we are called unto Christ, we are not so perfectly conjoyned.

3. Because all Christian piety is nothing else, but a conti­nuation and renovation of this accesse unto Christ, and by Christ unto God. In the hearing of the word we come unto Christ, as our Teacher; in our prayers we come unto him as our advocate; in the administration of the Lord Supper we come unto him as the Authour of a Kingly mariage feast, Mat. 22. And all other duties do so depend upon these, that looke how we approve our selves in these, such must we needs be in the others also.

4. Because Christ cals and invites us especially unto this, to come unto him, Matth. 11. 28. John 7. 37.

Vse 1. This may serve to convince all those of death and of sinne, that have either no knowledge of Christ at all, or doe not endeavour according to that knowledge which they have, to come unto him, and partake of his grace.

2. To refute the Papists and such like, that draw men a­way from Christ to the holy Angels, to the Pope, and to themselves.

3. To exhort us, alwayes to set Christ before us, as our marke and scope, Phil. 3. 8. &c.

Doct. 13. We must come unto Christ as unto a living stone▪

This is gathered from Verse 4. Now Christ is called a stone for that firme power, whereby he doth sustaine and beare up the edifice of the whole Church Zach. 4. 7. And he is called, a living stone, because that power whereby he doth beare up the Church is quickning, and communicates spirituall and e­ternall life to the whole edifice, John 5. 26.

Reason 1. Because by sinne we were bereft of all life both the principle and foundation of life, nor can it be restored unto us any other way but in Christ.

2. Because unlesse we come unto Christ under this relati­on, we do not imbrace him as he was ordained by God, and is proposed unto us; and consequently we do not hold the true Christ, but a feined and imaginary one.

[Page 44] 3. Because our faith cannot rest satisfied but in him that hath this strong power to quicken, for faith seekes life from a firme and undeceiving principle.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute that blasphemy of the Pa­pists, who will have the Pope, a dead stone, to be that rock or stone, whereupon the Church is built. For Peter, under the pretence of whose name the Pope challengeth this to himselfe never exhorted the faithfull to come to him as unto a living stone, but unto Christ only. And therefore Peter himselfe in these words explaines unto us, what was the minde of Christ, Mat. 16. 18. when he said: Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, that is, upon this living stone whom Peter at that time confessed to be the Son of the living God, that is, the living stone. Now Peter and the Apostles together with the Prophets may be called the foundation of the Church by a Metonymy of the adjunct for the subject; because they laid and preached Christ as the true foundation, Eph [...]s. 2. 20, 21. but the Popes can in no other respect challenge this unto themselves, but as they are stones of offence and ruine.

2. To instruct us, wholly to depend upon Christ, and to put all our confidence in him.

3. To exhort us, with all joy and rejoycing to helpe for­ward the building of the Church upon Christ, shouting and crying out, as it is in the Prophet Zachary, Grace, grace un­to him.

Doct. 14. Christ is refused by men, when they will not come unto him as unto a living stone.

This is gathered from the fourth Verse. So Psalme 118. 22. and Luke 2. 34.

Reason 1. Because he hath not that outward Majestie and pompe wherewith naturall men are taken, Isay 53. 3. 1 Cor. 1. 22, 23.

2. Because men by nature are blinde, so that they cannot perceive their owne misery extra Christum, out of Christ, nor that salvation which is offered in Christ, 1 Cor. 2. 14.

3. Because they too much love themselves, and put trust in themselves, so that they cannot endure that doctrine of Christ, whereby they are called to deny and forsake them­selves, and to put their confidence in Christ alone.

[Page 45] Vse 1. This may serve to informe us, that we should at­tribute nothing to the world in those things which belong unto Christ.

2. To admonish us, not to trouble our mindes, for that the world is averse from Christ and true faith.

3. To exhort us, patiently to beare it, if we be refused and scorned by men; for the servant is not greater then his Master.

4. To instruct us to beware that we do not communicate in the least respect with the world in refusing of Christ.

Doct. 15. Christ was chosen and ordained by God, that he should be exceeding precious unto us.

This is gathered from the fourth verse. Now we must un­derstand this so, as that we comprehend both the predestina­tion of Christ, and the sending of him into the world, and his unction, together with all those testimonies, which were given by God unto this mysterie.

Reason 1. Because the love and mercy of God is so great towards us: for so God loved the world, that he gave his Sonne, &c. Iohn 3. 16.

2. Because in the obedience of Christ God is well pleased, Matth. 3. 17.

3. Because Christ hath perfected and finished all those things, which belong to our salvation and the glory of God.

Vse 1. This may serve to enforme us, that we ought to be assured of this, that howsoever the world opposeth it selfe against Christ, yet Christ shall prevaile and raigne for ever, because he is chosen of God.

2. To comfort all the faithfull, that beleeve and put their confidence in Christ, because they beleeve in him that was chosen of God, to save them.

3. To exhort us, in all our practise throughout the whole course of our lives, to make it appeare, that Christ is more precious to us, then all the things in the world, Phil. 3. 8. Prov. 8. 10, 11.

Doct. 16. The faithfull are living members of the same building, whereof Christ is the foundation.

This is gathered from the beginning of the 5. verse.

Reason 1. Because Christ together with all the faithfull makes one mysticall body, 1 Cor. 12. 12.

[Page 46] 2. Because being compacted in this body, they partake of the very life of Christ, Ephes. 4. 16.

3. Because they shew forth this life or power in bringing forth fruits answerable thereunto, Iohn 15. 5, 16.

Vse 1. This may serve to comfort us, when we rightly e­steeme of the dignity of this condition, it will strengthen our mindes against all the troubles that can befall us therein.

2. To exhort us, so to carry our selves as it becommeth those▪ that are called to partake of the life of Christ.

Doct. 17. By that union which all the faithfull have with Christ, they are made spirituall temples, Priests, and sacrifices ac­ceptable to God.

This is gathered from the 5 verse.

Reason 1. Because God is in an especiall manner present with them, and dwels in them by his Spirit and grace, as in his Temple, 2 Cor. 6. 16.

2. Because By the same spirit he makes them fit and ready to performe those duties, that are more acceptable unto him, then were ever any externall sacrifices, Psalme 51. 18, 19. Heb. 13. 16.

3. Because in performing these duties before God they do offer and dedicate themselves wholly unto God.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, to have a care ac­cordingly not to defile the Temple of God, 1 Cor. 3. 16, 17. that our Priesthood doth not dishonour God, and that our Sacrifices be not lame, and maimed, and such as are not ac­ceptable unto God.

2. To exhort us, to addict our selves wholly to Gods glo­ry and his worship; for God will be sanctified in those that draw neere him, Levit. 10. 3.

3. To refute the Papists, that rob Christians of this honour, and obtrude carnall Temples, priesthoods, and sacrifices up­on God and men in stead of spirituall.

Doct. 18. Those duties which we performe in Christ are ac­ceptable unto God by Christ.

This is gathered from the 5 verse, at the end. But they are acceptable not as merits, but as sacrifices of praise and thanks­giving, as it is intimated in the Text.

Reason 1. Because by Christ our persons are reconciled [Page 47] unto God, and received into the number of those whom God approves, and by whom he delights to be worshipped.

2. Because Christ covers our infirmities.

3. Because by his intercession our duties are commended unto God.

Vse 1. This may serve to comfort us, even when we looke upon our owne infirmities, and the unworthinesse of all our performances.

2. To exhort us, to go cheerefully about the duties of pie­ty, because our worke shall not be in vaine in the Lord, 1 Cor. 15. 58.

Doct. 19. The same Christ was after the same manner a Saviour in the Old Testament, as he is in the New.

This is gathered from the sixth Verse.

Reason 1. Because he was a Lambe slaine from the foun­dation of the world; according to the decree, promise, and acceptance of God, and according to the faith and hope of the godly, Apoc. 13. 8.

2. Because the Catholick Church is but one, consisting of all the faithfull from the beginning of the world, Heb. 12. 23.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute those, that make the peo­ple of Israel either to have beene altogether carnall, or to have beene saved by the observation of the Law.

2. To exhort us to flye unto Christ, and to put our confi­dence in him, in whom all the faithfull from the creation of the world did put their trust, and by whom they were saved.

Doct. 20. Christ is as it were the corner stone in the buil­ding of the Church.

That is, he doth conjoyne, uphold and direct all the parts of the building, or members of the Church.

Reason 1. Because he is the beginning or foundation of the Church.

2. Because he unites those people that were before farre di­vided▪ the Jewes and Gentiles.

3. Because he is the rule or line of direction in all the build­ing that tends to salvation.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the blasphemy of the Pa­pists, whereby they make the Pope the head of the Church, and to that purpose wrest this very title and words thereunto.

[Page 48] 2. To instruct us, wholly to depend upon Christ for the direction of our soules to everlasting life.

Doct. 21. There is nothing at all that can be compared with Christ our Saviour for dignity, use, and excellency.

This is gathered from these titles, el [...]ct and precious.

Reason 1. For the dignity of his person.

2. For the effectualnesse of his operation, in satisfaction, merit, and application of those things which belong unto our salvation.

3. For the excellency of those benefits which redound un­to the Church by him.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to have no common conceit of Christ, or to rest in a vulgar esteeme of him, but earnestly to endeavour to conceive of him so, as his dignity and excellency doth deserve.

Doct. 22. No man that truly beleeveth in Christ, shall ever be confounded, his expectation shall not be frustrated, his desire and confidence shall not be in vaine.

Reason 1. Because Christ was appointed by God by a cer­taine and immutable decree to be the Saviour of all those that beleeve in him.

2. Because all power is given unto him both in heaven and earth.

Vse. This may serve to comfort us against those feares and doubts that might weaken our faith.

Doct. 23. The faithfull are not only delivered from misery, but are also highly honoured by Christ.

This is gathered from the seventh verse at the beginning.

Reason. Because they are made partakers of Christs ho­nour, for in him they are made sonnes of God, heires of the everlasting kingdome, spirituall Priests and Kings.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove our blindnesse and dul­nesse, that cannot discerne and esteeme of this honour as wee ought, but are set upon the honours of this world more then is fitting.

2. To exhort us, piously and seriously to glory in Christ and the honour which we have in him, though for his sake the wicked world reproach us.

[Page 49] Doct. 24. As Christ is unto the unbeleevers honour and salvation, so he is unto the unbeleevers confusion and perdition.

This is gathered out of the seventh Verse, Psal. 118. 22. Isay 8. 14. Matth. 21. 42.

But this similitude doth not hold in all things. For first, the proper end of Christ our Saviour was to save man, not to destroy him. Secondly, Christ is the cause of faith in the be­leevers, but he is not the cause of unbeliefe in the unbeleevers, though something of Christ may be the occasion of their un­beliefe; like as his humiliation was both unto the Iewes and many of the Gentiles. Thirdly, Christ merited salvation for the believers, and not they themselves; but the unbelievers merit their owne perdition, and not Christ: but yet Christ is truly said to be confusion and perdition to the unbelievers, 1 As they take offence at him, and so runne headlong into their owne destruction. 2. As he doth justly punish their infi­delity and impiety, as he is the just Iudge of all the world.

Reason 1. Because those unbelievers to whom Christ is of­fered, in contemning his goodnesse, doe directly as it were provoke him to use the greatest severity upon them.

2. Because by this meanes alone is the glory of God and of Christ preserved, when his enemies are put under his feet.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us to beware of all infi­delity.

2. To exhort us, when we compare our beliefe with the misery of unbelievers, to learne to be thankfull unto God and to give him the glory of it in Iesus Christ: for these ends is this amplification made in the text.

Doct. 25. Men come unto this confusion and perdition by stumbling at the Doctrine of the Gospell.

This is gathered from the 8 Verse. Now men stumble at the word of the Gospell, when they apprehend the Gospell to be such, that they owe no assent and subject on thereunto: so the Iewes were offended at the infirmity of Christ cru­cified, 1 Cor. 1. 23. and the Greekes at the foolishnesse of that word which bringeth salvation, Ibid. For the Iewes, like as the Papists, with many others, are offended, for that the Go­spell requires them to deny their owne righteousnesse and workes, and to seeke to be justified by Christ, Rom. 9. 32.

[Page 50] Reason 1. Because this offence is the cause of their infi­delity.

2. Because it doth not produce a bare unbeliefe only, but unbeliefe with contempt, so that they doe infinitely wrong Christ.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to beware that we doe not in any thing stumble at the word of God, or conceive any thing in our mindes, whereby we may be in the least respect alienated from it.

Doct. 26. The infidelity and confusion of the wicked doth not fall out by chance, but according as God had most certainly fore-ordained it.

This is gathered from these words: whereunto also they are appointed.

Reason 1. Because God is both the King and Lord of all living creatures, so that nothing can happen unto them con­trary to his will.

2. Because there can be no cause of their infidelity imagi­ned, which God did not foresee, or which he could not have hindred.

3. Because we also which do believe, were aliens from the faith as well as they; neither did we make that difference be­twixt our selves and them, but God:

Vse. This may serve to direct us, that the infidelity of any o­thers whatsoever, may not deface our faith, we must give God the glory in the dispensation of his grace, and appointing of things according to his counsell, whose wayes are past find­ing out.

Doct. 27. We should often call to mind that dignity, whereunto we are called in Christ, and that, by comparing of it to that misery wherein all unbelievers are plunged.

This is gathered from that repetition, Verse 9. which is used comparatively by the dissimilitude that is betwixt it and the condition of unbelievers, before described, as it is intima­ted in that word But.

Reason 1. Because we are called to spirituall joy, which is chiefely increased by this meanes.

2. Because it belongs to the thanks which we ought to give unto God.

[Page 51] 3. Because it makes us cheerefull in the performing of all duties, that we may be worthy of so excellent a calling.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to make this contempla­tion familiar unto us.

Doct. 28. The end of our calling, is to shew forth the praises of God, that hath called us.

This is gathered from the ninth verse, that is, that we should render unto God the glory which hee hath shewed unto us. 1. In the inward thoughts and affections of our heart. 2. In the outward profession of words. 3. In our actions through­out the whole conversation of our lives. This is to sanctifie God, Isay 8. 13.

Reason 1. Because this is that glory which may redound unto God from us, or from our calling.

2. Because our calling it selfe tends thereunto, that we should turne unto God, seeke God, glorifie God.

3. Because this is very profitable for us.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute those, that take care of no­thing lesse: they shew that they are not yet partakers of effe­ctuall calling.

2. To stirre us up more and more to fulfill this duty.

Doct. 29. That state into which we are translated by our calling, is a state of marvellous light.

This is gathered from the 9 Verse at the end, Iohn 1. 8. Now it is called light, both for the illumination of the mind, which it brings; and for the comfort of heart, which we receive thereby: and it is called marvellous, because it farre surpasseth all worldly knowledge, and whatsoever the naturall man can conceive.

Vse. This may serve to us, to carry our selves answerable to this light, and to walke in it, not according to the common fashion, but marvellously.

Doct. 30. It is very profitable for us alwayes to compare our present happy condition, with the misery that is past.

This is gathered from the tenth verse.

Reason 1. Because contraria juxta se positamagis eluces­cunt, contraries being put one by another, make each other to appeare more cleerely.

2. Because it tends to our humiliation.

[Page 52] 3. Because it makes us to commiserate others, and to shew meekenesse towards them. Tit. 3. 2. 3. 4.

4. Because it makes us to be the more thankfull unto God. 1. Tim. 1. 12. 13.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, never to forget that mi­sery which did hang over our heads.

Verse. 11. Dearely beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pil­grims, abstaine from fleshly lusts, which warre against the Soule, Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles.

Verse. 12. That whereas they speake against you, as evill doers, they may by your good workes which they shall behold, glorifie God in the day of visitation.

The Analysis.

HEre the Apostle doth in generall exhort to lead such a life as is answerable to that happy condition, which was spoken of before: Now this life consists of two parts: The one is abstinence from evill, abstaine from fleshly lusts; the other is, to follow that which is good, having your conversati­on honest. The first of which he doth perswade them unto by an argument taken 1. From the disagreement that is be­twixt the Godly, and the fleshly lusts of this world in respect of their state and condition, because in this world, they are strangers and Pilgrims, and therefore they ought not to set their hearts and desires upon this world, but upon another. 2. From the danger that hangs over them, from the desires of this world, because they tend to the destruction of their soules, in these words, which warre against the Soul. The se­cond part together with the former, he doth perswade them unto, by an argument taken from those witnesses which they ought to have regard of in their conversation; among the Gen­tiles, by whose testimony hee shewes there will a twofold be­nefit arise from their honest conversation.

1. That they will cease to speake against them as evill doers.

2. That in beholding their good workes, they will not on­ly give them an honest testimony, but they will also glorifie God for them; which benefit is shewed by the adjunct of [Page 53] time, wherein it should be expected, to wit, in the day of visi­tation: Now this whole exhortation, that it might be the more effectuall, and the more acceptable unto them, is set forth with a double affection, in the manner of proposing it; of love or charity, in that title which is given unto them, Dearely beloved; and of humility, in that he doth not so much command these things, as intreat them, I beseech you.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. All the faithfull are strangers and pilgrims in this world.

Reas. 1. Because their father, and their countrey is not here, but in heaven.

2. Because they doe not desire to stay long here.

3. Because their wealth and their friends are not in this world.

4. Because the world accounts them strangers, and that because their conversation is not according to the fashion of the world.

Vse. 1. This may serve to admonish us, not to place our in­heritance or our treasure in the things of this World.

2. To exhort us, to lift up our hearts alwayes towards our heavenly countrey; and to gaine all those things, that may helpe us forward and further us in our journey thereunto,

Doct. 2. All the faithfull ought to abstaine from the lusts of of the flesh.

But by this phrase are signified not only the inclinations of the body, but all those that belong to the old man: for there is something to be sanctified even in the very spirit of our minds, 1 Thes. 5. 23. and therefore some lust of the flesh is seated in the spirit; but these lusts are in generall said to be of the [...]lesh because they are most of all manifested in those things which belong to the body and the flesh: for most men care for and looke after nothing else almost but those things that be­long to this present life.

Reas. 1. Because the flesh together with the lusts thereof was crucified with Christ.

2. Because all the faithfull in their baptisme and by their profession have denyed the flesh.

[Page 54] 3. Because our lusts are deceitfull. Eph. 4. 22.

Because they lead unto death. Galat. 6. 8. Rom. 8. 6. 13.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, above all things to ap­ply our selves unto this study.

Doct. 3. The lusts of the flesh warre against the soule.

Reas. 1. Because they spoile the perfection of the soule, which consists in the image of God.

2. Because they doe either quench or grieve the holy Spi­rit, upon whom the comfort of the soule doth depend. Eph. 4. 30. 1. Thess. 5. 19.

3. Because they cause the Death of the soule, and lead thereunto.

Vse. 1. This may serve to direct us, alwayes to thinke upon our spirituall warfare, and accordingly in all things to carry our selves, as it becommeth the good Souldiers of Christ.

2. To admonish us, to take speciall heed of those enemies which we have within our selves; those enemies that are with­out can doe us no hurt, if those that are within have not po­wer over us, and so doe as it were give us up into their hands.

Doct. 4. To abstaine from fleshly lusts, is the way to make our conversation honest.

Reas. 1. Because all filthynesse proceeds from the lusts of the flesh.

2. Because the true honour and honesty of a man consists in that spirituall victory which he hath over himselfe.

3. Because by overcomming the lusts of the flesh, the way is made easie to all vertues and good duties.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute and reprove those men, that seeke for honour and dignity by pampering the flesh, & obey­ing the lusts thereof.

2. To exhort us, cheerfully to oppose our selves against the lusts of the flesh, for this very cause, because it is a most ho­nest thing.

Doct. 5. The faithfull should have a care to live honestly, not only amongst the faithfull, but also amongst the unbeleeving Gentiles.

This is gathered from these words, among the Gentiles; Which notwithstanding we must so understand, that we doe not follow all those things that seeme honest unto them, nor omit those things that doe displease them; but only that we [Page 55] shew forth a true evidence of our piety, love and righteous­nesse in our conversation.

Then againe, that thereby their consciences may be con­vinced, that the way, which we goe, is in that respect at least praise-worthy, and to be approved.

Reas. This we ought to doe. 1. For Gods sake and his glory.

2. For our owne sakes and our owne comfort.

3. For the unbeleevers sake, to draw them unto true piety.

Vse. This may serve to refute and reprove those, that under colour of contemning fame, contemne vertue.

Doct. 6. It is the property of unbeleevers, to seeke occasi­on to speake against the faithfull, as if they were wicked.

This is gathered from the 12. verse, at the beginning. Now there are two kinds of such obloquies. 1. When they speake all manner of evill for Christs sake, for faith and righteous­nesse sake, cap. 4. v. 14. Math. 5. 11. 2. When they find some occasion in the defects of the faithfull, and observe something in their lives, which they may justly taxe. This also admits of a two fold difference; for sometimes such is the impiety of those that professe the true faith, that it gives scandall to the unbeleevers, Rom. 2. 24. and sometimes they take occasion from the infirmities that are incident to the faithfull, to con­demne their profession.

Reas. 1. Because there is an inveterate enmity betwixt the children of the light, and the children of darknesse.

2. Because in this respect men flatter themselves, and in some sort seeme better and happier, when they make others, that would seeme better, either to be like themselves, or worse then themselves.

3. Because by this meanes they seeme to bring some pre­judice against the very doctrine of piety, which the wicked hate.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, 1. To take speciall heed, that we have no communion with unbeleevers, in this maliciousnesse, that is, that we doe not willingly seeke or take occasion to speake against the Godly; for this is a certaine marke of impiety.

2. To beware also, that we give no occasion to the wicked, [Page 56] either to speake against our persons or our professions.

Doct, 7: Good workes alone doe stop the mouthes of the wicked.

This is gathered from the 12. v: at the middle.

Reas. 1. Because men, especially unbeleevers, cannot judge of us, but by the works which they see.

2. Because the sincerity of our religion properly appeares in our works.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, alwayes to endeavour to bring forth good works.

Doct. 8. The good works of the faithfull make others also to glorifie God.

This is gathered from the 12. v. at the end. So M. 5. 16.

Reas. 1. Because by this meanes they are convinced of the truth of our religion, whose author is God.

2. Because thereby they are drawne also to embrace the same religion, and to cleave unto God.

3. Because they are moved and stirred up to give God thanks, for those things that were the meanes of their conver­sion.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to use this argument to stir up our selves to the practise of good works, because they make not only for our owne salvation, but for the glory of God also.

Doct. 9. We must looke for a day of visitation, that men may glorifie God therein.

This is gathered from the 12. v. at the end. But the day of visitation may be understood either in judgement, or in grace and mercy. Here it is to be understood of the grace of God. So Luke 1. 68.

Reas. Because without grace there is no inclination in the heart of man to glorifie God. The tree must be good, that shall bring forth good fruit, Men doe not gather grapes of thornes, or figges of thistles, Matth. 7. 16. 17.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to use all patience and meeknesse towards the wicked, alwayes provided, that we doe not faile in our duty to seeke their conversion. 2. Tim. 2. 25.

Verse. 13. Submit your selves therefore to every ordinance of man for the Lords sake; whether it be to the King, as supreme;

Verse. 14. Or unto Governours, as unto them that are sent by him; for the punishment of evill doers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Verse. 15. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

Verse. 16. As free, and not using your liberty for a cloake of ma­liciousnesse, but as the servants of God.

Verse. 17. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Feare God. Honour the King.

The Analysis.

IN these words the Apostle sheweth that particular part of obedience, which did in a speciall manner pertaine to the honesty of the faithfull among the Gentiles, that is, subjecti­on to the Magistrates, which some at that time did begin to cast off, as not agreeing with Christian liberty. Now this subjection he doth. 1. Generally command and direct us un­to, to performe it for religion sake towards God, v. 13. 2. By a distribution of the object, to wit, that we ought to performe it, not only to the King and the supreme Magistrate, but also to the governours that are sent by him. v. 13. 14. 3. He doth perswade us thereunto, 1. From the end of this ordinance, to wit, that it is to represse and punish the evill doers, and to preserve and cherish the good v. 14. at the end. 2. From the efficient cause, or command of God, v. 15. 3. From the end and benefit of performing this subjection, to wit, to stop the mouthes of the enemies, who are described by their ignorance and their foolishnesse, v. 15. 4. He removes an objection that might be made against it, about Christian liberty. v. 16. Where he distinguisheth betwixt faigned liberty, which is joyned with maliciousnesse; and true liberty, that makes men to be addicted unto the service of God: Now that this subjection to superiours belongs to the service of God, he shewes v. 17. by a short repetition of those precepts, that be­long to this and the like duties.

Here a Question may be made.

[Page 58] Quest. Why is the Magistracy called an ordinance of man v. 13. seeing all powers are ordained of God, and every power is the ordinance of God, Rom. 13. 1. 2.

Answ. The superiority of power, or government it selfe is simply and absolutely commanded by God, and in that re­spect is called the ordinance of God; but this or that speciall manner of power or government is not determined by God, but by men; and is therefore called an ordinance of men, which as touching the nature of it, may also be called an ordinance of God: And this is the difference betwixt an Ecclesiasticall and a civill office. An Ecclesiasticall office is not legitimate, if it be not directly determined by God himselfe, and consequent­ly cannot be changed by men: but this or that civill offi [...]e may be made & changed by men. And the reason of the dif­ference is this, because God and Christ alone hath dominion and power in spirituall matters; but in civill matters men are also Gods, though not absolute.

The Doctrines arising from this.

Doct. 1. The duties of righteousnesse towards men, doe much commend our religion towards God.

This is gathered from the connexion of these words with the foregoing words, in that particle therefore. So Iames 1. 27.

Reas. 1. Because they are the effects of religion; Now the vertue of the cause doth alwayes appeare in the effect.

2. Because they are more obvious to the sight of man, then religion it selfe, which is the cause thereof.

3. Because they draw mens minds to approve of that reli­gion whence they proceed.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, for religion sake to apply our selves to these duties.

Doct. 2. We must performe civill subjection to our civill Magistrates for the Lords sake.

This is gathered from the 13. v.

Reas. 1. Because by these meanes the Lord preserveth the societies of men.

2. Because these Governments are the meanes to advance Gods glory, at least so farre forth as they tend to performe some part of the will of God.

3. Because in their owne nature and of themselves they [Page 59] make for the good and against the bad. v. 14.

Vse. 1. This may serve to refute the Anabaptists and others, who for conscience sake will not be subject to the Magistrate.

2. To admonish us, never so to subject our selves unto men, as that for their sakes we should neglect our duty towards God, because we ought to be subject unto them for the Lords sake, and therefore a farre greater subjection is due unto the Lord, then unto them.

Doct. 3. By these duties the good will of God is observed, and the foolishnesse of wicked men is put to silence.

This is gathered from v. 15.

Reas. 1. Because we serve God, when for conscience sake to­wards God, we are subject unto men; therefore we fulfill the will of God.

2. Because we doe that before men, which they doe usually praise most, and so we remove all occasion of offence.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, so much the more care­fully to apply our selves to such duties.

Doct. 4. Christian liberty is not contrary to that subjection, which we owe either unto God or man.

This is gathered from v. 16.

Reas. 1. Because by it we are freed from sinne, but not from that duty, which is contrary unto sinne.

2. Because Christian liberty consists properly in spirituall things, and not in corporall; for although we are subject unto God alone in spirituall things, yet in corporall things we owe subjection unto men also.

3. Because for that end did we receive this liberty, that we might more freely and readily performe those things, which we owe unto God and men.

Vse. This may serve to condemne those, that use Christian liberty for a cloake of maliciousnesse, as it is in the text.

Doct. 5. We are to take exact notice of the difference of our duty towards men, towards our brethren, towards God, and to­wards the Magistrates.

This is gathered from v. 17.

Reas. Because great is the difference of the grounds or rea­sons, whereupon these duties depend, as it is intimated in the text; but we must make conscience of our duty in all.

[Page 60] Vse. This may serve to reprove those, that doe any way sever or disjoyne these duties, to wit, such as seeme to feare God, but doe not love or honour men; or such as seeme to honour men, but doe not feare God at all.

Vers. 18. Servants, be subject to your masters with all feare, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

Verse 19. For this is thank-worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure griefe, suffering wrong ful [...]y.

Verse 20. For what glory is it, if when ye be buffetted for your faults ye shall take it patiently? but if when ye doe well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

Verse. 21. For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.

V. 22. Who did not sinne, neither was guile found in his mouth?

V. 23. Who when he was reviled, reviled not againe; when hee suffered, he threatned not, but committed himselfe to him, that judgeth righteously.

V. 24. Who his owne selfe bare our sinnes in his owne body on the tree, that we being dead to sinnes, should live unto righteousnesse, by whose stripes ye were healed.

V. 25. For ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the shepheard and Bishop of your soules.

The Analysis.

HEre the Apostle makes a speciall exhortation about the duty of servants to their masters: and this duty he doth 1. As it were define by a speciall kind of subjection wherein it consists. Be subject with all feare. 2. He doth illustrate it by a distribution of the object, or the masters, to whom this sub­jection is due; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the fro­ward. 3. He proves that this subjection is to be made to both sorts, by an argument taken from the adjuncts thereof, grace and glory, that is, Gods praising and approving of it, which accompanies the subjection that is made unto wicked masters verse 19. For this is thank-worthy. The reason of which con­sequence [Page 61] is set forth. 1. By a description of that subjection which is due unto wicked Masters, to wit, that it is a patient suffering of wrong for conscience towards God v. 19. 2. By a comparison that is made betwixt those that suffer justly, and those that suffer unjustly, which he shewes to be unlike, in that the former can looke for no glory from their sufferings, but the latter may expect great glory, verse 20. In the second place, he proves the same duty from that relation which ari­seth from our generall calling, because we are thereunto cal­led, that we should patiently suffer the injuries of the world: and this he confirmes by the example of Christ; to whose imitation we are called: for he shewes two ends of the suffe­ring of Christ; one was to dye for us, that is, to expiate our sinnes, which is the primary end. The other was, to leave us an example to imitate. verse 21. which is the secondary end. Now a speciall part of this secondary end was, that when he was without sinne v. 22. Yet he patiently suffered all kinds of reproach [...]s and afflictions, v. 23. And the prima­ry end of Christs sufferings, which was to redeeme us from sin, is upon this occasion also declared v. 24. 25. Because therehence also may be drawne a powerfull argument, to per­swade us to imitate Christ in doing righteously, and suffering unjustly: And this is declared, 1. From the nature of Christs death, that it was a sacrifice for our sins to take away the guilt of them; 2. From the end of this propitiation, which is the death of sinne, and the life of righteousnesse. And hereof there is an illustration made by comparing that condi­tion, which went before our conversion, with that condition which followes it, verse the last.

The Doctrines drawne here-hence.

Doct. 1. They that are in the lowest condition, should by their good workes glorifie God in that condition.

This is gathered from the connexion of the 18 Verse with the 11 and 12.

Reason 1. Because servants also are called to liberty and glory in Christ, neither is there any difference, as touching life spirituall, betwixt the freeman and the servant, 1 Cor. 7. 22.

[Page 62] 2. Because there is the same reward for servants and free­men.

3. Because the servile condition hath a proper occasion and meanes to glorifie God, which other conditions have not, like as other conditions have their occasions & meanes, which the servile hath not.

Vse 1. This may serve to comfort us, in regard that no man is excluded from having a part in this honour, that hath a part in advancing the glory of God.

2. To exhort all, both servants and all other sorts of men, to endeavour to promote Gods glory: for if servants ought to do this; much more ought free masters, and those that are in any place of dignity.

Doct. 2. Servants, to the end that they may glorifie God in their servile condition, must be subject to their Masters with all feare.

Reason 1. Because subjection to another mans will is pro­perly that wherein service consists; and therefore all they that are bound as servants, are bound to subjection.

2. Because the subjection of a servant is such, that it doth necessarily command a feare to displease, not only in that re­spect, because in every duty, both towards God and man, we should feare to offend by doing amisse, but also in respect of that singular power, which masters have to punish their ser­vants. This is that feare, which we usually call servile, which is not to be disliked in servants, though in the children of God there be another feare required over and above, which ariseth from love.

Vse. This may serve to admonish, first, Servants and sub­jects, not to separate feare from subjection. Secondly, all men to subject themselves to God with all feare, as it becommeth servants.

Doct. 3. We ought to performe our duty, even unto wick [...]d men and froward.

This is gathered from the 18 Verse.

Reason 1. Because the ground of our duty doth not con­sist in the goodnesse or naughtinesse of men, but in that obli­gation which the law of God imposeth upon us, which may consist with the naughtinesse of men.

[Page 63] 2. Because in performing this duty, wee serve God and Christ, and shall receive a reward from him, Ephes. 6. 5. 6, 7. 8.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those, that direct their du­ties according to the persons of the men with whom they have to doe.

Doct. 4. We ought to doe our duty for conscience toward God, though we are wrongfully afflicted by men.

This is gathered from Verse 19.

Reason 1. Because conscience alwayes lookes to the judge­ment of God and not to the qualities and judgements of men.

2. Because the conscience is by this meanes constant, im­mutable, and alwayes like it selfe, howsoever mens judge­ments may alter.

Vse. This may serve to direct us in all our actions to have a speciall respect to the conscience.

Doct. 5. It is thank-worthy, and we shall receive glory from God, if we suffer wrongfully, and not justly.

This is gathered from the 19 and 20 verses.

Reason. 1. Because this is proper and peculiar to Christians, as is the love of our enemies, Matth. 5. 44, 45.

2. Because by this meanes we give great glory unto God, when we suffer the bitterest things out of conscience toward him.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, cheerefully to set our selves to the performing of these duties.

Doct. 6. The calling of Christians doth in a speciall man­ner lead to the patient suffering of afflictions.

This is gathered from the 21 verse, at the beginning.

Reason 1. Because they are called unto glory by the en­during of all kindes of afflictions, as by the way that leadeth thereunto, cap. 5. verse 10.

2. Because they are called to overcome their enemies and evill doers by well-doing, and if it be possible to winne them thereby, Matth. 5. 44. Rom. 12. 21.

3. Because they are called to imitate Christ, as it is in the text.

Vse. 1. This may serve to admonish us, not to imitate or follow the men of the world in these things, because we have another manner of calling.

[Page 64] 2. To exhort us to have a great care that we make consci­ence of this duty, because it doth most neerely belong to our calling.

Doct. 7. Christs actions are a most perfect example for our duty and calling.

This is gathered from Verse 21.

Reason 1. Because Christ is unto us an example given by God, as it were the praxis of Divinity and rule of living well.

2. Because he hath no imperfection at all, such as may be found in all mens examples.

3. Because the Spirit of Christ makes us to be conforma­ble unto his image.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, that beholding Christ as it were in a glasse, we may be as it were changed into the same image from glory to glory, 2 Cor. 3. 18.

Doct. 8. The Chiefest manner of imitating Christ in en­during afflictions, consists in this, that we commit our cause unto God.

This is gathered from verse 23, at the end.

Reason. Because this is the rule of patience in such cases, not to revenge our selves, but to commit the whole businesse unto the Lord, and to rest well contented and pleased in his will.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, never to please our own carnall will, but to subject our selves wholly to the good will of God.

Doct. 9. Christ by his death did not only leave us an exam­ple of our lives, but also expiated our sinnes, and procured for us such power, whereby we may imitate him in living well.

This is gathered from verse 24.

Reason 1. Because after the same manner are we restored in Christ, as we were lost in Adam, which was not by imitation and example only, Rom. 5.

2. Because Christ ought to be a sacrifice to pacifie God towards us, which is not done by example.

3. Because an example would have nothing at all profited those that were dead in sinne and hated of God.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the Socinians and others, which feine that the redemption of Christ consists in doctrine and example only.

[Page 65] 2. To direct us, alwayes to joyne these two together, re­demption, and the example of Christ.

Doct. 10. Without Christ we are nothing else but sheepe going astray and lost.

This is gathered from the last verse.

Reason. Because upon him alone depends our salvation and the direction of our lives.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to leave Christ so much as in the least thing, but to cleave faster and faster unto him.

Chapter III.

Verse 1. Likewise yee wives be in subjection to your owne hus­bands, that if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be wenne by the conversation of the wives.

Verse 2. While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with feare:

Verse 3. Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the haire, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparell.

Verse 4. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meeke and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Verse 5. For after this manner in the old time, the holy women also who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subje­ction unto their owne husbands.

Verse 6. Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord, whose daughters yee are as long as yee do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Verse 7. Likewise ye husbands dwell with them according to the knowledge of God, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessell, and as being heires together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindred.

[Page 66]The Analysis.

HEre the Apostle instructs Wives and Husbands in those particular duties which belong unto their conjugall society. And he sets downe the duty of wives in the first place, because that comes nearest unto those duties which hee had lately spoken of, namely, the duty of subjects towards the [...]r Magistrates, and of servants towards their Master. For that which is here in ge­nerall prescribed unto wives, is their subjection to their hus­bands, Verse 1. Be in subjection to your owne husbands. Which subjection he doth afterwards explaine by certaine adjuncts or properties, which do in a peculiar manner belong to the subjection of wives, and not to the subjection of servants and subjects. The first of these properties is, conjugall feare, vers. 2. The second is chastity of conversation, in the same verse. The third is, meek [...]nesse and mildnesse, verse 4. And he doth per­swade them unto this subjection together with the properties thereof. 1. By an argument taken from the effects and fruit, which by the grace of God might follow thereupon; for it is a meanes tending to the conversion of their husbands, if they obey not the Gospell, verse 1. 2. He commends and illu­strates it by a comparison which he makes betwixt that pious subjection, & that adorning which women use to make great account of, verse 3, 4. where he shewes that outward adorning to be nothing worth in Gods sight. 3. Hee doth perswade them unto it by the example of those holy women, which God did approve of in old time, verse 5. And in particular by the example of Sara, and her obedience unto Abraha [...], verse 6. Of whose example he gives a speciall reason; because as Abraham was the father of all the faithfull, so Sara in some sort might be called the mother of all holy women. The du­ty of husbands he sets down 1, in generall, in their husband­like governement, which he cals a dwelling with their wives according to knowledge, which knowledge and understand­ing is the ground of direction, and therefore is more required in a man, then in a woman. 2. In the speciall manner of this governement, to wit, that it should be joyned with the honour [Page 67] of the wife, in bearing with her infirmities, which he doth perswade them unto by an argument taken, 1. from that so­ciety and equality which is betwixt the husband and the wife, in respect of the grace of life, as it is here called. 2. From the great discommodity, which will follow upon the neglect of this duty, for by their domesticall differences and dissentions their domesticall prayers also are hindred, Verse 7.

The Doctrines arising here-hence.

Doct. 1. There is the like duty of subjects, servants, wives, and husbands.

This is gathered from that particle, Likewise ye wives, verse 1. and Likewise ye husbands, verse 7. Not, that there is the same kinde of duty in all these in all respects, but that there is the same kinde of obligation, whereby every one is bound to doe his owne duty.

Reason 1. Because it is the same Law-giver and the same law that commands every man his duty.

2. Because the disparity of the condition makes no dispa­rity in the obligation, which is the formality of the duty; but only in those things, to which the obligation binds us, which is the materiality of the duty.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to cast off from our selves those things which we either reade or heare to be commanded men of another condition, but alwayes to consi­der, that quamvis non ad similia, tamen similiter, though we are not tyed to the like duties, yet we are in the like manner tyed to our own duties: when servants are commanded any thing, then masters should think, that they likewise are commanded something; when wives are commanded any thing, then hus­bands should think that they likewise; and when husbands are commanded any thing, then wives should think, that they likewise.

Doct. 2. It is the duty of wives to be subject to their husbands.

This is gathered from verse 1. See Colos. 3. 18. Ephes. 5. 22, 23, 24.

Reason 1. Because the husband is the head of the wife, Ephes. 5. 23. 1 Cor. 11. 3.

2. Because there can be no order kept in a family, except all therest be subject to the father of the family.

[Page 68] Vse. This may serve to reprove those wives that are undu­tifull and will not be subject; and those husbands also, who by their owne fault lose this authority and dignity, and are themselves the causes that their owne power is lessened and diminished.

Doct. 3. The conversation of wives should be such, that it should winne their husbands to approve of the true religion.

This is gathered from verse 1.

Reason 1. Because all should, as much as they can, co-ope­rate with God for the conversion of men.

2. Because this generall Christian duty is in a speciall man­ner determined and intended in respect of those, with whom we have a neerer communion.

3. Because love, which doth in a singular manner belong to man and wife, requires that they should desire and seek for one anothers greatest good.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those, which in wedlock so live, that they have no care at all, either to advance Gods glo­ry, or to further their own salvation, in that state: and they are to be condemned much more, which so carry themselves in that state, that they doe more and more alienate their hus­bands from true religion and piety either touching the do­ctrine, or touching the practise of it. And if this belongs to wives toward their husbands, much more will it belong to husbands toward their wives.

Doct. 4. Conjugall chastity should be joyned with feare.

This is gathered from verse 2.

Reason. Because not only is impurity to be shunned, but also all suspicion of impurity, or of a minde inclining there­unto.

Vse. 1. This may serve to admonish man and wife, to shun all those courses, that may any way be any blemish to their chastity, though it be but in shew or appearance.

2. To admonish all Christians, to preserve their spirituall chastity with Christ and God, with all feare.

Doct. 5. It is not the outward adorning, but the inward, thae we should make account of.

This is gathered from verse 3, 4.

Reason 1. Because the outward adorning belongs to the [Page 69] vanity of this world, but the inward is spirituall life it selfe. For Christ and grace is called the inward adorning of the heart or minde, because it makes a man amiable and com­mends him in the sight of those which esteeme and prize it.

2. Because only men look after the outward adorning, and and those none of the graver sort neither; but God himselfe lookes after the inward, as it is in verse 4.

3. Because the outward adorning is not durable, but the inward is incorruptible, as it is in verse 4. which is not corrup­tible, and 2 Cor. 4. 18.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, every day more and more to renounce this outward and worldly adorning, and to looke to the inward and true adorning of the mind and soule.

Doct. 6. Meekenesse and mildenesse of spirit in women, as in all others also, is an adorning that is precious in the sight of God.

This is gathered from verse 4.

Reason 1. Because many filthy unbeseeming things, which arise from anger and perturbation of the minde, are removed by such a disposition.

2. Because such a disposition is very apt to please, and all men desire that others should be well pleased with their be­haviour.

