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To me it seems, that St. Peter's epistles were sent to all Christians in general, Jews and Gentils, living in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia: the greatest part of whom must have been converted by Paul, and had been before involved in ignorance, and sin, as all people in general were, till the manifestation of the gospel of Christ.

That St. Peter wrote to all Christians in those countreys, is apparent from the valedictorie blessing, or wish, at the end of the epistle. I ep. V. 14. Peace be with you all that are in Chris Jesus. Lewis Cappell, who thought, that St. Peter's first epiftle was writ to Jewith believers, allows, that (a) the second epistle was writ to all Christians in general, and particularly to Gentils, induced thereto by the comprehensivenesle of the addresle at the begining of that epistle : to them that have obtained like precious faith with us. He should have concluded as much of the first epistle likewise. For they were both sent to the same people, as is evident from St. Peter's own words. 2 ep. iii. 1.

Moreover, the inscription of the first epistle seems to be as general, as that of the second. Let us observe it distinctly.

To the elect. xxMextos. Says Wall upon the place: “He useth the word {xextoì, choice ones, just as St. Paul does the word “you, faints, for the word Christians. And as St. Paul directs almost all his epiftles to the faints, that is, the Christians, of such a place ; so St. Peter here, to the elect

, or choice ones, that is, Christians, sojourning in the dispersions of Pontus, Galatia, and Bithynia.'

Strangers, wapendýpouso Good men, though at home, are strangers, especially, if they meet with opposition, trouble, and affliction, as those Christians did, to whom St. Peter is here writing. For he speaks of their trials, and temptations. ch. i. ver. 6. 7. and exhorts them. ch. ii. II. as sojourners, and strangers, as wcipósxes xai aaperodrues, to abstain from fleshly lusts. Says Oecumenius upon ch. i. ver. 1. 2." He calls (b) them

strangers, either on account of their dispersion, or because that all « who live religiously, are called strangers on this earth, as David also “ says: I am a jojourner with thee, and a stranger, as all my fathers were." Pl. xxxix. 12.

Scattered throughout Pontus or, of (c) the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia. . . . So he calls them, not because they had been driven out from their native countrey, but because he writes to the Christians of divers countreys, who also were but a few, or a small number, in every place, where they dwelled.

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(a) Ad posteriorem autem B. Petri epistolam. . . . . Nec fuit ea fcripii, quemadmodum prior, solis Judæis rois és dzstupãi, fed omnibus in univer. fum fidelibus, tum ex Judæis, tum ex Gentibus, ad Chriftum converfis. Quod liquet tum ex ver. 1. cap. 1. Tois icótopou nuwe nayšsi wisov. (quod de Gentibus proprie dicitur) tum ex eo quod cap. iii. 15. 16. dicit Paulum ad eos scripliste in omnibus suis epiftolis. Atqui pleræque omnes Pauli epistolz fcriptæ funt ad Gentes ad fidem Chrilti conversas. Cappell. Hift.Apoft. P. 44.

(8) Εκλεκτούς παρεπιδημούς.] Το παρεπιδημοις, ήτοι δια την διαστοραν είπεν, ή και ότι πάντες οι κατα θεον ζώντες παρεπιδημοι λέγονται της γης ως και δαβιδ φησιν. κ. λ. Oecum. T. 2. p. 483.

(c) Εκλεκτούς παρεπιδημους διασπορά πόντο. ...

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This may suffice for Thewing, that these two epistles were sent to all
Christians in general, living in the countreys, mentioned at the begining
of the first epiftle.
I shall now shew, that these Christians were for the most part

of

gentil stock and original.

1 Pet. i. 14. As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves, according to the former lusis in your ignorance. This might be very pertinently said to men, converted from Gentilism to Christianity. But no such thing is ever said by the Apostles, concerning the Jewish people, who had been favored with Divine revelation, and had the knowledge of the true God. And ver. 20. and 21. he says, that through Christ they did now believe in God. Therefore they were not worshippers of God, till they were acquainted with the Christian revelation. In like manner ch. ii.

