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9 their unlawful deeds ;) then the Lord knoweth how to de.
liver those that are godly out of trial, and to reserve those
that are unrighteous to the day of judgement to be punish10 ed: but chiefly those who walk after the flesh with polluted
desires, and despise dominion. Presumptuous, and self11 willed, they are not afraid to blaspheme dignities : whereas
angels, that are greater in power and might", bring not a
blaspheming accusation against them [before the Lord). 12 But these, as brute creatures led by nature, made to be
taken and destroyed, blaspheming in things of which they
are ignorant, will be destroyed in their corruption of them. 13 selves; and will receive the reward of unrighteousness, ac
countingt it pleasure to riot in the day-time ; blemishes I
and spots, rioting in their love-feasts, while they banquet 14 with you ; having eyes full of adultery, and which cannot
cease from sin; alluring the unstable ll; having a heart 15 exercised in covetousness T ; cursed children, who have for
saken the right path, and gone astray, and followed the
way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the reward of 16 unrighteousness, but received a rebuke for his transgression:
the dumb beasttt speaking with man's voice, forbad the mad17 ness of the prophet. These are as wells without water, and
as clouds driven away by a storm ; to whom the blackness 18 of darkness is reserved (for ever). For when they speak
very great swelling words of falsehood, they allure, by car.
nal desires and impurities #f, those that had nearly escaped ||| 19 from such as live in error. While they promise them free
dom, they themselves are the slaves of corruption : for by
whatever a man is overcome, by that he is enslaved also. 30 For if, when they have escaped the pollutions of the world
through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they be again entangled in them, and overcome, 21 their last state is worse than their first. For it had been
* See the note on ver. 4. Compare also Jude, ver. 9.
+ as counting, x. $ as being blemishes, N.
| Gr. unstable souls. Or, in over-reaching..
# ass, N. beast of burden, Gr. # through the desires of the impure flesh, N. * clean escaped. R. T. Publie Version.
better for them not to have known the way of righteous
ness, than, when they have known it, to turn from the holy 22 commandment delivered to them. But it hath happened
to them according to the true proverb, “ The dog hath returned to what himself cast up; and the sow that had
washed herself, to her wallowing in the mire."] CH. I11. This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you;
in both which I stir up your pure understanding by re2 minding you ; that ye may remember the words formerly
spoken by the holy prophets, and the commandment of 3 us the apostles of our Lord and Saviour: knowing this
first, that great scoffers will come in the last days, walk4 ing after their own evil desires, and saying, “ Where is
the promise of his appearance? for, since the fathers fell
asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning 5 of the creation.” For of this they are wilfully ignorant,
that the heavens were made of old by the word of God,
and the earth also, which standeth out of the water and 6 in the water* : which things being so, the world that
then was, having been overflowed with water, was de7 stroyed. But the heavens and the earth which are now,
are reserved by his wordt, and kept for fire against the
day of judgement, and of the destruction of ungodly 8 men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing; that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years,
and 9 thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow con
cerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is long
suffering toward us t, not willing that any should perish, 10 but willing that all should come to repentancell. But the
* Or, that of old were heaven and an earth, compacted out of water, and by means of water, by the word of God. See Wakefield, t by the same word, R, T.
Or, you. MSS. | Or, willing that none should perish, but that etc. N. m.
day of the Lord will come as a thief* ; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the ele.
ments will be greatly heated and dissolved, the earth also 11 and the works on it will be burned up. Since therefore
all these things will be dissolved, what kind of persons 12 ought ye to be in all holy behaviour and godliness; look
ing for and earnestly desiringt the coming of the day of God, in which the heavens will be set on fire ; and will
be dissolved, and the elements will be greatly heated and 13 will melt? Nevertheless, according to his promise, we
look for new heavens, and a new earth, in which righte
ousness will dwell. 14 Wherefore, beloved, since ye look for these things,
endeavour to be found by him in peace, spotless and un15 reproveable: and account that the long-suffering of our
Lord is salvation : as our beloved brother Paul also, ac
cording to the wisdom given him, hath written unto 16 you; as in all his epistles also, speaking in them of these
things: in which things some are hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unsteadfast wrest, as they do the 17 other scriptures also, to their own destruction. Since
a thief in the night; R. T. + * Soine point thus-what kind of persons ought ye to be? Te sught in all holy be haviour and godliness to look for and earnestly desire etc.” Newcome.
This in a literal sense is impossible, because the heavens are incombustible. Nor is it reasonable to believe ibat an event so little countenanced by natural appearances as that of the destruction of the earth by a general conflagration, is the subject of a divine prediction. It is well known that in the language of prophecy great political changes and revolutions are fort told under the symbol of tertible convulsions in the natural world. In this language our Lord foretells the approaching desolation of Jerusalem, Matt. xxiv. 29. And in language precisely similar, borrowed indeed from the prophet Jo«l, the apostle Peter himself, Acts ii. 31, describes the calamities of the Jewish nation which were then impending. It can hardly admit of a doubt that the sublime language of this content is to be interpreted in a similar manner. The 13th verse is a quotation from Isaiah lxv. 17, where the new heavens and the new earth are universally understood to signify the gospel dispensation. Consequently, “ the heavens and the carth which are now,” ver. 7, must necessarily signify the Jewish dispensation, or the then moral state of the world, which must pass away to make room for the promulga. tion of the Christian jvligion. But this revolution cannot take place without producing great changes and convulsions in the political world; which, in prophetic language, is expressed by the heavens bring on fire, the elements melting, and the earth with the works on it being burned up.
therefore, beloved, ye know these things before, beware
lest ye be led away with the error of the wicked, and fall 18 from your own steadfastness. But grow in the favour and
knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory, both now and for ever. Amen.
FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL
CONCERNING* the Word of Lifet, him, who was from the beginning to whom we have heard, whom we
have seen with our eyes, whom we have looked upon, 2 and our hands have handled|l; (for the Life was mani.
This version of the three first verses of this chapter was proposed by the venerable Theophilus Lindsey, in his Second Address to the Students at Oxford and Cambridge, p. 302. It is to the unwearied and successful labours of this pious and leamed person, whose life and doctrine have exhibited the most perfect model in modern times of the purity and simplicity of apostolical christianity, in conjunction with those of his able coadjutors, Jebb, Priestley, Wakefield, and others, that the christian world is indebled for that clear and discriminating light which has of late years been diffused over the obscurities of the sacred scriptures, and which promises, at no very distant period, to purify the christian religion from those numerous and enormous corruptions, which have so long disfigured its doctrines and impeded its progress.
+ The Word of Life, i. e. Jesus Christ, who is called the Word, Luke i. 2; John i. 1; and the Word of God, Rev. xix. 13. He was the divinely inspired teacher of the doctrine of a future life. The attentive reader will observe the resemblance between the introduction to the Epistle and that to the Gospel of John, which mutually illustrate and explain each other, and are a presumptive proof that both were written by the same author.
Not from the beginning of time, but from the beginning of our Saviour's ministry. Lindsey, ibid. p. 303. See John i. 1, 2, and the notes there.
| The Primate's version is : " That which was from the beginning, which we have hear, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked on, and our hands have handled, as concerning the Word of life."
9 Life, and in the next clause, Everlasting Life.-Christ is so called as the great Teacher of everlasting life.