Vse. 1. This may serve to refute those, which affect a kind of glory and honour by their fiercenesse and impatiency.

2. To exhort us, not only for civility sake, but also for con­science toward God to endeavour to get such a disposition.

Doct. 7. Every man should seeke for examples of such ver­tues out of Scripture, and apply them unto himselfe according to his owne proper condition.

For women have holy women proposed unto them for ex­amples verse 5. So have men holy men.

Doct. 8. In weighing of examples we should have the chief­est regard to those that are most commended in Scripture.

This is gathered from those words, Abraham, Sara, and the like, verse 6.

Doct. 9. Then and not before are we the children of such holy ones, by a true imitation of them, when we do so persist in well doing, that no terrour or any other temptation is able to remove us from this our purpose and resolution.

[Page 70] This is gathered from the 6. verse at the end. For this is proposed in Sara to be chiefly imitated by women, that out of her duty, she followed Abraham in all his journey, nor could any terrour keepe her back.

Doct. 10. Husbands should likewise doe their duty, as well as the wives doe theirs.

This is gathered from verse 7.

Reas. 1. Because there is the same obligation of Gods law on both sides.

2. Because there is a mutuall relation betwixt these duties, that one doth necessarily require the other.

3. Because the duty of husbands to their wives, and of wives to their husbands is almost the same, but that the wife is to doe her part with subjection, and it is the husbands part to rule.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not rigidly to exact the duty of others, and in the meane time to neglect our owne.

Doct. 11. It belongs unto men to excell in knowledge and understanding.

This is gathered from those words: according to knowledge.

Reas. 1. Because by nature they have a kind of perfection above women in those things which belong unto know­ledge, whereupon the woman is in this place called the wea­ker vessell.

2. Because by their duty they should be the heads of their wives, to direct and governe them.

3. Because they have greater meanes to gaine knowledge; for as it is not lawfull for women to speake in the Church; so neither have they any thing to doe in other exercises, whereby mens wits are ripened.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those men, that either through drunkennesse, or sloth, or the neglect of divine things, or through too much care of earthly things, doe not only come behind women, but children also in sound know­ledge and understanding.

Doct. 12. It is the husbands part to be meeke unto their wives, and not to put them in feare.

Reas. 1. Because they are not servants, but companions.

[Page 71] 2. Because their conjugall love should shew it selfe in all such duties.

Vse. This may serve to admonish as well husbands as wives to beware of harshnesse and bitternesse.

Doct. 13. That duty which we owe unto all the coheires of grace and life eternall, should direct and governe our particular duties towards our superiours, inferiours and equalls.

Reas. 1. Because that is the principall duty; to which all the rest are subordinate.

2. Because that love doth vertually at least containe in it all vertues.

3. Because the dignity which redounds from the relation to grace and eternall life, makes all those that are partakers of that grace, in some sort equall, and therefore restraines con­tempt, opposition, and all kinds of injuries.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, in all parts of our conver­sation with Christian men, to have chiefe regard to this duty.

Doct. 14. All our conversation, as well in publique as in private, should be so ordered, that it should not hinder, but rather further our Prayers.

This is gathered from the last words.

Reas. 1. Because otherwise we should wrong God him­selfe, in violating his honour.

2. Because we should diminish at least our greatest comfort, which depends upon our prayers.

Vse, This may serve to admonish us, to take heed therefore, not only of the grosser sort of sins, but also of contentions, injuries, perturbations, and all those vanities, by which we are made unfit to call upon the name of God aright.

Verse 8. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pittifull, be courteous.

V. 9. Not rendring evill for evill, or railing for railing: but con­trariwise blessing, knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

[Page 72]The Analysis.

THe Apostle doth in these two verses briefely comprehend those duties, which belong unto all sorts of men. For because it would be too long particularly to describe all the particular vertues, nor can there be such a doctrine delivered, that should direct * every particular man in his duty, * singules quà singulos, as such a particular man, as before it was delive­red touching masters and servants, wives and husbands, there­fore he doth here commend some generall duties unto all, from which all particular ones will easily follow. And the first of these is Concord. 2. Mutuall sympathy. 3. Bro­therly love. 4. Pitty. 5. Courteousnesse. 6. Christian Pa­tience, whereby we doe not only forbeare to curse those that curse us, but also blesse them; of which last duty, as being the difficultest of all, he gives a speciall reason, which is taken from the end of our calling, whereby we come to the possession of all blessings, and as much as in us lyes, ought we to commu­nicate it unto others.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. Concord is a vertue, which all Christians should mightily labour for.

Reas. 1. Because God hath endued all those, that are truly faithfull, with one and the same Spirit, and therefore with one heart as it were. For they have received a new heart of one and the same making and nature.

2. Because they propose unto themselves one and the same end, and they should goe one and the same way unto that end.

3. Because if there be any difference in other things, which doe not belong unto that way, they are not so great, as that they should cause any discord: For there may be some dif­ference of opinions in many things without any discord or alienation of mens minds. And if there be some difference a­bout those things, which doe belong unto that way, a bearing one with another, when they doe both earnestly desire the truth, will preserve concord safe and sound betwixt those [Page 73] which are true Christians, according to that of the Apostle Philip. 3. 15. 16.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those, which for light causes are estranged from their brethren, and turne the smallest dif­ference, even the least controversie into discord. And how ma­ny are guilty of this fault, and how closely it sticks unto them, may evidently appeare by this, that they cannot lay aside their anger and hatred, no not for Gods sake, for Christ sake, and their owne salvation sake. And this we may see in too too many, when they forbeare to come to the Lords Supper by reason of those contentions, which they maintaine betwixt themselves and their neighbours; for they doe thereby shew that they cannot pray unto God to forgive them their tres­passes, as they forgive others that trespasse against them, and therefore they seeme to love discord more then God himselfe, and their owne salvation.

Doct. 2. There should be a sympathy betwixt Christians.

By which word is signified not only a fellow-feeling of one anothers troubles, but also of one anothers good, 1 Cor. 11. 26.

Reas. 1. Because they are members of one body, and all the members looke unto the good of the whole.

2. Because the evill or good of one member, doth in some sort redound unto the rest of the members, by that neere uni­on and communion, which is betwixt them.

3. Because the consent and concord of their wills com­mands this, that whereof one doth rejoyce or grieve, the o­ther also should rejoyce and grieve.

Vse. This may serve to reprove that Stoicall hardnesse, which hath taken hold of mens minds, whereby it comes to passe that they are no way sensible of the condition of others.

Doct. 3. Brotherly love is moreover greatly to be embra­ced, which unto concord and Sympathy addes a will also and endea­vour to doe good unto others as unto our brethren.

Reas. 1. Because we are brethren.

2. Because love is the character of Christian brotherhood.

3. Because love is the bond of perfection and the meanes of Christian edification.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us to the exercise of this grace.

[Page 74] Doct. 4. To our love we shold joy no mercy, which lookes on­ly unto the good that is to be done.

Reas. 1. Because true love is by this meanes made most ma­nifest, when it is shewed unto those which cannot give us thankes.

2. Because in this we doe imit [...]te our heavenly Father, who is the Father of mercies.

3. Because the same benefit is greater, when it is bestowed upon one that is in misery, then when it is bestowed upon a­nother.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those, which seeme to love such men only, from whom they may expect something.

Doct. 5. Together with our love and mercy we should joyne courteousnesse.

Reas. 1. Because true love and mercy proceeding from the enlargement of the heart, fits and disposeth the whole man for the doing of good.

2. Because a benefit bestowed in a rough and harsh man­ner, doth in some sort cease to be a benefit.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, more and more to lay a­side all severity, and to have a care to beautifie that good which we doe, in the manner of doing it.

Doct. 6. Christians should not render evill for evill, or rai­ling for railing.

This is gathered out of the 9. verse. So Rom. 12. 17. and Matth. 5. 39.

Reas. 1. Because the railing or ill-doing of another, doth not loose the bond, or take away the duty of our loue.

2. Because this is to be overcome of evill. Rom. 12. 21.

3. Because this derogates from Gods fidelity, and takes that, which belongs unto him, out of his hands, Rom. 12. 19. Prov. 22. 23.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those men, that are easily provoked, and when they are provoked by any injury, thinke that they may doe any thing, and so give themselves liberty to exercise all kind of revenge: and that they doe not this from the hatred of sinne, but from too much love of them­selves, it doth sufficiently appeare by this, that when more hainous and grievous offences are committed against God, [Page 75] and the same wrongs done unto others; they can heare it and behold it, and never be troubled at it.

Doct. 7. It is the duty of Christians to blesse those that curse and wrong them.

This is gathered from the 9. v. at the middle. So Matth. 5. 44. and Rom. 12. 14.

Reas. 1. Because love and mercy doth in a speciall manner require this duty of those, which by such like sinnes make themselves obnoxious unto cursing.

2. Because we should overcome evill with good. Rom. 12. 21.

3. Because we should imitate our heavenly Father. Matth. 5. 45.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us to use our selves unto this perfection.

Doct. 8. The remembrance of our calling, that it tends un­to blessing, should stir us up to blesse others.

This is gathered from v. 9. at the latter end.

Reas. 1. Because that which we have freely received from the blessing of God, we should, as much as in us lies, freely and liberally give. Matth. 10. 8.

2. Because by this meanes we exercise and perfect our owne calling.

3. Because by this meanes we shew forth and advance the glory of God, that bestowed this benefit upon us.

Vse. This may serve for direction, very often to meditate up­on our calling, and that to this end, that we may be made the more ready and fit for Christian duties.

Verse. 10. For he that will love life, and see good dayes, let him refraine his tongue from evill, and his lips that they speake no guile:

Verse. 11, Let him eschew evill, and doe good, let him seeke peace and ensue it.

Verse. For the eyes of the Lord are set over the righteous, and his eares are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that doe evill.

[Page 76]The Analysis.

IN these three verses, the Apostle proves by the testimony of Scripture, that which he had spoken in the last place, to wit, that Godly men shall inherit a blessing. In which testi­mony there is in the first place the blessing set downe, which all desire, He that will love life, and see good dayes. 2. The pie­ty of those, to whom this blessing is promised, is synecdochi­cally declared by a distribution of the subjects, as it is in the speech, v. 10. or in the deeds and conversation of life v. 11.

3. The connexion of the blessing, with this piety is confir­med by the most powerfull cause thereof, namely, the provi­dence of God, watching over the Godly for their good, verse 12. at the beginning. Which is illustrated by a contrary ef­fect of the same providence toward those that doe evill, name­ly, that he watcheth over those alwayes for evills, v. 12. at the end.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. It is common unto all men, in some sort to desire blessing and happinesse.

For therefore doth he in this place, use a common argu­ment to stirre up all to the practice of piety.

Reas. 1. Because * omnia appetunt bonum, all things desire their own good, & in some sort too that which they apprehend as summum bonum, the chiefest good.

2. Because all nature tends unto its owne perfection, and this perfection is happinesse.

3. Because the nature of happinesse is such, that if the un­derstanding doth in any manner comprehend it, the will can­not but in some measure desire it, because it is in all respects desireable.

Vse. 1. Let us not therefore rest contented with a confu­sed desire of happinesse, but endeavour and labour to stirre up and to increase in our selves the true, genuine and effectuall de­sire thereof.

2. For direction, not to corrupt this desire that is appro­ved of God, or to choake it with worldly desires, but to goe forward and increase it daily according to that rule, which it given unto us from God.

[Page 77] Doct. 2. True and solid piety is the only way to attaine unto these blessings.

Reas. 1. Because God hath promised it to the Godly alone.

2. Because piety in its owne nature leadeth to God, and joynes us with God, who is the fountaine of all good.

3. Because piety it selfe hath that perfection joyned with it, namely, peace of conscience and sound consolation, which is a great part of happinesse.

Vse. 1. This may serve to convince those of folly and mad­nesse, that would be happy, but will not be Godly.

2. To direct us, to kindle in our hearts an earnest endea­vour to be godly by the expectation of this happinesse, and to gaine unto our selves an assurance of it.

Doct. 3. The providence of God alone, makes for the furthe­rance of this piety, and the confirmation of this happinesse.

This is gathered from v. 12.

Reas. 1. Because God by his providence doth fulfill and perfect all his promises.

2. Because the same providence lookes over and takes care for the particular necessities of the Godly.

3. Because he takes speciall notice of all their desires and prayers, as it is in the text.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to build up our selves in a true and lively faith of this providence.

Verse. 13. And who is he that will harme you, if ye be followers of that which is Good?

Verse. 14. But and if ye suffer any thing for righteousnesse sake, happy are ye, and be not afraid of their terrour, neither be troubled.

Verse. 15. But sanctifie the Lord God in your hearts, and bee ready alwayes to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekenesse and feare, having a good conscience:

Verse. 16. That whereas they speake evill of you, as of evill doers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversa­tion in Christ.

[Page 78]The Analysis.

THat which the Apostle had before proposed concerning the practise of piety, he doth there perswade them unto by an argument taken, 1. from the effect thereof, that by this meanes men are freed and delivered from those harmes, which the wicked seek occasion to bring upon them, v. 13. 2. From the happinesse adjoyned, because no afflictions that are suf­fered for righteousnesse and godlinesse sake, are able to ex­clude that, verse 14. at the beginning. 3. He shewes the right manner of undergoing afflictions, so that happinesse may follow thereupon, which consists 1. in the laying aside of that feare and perturbation, which usually mens mindes are troubled with in their afflictions, in these words, be not afraid of their terrour. 2. In that confidence and relyance of our hearts upon God, whereby his name is sanctified, and by ver­tue whereof that immoderate feare may be laid aside. And this confidence is set forth by its proper effect, which consists in couragious and ready confession of the faith; of which confession he sets downe two properties, namely, meekenesse and feare or reverence, and moreover he shewes the helping and preserving cause thereof, namely, a good conscience, and the effect also which it will worke in others, verse 16. to wit, that it will make their enemies with shame to leave off their speaking evill of them.

But here-hence ariseth a question.

Quest. How can this be made good, which the Apostle saith, that no man shall harme the godly? Verse 13.

Answer 1. Because the nature of godlinesse and goodnesse tends thereunto, to winne the minds of all men, and to take off all ill-will.

2. Because often times also it hath this effect, that taking away all pretence and occasion of unrighteousnesse, it doth in some measure mollifie the enemies minds, except they be quite and cleane savage and furiously mad.

3. Because nemo propri [...] laeditur nisi à scipso, no body is pro­perly hurt but by himselfe and his own fault; he therefore that escheweth evill and doeth good, cannot properly be said to [Page 79] be hurt by others, though they do earnestly desire and endea­vour to do it.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. Christians should be emulators and fellowers of that which is good.

This is gathered from verse 13.

Reason 1. Because they are called to the imitation of Gods goodnesse: Be ye holy as I am holy: be ye perfect as your Father is perfect.

2. Because there are begotten again unto the image of God, and should daily more and more be fashioned thereunto.

3. Because there is nothing besides that is worthy of our serious imitation.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to lift up our mindes, and betake our selves to this holy and divine emulation.

Doct. 2. They that are followers of that which is good are freed from harme.

This is gathered from verse 13.

Reason 1. Because if God be for us, who can be against us?

2. Because wicked mens minds also are oftentimes overcome by the goodnesse of the good: as Esau was moved by the ob­sequiousnesse of Iacob.

3. Because the greatest good cannot be taken away from those that labour for true godlinesse.

Vse. This may serve to comfort us against all dangers which may befall us by following that which is good.

Doct. 3. To suffer afflictions for righteousnesse sake doth not hinder, but further our happinesse.

This is gathered from Verse 14. So Matth. 5. 10.

Reason 1. Because such afflictions make us conformable unto Christ in the fellowship of his sufferings, Phil. 3. 10.

2. Because it is a singular part of that obedience and holi­nesse, which tends unto happinesse.

3. Because God hath promised bountifully to reward it.

Vse. This may serve to comfort us, against all the evils which may befall us for righteousnesse sake and a good con­science.

Doct. 4. We must lay aside the feare of all dangers where­with our mind may be troubled.

This is gathered from the same verse at the end.

Reason 1. Because such feare is contrary unto faith and a sure confidence.

2. Because it hath no other use, but to hinder us in doing of our duty.

3. Because it is contrary to the honour of God and the worthinesse of a good cause.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to give place to such pusillanimity and faint-heartednesse.

Doct. 5. We should strengthen our hearts against all feare, by putting our trust in God.

Reason 1. Because there is nothing else whereby we can overcome all feares and terrours.

2. Because God hath taken this upon himselfe, and com­manded us to commit our cause unto him.

3. Because by this trust and confidence God is made the strength of our soules.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, truly to put our trust in God.

Doct. 6. By this trust and confidence we sanctifie God in our hearts.

This is gathered from verse 15.

Reason 1. Because thereby we acknowledge him to be a holy God, that is, a God of perfect power, mercy, truth and fidelity.

2. Because by the effectuall acknowledgement of this holi­nesse we give unto him that glory, which is due unto his name from our hearts.

3. Because thereby we advance his glory amongst others, as well in our actions as in our professions.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, wholly to rely upon him.

Doct. 7. We should sanctifie God not only in our hearts, but with our mouths also, and in our profession.

This is gathered from these words: Be ready alwayes to give an answer. So Rom. 10. 10.

Reason 1. Because we should glorifie God not only in our spirit, but in our body also, 1 Cor. 6. 20.

2. Because we should advance Gods glory, not only in our selves, but amongst others also.

[Page 81] 3. Because out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh: we cannot therefore sanctifie God with all our heart, unlesse we are ready to do the same likewise with our mouth.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those, which boast of the sincerity of their heart, and in the meane time take no care for the holinesse of their heart and words.

2. To exhort us to prepare our selves for this duty, Eph [...]s. 4. 29.

Doct. 8. All Christians should be ready not only to professe the truth, but also to give a good reason of their prof [...]ssion.

This is gathered from these words: to give an answer to eve­ry man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you. And this is not to be understood of all truth, but of the truth of religi­on; nor of all these things neither, which do any way pertain unto religion, but of the very substance of faith, hope, and re­ligion, as it is in the text: a reason of the hope that is in you: nor is it either a naturall reason that is required, or such a kinde of reason that may stop the mouths of every gainsayer; for this all are not able to do, nor doth it belong unto all; but some sure ground out of Gods word, whereupon our faith and hope should be built and strengthened against all kinde of temptations. Now here ariseth a question.

Quest. Whether such a reason is to be given to every one that asketh, or no?

Answ. No not absolutely to every one, because we are not to give it to Dogs and Swine, (that is, to uncleane persons) without a necessary cause, but to every one that asketh us, so that our profession or answer may probably at least turn to the glory of God, as it is in the text, to sanctifie God.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, 1 seriously to study our religion, to understand the grounds thereof. 2 Freely and in­geniously to declare and defend it upon a good occasion.

Doct. 9. Our profession of religion should be with meekenesse in respect of men, and with feare in respect of God.

Reason. Because by meekenesse we do good amongst men, and the feare of God will stirr us up to do our duty, and keep us within the bounds and limi [...]s thereof.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those, which keepe no mea­sure in their words and actions.

[Page 82] Doct. 10. A good conscience is very necessary as well in the sanctification of Gods name, as in the profession of his religion.

That is, a conscience bearing us witnesse, both of the grace of God towards us in Christ, and of the sincere desire and en­deavour of our hearts to please God in all things.

Reason 1. Because without such a conscience, our faith, confidence, fortitude, and liberty, doth languish and decay.

2. Because such a conscience freeth us from all that bur­then, wherewith otherwise we should be oppressed, and terri­fied, and affrighted from doing our duty.

3. Because it stirreth us up to all the duties of piety; for without the care of performing them, a good conscience can afford us no comfort.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us to have a care of our con­science, to keepe it pure before God and men.

The 17 verse is all one with the 20 verse of the 2 chapter.

Verse 17. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well-doing, then for evill-doing.

Verse 18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sinnes, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickned by the Spirit.

Verse 19. By which also he went, and preached unto the Spirits in prison.

Verse 20. Which sometimes were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the dayes of Noah, while the Arke was a preparing; wherein few (that is, eight) soules were saved by water.

Verse 21. The like figure whereunto, even baptisme, doth also now save us, (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurre­ction of Iesus Christ.

Verse 22. Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God, Angels, and authorities, and powers, being made sub­ject unto him.

[Page 83]The Analysis.

IN this part of the chapter, the Apostle urgeth that exhorta­tion which he had before proposed concerning an endea­vour to do well, even unto those that wrong us. And this he doth perswade them unto, 1, by a comparison which he makes betwixt those which suffer for evill doing: which comparison although it may seeme to be of a greater or lesser good, when it is said, It is better to suffer for well doing, yet it is indeed a dissimilitude, which is intimated by this [...] ex­tenuation, as appeares by the 19 and 20 verse of the second chapter. For it is thank-worthy and it will turne to our glo­ry, if we suffer for well-doing; not so, if it be for evill doing. 2. He confirmes this by the example of Christ, verse 18. who though he did most justly, yet suffered unjustly; which ex­ample he shewes to be of great force, by the end of his suffe­ring; because therefore he suffered, that he might bring us the same way unto God: which that he doth now effectually doe, he shewes by the cause thereof, to wit, life and glory, which he assumed unto himselfe by his divine Spirit after his suffering. And to shew that that effect, namely, the bringing of men unto God, doth proceed from this cause, to wit, the Spirit of Christ, the Apostle makes a comparison of the like, betwixt those things which the Spirit of Christ did hereto­fore in the dayes of Noah, and those things which he doth now since the comming of Christ in the flesh. Heretofore he preached the way of salvation, and patiently waited for the performance of obedience, upon the disobedient he inflicted condigne punishment, and a few that were obedient he saved in the Arke: so now also he preacheth the way of salvation, he waits for obedience, and by Baptisme, as it were a figure like unto the old Arke, he saves those that are obedient and have a good conscience before God, and that by the glorious life and power which he hath in heaven since the time of his resurrection, verse 21, 22. All which things rend hereunto, that we should hold fast a good conscience, even when we are evill intreated; because it is better as he said before, verse 17. and hath now shewed as well by the example of Christ, as by [Page 84] his effectuall dispensation throughout all ages, as it is, vers. 18, 19. of which we may sue more, if we look back to chap. 2. ver. 21. to the end. All the other things almost are explained in the answer to Bellarmine, about Christs descending into hell.

The Doctrines arising here-hence.

Doct. 1. It was the Spirit of Christ, which preached here­tofore from the beginning of the world by the Prophets and men of God, before that he appeared in the flesh.

This is gathered from verse 19.

Reason 1. Because the person of Christ was the same from everlasting in the unity of the Divine Essence, so that whatso­ever the Spirit of God did, that also may the Spirit of Christ be truly said to have done.

2. Because Christ was the Mediator of mankinde from the beginning of the world, in vertue and force: therefore what­soever the Spirit did, which belonged to the furtherance of the Churches safety, all that he did by vertue of Christs me­diation, and that no lesse then since his comming in the flesh.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us in the truth of Christs divine nature.

2. To comfort us and strengthen our faith, in that we have the same Teacher, which instructed the Church from the be­ginning of the world, and brought it to salvation; and con­sequently we imbrace the same religion, as touching the sub­stance of it, that all the faithfull imbraced from the beginning of the world.

3. To admonish us, never to reject or make light account of those things which are preached unto us out of Gods word, because it is the Spirit of Christ, which preacheth unto us those things, like as he preached unto others from the be­ginning of the world.

Doct. 2. They which do not obey the preaching of Christs Spirit, wilfully bring upon themselves everlasting damnation.

This is gathered from verse 19. 20.

Reason 1. Because in neglecting the preaching of the Go­spell, they neglect and refuse the only meanes that can keepe them from damnation, and bring them unto salvation.

2. Because they doe greatly dishonour Christ and his Spirit.

[Page 85] Vse. This may serve to admonish us, alwayes, when we come to the hearing of Gods word, to endeavour to have cir­cumcised eares and hearts, ready and willing to yeeld all obe­dience thereunto.

Doct. 3. God useth much patience and long-suffering towards the disobedient.

This is gathered from verse 20.

Reason 1. Because by this meanes Gods clemency and mercy is manifested.

2. Because by this patience of God all are invited, and ma­ny are drawne unto the obedience of faith.

3. Because this patience makes those that are stubbornely disobedient altogether inexcusable, and so justifies God in his just judgements.

Vse 1. This may serve to direct us, to give the glory of this patience unto God, when we see sinners to go unpuni­shed for a time.

2. To admonish us not to abuse this patience of God, but to make it a meanes for the amendment of our lives, and our own salvation, Rom. 2. 4.

Doct. 4. In the destruction of the disobedient, God hath a speciall eye over the faithfull; to save them from the destruction.

This is gathered from verse 20.

Reason 1. Because he disposeth his judgements according to his certaine and perfect counsell, not rashly or confusedly, therefore he passeth over whom he pleaseth.

2. Because the punishments of sinne should not fall alike upon the godly and wicked, for then he would not be a just disposer of them.

3. Because it stands upon Gods glory to save those that flye unto him, as he promised them in his covenant.

Vse. This may serve to comfort us, in the time of publick calamities, wherein God revengeth the wickednesse of men.

Doct. 5. God doth often times preserve those that are his, partly by the same meanes wherby he destroyeth others.

For it is said that the Arke saved Noah and those seven souls in the waters and by the waters. The same water that drown­ed others, by lifting up the Arke on high, was the meanes of their preservation. So Ieremy was delivered by the Babyloni­ans, by whom the Iewes were oppressed.

[Page 86] Reason. Because God can use the same instrument to pro­duce divers and contrary effects, and when he doth this, his glory is the more manifested; because thereby it appeares that the effect doth not depend upon the instrument, but upon God: nor doth this come to passe rashly, or by chance, but is ordered and directed by Gods certaine counsell.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, in the time of danger not to looke so much upon the meanes which God useth, as to depend upon God himselfe, who can turne any meanes unto the good of those that are his.

Doct. 6. Baptisme is such a meanes of our spirituall sal­vation, as the water of the flood together with the Arke, was heretofore of the corporall safety of Noah and his family.

This is gathered from verse 21. It is called the Antitype of that water, not because the water was the type of Baptisme, and Baptisme the exemplar of it, but because there is a typi­call representative similitude betwixt these two waters. And the similitude consists herein, that as the water of the flood lifted up the Arke and saved Noah and his family in the de­struction of the rest, so baptisme strengthning our faith, and lifting up our soules unto God reconciled in Christ, saves us in the mortification of our sinnes.

Reason. Because it is Gods institution.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those, which make little esteeme of baptisme.

2. To direct us, to seeke this right and proper use of Bap­tisme together with it and by it, and to apply it unto our selves to our comfort.

Doct. 7. The outward baptisme doth not save us of it selfe, but the inward.

This is gathered from verse 21. Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience.

Reason 1. Because outward baptisme is common to the hypocrites as well as to the faithfull.

2. Because it comes not unto the soule.

3. Because it hath no saving power in it selfe.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to put too much trust and confidence in the outward Sacraments, or to relye thereupon, that we are baptized and partake of the Lords Sup­per, [Page 87] but alwayes to seeke the spirituall grace of the Sacra­ments.

Doct. 8. A singular effect and signe of the inward bap­tisme and effectuall grace, is the answer of a good conscience to­ward God.

For when the Apostle meant to oppose inward Baptisme unto outward, in steed of the inward he puts the answer of a good conscience, as the proper effect thereof, by which it may be perceived and knowne. Now by the answer of a good conscience is meant all that confidence which we have before God of his reconciliation, which chiefely appeares in our prayers, and in a pious confession of the faith, and a holy care of obedience.

Reas. 1. Because then are we properly said to be saved, at least according to our apprehension, when our consciences are freed from the guilt and bondage of sin.

2. Because the peace of a good conscience is part of our glorification.

3. Because such a conscience makes us to goe on constant­ly in the way of salvation.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, to make it our chiefest care to keepe a good conscience toward God.

Doct. 9. Such a conscience and our salvation doth in a speciall manner depend upon Christs resurrection.

Reas. 1. Because in the resurrection of Christ, Gods sen­tence was declared, absolving us in him from all sinne and death. Rom. 4. 25.

2. Because Christ being raised from the dead, did power­fully accomplish that, which he merited by his death. Rom. 8. 34.

3. Because our consciences are lifted upwards unto Christ sitting in heaven.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, to fix the eyes of our faith upon Christ, as he was raised from the dead.

Doct. 10. Since the time of Christs resurrection, great is his glory and power in heaven.

This is gathered from the last verse.

Reason. 1. Because the time of his humiliation and empty­ing of himselfe was finished before.

[Page 88] 2. Because it was fit, that he which in singular obedience was mightily humbled, should afterwards be exalted un­to great glory.

3. Because this glory and power is necessarily required, that Christ might finish all things, which belong to the sal­vation of the Church.

Vse. This may serve to comfort us, against all dangers and feares, seeing we have such a Saviour in heaven.


Vers. 1. For as much then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arme your selves likewise with the same mind: for that he that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sinne:

Verse. 2. That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh, to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

Verse 3. For the time past of our life, may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lascivi­ousnesse, lusts, excesse of wine, revellings, banquettings, and abominable idolatries.

Verse 4. Wherein they thinke it strange, that you run not with them to the same excesse of riot, speaking evill of you:

Verse 5. Who shall give account to him, that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

Verse 6. For, for this cause was the Gospell preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the Spirit.

The Analysis.

THe Apostle having set before us the example of Christ, in this place he concludes the [...]ehence that which he proposed to be concluded chap. 3. v. 17. and before that v. 11. that is, that all Christians should eschew evill, & follow that which is good. And this conclusion he layes downe in such manner, that if a [Page 89] due proportion be observed betwixt Christ as our example, and Christians that are regenerated, and renewed according to his image, he shews it doth necessarily depend upon & flow from the example of Christ. He concludes with such a Syl­logisme as this:

  • All Christians should be armed with the same mind, concerning sinne and righteousnesse, as Christ himselfe was:
  • But Christ having suffered in the flesh ceased from sinne, and lived in the spirit unto God:
  • Therefore all Christians should be wholy bent, and endeavour all that they can to cease from sinne or the lusts of men, and live unto God, or the will of God.

Both the proposition & Assumptionare in v. 1. The conclusi­on in v. 2. The conclusion is illustrated by a comparison made betwixt the time past, and that which is to come; or betwixt that kind of life, which men are wont to lead before their calling, and that, which they should lead after they are called.

For the time past he affirmes, that we lived according to the manner of the Gentiles in all the lusts of the flesh, v. 3. And for the time to come, he denies that we should follow those lusts, but that we should live unto the will of God. v. 2. and the beginning of the 3. It may suffice us &c. where he intimates a reason also, why we should now leave off such courses, namely; Because we have too much offended God already in the time past, and if we should abuse his mercy and patience any longer, we could expect nothing else but the revelation of his just anger and indignation, to our eternall confusion. The same conclusion and Comparison is farther illustrated by anticipation of an obj [...]ction and difficulty, which might take off our desires and endeavours to change our lives, and live contrary to the fashion of others. And the objection is this; that it will seeme strange unto many; and for this very cause will they revile us, and speake evill of religion it selfe, verse 4. The answer is, that this is not our fault, but theirs; and they shall give an account for it unto God at the day of judge­ment, verse 5. Which judgement is set forth by a distribution of the object, and upon occasion of that distribution he makes a new argument to remove the fore-named difficulty out of our minds; namely, because the Gospell had the same end, and [Page 90] the same effect amongst the faithfull that are now dead; to wit, that they being condemned by men, did patiently beare that condemnation, and lived according to God in the spirit, verse 6.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. We should all arme our selves with such meditati­ons, as the contemplation of Christs death affoords as.

This is gathered from v. 1.

Reas. 1. Because we are thereunto called, that we should be made conformable unto Christ.

2. Because Christs death, or Christ crucified is a briefe E­pitome of all saving knowledge, 1 Cor. 2. 2.

3. Because by such meditations we doe more and more put on Christ, and by his power are our minds strengthened and fore-armed, as with a compleat armour, against all kind of temptations, and in this respect is this phrase, arme your selv [...]s, used in the text.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, to arme our mindes daily with godly and Christian meditations, that so we may not be exposed to the danger of temptations unarmed and naked; in the bearing of a blow, or suffering any violence, there is great difference betwixt a man that is armed, and one that is not armed.

2. To direct us, in our meditations chiefely to contem­plate upon Christ, and those things which pertaine unto his death and resurrection.

Doct. 2. He that hath true communion with Christ, hath ceased from sinne, and by meditation thereupon doth daily more and more cease from it.

This is gathered from verse 1, at the end.

Reason 1. Because our communion with Christ is by the Spirit of Christ, which makes us conformable to his death and resurrection, Rom. 6. throughout the whole Chapter.

2. Because in our conversion unto Christ, there is alwayes included an aversion from sinne by serious repentance.

3. Because such meditations are the ordinary meanes whereby the worke of the Spirit is perfected, and our repen­tance renewed and furthered.

[Page 91] Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those, that professe Christ in word, but in their deeds doe not cease from sinne.

2. To direct us, to presse such syllogismes and reasonings upon our consciences, Rom. 6.

Doct. 3. He that ceaseth f [...]om sinne, doth not live to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

This is gathered from verse 2.

Reason 1. Because the lusts of sinfull men are in themselves sinnes, and leade unto sinne.

2. Because these lusts fight against the soule, and we in our conversion have bound our selves to fight against them.

3. Because the will of God is the only rule of our life, which is altogether contrary to the lusts of the flesh.

Vse. This may serve to direct us in the triall of our state and condition. For looke how our life is sincerely directed in respect of the lusts of men, and the will of God, so may we certainely judge our selves to be either in the state of sinne, or in the state of grace.

Doct. 4. It seemes more then enough to the faithful, that before their conversion they so long followed the lusts of the flesh, and fashions of the world.

This is gathered from verse 3.

Reason 1. Because they are ashamed with a holy shame of those courses, Rom. 6. 21.

2. Because they receive no benefit by them, but repentance.

3. Because they see that it was Gods great mercy, that they were at length delivered from them, and from the death which they bring, in the same Chapter.

4. Because the rest of their time seemes but a little unto them, in respect of the duty which they have to do, in seeking and glorifying God.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, which deferre and put off the time of amending their lives, as if they had not yet sinned enough.

2. To admonish us, to redeeme the time, and spend it in advancing of Gods glory, and our own salvation.

Doct. 5. Amongst all the vicious lusts and courses of the world, luxury is one of the chiefest, whereby men walke in lascivi­ousnesse, excesse of wine and banquetings.

[Page 92] [...]eason 1. Because in these men do most of all pamper the flesh, and have no regard at all unto the soule.

2. Because by these the soule is drowned, as it were in the pleasures of the flesh, so that it cannot lift up it self unto God, and to divine things.

3. Because these make way for the devill, and all devilish sinnes; a [...] thereupon abominable idolatry [...]eemes to be joyn­ed with them in the text because by them many were brought to be p [...]esent at idolat [...]ous feasts, and [...]o to honour the idols themselves, though in their consciences they made no recko­ning of them.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to beware of these wicked courses.

Doct. 6. It seemes very strange to the men of the world, that the godly should refuse to live after that manner, as they live.

Reason 1. Because they think there is a kinde of happinesse in that kinde of life, which for any man to dislike, they can­not but wonder at it.

2. Because as long as they are carnall, they cannot rightly discerne those spirituall reasons, which make the faithfull to abhorre such conversation.

3. Because they measuring others by themselves, thinke that all men do gree [...]ily desire such kinde of pleasures.

Vse. This may serve to admonish the faithfull, 1. Not to thinke that they do live so, as their calling or profession doth require, unlesse they do so farre estrange themselves from the common courses of worldly men, that they make them to wonder at them. 2. Not to be troubled at such opinions of men, but to take their dislike, as a token of Gods good liking and approbation.

Doct. 7. By this alienation of mindes, which ariseth from the difference of the conversation, betwixt the beleevers and the unbeleevers, the regenerate and the unregenerate, it oftentimes comes to passe, that the unregenerate speake evill of the truth of God.

This is gathered from verse 5 at the end. For although some are so taken with the splendour of piety whlch shines forth in the godly that they glorifie God, as it is chap. 2. ver. 12. and it becomes a meanes of winning them, as it is chap. 3. [Page 93] verse 1. or at least that they are ashamed, as it is chap. 3. v. 16. Yet there are others which take occasion thereby to blas­pheme, chiefely, because the godly by abstaining from those lusts and courses, which they highly esteeme, seeme seriously to reprove them, as well in their deeds as their words.

Reason 1. Because all they that do evill hate the light.

2. Because [...]uch a separation in conversation of life is as it were a condemning of those from whom separation is made out of conscience and religion.

3. Because wicked men being blinded with anger and ha­tred, and udgeing of others by themsel [...]es, d [...]e imagine that this separation is usually made in hypocrisie, & simulation, not out of conscience and religion.

Vse. This may serve to comfort and strengthen our soules against the temptations and troubles which may arise unto us from such mens blasphemies.

Doct. 8. God will require an account from men for all such blasphemies, either in this life, or at the last judgement.

This is gathered from verse 5.

Reason 1. Because his Majestie is wronged more in these blasphemies, then in most of the other sinnes.

2. Because those sinnes are most hainous, and come neerest to the sinne against the Holy Ghost.

3. Because they directly tend to the hinderance of the kingdome of God, and the righteousnesse thereof.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, to take heed of all those, that do any way partake in such a sinne.

2. To comfort us: because God revengeth such injuries, we should commit themunto him.

Doct. 9. God keepes a just account of those things that are done to the faithfull, not only while they live, but also after their death.

For in that sense is he said to be ready to judge the quick and the dead, where by the quick and the dead the faithfull are most properly understood, as appeares by verse 6.

Reason 1. Because God alwayes lives, and his word and covenant lives.

2. Because it stands upon Gods glory, to defend the cause also of his servants that are dead, and to revenge their injuries.

[Page 94] 3. Because oftentimes the iniquity of the wicked is not come to its full measure, before the death of Gods children whom they have vexed.

Vse 1. This may serve to comfort us, as well in life as in death.

2. To admonish us not to judge rashly of Gods wayes in his patience and long-suffering; but to compose our mindes to a patient waiting for the wished event.

Doct. 10. The condition of the faithfull now living, and of those that lived heretofore in all ages, is wholly alike, as touching the substance of it.

This is gathered from verse 6. compared with the verse fore-going.

Rea. Because God is the same, & faith is the same; & on the contrary side also, the devill and the world are like themselves.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, not to give way to too much complaining of the present age, as if there had never beene the like before; but couragiously to go forward in do­ing our duty, that we may do that in our times according to our ability, which other faithfull men did in their time; who as it is sa [...]d of David, Acts 13. 36. after they had in their age served the will of God, fell on sleepe in the Lord.

Doct. 11. The short compendium of our whole Christian life, is, so to receive the Gospell, that renouncing the flesh we should in that respect be judged according to men, and live according to God in the Spirit.

This is gathered from verse 6.

Reason. Because therein consists all divinity.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, to make triall of our con­dition by this rule.

Verse 7. But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore so­ber, and watch unto prayer.

Verse 8. And above all things have fervent charity among your selves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sinnes.

Verse 9. Vse hospitality one to another, without grudging.

Verse 10. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifeld grace of God.

Verse 11. If any man speake, let him speake as the Oracles of God, if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth, that God in all things may be glorified throuh Iesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever, and ever, Amen.

The Analysis.

FRom the last discourse about the judgement of God, the Apostle takes occasion to presse his exhortation to the duties of piety, by that very argument. First therefore he layes downe that third argument for a ground, that the last judgement, the end of all things, is at hand; and thereupon concludes that we must seriously and diligently apply our selves to the duties of piety. And these duties he sets downe by an induction of the principall parts, 1 Prayer, with the adjuncts and helping causes thereof, to wit, temperance and fobriety, verse 7. 2. Mutuall charity, verse 8. which he sets forth, 1. By the singular care, wherewith we should labour for it above other vertues, in these words: above all things, and then by the degree, wherein we should have it, and exercise it in this word, fervent: of which exhortation he gives a rea­son also from the effect, for charity covers a multitude of sinnes. 3. To charity he joynes hospitality, verse 9. as it were a spe­ciall act of charity, whereof he shewes the due manner how it should be used, that it should be without grudging, that is, vo­luntary, not by constraint. 4. A mutuall communication of all the gifts of God, verse 10. And the reason of this duty is taken partly from the nature of the gift in respect of the au­thor [Page 96] thereof, that it is the grace of God, and partly from that relation, which they that have received the gift, have unto such a grace, to wit, that they are not masters, but stewards of it. And of this communication he propounds two chiefe kinds, which he describes and perswades them unto, verse 11. The first is communication in speech, or in the word of God, the description and rule whereof is, that it should be confor­mable to the nature of Gods word. The second is communi­cation in our abilities and wealth, the description and rule whereof is common to both, together with all the foregoing exhortations, taken from the end and benefit of them, that God in all things may be glorified; which glorification of God is set forth by a present declaration of it; to whom be praise for ever and ever, Amen.

The Doctrines drawne here-hence.

Doct. 1. The end of all things is at hand.

This is gathered from verse 7. Now this may be under­stood, 1. of the end of all men, that live together, because a generation of men soone passeth away, and so the end of all those is properly said to be at hand. 2. It may also by the same reason be understood of the finall condition of all those: because looke how every one dyes, so shall he continue for ever, either happy or wretched. 3. It may also in some sort be understood of the end of the world.

Reason 1. Because these are the last ages, after which there is no comming of Christ to be expected; but unto judgement, nor any change of worship, but upon the consummation of all things.

2. Because the Lord doth not delay the promise of his comming, but prepares all things for himselfe, and in their order shewes forth the judgements of that day which is ap­proaching.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to think with the evill servant that the comming of the Lord is farre off, but cer­tainly to look for it, and accordingly to prepare our selves for that day, Matth. 24. 44. 46.

Doct. 2. For the preparing of our selves aright against the comming of the Lord, it is chiefly required, that we should pray continually.

[Page 97] This is gathered from verse 7.

Reason 1. Because in our prayers we do stirre up our faith, hope, and desire touching those good things, which the Lord will impart unto us at his comming.

2. Because by our prayers we do turne aside and remove those evils from our selves, which make his comming dread­full unto sinners: for by flying unto Gods mercy, we do flye both from our sinnes, and from his wrath.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to be diligent in prayer.

Doct. 3. Temperance and sobriety should be joyned with our prayers.

This is also gathered from verse 7. It is the same which is said every where, Watch and pray.