9. St. Peter speaks of those to whom he writes, as having been called out of darknelle into God's marvellous light. Moreover, they once were not God's people. ver. 10. Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercie, but now have obtained mercie. Words resembling those of St. Paul, Rom. ix. 24. 25. where he is unquestionably speaking of Gentil converts.

There are also other expressions, which plainly shew, that these per sons had been Gentils, and had lived in the sins of Gentilism. ch. i. 18. Forasmuch as ye know, that ye were redeemed from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers. And ch. iv. 3. For the time past of our life may suffice us, to have wrought the will of the Gentils : when we walked in lasciviousnesse, lufis, excesse of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries. St. Peter does not charge himfelf with such things. But they to whom he writes had been guilty in those respects. And by way of condescension, and for avoiding offense, and for rendering his argument more effectual, he joyns himself with them.

Once more, when St. Peter represents the dignity of those to whom he writes, upon account of their Christian vocation, ch. ji. 9. as a choo Jen generation, a peculiar people, a royal priesthood; certainly, the expresfions are molt pertinent, and emphatical, if understood of such as had been brought from Gentilism to the faith of the gospel, as indeed they plainly were. For he there fays, they were to sew forth the praises of him, who had called them out of darknese into his marvellous light.

To all which might be added, what was hinted before, that the persons, to whom Peter writes, were for the most part the Apostle Paul's converts. This must be reckoned probable from the accounts, which we have in the Acts of St. Paul's travels and preaching. Whence we know, that he had been in Galatia, and the other countreys, mentioned by St. Peter at the begining of his first epistle. Moreover he observes 2 ep. iii. 15. that his beloved brother Paul had written unto them. We may reasonably suppose, that he thereby intends St. Paul's epiftles to the Galatians, the Ephesians, and Colossians, all in those countreys, and for the most part Gentil believers. Nor do I see reason to doubt, but that Peter had before now seen, and read St. Paul's two epistles to Ti. mothie. And if we should add them, as here intended also, it would be VOL. II. FE

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no prejudice to our argument. For those epistles likewise were designed for the ufe and benefit of the churches in those parts.

To me these considerations appear unanswerable. I hall therefore take notice of but one objection only, which is grounded upon ch. i. 12. Having your conversation honest among the Gentils : that whereas they fpeak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they fball behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Upon the first clause 'in that verse Beza says, that (d) this place alone is fufficient to thew, that this epiftle was sent to Jews. But, I think not. From St. Paul may be alleged a text of the like fort. i Cor. x.. 32. Give no offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentils, [uzi inayom] nor to the Church of God. It might be as well argued from that text, that the Corinthians were by descent neither Jews, nor Greeks, as from this, that the persons, to whom St. Peter wrote, were not originally Gentils. In the text of St. Paul, just alleged, by Jews, and Gentils, 'or Greeks, are intended such as were unbelievers. So it is likewise in the text of St. Peter, which we are considering: as is apparent from the fater part of the verse, above transcribed at large. St. Peter had a right to distinguish those, to whom he writes, from the Gentil people, among whom they lived : as he had at the begining of his epistle called them elect, or choice ones, and strangers, and they likewise went by the name of Christians, as we perceive from ch. iv. 16.

St. Peter's iwo epiftles, then, were sent to all Christians in general, living in those countreys: the greatest part of whom had been converted from Gentilism, 'or Heathenism.

III. Our next inquire is, concerning the place, The Place, where

where these epistles were writ. they were writ.

At the end of the first epistle St. Peter says: The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you. Which text, understood literally, has been thought by some to denote Babylon in Allyria, or Babylon in Egypt. By others it is interpreted figuratively, and supposed to denote Jerusalem, or Rome. So that there are four opi. nions concerning the place, where this epistle is dated. All which must be confidered by us.

1. Pearson by Babylon fupposes to be meant (e) a town, or city, of that name in Egypt. But it seems to me, that (f) little can be said for this

opinion.

(d) Inter Gentes, ir tais moyecw.] Vel unus hic locus tribubus illis difperfae proprie fuisse inscriptam hanc epistolam convincit. Bez. in loc.

