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tion and censoriousness, and carnal security, and exhorts to dependance on God, by a consideration of the shortness and uncertainty of life, (ch. iv. 11-17.); denounces awful judgments on the rich and wicked Jews, (ch. v. 1—6.); exhorts them to patience and meekness under trials, in the hope of a speedy deliverance, (ch. v. 7—11.); cautions them against swearing, and admonishes them to prayer and praise, (ch. v. 12, 13.); gives suitable instructions concerning visiting the sick, and concerning Christians confessing their faults to one another, declaring the efficacy of fervent prayer, (ch. v. 14-18.); and encourages them to attempt the conversion of sinners, and the recovery of their offending brethren, (ch. v. 19, 20.)* In the FIRST EPISTLE of PETER, the Apostle, addressing the strangers and foreigners in Asia Minor, with salutations, and thanksgivings to God for his abundant mercy, and the inestimable blessings bestowed upon them, (ch. i. 1—5.); shews the nature and benefit of their trials, and the joy in loving and rejoicing in an unseen Saviour, and receiving his salvation, by which they are counterbalanced, a salvation into which the prophets had diligently enquired, and into which angels desired to look, and the preaching of which by the Apostles the Holy Spirit had confirmed and prospered, (ch. i. 6-12.); exhorts them, from these considerations, to a holy and circumspect conduct, as the worshippers of a holy God, and as redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, (ch. i. 13—20.); to a pure and fervent love of one another, being brethren by regeneration, through the word of God, (ch. i. 21—25.), and to lay aside all selfish and angry passions, that they may long for the sincere milk of the word,' and grow by it, (ch. ii. 1—3.); exhibits the preciousness of Christ, the chief Cornerstone, to believers as built on him by faith, and thus made a holy temple and a spiritual priesthood, while unbelievers stumble and perish, (ch. ii. 4-8.); declares the character and privileges of believers, as called out of darkness into light, to shew forth the praises of God, (ch. ii. 9, 10.); beseeches them to abstain from fleshly lusts, and by their good conversasation to glorify God, (ch. ii. 11, 12.); enforces obedience to magistrates and rulers, (ch. ii. 13-17.); and of servants to their masters; exhorting them to suffer patiently even for well-doing, after the example of Christ, and from love to him, (ch. ii. 18—25.); exhorts wives and husbands to fulfil their respective duties, (ch. iii. 1–7.); and Christians to live in amity, to forgive injuries, to be stedfast under persecutions, and to profess and defend the truth with meekness, and maintain a good conscience, according to the nature of their calling, their privileges, and the example of Christ, (ch. iii. 8—18.); shews that the destruction of the impenitent antediluvians was an emblem of that of the wicked, and the preservation of Noah and his family in the ark, an emblem of the salvation of those who had not only the sign of baptism, but the thing signified by it, through a risen and glorified Redeemer, (ch. iii. 18-22.); exhorts them to cease from sin, in conformity to Christ, who had suffered for it, and to live holy
lives, though reproached for it, in expectation of a future judgment, (ch. iv. 1-6.), sobriety, watchfulness, and prayer, because the end of all things is at hand, (ch. iv. 7.), and to love, hospitality, and a due improvement of talents, as the stewards of God, and in order to glorify him, (ch. iv. 8—11.); gives various encouragements to patience, and confidence in God, amid persecutions, with cautions and instructions, (ch. iv. 12-19.); exhorts the elders to feed the flock of God,' willingly, cheerfully, disinterestedly, and humbly, and to be examples to it, expecting from the chief Shepherd, at his appearance, an unfading crown of glory, (ch. v. 1—4.); requires the younger to submit to the elder, and all of them to be clothed with humility,' 'casting all their care upon God,' (ch. v. 5-7.), and to be sober, and vigilant,' and steadfastly, by faith, to resist the devil,' and bear tribulation, (ch. v. 8, 9.); and concludes with prayers, salutations, and benedictions, (ch. v. 10—14.)*
In the SECOND EPISTLE of PETER, the Apostle, having saluted his brethren, and shewn the blessings to which God had called them, (ch. i. 1-4.), earnestly exhorts them to diligence in every good work, in order to make their calling and election sure,' intermixing suitable warnings and encouragements, (ch. i. 5—11.); states, that aware of his approaching martyrdom, he is the more diligent in thus admonishing them, that they may remember these things after his decease, (ch. i. 12-15.;) urges the evidence of what he had seen and heard 'in the holy mount,' in confirmation of his testimony concerning the power and coming of Christ, referring them to a more sure word of prophecy,' and instructing them concerning its interpretation and source, (ch. i. 16—21.); foretells the coming of false teachers, shewing their corrupt tenets and practices, and the divine judgments against them, (ch. ii.); reminds his brethren of the promised coming of Christ, predicting that scoffers will ridicule their expectation of that event, being willingly ignorant of the truth, (ch. iii. 1-7.); shews the reason why that great day is delayed, and its awful manner, circumstances, and consequences, with suitable exhortations and encouragements to diligence and holiness, (ch. iii. 8—14.); declares the agreement of his doctrine with that of St. Paul, (ch. iii. 15, 16.); and concludes with warning the reader against seducers, and exhorting them to 'grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ,' (ch. iii. 17, 18.)†
In the FIRST EPISTLE of JOHN, the Apostle declares what he had seen and heard of Christ, the Word of life, that others may have fellowship with him, and with God and Christ, and may share his joy, (ch. i. 1—4.); shews that those who have communion with God, and are cleansed from sin by the blood of Christ, walk in the light of holiness; and that the faithfulness and righteousness of God are engaged in the pardon and cleansing of those who confess their sins;' but all who say they have no sin' are deceived or deceivers, (ch. i. 5-10.); warns his 'dear children'
* Comprehensive Bible, Introd. to the First Epistle of Peter.