Reason 1. Because the effectuall consideration thereof, that the end of all things is at hand, makes us to love this world the lesse, and so to use it, as not to abuse it, that is, soberly and temperately, 1 Cor. 7. 31.

2. Because these are the meanes whereby our prayers are helped and furthered; therefore it is said in the text, Be so­ber and watch unto prayer.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to make conscience of doing our duty in prayer.

Doct. 4. Above all things we should labour for brotherly love, that it may be sincere and fervent.

This is gathered from verse 8. Not that charity towards men is more excellent then faith hope and love towards God, but because it is the chiefest of those things which belong un­to men, and should be preferred before all those things, which might any way hinder it.

Reason 1. Because love is the summe of the whole law, and so containes in it all other duties.

2. Because charity covers a multitude of sinnes, as it is in the text: amongst men themselves, that they stirre not up anger, hatred, and contention, Prov. 10. 12.

2. Because charity also doth in some sort cover a multitude of our sinnes before God, to wit, that they procure not the revenge of his anger. For this it doth, as a signe and argu­ment, whereby we are the more assured of the forgivenesse of our sins, because we forgive others their offences, Mat. 6. 15.

[Page 98] Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to labour for charity.

Doct. 5. Hospitality is one of the principall acts of charity.

This is gathered from verse 9. So Rom. 12. 13. Heb. 13. 2.

Reason 1. Because in hospitality we do not only commu­nicate our goods unto our brethren, but our selves also by a fami [...]iar conversation.

2. Because it is more acceptable unto others to receive a little upon such an occasion, then in any other respect to re­ceive much, because the seasonablenesse and courteousnesse makes that which is given to be the better accepted.

3. Because by this meanes friendship is more increased then by other bountifull expences.

Vse. This may serve to reprove the mercilesse mindes and conditions of men, for luxury and coverousnesse hath quite taken away all hospitality.

Doct. 6. The duties of this kind should be performed with­out grudging.

This is gathered from verse 9.

Reason 1. Because God loveth a ready and cheerefull gi­ver, 2 Cor. 9. 7.

2. Because grudging makes the benefit unacceptable to him that receives it.

3. Because grudging is as it were a repenting for doing the duty, and so makes it void and of no effect.

Vse. The use hereof is, that in doing good we should watch over our mindes, that they be rightly and fitly disposed.

Doct. 7. It is an office of charity to minister unto others the gifts which we have received, of what kinde soever they be.

This is gathered from verse 10.

Reason 1. Because the gifts of God do in their nature tend unto the glory of God in promoting the good of men.

2. Because to this end are all the gifts of God committed unto us, as stewards of the grace of God, as it is in the text.

3. Because this very thing doth the communion of Saints require, to the believing and exercising whereof are all Chri­stians called.

Vse 1. This may serve to comfort us, in that there is no faithfull Christian, but hath some gift, whereby he may mi­nister something unto others.

[Page 99] 2. To exhort us, every one to use that gift which he hath, to the good of others.

Doct. 8. In exercising those gifts, which belong to the preaching or declaration of Gods word, our chiefe care should be, so to carry our selves as becomes the word of God.

This is gathered from verse 11 at the beginning.

Reason 1. Because every action rightly ordered should have a just proportion to its object.

2. Because so great is the dignity of Gods word, that with­out such a care it cannot be kept safe, without wronging of it.

3. Because all the power of our speech concerning Gods word is lost, if it take not its whole strength from the word it selfe.

Vse. This may serve to admonish, not only the Preach­ers, that they handle the word of God holily, faithfully, and gravely, but also all hearers, that they judge aright of the Ser­mon, and make distinction betwixt those Preachers, which speake as the Oracles of God, and others, which speake as a humane speech or oration; and that they themselves also, if upon occasion they should treat of the word of God in pri­vate, should doe it holily, gravely, and reverently, as it be­comes the word of God to be handled.

Doct. 9. He that with his wealth ministreth to the necessities of others, should do it according to the ability which he hath recei­ved of god.

This is gathered from verse 11, that is, he must do it not by constraint, sparingly, and slowly, but with a ready and cheerefull affection, to his power, and beyond his power vo­luntarily, 2 Cor. 8. 3.

Reason 1. Because this communicating is as it were a sacri­fice, wherewith God is well pleased, Heb. 3. 16.

2. Because from this sowing we may expect a great har­vest, of Gods blessing, 2 Cor. 9. 6.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to performe such duties according to the fashion and custome of the world, as if their example were our rule, but according to the ability which God hath afforded us.

Doct. 10. God is to be glorified in all things.

As the Apostle, 1 Cor. 10. 31.

[Page 100] Reas. 1. Because the glory of God is the end of all things.

2. Because our actions are not religious, but so farre forth as they are directed to that end.

3 Because God will glorifie those which glorifie him.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to imagine that our duty in glorifying God is restrained to the publick wor­ship, as many use to do, but to have a care of this duty in all things.

Doct. 11. God is to be glorified by Iesus Christ.

Reason 1. Because in the name and by the power of Christ we do all the good that we do, Col. 3. 17.

2. Because we should represent that which we doe, before God by Christ.

3. Because we cannot glorifie God by any other meanes, but by following the example of Christ, and observing his d [...]ctrine.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, that Christ should be all in all unto us.

Doct. 12. We should be so disposed towards God in Christ, that we should never think of his glory without an elevation of the heart to confesse God, which we should cherish and increase.

This is gathered from that doxologie, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever, Amen. For the Apostle breakes forth into this declaration of Gods glory, being as it were forced thereunto by the meditation of that duty, which he had now propounded, to glorifie God.

Reason 1. Because thereby appeares our inward dispositi­on to the performing of that duty.

2. Because it is the beginning of the deed.

3. Because God should raigne in our hearts, that we might not so much upon deliberation, as naturally, be stirred up, and moved towards him to the declaration of all those things which may make for his glory.

Vse. This may serve to reprove the common stupidity of men, who are nothing at all moved with those things, which do most neerely belong to the glory of Gods name.

Verse 12. Beloved, thinke is not strange concerning the fiery tri­all. which is to try you, as though some strange thing happe­ned unto you.

Verse 13. But rejoyce, in as much as ye are partakers of Christs suff [...]ings, that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with ex [...]eding [...]oy.

Verse 14. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye, for the Spirit of glory, and of God, resteth upon you: on th [...]ir part he is evill [...] of but on your part he is glorified.

Verse 15. But let none of you [...] as a murderer, or as a thiefe, or as an evill doer, or as a busie-body, in other mens matters.

Verse 16. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorifie God on this behalf.

Verse 17. For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospell of God?

Verse 18. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appeare?

Verse 19. Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their soules to him in well doing, as unto a faithfull Creator.

The Analysis.

THe Apostle doth here repeate that exhortation, to suffer persecution aright, which he had heretofore used againe and againe; because this exhortation was very necessary, and containes in it the primary scope of the Epistle. But in this place he repeates it as a pre-occupation or anticipation of an objection or difficulty, which might be made against the fore­going exhortation, wherein he perswaded them to a constant care of all the duties of piety. For they to whom this Epistle was to come, might thus thinke with themselves, that by this profession and practise of piety most grievous persecutions are like to befall them, and that contrary to their expectation, and therefore they are not to be requested by walking in the same way to heape so great evils upon themselves. Of these per­secutions [Page 102] therefore the Apostle warnes them. 1. In generall, that it should not seeme any new or strange thing to any Christian, thereby to be troubled at it, which he shewes, 1. From their proper end, that they are as it were fire to try the faith, sincerity and constancy of the faithfull, verse 12. 2. From the similitude that is betwixt the faithfull and Christ in suffering afflictions, in which respect they should be so farre from being troubled at it, that they should rejoyce, which is contrary to perturbation. The reason of which consequence is taken from the effect, to wit, because by suffering afflictions after this manner the faithfull come to partake of glory and eternall joy with Christ. 3. From the blessednesse which is adjoyned unto it, in respect of the communion of the holy Spirit, who when he is blasphemed by the persecutors, is pre­sent with those that suffer, and is glorified by them, verse 14. But that this which the Apostle hath spoken, may be rightly understood, he tels them, that this cannot be meant of every affliction, but of that alone which a man suffers for the name of Christ, verse 24. as it is explained, verse 15, 16. when a man suffers not for his owne deserts, but meerely as, or because he is a Christian: from which consideration the conclusion which he laid downe before is effectually deduced, verse 16. to wit, that in that respect he should not be ashamed, or so troubled, as if he were ashamed of the name of Christ, but therefore to glorifie God. 4. From the ruling cause which orders and governes such events, namely, the will of God, whereby he hath appointed a certaine time to exercise judge­ment in his house or Church, verse 17. at the beginning. For that which is there spoken of the time of judgement, is after­wards referred to the will of God, verse 19. 5. To the same purpose is the condition of the faithfull set forth by compa­ring the condition of the unbelievers, verse 17, 18. which is declared by such a connexion: If the condition of the faith­full be so hard, the condition of the unbelievers must be alto­gether intolerable; whence he doth closely intimate, that we must neither envie the unbelieving persecutors, or revolt from the faith by reason of persecutions. From all these things the primary conclusion is specially inferred, verse 19. that the faithfull in suffering afflictions should arme them­selves [Page 103] with true confidence, against all the perturbations and temptations which may arise unto them from afflictions.

The Doctrines drawne herehence.

Doct. 1. Afflictions and persecutions should not seeme a new or strange thing unto Christians.

This is gathered from verse 12.

Reason 1. Because they were foretold by Christ and his Apostles.

2. Because Christ himselfe and his chiefe Disciples were used after the same manner.

3. Because such is the disposition of the world, that we must alwayes expect such things from it.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us not to be troubled at these things, as it is in the text.

Doct. 2. The end and use of afflictions is for the triall of Christians.

This is gathered from the same verse. See the same doctrine Chap. 1. verse 7.

Doct. 3. The faithfull in suffering afflictions and persecu­tions are partakers of Christs sufferings.

This is gathered from verse 13.

Reason 1. Because when they suffer for the name of Christ, Christ suffers in them, according to that of the Lord, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?

2. Because they are made conformable unto Christs death, Phil. 3. 10.

Vse. This may serve to comfort us, because therein we have matter of rejoycing, as it is in the text.

Doct. 4. From these afflictions, if we suffer them joyfully, we have a sure argument of our eternall joy and glory to come hereafter.

This is gathered from verse 13.

Reason 1. Because they that are partakers of Christs death, are partakers also of his resurrection and everlasting life, Rom. 8. 17. 2 Cor. 4. 11.

2. Because that joy which we have in afflictions, is the first fruits of our eternall joy and glory.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us to learne to suffer joy­fully for the name of Christ, Iames 1. 2. Acts 5. 41.

[Page 104] Doct. 5. The reproaches which the faithfull suffer for god­linesse sake, are to be reckoned amongst those persecutions, which they suffer for the name of Christ.

This is gathered from verse 14.

Reason 1. Because they tend to the dishonouring and dis­gracing of us.

2. Because they shew that the mindes of the authors of them are as ready to bring greater evils upon us, i [...]occasion should serve.

3. Because reproaches doe worke more upon some mens minds then reall injuries.

Vse. This may serve to admonish, 1 all men, to take heed that they have no communion with the wicked world in scof­fing at any part of true piety. 2. The godly, to have a speciall care, that they be not moved at such reproaches, but to beare them with the same patience, that they ought to beare other persecutions.

Doct. 6. In these reproaches which the godly suffer for the name of Christ, the Spirit of God is in a speciall manner blasphe­med on the one side, and glorified on the other.

This is gathered from verse 14.

Reason. Because looke how farre forth the faithfull make profession of true piety, so farre forth are they the temples of the holy Ghost: therefore when in that respect they are reproached, the holy Ghost is evill spoken of: and when they hold fast and adorn their profession notwithstand­ing these reproaches, the same Spirit which is evill spoken of by the reproaches, is glorified by them.

Vse 1. This may serve for terror to those that do reproach others.

And 2. For comfort to those that are reproached.

Those things which are in the 13 verse, were handled be­fore cap. 2. & 3.

Doct. 7. God hath certaine and appointed times to execute his judgements.

This is gathered from verse 17 at the beginning.

Reason 1. Because the patience and long-suffering of God must have their time.

2. Because there is a time also required, that men may fill up the measure of their sinnes.

[Page 105] 3. Because there are certaine opportunities of time, where­in Gods judgements are executed with greater benefit, then they could be at other times.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to condemne God any way either of slownesse or rashnesse in respect of his judgements, but to rest well satisfied in his most wise orde­ring of all things.

Doct. 8. Judgement doth often begin at the house of God, that is, at the Church.

This is gathered from the same place.

Reason 1. Because the sinnes of those, which professe Gods name, do in a speciall manner wrong Gods name and his ho­nour, and therefore the more they offend God, the more ought they to be punished.

2. Because Gods chiefe care is, to purifie his Church by such chastisements.

3. Because God oftentimes useth the unbelievers as his in­struments to correct his Church; they must therefore be first tolerated, that they may accomplish Gods counsell, and af­terwards punished, because they have done so wickedly.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, not to be troubled in minde, when we see the Church afflicted before and above other people, but to acknowledge Gods divine ordering of it.

Doct. 9. The judgement which God exerciseth upon his Church, is a most certaine argument of the most sever [...] and heavie judgement that shall in its due time come upon wicked men and unbeleevers.

This is gathered from verse 17, 18. So Ier. 25. 29.

Reason 1. Because God deales with his Church as a Fa­ther, but he will deale with others as a Judge.

2. Towards the Church in the midst of judgement he re­members mercy, but towards the wicked and unbeleevers he exerciseth revenge.

3. Because to the beleevers judgement worketh together for good, but in the unbelievers it hath no such mitigation.

Vse 1. This may be for comfort to the faithfull in their afflictions.

2. For terrour to the unbeleevers in their persecutions and carnall security.

[Page 98] Doct. 10. They that suffer for the name of Christ, do pro­perly suffer according to the will of God.

This is gathered from verse 19. compared with ver. 14. 16.

Reason 1. Because their sinnes oftentimes are not the cau­ses of these afflictions, but the will of God to make triall of them.

2. Because it is the revealed will of God, that such affli­ctions are the lot of the faithfull, and the way by which they usually come to the kingdome of God.

3. Because this suffering of such afflictions is part of our obedience to the revealed will of God.

Vse. This may serve to comfort us against the trouble of these afflictions.

Doct. 11. They which suffer in this manner, may com­mend their soules unto God.

This is gathered from the same verse.

Reason 1. Because when they suffer for the name of God, God doth in some sort suffer with them, and therefore their cause is Gods cause.

2. Because in that duty which we performe unto God, as his servants, we may expect protection from him, as our Master.

3. Because while we are exposed unto danger for Gods sake, God cannot but take care of us.

Vse. This is a use of consolation, and it is explained and set forth by the Apostle Paul, 2 Tim. 1. 12.

Doct. 12. They should do this by well doing.

This is gathered from the same verse. So Rom. 1.

Reason 1. Because they cannot suffer for the name of Christ but as they suffer for well doing.

2. Because they cannot preserve the liberty of their confi­dence, but by a good conscience, that is, by well doing.

3. Because to commend an evill cause unto God, is, to make God as it were the Patron of evill.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to take heed, that we doe not deprive our selves of this great priviledge by evill doing.

Doct. 13. God is a faithfull protector and defender of those that commend their soules unto him.

[Page 99] Reason 1. Because it is easie for him to preserve our soules, as it was heretofore to make them: and in this respect he is called in the text, God the Creator not the Preserver.

2. Because it stands upon his glory to do this.

3. Because the fidelity and truth of his promises requires as much.

This may serve to comfort us in all straits and adversities: Let them commend their soules under afaithfull Creator, saith the Apostle.

Chapter V.

Verse 1. The Elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an Elder, and a witnesse of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed.

Verse 2. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the o­versight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly: not for fil­thy lucre, but of a ready minde.

Verse 3. Neither as being Lords over Gods heritage: but being ensamples to the flock.

Verse 4. And when the chiefe Shepheard shall appeare, ye shall receive a crowne of glory that fadeth not away.

The Analysis.

HEre is a speciall exhortation propounded towards the Elders, that they should performe their duty and office in a holy manner. The duty in gene­rall is set downe to be, to feed the flock, whereof they were made overseers, by a diligent over [...]ght and care of them, verse 2. at the beginning. And withall it is described by 3 conditions that are in a speciall manner required there­in, which are set forth by a dehortation from the three contrary vices, that are opposed to those three conditions. 1. The first condition is, willingly to feed the flock; the contrary vice whereunto is, to do it by constraint. 2. To do it readily and freely▪ the contrary vice unto this, is, to seeke after fifthy lucre thereby. 3. Not only in doctrine, but in [Page 108] example of life to go before the Church; the contrary vice whereunto is, to Lord it over the Church. This duty being thus declared and described, they are perswaded unto it by the reward that is adjoyned, which for that cause all faithfull shepherds do receive, verse 4. at the end. Which reward is set fo [...]th both by the internall nature of it, that it is a crowne of glory that fadeth not away; and by the authour and giver of it, to wit, that the chiefe Shepherd our Lord Jesus Christ, will give it; and also by the time of this giving of it, when the chiefe Shepherd shall appeare, that is, at the last day of judgement. Now this exhortation, that it might be the more effectuall, and might worke the more upon them, is urged and set forth by the person of Peter, who was the ministring cause thereof, 1. From the parity and fellowship of the same du­ty, as Peter an Elder prayed the other Elders to do their du­ty. 2. From the knowledge which he had▪ and the testimo­ny which he could give of the afflictions of Christ, which he suffered for the Church, the remembrance whereof should stir up all shepherds to a diligent care of the Church. 3. From that certaine expectation which he had of the glory to come, which glory he promiseth to all shepherds in the name of the chiefe shepherd.

The Doctrines drawne herehence.

Doct. 1. Those exhortations are most effectuall which are propounded in an humble manner.

This is gathered from verse 1. where the Apostle prayes, not commands, in humility and charity. So Phil. 1. 9. 1 Tim. 5. 1. He prayes the Elders also as a fellow Elder, although he was placed in a higher degree, as Apostle.

Reason 1. Because by this manner of doing it appeares, that he which exhorts doth not aime at his owne good, but the good of another.

2. Because by this manner of doing his zeale shewes it selfe to be the purer.

3. Because he, to whom such an exhortation is made, is honoured thereby, and to takes it the easier and better.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, in all our exhortations and admonitions to have respect unto this.

Doct. 2. It makes the exhortation the more eff [...]ctuall, [Page 109] when a man speakes out of certaine judgement and communion of aff [...]ction.

This is gathered herehence, that Peter makes way for his exhortation in that he was a witnesse of the sufferings of Christ, and so had a certaine knowledge of those things which belong unto Christ, and that he was partaker of the same glory; and therefore he was affected after the same man­ner himselfe, as he desired they should be.

Reason 1. Because knowledge gives ability and authority, and communion of affection addes zeale and charity to the exhortation.

2. Because these two will take away those obj [...]ctions, which usually hinde [...] the efficacy of the exhortation; name­ly, either that he gives his judgement of things that he doth not know, or else at least he is an unexperienced man, of whom it may rightly be said, If thou wert here, thou wouldest thinke otherwise.

Vse. This may serve to direct us to get knowledge of those things which we exhort others unto, and affections also an­swerable thereunto.

Doct. 3. Men should be exhorted in a speciall manner unto thes [...] duties, which belong unto their proper or particular functi­ons or calling [...].

This is gathered from verse 2. where the shepherds are ex­hored to feed the flock.

Reason 1. Because every mans particular function is that condition wherein God▪ hath placed him to advance his glory.

2. Because a mans faithfulnesse is most of all made triall of in that condition.

3. Because the duties of our generall calling should be exer­ [...]ed in every Christians particular condition.

Vse. This may serve to admonish every one to take greatest care of those duties which are proper to his calling or con­dition.

Doct. 4. It is the proper duty of a Shepherd, to feed the flock that is committed to his charge.

This is gathered from verse 2.

Reason 1. Because the shepherds are appointed for the edi­fication [Page 102] of the Church: now to feed is nothing else, but to use all meanes that are appointed by God to procure the edifi­cation of the Church.

2. Because Pastors are properly given to the faithfull that are converted, who as new borne babes should be nourished and brought up with milke and food, untill they come to per­fection.

3. Because the overseers of the Church should take most care of those things, that are most necessary for the Church; but it is most necessary for the faithfull being imperfect, to have their spirituall life preserved and increased by feeding.

Vse. This may serve to admonish, 1 The Ministers not to thinke that it is a light or common duty that lies upon them, but that the very life of the Church doth in some sort depend upon their labour and Ministery, and therefore so to carry themselves, as befits and becomes so great a duty.

2. The people, not to expect from their Ministers vain and light things which might tickle their eares, but to come to a Sermon as to the Lords Table, and seeke for spirituall food to feed their soules unto everlasting life.

Doct. 5. Pastors should performe their duties willingly, not by constraint.

This is gathered from the same verse. Now by constraint is meant that forcing which proceeds from outward things, whereby a man performes the part of a Minister in some sort, either to avoid poverty, or disgrace and infamy, or the cen­sure of others.

Reason 1. Because that which is done by constraint, comes not from the heart as from an inward principle, nor from the Spirit sanctifying; and therefore it is not a duty pleasing and acceptable unto God.

2. Because that which comes not from the heart, and is not done willingly is done only perfunctorily and for fashion sake, not with that diligence and care which God requires.

3. Because that which proceeds not from the heart and the deerest affection of the soule, doth not usually worke upon other mens mindes, and therefore is not effectuall to the edifi­cation of the Church, which is the end of the Ministery.

Vse. This should admonish us, to look not only to the un­derstanding, [Page 103] but also to the disposition of the will and heart in the Ministers of the Church.

Doct. 6. They should do the same of a ready minde, not for lucre.

Now by lucre is meant all kinde of worldly profit, which men acquire unto themselves, either in doing the thing, or in getting fame, or in gaining friends, and the like.

Reason 1. Because that which depends upon lucre or some such like end, must necessarily be applyed thereunto, and this is to corrupt the word of God, 2 Cor. 2. 17.

2. Because that which depends upon mutable things, that also it selfe is mutable and inconstant.

3. Because he which seeketh after lucre, is not a Minister of God, but of Mammon.

Vse. This may serve to admonish, 1 The Ministers not to follow after lucre. 2. The people not to suffer their Mi­nisters to be tempted by poverty, and so to be the lesse cheere­full and ready in performing their duty, Heb. 13. 17.

Doct. 7. The affectation of Lordlinesse should be far from Christs Ministers.

This is gathered from verse 3.

Reason 1. Because they are called to meere service, not to Lordlinesse.

2. Because Christ himselfe, whose Ministers they are, did purposely live amongst men as one that serveth, that he might leave an example unto those that should minister unto others in his name, Luke 22. 27.

3. Because the worke wherein they are imployed, is not subject to the command and authority of men. For men can­not command religion, but only perswade unto it.

4. Because the Lordlinesse of Ministers alienates mens mindes from their testimony, because they neither willingly subject themselves to such as affect Lordlinesse, and they sup­pose too that those men, whom they see to study their owne glory and power, do neither look after the glory of God, nor the good or the Church.

Vse. This may serve to admonish all Ministers, to take heed not only of all affectation but also all shew of Lordlinesse. Now these men have a shew of Lordlinesse, 1 That would [Page 112] have others in some sort to depend upon their authority.

2. Those that prescribe something as necessary to be believed or done, which is not taken out of Gods word. 3. Those that expound the will of God it selfe too imperiously, having no regard to the infirmity of those with whom they have to doe.

Doct. 8. Ministers should go before the people not only in doctrine, but in example also.

This is gathered from verse 3.

Reason 1. Because they are called to feed the flock with all their strength; and therefore they should edifie the Church not only by their words, but by their deeds also.

2. Because a wicked life doth either utterly destroy their preaching, or at least much weaken it.

3. Because a good example is of a singular force, in that it sheweth that that very thing may be done, which he preach­eth should be done.

4. Because it takes away all prejudice out of mens minds, and all suspicion of affecting Lordlinesse and vaine glory, when they see Ministers seriously to do that, which they pro­pound and perswade others to do.

Vse. This may serve to exhort, first, the Ministers, to la­bour to leade an exemplary life. Secondly, the people, to imi­tate the good life of their Ministers, for therefore are they proposed as examples. The common vices contrary to this duty, are: 1. That many observe those things only in their Ministers, which they may carpe at or calumniate, and not those things which they should take notice of, with intention to imitate them. 2. That many imagine that there is a speci­all kinde of holinesse belonging to Ministers, which others are not bound to labour for. 3. That many excuse their wic­ked courses by this pretence, that they are Lay-men, not Ec­clesiasticall or Clergy-men.

Doct. 9. Ministers should expect the j ust reward of their labour and care, not from men, but from Christ.

This is gathered from verse 4.

Reason 1. Because Christ is the chiefe shepherd, and Lord of the flock, as it is in the text.

2. Because they must expect many injuries from men, and those good things which doe happen, are not such, or so [Page 113] highly to be esteemed of, as that they should depend upon them.

3. Because they will labour to please him most from whom they expect their reward. Now they should please Christ, not men.

Vse. This may serve to comfort godly Ministers against those troubles, which they finde men to make against them.

Doct. 10. Their reward is a crowne of eternall glory.

Reason 1. Because glory is the reward of the faithfull for all kinde of obedience towards God. Now in the Ministery there is a speciall kinde of obedience.

2. Because those that did strive or runne lawfully in a race, there was wont to be a Crowne set before them; so for those that carry themselves well in the exercise of the Ministery, besides the glory common to all the Saints, there is a speciall kinde of addition prepared, which is like as it were a crown.

Vse. This may serve to exhort Ministers, couragiously to contemne all temporary ignominy and disgrace for this Crowne of eternall glory.

Doct. 11. This Crowne of glory shall be fully given at Christs second comming to judgement.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, patiently to persevere unto the end.

Verse 5. Likewise ye younger, submit your selves unto the elder: yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Verse 6. Humble your selves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.

Verse 7. Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.

The Analysis.

THe Apostle having in the former verses described the duty of the Elders towards the Church or the younger sort, and perswaded them unto it, he doth there-hence conclude the duty of the younger towards the elders by a comparing of [Page 114] things that are alike unto it, as the first word of the 5 verse shewes unto us, Likewise. This duty is in generall pointed out by subjection, which is set forth by the other duty, that is due not only to the Elders, but also to all the members of the Church, by reason of that nature which it hath common with the former; and it is also called subjection in those words, yea, all of you be subject one to another. Now this subje­ction as well unto the Elders as unto all, is first described what kinde of subjection it ought to be, to wit, not only outward, but proceeding from the inward subjection of the soule unto God, be clothed with humility. And that it is meant of humi­lity towards God may be gathered from verse 6. Secondly, He doth perswade them also unto this humility: 1. Because it is an ornament of the minde; that by the way. 2. From Gods blessing adjoyned, which followes thereupon, God gives grace unto the humble, which is illustrated by Gods curse con­trary thereunto, that fals upon the proud, God resisteth the proud. Thirdly, he doth urge and presse them unto this sub­jection towards God, verse 6. Humble your selves therefore; and he shewes the proper reason of this subjection, which is the mighty hand or omnipotency of God: and withall hee explaines that reason, which he had before propounded con­cerning the blessing and grace of God towards the humble, to wit, that by that grace they shall be exalted: the time of which exaltation is marked out, that it shall be in due time, that hee may exalt you in due time. In the last place by anticipation of a close, but weighty objection, whereby this subjection is u­sually made very difficult, he shewes the true manner thereof, to wit, that it should be joyned with that confidence, which casts all care upon God, so that no feare or worldly care can hinder this subjection, which confidence he doth perswade them unto by that effectuall providence which God hath over the faithfull for their good, verse 7, at the end, For he careth for you.

The doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. There is the like duty of the people towards their Pastors, as there is of the Pastors towards the people.

This is gathered from verse 5 at the beginning. Likewise ye younger. Now by the younger in this place is chiefely meant [Page 115] the flock, which depends upon the Pastors, because the Pa­stors and Presbyters were for the most part chosen of those that were elder in age, and therefore the greatest part of the flock consisted of youngers. Now their duty is said to be like, not for that it is in the same kinde, that the people should guide their Pastors, as the Pastors do gu [...]de the people, but be­cause there is the like reason of both their duties.

Reason 1. Because the same God and Lord both of Pastors & people, hath imposed and prescribed to both their duties.

2. Because that relation which is betwixt the Pastor and people, requires a mutuall intercourse of duty.

3. Because the Pastors labour and care is made void, if the people do not in some sort answer the same.

4. Because the Pastors care and labour, tending to the sal­vation of the people, deserves it.

Vs. This may serve to reprove those that are very curi­ous and rigid in exacting their Pastors duty, when in the meane time they are nothing carefull of their own dutie.

Doct. 2. The duty of people towards their Pastors consists chiefly in subjection.

Reason 1. Because their Pastors are set over them in Gods name.

2. Because faithfull Pastors propound nothing else to themselves to observe, but the will of God, whereunto sub­jection and obedience must necessarily be yeelded.

3. Because in the calling of their Pastors, they did either expresly or covertly at least promise this very thing.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those that come unto Ser­mons, as Judges, to play the Criticks, not to subject them­selves to the will of God, and such as cast off all discipline as an intollerable yoke.

Doct. 3. There is a kind of subjection also due unto all Chri­stians.

This is gathered from these words, Be yee all subject one to another.

Reason 1. Because as occasion shall serve, we should hum­ble our selves to performe the meanest offices unto our bre­thren.

2. Because we should submit our selves unto the private ad­monitions of our brethren.

[Page 116] 3. Because we should with all patience beare all the infir­mities of our brethren.

Vse. This may serve to reprove the arrogancy and pride of men, which cannot endure any such subjection.

Doct. 4. Humility is a great ornament.

Reason 1. Because humility is a singular vertue, and in some sort the foundation of all the rest.

2. Because it makes us acceptable unto godly men, to whom in this regard we are made more profitable.

3. Because it doth greatly commend us in the sight of God, when for his sake we are subject not only to our superiours and equals, but also to those of the lowest degree.

Vse. This may serve to refute all those, that seeke for ho­nour and reputation by arrogancy; and shunne humility as it were a vile debasing of a mans selfe.

Doct. 5. God resisteth the proud.

Reason 1. Because the proud resist the will of God.

2. Because they seeke unfitting things, or at least not after a due manner.

3. Because whatsoever proceeds from pride, turnes to the dishonour of God, to whom all subjection is due.

Vse. This may serve to condemne proud men.

Doct. 6. God giveth grace to the humble.

Reason 1. Because the promise of grace was made to hu­mility.

2. Because humility is the disposing and fitting of a man for to receive grace.

3. Because only the humble men have a worthy esteeme of Gods grace.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, greatly to labour for hu­mility.

Doct. 7. The strength and power of God should stirre us up to subjection towards him.

This is gathered from verse 6 at the beginning.

Reason 1. Because it were madnesse to resist the Almighty.

2. Because Gods omnipotencie is the protection of those that humble themselves before him.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us▪ not to suffer our selves so much as in thought to be led away from our obedience to­wards [Page 117] God, but from the meditation of Gods omnipotency and our own infirmity to increase daily more and more in hu­mility.

Doct. 8. God will exalt the humble in due time.

This is gathered from verse 6 at the end.

Reason 1. Because glory is the reward of obedience.

2. Because they glorifie God, and therefore God will ex­alt them according to his promise, Those that honour me, I will honour.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, to seek for true exaltation by humilitie and submission.

Doct. 9. They that humble themselves before God, may safely, and also should cast all their care upon God.

This is gathered from verse 7.

Reason 1. Because this is Gods covenant, that he will be alwayes all-sufficient unto them that walke before him.

2. Because God by a singular care and providence watcheth over those that have a care of his glory, & seek his kingdome, as it is in the text, He careth for you.

Vse. This may serve to comfort all the godly, because God hath freed them from all care; and they should imbrace this libertie by true faith, and putting their trust in him, and apply it to themselves.

Verse 8. Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary the De­vill, as a roaring Lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devoure:

Verse 9. Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in yonr brethren that are in the world.

Verse 10. But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternall glory by Christ Iesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Verse 11. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

[Page 118]The Analysis.

FOr conclusion of the whole Epistle, to the foregoing ex­hortations there is added one generall one, which doth most neerely belong to the scope of the Apostle, to wit, that notwithstanding all opposition, difficulty, and temptation, they should constantly persist and go forward in that grace, which they had received. Now this care is described, 1 by two duties, which belong to the due manner thereof, sober­nesse, and vigilancy. 2. The necessity of these duties is shew­ed by the grievous danger, to which otherwise they should be exposed. And this danger is set forth by the efficient cause thereof, the Devill, of whom the Apostle makes a descripti­on to that purpose: 1 By the opposition and enmity which he hath against us; in respect whereof he is called, our adver­sary or enemy. 2. By the manner and degree of that enmitie, that it is joyned with cruelty, as of a roaring Lion. 3. That besides this cruelty there is over and above in him very great diligence and greedinesse to do us hurt, in these words: seek­ing whom he may devoure. Now the Apostle gives us warning, that we must not yeeld to this enemy and danger which he threatens us, but resist it, verse 9 at the beginning, which is nothing else, but not to suffer our selves to be removed by his temptations from the grace of God: and the chiefe meanes of this resistance he shewes to consist in the stedfastnesse of our faith: which faith may in this respect be wonderfully con­firmed by the example of our brethren in the world, who have experience of the like afflictions and temptations of Sathan. Agreeable to this exhortation he addes a prayer verse 10. Be­cause the successe of all our endeavours depends upon the grace and blessing of God: And in this prayer he beseecheth God to strengthen the faithfull, and make them perfect in all grace, at the end of the verse, make you perfect, stablish, strength­en, settle you. The arguments whereby he confirmes their faith that they shall obtaine this petition, are two: 1. The all-sufficiencie of the grace of God in it selfe, in which respect this title is given unto God, that he is the God of all grace. 2. The communicating of this grace in the calling of the [Page 119] faithfull, in these words: who hath called you: the grace of which calling is shewed, first, by the end and scope, that it is, to partake of the eternall glorie of God. Secondly, by the principall cause, in Christ Iesus. Thirdly, by the condition that goes before the accomplishment of this calling, and pro­perly belongs to this exhortation of the Apostle unto constan­cie in afflictions, to wit, because we are so called unto eternall glorie, that in the meane time we must suffer afflictions, after that ye have suffered a while. In the last place upon occasion of this prayer he addes a religious doxologie, glorifying God, verse 11. wherein is contained both the last end of that petiti­on, and a confirmation of the same that it shall be heard; as also an indirect exhortation to the faithfull, to bend all their care thereunto, to glorifie Gods name really and effectually, by persisting in the grace of God.

The Doctrines arising here-hence.

Doct. 1. We had need to watch continually. Be vigilant.

Reason 1. Because sinne and danger doth naturally steale upon us, if we do not resist it.

2. Because we cannot do our duty without diligent care and labour, and therein consists the manner of watching.

3. Because if we could avoid danger, & obtain our desires, if we did not seeke it with care and diligence, it would be no praise to us, nor peace of conscience.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, to imitate watchmen, which watch and ward to keepe the Citie; the like diligence should we use in keeping our soules, to examine all that goes in and out, our thoughts, affections, words, and actions, toge­ther with the occasions of them, what they are, whence they came; and whither they tend.

Doct. 2. That we may watch as we ought to do, it is requi­red that we should be sober.

Now by sobernesse is meant the moderation of our affecti­ons touching all worldly things.

Reason 1. Because the cares of this world do so burthen the soule, that they leave no place for spirituall cares.

2. Because the care of the world doth draw and distract the minde, so that although it doth not altogether exclude religion, yet it doth diminish and weaken it.

[Page 120] 3. Because under the shew of some worldly profit, pleasure, or honour, we do oftentimes admit of those things, which be­tray and destroy our soules.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us not to drown our selves in the things of this world, but so to use the world, as if we u­sed it not, 1 Cor. 7. 31.

Doct. 3. We have such a spirituall enemy, that we had need to watch and ward continually against him.

Reason 1. Because he is full of spirituall malice and craft.

2. Because his diligence is answerable to his malice.

3. Because he is most cruell, seeking not to bring some small inconvenience upon us, but our utter destruction.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, never to be secure, but day and night to be mindfull of that danger wherein we are.

Doct. 4. We must couragiously resist the Devill.

This is gathered from verse 9.

Reason 1. Because he is such an enemy, that we can make no peace or league with him.

2. Because they which yeeld unto the devill give them­selves up into his hands, as being overcome.

3. Because the courage of our minde to resist is a great part of spirituall victory.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to strengthen our mindes in all things to make this resistence.

Doct. 5. The chiefe power of resisting, consists in a stedfast faith.

This is gathered from these words, Whom resist stedfast in the faith.

Reason 1. Because faith layes hold upon Christ who over­came the devill, and in him they lay hold of victory it selfe.

2. Because saith laies hold of the truth of all the promises, whereby the soule is invincibly fortified.

3. Because faith, seeing it is the foundation of all grace, if it be stirred up and strengthened, it confirmes and strengthens also all the other vertues.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, to have a speciall care to raise and build up our faith.

Doct. 6. The examples of other beleevers doe make much for the confirmation of our faith in afflictions & other temptations.

[Page 121] Reason 1. Because thereby it appeares that such conflicts are not contrarie to faith and pietie.

2. Because therehence we have a cloud of witnesses, to shew, that at length we shall obtaine the victorie by faith.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, to stablish our mindes more and more by such meditations.

Doct. 7. All those things which we desire, either for our selves or for others unto salvation, we must aske of God.

This is gathered from verse 10, compared with the forego­ing verse. For all those things which the Apostle had before required of the faithfull, he doth now at the end of the Epistle in their name crave of God, and he askes it with discretion, as appeares by that particle, But as if he should have said, Although all these things which I have proposed unto you by way of admonition, exhortation, and consolation, are duties which you ought necessarily to do, yet it is not to be expected, that you shold accomplish it by your own strength: I do therefore call upon God, (which you likewise should al­wayes do) that he would increase his grace more and more in you, whereby you may receive both to will and to do all these things.

Reason 1. Because of our selves we can doe nothing that is good.

2. Because in such like purposes and endeavours we are let­ted and hindred by divers temptations, and such as are most strong through our infirmitie.

3. Because all our spirituall life proceeds from God, and of him should we aske it.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, not to rest in good purposes and intentions, but alwayes to seeke for grace from God, to accomplish the same happily.

2. To direct us, when we reade, heare, and meditate upon Gods word, to water it, as it were, with our prayers, that it may be fruitfull.

Note. By such conclusions of the Apostles, wherein they do close up their Doctrine with prayer, the Ministers e­specially are warned and admonished, after their Sermons to desire God to give both themselves and the people grace to [Page 122] observe those things, which they have learned in the Sermon: and others also are admonished diligently and earnestly to seek the same, both in publick with the Minister, and in pri­vate by themselves.

Doct. 8. We stand in need of manifold grace.

As it is set forth by divers words in the text: Make perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle, which may be thus distinguished, that to make perfect is to adde those degrees of grace, which are yet wanting: to stablish, is to protect and defend from temptations and dangers: to strengthen is to give inward pow­er and strength: and to settle, is to fasten the root it selfe of grace more and more.

Reason 1. Because all those good things which we have, we have but in part.

2. Because we are assaulted by continuall temptations, and are over and above prone to revolt.

3. Because great and manifold is that perfection, whereun­to we are called.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to rest in the be­ginninge, but by much prayer to aske much grace of God.

Doct. 9. God is the fountaine and author of all grace.

For this title is given unto God in this place, because it is most agreeable to the petition for manifold grace. For Holy Men in their prayers day hold of that in God, and propose those titles of God unto themselves, which make most for the furtherance of those prayers which they make.

Reason 1. Because God hath in himselfe infinite riches of grace.

2 Because grace is not given but by grace, and not for any merit of our own.

3. Because every degree and all kinde of grace is revealed and exhibited unto us by God in the Gospell.

Vse 1. This may serve to direct us to build up our selves in this beliefe of Gods grace.

2. To admonish us, not so to rest in that grace which we have received, as if there were nothing farther to be looked [Page 123] after, because God is God not of this or that particular grace, but of all grace.

Doct. 10. The chiefe effect of this grace, which is in us, is our calling.

Reason 1. Because before our calling we lye in sinne and spirituall death.

2. Because by our calling we come to the hope of eternall glory; who hath called you into his eternall glory, as it is in the text.

3. Because in our calling wee are ingrafted into Jesus Christ, that by him we are brought unto this glory, who hath called you unto eternall glory in Iesus Christ, as it is in the text.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, to labour to make our effectuall calling more and more sure.

2. To exhort us, to give God all the thankes for this cal­ling, and to leade a life answerable thereunto, which seemes to be aimed at in the text, viz. that for this eternall glory where­unto we are called, we should contemne all worldly things, whether good or evill.

Doct. 11. The sufferings of this life are not repugnant to the comfort of this glory.

Reason 1. Because we suffer but a while▪ for although the time of affliction may seeme long, yet it is but short, if it be compared either with eternall death, which the wicked shall suffer, and we have deserved; or with eternall glory where­unto we are called.

2. Because these afflictions are the way, whereby accord­ing to Gods wil we come unto glory.

3. Because glory it selfe appeares the more glorious for the afflictions going before.

Vse. This may serve to comfort us against all the sufferings of this life.

Doct. 12. For this grace of God we should give all glo­ry unto God.

This is gathered from verse 11.

[Page 124] Reason 1. Because therein consists our thankfulnesse.

2. Because therein also consists the perfection of the work of grace.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to give place to luke-warmenesse, but to make such high reckoning of the saving grace of God, that upon every mentioning thereof our mindes should be stirred up sincerely to glorifie the name of God, and alwayes endeavour so to do.

The end of the first Epistle.

A BRIEFE ANALYSIS of the Second Epistle Generall of Saint PETER.


Verse 1. Simon Peter, a Servant, and an Apostle of Iesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousnesse of God, and of our Saviour Iesus Christ.

Verse 2. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you, through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

The Analysis.