(e) Explodatur figurata, admittatur literalis expofitio. Non opus erit, ut in Assyriam nos conferamus, fi nudo urbis nomine ftandum effe arbitremur. Alia enim erat urbs Babylonis nomine infignita, eaque Judææ multo vicinior, a Babyloniis poft dira Prophetarum vaticinia, Ptolomæorum permiflu condita et habitata. Pearson. de Succ. Rom. Episc. Dif.i. num. vii. &c.

(1) Duas enim vetus terrarum orbis babuit Babylones, alteram clariffimam illam Chaldæorum regiam, alteram castellum quoddam Ægypti a Babyloniis conditum. Pofteriorem hic nominari, nemo crediturus fuisse videtur, nifi fama fuiffet vulgata, prioris Babylonis ætate nihil fuperfuiffe, certe nullos prorsus ei fuiffe incokas. Heumann. Nova Sylloge Differtat, P. 2. p. 106.

Opinion. Babylon in Egypt is an obscure place. It was a frontier town, or strong castle, with a garrison, as it is described by (8) Strabo: in whose time, the reign of Tiberius, was quartered one of the three Roman Le. gions, appointed to keep the Egyptian people in order. In such a place, as may be supposed, there (b) were but few Jews, and not many inhabitants of any fort, beside soldiers. This opinion likewise is altogether without the authority of ancient Christians. If St. Peter had writ an epistle in Egypt, in all probability, it (i) would have been dated at Alexandria. But there is not in early antiquity any intimation, that (k) the Apostle Peter was at all at Alexandria, or in any part of Egypt. If St. Peter had been at Babylon in Egypt, and had founded a church there, it would have been a church of great renown among Christians: whereas (1) there is not for the first four centuries any notice taken of a church, or Bishop in that place.

Le Clerc, who (m) follows Pearson, says, in his notes upon 1 Pet. v. 13. “Thereby (n) is to be understood, not Babylon, which lay on the east side of the Euphrates, and where Peter never was, but a city in E

gypt, (g) Αναπλέυσαντι δ' εςι βαβυλων Φρέριον έρυμνόν .. νυν δ' εσί στρατόπεδον ενός των τριών ταγμάτων των φρερέντων την αιγυπτον. Strab. l. 17. p. 807. al. po 1160.

(5) Abundasle Judæis Ægyptiacam Babylonem, vix probabile videtur, propter et conftitutum in ea civitate Romanorum præsidium, cum signis et aquilis suis, quæ Judæis odio erant, et vicinitatem Alexandriæ, in qua libentius degebant. Bafnag. Ann. 46. num. 4xvii.

(i) Si Petrus in Ægyptiaca Babylone verfatus eft, cui probabile fiet, non petiviffe Alexandriam, civitatem totius orbis secundum Romam nobiliflimam, magnoque Judæorum numero frequentem: cum Alexandriæ in vicinia exftaret Babylon, et moris esset Apoftolorum, aliqua in regione vestigium ponentium, Metropoles adire, ut majus theatrum haberet evangelii prædicatio, quæ inde veluti ex fonte manabat urbibus provincialibus irrigandis. Id. ibid.

(k) Quod vero in Ægypto unquam verfatus fuerit, ne levislima quidem antiquitatis umbra obtendi poteft. Cav. de Petro. H. L. p. 6.

Quis vero Veterum dixit, Petrum se Alexandriam contuliffe ? Hoccine diffimulaffent tot eruditi fcriptores, quos Alexandrina peperit ecclefia? Baf nag.

ib. kl Liquet omnes ecclefias apoftolicas magnæ existimationis fuiffe Veteribus. Hinc illud Tertullianum : Percurre eccleias Apoftolicas, apud quas ipfe adbuc cathedre Apoftolorum fuis locis præsident. Proinde ecclesia, quæ Mem. phitica Babylone fuit, apostolicis esset inferenda, et multo honore cumulata fuiffet, utpote a Petro fundata. Jam vero tam obscura fuit Babylonica illa ecclefia, ut labentibus quadringentis amplius annis, in antiquitatis monu. mentis nullo veftigio reperiatur: nulla fuit Episcoporum successione, nullâ Martyrum paffione nobilis. Quod de ecclesià apoftolica, et in Imperio Romano constitutâ, vix cogitatione fingi poteft. Basn. ubi fupra.