+ Idem, to the Second Epistle of Peter.
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hollow, ch. xi. 15-19.. The apostle n, watched by a red drag that he
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e wilderness, (ch. xi. 1-6.
sea,' of great power, rage, and success, ch. an. 1-10.);
not to sin, yet points out to them Christ the Advocate with the Father, and the propitiation for their sins, and the sins of the world, (ch. ii. 1, 2.); shews that the knowledge of Christ, and union with him, must be evidenced by obeying and imitating him, and by love to the brethren, (ch. ii. 3-11.); warns them against the love of the world,' (ch. ii. 12—17.); cautions them against many antichrists, who fatally seduce some professed Christians, declaring the unction of the Holy Spirit an effectual preservative against them, (ch. ii. 18—22.); points out to them the true doctrine of Christ, exhorting them to adhere to his truth, and abide in him, in expectation of his coming, and to prove their regeneration by an habitually righteous conduct, (ch. ii. 23—29.); breaks out in admiration of the love of God, in making us his children, and giving us present privileges, with the hope of inconceivable felicity, shewing that all who have this hope 'purify themselves as he is pure,' (ch. iii. 1—3.); shews how the children of God, and the children of the devil, may be distinguished, (ch. iii. 4— 10.); exhorts them to ‘love one another,' contrasting this love with the example of Cain, warning them to expect the hatred of the world, pointing out 'the love of the brethren' as the distinguishing evidence of conversion, and explaining its nature and effects, (ch. iii. 11—24.); warns them against those who falsely profess to be inspired, giving directions for distinguishing the Spirit of truth from that of error, (ch. iv. 1—6.): exhorts them to love one another, from the example of God in giving his Son for sinners, and from various considerations, tending to shew its nature, necessity, benefit, efficacy, (ch. iv. 7-21.); shews the connection between faith in Christ, regeneration, love to God and his children, obedience to his commandments, and victory over the world, (ch. v. 1—5.); states the manifold testimonies by which the doctrine of Christ is proved, declaring the inseparable union between faith and eternal life, (ch. v. 6—13.); reminds them of the Lord's readiness to hear their prayers, (ch. v. 14, 15.;) gives an intimation that there is 'a sin unto death,' and the regenerate man's security against it, (ch. v. 16-18.); strongly marks the difference between 'the world that lieth in wickedness,' and true believers, (ch. v. 19, 20.); and cautions them against idolatry, (ch. v. 21.)*
In the SECOND EPISTLE of JOHN, the apostle commends 'the elect lady and her children' for their virtuous conduct; exhorts them to love, obedience, and perseverance in the truth; warns them against the delusions of false teachers; and concludes with expressing his hope of seeing them shortly, and with salutations. †
In the THIRD EPISTLE of JOHN, the apostle commends the stedfastness and hospitality of Gaius, especially to the ministers of Christ; cautions him against the ambitious and malicious designs of one Diotrephes; highly commends Demetrius to his friendship; and giving intimations of an intended visit, concludes with salutations. †
It is probable that St. JUDE wrote to caution his brethren against the
* Comprehensive Bible, Introd. to the First Epistle of John. +Idem, to the Second Epistle of John.