SUch kinde of writings, as well Ethnick or pro­fane, as sacred, are usually divided into three parts, whereof the first is, the Superscription, Salutation, and Preface. 2. The Epistle it selfe. 3. The Subscription or Conclusion. But more accurately me thinks, we may say, that the preface and conclusion are only adjuncts of the Epi­stle, which depend upon the Epistle it selfe, and are also use­full thereunto. But in this Epistle only one of these adjuncts is used, namely, the Preface. For there is no subscription made, or any such conclusion, as is used in the Epistles of Paul, and in the first of Peter. The Preface is contained in foure verses, and it consists of two parts, a salutation, and a confirmation of the salutation: that in the two first, this in [Page 126] the third and fourth verse. In the salutation there are those three things expressed, which are in every action; namely, the agent, the action it selfe, and the object of it. For so is there the person saluting, the persons saluted, and the salutation it selfe. The person saluting is described, first, by his name ad­joyned. Secondly, by his office adjoyned, and that both ge­nerall, that he is a servant of Jesus Christ, and speciall, that he is an Apostle of his. The persons saluted are described by a speciall adjunct, which is in stead of the forme, namely, by faith: which faith is set forth, first, by a comparison of the like, that it is like precious with the faith of the Apostles. 2. By the principall efficient cause, God and Jesus Christ. 3. By the meanes thereof, viz. righteousnesse. The confir­mation of the salutation containes, 1. the good that is wish­ed, which consists of two parts, Grace, and peace. 2. The de­gree and quality of this good, be multiplyed. 3. The helping cause of this multiplication of good, which is the know­ledge of God and Iesus Christ.

This is the Analysis.

As for the person, he hath a double respect. For he is here considered as the Author of the Epistle, and also as the Author of the Salutation: in the former respect we have these Do­ctrines.

Doct. 1. The very names of Christs famous Disciples, were heretofore of great force for the confirmation and advance­ment of the truth in the Church.

For to that end did the Apostles usually set downe their names in the Epistles, which they wrote unto the Churches.

Vse. This may bee for exhortation, that we also accord­ing to our abilities should labour so farre with those amongst whom we live, that our names may be like precious ointment, and may make something for the edification of others.

2. It may serve to reprove those which so carry themselves, that they are a disgrace to godlinesse, and to the Church.

In the latter respect the person yeelds us this observation.

Doct. 2. The salutation of the Apostles and Ministers of God is more highly to be prized.

Reason. Because it is not only a good and godly prayer, as are the salutations of all the faithfull, but it is also a ministeri­all [Page 127] application of the good things which God communicates unto us by them. For it proceeds not only from a pious af­fection, but from their singular office and duty.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to neglect or con­temne such blessings, whether they be publick or private.

Doct. 3. It is an honourable title, if a man be rightly and deservedly called a servant of God or Christ.

Reason. Because the chiefest men in the Church of God alwayes gloried in this title; not only the Apostles and Pro­phets, but also Kings and Princes, as we see in David.

Vse. This may serve to comfort poore Christians that have no titles whereof to boast. For if they be the servants of God and Christ, they have no cause to envie others, or to complain of their owne condition. Now that it may be knowne who are the servants of God, we must know that there are two things, as it were essentiall to a servant, 1. To depend upon his Masters will and pleasure, for direction in his worke. 2. To referre all that he hath to the use and profit of his Ma­ster, not to his owne. So also every faithfull servant of God, 1 depends wholly upon God for the direction of his life, not upon himselfe and his owne counsell, nor upon the examples and customes of the world, much lesse upon the suggestions of the flesh and the devill. 2. He referres himselfe and all that he hath to advance and set forth the glory of God.

Doct. 4. Those servants of Christ which are called Apo­stles, have the chiefest authority in the Church of God.

For that is the reason why Peter saith that he is an Apostle of Jesus Christ. All the faithfull are Christs servants, but they are not Apostles: even the ordinary Ministers themselves, although in a large sense they may be called Apostles and Em­bassadours of Christ, yet not in that sense as Peter, Paul, and the like are called. For the word Apostle, in this and the like places, signifies not only an Embassage, but a singular privi­ledge or prerogative in that embassage. Now the priviledge of the Apostles above other Ministers consists in these foure things: First, In the manner of the embassage, viz. that they were called neither of men, nor by men but immediately of Christ. Secondly, in the office imposed upon them by vertue of this embassage, viz. that they were chiefly sent to plant [Page 128] Churches, to feed and build them up. Thirdly, in the object whereabout their labour should be imployed, viz. that they were sent not to any one Church, but to divers, and for the conversion of the whole world. Fourthly, in their gifts and assistance of the Spirit, which alwayes accompanied this their embassage, viz. because in executing this their office, as well in preaching as in writing, they were freed from all errour. As in the Creation of the world God first made light, and af­terwards set some lights in the Firmament of Heaven to give light upon the Earth: So also in the re-creation and restituti­on of the world, God first gave light in Christ himselfe, who was the Sonne of Righteousnesse, as he is called in Scripture, and afterwards ordained the Apostles, as great lights, to bring this light upon the Earth. And this is it which our Sa­viour saith unto them: Ye are the light of the world.

Vse 1. This may serve to exhort us, to give God thanks, that he hath not left us in darknesse, to wander at uncertainties, but hath set up these shining lights for us, by whose meanes we might be directed unto heaven.

2. To admonish us, to observe also and believe those things which they have prescribed us. For we must receive the wri­tings of the Apostles after the same manner, as we should re­ceive Christ himselfe, if he were with us on earth.

3. To refute the Pope, who brags that he is an Apostle, and hath Apostolicall authority, (whereupon also he cals his seat at Rome, Apostolicall,) when as he hath not so much as one of those conditions, which are necessarily required to make an Apostle.

Hitherto of the person saluting. It followes now to speak of the persons saluted, where we have these Doctrines.

Doct. 1. The Apostles wrote not properly to the unbelie­vers, but to the Church.

For so here and elsewhere are they described to whom the Epistles are sent.

Reason. Because the preaching of the Gospell, not the writing, is the effectuall meanes of conversion. The writing and reading do more properly serve for the confirmation and edification of those that are converted, then for the first con­version.

[Page 129] Vse. This may serve to exhort, first of all, that they will principally apply themselves unto Sermons. Secondly, those that have received some benefit by Sermons, that they would also diligently apply themselves to the reading of the Scrip­ture, that they might more and more confirme and edifie themselves.

Doct. 2. Faith is the proper marke of difference, whereby the Church is distinguished from all other societies.

For therefore are the Christians here described by faith, that they may be distinguished from all other men: and the same which in other Epistles are wont to be called the elect, the called, the Churches of God, those which are in God the Fa­ther, and in Jesus Christ, are in this place barely called the faithfull.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, if we will make our calling and the condition of our salvation sure, then to la­bour especially to obtaine faith, and also to increase it more and more.

Doct. 3. The faith of Christians is a most precious pro­fession.

Therefore it is here called precious faith; and in the for­mer Epistle, Chap. 1. v. 7. faith is said to be more precious then gold that perisheth.

Vse 1. This may serve to exhort us, to make more account of faith then of all worldly things, according to that of Ch [...]ist: What shall it profit a man to gaine the whole world, and lose his owne soule, or faith?

2. To comfort poore Christians which have no possessi­ons in this world. For if they have true faith, they have that which is more excellent then silver and gold.

Doct. 4. The faith of common Christians is as precious as was the faith of the Apostles.

Which is not to be understood of the degree or quantity, but of the nature or quality.

Reason. Because the faith of all Christians layes hold of the same good, viz. Christ and his benefits. Hereupon Paul cals it common faith: for as one that is sick of the Palsie, that ta­keth some precious thing with a shaking hand, doth possesse it as well as the other, that is strong; so the faithfull, though [Page 130] they be weake, if they do truly lay hold of Christ, have him to be their Saviour as well as they that are most strong.

Vse. This may serve to comfort weake Christians; for if they have true faith, though it be but like a graine of Mustard seed, they have the same comfort that the Apostles themselves had. If they be truly knit unto Christ, though it be but with a slender thred as it were, yet they hold Christ as well as they that are tyed unto him with the strongest cords: which yet is not so to be taken, as if we were not to seeke for a stronger and surer faith; for although the weake possesse the same good that the strong do, yet they have not the same fruit and bene­fit of this possession.

Doct. 5. The cause of this precious faith is not in any man, but in the righteousnesse of God and Christ.

Now by righteousnesse is not meant any recompence of desert; but the faithfulnesse and truth of the promises, which depend upon the meere goodnesse of God. And these promi­ses made unto Abraham himselfe, that his seed should be as the starres of heaven, and the sand of the Sea, out of all nati­ons; and they were afterwards often repeated by the Pro­phets.

Use 1. This may serve to refute those, that ascribe it unto mans free will; so that first they make the calling of the faith­full to be uncertaine, as if the promises of God could be made void; and then they take away the glory it selfe of mans con­version from God, and give it unto man.

2. To exhort us, to give God thankes, for this so incompa­rable a good.

The Doctrines that arise from v. 2.

Doct. 1. All spirituall good things, are contained in these two words, Grace and peac [...].

For by Grace is meant both the free favour of God, and al­so the application and manifestation thereof in the hearts of the faithfull, by the operation of the holy Ghost; in the word and Sacraments. And by peace is meant quietnesse of mind, which is the fruit of grace. So that Grace is the first benefit, and Peace the last. And therefore all benefits that passe be­tweene are included therein, as in two extreames. Hereupon in all the Epistles almost the Apostles prayer and salutation [Page 131] is contained in these two: To Timothy and Titus, he addes mercy also, Grace, mercy and peace. But that is only an ap­plication of the same thing, which is signified by grace, and for a peculiar reason is added in those Epistles, because Ti­mothy and Titus wanted a speciall kind of grace, in respect of the service, which they did undergoe in the Churches, in re­gard of their age, and those divers temptations, whereunto they were obnoxious in that Service. In the old Testament peace onely was usually wished in their salutations, without any mention of Grace; but yet grace also at that time was understood: But in the time of the new Testament, which is the time of grace, and wherein all things are more fully deli­vered, it was most fitting, that grace should be named in such l [...]ke salutations.

Vse. This may serve to exhort and direct us, above all things to wish grace and Christian peace unto all those, to whom we are well-wishers.

Doct. 11. The desires of the faithfull are chiefly for those spirituall good things, Grace and peace.

Reason. The Reason of the Collection is this, because the Apostle in this beginning of the Epistle, labours to get the good will of those to whom he writes, by shewing the prayer that he had made for them: Now he could not effect this, if his prayer were not according to their desire; for if he should have wished any of those things, that they cared not for, such a wish would have done no good with them.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us all, to examine our selves according to this rule. For if wee make no reckoning at all, of the meanes and instruments of grace, but doe reject or de­spise those, that labour most to procure this grace and peace for us, we have cause to feare, that we are yet farre from the nature, and disposition of true beleevers.

Doct. 3. They which have gone farthest in faith and grace, have yet need of grace.

This is gathered therehence, that the Apostle wisheth grace unto those, that have obtained like pretious faith, with the A­postles themselves.

Vse. 1. This may serve to refute the Papists of their merits.

2. To exhort us to humility, and continuall prayer for the grace of God.

[Page 132] Doct. 4. Without Grace, there is no true peace.

Grace is the cause and foundation of peace, peace the ef­fect and fruit of grace; it is the inheritance, which Christ left unto his disciples alone, Iohn 14. 27. Isay 48. last. For this peace is not an externall and worldly peace, but spirituall and internall. Before we are partakers of grace, we are called in Scripture, Gods enemies, so that we doe wage a kind of warre against God himselfe, and therefore also against the Angels of God, and other of his creatures. Now by grace, and by it alone is peace made.

Vse. This may serve to refute and reprove the folly of those men, which so please themselves, in that outward quietnesse which they enjoy, when in the meane time, they are utterly void and ignorant of the grace of God.

Doct. 5. We must seeke not only for grace and peace, but also for great abundance of it.

This is gathered from that word, Grace and peace be multi­plyed. For the good things of that grace are such, that they cannot be too much: in this there is no sinning in excesse. Hence it is that the Apostle Paul alwayes exhorts the faith­full, and prayes also that the faithfull may abound more and more in all grace. And to the Ephesians he proposeth the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of this grace, that they may be rooted and grounded in it, Chap. 3. verse 18.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute and condemne those, that so rest in the present grace which they have, or seeme to have, that they looke for no more. Such do those men seeme to be, that thinke they know enough, beleeve enough, love enough, &c. And therefore they neglect both the publick and the pri­vate meanes, whereby they might be farther edified. The state of a Christian in this life is a state of building, not perfection: therefore as he would shew himselfe to be a foolish builder, that should rest in the middle of his worke, and not make up the perfect structure, so also in a Christian life.

2. To exhort us to stirre up our selves, and labour for more abundant grace and peace.

Argument 1. The first argument may be taken from the nature of grace and peace, which is such, that he that hath once tasted the sweetnesse thereof, cannot but desire a fuller [Page 133] draught of it, 1 Pet. 2. 2. 3. Desire the sincere milke, &c.

Argument 2. From the imperfect degree, that we have yet attained: We are for the most part, as new borne babes, as the Apostle speakes in the same place.

Argument 3. From the will of God, to whom nothing is more acceptable, then that we should seeke for plenty of his grace, Isay 55. 2. Prov. 9.

Argument 4. From the sinne or guilt, which followes the neglect of that duty. For as amongst men, if one should set before us most precious wares, and should commend them, and also offer them freely unto us, he could not but take it ill, if we should refuse them: so much more may we think that Gods anger is incensed towards those, that neglect and despise the riches of this grace, that he hath set before them and com­mended unto them.

Doct. 6. God is the only author of grace and peace.

This is gathered from 1 Peter 5. 10.

God is called the author of all grace. Hence by a kinde of appropriation he is called the God of grace, as in another place he is called the Father of mercies, and God of all consolations; and grace also in this signification is called the grace of God; so also of peace we finde in Scriptures, that God is called the God of peace, and true peace is every where called the peace of God.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute all the Papists, that mani­fest the contrary both in their words and practise. For they are wont to call the blessed Virgin the Mother of grace: so also they runne unto her and to other Saints, as if they were the authors of grace and peace.

2. To instruct and confirme us in this truth, that the be­stowing of grace and peace depends upon the meere good will and pleasure of God. For when God is called the God of grace, it is meant also that he is the Lord of grace, who can accord­ing to his good pleasure give it to whom he will, and deny it to whom he will. This is gathered from 1 Thess. 5. 23. and 2 Thess. 3. 16. for he that in the former place is called the God of peace, in the latter is called the Lord of peace. Therefore when we see that grace & peace is granted unto some, & de­nied unto others, we should rest satisfied in the good will of God, according to the example of Christ, Matth. 10. For by so doing we give glory to God, as is evident.

[Page 134] 3. To exhort us, to pray unto this great God to give us grace and peace.

Doct. 7. Jesus Christ is the beginning of all grace and peace.

God is the first and principall author, and so also Christ, as he is God: but as he is God and man, our Mediatour, so he is the beginning ordained by God, as the head, from whom all grace is to be derived unto his members, as into the vessels of grace; so that God is as it were the first and principall fountaine, Christ as the secondary fountaine, in whom is hid all grace that is to be given unto the faithfull, and the faithfull themselves are the vessels that draw and receive this grace, which runnes into them from these fountaines, and the word and Sacraments are as the channels.

Vse. This may serve to informe us of the manner, how we should seeke for grace, viz. that we should alwayes go unto God in Christ, because extra Christum, out of Christ, he is unto sinners not a God of grace and peace, but of vengeance, and a consuming fi [...]e.

Doct. 8. True faith is the instrumentall cause of grace and peace, and of the multiplying of both, whereby it is derived un­to us.

Reason. Because by knowledge in this place is meant faith. For it is not meant a bare knowledge, but something more, which followes this knowledge, therefore it is not called, [...], but [...], that is, an acknowledging. 2. Thereby is meant an effectuall knowledge, such as there is no other taught us in the Scriptures, but faith. Now faith is signified by the name of knowledge, because by the hearing and know­ledge of the word it is usually begotten in us. And faith is called the instrument of grace, not as it is in God himselfe, willing, intending, and ordaining spirituall good things unto us, for so grace is the cause of faith; but as the sense, fruit and knowledge of this grace is communicated unto us. For faith is so the fruit and effect of grace, that it hath the first place, and is the instrumentall cause of all following grace. And this efficacy it hath in respect of the object, which it layes hold of, Iesus Christ, because as we said before, he is the beginning of all grace, so that as Adam was the beginning of nature and the corruption thereof, and that relation which we have unto [Page 135] Adam by naturall generation, makes us partakers both of his nature and corruption: so Christ was made the beginning of life spirituall, and grace, and that relation of faith which we have unto Christ in our regeneration, makes us partakers both of the life and grace which is in Christ.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, 1. To have a speciall care of our faith, if we would not be destitute of all the grace and peace of God. This is it which the Apostle saith elsewhere, above all, take the shield of faith, that is, above all things get faith, Ephes. 6. 16. This is it which is often pressed, By faith we are saved, by faith we stand, by faith we obtaine the victory, &c. 2. To labour also for the increase of faith, if [...] desire the increase of grace and peace. For grace is multiplyed by the multiplying of faith, and the knowledge of God. As in a house, which is inlightned by the Sunne, the more the win­dowes stand open, the more it is filled with light: so also in us, the more our faith is increased, the more is grace and peace increased in us. Let that therefore be our daily prayer, which was Christs Disciples, Lord increase our faith.

Verse 3. According as his Divine power hath given unto us all things that pertaine unto life and godlinesse, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and vertue.

The Analysis.

THe scope of the Apostle in this verse is to confirme the faith of Christians touching the multiplying of grace and peace through the knowledge of God, which he had wished unto them in the former verse. And the argument is taken from the comparing of things alike, as that particle, Accord­ing as, intimates unto us. The things compared are. 1. The gi­ving of peace and grace; and 2. The consequent multiplying of them. And of these he shewes that there is the same reason, both in respect of the principall cause, and the lesse princi­pall or instrumentall cause; so that the whole argument runs after this manner; If God and our Lord Iesus Christ will give unto us grace and peace through the knowledge of him, then will [Page 136] he also multiply unto us the same gifts by the same: But the for­mer is true: Therefore the latter. The Assumption is contained in verse 3. And it is not barely set downe, but with an illu­stration, although he addes some things to confirme the rea­son it selfe and our faith. For in stead of grace and peace the Apostle here puts things necessary unto life and godlinesse; and in the second place glory and vertue: like as by life and glory he meanes the same thing, that he did before by peace, though in a different respect: so also by godlinesse and vertue he means the same thing that he did before by grace. The principall cause of this gifting he explains by the power which he hath, which he cals divine; the instrumentall he explaines by the object thereof, namely, Christ. For he argues from a singular effect, which doth most of all pertaine to the thing it selfe, namely to our calling, glory and vertue.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. Life and glory are contained in Christian peace.

For the condition, that Christians are made partakers of by peace, is called life in respect of that inward and permanent principle of the most perfect operations, wherein consists mans felicity, which is given unto all the faithfull. And it is called glory in respect of the compleat happinesse, which flowes from that principle, and shall in its due time also ap­peare with outward splendour.

Vse 1. This may serve to informe and instruct us, not to think meanely or contemptibly of the condition of faithfull Christians, but to judge aright according to the nature of the thing, viz. that the only life and chiefest glory is proper to them.

2. To exhort us, to preserve faith, grace, and Christian peace before all worldly things, yea, before this present life it selfe, and the glory thereof, because by our faith we shall ob­taine a farre more perfect life and glory, according to that of Christ, He that loseth his life, shall finde and obtaine a farre bet­ter life.

Doct. 2. Christian grace brings with it godlinesse and vertue.

For the same thing is called grace, which is the effect of Gods favour; it is called godlinesse, as it hath God for its ob­ject: [Page 137] and it is called vertue, as it perfects a man in operation.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, not to boast of the grace of God, unlesse we shew it by our godlinesse and ver­tue.

2. To reprove and condemne those, that either out of pre­sumption or fe [...]ned simulation, do either separate grace from godlinesse, or grace from vertue, or vertue from either.

Doct. 3. All things necessary unto life and godlinesse are gi­ven by God unto the faithfull.

Now to make a gift perfect 3 things are required. 1. That the gift which is given be made the receivers, or his to whom it is said to be given; for otherwise it is not a gift, or a thing actually given, but potentially only. 2. That [...]t be made his absolutely or irrevocably, not conditionally, that the gift it selfe should depend upon a condition. 3. That the giver be moved for no other cause to give, but to shew and exercise his bounty and liberality. the more perfectly and purely these conditions are found in any gift, the more perfect and pure is the gift. Now all these do most exactly agree to those gifts of God, which pertaine unto life and godlinesse. As for example, Christ is said to be given for us, and also given unto us: the holy Ghost hath that name as it were appropriated unto him, that he is the gift of God: faith and repentance are expresly called the gift of God.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, against the error of those, that will not take such like good things as a gift, but teach us that we must seeke for them by our own merits; for as the Apostle saith If of grace, then not by workes, for othe [...]wise grace were not grace: so may we also say; if of gift, then not by workes, for otherwise the gift would be no gift.

2. To admonish us, throughout our whole life to seeke for such good things after that manner as is agreeable to their na­ture, that is, to ask, pray, and supplicate for them, &c. And in the second place to use all our endeavour to shew our selves thankfull unto God for such divine gifts.

4. Hee gives these spirituall gifts unto us by his Divine Power.

His Divine Power haeth given unto us all things, as it is in the text: the like hereunto is that in the first Epistle, c. 1. v. 5. [Page 138] Ye are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. And Christ tels us, Matth. 19. 26. With men this is unpossible, but with God all things are possible: where we are expresly taught, that salvation and spirituall good things are given unto us by the power of God, to whom all things are possible, that is, his omnipotency, Ier. 31. 35. Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the Sunne, &c.

Reason. Because such a power is necessarily required to bring this to passe, by reason of those strong impediments, which withstand and crosse this worke. For so Christ tels us, that the Devill as a strong man holds his palace, till a stronger then he comes upon him and overcomes him, and takes from him all his armour wherein he trusted, Luke. 11. 21, 22. This is also ful­ly explained by the Apostle, Ephes. 4. 8. When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Where he shewes that gifts are given unto us by that very power, whereby captivity is led captive. It is expresly said Ephes. 1. 19. that it is the exceeding greatnesse of Gods power, which work­eth in us by the might of his power, and Verse 20. the same power whereby Christ was raised from the dead.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the Remonstrants and such like men, that deny faith to be begotten in us, and our con­version to be wrought by Gods almighty power. For they make grace only morally perswading, that may be resisted, impotent, and consequently uneffectuall.

2. To comfort the weake and all the faithfull, in that they have no reason too much to feare the gates of hell, because they have the gates of heaven making with them: although they must wrestle not only against flesh and blood, but against principalities and the powers of the world, &c. Ephes. 6. 12. Yet they have a divine power, farre beyond all those enemies, to uphold them in this wrestling.

3. To exhort us, 1. To behave our selves stoutly, and shew our selves men in the cause of God, answerable to so Divine a Power, as he is ready to afford unto us. 2. To give God thankes, that hath not left us in our owne infirmities to be exposed as a prey unto our enemies, but by his divine power helpes our infirmities.

Doct. 5. This Divine Power is the power of Christ him­selfe.

[Page 139] Vse 1. This may serve to confirme our faith, touching Christs divine nature. For the divine power is not separated from the divine nature.

2. To comfort us, that he who so loved us, that he gave himselfe for us, hath such sufficient strength to perfect our sal­vation. He useth this argument to comfort his Disciples. Iohn 10. 28, 29, 30.

Doct. 6. Christ gives us these things by his divine power, when he doth effectually call us, through the knowledge of him that calleth us.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to apply our selves with feare and reverence unto the meanes of our calling, because Christs divine power is shewed therein.

Doct. 7. The consideration of the end whereunto we are cal­led in Christ, should build us up in faith, hope, and all those things which pertaine unto life and godlinesse.

Therefore the Apostle here puts us in minde, that he hath called us to glory and vertue; so in the former Epistle, c. 5. v. 10. who hath called us unto his eternall glory, &c. To that purpose the Apostle Ephes. 1. 18. earnestly prayes for the E­phesians, that the eyes of their understanding may be enlightned, to know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches, &c. Now this consideration is of great force for these reasons.

Reason 1. Because it is an argument confirming our faith, whilest we thus thinke with our selves: If God hath called us unto glory, then there is no doubt, but that he will in due time bring us unto glory, and in the meane time keepe us in the way that leadeth thereunto.

2. Because it is an argument whereby we are stirred up to labour for vertue, whilest we thus thinke with our selves: if we are called unto glory and vertue, we must not carry our selves sordidly and basely, defiling our selves with the pollu­tions of the flesh, like Swine wallowing in the mire, but as it becomes such a calling.

Doct. 8. There is the same reason of this calling and the first gift of grace, that there is of the multiplying of all grace and peace.

For they are alike free, they do depend alike upon the di­vine [Page 140] power, they are alwayes knit and linked together: this followes from the connexion of verse 3. with the second.

Vse. This may serve to comfort us, as it is set forth, Phil. 1. 6. That he which hath begun a good works in us, will performe it untill the day of Christ.

Verse 4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

The Analysis.

THe Apostle had before confirmed his prayer and the hope of the faithfull, touching the multiplying of grace and peace, by the comparing of things alike, that is, from the gi­ving of all things which are necessary unto life & godlinesse. Now he confirmes and proves the assumption also, touching the giving of things necessary to life and godlinesse. And the argument is taken from the testimony of God, that is, from Gods promises: for his promise is a testimony of the good that he will bestow. Now while the Apostle disputes from the promises to the gifts promised, he disputes from the testi­mony to the things testified, which kinde of argumentation he doth sufficiently intimate, when he puts the things promi­sed in stead of the promise. And the things promised are thus explained; 1. In generall, by two adjuncts, that they are ex­ceeding great and precious, that is neither concerning small things, or things of little moment, nor concerning things, that we have nothing to do with, or are little to be esteemed by us, but things of exceeding great weight, and of exceeding great price. 2. In speciall, by those effects, which are con­tained in these things promised, and they are two. First, A lifting up of the faithfull to perfection, which is explained by a likenesse unto the divine nature. Secondly, A freeing of them from corruption, which is set forth by the subject and the cause thereof. The subject is the world, the cause is lust or concupiscence.

[Page 141] The Doctrine arising herehence.

Doct. 1. Gods promises carry in them the vertue of a gift.

Reason. Because they make the thing promised certainly to belong unto those, to whom it is promised. For although it be not yet actually in their possession, yet it is that power that is certainly produced into act. The cause is, 1. The truth of God that promiseth. 2. The Divine Power which accompa­nieth Gods promises, wherof mention was made in the former verse.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute those that make Gods pro­mises wholly to depend upon mans will.

2. To comfort all the faithfull, that they may be of good courage, and have a firme hope in the good things that are promised by God.

Doct. 2 Gods promises are of things exceeding great.

Hence it is that the Scripture often speakes of the wondrous things of Gods word, Psal. 119. 18. And it evidently appears by the things themselves, if they are well weighed and consi­dered; whether we look unto the divine properties which breake forth in the things promised, or their divine effects. For wonderfull is the mercy, and power, and providence whereupon they depend; and the effects also are wonderfull, for many of them are such, that they do so transcend mans capacity, that they seeme unto many utterly unpossible and incredible: as the resurrection, immortality, and life ever­lasting.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne the stupidity of those, that are nothing moved or taken with these things that are so great and wonderfull.

2. To exhort us, to labour and strive in our prayers with David, that our eyes may be more and more opened, to be a­ble to see the wonderfull nature of them.

Doct. 3. Gods promises are as precious unto us, as they are great in themselves.

So they are distinguished: for if God had promised that he would make another World, yet so, as that it should no­thing pertaine unto us, this indeed had been an exceeding great promise, but nothing precious unto us; but when he so promised a world to come, wherein immortality and [Page 142] great glory shall dwell, as that we should possesse it, this pro­mise is as precious as it is great. Hence it is, that in the Scrip­tures the testimonies of God are extolled, whose promises are exceeding great above all riches, Psal. 119. 14. Above gold and silver, and all precious things, as we often read in the Psalmes and Proverbs.

Vse 1. This may serve to exhort us, both in judgement, affection and all our endeavour [...], to carry our selves answer­able to these divine promises, as to the most precious thing that is, as we are admonished, Prov. 2. 4. To seeke them as silver, and search for them as for hid treasures. And Prov. 8. 10. to receive them, and not silver, &c. And to be more de­lighted with these then with the sweetest gifts, to get these promises at any price, how great soever, though we sell all that we have, as it is in the parable of the Merchant, who found a precious Jewell.

2. To comfort those Christians that are poore in spirit, even in this present world; for though they have nothing excellent in these outward things, yet they have those exceeding great & precious things provided by God for them. They are in this like unto that heire, of whom Paul makes mention, Gal. 4. 1.

Doct. 4. By vertue of these promises we are made partakers of the divine nature.

Now by nature is not meant the essence of God, but those perfections, whereof we have a representation made by the Spirit Epist. 1. c. 2. v. 9. They are called the vertues of God, and in other places, it is called the life of God, the Image of God, and the Spirit of God. And this nature is communicated by vertue of the promises, because the pro­mise of the Gospell in this differs from the Law, for the Law considered in it selfe is a killing Letter, and the ministration of death in respect of sinners, but the Gospell is the mini­stration of the quickning Spirit 2 Cor. 3 6, 7, 8.

Reason. Because the Spirit of God together with the Gos­pell worketh our salvation.

Vse 1. This may serve to direct us, to examine our selves whether the promises of God have beene effectuall in us yet or no? for if we have nothing in us above naturall men, or our corrupt nature, wee are yet strangers to the promises of God.

[Page 143] 2. To reprove those, that are wont to say, when they are stirred up to Christian duties, that they are not Saints or Angels, but flesh and blood, and therefore cannot either abstaine from common vices, or come neere unto a heaven­ly life. For Christians besides and above that nature, which they have from Adam, are made partakers also of a divine na­ture, whereby they are able to doe all things through him that strengtheneth them, namely Christ, Phil. 4. 13.

3. To exhort us, to labour with all diligence, that the grace of God may be unto us like a second nature, as some say of Custome. And so it will be, when we performe the workes of grace and new obedience, not by constraint or un­willingly, as many use to doe, but with delight and cheer­fulnesse, as if we were carried hereunto by the inclination of nature, as the fire is upward.

Doct. 5. The corruption of sinne is contrary both to this na­ture, and Gods promises.

Reason. Because the presence of the divine nature and the vertue of the promises drives out this corruption, as heat doth cold, & as light dispells darkenesse, 1 Pet. 1. 14, 15, 2 Pet. 2. 20. Tit. 2. 11. 12.

Vse. 1. This may serve to condemne those, that will joyne together these things that are so inconsistent and repugnant and contrary to God himselfe, that is, those that joyne the profession of Religion with most corrupt practise.

2. To exhort us, if we believe the promises of God, and love the divine nature to our own salvation, then to eschew all these corruptions. Thus much the Apostle intimates, when he saith: Having escaped the corruption, as if a flying away were required, and that quickly, as it were from a fire, wherein we are almost burned, or from a plague that rageth in our houses, 1 Pet. 2. 11. 2 Cor. 4. 1. Having received mercy, let us not faint, &c. and Chap. 7. v. 1.

Doct. 6. This corruption of sinne beares rule in the world.

This is gathered herehence, because this is the true descrip­tion of corruption made by the Apostle.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, 1 not to love the world too much. This use the Apostle makes of it, 1 Iohn 2. 5. [...]. Not to fashion our selves according to this world, Rom. 12. 2.

[Page 144] Doct. 7. Lust is the essentiall cause of this corruption, which is in the world.

For it is not from the fabrick of heaven and earth, nor in any created substance, but in the naughty affections and dis­positions, together with the actions flowing therehence, so that every man carries this world in his owne bowels. And the reason why this wickednesse is signified by concupiscence or lust, is:

Reason 1. Because in mans conversion to worldly and un­l [...]wfull things, sinne is more manifest then in a simple aversion from God.

2. Because this desire of unlawfull things is most contrary to that affection, which we should have towards God, and divine and heavenly things.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to use great diligence to subdue and root out our own lusts and concupiscence.

Verse 5. And besides this, giving all diligence, adde to your faith, vertue; and to vertue knowledge;

Verse 6. And to knowledge continence; and to continence, pati­ence; and to patience, godlinesse;

Verse 7. And to godlinesse, brotherly kindnesse; and to brotherly kindnesse, charity.

The Analysis.

Now the Apostle comes unto that which he chiefly aimed at in this Epistle: and the scope of the Epistle is shewed expresly, Chap. 3. verse 1. namely, to stirre up the pure mindes of the faithfull, by way of remembrance; and verse the last, more distinctly, that they should grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Iesus Christ. This same thing he proposeth in these verses, 5. 6, 7. and confirmes it in the rest of the Chapter, and in the two following Chapters, he vindicates it from those things which crosse this purpose, namely, the seducings of false teachers, chap. 2. and the derisions of prophane scoffers, chap. 3. Now his scope and purpose, as it is explained in these three verses, is, to exhort the faithfull, to apply themselves [Page 145] wholly to those duties that are answerable to the faith, which they have obtained and do professe. And those duties are set forth; 1. By the common conditions and all the properties of the vertue and duty; and 2. By the species or kindes of vertues and duties. The common conditions and properties of vertue are foure, which are usually called cardinall vertues, Iustice, Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude. Justice is here signified by the name of vertue, because it doth most neerely belong to the efficacy of vertue, to be according to the rule, which is generall justice. Prudence is signified by knowledge, because prudence and Christian wisdome consists in the pra­cticall knowledge of Gods will. Temperance is called con­tinence, because this is generall temperance, if a man contains himselfe or abstaines from those intisements, whereby he may be withdrawne from his duty. Fortitude is meant here by patience, because this is true Christian fortitude, patiently to suffer all afflictions, and to persist in his duty notwithstand­ing all afflictions. These are such conditions, that they should be in every duty, which if they be, they make every duty com­pleat; nor can any of them be away, without hurting of the vertue and duty. The kindes of duties are two: godlinesse, which containes the duties of the first table; and charity, which belongs unto the second table: which charity is de­termined by a speciall manner, whilest it is called also brother­ly love, whereby we love those, that are joyned in the same faith with us. Concerning these duties the Apostle proposeth first the common act, that we should use in them, namely ad­ding, as he saith, adde; Secondly, The manner how we should use this act, namely, giving all diligence: where both the man­ner and the degree is shewed; the manner, is diligence, the de­gree, is all diligence. Thirdly, the end and scope of the act and duty in these words, besides this, or hereunto, that is, to that end of which hee had spoken before, viz. that wee might be made partakers of the Divine Nature, and have grace and peace multiplyed.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. Our endeavours must be joyned to our prayers, and to the operation of Gods grace.

This is gathered herehence, that the Apostle saith; we [Page 146] must labour for that very thing which he wished unto us, and so proposed unto us to be prayed for, and which he said the grace of God did worke in us.

Our endeavours must be joyned unto our prayers.

Reason 1. Because otherwise we cannot have a sincere de­sire in our prayers, without which our prayers are in vaine; for what we sincerely desire, that also we do alwayes labour to attaine.

2. Because our prayers themselves do bind us to such an endeavour. For in every prayer there is a promise and vow, wherein we promise unto God that we will seeke that which we aske of him: so that to aske any thing of God without such an endeavour, is not only to take Gods name in vaine, but also plainly to mock his Majestie.

Our endeavours also must be joyned with the grace of God, because grace tends thereunto, both to afford us strength to endeavour, and also to stirre us up to exercise that strength.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those slothfull men, which wish for many things, and after their manner also ask them of God, but yet will not move so much as their finger to obtaine them: these men are like that slothfull man, that the wi [...]e man describes, Prov. 22▪ 13. and elsewhere, where the slothfull man carries his hand in his bosome, &c.

2. To exhort us, daily to be mindfull of this obligation, when we pray unto God for the forgivenesse of our sinnes, for deliverance from temptations, for newnesse of life, or any o­ther thing, let us constantly also use our endeavours to attaine these ends.

Doct. 2. Our endeavours must alwayes tend to the increase of the grace which we have received.

This is gathered therehence, that the summe of our duty consists in adding: the reasons are divers;

Reason 1. Because that is imperfect which we have: while we remaine in this life, we are in a state of progresse and edify­ing; not of rest or perfection, Ephes. 4. 12, 13.

2. Because that which we have [...]eceived, is given unto us to be an earnest, a pledge, and the [...]rst fruits of that which we yet looke and seek for.

3. Because it cannot be, that we should rightly esteeme the [Page 147] grace that we have received, if we do not labour to attaine the highest degree thereof, but rest contented with the benefit that we have received, and never look for any more of that kinde.

4. Because we cannot keepe that which we have received, if we doe not labour to increase it; for as the vitall heat doth alwayes either increase or decrease, and he that goes up a san­dy-hill, must still labour to get up, or else he will slide downe; so it is in a Christian life.

5. Because we should do that unto God, which we would have God doe unto us; for we would have God alwayes adde unto those benefits and blessings which he bestoweth upon us; we therefore should likewise adde unto those duties which we performe unto him.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that rest satis­fied with that which they have, and never seeke farther, and much more those, that by diminishing and losing, waste and consume that which they had, Apoc. 2. 4. This may be ex­plained by the parable of the talents.

2. To exhort us, to exercise a holy kinde of covetousnesse in these spirituall things; for as covetous men joyne house to house, field to field, Isay 5. 8. so should we also joyne faith to faith, obedience to obedience, charity to charity.

Doct. 3. We must use our endeavours about these spirituall things with all diligence.

Now by all diligence is meant, 1. The greatest heedfulnesse of the minde. 2. The greatest earnestnesse of the will. 3. The greatest care, that is intimated by that phrase, whereby wee are commanded, to seeke the kingdome of God and the righteous­nesse thereof. For when Christ had told them, Matth. 6. 31. that they should not be carefull what they should eat, or what they should drink, he explaines this care, verse 32, 33. by the phrase of seeking. 4. A diligence in the use of the meanes, whereby we may come to attaine that which we desire. And the reasons why we should use this diligence about spirituall things, are,

Reason 1. The dignity and excellency of these things a­bove all earthly things, which worldly men are so busie about.

2. The difficulty, for in their nature they are above our [Page 148] strength, and there are many impediments also, as well inward as outward, which we cannot overcome, but by using all di­ligence.

3. The necessity of these things, without which we are mi­serable wretches.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove the slothfull and slug­gish Christians, that are so remisse, so cold and luke-warme at least in these things, which require so great diligence. Here appeares the crossenesse of mans disposition: for when God hath forbidden us, to be over-carefull about worldly things, because all these things should be added unto us without such care; and hath commanded us, to be diligent and carefull a­bout spirituall things, because we shall never be partakers of them without diligence; we on the contrary are carefull and diligent about the world, and neglect Heaven.

2. To exhort us, by all meanes daily to stir up our selves, and to provoke one another to this so necessary d [...]ligence.

Doct. 4. Faith is the fountaine and beginning of all Chri­stian vertue.

This is gathered from the text. Because faith is here laid as the foundation upon which all vertues are to be built.

Reason 1. Because without faith no man can please God unto everlasting life, and therefore the very vertues of unbelie­vers, although they be pleasing unto God in themselves, e­specially if a comparison be made betwixt them and vices, yet they are not pleasing unto God unto salvation, or such as that they may expect a spirituall reward from God; and therefore if a comparison be made betwixt them and the vertues of the faithfull, they may not unfitly be called, splendid peccata, glo­rious sinnes.

2. Because to the making up of vertue there is required not only good matter and forme, but also the beginning and end. Now in a heart destitute of faith there is not the beginning of Christian vertue, and from the defect of this beginning there followes also a defect, both in the end, and in the forme. The manner how faith produceth vertue, is, 1. In regard of the object which it layes hold of, because all grace and vertue is derived from Christ. 2. In regard of the effect, because faith purifies the heart of man, and so makes it fit for such operati­ons [Page 149] and dispositions. 3. Because faith it selfe is an impulsive argument, moving us to labour for vertue.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those imprudent builders, that neglect faith and seeke for vertue, as if they would build the roofe of the house, and not lay the foundation.

2. To exhort us, to have great care of faith, because all ver­tues depend upon it.

Doct. 5. Vertue is the glory of faith.

This is gathered therehence, that it is said, it must be added to faith as something belonging to the perfection thereof. Now it is not an essentiall perfection, but complementall; not internall properly, but externall.

Reason 1. Because faith without vertue is not a living, but a dead faith.

2. Because vertue is the end of faith.

3. Because it is the adorning thereof.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those, that boast of faith and neglect vertue, such were many even in the Apostles time, as appeares by the Epistle of Iames.

2. To exhort us, to give all diligence, to adde vertue to faith.

Doct. 6. The perfection of vertue depends upon knowledge.

This is gathered from that; To vertue adde knowledg. By knowledge we meane, not so much that intellectuall vertue, which is properly called scientia, knowledge, as understand­ing, wisdome, and prudence, all which are signified in the Scriptures by the right knowledge of Gods will. Now this know­ledge is necessary unto vertue both in generall and particular.

Reason 1. Because virtus est habitus electivus, vertue is an habit pertaining to election, or hath good election joyned with it. Now to this election it is required, that a man should rightly know the end, and also the meanes that lead unto the end, and the manner also how he may come to the end by those meanes.

2. Because actiones virtutum versantur in particularibus, the actions of vertues are in particulars, and therefore it is not sufficient to [...]udge aright of good and evill i [...] generall, unlesse that judgement be also applyed to particular actions, accord­ing to their circumstances.

[Page 150] Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those, that please them­selves in their ignorance, as if ignorance were the mother of devotion, or of any vertue, whereas it is the greatest enemy to vertue, and the mother of all profanenesse, especially if it be voluntary, as Peter shewes, Epist. 2. Chap 3. verse 5. Where he gives a reason of their great wickednesse, because those scoffers of whom he speaks, were willingly ignorant of those things which pertaine unto true godlinesse.

2. To exhort us, to seeke for knowledge, and when wee have gotten it to apply it also to the increase of vertue. For vertue without knowledge is blinde, and knowledge without vertue is vaine.

Doct. 7. Continence or temperance is the perfection of knowledge.

Now by continence and temperance we meane a modera­tion, whereby all lusts are suppressed that might allure or withdraw us to any thing that is contrary to vertue and knowledge.

Reason 1. Because knowledge tends to such a moderation and governement of the affections.