(n) Vid. ejus H. E. anno. 61. num. vii, et Aonot. ad Hammondi Premonitionem in i Petri epistolam.

(n) Il faut entendre non la Babylone, qui étoit à l'orient de l'Euphrate, et où S. Pierre-n'a jamais été: mais une ville d'Egypte, qui se nommoit ainfi, et qui n'étoit pas loin de lieu où est bâti le Caire. Le Clerce fur i go de S. Pierre. V. 13

gypt, so called, and lying not far from the place, where now is Cairo." But what proof is there of Peter's ever having been in Egypt, more than of his having been in Allyria?

2. Lewis Cappell conjectured, that (o) by Babylon is to be understood Jerusalem. But it is a mere conjecture, quíte destitute of foundation in antiquity. And therefore, in my opinion, no more to be received, than the preceding interpretation.

3. Divers other learned men think, that by Babylon is meant Babylon in Affyria. So (p) Beza, (9) Lightfoot, (r) Basnage. · Cave, who supposeth (s) the first epistle of St. Peter to have been writ at Babylon in Allyria, thinks, that (t) his second epistle was writ at Rome.

They who reject this opinion, say, that (u) the Assyrian Babylon was at that time almost deserted. On the contrarie, they who embrace it, say, there (*) were multitudes of Jews in that countrey. Which may be true.

For there were many Jews in most countreys. But it would have been more to the purpose, to produce some evidence from antiquity, that Peter was in that countrey. The primitive Christians had in their hands St. Peter's first epistle.' And it was universally received, as his. And it is dated at Babylon. And yet ecclesiastical historie affords no accounts, that this Apostle was in Aflyria, or Chaldea. Is not this a proof, that (y) there was not any very ancient tradition, that he was in

that (6) Ego potius conjicerem Jerosolymæ fuiffe fcriptam, et Jerofolymam a Petro fuiffe dictam figurate Babylonem : quod tum temporis Jerusalem non esset amplius urbs fancta, fed fpiritualis quædam Babylon, in quâ ecclefia Dei captiva quafi tenebatur, et gravi fervitute premebatur, quatenus pridem a Judæis persecutionem pati cæperat. Capp. Hif. Ap. p.42.

Q) Babylona proprie accipio pro celebri illa Asfyriæ urbe, in quâ turn effet Petrus, circumcifionis Apostolus. Bez. in 1 Pet. v. 13.

(9) See his Sermon upon 1 Pet. v. 13. Vol. 2. p. 1141-1147. and many other places in his works.

(r) Basn. Ann. 46. num. xxvii.

(s) Verum ego priorem sententiam tanquam longe verisimiliorem ample&tor, tum quod in Babylone Parthica magna esset Judæorum frequentia, &c. Cas. in Petro. H. L. p. 6.

(1) Epiftola fecunda Romæ, ut videtur, paullo ante mortem fcripta. Id. ibid.

(u) An urbem illam S. Petrus adire maxime concupivit, quam Prophetarum vaticinio, et justo Dei judicio percuffam esse novit? Pearson, ubi fupr. V. iv. Paullatim igitur defecit Babylon, a Regibus primo, deinde a populo deserta. Ib. num. v.

(*) In Aflyria, ubi Babylon, immenfa fuit Judæorum multitudo, quos fub Petrinum cecidiffe apoftolatum, certum, exploratumque eft : ut nusquam gentium provinciam adminiftrare suam felicius potuerit. Bafnag. ean. 46. num. xxvii.

(y) Sunt qui in diéta Petri epistola Babylonis nomine non Romam, fed Ba. bylonem ipfam, quæ caput fuit Assyriorum, designari contendunt. Verum hi omnium veterum patrum teftimonio refelluntur. Certe qui Petrum Baby: fone sedisse volunt, oftendant nobis oportet succesfionem Epifcoporum, qui Babylonis ecclefiam post Petrum adminiftrarunt.- Quæ, malum, impu. dentia elt, id quidem quod nemo veterum dixit, temere affirmare: Petrum scilicet fedem fixifle Babylone : id vero quod veteres omnes scriptores diser. tiflime prodiderunt, pertinaciter negare! Valef. Annoi, in Eufeb. l. 2. cap. 15. • 33.

Negant

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