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having been delivered and freed from that corruption, which aboundeth in worldly men, through their sinful lusts.
I. 9. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
But he, that lacketh these graces, is at the least purblind; not seeing heavenly things which are afar off, but earthly things only which are near at hand: having forgotten even the very first and main principles of Christianity; and namely this, that they were washed from their old sins by the laver of regeneration; persisting wilfully in those evils, as if they had never been
I. 10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
Wherefore do ye so much more studiously and earnestly labour to attain unto good assurance in your souls, (both of your effectual calling in time, and of your eternal election to life before all times, by believing, and by well doing: for, if ye do thus carefully and conscionably endeavour yourselves, it is a firm argument of the grace and mercy of God, so upholding you, that ye shall never utterly fall from him.
I. 15. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
Moreover I will take order while I live, both by my utmost endeavours
all occasions, and by these monuments which I shall leave behind me, so to settle the remembrance of these things in you, that, after my decease, ye may not forget them, but may think of them effectually. I. 19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; where
do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts :
But, besides our own testimony, we have that evidence, which ye are wont to account more certain than all the report of present witnesses, even the clear word of the ancient prophets, foretelling the truth of all events concerning Christ; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, and give all due respect; regarding it, as a candle that shines in a dark room, till a greater light arise unto you; that is, until the bright and glorious Gospel, which is as the day-star and the morning light of divine truth, be fully manifested unto you; as that, wherein all those prophetical predictions appear to be perfectly accomplished:
I. 20. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
Presupposing first, and laying this sure ground, that the exposition of the prophetical predictions of the Holy Scriptures
may not be framed and ruled according to the private conceit of the reader, but by the gracious revelation of the Holy Ghost, and those meet helps which God hath ordinarily left unto his Church.
I. 21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man : but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
For, there must be the same authority for the interpreting of Scriptures, which was in the giving and delivering of them: now, those holy prophecies came not in old time from the device of man's brains, neither did they deliver their own inven. tions; but those sacred persons, which were sent by God on his messages to the Church, spake as they were inspired by the Holy Ghost, and wrote only those words which were put into them by God himself.
II. 1. Eren denying the Lord that bought them.
Even denying that gracious Lord and Saviour, who hath not stuck to shed his most precious blood, for the redemption of mankind.
II. 3. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you : whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
And, as crafty merchants are wont, with many fair and glozing words, to deceive the buyer; so do they, in a covetous desire and aim at their own advantage, go about with feigned pretences and plausible words to make merchandise of you : whose just judgment and fearful damnation, which hath been of old ordained for them and denounced against them, is not delayed and slackened, for one moment, beyond the time limited to their due punishment.
II. 4. And delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserred unto judgment.
And delivered them up into that dungeon of hell, to be reserved there, in horrible darkness, until the day of the Last Judgment, wherein they shall receive the sentence and execution of their full torment.
II. 11. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
Whereas, the good angels of God, who are greater in power and might than any mortal creature, and therefore might seem privileged to take more liberty unto themselves, yet, when they have appeared before God, and have held, as it were, contestation with the evil angels in his presence, have not cast railing accusations against them, but have left their judgment unto the Lord.
II. 12. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken
and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. But these men, as if they were no better than very
brute beasts, which are made only for the slaughter, bear themselves in a brutish and savage fashion ; following their own beastly sensuality, and opening their foul mouths against those things and persons whose worth they understand not: and they shall speed accordingly; for they shall be taken in their own wickedness, and shall perish in that everlasting destruction which they have drawn upon themselves.
II. 17. To whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For whom the dreadful darkness of hell is reserved for ever.
II. 18. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
For, while these heretical teachers affect to speak big swelling words of vanity, and make great ostentation of the large promises of liberty to their clients, they, pleasing the carnal appetite of lustful men, allure, through much wantonness, those wretched disciples, that were once escaped from the snares of their false doctrine, and draw them to live in their damnable error.
II. 20. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Sariour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For, if, after they have escaped the wicked heresies and abominable corruptions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they suffer themselves to be again entangled in and overcome by those impious errors and practices, it had been better for them, never to have been delivered therefrom: the latter condition of their sinful relapse shall be much worse, than the first estate of their gross and ignorant impiety.
III. 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 :
In that they say, All things continue as they were from their first creation, they do willingly hoodwink themselves; and purposely will not know that change, which was wrought by the deluge of waters; and the stability of that word or decree of God, whereby the heavens were made of old, and the earth also was made to appear, upon the removing of the waters to their proper receptacle, the sea, as standing up out of the water, and as compassed about by the water:
III. 6. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
Upon which situation of the earth it came to pass, by the just and holy decree of God, that the world of men that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
III. 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 judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
But these lower regions of the heavens and the earth, which we do now presently see, after that change wrought by the Deluge, are, by the same all-wise and just decree of God, continued in the state wherein they still are, and reserved for a contrary means of dissolution; which shall be by fire, in that great day of the general judgment, and of the final destruction of the wicked and ungodly.
III. 8. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
But, as for the conviction of that idle and wicked conceit of atheous men, who, because of the seeming delay of the coming of the Lord, go about to persuade themselves that he will not come at all; beloved, I would not have you to be ignorant of this one thing, that no time ought to seem long in comparison of eternity; that in the account of the Ancient of Days, the Immutable and Eternal God, there is no difference of years and times : one day and a thousand years are alike and all one to him : these measures of time are nothing to him, that is Infinite.
III. 9. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The Lord, who hath promised to come, is not slack in the performance of that promise of his, according as men take slackness; so as to put off and disappoint the day which he had set: but, in his merciful longsuffering to us-ward, as he had eternally decreed, he waits for our repentance; as taking no pleasure in the destruction of any of his creatures, but graciously inviting all men to repent and be saved.
III. 13. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for, after that this visible and lower fabric of the world shall be purged, with this last and universal fire, from those drossy and impure qualities which are in it,) a new heaven and a new earth, pure and glorious ; so as the whole purified world, that then shall remain, shall be the palace and habitation of God's elect.
III. 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 stedfastness.
But ye, beloved, seeing ye know these things, and are admonished beforehand of the danger of these pestilent doctrines, beware lest ye be led away with these atheous suggestions of wicked men, and do thereupon fall from that stedfast profession which ye have hitherto made of the truth.
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN.
I. 1. That which was from the beginning which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
That ever-living Son of God, the co-essential Word of the Father, which was from all eternity ; whom we Apostles had the honour and happiness to hear with our ears, to see with our eyes, and to touch with our hands;
I. 2. (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, fc.)
(For that life-giving Word of his father was manifested in the flesh; and we have, for many years together, seen him, and conversed with him, and bear witness of him, &c.)
I. 3. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us : and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Even that same coeternal Son of God, whom we have personally seen and heard, do we declare and preach unto you; that ye, by our Gospel, may have the happiness of being partakers with us, of these glad tidings and means of salvation : wherein ye shall unspeakably benefit and advance yourselves; for ye shall therein enter into a blessed communion with God the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
I. 5. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
This then is the message, which we have heard of him and declare unto you, that God is of a most pure, simple, holy, perfect, and glorious nature; resembled by no creature so much, as by exquisite Light, in which there is nothing but a clear and exact brightness, without any the least mixture of darkness.
I. 6. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.
As he is Light, so every aberration from him is darkness: if we then say, that we have fellowship with this pure and holy God, and yet walk in the darkness of any sin whatsoever, we belie ourselves, and do not according to that truth which we profess.