2. Because knowledge it selfe cannot subsist without this moderation. For unlesse the affections are directed by know­ledge, knowledge it selfe is corrupted by the affections: hence it is, that many errours and heresies oftentimes take their rise and beginning from evill manners and affections, Ephes. 4. 18.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those, that are puffed up with knowledge, when in the meane time they shew by their intemperance that they know nothing yet, as they ought to know, 1 Co [...]. 8. 12.

2. To exhort us, to use all our knowledge to the governe­ment of our aff [...]ctions and manners.

Doct. 8. Patience must be joyned with continence to the perfection of vertue.

By patience we meane that grace whereby we continue and persist in well-doing, although we are crossed by many grie­vous things. Therefore it includes in it patience, constancy, and stablenesse of minde, or Christian fortitude. Continence strengthens vertue against alluring intisements, and patience [Page 151] against all adversity, so that vertue is quite perfected, if it be grounded on faith, directed by knowledge, and strengthened on the one side by continence, and on the other side by pa­tience.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove the lightnesse and in­constancy of men, who indeed professe themselves to be stu­dious of vertue, and yet can beare no thing, to keepe vertue whole and intire.

2. To exhort all good men, to prepare themselves to beare all afflictions for vertue sake and a good conscience.

Doct▪ 9. Godlinesse is the chiefe and most necessary of all vertues.

By godlinesse we meane true religion towards God, and a minde wholly given to the true worship of God.

Reason 1. Because it hath the noblest object, that is, God himselfe.

2. Because it doth most of all perfect all other vertues, whiles it refers them and all their acts to a divine beginning, and a divine end. For godlinesse subjects the minde to God in all things, so that it acknowledgeth God to be the author of all good, from whom every good and perfect gift commeth, and makes him the chiefest good and the last end to whom all our actions are to be directed.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those, that attribute so much to some morall and humane vertues, that they preferre them before godlinesse.

2. To exhort us, continually to exercise our selves both in publick and in private, to increase this godlinesse in our mindes.

Doct. 10. With Godlinesse towards God we should joyne love towards our neighbour.

Reason. Because godlinesse it selfe commands and begets this love. For we love our neighbour with Christian love, when we love him for Gods sake, not for our own, or any worldly respect. Now godlinesse produceth this love towards our neighbour, 1 Because it teacheth us to obey Gods Com­mandement, who hath commanded us to love our neigh­bour. 2 Because it teacheth us to love the image of God, and every gift of God in our neighbour. 3 Because it brings us to [Page 152] imitate God himselfe in the communicating of good. There­fore godlinesse, which is separated from charity, is not true godlinesse; and that charity which is separated from godli­nesse, is not true charity, but either hypocrisie, or some hu­mane civility.

Vse 1. This may serve to exhort us, to shew and adorne our godlinesse towards God, by our love towards our neighbour.

2. To reprove those, that make shew of much godlinesse towards God, when in the meane time they take all occasions to wrong their neighbours, if so be they might by any means advantage themselves thereby.

Doct. 11. This love should be extended unto all men, but chiefly to be used towards the brethren.

For so they are distinctly set downe, verse 7. Brotherly kindnesse and charity: Both of these is proper and peculiar to Christians. For the Christian alone loves all, even his ene­mies, and he alone also loves the brethren, that is, the house­hold of faith. We should love all, 1. As they are partakers of the same naturall good with us. 2. As they are capable al­so of the same spirituall good. And we should love the faith­full also, as they are partakers of the same spirituall good with us.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to edifie our selves in this charity, which is the character of Christianity.

Verse 8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitfull in the knowledge of our Lord Iesus Christ.

The Analysis.

HEre the Apostle begins to confirme the exhortation, which he had before made, to adde vertue to faith, and knowledge, &c. And he confirmes it by a twofold argument; 1. The first is taken from the benefit which is joyned to these vertues, whereunto he exhorte them. 2. The second from the disprofit, which followes the privation or absence of them. The first is laid downe, verse 8. the second verse 9. The bene­fit [Page 153] proposed is contained in these words, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitfull: where by a negation is meant the contrary affirmation, namely, that by these ver­tues they shall be quick and active, and also fruitfull; which benefits are explained by the primary efficient cause, which is the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; and the secondary cause, which are the vertues themselves whereunto he exhorts them. And these vertues he explaines according to that way which he had intimated before in the exhortation, touching the manner, and touching the degree: touching the manner, that they be in you; touching the degree, that they abound.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. There are spirituall benefits arising from vertues, whereby the faithfull are stirred up to labour for vertue.

This is gathered from the scope of this verse, and from the connexion which it hath with the former exhortation. These benefits are such, that they cannot be understood by carnall and worldly men; but the faithfull do not only understand them, but also seeke for them with great and continuall dili­gence. Otherwise this argument which the Apostle useth to the faithfull, would have beene altogether uneffectuall. But these benefits are such, that they make men rich, not in this world, but in the Lord, 1 Tim 6. 18. Luke 12. 21.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those earthly men, which are not moved with such arguments, but covet the gaine, pro­fits, and pleasures of this life, and savour not those things that belong to the kingdome of God.

Doct. 2▪ It is a great benefit to the faithfull, and so they esteeme it, if they can be ready to do good works.

This is gathered from that, they make you that ye shall not be barren, that is, not idle or slothfull in the profession of re­ligion.

Reason 1. Because it is the greatest misery for men to be reprobate unto good workes.

2. Because by this readinesse to do good, the faithfull come to obtaine their desires.

3. Because by this meanes the life spirituall is exercised and increased. For as all life is the beginning of operation, and tends unto operation, so also is it increased by operations.

[Page 154] 4. Because the glory of God, wherein consists the chiefest good, and mans happinesse, is by this meanes advanced.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those foolish and sloth­full Christians, that neglect their owne proper good, or rather do not understand what that is wherein it consists.

2. To exhort us, by all meanes to make our selves ready to do good, and therefore according to the minde of the Apo­stle in this place, to get all vertue, that we may not be barren in the knowledge of Christ.

Doct. 3. Good workes are fruits that the faithfull should continually bring forth.

This is gathered therehence, that fruitfulnesse is both re­quired and promised in this place. It is required therein, that the Apostle intimates, that this is necessary for the faithfull, to be fruitfull. It is promised thereby, that it is made as a be­nefit arising from vertues. Good workes are called fruits by a metaphor, for the likenesse that they have unto the fruits of trees and plants. Now in naturall fruit many things are con­sidered, which according to the Scripture must be applyed unto good workes. 1. That it be something agreeable to the nature of the seed from which it ariseth. 2. That it hath noe only some good in it, but also perfections; hence flowers and leaves are not wont to be called fruits, although they come from the same seed that the fruits do, and be the last two that comes forth, and hath in it that perfection, that it is the end both of the seed, and all other things that arise from the seed before the fruit. 3. It is required also, especially in those that arise from good husbandry, that there be something that is de [...]red and expected and will be acceptable to the husband­man and master, or owner. All these things in the Scriptures are to be applyed unto good works, 1. That they be agreeable to the word of God, which is the seed, as it is in the Parables Matth. 13. Marke 4. of the good seed: and good workes dif­fer from [...]ares, as grapes differ from wildegrapes, Isay 5. 2. 2. That they have goodnesse in them. For bad workes nei­ther are properly fruits according to Scripture, unlesse it be with an addition, evill fruits. Nor do they bring any fruit to their [...] Rom. 6 21. They must also have perfection in their kinde: for as the seeds which are said in the parable to [Page 155] arise, perhaps unto the eare, yet because they did not come to just perfection, are said to have brought forth no fruits: so al­so Christians, which have only the flowers and leaves of pro­fession, and not the solid workes of godlinesse, are accounted by God unfruitfull and barren plants. 3. Our workes also must answer the expectation of God, and that care which he hath taken in manuring our soules, Isay 5. 2. Luke 13. 6, 7. & 20. 10. Although in all these things our good workes and fruits are alike, yet one thing may be observed, wherein they are unlike; namely, that whereas the profit of naturall fruits is wont to returne to the husbandman and master, the profit of these fruits redounds properly to those that beare them, Rom. 6. [...]2. Although hence also something redounds unto God our master, Iohn 15. 8.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that bring forth no fruit, Matthew 3. 10. Iohn 15. 2. Luke 13. 7. Much more are they to be condemned, that are like unto the cursed ground, and in steed of fruits bring forth thornes and briers, Hebr. 6. 8. Deut. 32. 32.

2. To exhort us, by all meanes to labour to bring forth good fruits, and so also that they may be answerable unto those meanes which God used towards us, to make us fruit­full, according to Gods expectation, and in that season where­in God expects them, and in that measure also which he ex­pects, of some thirty, of some sixty, and of some an hundred fold.

Doct. 4. Without these fruits the knowledge of God is un­profitable.

For it is as it were choaked with thornes, or withered away.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to be so much the more carefull to bring forth fruit, that we may not heape up this sinne of barrennesse unto the other, by making the word of God void and of no effect.

Doct. 5. That we may be fruitfull, vertues must not only be in us, but also abound in us.

They are in us when we have gotten a habit of them; they abound, when we do seriously and diligently endeavour to make that habit more perfect.

Verse 9. But he that lacketh these things, is blinde, and cannot see farre off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sinnes.

The Analysis.

THis is the second argument whereby the exhortation of the Apostle is confirmed; and it is taken from the dispro­fits that befall all those that are strangers to these vertues. And these disprofits are contrary to those profits whereof mention was made in the former verse. For the Apostle would say that they which have not these vertues, are quite barren and un­fruitfull. But he doth not barely expresse this, but sets it forth by the causes thereof. And the causes are two, blindnesse and forgetfulnesse. For he that is blinde, must needs be barren and unfruitfull, and unfit to do those businesses especially, which require the eye sight: and he that forgets the benefit which he hath received, it is no wonder, if he bring forth no fruit worthy of that benefit. Their forgetfulnesse is set forth by the object or benefit which they should remember, that is, their purification from their old sinnes. By blindnesse in this place is meant, not the privation of their corporall sight, or of their naturall understanding, but of that spirituall perfe­ction, whereby we come to the saving knowledge of those things that pertaine to the kingdome of God, and our eternall life. By those things that are farre off, are meant things truly spirituall which as touching their nature and condition, are as farre off from carnall men as heaven is from earth.

The Doctrines arising here-hence.

Doct. 1. All that are destitute of vertue are spiritually blinde.

They are blinde in a twofold respect. 1. In respect of that naturall blindnesse, wherein all the sonnes of Adam are born, like that man that was blinde from his birth, Iohn 9. 1 And secondly, in respect of another adventitious blindnesse, which they have brought upon themselves by their sinnes▪ through the just judgement of God blinding those that will not see, [Page 157] like that sorcerer, Acts 13. 11. upon whom the hand of the Lord seemes to have beene, to blinde him. The former blind­nesse goes before as the cause, viz. the neglect of vertue; the other followes as the effect. And both of them appeares by those signes that corporall blindnesse doth.

Reason 1. Because those men know not the speciall way wherein they should go.

2. They cannot see those stumbling-blocks that lye in the way, but continually stumble and fall.

3. They cannot so much as discerne the colours of those things which they handle, and therefore as it is, Isay 5. 20. They call evill good, and good evill, &c. And one thing there is that addes to their misery more then is in those that are corporally blinde; namely, that they seeke not fit guides to leade them, as it is said of the sorcerer, that he did, Acts 13. 11. for either they trust wholly to themselves, because they doe not know that they are blinde, Apoc. 3. 17. or else they follow some blinde guide, so that both fall into the ditch.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, to acknowledge our spirituall blindnesse, and to labour to get out of it. For it is in every one of us either in whole or in part. We should therefore thinke with our selves how great a misery it is to continue in perpetuall darknesse and in a most thick myst. Christ wept over Jerusalem for this their blindnesse.

2. To exhort us earnestly to pray unto God, who can open the eyes of our minde. The blinde man, Luke 18. 38. never ceased to cry out, saying, Iesus thou Sonne of David have mer­cy on me, and when Christ asked him, what he would that he should do unto him, he desired nothing else, but that he might receive his sight, verse 41. So also in spirituall blind­nesse although a great part of it was cu [...]ed in David, yet we see that he constantly prayes unto God, to open his eyes, Psal. 119. 18 So also the Apostle saith, that he ceased not to pray for the faithfull, that the eyes of their understanding might be enlightned Ephes. [...]. 18 This is the counsell of the holy Ghost, and of Christ, [...]. 3. 18.

3. To instruct us, [...]ever to think that we have received sight, untill we finde in our selves th [...]s study and labour to abound in vertue.

[Page 158] Doct. 2. The forgetting of Gods benefits is a great evill and sinne and brings misery along with it.

For it is here attributed unto those, that are strangers unto vertue, not only as a sinne, but also as a great disprofit, and is opposed to that fruitfulnesse wherein the happinesse of the faithfull doth consist. It is a sinne, because it containes in­gratitude in it, and that not the least degree of ingratitude; for though a man be mindfull of the benefit which he hath recei­ved, purposing to be thankfull for it, yet if he doth not render thankes, he is said to be ungratefull; yea, and though he doth render thankes, if he doth it coldly, and doth not endeavour to answer the merits of him that bestowed this benefit upon him, and the dignity of the benefit, he is not yet free from this vice; but if he doth quite forget the benefit which he hath received, then he is rightly said to be as it were twice un­gratefull.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to beware of this kinde of ingratitude, and not to think our selves ungratefull then only, when we do repay evill for good, but also when we doe any way forget the benefit which we have received.

Doct. 3. God accounts him forgetfull of the benefits which he hath received, that is not effectually mindfull of them, that is, that doth not so remember them, as to live answerably.

This is gathered therehence, that fruitfulnesse and forget­fulnesse are opposed. For they are made immediately con­traries, so that there is no medium betweene them. Deut. 32. 18. The Israelites are said to have forgotten God for that reason only, because they had forsaken the true worship of God, and his due obedience, as it is explained, verse 15. So Psal. 106. 13. where they are said to have forgotten God and his workes as, often as they murmured against him, although there is no doubt but if they had beene asked, they could have easily related the whole history of those things that God hath done for them in Egypt. After the like manner are the words of Christ to be understood, when he asked his Disci­ples, whether they had forgotten the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes, intimating that it was a manifest token of their forgetfulnesse, that they were at that time so troubled about bread.

[Page 159] Vse. 1. This may serve to admonish us, not to rest satisfi­ed with such a memory as consists in bare contemplation, which God accounts forgetfulnesse.

2. To exhort us, by all meanes to study this art of me­mory:

Which that we may the better do, let us observe these Rules.

Rule 1. That we do not slightly passe over the thought of these things, but look narrowly into the natures and circum­stances of them. For the more plainly we come to understand them, the more firmely do we retaine them.

Rule 2. That having come to such a cleare knowledge of them, we should also call them to minde, so as to consider the efficacy of them; for the more they worke upon the affe­ctions, the stronger is the impression upon the memory: thence is it, that children are wont to remember many things, which others forget, because they use to admire all things as new and strange; and wee also doe not easily forget those things which we admire, as being things wherewith we are much taken, Psal. 119. 16. I will delight my selfe in thy statutes, there is the affection; and I will not forget thy word, there is the memory flowing from the affection.

Rule 3. That we should alwayes carry a memoriall with us, whereby the memory of these things may be kept, Numb. 16. 40. This is a memoriall. Now our memoriall is the word of God chiefly, which in that respect we should daily read and meditate upon.

Doct. 4. Our purification from sinne is a benefit never to be forgotten.

Reason▪ 1. Because it is very great in it selfe and its owne nature, seeing by it we are freed from the guilt and dominion of sinne, from the the curse of the law, from the anger of God and eternall death.

2. Because it is of great force and efficacy to stirre us up to labour to be thankfull, and to abound in vertue, as here it ap­peares by the manner of arguing, which the Apostle useth. For that cause also Paul, Rom. 12. 1. and in other places ex­horteth the faithfull by the mercies of God.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that do either [Page 160] not think at all upon the mercy of God, and redemption through Christ; or else turne it into an occasion of sinne.

2. To exhort us, daily to meditate upon this benefit, and not to satisfie our selves, unlesse we are daily stirred up by this argument to the practise of piety.

Doct. 5. All the sinnes from which we are purged in Christ, must be accounted old, that is, out of use, forsaken, dead, never to be taken up againe.

Verse 10. Wherefore, the rather brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.

Verse 11. For so an entrance shall be ministred unto you a­bundantly, into the everlasting kingdome of our Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ:

The Analysis.

IN these word is contained the conclusion of the Apo­stles exhortation, as it is intimated in the first word, Wherefore. Now because the conclusion and the question must alwayes be the same, as touching the thing it selfe, although they differ in some respects, there is no doubt but the Apostle here concludes the same thing, which he had be­fore, verse 5. propounded to himselfe to be concluded, viz. That they should give all diligence to adde to their faith vertue, &c. And as repetitions in the Scripture are not wont to be vaine, nor bare, but for the most part with some usury or in­crease; so also in this place he doth not barely repeat the ex­hortation to labour for vertue, but he doth illustrate this en­deavour and labour by the proper office thereof, that is, by the confirmation of our calling and election; so that he doth both repeat the exhortation, and also adde a new argument, and that a most weighty one, to presse it the more, after this manner: If by the exercise of good workes ye make your election and calling sure, then should ye most of all apply your selves there­unto: but the former is true, Therefore. The assumption is laid downe in the text, and proved by a double argument. 1. By [Page 161] removing the contrary or Apostasie, which is most opposite to the assurance of ou election and calling; and is alike op­posite also to the exercise of vertue and good workes, which is shewed in these words: If ye do these things, ye shall never fall: wherein is such a reason contained, if ye shall never fall, then ye will have your calling sure. The second argument is taken from the felicity adjoyned, which is set forth by the proper cause thereof, that is, by the abundant entrance into the everlast­ing kingdome of Christ. And this argument strengthens both the conclusion and also the foregoing argument, after this manner: If ye have abundant entrance into the everlasting king­dome of Christ, then ye shall never fall, but hold your calling sure; But if ye labour to be vertuous and to do good workes, ye shall have abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdome of Christ: there­fore if ye labour to be vertuous and to do good workes, ye shall ne­ver fall, but have your calling sure. But before we consider the conclusion it selfe which the Apostle layes downe, there comes the manner to be observed, how he doth propound it, that so it may worke the deeper. Now the manner is shewed in that title which he gives unto the faithfull, when he cals them brethren, which is not only a title of good will, but of some speciall and singular love, such as useth to be betwixt these men that are most neerly joyned together.

Obser. Here we may observe in generall, That our exhor­tations must be seasoned with love and good will; but more espe­cially it affords us this Observation, That there is not a more brotherly office, then to stirre up and bring those that we love, to labour and endeavour to lead a Christian life.

Reason 1. Because by this meanes they are delivered from the greatest evils, Iames 5. 20.

2. Because they are made partakers of the greatest good, as it appeares in the text.

Vse. 1. This may serve to admonish us, to take in good part such exhortations and admonitions that are given us, whether they be in publick or in private.

2. To exhort us, to season our exhortations and admoni­tions after this manner, and so to be more frequent in these duties. For oftentimes he that neglects these duties, shewes that he doth hate his brother and is his enemy; they being [Page 162] proper to brethren, and the neerest and dearest friends, Levit. 19. 17.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. The assurance of our calling and election i [...]thing greatly to be desired.

This is gathered from the text: because Peter in this ex­hortation presupposeth some such desire in the faithfull, and then stirres them up to a more fervent and earnest desire of it.

Reason. Because our happinesse and all spirituall good things are greatly to be desired, and they depend upon this assurance of our calling and election. For election is the free love of God, whereby he intends saving grace, or superna­turall blessings unto u [...]. Our calling is the manifestation of that love by the application of this saving grace. The assu­rance of both consists, 1. in Gods unchangeable purpose, 2 Tim. 2. 19. The foundation of God standeth sure. 2. In the effectuall operation, which those blessings of God have in us, as in that place of Timothy, that foundation hath this seale, that whosoever cals on the name of Christ, should depart from ini­quity. 3. In assurance of faith, confidence, and experimentall knowledge, which we come to have both of G [...]ds purpose towards us, and the effectuall and saving operation thereof in our hearts.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those that have no af­fection at all unto these spirituall good things, but rest well pleased in the things of this world. They are like unto the rebellious Israelites, who more desired the Onions and Gar­lick of Egypt, then the Milke and Honey of the promised Land, or the celestiall Manna, Numb. 11. 5, 6. They are farre worse then the Prodigall Sonne, if they alwayes rest satisfied with the Sw [...]nes husks, and never desire the bread that is in their fathers house, Luke 15. 16. 17.

2. To exhort us, to labour for a spirituall hunger and thirst after these spirituall good things: God himselfe shewes us the best meanes, wh [...], when he would stirre up the people of Israel to desire the promised land, forthwith com­mended unto them the riches of the land▪ wherewith it did a­bound: so also should we alwayes set before our eyes those innumerable blessings, which depend upon our calling and election.

[Page 163] Doct. 2. It belongs to our duty to make this our calling and election sure.

Give diligence. Not as they are in the purpose of God, but as they havean effectuall operation in us, whereby they are certainly manifested and sealed unto us; and this is the reason why our calling is set before election: for although election be eternall in God, and our calling be in time; yet we come to know our calling before our election, and the knowledge of our election depends upon the effectualnesse of our calling.

Reason 1. Because although God himselfe causeth this, yet he doth it partly by morall perswasions and by those meanes wherein our endeavour is required.

2. Because there ar [...] no effects of our calling and election, which are not also our effects, because God makes us to doe them.

3. Because that very thing which God doth in this kinde, we are in some sort said to doe, if we beg it of him by conti­nuall prayer.

4. Because Gods confirmation of it is such, that it requires also the like confirmation of us. God confirmes our calling and election by his promise, his covenant, Sacraments, oath, and spirituall pledge: And these things do in like manner require of us our promise, and vow, to cleave unto God, our covenant, faith, and endeavour, and all those things whereby we may be confirmed in that communion which we have with God.

Vse 1. This may serve to comfort us, because the certainty and assurance of our calling and election is not only possible for us to attaine unto, but also commanded us; so that no­thing is more pleasing unto God, then that we should labour to be more and more assured of these things: for this is the end both of the promise and the precept.

2. To reprove those, that either altogether neglect this primary duty of the faithfull, or take such slight care of it, that they must n [...]eds alwayes waver in their minds touching those things whereof they should be most assured. Dangerous is that doctrine of the Papists, that holds mens minds alwayes in su­spense, both in life and death. For in life they accuse this [Page 164] firme confidence of presumption, and in death they leave wretched men in doubt, how long they shall be tormented in Purgatory.

3. To exhort us to this labour and diligence; and indeed this indeavour is inseparable from a true and lively [...]aith: for look how it is amongst men; if one did beleeve that he had an inheritance left him by his Father, or any other, he would never be at quiet, till he had gotten it assured unto him, ac­cording to the lawes and customes of the countrey wherein he lives, so is it with the faithfull also touching these spiri­tuall good things.

Doct. 3. All those, and those alone, make their election sure, that make their calling sure.

These two God hath joyned together, as the Apostle doth in this place, so that no man ought or may dis-joyne them. Hence election and calling are taken sometimes in the Scrip­tures for one and the same, as 1 Cor. 1. 26, 27. that which is called c [...]lling, verse 26. is called election, verse 27. There is indeed an outward and ineffectuall calling, which is many times separated from election, as when it is said, Many are cal­led, but few are chosen. But effectuall and saving calling hath alwayes a sure connexion with election, [...] Rom. 8. 3 [...]. and 11. 28. 29.

Reason. Because this calling is nothing else but the opera­tion of God, whereby in time he begins to [...]cute that pur­pose of election, which he had decreed from [...]v [...]lasting.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove [...] that are wont to boast of their election and predestination, [...] in the meane time they never looke after their calling [...] ▪ to de­monstrate it either to themselves or others [...], whatsoever men say of their election, if they [...] assured of their calling.

2. To comfort all the faithfull that are penitent, con [...]e [...]ed, and called, because all those may and ought to be sure of th [...] election.

Doct. 4. An endeavour to abound in vertue, and to do good workes is the only meanes to make our calling and election sure.

This is gathered from these words, If ye do these things▪

Reason 1. Because these are the proper effects of calling and election.

[Page 165] 2. They are the causes of that knowledge which we have of our calling and election. For the knowledge and assurance of these things depends upon the reflex act of our under­standing, whereby we see in our selves the markes and signes of effectuall calling, and consequently of eternall election. Hence this assurance increaseth and decreaseth in us, accor­ding as our endeavour to abound in vertues, and to do good workes is greater or lesser.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute those, that teach that the assurance of election crosset [...] the practise of piety, whereas there is as great an agreement betwixt these, as is betwixt the effect and the cause, which absolutely agree.

2. To condemne those, that from this doctrine of the assu­rance of election, take occasion to cast off all care of piety: these are they that the Apostle speaks of, c. 3▪ v. 16. who being unlearned and unstable, wrest the Scriptures unto their owne de­struction. Although the election of God be sure in it selfe, yet no man is sure of it without the practice of piety. Then againe the certainty of election that is in God, makes this certaine, that no man shall ever be saved by vertue of electi­on, unlesse there be in him the practise of piety: such words or thoughts are certaine tokens of a profane soule, which nei­ther cares for election nor salvation, nor hath any feare of God. For whereas it is alike certaine with God, how long every one of us shall live in this world, yet there is non [...] [...]t cares not for his life, or useth not the meanes to live, unlesse he be quite mad: so from the certainty of election none con­cludes after such a manner, unlesse he be altogether profane.

3. To exhort us, to stirre up our selves more and more to do these things, whereby we shall receive so great fruit and benefit.

Doct. 5. By labouring to do these things we are fore-armed against the dangers of all temptations.

If ye do these things, ye shall never fall.

Reason 1. Because we are never led into temptation with­out our owne fault, and consequently without the neglect of this duty.

2. We are never led into temptation, unlesse we have first tempted God, by forsaking those meanes, whereby we might be upheld and preserved.

[Page 166] 3. God can and will defend those that flye unto him, and that seeke him in his wayes. Hither tend those frequent pro­mises, such as are Psal. 15. the last words, and Psal. 16. 8.

Doct. 6. The more we are freed from the fals of sinne, the more are we assured of our calling and election.

This is gathered from the opposition, which is made be­twixt the assurance of our calling and our fals.

Reason. The reason is taken from the contrariety; for like as the more the darknesse is dispelled, the more the light in­creaseth, and on the contrary; so is it in these things.

Doct. 7. Look what progresse we makein grace and vertue, so much progresse do we make in glory and happinesse.

This is gathered from the connexion of the eleventh verse with the former, the force whereof consists in this, that by adding vertue unto faith, and knowledge unto vertue, we shall adde also something unto that participation, which we have in the kingdome of God: where it is to be observed that the same word is used in this eleventh verse, where he speakes of glory, that was used, verse 5. where he spake of vertue; there it was [...], here [...].

Reason. The reason is, because as in evill the sinne is never separated from the punishment, but in the sinne it selfe there is the spot or blemish, which is like unto misery; so also in good the obedience and vertue is never separated from the re­ward. For it hath alwayes joyned with it that consolation which pertaines to the reward of happinesse.

Vse. 1. This may serve to comfort us against the afflicti­ons of this life; for although the faithfull receive no reward from this world, by reason of the iniquity of men, but hatred, disgrace, contempt, and persecutions: yet they may rest well contented in this, that they shall not only receive an ample reward in the life to come, but also they shall receive it in some sort in this life present▪ Matth. 5. 10. 12. & 19. 29.

2. To exhort us to labour to increase in piety, for as much as this labour is not in vaine, but hath its reward even in this present world, 1 Cor. 15 last.

Doct 8. This happinesse consists in being made partakers of the everlasting kingdome of God.

By the kingdome of God is meant properly that condition [Page 167] into which the faithfull are translated by their effectuall cal­ling: now seeing there are no degrees of this condition, this kingdome is distinguished into the kingdome of grace, and the kingdome of glory. Into the kingdome of grace, because the preaching and ministery of the Gospell is the efficient cause thereof, therefore the Gospell it selfe is called in Scripture the kingdome of God, and because the Church is the proper sub­ject of this state and condition, therefore the Church is also called the kingdome of God; and because spirituall grace hath the chiefe part in this condition, therefore that also is called the kingdome of God, Rom. 14 17. but most properly the con­dition it selfe is the kingdome of God. And it is compared to a kingdome rather then to a Democracy or Aristocracy, or any other society.

Reason 1. Because of the dignity and splendour which it hath.

2. Because the rule or governement is in the power of one. For although it is called sometimes the kingdome of God, sometimes the kingdome of our Lord Jesus Christ, as in this place; yet they are not made two Kings as touching the es­sence, but thereby it is shewed that he hath a singular charge in this kingdome.

3. Because the lawes and edicts of this society are altoge­ther Kingly and Monarchicall; the seales also, and all things that pertaine to this government, beare the effigies as it were, or image of one King.

Vse 1. This may serve to comfort the faithfull, who should think with them selves, and often call to minde, unto what a great happinesse they are called. For that which David said heretofore, 1 Sam. 18. 23. Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a kings sonne in law? that may all the faithfull say of them­selves in respect of this kingdome, that it is not a light thing to be made Citizens of this kingdome, and especially seeing we are poore and vile creatures, the greater will our comfort be, when we consider the glory and eternity of this kingdome. The glory is such that the kingdomes of David and Solomon, even in the greatest glory that ever they had, were but imper­fect representations and shadowes as it were of this kingdome. For they were but types of it. So great is the glory of this [Page 168] kingdome, that all the Citizens and Subjects thereof are in some sort Kings, Apoc. 1. 6. The eternity is such, that neither in whole nor in part is it lyable unto an end, or any essentiall change. Compare all the kingdomes of the Persians, Medes, and Grecians, all which are abolished; this kingdome of God alone continues for ever.

2. To reprove those, that professe themselves Christians, and yet live so as if they were under no lawes, & did acknow­ledge no King. For as this is reckoned as the cause that the Israelites did runne into all kind of wickednesse, because there was no king in Israel, but every one did that which was right in his owne eyes, Iudges 17. 6. & 18. 1. So also do these men as it were proclaime, that they neither acknowledge Christ nor God for their King, while they do that which seemes right in their own eyes, not caring whether it do please God, or dis­please him. Such men must expect that sentence of Christ, which is laid downe, Luke 19. 27. Those mine enemies which would not that I should reigne over them, bring hither and slay them before me.

3. To exhort all to seeke this kingdome of God above all other things, according as Christ bids us; first seeke the king­dome of God. And not only the happinesse of those that are admitted to be partakers of this kingdome, but also the mise­ [...]y of all those that are excluded from it, should be an argu­ment to perswade hereunto: for there are two spirituall king­domes, and every man must needs be a subject of one of them: the kingdome of light and the kingdome of darknesse; the kingdome of righteousnesse and grace, and the kingdome of sinne; the kingdome of God, and the kingdome of the Devill, who is called the Prince of this world. All those that are ex­cluded out of the kingdome of God, of grace and salvation, are necessarily included in the kingdome of the Devill, sinne and darknesse; and deservedly doth this befall all unbeleevers and impenitent men, according to that commination, Deut. 28. 45.

Doct. 9. The faithfull must seeke not only to have an en­trance into the kingdome of God, but also an entrance in a plenti­full and abundant manner.

Men may be considered to be in a fourefold condition in [Page 169] respect of the kingdome of God. For some are very farre off from it: namely, such as the Apostle speaks of, Ephes. 2. 12. That are without Christ, and without God, aliens from the Com­mon-wealth of Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise: such are all those that either understand nothing at all of those things which pertaine unto this kingdome, or else nothing care for them, having their consciences feared as it were with a hot iron, as the Apostle speaks, 1 Tim. 4. 2. Others there are which come neere unto the kingdome of God, although they are not partakers of it, such as that Scribe was of whom Christ saith, Mark 12. 34. that he was not farre from the kingdome of God; and King Agrippa, Acts 26. 28. Others there are that enter into the kingdome of God by faith and repentance, Iohn 3. 3. He that is borne againe seeth the kingdome of God, that is, he enters into it, as it is, verse 5. But then againe others there are, (with whom also in that respect God is very well plea­sed,) that do not only enter into it, but enter in a plentifull and abundant manner, as in this place. The difference betwixt these two last sorts is such, as is betwixt those that make en­trance only into the borders of a countrey, and those that go even into the most inward parts of it: or as is betwixt those that make entrance only into a discipline, and those that have throughly learned, and do exercise the very mysteries thereof. This Doctrine is confirmed, Colos. 3. 15▪ 16. And to that pur­pose is that in Col [...]s. 1. 9.

Reason 1. Because these spirituall things are such, that they can never exceed measure: there is nothing in them too much.

2. They are of such a nature, that they do whet and stirre up the desire, so that whosoever hath tasted the sweetnesse of them, doth still desire to be more and more filled with them, untill he shall come to the highest perfection, as we may see in their examples, who in this respect are most commended in Scripture.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove and condemne those, to whom the bare profession of piety seemes to be enough and too much, that feare lest they should be too godly, that is, lest they should be too happy: this is a certaine token of a carnall minde.

2. To exhort us, 1. To give God thanks, that he hath not [Page 170] only admitted us into the suburbs, as it were, and gates of this kingdome, but hath also revealed unto us those things which are more inward and secret. 2. To be diligent and carefull, that we do not neglect or despise so great grace, but day by day earnestly to strive to make a greater progresse in this kingdome, which we shall do, if we be more diligent and religious in those exercises, whereby this kingdome is ad­vanced.

Verse 12. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you alwayes in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be stablished in the present truth.

Verse 13. Yea, I think it meet as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stirre you up, by putting you in remembrance:

Verse 14. Knowing that shortly, I must put off this my taberna­cle, even as our Lord Iesus Christ hath shewed me.

Verse 15. Moreover, I will endeavour, that you may be able af­ter my decease, to have these things alwayes in rem [...]mbrance.

The Analysis.

IN the former words the Apostle had given a reason of his exhortation, why all the faithfull should imbrace it: and in these words he gives a reason of the same, why he should use it unto them; which reason he delivers by way of anticipa­tion, whereby he meets with a close objection by a kinde of modest excuse, or by removing the cause which they might suspect, why he should put them in remembrance of these things, namely, because he did think they were ignorant and unstable. Now he shewes that this was not the cause, in these words, though ye know them, and be stablished in the present truth. And then he brings divers true causes that moved him to make this exhortation unto them. 1. The great profit that would redound unto them by the performance of these du­ties whereunto he exhorts them. This reason is intimated in that causall particle, whereby he joynes these words with the former, wherefore, that is, for those benefits sake which you shall receive by this meanes, I thought it my part to put you [Page 171] in remembrance of these things after this manner. 2. The se­cond reason, which depends upon the former, is the desire and care that he had to further their good; this is intimated in these words, I will not be negligent. 3. The third reason is t [...] ­ken from the duty of the Apostle, because justice and equity required this of him, in these words, I think it meet. 4. The fourth reason is taken from the opportunity of time, which he had now, and was not long to continue; that he had it now, he shewes in these words, as long as I am in this tabernacle; that it was not long to continue, in these words, Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, which he confirmes by the testimony of Jesus Christ. 5. The fifth reason is taken from the fruit which this exhortation might bring forth; which is set forth by the adjunct of time, that it would be profita­ble unto them, not only while Peter lived, but also after his death, after my decease to have these things alwayes in remem­brance, verse 15.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. In our exhortations and admonitions, we must not only looke unto it, that that which we say be just and right, but also that we speak it with a right minde and good intention, and that it may so appeare also unto those with whom we have to do.

This is gathered from the scope of this text.

Reason 1. The first reason is taken from our duty; for that which is good in it selfe, becomes evill unto us, and our duty is turned into sinne, unlesse quod bonum est bene agamus, we do that which is good after a good and right manner: as if a man out of anger, hatred, envie, or a desire to disgrace him, or pride, should tell his neighbour of any vice, or stirre him up to do his duty.

2. From the profit of our neighbour, or the benefit of our admonition and exhortation. For it depends oftentimes up­on the mind or manner of doing it, which is chiefly looked unto in such like duties; so that they do either make way for our neighbours receiving it, or cast an obstacle in the way to hinder him from receiving it.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those, that never exhort others but for revenge sake, when there is some contention and strife betwixt them; and then they please themselves most [Page 172] in reprooving other mens vices, when they should not, and when they should, they are altogether silent.

Doct. 2. We must put our neighbours in remembrance of those things which make most for their good.

This is gathered from that particle, Wherefore.

Reason. Because admonition and exhortation are accord­ing to their nature, workes of charity, and tend unto the good of our neighbour: therefore we should use it most unto those from whom we may expect most good.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those, who, if their neigh­bours do any thing unseemely or uncivilly, or to the losse of their honour, or some outward profit, do presently take no­tice of it in them; but never looke after those things that doe most pertaine to the kingdome of God: those things indeed should not be neglected, but these things should chiefly be looked after.

2. To exhort us, in those things which pertaine to the kingdome of God, and the salvation of soules, to have an especiall care of our duty towards our neighbour. Hitherto belongs that which Peter saith, that he would not be negligent, that is, that he would never lay aside the care of these things: which although it did in a speciall manner pertaine to the du­ty of Peter, an Apostle, and other Ministers of the word, yet it is proportionably to be extended to the common duty of all Christians, because the reasons which strengthen it, are for the most part common.

Doct. 3. In justice and equity we are bound to put one an [...] ­ther in remembrance.

This is gathered from these words, I think it meet: for al­though it doth not pertain unto that particular justice, which consists in the equality of the thing received and repayed, yet it is called justice, because it hath as strong an obligation, as any thing that is due by justice, Rom. 1. 14.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those that account it a sinne to be negligent in paying debts, but make no account of the neglect of this duty.

Doct. 4. They that are learned and also stablished in the truth, do yet stand in need of admonitions and exhortations.

This is gathered from these words, though ye know them and be stablished in the present truth.

[Page 173] Reason 1. Because they are not so learned and stablished, but that they may be yet farther instructed and stablished.

2. Because if they had all knowledge and also faith, yet their will and affections must be by these meanes stirred up unto their duty. For our will is like unto a slow and dull ser­vant, to whom it is not enough once to heare the commands of his master, but they must be often told him. Then againe, if they had not only all knowledge and saith, but also a most ready will and affections, yet because they are continually as­saulted by temptations, they have need on the other side of continuall remembrances and puttings in mind, to strengthen them. The speech of the Captaine and the sound of the Trumpet, and such like excitements, do put some courage e­ven into the most valiant souldiers.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove the pride of those men, that put such confidence in themselves in their own know­ledge and faith, that they do utterly contemne such kinde of helpes.

2. To exhort all to be constant and diligent in the hearing of Sermons. For if there be any that abound in knowledge, and perhaps exceed the Preacher himselfe, so that they cannot be taught any more by him, yet they may be stirred up by ad­monitions and exhortations, and in that respect they should alwayes be present there; but much more should they, that are not yet learned and stablished in the truth.

3. To direct, as well the Preachers as the hearers, not only to teach the truth, but also to bring a word of exhortation al­wayes, that is, to apply it to the use of the truth which they deliver, and then the hearers, to come unto Sermons, not as being greedy of novelty or speculation, but being prepared before hand and ready to receive exhortations and admoniti­ons, and to turne them into practise.

Doct. 5. We must take hold of the opportunity of time, which we have, diligently to exercise such Christian duties.

This is gathered from these words, As long as I am in this tabernacle. So Gal. 6. 10. John 9. 4. & 12. 35.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to deferre or put off the time of our repentance and obedience, 2 Cor. 6. 2. Psal. 95. 7, 8.

[Page 174] Doct. 6. The neerer we come to the end of our life, the more diligent should we be in Christian duties.

This is gathered from the words following, Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, alwayes to be diligent, for as much as we are never farre from putting off this our ta­bernacle; for although we are not expresly told, as Peter was, how soone this shall be, yet we are told that it shall not be long; and it may happen sooner unto us, then it did unto Peter, who wrote this Epistle.

Doct. 7. We should labour in our life, that some fruit of our life may remaine in the Church after our death.

This is gathered from verse 15. We cannot all profit the Church by our writings, as Peter did, but yet through Gods grace we may either by some other workes, or at least by our good example leave some sweet smelling favour behinde us, that may be pleasing and accepta [...]e unto those that remaine.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that live so corruptly and wickedly, that even after their death they are a scandall and offence unto those that knew them.

2. To exhort us, (and to comfort our selves in it,) to carry and behave our selves piously and holily while we live, be­cause Gods glory is thereby advanced, not only while we live, but also after our decease.

Verse 16. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made knowne unto you the power and comming of our Lord Iesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his Ma­j [...]sty.

Verse 17. For he received from God the Father, honour, and glo­ry, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Sonne, in whom I am well pleased.

Verse 18. And this voice which came from heaven, we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

[Page 175]The Analysis.

IN these verses is contained the reason and cause of those things, which he had spoken of before, as it is manifest by the causall particle For. Now he had said before, 1. That all the faithfull must adde vertue unto faith. 2. That he had a just reason why he should so seriously stirre them up unto this du­ty; and in these words he shewes the reason and cause of both, which is taken from the certainty that is in the things themselves, and the assurance that all the faithfull may have of those things that were proposed unto them to beleeve. The certainty is set forth first by something unlike it, that is, by cunningly devised fables. Secondly, by the testimonies of the Apostles, who were both eye-witnesses, and care-witnesses of these things. Eye-witnesses, in these words, we were eye-wit­nesses of his Majesty. Eare-witnesses in these words, and this voice we have heard. The sight and hearing of the Apostles, wherein lies the foundation of the testimony, are set forth first by their objects: The object of their sight was the majestie of Christ, the object of their hearing was a voice which came from Heaven concerning Christ. Secondly by the cause, which was God the Father, communicating glory unto Christ both by word and deed, Verse 17. Thirdly, by the circumstances of time and place, When we were with him, &c.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. Cunningly devised fables are sometimes proposed in the Church in steed of the truth of God.

For this is the reason why the Apostle cleares himselfe from all suspicion of such like fables, because there were many at that time, and many would come afterwards, that would deceive the Church with such like fables, 1 Cor. 2. 1. Where Paul saith that he came not with excellency of speech, thereby closely rebuking some false Apostles and Preachers, who did affect nothing else but a shew of eloquence. So in this place Peter makes mention of fables, by reason of such impostors, 1 Tim. 1. 4. & [...]. 4. Tit. 1. 14. Such were the fables in the Church of Rome▪ that are contained in their golden Legends of S. Francis, Dominick, and innumerable Saints and Virgins, [Page 176] with the miracles that were done by them. For such like fa­bles were wont to be heretofore, and yet to this day also in many places are proposed unto the people in stead of the word of God.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, not to receive all things that are proposed, without triall and examination: for so we may imbrace fables in steed of the Gospell.

