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1 Peter iii. 15.

Be ready always to give an answer to every man, that asketh you a reason of the hope, that is in you, with meekness and fear!

SAINT Peter addressed the command in the text to Christians, who were under a state of persecution. Hence it is introduced with this extraordinary congratulation—“ If ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye.'

Happy indeed must the first Christians have been, if this sentiment be correct: for what did they not suffer for the sake of righteousness? Contempt, reproach, loss, affliction in various forms, torture, and even death itself, these were the common portion of men, who confessed the name of their Saviour. We count ourselves happy in escaping these miseries. But the


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