2. To exhort us, to give God thanks, that we live in those Churches, out of which all such old wives fables are wholly removed, and wherein nothing is proposed but the sincere word of God.

Doct. 2. All those professors of the faith that do not adde vertue unto faith; and all those Preachers that do not with zeale and constancy stirre up the faithfull to labour for vertue, do great­ly dishonour the Gospell, as if it were of the same nature with cun­ningly devised fables.

This is gathered from the connexion of these words with the words foregoing, which were explained in the Analysis. For this is the force of the Apostles reason; If I did account the truth of the Gospell like unto a cunningly devised fable, I could not so earnestly, and with such constancy stir you up to imbrace and adorne it; nor could ye receive those things that we have spoken of, without an endeavour to abound in vertue, if ye did not account them like unto cunningly devised fables.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish, 1. All Preachers to beware of carelessenesse and negligence in stirring up the peo­ple unto piety. And 2, All the faithfull also to beware of luke-warme and unfruitfull profession of the faith. For nei­ther of [...]hem can be without an implicit and vertuall blasphe­my, And they that so carry themselves, although they do not in words▪ yet they do in their deeds confesse, and make it to appeare, that they make no more account of the Gospell, then of an old wives fable.

2. To exhort us, to give all diligence to sanctify, as it were, the Gospell of Christ which we professe, and to shew it in our lives, that we think farre otherwise of the nature of it, then the profane multitude doth.

Doct. 3. The summe of the Gospell consists in declaring the power and comming of Christ.

[Page 177] This is gathered from these words, We made knowne unto you the power and comming of our Lord Iesus Christ. For his power hath respect unto his divine nature, together with the effects thereof, Rom. 1. 4. And his comming hath respect un­to his humane nature, together with the end and benefit of his incarnation. Now if these two be joyned together, namely, that Christ came to save us, and that he came with power, so that he had all sufficiency & efficacy at his comming, nothing more can be desired to comfort the faithfull.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish, 1 Preachers, to make the power and comming of Christ the center as it were of all their Sermons. The Apostle, 1 Cor. 2. 2. Determined to know nothing save Iesus Christ and him crucified, & then also, 2. the hearers, to have a speciall eye unto that in the hearing of Ser­mons, how they may profit in the understanding of this my­stery.

2. To exhort us, to fetch all the obedience which we per­forme unto God, from him as from the fountaine. For what­soever duties flow not from the power and comming of Christ, are not Evangelicall, but are infected with hypocrisie, or consist in civility.

Doct. 4. The certainty of this Gospell, even as it may be had after the manner of men, is as great as any we can have of any things that are done and past.

This is gathered from these words; We have seene, we have heard. For it is confirmed by the testimony of those, that sen­sibly perceived it; who by the confession of all were men at least worthy to be believed, having no reason to witnesse any otherwise then the thing it selfe was; in regard that they could not expect to receive any profit thereby from men; and being such as confirmed it unto us, not by the bare testimony of their words, but also with their life and blood: so that even after the manner of men we may be as certaine of the Gospell as we are, that there was sometimes a Monarchy of the Assy­rians, Grecians, Romans: that there were Captaines, and Knights, of such and such a countrey, or the like.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove and condemne the pervers­nesse of men, who easily believe all other things, though there be but weak arguments to confirme it; but they can scarce be brought to receive the Gospell of salvation.

[Page 178] 2. To exhort us to strengthen our faith with such like rea­sons, even to the full assurance thereof, 1 Iohn 1. 3, 4. For al­though we our selves have not seene these things, yet we must as strongly and firmely believe them, as if we our selves had seene them with our eyes, Iohn 20. 29. This pertaines unto the thankfulnesse which we owe u [...]to God, that he would not barely declare unto us his will, but also confirme it by testi­monies, Luke 1. 2. For this was one of the speciall offices of the Apostles, to witnesse those things which they had seene of Christ, Acts 1. 22. & 2 32.

Doct. 5. A great Majesty was sensibly perceived by the Apostles.

This is gathered from these words, We have seene his Ma­jestie. So great was this Majestie, that the Disciples could not beare it, Matth. 17. 6. It astonished and amazed Peter, Marke 9. 6.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, to conceive by this proofe, how great the glory and Majestie of Christ is now in Heaven, how great it shall be at the last day, and how great we also shall be made in the life to come.

2. To exhort us, to have Christ in high estimation: We have no cause to be ashamed of so great a Majestie; according to that of our Saviour; If any one be ashamed of me in this adul­terous generation, him will I be ashamed of before God and his Angels.

Doct. 6. This majestie was expressed in those words of God, This is my beloved Sonne in whom I am well pleased.

In these words is contained both the power and com­ming of Christ, whereof the Apostles witnessed, and wherein is contained the summe of the Gospell, as we said before. This is gathered from the connexion of the words, which these have with the former, We made knowne, &c. For in the title of Sonne is declared the honour and glory of Christ, where he is called this my Sonne: in the title of beloved is shew­ed the comming of Christ, and the end thereof, namely, to re­concile us unto God, and make us beloved of him: whence he is called, My beloved in whom I am well pleased. By the ti­tle of Sonne is chiefly signified the kingdome of Christ, by the title of beloved in whom I am well pleased, is signified the Priest­hood [Page 179] of Christ; and by the third thing which is added, Mat. 17. 5. is signified his Propheticall office: heare ye him. And that which is there expressed, is here understood; so that there is nothing in Christ and the Gospell which may not fitly be re­duced to these few words.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, for the building up of our faith, to have alwayes in our mindes that divine voice; for therefore came it twice from Heaven, once in the Baptisme of Christ, and once in this transfiguration which Peter hath reference unto in this place: All the word of God indeed comes from him, but there are some parts of it which come from him unto men in a more speciall manner, that is, imme­diately. Such was the Decalogue in the Old Testament: such was the voice, Iohn 12. 28. and such was this voice that was twice repeated: Now as we should magnifie every word of God, so in a speciall manner should we observe and take no­tice of such words as these.

2. To admonish us, to depend upon Christ alone, and to have recourse unto him only, in those things which pertaine unto our salvation. 1. Because such a testimony was never given of any one besides Christ. 2. In this testimony, power, honour, and glory is so given unto Christ, that it is denied unto all others: for the demonstrative particle that, as it is in the originall, [...], hath an exclusive vertue, as touch­ing all others, excluding all others from being partakers of it.

Doct. 7. This voice of God did effectually bring honour and glory unto Christ.

This is gathered from these words, He received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice unto him.

Reason 1. Because the testimony of God is infallibly true.

[...] 2. There is joyned with it omnipotent power, when it is said to come from the excellent glory.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, by faith to relye upon every testimony of God. For that which God promiseth or any way witnesseth, is as sure as that which we have already received or do see brought to passe. We may oftentimes doubt of mens words, because they have neither perfect truth, nor [Page 180] perfect power: but the excellent glory of God, whereof men­tion is here made, requires far otherwise of us.

2. To exhort us, for the confirmation of our faith, to have alwayes in our eyes the excellent glory of God, whereby he can and also will do whatsoever he hath said.

Doct. 8. Those things which pertaine unto the kingdome of Christ, are so holy, that they make the place it selfe, wherein they are declared, in some sort holy.

This is gathered from these words: in the holy Mount. For this Mount was not holy, but by this transfiguration, and this voice that came from heaven, Exod. 3. 5. Iohn 6. 3.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove the stupidity of those, that are nothing taken with such things as these that are so holy.

2. To exhort us, reverently and religiously to prepare our selves, and apply our mindes unto holy exercises, Eccles. 5. 1.

Verse 19. We have also a more sure word of prophesie; whereun­to ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, untill the day dawne, and the day-starre arise in your hearts.

Verse 20. Knowing this first, that no prophesie of the Scripture is of any private interpretation:

Verse 21. For the prophesie came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy Ghost.

The Analysis.

PEter had before proved the certainty of the Gospell by the testimony of the Apostles, who were eye-witnesses and eare-witnesses of it; now he proves the same certainty by the testimony of the word of prophesie; which he sets forth, 1. By the adjunct of stability, and that in comparison to the testimony of the Apostles, in respect whereof this word of prophesie is said to be more sure. 2. By the duty adjoyned which is due unto this word of prophesie, namely, a religious heed and attention which should be given unto this word. Wch attention is declared, 1. By the end and use of this word of prophesie, which is by way of comparison set forth by the use of a light, 2. by the helping cause, 3. By the esteeme [Page 181] which we should have of the Prophesie of Scripture, verse 20, 21. namely, that it is by the instinct of the Holy Ghost▪ which is set forth by those Prophesies that are contrary there­unto, namely, such, as are of private interpretation, or by the will of man. By prophesie is meant, not the foretelling of those things, that depend upon any naturall causes, (for so the Astrologers and Physitians can foretell many things, be­ing skilfull in the naturall causes,) nor of those things that depend upon the will of any creature (for so those that know other mens counsell, may foretell many things, probably at least) but prophesie is a fore-telling of those things, that de­pend only upon the will of God, and can be knowne by God alone, and those to whom he hath revealed it. By the word of Prophesie is meant the Prophesie of holy Scripture, as it is expresly set downe, verse 20. which is distinguished in this respect not only from false prophesies, but also from other true ones, which were never in the Canon of the Scripture.

The Doctrines rising herehence.

Doct. 1. The word of Prophesie is a more sure testimony then the testimony of any men, or of those things that our senses themselves can give us.

This is gathered from the comparison which is here made betwixt this testimony and that which went before. But it is said to be more sure, not more true: because that which the Apostles witnessed, was as true; but their testimony did not carry with it so great a confirmation of the truth.

Reason 1. Because it appeared not so much to be a divine testimony, being not as yet expressed in the Scriptures.

2. Because it could not prevaile so much upon the mindes of the Jewes, as the word of prophesie, which had now for many ages bin as it were habitually confirmed in their minds.

3. Because the testimony of one that foresaw the truth, hath more divine operation in it, then the testimony of him that witnesseth what he hath seen or heard being present, Ioh. 5. 36, 39. There are three degrees of testimonies, 1 Of Iohn. 2. Of the workes of Christ. 3. Of the Scripture or word of prophesie. The testimony of works is said to be greater then the testimo­ny of Iohn, and the testimony of the Scripture by way of gra­dation is intimated to be greater then both.

[Page 182] Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, in all those things that pertaine unto faith and our salvation to depend only up­on the Scriptures, because nothing can be more sure.

2. To exhort us, to give God thankes, that he hath not on­ly made knowne unto us his truth, but hath also confirmed it by strong and sure reasons, and in all respects hath had re­gard to and provided for the weaknesse of our faith.

3. To reprove many Christians, which do too much stag­ger and doubt of these truths. For there appeares such a wa­vering and doubting of the minde, where the life is doubtfull and uncertaine, and is not surely grounded and ordered ac­cording to the rules of Christ. Now we should be as sure of these matters of faith by the Scriptures, as we are of those things that we our selves see now present before our eyes; and go on as firmely and constantly in the way of Christ, as if we did now with our eyes see Christ himself, and all those things that he hath promised us; or as if we did now heare that voice, Arise ye dead and come to judgement.

Doct. 2. The prophesie of the Old Testament gives a most sure testimony of the power and comming of Christ.

This is gathered from the reference which this 19 verse hath to verse 16. So Luke 1. 20. Acts 3. 18, 24. & 10. 43.

Reason. 1. The greatnesse of this mystery, which was such, that it must not be shewed on a sudden to the world, but, for dignity sake, as it were, by such like messengers going be­fore.

2. That it might the more appeare that these things come from God, who was the only author of such like prophesies.

3. Because the salvation of the people of God from the be­ginning of the world depended upon the beleeving of this mysterie.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, to confirme our faith more and more by such like arguments.

2. To exhort us, highly to esteeme of this mysterie, because God himselfe alwayes made such reckoning of it, that he would have his Prophets from the beginning of the world to be exercised in the declaration of it.

3. To admonish us, that it should never seeme tedious un­to us, to heare and meditate upon those things, which pertain [Page 183] unto this mysterie, seeing God would have this alwayes pres­sed by all his Prophets.

Doct. 3. It is most praise-worthy in Christians alwayes to give diligent heed unto the Prophesies and the rest of the Scripture.

This is gathered from these words: Ye do well that ye take heed. By taking heed is meant, 1. A search and inquiry after the sense of the Scriptures, or the truths that are contained in them. 2. An applying of those truths unto the ends and uses whereunto they serve. 3. A religious affection of the minde, whereby the conscience is subdued unto those truths as unto the rules of faith and manners: now they do well, that do thus give heed unto the Scriptures.

Reason 1. Because this obedience pleaseth God.

2. Because they provide well for themselves, to be directed unto eternall happinesse.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the Papists, and some other foolish men, who deny that they do well, which give heed unto the Scriptures.

2. To reprove all profane and worldly men, who take great care about their worldly profits, or their carnall pleasures, but give little or no heed at all unto the Scriptures.

3. To exhort us, to stirre up in our selves daily this care of attention.

Doct. 4. The Scripture is a light shining unto those that re­ligiously give heed unto it.

This is gathered from these words; Take heed as unto a light that shineth. Now it is called a light,

Reason 1. Because it is cleare and manifest in it selfe.

2. Because it makes all other things cleare and manifest.

3. Because it enlightens also the eyes of our minde, so that we are able to behold the heavenly mysteries of the kingdome of God.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the Papists, who tax the Scriptures of obscurity.

2. To reprove and condemne those, that walk in the midst of this light, and yet perceive no more of the things of God, then as if they were in darknesse.

3. To exhort us, 1. To give God thanks for so great a be­nefit. For God now deales with us, as he did heretofore with [Page 184] the Israelites, in whose dwellings there was light, when in all the land of the Egyptians there was thick darknesse, Exod. 10. 22. 23. 2. To walke in this light, not to sleepe or have fellowship with the workes of darknesse, as it is Ephesians 5. 8. 11. 14.

Doct. 5. The whole condition of this our life hath much darknesse in it.

This is gathered from these words; A light shining in a darke place. We may see the explication of these words in Calvin.

Reason. Because without the light of the Scriptures and faith we are nothing but darknesse; seeing therefore this light is communicated unto us but imperfectly in this life, there must needs be as yet much darknesse.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, not to puffe up our selves with the opinion of knowledge, but humbly to ac­knowledge our imperfections.

2. To exhort us, so much the more diligently to give heed unto the light.

Doct. 6. We must give heed unto the Scriptures, untill a greater light be communicated unto us, then we can have out of the Scriptures, that is, untill the last end of this life.

This is gathered from these words, untill the day downe. Al­though they were very strongly confirmed, verse 12. Yet they must still give heed unto the Scriptures. Daniel himselfe, though a Prophet, gave heed unto the Prophesies of Ieremy, Daniel, 9. 2. Peter himselfe gave heed unto the Epistles of Paul, c. 3. v. 15. Paul himselfe had great care of the Parch­ments, that is, of the volumes and books of Scripture, 2 Tim▪ 4. 13.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the Anabaptists, who say that the Scriptures are only profitable for novices and young beginners, and not for the stronger.

2. To reprove those, that rest in that knowledge of the Scriptures, which they have, and seeke no farther.

Doct. 7. Very great knowledge, light and cleerenesse shall be communicated unto us in the life to come.

This is gathered from the comparison that is made betwixt the life present and the life to come: In the present we have [Page 185] a light as it were in a darke place, but in that to come we shall have full noone as it were, 1 Cor. 13. 12.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us earnestly to desire to come unto that perfection, and in the meane time to exercise our selves in those things that lead thereunto.

Doct. 8. The light of the Scripture profiteth none but the faithfull.

This is gathered from these words: Knowing this first, that is, beleeving, Hebr. 4. 2. No great or noble effect is produced, unlesse the matter, or the object wherein it should be produ­ced, be prepared before: the seed it selfe that is cast into the ground, doth not grow, unlesse the ground be plowed and harrowed. Besides, whereas the Scripture is a testimony, and the strength of the testimony depends upon the authority of him that witnesseth, the Scripture can be of no force, if the authority of God be not acknowledged in it.

Vse. This may serve to direct us, when we come to the reading or hearing of the Scriptures, alwayes to lift up our mindes unto God, and stirre up true faith in our hearts.

Doct. 9. The first thing to be believed is, that the Scriptures are not of any inhumane interpretation, but of divine revelation.

This is gathered from these words: Knowing this first, &c.

The Papists and some others gather from this place, that the interpretation of Scripture doth not belong unto private men, but unto the Church, that is, the Pope and the Councels whom he approves of: but in this sense this place makes most against them: for first it is not here said that a private man may not interpret the Scriptures, but that he may not make an interpretation of his owne; now by a mans owne interpretation is meant a humane interpretation, that is made by the will of man; as it evidently appeares by the oppositi­on, verse 21. So that the Prophets themselves, although they were publick Doctors of the Church, yet if they should have said any thing of themselves without the revelation of God, that would have beene their owne, that is, a humane inter­pretation: whence also it followes that every interpretation of the Pope, which he takes not from cleare Scripture, or hath it not by some extraordinary revelation, is his owne in that sense as this word is taken in this place. Secondly, By inter­pretation [Page 186] in this place is not meant the interpretation of Scrip­ture, that was before revealed, but the revelation it self, as it ap­pears by the 21 vers where this interpretation is made to con­sist therein, that the Prophets spake their prophesies as they were moved by the holy Ghost. 3 Peter himselfe, who in the opinion of the Papists was at that time head of the Church, bids the faithfull here, search the Scriptures, he doth not bid them depend upon him, and alwayes look for interpretatio [...]. 4 He attributes more and greater strength unto the Scripture, then to his own testimony. 5 He cals the Scripture a light, and the condition of the Church a dark place▪ the Papists on the contrary attribute darknesse unto the Scripture, and light and clearnesse unto the Church. 6 He commends the vulgar sort of the faithfull, that they did take heed unto the Scriptures, in these words, Ye do well. But the Papists by this interpretaion debarre the faithfull from the reading of the Scripture.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the Papists, that put the Church before the Scripture, and say that the first thing to be believed is, that the Church cannot erre.

2. To exhort us, to lay this foundation firme and sure in our hearts.

Doct. 10. The holy Ghost moved those men that were authors of the Scriptures.

This is gathered from these words: As they were moved by the holy Ghost.

Vse. This may serve to instruct us, by continuall prayer to seek for the aid of the Spirit, for the understanding of the Scriptures. The Scripture must be understood by the help of the same Spirit, by whom it was dictated, as Hier. Eodem spi­ritu debet intelligi Scriptura, quo fuit dictata.

Doct. 11. The men which the holy Ghost made use of, to de­liver the Scriptures, were holy men of God.

Holy, because they were sanctified inwardly, & also set apart to this most holy work. Men of God they were, because they were called by God to this office, and they did declare the will of God, and they did labour also to bring men unto God.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to labour to be like unto them, according to our ability, both in holinesse, and in zeale of the Lord.

Chapter II.

Verse 1. But there were false Prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Verse 2. And many shall follow their pernicious wayes, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evill spoken of.

Verse 3. And through covetousnesse shall they with feined words make merchandize of you.

The Analysis.

HItherto the Apostle propounded an exhortation, and confirmed it also in the foregoing Chapter. In the two following Chapters he strengthens it, by removing the impediments, that might make this exhortation of no effect. And the chiefe impediments are fals teachers and profane scoffers: of these former he speaks Ch. 2. Of the latter chap. 3. The false teachers he doth first, de­scribe: secondly, reprove: he describes them from the be­ginning to those words in vers. 3. whose judgement, &c. Then he reproves them, 1 in generall in these words, that they are damned men; which he doth afterwards prove, 1 by the usu­all course of Gods justice, from verse 4. to the 10. 2. By their deserts, whereby they bring upon themselves the revenging justice of God, from verse 10. to the end of the Chapter. In the description of the false teachers he makes, 1 A compari­son of the like betwixt the false teachers and those that were false prophets among the people of Israel, partly that he might joyne together this discourse with the former, where he spake of true Prophets; and partly that he might meet with the scandall which might arise by such seducers; and partly [Page 188] that he might stirre up the faithfull so much the more, to be­ware of their seducing. In the first respect, the last words of the former Chapter, and the first of this Chapter, make such a discreet axiom as this; although there were many Prophets among the People of Israel, that were holy men of God, and were moved by the Spirit of God in those things that they spake; yet among the same people also there were many false Prophets. This discretion is shewed in these words: But there were. In the second respect these words make a copulate axi­om thus: Like as there were false Prophets among the People of Israel, so also shall there be false teachers among you. In the third respect there is intimated and implicitely contained such a connex axiom as this: If there shall be false teachers among you, like as there were false Prophets among the peo­ple of Israel, then must you be alike careful to beware of these, as the Israelites were warned heretofore to beware of them. After that description which is made by way of comparison, followes an absolute description; wherein the false teachers are described by their effects. Which eff [...]cts have either an immediate reference unto the false teachers themselves, or un­to others by them. Those that have reference unto the false teachers themselves, are 1 The bringing in of heresies, which are set forth by their adjunct, that they are damnable, whereof he gives a reason also, taken from the nature of heresies, which is said to be such, that it brings in a denying of the Lord. 2. The second effect is, that they bring upon themselves swift destructi­on. In respect of others the first effect is, that they shall have many followers, who are pointed out by another effect accom­panying this seducing, namely, a speaking evill of the truth, or of the Gospell, which shall come to passe by their meanes. The o­ther effect is the abuse of those whom they do seduce for gain; which abuse is set forth by the helping cause, namely by fai­ned words.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. There are alwayes false prophets and false teach­ers in the Church.

This is gathered from these words: there were, there shall bee.

Reason. This comes to passe in a threefold respect, 1 in re­spect [Page 189] of God. 2. In respect of the Devill. 3. In respect of men. First, in respect of God, and that 1 that they which are approved in the Church may be made manifest, 1 Cor. 11. 19. Deut. 13. 3. 2. That the obstinate wicked may perish in their ungodlinesse and cruelty, 2▪ Thess. 2. 10, 11, 12. 1 Kings 22. 20, 21, 22. Secondly, in respect of the Devill, because he is alwayes the father of lyes, and a murtherer, and that envi­ous one, which soweth tares among the good seed. Thirdly, In respect of men, because the wisdome of the flesh is enmity against God and his truth.

The use hereof according to the Apostles intention is two­fold:

Vse 1. To admonish us, not to be offended, nor to be top much troubled in minde, when we see heresies to arise in the Church, but to say as the Apostle did, There were, there shall be.

2. To instruct us, not to believe every spirit, but to try whe­ther they are of God, 1 Iohn 4. 1.

Doct. 2. Every heresie hath damnation joyned with it.

This is gathered from these words: damnable heresies. Some are more damnable then others, yet all do in their nature tend to damnation. For all are contrary unto the way of truth, whereof mention is made, verse 2. which way alone leads unto life. But there are some heresies which can by no meanes consist with salvation or eternall life. Hereupon such opini­ons are by a kind of appropriation called heresies in the Church, that is, opinions altogether damnable. For there is a difference to be observed betwixt things rashly spoken, bare errors in faith, and heresies properly so called. In the heresies themselves also we must distinguish betwixt the materiality, and the formality of it. For to make a formall heresie, for which a man is properly called an heretick, there is required besides an errour in those things that pertaine unto the fun­damentals of religion, a reluctation against the cleare light, and obstinacy in that reluctation.

Vse. This may serve to condemne those that under the name of peace and charity, make so little reckoning of the bringing in of heresies into the Church. They would have all things received in and tollerated; which is all one, as if they would [Page 190] for peace and charity admit of damnation it selfe. For here­sies have damnation joyned with it.

2. To admonish us, 1. to take diligent heed that we do not by any means further such heresies. 2. Not rashly or for a light cause to pronounce any man an heretick. 3. As care­fully to beware of heresies, as we should of damnation.

Quest. In the reason which is here given of this property of heresies, that they are damnable, a question is moved, What is meant by denying the Lord? denying the Lord that bought them. For many gather from this place, that all and every particular man were redeemed by Christ, because it is here said that he bought even those wicked hereticks: but it may be answered divers wayes.

Answ. 1. That these false teachers were members of the visible Church, and therefore, 1. they accounted themselves such as were redeemed by Christ, and made shew of that pro­fession. 2. Men were to account them such, as long as they continued in the Church; and in this respect they may be said to be such as were redeemed by Christ; like as the Apo­stles are wont to call whole Churches justified, sanctified, and elect. There is not the same reason therefore of all and every particular man, as there was of these.

Ans. 2. He doth not here speak of Christ properly, as he is Redeemer, nor of the redemption of his blood, but of that right, whereby masters chalenge their servants, as having bought them; which may be thus shewed: 1. Here is no mention of Christ as being Lord properly, but Master. For in the Greek it is [...], which is properly, a Master in respect of a servant, not [...], Lord. And these two names are clear­ly distinguished, Iude v. 4. where the same thing is spoken of the same false teachers: there they are said to deny their Do­minum & herum Lord and master; although he may be called their Herus, Master, he is not properly called their Dominus, Lord. Then againe, the Lord is not said to have redeemed all men, but only to have bought them: now although the word [...], to buy, be sometimes used in the same sense that the other is, yet it is not alwayes so.

Ans. 3. The comparison here is plainly made betwixt the false teachers and the false Prophets, bewixt the visible [Page 191] Church and the people of Israel; for the Lord is said to have bought those men in the same sense, that he is said to have re­deemed and delivered all the people of Israel; that is, as he de­livered them out of Egypt, and challenged them to himselfe in a peculiar manner, that by a solemne covenant they should be his servants; so also all those that give their names unto the Church, he may in this respect be said to have bought▪ as a Master, that they should serve him for ever. To deny the Lord is, not to acknowledge God or Christ for the Lord, Matth. 10. 32, 33. to confesse and to deny are made contrary one to ano­ther, Luke 12. 8, 9. The reason is, because it hath once pro­fessed the name of the Lord, and afterwards departs from that profession▪ it is all one as if he did plainly say, that he would no longer be a servant of that Lord. For this denying is two­fold, either▪ verball or reall. A verball denying was in Peter, a reall denying is in all those that after they have made profes­sion of the faith▪ return unto a profane life, 1 Tim. 5. 8. 2 Tim. 3. 5. The denying in this place is properly meant of a reall de­nying. For the description of these men doth rather expresse their profane courses, then their open renouncing of Christ.

Doct. 3. It is a damnable impiety to deny Christ either in word or deed.

Reason 1. Because by this means Christ is greatly disho­noured; for men, our lusts, and Sathan himselfe are preferred before him, Mark 8. 38. where the indignity of this sinne is shewed, that an adulterous and sinfull generation is preferred before Christ. Christ also by this me [...]ns is accused of iniquity: for no servant usually goeth away from his master, if he con­fesseth him to be a just master; therefore this going away is as it were a professing that he doth accuse that master from whom he goes of some iniquity. Hereupon was that contesting of the Lord against his rebellious people▪ that he was a just and right master, neither did he give them any cause to depart from him, Ier. 2 5. Mich. 6. 3. Deut. 32. 4.

2. Because Christ threatned a most heavie judgement against this sin, when he saith that he will deny those men; that he wil be ashamed of them before God and his Angels, Mark 8. 38.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne, not only the manifest Apostates, but also all those, that with the profession of [Page 192] godlinesse joyne a profane life, or turn aside from that profes­sion. The sinne of these men is more grievous, then of Turks and Infidels, that never gave their names unto Christ; for the neerer any man commeth unto God, the more doth he dis­honour his name, if he doth fall back againe. He that hath in some sort forsaken Sathan, and given himselfe up unto God, and afterward forsakes God again, and gives himselfe up unto Sathan, seems to have known both masters, and advisedly to pronounce that he is the better, whose servant he would ra­ther be, that is, Sathan.

2. To admonish us, 1. Carefully to beware, not only of the damnable sin it selfe, but also of all appearance, and every degree of it, and every occasion that might leade us thereunto. 2. If in any respect we have turned towards such like abomi­nation, to recall our selves betimes, and seriously to bewaile our offence, like as Peter did after his denying of Christ, Matth. 26. 75.

Doct. 4. It i [...] the nature of such sinnes to bring destruction upon men.

This is gathered from these words; bring upon themselves destruction.

Reason. Because sinne in respect of the guilt that is joyned with it, hath a kind of power whereby it drawes all evill; like as faith and prayers obtain every good gift from God. Hence is it, that our sins are said to cry for vengeance; and also to draw punishment unto it as it were with strong cords, Isay 5. 18. For while men draw sin with such-like cords, they do al­so draw the punishment of sinne, which is joyned unto it.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, in this respect to beware of sin.

2. To exhort us, by faith, repentance, and prayers, to turn away that destruction from us, which our sins would bring upon us.

Doct. 5. The destruction which hangs over the heads of grievous offenders will come swiftly.

This is gathered from these words; swift destruction.

Doct. 6. Men are wonderfully prone to imbrace errors.

This is gathered from these words; And many shall fol­low.

[Page 193] Reason 1. By reason of that darknesse, which hath taken hold of mens mindes; thereupon they may be easily drawne under any shew or glimps of light.

2. By reason of that disposition which they have, alien from the truth; thereupon they easily imbrace those things that are contrary to this truth.

3. By reason of that disposition which they have, agreeing with the nature of errors. For sinners have in themselves the seeds, of all sins, errors and heresies; so that the nature of cor­rupt man doth as easily receive errors, as the tinder fi [...]e.

4. By reason of the just judgement of God, whereby for the punishment of other sins they are given over to the power of errors, 2 Thess. 2. 10.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, to shew the corruption and wretchednesse of our nature, how hardly are we brought to imbrace the heavenly and saving truth, when we are carri­ed headlong unto damnable errors.

2. To admonish us, that it should not be an offence unto us, if we see many given unto errors; because this was fore­told us by the Apostle, and it hath a manifest reason; so that it is not to be wondred at, that many are given unto errors, but that rather, that any one doth believe the truth.

3. To exhort us, 1 Unto humiliation, in respect of this pronenesse unto error, 2 To care and circumspection that we be not overswayed by it. And an Argument whereby we may and should be stirred up unto this care, we have in the text, whiles they which follow heresies and hereticks, are said to follow their destruction. For not only the authors of heresies run unto destruction, but also their followers, as in the place of the Thess. before cited. In those which perish, so that it is a signe of destruction, to be seduced by hereticks.

Doct. 7. The fruit of errors and heresies is speaking evill of the way of truth.

This is gathered from these words, By reason of whom the way of truth shall be evill spoken of. By the way of truth is meant the Gospell, or the will of God revealed in the Scripture, which shewes the true way of salvation. It is said to be evill spo­ken of, when the dignity thereof is violated, most proper­ly by reproachfull words. It is said to be evill spoken of by [Page 194] them, namely, by the authors of the heresies and their follow­ers, in a two-fold respect, 1. When they themselves speak re­proachfully of it, as the Scribes and Pharisees did of Christ. 2. While they give others occasion to speak reproachfully of it, as the Jewes did unto the Gentiles, Rom. 2. 24. both respects seeme to be meant here by these, for the Greek word [...] sig­nifies per & propter, by, and by reason of.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, to judge aright of the nature of sinne, that never staies till it hath brought men to blasphemy against God, and to speak evill of the way of God.

2. To admonish us, 1. For this cause to withstand the be­ginnings of sin, lest at length we be brought also to blasphe­my against the holy Ghost, which Christ saith is a sin that shall never be forgiven. 2. To beware also of those men, that durst openly speak evill of the truth; amongst the number of whom they are to be put, that dare mock and scoffe at the name of predestination and the predestinate.

Doct. 8. They which propagate errors under faire pretence, do often times seek their own gaine.

This is gathered from these words; through covetousnesse with fained words: Covetousnesse is commonly the compa­nion of heresies, oftentimes the mother, very often the Nurse of them, as we may see in the Papists.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, 1. Not to believe mens fained words. 2. To beware of covetousnesse, which is the root, as of all evils, so also of heresies.

Doct. 9. Miserable is the condition of those men that are se­duced by hereticks; for they are sold like beasts and cattell.

This is gathered from these words, they shall make merchan­dize of you.

Verse 3. at the end. Whose judgement now of a long time lin­greth not, and their damnation slumbreth not.

The Analysis.

HItherto we have seen the description of false teachers, and their sins; now followes their reproofe, or the pu­nishment for their sins, that shall certainly befall them. [...]his punishment is set forth, 1. Metonymically, by the cause, in that it is called judgement. 2. By the effect, in that it is cal­led damnation. 3. By the adjunct of swiftnesse and speed, which is shewed by the negation of those things that are op­posed unto swiftnesse. Now in generall, lingring or slownesse is opposed thereunto; in speciall, slumbring, which is put as a species of idlenesse or slacknesse. This swiftnesse of the punishment that shall befail them, is set forth by the adjunct of time, that it did not now first of all begin to make hast, but now of a long time.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. The punishment of sinne followes after sinne.

This is gathered from the connexion of these words with the words foregoing: there was the description of sin; and here presently followes the threatning of punishment.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, never to think of sin, but to adjoyne also the consideration of the punishment, which is joyned unto sin.

Doct. 2. This punishment proceeds from the just judge­ment of God, for that it is here called judgement.

For God as judge of all the earth, pronounceth sentence upon men for their sins, and the execution of that sentence is called punishment. Now he pronounceth sentence according to right and a most holy law, and therefore the punishment which God inflicteth is in a proper sense called judgement.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute, 1 prophane men, which think that those evils that men suffer, both publick and pri­vate, come by chance. 2. Those that are wont to complaine of the evils which they suffer, as if God did deale unjustly with them, Gen. 18. 25. Deut. 32. 4.

[Page 196] 2. To admonish us, continually to walke in the feare of the Lord, because we live in his fight, that exerciseth judge­ment.

Doct. 3. This judgement of God brings damnation upon sinners, that is, a privation of all good, which pertaines unto the happinesse or well-being of man, and the sense of all misery; which makes that very being bitter and unpleasant.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, with feare to flye a­way from sin, and to seek the face of God.

Doct. 4. This damnation comes swiftly upon sinners.

Reason 1. Because it comes long before their expectation of it.

2. Because it is not deferred beyond the time which is most fit, and appointed by God, and in that respect it is said not to linger.

3. Because no impediment can hinder it, but it is deferred through Gods mercy and long-suffering; in that respect it is said not to slumber, because slumbring and sleepe bindes the mind, and hinders the actions.

4. Because now of a long time before, way is made and prepared for this damnation.

5. Because the damnation it selfe, although the wicked of­tentimes are not sensible of it, yet it takes hold of them, and spiritually worketh in their minds and consciences.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that give them­selves wholly unto sin, either because they think that punish­ment commeth flowly, or else because they hope to escape un­punished, Eccl [...]s. 8. 10, 11, 12.

2. To admonish us, to make haste to repent of our sinnes, not to linger nor slumber.

Doct. 5. In all those things which pertaine unto judgement against sinners, like as in all other things, God doth nothing rashly, but foreseeth, premeditateth, and prepareth all things.

This is gathered from the adjunct of time, Now of a long time. So Iude v. 4.

Verse 4. For if God spared not the Angels that sinned, but cast them downe to hell, and delivered them into chaines of dark­nesse to be reserved unto judgement.

The Analysis.

NOw the Apostle proves that which he had before laid downe concerning the punishment that should befall false teachers. The conclusion of this arguing is, 1 In gene­rall propounded of all the wicked, v. 9. For there is the conse­quent part of that connex axiom, the antecedent whereof be­gins v. 4. and is shewed by the connexion If, as, If God spared not the Angels, &c. Then afterwards in speciall, of these false teachers themselves and their followers, v. 10. In the generall conclusion, v. 9. he doth not barely set downe the condemna­tion of the wicked, but also by a copulate axiom joynes to­gether with it, the deliverance of the godly from that tempta­tion, which ariseth unto them by means of the wicked. And the reason is, because the Apostles purpose was, so to reprove the wicked, that he might in the mean time comfort the god­ly, and strengthen them against all the temptations, whereun­to they were obnoxious by means of the wicked. In the ante­cedent part of this arguing he sets downe three arguments, which are as so many examples & judgements of God against the wicked; & they may make three syllogismes to prove one and the same conclusion. The first example is of the Angels that fell, v. 4. The second is of the old world, v. 5. The third is of Sodome and Gomorrha. The syllogismes are knit together, after this manner: If God spared not the Angels, nor the old world, nor Sodome and Gomorrha; then he will not spare these false teachers; nor the like wicked men; But the former is true, by the testimony of Scripture, Therefore, &c. These examples in respect of the generall conclusion, which is set downe, v. 9. are as spe­cies unto their genus. But in respect of the speciall conclusion wch is set down, v. 10. they are as comparata, partly alike, part­ly greater. That wherein they are alike, consists therein, as God condemned those sinners so also will he condemn these. Their inequality therein; if God spared not his most excellent crea­tures, the Angels, nor the old world, nor those cities; then much lesse will he spare these false teachers.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. The judgements of God which he hath executed from the beginning of the world were ordained to be examples for us.

This is evidently gathered from all this arguing of the Apo­stle, and it is plainly taught us, verse 6. So 1 Cor. 10. 6. they are called types, that is, ensamples; which appears also by vers. 11. which sense of the words Beza and others have missed.

Reason. The reason of this truth is Gods unchangeable na­ture and constant justice, whereby he is alwayes like himself, not only inwardly and in himselfe, but also outwardly to­wards us in the dispensation of his punishments and rewards, if we look to the substance of God. Hence is it, that by this argument the godly are both confirmed in their hope, Isay 59. 1. & 9. 9. 10. and assured of the destruction of all their ene­mies, and of all those that give themselves over unto impiety.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, so to read the sacred History, not as we read profane histories and fables, either for delight, or to be informed only in the knowledge of the times, or in things that have bin done; but alwayes to observe Gods warnings and apply them unto our own use.

2. To admonish us, not to deceive our selves, as if we had a priviledge to sin above other men, or as if God wold not deale so severely with us, if we should continue in our sins, as he did heretofore with those whom he destroyed: * Other mens harmes should teach us to beware of the like sins. In the first example we have, first, The object of Gods judgement, The Angels that sinned. Secondly, the manner how he dealt with them, If he spared them not. Thirdly, the degree of this judge­ment, present, and to come: present, that they were adjudged unto damnation; and to come, that they were to be reserved unto judgement. The fin of the Angels is not particularly set downe in the Scriptures, because it doth not so much pertaine to our edification and salvation, to know their sin, as it doth to know our own sins. But in generall we are taught, that they kept not their first estate. Iude v. 6. that is, they left that estate wherein God had placed them, and afterwards exercised en­vie, lying, murther towards men. We are taught also that the number of those that fell was great; thence it is that the Apo­stle [Page 199] here speaks in the plurall number. They are said to have been cast down to hell, 1. By reason of the change of their estate, because from that wonderfull high condition, which they had received by creation, they were cast downe to the lowest of all. 2. By reason of the change of their place, be­cause from the place of blisse, where they were round about the throne of God with the other Angels, they were thrust downe into a lower place fit for sin and misery: But that this place is in the lowest parts of the earth, as the Papists would have it, it cannot be shewed out of the Scriptures, but rather the contrary: for they are said to be in the aire, and to rule there, and to go about the earth seeking to devoure men. This at least is plaine out of the Scripture, and it should suffice such as are not over-curious: 1. That they suffer a great change of estate. 2. That they are excluded from their first habitation. 3. That they are in that place, where they receive poenam dam­ni & sensus, the punishment of losse, and the punishment also of sense. They are said to be delivered into darknesse, partly in respect of sin, partly in respect of misery: for both are sig­nified by darknesse in the Scriptures. They are said to be deli­vered into chains, by a metaphor taken from malefactors that are condemned, who are kept inprison bound with chains. Now these chains are, 1 A hardning in their sins. 2 A de­spaire of all deliverance. 3 A fearfull looking for that misery whereof mention is made, Heb. 10. 27. 4. The providence of God which alwayes watcheth over them, to keep and punish them. They are said to be reserved unto judgement, because they are bound so fast with these evils, that they can never e­scape; and yet these are but the beginnings of the evils, which they must farther undergo.

Doct. 2. There is no dignity that can exempt a sinner from the judgement of God.

This is gathered from the nature of the Angels.

Reason. Because dignity doth not lessen the sin, but aggra­vate it. For he that hath received much, owes much, and of him much is required.

Vse. This may serve for admonition, that men should not trust to such staffes of reed.

Doct. 3. That severity is due unto sin, that sinners should not be spared.

[Page 200] This is gathered from these words, He spared not.

Reason 1. Because sinners alwayes abuse the goodnesse of God.

2. They spare not the glory of God, but themselves.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, to ascribe it unto the grace and mercy of God, that he hath hitherto spared us.

2. To exhort us, not to contemne this long-suffering of God, but thereby to be led unto repentance, Rom. 2. 4.

Doct. 4. By sinne a sinner is cast downe from the place and condition which he had before.

This is gathered from these words; cast down to hell.

Reason. Because sin is an aversion from God. Now as the communion which we have with God, makes us to ascend in­to a high condition, even into Heaven it selfe, so that our con­versation is in heaven, as it is Phil. 3. 20. So also aversion from him makes us to descend, even untill we come unto hell it selfe.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to trust the devill, nor our own imaginations, as if we could ever attain any good by sinning. For so our first parents were deceived, when they thought to make themselves like unto God by sin, they were made like unto the devill.

Doct. 5. The darknesse of misery followes the darknesse of sinne.

This gathered from these words; delivered them into chaines of darknesse.

Reason. Because the light is the same, whereby we are dire­cted, and whereby we are perfected; therefore the privation of perfection and happinesse followes the privation of di­rection.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, alwayes to walk in the light, as children of the light, if we desire to avoid utter darknesse.

Doct. 6. Sinners are held in sinne and in their misery, as it were with bonds.

This is gathered from that: Chaines.

Reason. Because the sins themselves are the snares of the de­vill, 2 Tim. 2. last. Lam. 1. 14. There are other reasons given of this thing in the Analysis.

[Page 201] Vse. This may serve to admonish us, betimes to pray for deliverance from our sins, which then we shall obtaine, when we do flye unto Christ, who gives deliverance unto the Cap­tives, Luke 4. 18.

Doct. 7. The extreamest punishment of sinners is deferred unto the last judgement of God.

Vse. This may serve for instruction, that no man should please himselfe therein, that he suffers afflictions in this world, as if therefore he should escape free in the world to come, which is the miserable comfort of some men.

Verse 5. And spared not the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth person, a Preacher of righteousnesse, bringing in the flood up­on the world of the ungodly.

The Analysis.

THe second and third example of Gods justice towards sin­ners are not barely propounded, as the first was, but are illustrated by different examples, or by examples of Gods mercy, which he shewed towards the godly, while he destroy­ed the wicked. The reason is, that both parts of the conclusi­on, which is set down, verse 9. might be fitly inferred; where the deliverance of the godly is joyned together with the de­struction of the wicked. In the former of these examples is set downe, 1 The object of Gods justice, materially, the old world, which is more formally explained by the adjunct of impiety, whence it is called the world of the ungodly. 2. This justice is also illustrated by the instrument thereof, namely, the bringing in of the flood upon the world of the ungodly. The object of Gods mercy is made to be Noah with his family: who are described, 1 By their small number, wherein his family was contained, which is said to be eight. This Peter shewes, 1 Epist. c. 3. v. 20. 2 By the effect, that he was a Preacher of righteous­nesse. For the office or duty is not here commended, but the act or exercise of this duty. For the duty was common to him with many mor [...], but the exercise of it was proper unto him­selfe.

[Page 202] The Doctrines arising here-hence.

Doct. 1. The multitude of those that sinne doth not hinder Gods justice from executing his judgements upon them for their sinnes.

This is gathered from this; He spared not the whole world. For as it was with dignity in the Angels, so it is also with the multitude now in the world.

Reason 1. Because the multitude doth not lessen, but rather increase the guilt of sinne, and more fill up the measure there­of, as it is in the Proverbe, Qui peccat exemplo, bis peccat, he that sins with example, sins twice: So he that sins with ma­ny examples, sins often times, if the thing be rightly conside­red. As if a man should see another fall in a slippery way, and not take the more heed unto himselfe therein, but fall into the same place and after the same manner, he is much more taxed by men, then if he had fallen alone, or first of all: so is it also in these.

2. Because the multitude which seemeth unto us a great thing, as if it could withstand Gods anger, is before God like unto water, that fals from a bucket.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to follow a multi­tude to do evill. And so much the more necessary is this ad­monition, because we are all too prone to go in the way of the multitude; which fault also we seeme to commit with some reason.

1. Because that we presume that many eyes see more then one, whence it is that the voice of the people is often taken for the voice of God.

2. Because the labour of examination seemes too diffi­cult, and almost impossible.

3. Because that which all men do, usually goes unpuni­shed among men, and we conceive the like thing of God.

4. Because he that doth not follow the multitude, shall gaine a multitude of enemies, and such as hate him.

But the contrary reason, which is of greater value then all those is that of Christ, Matth. 7. 13. Broad is the way that lead­eth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat. To the first reason or object on we answer; that one eye of a man that seeth, perceives more then a thousand blind eyes. The world [Page 203] or the multitude of the world is blinded; therefore one Christian which hath the eye of his mind inlightned by the Spirit, and followes the light of Gods word, can see more then a great multitude of others. To the second we answer, that the duty of examination lies upon all and every one. And they had need to do it, not only as they are Christians, and as Christ commands them, to prove all things, and hold fast that which is good, but also as they are men: for it is not a humane, but a brutish thing to follow the multitude of those that go before, without judgement. To the third we answer, that the wayes of God are not as the wayes of men: Men winck at many, either out of ignorance, or impotency, or for feare, and the like imperfections which are not incident to God. To the fourth we answer, If God be with us, who can be against us?

Doct. 2. The creatures which are most necessary and profi­table unto us, by sin are made our enemies and hurtfull unto us.

This is gathered from the flood of waters, that destroyed the old world. Now nothing is more necessary and profitable unto us then water.

Reason. Because the creatures are the servants and hoast of God, and therefore they depend upon his will, and pleasure, and command both for war and peace, Hos. 2. 18.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, so much the more to beware of sin.

2. To instruct us, if we would have any true comfort from the creatures, to lay the foundation thereof in our reconcilia­tion with God.

Doct. 3. God in the midst of judgement towards the ungod­ly, is mercifull towards the godly.

This is gathered therehence, that when he destroyed the world, he saved Noah.

Reason. Because God doth not execute judgement accor­ding to the fiercenesse of his anger or fury, as men oftentimes use to do, but according to the counsell of his most perfect wisdome.

Vse. 1. This may serve to instruct us, not to ascribe those things unto fortune or chance, which happen unto us or o­thers in this kind.

[Page 204] 2. To comfort us, because in a world of all dangers and judgements, we may flye unto the mercy of God.

Doct. 4. There are wont to be but a few godly men in the world.

This is gathered therehence, that Noah is called the eighth of the godly, or rather he may be called the seventh, because Cham was cursed.

Reason 1. In respect of God, because he gives this grace but unto a few, that his goodnesse and mercy towards them may appeare the more abundant.

2. In respect of the second causes, and of the nature of the thing it selfe, because that which is most difficult, and of the greatest care and perfection, is not wont to be found but in few. The gifts of nature are common unto all; of art and in­dustry to fewer, but the gifts of grace to fewest of all. There are more good Taylors then good Physitians, and more good Physitians then good Kings. So that that hath the greatest perfection, which is given but to a few.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, to be so much the more diligent to make our election and calling sure.

2. To exhort us, to give God thanks, that he hath made us partakers of that happinesse, which he grants but to a few.

Doct. 5. All the godly, that will be made partakers of Gods mercy, must be preachers of righteousnesse, as Noah was.

Now righteousnesse is preached not only in words, but al­so in deeds. For so it is wont to be said, The thing it selfe speaketh, [...] or the tongue only, Phil. 2. 15, 16.

Reason. Because no man can escape the revenging justice of God, unlesse he labour to follow and advance the righteous­nesse that is prescribed by him.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne and reprove those, that are rather Preachers of unrighteousnesse, then of righte­ousnesse.

2. To exhort us, more and more to stir up our selves to have a care of this duty.

Verse 6. And turning the Cities of Sodome and Gomorrha into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly.

Verse 7. And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conver­sation of the wicked:

Verse 8. (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in see­ing and hearing, vexed his righteous soule from day to day, with their unlawfull deeds.)

The Analysis.

IN these verses is contained the third example, which is di­vided after the same manner, as the second was. For here he speaks of the judgement of God upon the wicked, and his mercy towards the godly. The object of his judgement are the Cities of Sodome and Gomorrha; the manner is, by fire, which is intimated in these words, turned into ashes. The degree is, in their utter overthrow; the end and use is, to warne those that should after live ungodly. For such judgements are en­samples not of a wicked life, but of the condemnation that hangs over the heads of those that live ungodly; and so they are ensamples to move men, not to do the like; but to take heed lest if they do after the like manner, they suffer also after the like manner.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. No society of men or policy can hinder the judgement of God, which he will bring upon them for their sins.

For as in the first example there was the dignity of the An­gels, in the second the multitude of men, so also in this place society and policy; and Cities that were so noble, Sodome and Gomorrha. For they were Cities that were brought into go­vernment, they had Kings, Gen. 14 2. This Doctrine is pro­pounded, and proved, Prov. 11 21. & in 16. 5. it is repeated.

Reason. Because the guilt of sin is not lessened, but increased by means of societies, if they favour sinnes: for they pervert the end whereunto they were ordained. For whereas the end of all societies is to restraine sinne, and to advance righteous­nesse, 1 Tim. 2. 2. and they on the contrary cherish sin and im­pugne righteousnes, they do provoke the anger of God more, [Page 206] then if they were not such societies. The sin of these Cities is said to be grievous, and crying, Gen. 18. 20.

This may serve for admonition, that Citizens or Magi­strates should not trust too much to their wealth, so that there­by they should be made the more bold to sin.

Doct. 2. The same judgements of God are executed by con­trary causes.

This is gathered therehence, that whereas the old world was destroyed by water, those Cities were overthrowne by fire.

Vse. This may serve for admonition, that sinners should not therefore think themselves safe, because they have escaped one judgement; for when they are farthest off from one evil, another is ready to fal upon them, Amos 5. 19.

Doct. 3. Extreame judgements follow extreame sins.

This is gathered therehence, that this was an utter over­throw, because that these Cities had filled up the measure of their sins.

Reason. The reason is taken from the proportion, that is betwixt sin and the punishment of sin.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, if we cannot altoge­ther avoid sin, yet with feare and trembling to shun the pro­gresse and continuance in sin.

Doct. 4. They that are unto others examples of sin, shall be also unto them examples of punishment.

This is gathered from these words: Making them an en­sample.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, so much the more to take heed, that we give no scandal unto others, or to be an ex­ample in sin.

2. To exhort us to increase in godlinesse by the examples of Gods judgements upon sinners. For that is the use and end of them, Amos 4 12.

The other part of the Analysis.

The object of mercy is Lot, who is described, 1 By the adjunct, that he was righteous. 2 By the effect, that his soule was vexed with the wickednesse of the ungodly, which is more largely set forth, v. 8. 1 By the internall cause, which was his righteousnesse. 2 By the externall cause, which was their un­godlinesse. [Page 207] 3 By the means, wherby the external cause or the object did work that effect. And they were the senses of hear­ing and seeing. 4 By the occasion, which was his dwelling amongst them. 5 By the adjunct of time, which was conti­nually. 6 By the degree, which was the highest, as if he had beene put upon the rack; he vexed, in Greek it is [...], tormented.

Besides those that are common unto Lot with the exam­ple of Noah, there are these Doctrines to be observed.

Doct. 1. Men are accounted righteous or unrighteous in the sight of God, not so much for some one deed, as for the whole course of their life.

This is gathered therehence, that Lot is here called righte­ous, who notwithstanding is spoken of in the Scripture to have committed a most hainous sin. For those that are said to be righteous in the Scriptures, are so called, either in respect of the imputation of Christs righteousnesse, or in respect of some particular cause wherein they shew themselves righte­teous, or in respect of that inherent righteousnesse, which, though it be imperfect, yet is it sincere and pleasing unto God.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the Papists and others, who as soone as they reade that any one is called righteous in the Scriptures, presently conclude that a man may fulfill the whole law, and stand upon his own merits before God.

2. To comfort the godly, who sometimes fall through in­firmity. For if they continually labour to please God, God in mercy accounts them righteous.

Doct. 2. There are sometimes righteous men found in the midst of the ungodly.

This is gathered therehence, that righteous Lot dwelt a­mongst the Sodomites.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute those, that when they sinne put the fault upon others with whom they live, as if they could not be godly because others are wicked.

2. To exhort us, to strengthen our minds against the wic­kednesse of the age, and places, or men, amongst whom we live. For like as that servant deserves well of his Master, that sticks close unto him, when all others forsake him; so also are [Page 208] they most acceptable unto God, that adhere unto him, when all others not only forsake him, but also are against him; so did Noah, Gen. 6. 8, 9.

Doct. 3. Those that are righteous, even whiles they live a­mongst the ungodly, are grieved for their impiety.

This is gathered therehence, that Lot vexed, &c. So Psal. 119. 158 Acts 17. 16.

Reason. Because when godly men do most of all desire, and take care for to advance the glory of God and the salvation of others, they cannot but be grieved, when they see no recko­ning made of either.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that take delight in no company so much as in the company of the ungodly. 2. Those that are not sorry for their own sins, much lesse for others.

2. To instruct us, to judge of our selves hereby, in that con­versation which we have with wicked men. For if we are thus wrought upon, when we see it, then it is a signe of a good conscience.

Verse 9. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temp­tations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement to be punished, or suffering punishment.

The Analysis.

THis is the generall conclusion, the premisses whereof the former examples make up, and it is disposed in a copulate axiom, the former part whereof is of the mercy of God, and the latter of his justice. Where we may take notice of the reason of this order, which may be two-fold. 1 Because in the premisses he had spoken of mercy in the last place; there­fore that the connexion might be evident, he puts it first in the Conclusion; and because he intends to speak more at large of the wicked afterwards, therefore he mentions Gods justice towards them in the last place. 2. The Apostle doth first of all conclude the mercy of God towards the godly, because it was his primary intent and purpose to comfort and strength­en [Page 209] the godly. The object of Gods mercy is the godly. The act and effect thereof is, to deliver them from temptation. The object of his justice is the wicked. The act and effect thereof is, to reserve them unto the day of judgement. Where he addes the manner how they shall be reserved, namely so, that they shall in the meane time suffer punishment. The cause and reason of these acts and effects, as well of his mercy as his justice, is the wisdome of God, or his knowledge joyned to­gether with his will; as that first word intimates unto us, The Lord knoweth.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. We have need of divers arguments to confirme our faith touching the mercy and justice of God.

This is gathered therehence, that the Apostle was so care­full to conclude this, and by so many arguments.

Reason 1. Because faith is not, as knowledge and sense is, to have such a full and evident assurance, as excludes all man­ner of doubting, but it hath some obscurity in the object, and so admits of divers doubtings, which must be removed by such-like arguments.

2. The imperfection of our faith, which must be helped by these means.

3. The multitude of objections and temptations, which fight against this faith.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove the security and pre­sumption of those, that feele no want in this kinde.

2. To admonish us, to use all diligence, and to search out all the arguments that may be, to edifie our selves in this faith.

Doct. 2. They that are truly righteous, so that they are vessels of the mercy of God, are also godly.

This is gathered therehence, that here they are called god­ly, who before in the example of Noah and Lot, were called righteous.

Reason. Because no righteousnesse can be pleasing unto God, which is not referred unto him and his honour; now this is done no other way, but by piety.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to rest or please our selves in any righteousnesse, that is separated from true piety towards God.

[Page 210] Doct. 3. The sting of every evill of punishment, whereunto men are obnoxious in this life, is temptation.

This is gathered therehence, that deliverance from tempta­tion is here put for deliverance from all evill.

Reason. Because the afflictions or miseries of this life be­come hurtfull unto us only by that means, and as they are in us occasions or motives unto sin. For that is the nature of temptation, whereof mention is here made, to induce men un­to sinne.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, to beware of the temptation that is in the evill, more then of the evils them­selves.

2. To instruct us, to judge aright of the mercy of God to­wards the godly; for although they are not presently delive­red from the afflictions themselves, yet if they be delivered from the temptation of them, they have great experience of Gods mercy towards them.

Doct. 4. God doth very well know how to performe all those things that he hath either promised to the godly, or threatned to the wicked.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to judge of the event of these things, or of the successe of the godly or the wicked, according to those things that we see, but to referre all these things unto the knowledge and wisdome of God, rest­ing upon the beliefe of those things which he hath promised.

Verse 10. But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of un [...]l [...]annesse, and despise government: presumptuous are they, selfe-willed: they are not afraid to speak evill of dignities.

The Analysis.

IN this verse is contained the particular conclusion of the former arguing: because he doth particularly apply unto the false teachers of that age, that which he had affirmed in ge­nerall of the unjust, verse 9. Therefore this particular conclu­sion is joyned with the generall, not by a bare copula, but by a gradation from the lesse to the greater, as it is intimated in [Page 211] that first word, But chiefly: as if he had said, that all the un­just should indeed suffer punishment, but those most certainly, and most heavily, that are such as the false teachers are here described to be. Now they are described both in generall, and in particular. In generall the effect of their wicked walking, in those words, them that walke. Of which effect, 1 he shewes the principall cause, which is, the flesh. 2 The administring, or next cause, which is the lust of the flesh, that is, the vicious motions and inclinations of corrupt nature: which is illustra­ted by the proper effect thereof, uncleannesse, because the mo­tions of the flesh do spiritually defile the soules of men, so that it makes them polluted in the sight of God. The parti­cular description is by a particular sin, which is, a contempt of lawfull authority: which sin is illustrated by its effect, that is, that they do contemptuously reproach dignities; where he shewes the manner of this effect which is adjoyned, that they do it boldly and selfe-willed.

The Doctrines arising here-hence.

Doct. 1. Although all sinners may deservedly feare the judgement of God, yet there are some that may more certainly ex­pect the severity of that judgement.

This is gathered from these words; But chiefly them.

Reason. By reason of that proportion which is kept be­twixt the sins and their punishments. Now they that may most certainly expect this severity of judgement, are such e­specially, as are very much given unto those sins, whereby we read in the Scriptures that men have brought upon themselves swift destruction.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, most of all to beware of those sins that do most hasten our damnation.

Doct. 2. There is no one sin so heinous, as to walk in the wayes of a sinner.

This is gathered from these words; B [...] chiefly them that walke.

Reason 1. Because the act of sin doth not so much condemn as the habit of sin; like as on the contrary, the habit of any vertue doth much more commend a man, then any particular act, though it be of great note.

2. Because he that walks in the way of sin, addes impeni­tency [Page 212] unto his sins; now impenite [...]cy doth condemne men more then any sin, because there is no way to escape the an­ger of God, but by repentance.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that please themselves therein, that they are not murtherers, nor adulte­rers, nor robbers, &c. when in the meane time they walk in the way of other sins, who do either contemne the worship of God, or neglect faith, hope, and charity, and are altoge­ther ignorant of the like vertues.

2. To admonish us, to take he [...]d unto our selves, by a time­ly and daily repentance, that we walk not in sins, though we cannot abstain from all sin. Sinners are not so much hatefull unto God, as the workers of sin, and such as walk in it.

Doct. 3. There is in all men while they are in this world, some cause pricking and stirring them up unto so.

This is gathered therehence, that the flesh is here put as the beginning of all those sins, whereunto these wicked men were given. Now it is called the flesh, because it doth extend it selfe as largely as the flesh or body of man, being carnall: and so is in all and every particular man in common and without any exception. This is proved first Gol 5. 17. Iames 1. 14. Mat. 15. 19. Secondly, it is confirmed also by reason and experi­ence, because when there is no outward object or perswasion that can induce us unto sin, yet we feele such little sparks ari­sing in our selves, that will set the whole man on fire, if they be not quenched betimes.

Vse 1. This may serve for instruction, 1 To refute their dreame, which imagine a perfection in this present life. 2 To refute the Papists, who say that concupiscence after Bap­tisme is not formally a sin. For that which of its own nature produceth sin, must needs have the nature of sin. For qu [...]le effectum, talis causa, such as the effect is, such is the cause.

2. To admonish us, diligently to beware not only of out­ward provocations, that might lead us into temptation, but also of our selves and our own hearts; for there lyes our great­est danger.

Doct. 4. Sinne doth not consist only in outward words and deeds, but also in the inward lusts and affections, which are contra­ry unto the law of God.

[Page 213] Reason 1. The first reason is taken out of the places of Scripture, wherein God is called a Spirit, and is said to look most unto the Spirit and heart of man.

2. The second is taken out of those places,Mat. 15. 19 where sins are said to come from the heart, For sin can come frō the heart no other way, but by the means of such vicious lusts of the flesh.

3. From the expresse words of God, Ger. 6. 5. & 8. 21.

4. The same is shewed unto us by the contraries, because the inward affections of men, that are good, are very pleasing unto God: Therefore after the like manner evill affections and desires must needs displease him. The amplification of this truth may be taken therehence, that there is no sin pro­perly in the outward words, and deeds, but as they depend upon the inward affection of the heart. For if it were other­wise, then a man might be compelled unto sin, which is alto­gether untrue, and contrary to common sense.

Vse. This may serve to refute and condemne those, that take little or no care at all, about their thoughts or inward af­fections, so that they can any way excuse their outward words and deeds. 2. To admonish us, therefore to watch over our inward affections and thoughts. For this is the property of a true Christian. Those that are out-side Christians, look only unto outward things; they that do inwardly and in heart feare God, are no lesse carefull of their inward thoughts then they are of their outward words.

Doct. 5. Sins of this kind, like as all others also, do defile a mar.

Some sins are said in a speciall manner to defile a man, name­ly such, as pertain unto the unlawfull copulation of the flesh, and transgresse the tenth Commandement.

Reas. Because they do in their nature also defile the body and person of a man. But all sins do also defile the soul of man, because they leave a blemish behind them, which makes the soul of the sinner deformed, and lesse pleasing unto God, Mat. 15. 20. This is it which was heretofore signified in the Cere­moniall Law by all those uncleannesses separations, washings, and purgings, which are so frequently spoken of by Moses, This also is that, which is intimated unto us in Baptisme.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemn those, that do not only take delight in their sins▪ but also seeme to boast of them, as if they should glory in their own dung.

[Page 214] 2. To admonish us, to learne hence more and more to ab­horre all sin, as a most filthy and detestable thing. Besides that generall defiling which is common to all sinne, the Apostle seems here to intimate that speciall defiling, which is in wan­tonnesse, as it appears by v. 14. & 18. But of this we shall have a fitter opportunity to speak afterwards.

Doct. 6. It is a most heinous sin to despise government, or the superiour lan full power.

This is confirmed, Rom. 13. 1, 2.

Reason 1. Because they which despise lawfull power, de­spise the ordinance of God. It is the Apostles reason in the same place. For although God hath prescribed unto men no speciall forme of government, yet he hath appointed, that there should be some certaine kind of governing, and so ap­proves of all power, which is not contrary unto nature, or un­to his revealed will.

2. Because such a contempt is against the common good, and tends to the disturbance of humane society.

3. Because it gives occasion to the overflowing of all other sins. For this is the reason why the authority of superiours is established in the first Commandement of the second Table, because if that be despised or neglected, all the other Com­mandements, not only of the second, but also of the first ta­ble, are quite destitute of those things that should strengthen them, as touching those means which men can use.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the Anabaptists and those that tread in the steps of such hereticks, whiles they maintaine that the civill Magistrate is clean contrary to Christian reli­gion.

2. To reprove those, that although they confesse the pow­er in words, yet in their deeds resist it, nor do they respect it farther then it makes for their lusts.

Doct. 7. The effect of contempt is, to reproach a man, and speak evill of him.

Reason. Because reproaches and contumelies come proper­ly from pride, whereby a man thinks himself better then ano­ther. For otherwise he could not reproach another man, but the same reproach would fall upon himselfe also. Con­tempt is the daughter of pride, and the mother of such ne­phewes.

[Page 215] Vse 1. This may serve to admonish all Christians, to ab­staine from reproachings and evill speakings. For there is none that dares affirme that it is lawfull for him to despise his bro­ther.

2. To admonish us, to beware of pride and the contempt of others, if we would not break forth into such sins, that are so unworthy of a Christian man.

Quest. Here ariseth a question, Whether we may not some­times reprove the sins of men somewhat sharply?

Answ. That this is lawfull is proved by the approved pra­ctise of the Prophets, Apostles, and of Christ himselfe also; but with these cautions. 1 That the sin which we reprove be manifest. 2 That the check be so directed, that it be done to the sin rather then to the man. 3. That there be together with it a manifestation of our charity. 4 That we be not mo­ved unto this vehemency chiefly by our own private injuries, but by the zeale that we beare unto the glory of God and the salvation of others.

Doct. 8. Amongst those circumstances of sinne, mentioned in the text, there is none whereby it is more aggravated, then stub­born boldnesse, and selfe-willednesse.

This is gathered from these words: Presumptuous, selfe-willed, &c.

Reason 1. Because they are tokens of a will sinning with full consent.

2. They are tokens of a seared conscience.

3. They are most contrary unto repentance.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that account it a great praise unto themselves, that they are bold to commit all kind of villanous acts: they neither feare men, nor God himselfe; as it is said of the unjust Judge in the Gospel.

2. To admonish us, although we cannot wholly abstaine from all sin, yet to take heed that we do not please our selves in any sin, nor to go on and persist stubbornly, and presump­tuously in it.

Verse 11. Whereas Angels which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

The Analysis.

THat the Apostle may aggravate that sin, which he had laid to charge of the false teachers in the former words he makes a comparison betwixt them and the Angels, such as is made, verse 9. and the 10. But in this comparison there is contained a two-fold dis-similitude, namely, of their condi­tion, and their actions. Their condition, because the Angels are high and mighty, but these men were of a low mean con­dition. Their actions, because the Angels abstained from speak­ing evill of dignities, but these men gave their minds unto it. The former dis-similitude is set forth by a kind of Inequality, of greater and lesser, because there is indeed a very great in­equality, but this dis-similitude ariseth from the inequality. Both parts of the comparison are disposed in a discreet axiom as it were to this sense. Although the Angels do farre exceed these dignities in power, yet they do not speak evill of them; but these men, although they be far inferiour unto them in power, yet they fear not to speak evill of them.

Touching the former part of the comparison two questions may be made.

Quest. 1. In what sense the Angels are said to be greater in power and might?

Answer. The Angels are said to be greater in power and might, not so much in respect of the false teachers, as in respect of the dignities themselves, whereof the Apostle here speaks. And the reason is, not only b [...]cause they are of a more excel­lent nature then men; but also because God hath set them over men, and commanded them to watch over Governments, Common-wealths, and consequently over dignities. Whence they are often called in Scripture Dominions, as Ephesians 1. 21.

Quest. 2. How this is true, that they do not bring railing [Page 217] accusation against dignities, when God himselfe sometimes speaks evill of them, and makes the Angels to execute his malediction?

Answer: They are said to abstaine from speaking evill, 1 Because they do not speak evill, but when God commands them, and therefore it is not their malediction so much as Gods. 2 Though they do speak evill of the men that are set in authority, and do evill also unto them sometimes, as we s [...]e in the example of Herod, and in the Host of Sena [...]herib, yet they do not speak evill of the dignities themselves, which was the sin of these impostors, of whom the Apostle speaks.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. Their sin is the greater, who are of a lower condi­cion, if they wax proud and despise dignities, then if they were set in a higher degree.

This is the ground of the Apostles comparison. For other­wise it would make nothing to the aggravation of the sinne of these men.

Reason 1. Because his sin is the greater, that is drawn unto sin upon the lighter occasion or smaller temptation.

2. Because such men are not moved by those reasons, that might and should with-hold them from committing such a sin, which other men have not after the same manner.

Vse. This may serve for condemnation, to condemne the fashion of some men of the lowest rank, who even in that con­dition of life are as proud, and more also sometimes, then they that are in the highest degree of dignity and honour.

Doct. 2. The Angels are greater in power then all men.

Vse. This may serve for the comfort of the faithfull, be­cause God hath given the Angels a speciall charge over them, so that they are said to pitch their tents about them.

Doct. 3. These powerfull Angels do most religiously ab­staine from all sinne.

For what is here said in speciall, is to be understood also in generall.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, therefore the more carefully to beware of sin; both because we are bound by the Law at least as well as they, and also because other wise we cannot have those good and powerful ministring Spirits to take care of us.

Verse 11. But these as naturall bruit beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evill of the things that they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.

The Analysis.

THe other part of the comparison is contained in this verse, wherein the sin of the false teachers desp [...]ng and speaking evill of dignities, is aggravated by a new comparison of the like, so that in this verse there is both a shewing of the dissimilitute, and also a whole similitude explained by its parts. The proposition of this similitude containes a descrip­tion of naturall bruit beasts: the Apodosis contains a descrip­tion of false teachers, according to those qualities which they have proportionably with those bruit beasts. The de­scription of the bruit beasts contains three things: 1 Their inward nature, which is expressed by a negation, that they are void of reason, bruits. 2. Their acts or operations, which are said to proceed, not from counsell, but from nature, naturall. 3 Their end and destruction, that they are taken and destroyed. To these there are three also answerable in false teachers: 1 That they are void of judgement, they understand not. 2 That they are carryed with a naughty passion to speak evill, speak evill of the things that they understand not. 3 That they bring upon themselves destruction; they shall perish in their own cor­ruption.

The Doctrine arising herehence.

Doct. 1. Sin, where it reignes, turnes a man into a bruit beast as it were.

This is shewed in all those places of Scripture, where wic­ked men are compared unto bruit beasts, either in generall, or in speciall, to Horses, Mules, Dogs, Swine, Foxes, Wolves, Beates, Lions, &c. Yea, they that are in greatest honour and esteeme in this world, are accounted no otherwise of by God, then as bruit beasts. The Monarchs, in Daniel, are alwayes compared unto wild beasts; and the Roman Emperours that persecuted the Church, are pointed out in the Apocalyps by [Page 219] the name of the Dragon. And the Pope is not only called a beast, but is described as a very great monster among the beasts, with seven heads, and ten hornes.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemn those, that please them­selves in their sins.

2. To admonish us, so much the more to beware of sinne, lest at length with Nebuchadnezzar we be cast downe from the greatest glory to the lowest condition of all.

Doct. 2. The fountaine of all this sin and misery is the want of a right and spirituall judgement.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, diligently therefore to betake our selves unto prayer, and other means, that are sanctified by God, for the enlightning of our mind, and keep­ing it sound.

Doct. 3. A signe of such a condition, that is, of a man turn­ing to a bruit beast, is, to follow the passions of corrupted nature, without reason.

Vse. This may serve to convict and condemne many, that seeme unto themselves to be excellent men.

Doct. 4. Such men do corrupt also whatsoever naturall goodnesse they have in them.

This is gathered from this word, corruption, as it is explain­ed, Iude v. 10.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, therefore to hate and detest such courses.

Doct. 5. Such sinners are entangled in their sins, and kept unto destruction, like as bruit beasts in their snares, wherewith they are taken.

So 2 Tim. 2. 26. Lament. 1. 14.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to flye from all cor­ruption, as we would from the snares of eternall death.

Verse 13. And shall receive the reward of unrighteousnesse, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time: spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own decei­vings while they feast with you:

Verse 14. Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable soules; an heart they have exer­cised with covetous practises, cursed children.

The Analysis.

AFter that description of these men, which was set down in the three fore-going verses, here in the beginning of this 13 verse, is againe repeated that just punishment which they must expect. they shall receive the reward of unrighteous­nesse. Then he makes a new description of the same men, that they might wax the more fierce if it were possible. And he de­scribes them by three chiefe vices, 1 By the luxury, where­unto they gave their minds. 2 By then uncleannesse, 3 By their covetousnesse. Their luxury is set forth and aggravated, 1 By the adjunct of pleasure. 2 By the adjunct of time, that it was in the day time. 3 By the effect, that they did by this means, as spots and blemishes, defile not only themselves, but also those with whom they were conversant. Of which effect also he shewes the cause in another effect, that deceiving was joyned with this luxury. Their uncleannesse is described, 1 By the helping causes or instruments, in these words: Ha­ving eyes full of adultery. 2 By the adjunct of constancy, be­cause they cannot cease from sin. 3 By the effect, beguiling un­stable soules. Their covetousnesse is explained, 1 By the pri­mary subject of it, in these words, the heart, there it was seat­ed. 2 By the adjunct of custome, in these words, A heart ex-excised. Last of all, the end and summe of this description is expressed, that they are accursed children.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. When we think of the sins of wicked men, we should likewise think of their punishments.

This is gathered therehence, that the Apostle doth ever now and then put in this, while he speaks of these mens sins.

[Page 221] Reason. 1. Because these two are in Gods purpose and their own nature knit together.

2. Because the consideration of sin doth oftentimes more hurt then good, if the consideration of the punishment be not joyned unto it.

Vse. This may serve to condemne those, that take delight only in the commemoration either of their own, or other mens sins.

Doct. 2. Profuse luxury is a signe of a man sinning securely.

This is gathered out of the text, and it is expresly set down, Iude v. 11.

Reason. Because such men do either not think at all of the judgements of God, or do labour at least to remove such thoughts out of their minds.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, not to account such men happy, as the multitude useth to do.

2. To admonish us, to beware of such excesse.

Doct. 3. Luxury, the more it is shewed openly, the more it is to be condemned.

This is gathered from that Epithete, in the day time.

Reason. Because it is so much the farther off from shame, and consequently from repentance.

Vse. This may serve to condemne that impudence, which many men have gotten.

Doct. 4. There is the greatest danger in those sins, from which the greatest pleasure and delight ariseth.

Reason. Because pleasure is a signe of a perfect habit.

2. Because pleasure is very hardly left.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to beware of those delights which arise from sin.

Doct. 5. They that please themselves most in their sins, do most defile and contaminate both themselves and others.

This is gathered from these words, spots and blemishes, as it is also Iude v. 12.

Reas. Because the more any sin appears in the Church, the greater dishonour doth it bring, not only to the sinner him­selfe, but also to the whole Church, whereof he is a member.

Doct. 6. The outward members also of wick [...]d men are full of wickedness [...].

[Page 222] This is gathered therehence, Having eyes full, &c.

Reason 1. Because out of the abundance of the heart all our faculties, and all the instruments of operations receive im­pressions answerable unto the heart.

2. Because sin, or temptation unto sin is admitted into the heart it selfe by the outward senses, as by channels or gates; so that the eyes and such like corporeall instruments are filled two wayes, both in the ingresse and the egresse of sin: Whence it comes to passe, that as the gates of a great City use to be fuller then the other parts of the City, by reason of the fre­quent ingresse and egresse of people, so also are the eyes of such like men.

Vse 1. This may serve to instruct us, to see and bewaile the miserable condition, whereunto men are obnoxious by rea­son of sin; because they have no part clean or void of sin.

2. To admonish us, to use all care to cleanse our selves, and all our faculties and parts both of body and mind from such uncleannesse.

Doct. 7. The uncleannesse of the body is oftentimes joyned with impurity of religion.

This is gathered from these words; adultery.

Reason 1. Because the hindring cause or that which keeps it off is removed, namely, pure religion.

2. Because this is the just judgement of God, Rom. 1. 26.

3. Because by reason of these carnall affections men do withdraw themselves from piety, or impugne it.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, so much the more re­ligiously to imbrace purity in religion.

Doct. 8. In such men covetousnesse is oftentimes joyned with their impiety.

This is gathered from these words, covetous practises.

Reason. Because that doth chiefly pertaine to the rule and sway which the devill exerciseth over his servants, 1 Iohn 2. 16

2. Because by covetousnesse they seek those things that serve to nourish their impurity of life.

Vse. This may serve for a generall admonition, to abstaine even from the least sins, if we would not admit of others also.

Doct. 9. The exercising of the heart unto such sins, doth very much strengthen and increase them.

[Page 223] This is gathered from that word: A heart they have exer­cised.

Reason 1. Because exercising a mans selfe unto sin brings in and increaseth the habit.

2. It is a token that a man takes pleasure in such sins. For no man doth willingly exercise himselfe in those things wherein he takes no delight.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, according to the counsell of the Apostle, 1 Tim. 4. 7. to exercise our selves unto godlinesse, not unto wickednesse. For as the Apostle there saith, verse 8. that bodily exercise profiteth little; so in this comparison may it be said, that the exercise of sin is not only unprofitable, but very hurtfull.

Doct. 10. They that are after this manner accustomed unto their sins, are hardned in them.

This is gathered from these words; They cannot cease from sinne.

Reason. Because by this means sin gets great strength and dominion.

2. Because every way unto repentance is stopped up.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to leave off our wic­ked purposes in time.

Doct. 11. Such men are most to be detested.

This is gathered from these words: cursed children.

Reason. Because they are most opposite and contrary unto that which is most to be loved.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to shew our zeale in fly­ing from sin and sinners.

Verse 15. Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone a­stray following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousnesse,

Verse 16. But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumbe Asse speaking with mans voice, forbad the madnesse of the Pro­phet.

[Page 224]The Analysis.

THe Apostle here still continues in explaining and illustrat­ing the covetousnesse of these men by way of a similitude, which he makes betweene them and Balaam the son of Bosor. Now the quality wherein they are compared is first propoun­ded in generall, that they followed his way, that is, they imi­tated him in the like manner of doing, and then set forth in particular, 1 By the effect, that they forsook the right way, and went astray into by wayes, that is, into naughty and wic­ked wayes. 2 By the proper cause of this effect, that they loved the wages of unrighteousnesse, like as he loved it, that is, for the desire of filthy lucre they gave themselves over unto impiety and unrighteousnesse. 3 By the adjunct that fol­lowes upon this effect namely, Gods rebuking of him, v. 16. which is set forth by the instrument, that he made use of to do it, namely, a dumbe Asse. The fitnesse also of this instrument as he was made use of at that time, is declared by their inequa­lity, because he shewes that this Asse was in some sort wiser then his Master. For when the Master, though he was a Pro­phet, was mad, this Asse by his wisdome as it were, rebuked and corrected that madnesse.

Quest. But here a question may be made concerning this Balaam the son of Bosor, who is here called a Prophet, and yet is said to have sinned most wickedly, Whether he were a true Prophet of God, or no?

Answ. He was sometime endued with the gift of Prophe­sie that God had communicated unto him, as it appears, Num. 22. so [...] 23, 24. But in a speciall manner in 23. 26. the Lord is said to have put words into his mouth, so also verse 20. & cap. 24. 2. the Spirit of the Lord is said to have come upon him, and verse 4. he is said to have heard the words of God. Yet he was not a holy Prophet of God, but as he was given to other vices, and especially to covetousnesse, so also he was skilfull in the Ma­gick arts, by whose helpe, as it is said Numb 24. 1. he used to seek for inchantments. Such an one therefore he was amongst the Prophets, as Iudas was amongst the Apostles: of which sort also the old Prophet that dwelt at Bethel, seemes to have beene in some respect.

[Page 225] The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. The wicked of every latter age do in their courses imitate those wicked men, that lived before them.

This is gathered from these words: Following the way of Balaam.

For these men did not propose Balaam unto themselves for an example to imitate, but because they went in the same wayes, therefore they are said to have followed him.

Reason 1. Because that in-bred corruption, from which such wicked courses are derived, as from their originall foun­taine, is one and the same. For although it doth not work alwayes and in all altogether after the same mannor, yet when it meets with natures alike, and the like occasions also happen, then it is no lesse like it selfe, then an egge is like an egge.

2. Because the same teacher of wickednesse, the tempter and old Serpent works effectually in his bond slaves through­out all ages.

3. Because oftentimes also the courses fore-going do not only by tradition, but by transmission as it were also beget courses like themselves.

Vse 1. This may serve to enforme us, not to be too much troubled at the wickednesse of men, that live with us, because there is nothing new under the Sunne in that kinde.

2. To admonish us, not to expect any singular thing from wicked men, while they remaine such, above that which we read of other wicked men before them in ancient time.

3. To exhort us therefroe, to labour to be like the ancient godly men, that are commended in Scripture.

Doct. 2. This is common to all the wicked, to forsake the right way, and go astray in that which is not good.

This is gathered from these words, Which having forsaken the right way are gone astray:

Reason 1. Because the right way is in observing the will of God, or in doing the good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them, Ephes. 2. 10. Psal. 119. 1, 2, &c. But wickednesse is another crooked way, which men have found out themselves, cleane contrary to the will of God.

[Page 226] 2. Because that is the right way which certainly leadeth unto life, and eternall happinesse, Matth. 7. 14. but wicked­nesse tendeth unto death, Prov. 7. 27. & 8. 36.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, diligently to beware of this going astray, alwayes looking unto the right way.

Doct. 3. Covetousnesse, where is prevaileth, doth most cer­tainly produce this going astray from the right way.

This is gathered from these words: who loved the wages of unrighteousnesse: so 1 Tim. 6. 17. He that trusts in uncertaine riches, doth not trust in the living God; and therefore he doth necessarily follow a new way clean contrary unto that which the true and living God hath shewed us.

Reason. Because a covetous man is obnoxious unto all the temptations of the devill, which have any shew of gaine; so that he accounts gaine godlinesse, 1 Tim. 6. 5. 9. and this is it which is meant in the text, they love the wages of unrighteous­nesse, that is, they seek lucre, though it be joyned with the greatest iniquity.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, to take heed there­fore and flye from covetousnesse, as from the greatest plague and enemy of godlinesse, Coloss. 3. 50.

2. To exhort us to labour [...] contentment, 1 Tim. 6. 6. 8,

Doct. 4. All such wickednesse is rebuked by God.

This is gathered from the beginning of v. 16. But was re­buked, &c.

R [...]ason 1. Because the Scripture and law it selfe which is transgressed by sin, doth therefore rebuke that sin, Rom. 7. 7.

2. The consciences of sinners do usually also check them, Rom. 2. 15.

3. The very creatures do it also after their manner, Deut, 31. 28. and if they should not in their appointed order suffi­ciently rebuke sinners, there should some extraordinary mira­cle be shewed rather then they should not be convicted, as we see here in the example of Balaam.

Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, to apply our minds unto these rebukings of God, and not to be carelesse of them, as desperate men use to be; but to yeeld unto them, and shun all those things that are rebuked by God, either in the Scrip­tures, or in our consciences, or in the creatures.

[Page 227] 2. To exhort us, to use all diligence to seek and preserve in our selves that testimony of God and our conscience, which may be for our comfort, and not for our rebuke.

Doct. 5. Those men are extreamly and brutishly mad, that will not be rebuked or stopped in their impiety, unlesse it be by some miraculous work.

This is gathered from the end of verse 16. the dumbe Asse speaking with [...] voice, forbad the madnesse of the Prophet.

Reason. Because such men are deprived of common sense touching spirituall things, and are given over unto a reprobate sense.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to beware of that hardnesse of heart, which cannot beleeve God speaking in his word; and not to give way to that vaine imagination, which Dives with his brethren is said to have maintained, Luke 16. 30. and Abraham refutes. verse 31.

Verse 17. These are welles without water, clouds that are carri­ed with a tempest, to whom the mist of darknesse is reserved for ever.

Verse 18. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wan­tonnesse, those that were cleane escaped from them who live in errour.

Verse 19. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

Verse 20. For, if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are againe entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them then the beginning.

Verse 21. For it had beene better for them not to have knowne the way of righteousnesse, then after they have knowne it, to turne from the holy commandement delivered unto them.

Verse 22. But it is hapned unto them according to the true Pro­verbe; The Dog is turned to his own vomit againe, and the Sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

[Page 228]The Analysis.

IN these verses is contained a refutation of the false teachers, of whom a description was made before. Now the sum of this refutation consists herein, that all those things were vain, which they promised to their disciples or followers. And this is in generall shewed by those comparisons which are made verse 17. Where these teachers are said to be wels as it were, without water, and clouds without raine, because they make shew of many things worthy to be desired, but they performe nothing at all. Upon occasion of these similitudes, by the way he repeats the punishment which God had prepared for them, by a continuation of the same Allegory, namely, that whereas they are wels as it were, or clouds making shew of some mist, they shall at length certainly find the mist of eter­nall darknesse. 2. The same vanity is illustrated by the impul­sive cause that moved them to spread abroad their new opini­ons, which was their swelling vanity, verse 18. in the begin­ning, and by the effect thereof, which was their crafty sedu­cing of Christians to give themselves over to the lusts of the flesh, at the end of the same verse. 3 The same vanity of their promises is set forth, verse 19. at the beginning, by the great dissimilitude and opposition that is betwixt them and their promises. For they promised liberty unto others, when they themselves were servants of corruption. Thence the vanity of their promises is made manifest and palpable as it were; be­cause they promised that, whereunto they themselves were strangers, and far remote from it. 4. That which is put in the dissimilitude, namely, that they were servants of corruption, because some might make a doubt of it, the Apostle confirmes it at the end of verse 19. by the generall definition or descrip­tion of a servant, or that bondage which he meant, namely, that he is another mans servant, that is overcome by him. For he that is taken by the enemy in warre, is brought in bon­dage to him, at least untill he hath payed the just price of his ransome. 5. The misery of this bondage is amplified in re­spect of those, that have made profession of faith and holi­nesse, by comparing things unequall, betwixt that condition, [Page 229] whereunto they were obnoxious before their calling, and this which they have brought upon themselves by their Apo­stasie, where the misery of the latter condition is made greater then the former, vers. 20. and the reason of it is given, vers. 21. Because the sin is greater, which is committed after and against the knowledge of the right way, then that which is done through ignorance; which inequality is also illustrated by a comparison of the like things, that is explained in proverbiall sentences, of the Dog and the Sow, verse 22.

Quest. Here ariseth a Question, Whether those that were seduced by the false teachers, were before true believers?

Answ. They had that faith which we use to call temporary faith, but they were never soundly rooted in faith. This is proved out of the 14 verse, where all those that were seduced by these deceivers are called unstable soules. For if they had beene by sound faith grafted into Christ, then they should have been stable and corroborated in him also. And whereas they are said verse 18. to have cleane escaped from the wicked, this was, 1 In respect of the profession which they had made of their true conversion. 2. In respect of the assent, which we must think that they did give inwardly also unto the word, by which they were called to this conversion. 3. In respect of the change which they had made in their outward carriage. 4. In respect of some small beginning also, whereby they tended towards holinesse it selfe.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. They that go astray themselves from the right way, and cause others to go astray, whatsoever they make shew of, they have nothing else in themselves or in their errours but vanity.

This is gathered out of verse 17. and the beginning of 18. For they are said in the text to be as it were vanity it selfe, as Solomon faith of all things that are under the Sunne, in respect of happinesse they are vanity of vanities. Now they are said to be vain, 1. Because they have only a shew of some truth or good, not the thing it selfe. 2. Because they make a shew of communicating some good unto others, but they do not per­forme it, nor can they. For that is properly called vaine, which is void of that thing which it should have, or which is unfit for that use and end whereunto it should serve.

[Page 230] Reason 1. Because they have forsaken God, who is the fountaine of all true and solid good.

2. Because they are led by Sathan, who is the father of lyes and of all vanity.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to beware therefore of such men, that we be not in any wise deceived by them. For this were to imbrace vanity in stead of eternall happinesse.

Doct. 2. Yet such men in their vanity are usually most puffed up.

This is gathered from verse 18. in the beginning. So 1 Cor. 8. 1. Knowledge puffeth up. Which if it be true of the know­ledge of things that are true in themselvs, if they be not known as they ought to be known, as it is explained, verse 2. Then much more must we think so of that knowledge which hath a shew of some singular excellency, when there is no solid good in it at all.

Reason. Because such men seeme to themselves to be wise, not only above the ordinary sort, but also above those that excell in the Church of God, yea sometimes above the Apo­stles themselves and Prophets, and therefore are wont to boast of some depths which they have; which the holy Ghost therefore cals the depths of Sathan, Apoc. 2. 24.

Vse. This may serve to informe us, alwayes to suspect those men, that are in a wonderfull manner puffed up with their own private conceits of some part of religion.

Doct. 3. That such men do oftentimes seduce many, and have divers followers, it comes to passe chiefly thereby, that their doctrine, either for the matter of it, or the manner of their teaching, is very agreeable to the carnall lusts of men.

This is gathered from these words: they allure through the lusts of the flesh.

Reason. Because as the flesh doth easily apply it selfe at all times unto carnall doctrine, by reason of that communion that is betwixt them; so especially and most easily doth it, when the doctrine is covered with a shew of religion or truth.

Vse. This may serve for admonition, that if we would be safe from infection and seducing, we should diligently labour for mortification of the flesh. For neither are they only in danger of seducing that have not yet known the truth, but [Page 231] they also that have in some fort clean escaped from those that live in errour, as it is in the text.

Doct. 4. The chiefe lust of the flesh, whereby men are wont to be seduced, is the love of carnall liberty.

This is gathered from the beginning of verse 19. So Psalme 2. 3.

Reason 1. Because the flesh alwayes seeketh its peace and quietnesse, which it cannot enjoy, but by giving it selfe over unto the lusts thereof; and hence it is that carnall men account the command of God and his Word, a yoke, and strong cords, and bands, &c.

2. Because in liberty there is some kinde of shew of that dignity and excellency, whereof all the sons of Adam are most desirous ever since they drank in that poyson of the Serpent, Ye shall be like Gods.

3. Because it hath a false shadow of that Christian liberty, whereunto we are called, Iohn 8. 32. 33, 34. Hence it is, that the cursed sect of Libertines, which under a shew of liberty overthrowes all religion, findeth many well-wishers thereun­to, even amongst those that are Christians in name.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that alwayes follow after liberty of what kind soever it be. For Christians are the servants of righteousnesse, although they be free from sin, Rom. 6. 18.

2. To admonish us, to represse and restraine in our selves this carnall desire of liberty, 1 Cor. 9. 27.

Doct. 5. They that most labour for this carnall liberty, are the most wretched servants of sin.

This is gathered from these words; they are the servants of corruption. So Rom. 6. 20.

Reason 1. Because they are overcome and led captive by sinne.

2. Because they give up themselves wholly to obey sinne, Rom. 6. 16. 19.

3. Because they remain in this bondage, although it be the worst of all, with a kind of pleasure; so that they are the ser­vants of sin more, then those are the servants of men, that are gally-slaves: for these mens minds alwayes wish for liberty, but the others are very well pleased in their most servile con­dition.

[Page 232] Vse 1. This may serve to infrome us, how we should stand affected towards such men. For although they seem to them­selves to be the only happy men almost, yet they are in truth objects most worthy of pity, and not of envie.

2. To admonish us, more and more to get out of this bon­dage, by yeelding our selves wholly unto God and his righ­teousnesse, Rom. 6. 18, 19, 22.

Doct. 6. They that are brought into this bondage, after that they have made profession and confession of the truth, their condition is more deplorable, then the condition of other sinners.

This is gathered from, verse 20, 21.

Reason 1. Because their sin is greater then other mens. For where no law is, there is no sin; where the law or the know­ledge of the law is lesse, there the sin is lesse: but where the knowledge of Gods law and his will is greater, there the sin is made greater and heavier.

2. Because they do wonderfully dishonour God, while they professe themselves to have known his discipline, and to have had experience of it in some measure, and do afterwards reject it, and prefer sin before it.

3. Because the devill the Prince of sin doth more severely beset those, that he hath withdrawne unto himselfe from the flight as it were, Matth. 12. 45.

4. Because the anger of God is incensed against such men, Heb. 10. 26, 27.

5. Because there is scarce any place left for them to re­pent, Heb. 6. 6.

Vse. This may serve to admonish all those, that know the way of God, to labour also to continue constantly in the same, in all parts of their life and conversation.

Doct. 7. The filthinesse of sinne should make men to abhorre a returning to the bondage thereof.

Reason 1. Because we are called unto purity.

2. Because we have professed an abomination of that impu­rity which is in fin.

3. Because it is abominable unto God, and makes men a­bominable in his sight.

Vse 1. This may serve to condemne those, that take delight in this filthinesse, and think they gain credit unto themselves [Page 233] thereby, by gracing and setting out their speech with oathes, and labour to make their conversation pleasing, by applying themselves unto the customes and vicious and filthy courses of men.

2. To admonish us, to put before out eyes this filthinesse of sin. So shall we renew our repentance, and be confirmed in the grace of perseverance.

Chapter III.

Verse 1. This second Epistle (beloved) I now write unto you, in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

Verse 2. That ye may be mindfull of the words which were spo­ken before by the holy Prophets, and of the commandement of us the Apostles of the Lord and Saviour.

The Analysis.

THe Apostle now making haste to the end of the E­pistle, 1 Repeats the scope and aime that he had in writing, in the 1 & 2 verse. 2 He doth again describe those men, of whom he writes this Epi­stle, that they should beware, verse 3, 4. 3 He re­futes their blaspemies, from verse 5. to verse 11. 4 He shewes the use and fruit of his doctrine, which all the faithfull should make of it, from verse 11 to the end. In repeating the end and scope of the Epistle he sets it forth and describes it, 1 By the genus, that it is a putting in remembrance. 2 By the effect, that it stirres up. 3. By the object, that it was directed unto them, that had a pure minde. 4 By the means how to obtaine this effect, namely, those things which were spoken before by the Prophets, and commanded by the Apostles, verse 2. 5 By the manner how all these things might be made the more effe­ctuall: to which purpose he useth a kinde of illustration, namely, that this putting in remembrance was iterated and repeated with an earnest vehemency. This second Epistle I write, and that with a fatherly kind of love, which is intimated [Page 234] in the title which he gives them, when he cals them beloved. Of the putting in remembrance we spake before, c. 1. v. 12 13. and also of stirring up: Therefore passing over them, we come to the next.

Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. The minds of the faithfull should be indued with purity, and sincerity, that they may receive the divine admonitions as they ought to be received.

This is gathered from these words: I stir up your pure minds. Now he doth not so much commend them by this his testi­mony, as shew them, what thing they ought chiefly to la­bour for, that they may receive benefit by this writing. So Iames 1. 21. and this first Epist. cap. 2. verse 2.

Reason 1. Because, as in all things that are of any mo­ment, there is alwayes required some preparing of the subject, for example, as in husbandry, plowing and harrowing of the ground: so and much more also is it required that we should prepare our hearts to receive the word of God with benefit, Ierem. 4. 3, 4. Now there can be no fitter preparation, then by sincerity to lay aside all those things, that are contrary to the word, and hinder the efficacy thereof.

2. Because the word of God is sincere, and therefore it re­quires sincerity in those that receive it, 1 Epist. c. 2. v. 2.

3. Because without sincerity nothing at all is done aright. For sincerity is the common affection of obedience.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those, that have no care at all, rightly to dispose themselves for to receive the word of God aright.

2. To exhort us, to labour chiefly for this purity of minde, and sincerity of heart.

Doct. 2. They that have a pure minde, do willingly receive and retain those things that are proposed unto them out of the Pro­phets and Apostles.

This is gathered from verse 2.

Reason 1. Because Christs sheepe know his voice and fol­low him, Iohn 10. 27. Now his voice sounds in the Prophets and Apostles.

2. Because in the Prophets and Apostles all things agree with sincerity, 1 Pet. 2. 2. Psal. 19. 8, 9.

[Page 235] Vse. This may serve to informe us, to examine our minds according to this rule: for they that care not for the words of the Prophets and Apostles, have not purity of minde; but they that cleave fast unto them, although it be accompanied with divers infirmities, have alwayes in readinesse a sure argu­ment of their sincerity.

Doct. 3. Yet the very best have need to be often stirred up unto these duties.

This is gathered from these words; This second Epistle I now write.

So Phil. 3. 1, and this Epistle, c. 1. v. 10, 13.

Doct. 4. Such admonitions are works of Christian charity.

This is gathered from this title, beloved.

Reason 1. Because they tend to deliver men from the grea­test evill, and to communicate unto them the greatest good.

2. Because they pertaine unto the communication which is exercised by charity.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove those that cannot endure admonitions, and take them for their enemies that use them. Gal. 4 16. 2 Tim. 4. 3.

2. To exhort us, to exercise our selves unto this duty with all charity.

Verse 3. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last dayes, scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

Verse 4. And saying, Where is the promise of his comming? For since the Fathers fell asleepe, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

The Analysis.

VPon occasion of the Apostles testimony before cited, there is in these words a new description made of some wicked men of whom we must greatly beware. For in that he saith, that this is first to be knowne, what these wicked men are, of whom he doth admonish us, he doth thereby mean not only to shew that this is necessary to be known for the under­standing and applying of the Apostles words with benefit, [Page 236] but also that this may and ought to be chiefly observed out of the Apostles words, namely, that there shall come such men in the last dayes. For so is this phrase explained, Iude, v. 18. These wicked men are described in generall, 1 By their im­piety towards God, that they are scoffers. 2. By their impu­rity of life and deeds, that they walke after their own lusts. Then in special by their arguing, that the wicked scoffers used, to defend their impiety, and to remove the contrary doctrine from themselves, verse 4 For in those words is expressed, 1 their scoffing, which was before noted in generall, and 2 their argument is set forth, wherby they would perswade themselves and others, that they might walk after their own lusts, without feare or danger: namely, because the comming of God, the expectation whereof did deterre men from such a life, is not to be feared, in these words: Where is the promise of his comming? Now this they confirmed to themselves and others by a vaine comparing the times that went before with those that were to come; that whereas there was no comming of the Lord to judge the world since the times of the Fathers, and from the creation of the world, there was no cause to feare that any such thing would happen at the end of the world, in these words, For since the Fathers fell asleepe, all things con­tinue as they were from the beginning of the creation. Now this whole description, or rather the thing described, that is, this impiety, is illustrated by the adjunct of time, wherein chiefly and by a speciall kind of eminency or abundance it is found, namely, in the last dayes.

The Doctrines arising here-hence.

Doct. 1. In the reading of the Scriptures we must give spe­ciall heed unto those things whereof we have greatest use.

This is gathered from these words: Knowing this first. For the Apostle would, that for the present they should first and chiefly think of those things, that the Apostles had spoken for their present use, touching those wicked men.

Doct. 2. The Scripture foretels most grievous things of the last dayes.

So 1 Tim. 4. 1. 2 Tim. 3. 1.

Reason 1. For that iniquity doth abound more in the last dayes, it is because knowledge doth abound, which is held [Page 237] under righteousnesse: that makes the sin the more sinfull, Rom. 7. 13. and doth more incense the wrath of God, Romans 1. 18.

2. Because the last ages, by reason of that depravednesse and corruption which hath over-spread mankind, are as it were an the sink of all the ages that went before, to receive their d [...]egs.

Vse 1. This may serve to informe us, not to be too much troubled in mind, when we see as it were inundation of iniquity and impiety, flowing every where; because such things were foretold us before, Iohn 16. 4.

2. Not to fashion our selves to those courses, that are com­mon in this age, but to prepare and arme our selves rather a­gainst their contagion.

Doct. 3. Amongst wicked men they are the worst of all, that scoffe at godlinesse.

This is gathered from this word, scoffers.

Reason 1. Because they are not only unbelievers, but de­spisers of the faith also. For scoffing is from contempt.

2. Because their consciences are feared as it were with a hot iron, that can be wrought upon by no instruction, and therefore they are quite desperate. For they have quenched and choaked even those naturall sparks, which are wont to break out in all mens hearts.

3. Because they are the chosen instruments of the devill to turne aside others from godlinesse, and to make the faithfull servants of God ashamed of it, if it were possible. For the proper effect of scoffing is shame.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to shun such scoffers as the monsters and p [...]sts of mankind.

Doct. 4. They that maintaine wicked opinions in their minde, are given to impurity in their life.

This is gathered therehence, that the same men are called scoffers, and such as walk after their own lusts.

Reason 1. Because the proper cause, why such men do la­bour so much to cast off all sense of religion, is no other, then that they may with all licentiousnesse, give themselves wholy over to their most filthy lusts.

2. Because such wicked opinions or imaginations do let [Page 238] loose the raines to all concupiscence, and therefore are the cause of increasing that wickednesse, whereof at the first they were the effect.

Vse 1. This may serve to informe us, not to think that wicked and profane and Atheisticall men do speak from any reason or judgement, when they scoffe at religion. For they are beasts in their life, and therefore they have also beastly imaginations, which they are wont to bring forth under a shew of reason.

2. To admonish us, in shunning profane and blasphemous opinions and imaginations, to beware especially of a wicked life, because it makes way for all wicked opinions.

Doct. V. That is proper to wicked and prophane men, in some sort to deny the comming of the Lord, and his judgement.

This is gathered from verse 4 at the beginning.

Reason. Because the expectation of judgement is a strong bridle to restraine and keep in the wickednesse of men, which ungodly and profane men do most of all desire to shake off.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, by all means to take heed, that we be not any way partakers of that impiety: which comes to passe not only then when we do utterly deny his comming, but also when we do either make any doubt of it, or apprehend it as a thing far off from us, or do ineffectu­ally think of it, not edifying our selves in faith and obed [...]ence.

Doct. 6. The fallacy wherewith wicked and profane men do deceive themselves, consists therein, that they will believe nothing above their senses, and do oppose their sense against the testimony of God.

This is gathered ver. 4. at the end. For since the Fathers, &c.

Reason. Because they are sensuall men, Iude, v. 19. and are led by sense and sensible things, like as bruit beasts.

Vse 1. This may serve for information: hence we may un­derstand that the contradictions of profane men are void of all reason, and therefore are to be contemned with detestation. Nothing can be more contrary or mad, then to consult with nature about supernaturall things, and to fetch the judgement of spirituall things from sense.

2. To admonish us, not to attribute any thing to our senses in matters of faith. For it is all one, as if we should seek the judgement of reason amongst bruit beasts.

Verse 5. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water, and in the water,

Verse 6. Whereby the world, that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.

Verse 7. But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement, and perdition of ungodly men.

The Analysis.

IN the refutation of this profane opinion, the Apostle doth first reprove the ignorance of these profane men, verse 5. 6 7. Secondly, he doth instruct the faithfull touching the com­ming of the Lord in those things, that did most pertaine to the confirmation of them in the truth against such temptati­ons that might arise from such humane cavillings, verse 8. 9, 10. The Apostle reproves their ignorance, 1 From the cause, that it was voluntary or affected ignorance. 2 From the ob­ject, namely that truth, which they willingly were ignorant of, and did oppugne. Now that truth which is affirmed con­tradicts that assertion, whereby these men would confirme their opinion. For when they had said it, and had brought it for an argument, that all things did continue in the same e­state from the beginning of the creation, the Apostle denies this, and shewes the contrary by the history of the flood, v. 6. then by comparing things alike, he gathers that the same also is to be expected concerning the destruction of the world by fire at the comming of the Lord, that was before in some sort performed by the destruction of it in water, v. 7. 3 The reason of this consequence is taken from the common cause of crea­tion, preservation, and both destructions of the world, namely, the word & will of God, v. 5. 7. 4 He doth illustrate the con­clusion it selfe concerning the destruction of the world by the end thereof, that it may withall be applyed unto those wicked ones, with whom he now dealt, v. 7 at the end, while he cals the day of the Lord the day of judgement, and perdition of ungodly men. For in these words he threatens eternall damnation unto those profane men, that denied his comming, wch must cer­tainly be expected at the comming of the Lord.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. It is the property of wicked men to be willingly ig­norant of all things, that crosse their lusts.

This is gathered from these words: They willingly are igno­rant of. All men are ignorant of many things, but the faith­full are not ignorant of those things that are necessary for them unto salvation, nor do they please themselves in the ig­norance of any truth, much lesse in the ignorance of those things that pertaine unto the practise of religion: nay they do very much labour for this knowledge, whereby they may be brought unto eternall life: but the wicked, although they do very much desire to know other things, yea and are too curious in it, yet they love to be ignorant of those things that pertaine to the bridling of their lusts and reproving of their sins. This is that ignorance which is called voluntary and affected.

Reason 1. Because they affect those vices whereunto this knowledge is repugnant. Therefore they eschew knowledge as a thing that is evill unto them, and makes against them; and affect ignorance as a thing that is good for them and very well agreeing with them. For he that hath resolved with himselfe to give his mind unto sin, and to continue therein, seekes to have peace and quietnesse in that condition, and therefore abhorres that truth which convinceth his consci­ence of sin, and suffers him not to sleep in it.

2. Because he is given unto those lusts that stop up the way unto saving knowledge, and hold him ensnared and intangled so that he cannot freely endeavour and labour for true know­ledge: therefore he affects ignorance in this respect, not so much in it selfe, as in the cause of it.

Vse 1. This may serve to convince those, that please them­selves in the ignorance of holy things, because this is the pro­perty of a wicked man.

2. To admonish us, never to shut our eyes against the light of the truth.

3. To exhort us, on the contrary to use all our endeavour and give all diligence to gaine knowledge, especially in those things that pertaine to our own practise and life.

[Page 241] Doct. 2. It makes verie much for the taking away or lesse­ning of our ignorance, to look upon the works of God that are past, that from them we may gather the works that are to come.

This is gathered from the comparison that is here made, v. 5. 6, 7.

Reason. Because the works of God are as looking-glasses, wherein Gods sufficiency and efficiency are proposed unto us to behold.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to look slightly upon the works of God, nor to read the histories of them as we read humane histories, but so, that we may alwayes be­hold God in them.

Doct. 3. Those publick works of God, the creation, preser­vation, and destruction of the world, first by water, secondly by fire, are often to be meditated upon, and compared one with the other.

This is gathered from the same comparison.

Reason. Because God hath proposed those, as very remark­able arguments, to worke some sense at least of religion in mens minds.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to exercise our selves in these meditations, which God hath commended unto all sorts of men.

Doct. 4. In all such works of God, that is especially to be considered that they are by the word of God, and do depend there­upon.

This is gathered from verse 5, 7.

Reason. Because we can receive no benefit by meditating upon Gods works, unlesse we do behold the perfection of God in them. Now the perfection of God in his works doth very much appeare therein, that all things are done by his word and according to his will.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to turne our eyes from all second causes, and to acknowledge God and his word in all things. For thence it comes to passe, that men often times attribute those things unto fortune, which are done by God, because they are ignorant of the power of Gods word. And such an opposition there seems to be in the text, betwixt the words of the wicked, (when they say that all things conti­nue, making no mention in the mean time of God, by whose [Page 242] power they continue; but rather closely attributing this con­tinuance to fortune or second causes,) and that assertion of the Apostle, whereby he affirmes that the world was at first by Gods word, and is kept by the same word:

Doct. 5. Every consideration of the works of God should be applyed to the comfort of the faithfull, and terrour of the wicked.

This is gathered from v. 7. at the end.

Verse 8. But (beloved) be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand yeares, and a thousand yeares as one day.

Verse 9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, (as some men count slacknesse) but is long-suffering to us ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to re­pentance.

Verse 10. But the day of the Lord will come as a thiefe in the night, in the which the heavens shall passe away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burnt up.

The Analysis.

IN this other patt of the refutation the Apostle propoun­deth unto the godly and faithfull those things that might establish and confirme their hearts in the truth, touching the comming of the Lord. 1 Therefore he perswades them to understanding and knowledge, contrary to the ignorance of the wicked. For whereas he had spoken before of the wicked, this they are willingly ignorant of, now turning to the faithfull he exhorts them unto the contrary. But be not you ignorant of this one thing. 2. He propounds the thing it selfe, which he would have them in a speciall manner to understand and ob­serve, which containes two things. 1 That the prolonging of the Lords comming is not with that slacknesse, which should be a stumbling-block to any man, both because it is not to be judged of according to our sense, but by the eternity of God, in respect whereof that space of time, which seem [...]s very long unto us, is but as one day, v. 8. and also because the [Page 243] end of this prolonging is the conversion and salvation of sin­ners: and therefore this prolonging proceeds not so much from slacknesse, as from patience, verse 9. 2 That the manner of his comming, (both because it shall be sudden, and also be­cause it shall be with majesty and great terrour,) is such, that it should rather make men carefull to prepare themselves for it, then to be curious in inquiring about the time it selfe, or to complaine of slacknesse.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. When wicked and profane men are reproved, refu­ted and condemned in Scripture, this is done for the faithfull and elects sake, whose edification and salvation God hath respect unto, even when he seemes to speak unto others.

This is gathered from the beginning of verse 8. where the Apostle turning himselfe directly unto the faithfull, shewes that these wicked men were refuted for their good. So 2 Thess. 2. 13. Iude, v. 20. 1 Tim. 6. 11. 2 Tim. 3. 14.

Reason 1. Because the whole Scripture and all the meanes of salvation do by a speciall kind of propriety belong unto the faithfull.

2. Because God will not have his word to passe without some fruit: Now wicked men are oftentimes so fore-lorne, that no congruous fruit can be expected in them, but only in the faithfull.

Vse 1. This may serve to informe us, to judge aright of Gods intention in those things that he doth about men that are past all hope and incorrigible. For as the Apostle saith of Oxen, that God taketh not care for Oxen, but for men; so should we think that God taketh not care so much for these bestiall men, as for the faithfull and elect whom he doth chiefly speak unto, even when he seemes to speak unto others.

2. To admonish us, not to neglect or despise such rebu­kings of the wicked, as if they did nothing belong unto us, but wisely to turne it to our own use.

Doct. 2. The faithfull do then profit by the word of God, which is against the wicked, when they are become much unlike the wicked.

This is gathered therehence, that whereas the Apostle did reprove the wicked of ignorance, he doth now exhort the faithfull to knowledge, Prov. 1. 15.

[Page 244] Reason. Because the courses and fashions of the wicked are therefore set forth unto us, that we might avoid them.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, not to suffer our selves to be led away by the example of the wicked multitude. For God doth not propose it as a thing to be followed, but to be shunned and avoided.

Doct. 3. We should in a singular manner differ from the wicked therein, that we judge of the wayes of God not according to the sense of the flesh, but according to the nature of God.

This is gathered from these words: One day with the Lord. With men it is otherwise.

Reason. Because spirituall things are to be judged of spiri­tually. Now all the wayes of God are in some sort spirituall and divine.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those, that in such exami­nations are wont to consult with flesh and blood, and not with the word of God.

Doct. 4. The end of all Gods wayes, as they have respect unto men, is the repentance and salvation of the godly.

This is gathered from v. 9. Now here ariseth a question.

Quest. Whether all and every particular man be meant thereby, when it is said, that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance?

Answ. The patience of God according to its nature hath that use and end, to lead all sinners unto repentance, Rom. 2. 4. and in that sense might their interpretation be admitted, who understand these words and the like of all and every particular man: But that the Apostle in this place hath speciall refe­rence to the elect, it appears thereby, that he speaking of the beloved of God, verse 8. and reckoning himselfe amongst the number of us, saith, that God is long-suffering to us-ward, that is, towards those beloved, and is not willing that any should perish that is, any of them: because Gods principall work towards men is the salvation of the faithfull, and there­fore all his wayes tend thereunto, as unto the scope and mark whereunto they are directed.

Vse 1. This may serve to reprove the madnesse of those men that blame those things in God, which make most for their use and good, as these men do in the slacknesse of the Lords comming.

[Page 245] 2. To admonish us, not to pervert these right wayes of God, but alwayes to▪ apply them unto that use whereunto they tend, that is, to the furtherance of our own repentance and salvation.

Doct. 5. The way of the Lord, when he commeth to judge­ment, shall be with swiftnesse, majesty and terrour.

This is gathered from verse 10.

First, it shall be sudden, because the houre and day thereof is not revealed, and because the most part of men expect no such thing. And it shall be full of majestie and terror, because it is the comming of the Lord not in humility, as his first com­ming was, but in glory.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, to prepare our selvs ac­cordingly against this comming of the Lord. For this use the Apostle presseth and exhorteth us unto in the rest of the chap.

Verse 11. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godlinesse,

Verse 12. Looking for, and hasting unto the comming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Verse 13. Neverthelesse, we according to his promise, looke for new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousnesse.

Verse 14. Wherefore (beloved) seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent, that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blamelesse.

Verse 15. And account, that the long suffering of the Lord is salvation, even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdome given unto him, hath written unto you.

Verse 16. As also in all his Epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned, and unstable, wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Verse 17. Ye therefore beloved, seeing ye know these things be­fore, beware lest ye also being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastnesse.

Verse 18. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: to him be glory, both now and for ever, Amen.

[Page 246]The Analysis.

IN these verses is contained an application of the doctrine, that was before propounded concerning the Lords com­ming, to the use and edification of the faithfull. Now this application is made by an exhortation to piety and holinesse, which is first of all propounded, v. 11. Secondly, confirmed by the doctrine that was before proposed concerning the manner of the Lords comming, v. 12, 13. Thirdly, it is againe repeated and pressed, v. 14. Fourthly it is againe confirmed by the doctrine that was before proposed concerning the pa­tience and long-suffering of God, v. 15. begin [...]which is in this place confirmed by the testimony of the Apostle Paul: whose testimony is illustrated, 1 Thereby, that he was frequent in such testimonies, v. 16. begin. 2 By a preoccupation, where­by the faithfull are admonished not rashly to wrest any thing that Paul spake concerning such things, to a contrary sense, because although he spake some things that are hard to be un­derstood, yet they are such that they are not wont to be wrested, but by some perverse men, who wrest the other Scrip­tures also unto their own destruction. From all these he in­ferres in the last place a conclusion both of the fore-going ex­hortation, and also of the whole Epistle, which is, to have a care to be stedfast, v. 17. and to labour for growth, v. 18. The end whereof is shewed to be the glory of Christ in that doxo­logy, wherewith the whole Epistle is closed up.

The Doctrines arising herehence.

Doct. 1. All Scripture must be applyed unto a practicall use, that it may advance holinesse and piety.

This is gathered from v. 11. Now not only in this place is this order of instruction observed, but in all the Epistles and Sermons that are propounded in Scripture.

Reason 1. Because the end of all Theologicall doctrine is to live well.

2. Because a bare apprehension and speculation of the truth, and a meere assent thereunto, is nothing worth, if it be separated from the practise. For this is found in some sort in the devils themselves.

[Page 247] 3. Because the temptations of the Devill tend chiefly there­unto, that if he cannot hide the truth, yet so to choak it, that it can bring forth no fruit in the life; and thereupon he takes occasion to mock and deride men.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us all, to labour for this both in private and in publike, in preaching, hearing, read­ing, and meditating upon Gods word; and never think that we know any thing as we ought to know, unlesse we know it unto piety and holinesse.

Doct. 2. In piety and holinesse we must alwayes aime at and labour for the highest perfection.

This is gathered 1 From the question, What manner of persons ought ye to be? 2 From the plurall number, which is used in the originall, [...], in your conversations, that is, in all piety and holinesse.

Reason 1. Because every degree of piety and holinesse is as desirable in it selfe as the first is.

2. Our desire and affection towards the highest degree of holinesse and piety is a part of the very first degree. For there is no true holinesse without a desire of perfect holinesse.

3. Because we are called unto perfect holinesse, neither can we see God without it.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those, that rest in a kind of luke-warme profession, or in a partiall practise of piety and holinesse.

Doct. 3. It makes much for the advancing of piety; to look for and hasten unto the commming of the day of the Lord.

This is gathered from v. 12, 14. So Phil. 3. 20.

Reason 1. Because it takes off our minds from all those things, that belong unto this present world.

2. Because it makes us to prepare our selves for the world to come, 1 Iohn 3. 3.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to raise up our minds, as much as may be unto this spirituall looking for the Lord.

Doct. 4. Our chiefest care touching the comming of the Lord, should be, to be found of him in peace.

This is gathered from v. 14. Now by peace is meant that condition which is pleasing unto God and approved of him; whereupon not the anger, but the goodnesse and grace [Page 248] of the Lord is shewed in communicating all happinesse.

Reason 1. Because the Lord is looked for, as the supreme Judge, whose anger is to be flyed from and avoided, and his approbation and good liking greatly to be sought for.

2. Because unlesse peace be then had, afterwards it cannot be had for ever.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, while we live here, conti­nually to seek to confirme our peace with God, and in our own consciences. Now this is done by raising up in our selves a lively faith and confidence, establishing our hearts with all assurance of salvation, and following all those means where­by our calling and election is made sure.

Doct. 5. From the long-suffering of God we must gather those things which make for the promoting of our peace and salva­tion.

This is gathered from v. 15. For when the Apostle tels us, that we should account, that the long suffering of the Lord is salvation, he means that we should so think wich our selves and dispute of these things, that we should gather nothing else from thence, but that God aimes at our salvation, and therefore we also should take great care of it.

Reason. Because by these meditations we should confirme and increase both our faith and our sanctification. For our reasonings and disputes, when they are rightly directed either by the word, or by the works of God, as by a third argu­ment, to the strengthning of our faith and increase of holi­nesse, a [...] unto a conclusion drawne from thence; they are those morall means whereby we work out our salvation with feare and trembling.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to exercise our selves more and more in such meditations: for being accustomed thereunto, from them we shall gather honey and medicine, whence others suck poyson; as we may see in this example, where from the Lords prolonging of his comming the wicked men did conclude those things whereby they might confirme their profane opinions; but the faithfull are taught on the contrary, by the same argument to conclude those things, which make much for their salvation. Such is the Apostles admonition, Rom. 6. 12.

[Page 251] Doct. 6. In the writings of the Apostles and Prophets, Chri­stians must have a speciall heed to those things, which do most di­rect them to such connexions or conclusions.

This is gathered from verse 15. Where Pauls testimony is cited to confirme & illustrate this connexion, & not to prove other things, which might easily be proved out of his writings.

Reason 1. Because these are most necessary for us to know, and of perpetuall use.

2. Because that was the wisdome of God communicated to the Apostles and Prophets, that they might explaine these truths unto us most frequently, and clearly, which is the rea­son of that elogy which is given unto Paul in the text, accor­ding to the wisdome given unto him he hath written unto us.

Vse. This may serve to reprove those, that doe more wil­lingly by far give heed unto those things, which do little or nothing at all touch the conscience of a man, or the practise of his life. The inward inclination and disposition of a man appeares manifestly by those things which he doth chiefly heed in his reading and hearing: As if a man be given only to the tongues, he will observe nothing but the words and phra­ses: If he be a lover of Chronology, he will take notice of no­thing but the things that have beene done, and the moments of time wherein they were done: If he be a Disputer, one that seeketh praise by arguing, he will marke nothing, but those things which make for controversies: so a godly man, al­though he will not neglect other things, which serve for his use, yet he doth chiefly fix his mind upon those things, which do most directly tend unto godlinesse.

Doct. 7. We must understand all these things so, as if they were directly written unto us.

This is gathered from these words, Hath written unto us. So Hebr. 12. 5.

Reason 1. Because such was the wisdome of God, which spake in these holy men, that they wrote those things which do belong unto us, as well as unto those that lived at that time.

2. Because God would have the Scripture to be the pub­lick instrument of the Church, not of one age only, but of all ages. Therefore every part of it is the rule of life both to me and thee, as well as unto those to whom it was first given.

[Page 250] Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, not so much to med­dle in the Scriptures, as if we were in another mans ground, or in those things which belong unto others, and not unto our selves.

2. To exhort us, to raise up our minds to receive the word of God with a congruous affection. We may easily think with our selves how our minds would be affected, if we should re­ceive a letter that was written by the hand of God in heaven; and directed unto us by name, and sent unto us by one of his Angels: after the same manner should we be affected in read­ing and hearing the written word of God.

Doct. 8. In other truths that are lesse necessary for us to know, there are some things hard to be understood.

This is gathered from v. 16. He doth not say this of all Pauls Epistles, nor of any one whole Epistle, much lesse of the whole Scripture, (as the Patrons of traditions, and Enemies of Scripture would have it,) but of some few things: And he seemes to point chiefly at some of those things, which Paul wrote concerning the comming of the Lord, because he speaks of that in this place, & therefore it is very likely that he hath reference unto those things which are spoken of, 2 Thess. 2. 2.

Reason 1. Because there are some divine mysteries so farre remote from us, that in what words soever they be expressed, they will alwayes be hard to be understood.

2. Because God would have some things, that are not of so generall and necessary a use, out of his singular wisdome to be more obscurely propounded: which seemes to be the pro­per reason, why those things of Antichrist, 2 Thess. 2. were in the Primitive Church hard to be understood. For God would for just causes, that Antichrist should come, and that most men should be ignorant who he was, untill he did come.

3. God would exercise the industry and diligence of the faithfull in searching the Scriptures, and finding out the sens [...] and meaning of them, not to deter men from reading them as the Papists use to do, by wresting this argument amisse. For Peter in this place doth not discourage so much as the cōmon sort of the faithfull from reading the Scriptures, but rather stirs them up to read all the Epistles of Paul, although he tels them that there are some things in them that must be read wa­rily.

[Page 251] Vse 1. This may serve to admonish us, not to think it suffi­cient that we know the words of the Scripture, but to give all diligence and labour to find out the true sense and meaning of them.

2. To comfort us, that we should not be too much cast down, if we do not fully understand some things in the Scrip­ture, because we are told that there are some things hard to be understood.

Doct. 9. They are unlearned and unstable men, that wrest the Scripture to maintaine their impiety.

For that the Apostle means, when he saith that they wrest the Scriptures to their own destruction; not that it is such an exceeding dangerous thing to interpret some place of Scrip­ture otherwise then it should be, but that it is the property of a very wicked man to argue out of the word of God against God, or against his will. Now they are called unlearned, not because they have no skill in the tongues or arts, wherein such pestiferous men may sometimes excell; but because they never effectually learned or were taught those things which pertaine unto religion: And in the like manner are they called unstable, because in that knowledge of the truth which they had and professed, they were not grounded and rooted, but as men not grounded nor setled they are easily turned from their profession.

Vse. This may serve for admonition, that the people should not therefore be deterred from reading the Scriptures, as the Papists would have it, (who in this very thing shew themselves to be unlearned and unstable, because they do mischievously wrest this place, where they are expresly told, with how great danger it is wont to be done:) but that we should labour to cast off all ignorance and unsteadfastnesse, that so we may be made fit to read the Scriptures with profit. For this is the scope of the admonition, as the Apostle useth it in this place.

Doct. 10. The end and scope of all divine information and instruction in respect of the faithfull is, that they may be stablished and grow in that grace which they have received.

This is gathered therehence, that this is the conclusion of this generall Epistle, as it was of the former; which holds good also in all other Epistles and Sermons, in respect of those that are now faithfull:

[Page 254] Reas. Because by their effectual calling they have faith, hope, and charity begotten in them, so that they have the principle of all grace in them, nor can any thing be wanting [...]eli [...]es the continuation, confirmation, and increase of the same grace.

Doct. 11. To obtaine stedfastnesse in grace there is required a fore-knowledge of those things that tend to the confirming and strengthening of our minds.

This is gathered from these words: Seeing ye know these things before.

Reas. Because although our stedfastnes depends upon God▪ and the effectuall operation of his Spirit, as it is in the con­clusion of the 1 Pet. 5. 10. Yet God worketh in us not only by a reall efficacy, but also agreeable to an intelligent nature by teaching and perswading. Now nothing can be wrough [...] by this morall way, unlesse knowledge go before, and so i [...] must be wrought by knowledge, as it is in the text.

Vse 1. This may serve to refute the Papists, who maintain [...] ignorance and commend it in the common people: they are sufficiently refuted by him, from whom they boast that they have received the Chaire, free from all error. For Peter in thi [...] place, 1 Requires knowledge of all the faithfull, yea, an [...] fore-knowledge too of those things whereby they might b [...] confirmed against profane men and false teachers. 2 He pre [...]supposeth that all that were truly faithfull to whom this Epi [...]stle came, were already endued with this knowledge. 3 H [...] presupposeth that his Epistles were so cleare and so ea [...]ie to b [...] understood that all the faithfull which should read them wit [...] godly minds, might understand out of them, and consequent [...]ly out of the Scriptures, those things, whereby they bein [...] forewarned, might be fore-armed against those false deceiver [...] whereof he spake.

2. To admonish us, not so to look for our confirmation and strengthening from God, as that we should in the mean time neglect the knowledge of those things that tend there [...]unto, but to use all our endeavour both in generall to know those things that are absolutely necessary unto salvation, an [...] in particular, those things that are necessary for us in our pra [...]ctise upon occasion of any temptation.

Doct. 12. Besides knowledge there is required also unto th [...] stedfastnesse of grace a continuall and vigilant heed.

[Page 255] This is gathered from this word, Beware.

Reason 1. Because knowledge is unprofitable, if it be not reduced to practise. Now practise in difficult things cannot be had without care and heed.

2. Because many are the fallacies wherewith we are assaul­ted, both in the Devill and his instruments that are without us, and in our selves also, by reason of that marvellous deceit­fulnesse of our hearts, such as cannot be expressed.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, above all to take notice of our selves, and those things that tend to the strengthning and stablishing of us in grace.

Doct. 13. It should be an argument to the faithfull to beware of the errors of some men, because they are wicked men, ungodly, and profane.

This is gathered from that title, the error of the wicked.

Reason. Because all those things that have any agreement with ungodlinesse are to be shunned and avoided. Now those things that are in a speciall manner approved of by profane men, must necessarily have an agreement with profane ungod­linesse.

Vse. This may serve to admonish us, by this means amongst others to strengthen our selves against divers errors, that are most pleasing to profane men.

Doct. 14. Sedfastnesse and increase of grace are joyned to­gether.

This is gathered from the connexion of v. 17. with the 18.

Reason 1. Because like as trees and all plants, and also li­ving creatures, from which this metaphor is taken, are cor­roborated by growth, while they acquire greater and perfect­er strength, so also do the faithfull.

2. Because the stedfastnesse of grace consists not therein, that it continues in the same degree, but that it is formed in its na­ture, one property whereof of is, to grow untill it come to per­fection.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to labour therefore to be so stablished, that we may also grow and increase in all grace.

Doct. 15. They grow in grace, that grow in the effectuall knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Iesus Christ.

See Chapter 1. Verse 2.

[Page] Doct. 16. Our [...] and desire in all things, even in those th [...] that pertaine to our own salvation, should be the eternall glo [...] God in Christ.

This is gathered from the last words.

Reason 1. Because we are the servants of Christ bo [...] with his own blood. Now whatsoever the servants get [...] turnes to the proper good and benefit of their Masters.

2. Because God is absolutely the chiefest good.

3. Unlesse we do this, whatsoever we do, it is not [...] out of religion. For it is the nature of religion to give the [...] unto God.

Vse. This may serve to exhort us, to lift up our minds [...] and more to maintaine the glory of God in all things, [...] Apostle doth by that closing particle, Amen.


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