12 For it is written, [*8] Enter into thy chambers for a little space, till my anger and indignation shall pass away: And I will remember the good day, and will raise you up out of your graves.
13 Happy [*9] then shall we be, beloved, if we shall have fulfilled the commandments of God, in the unity of love; that so, through love, our sins may be forgiven us.[p. 136]
14 For so it is written, [*1] Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth no sin, and in whose mouth there is no guile.
15 Now this blessing is fulfilled in those who are chosen by God through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
1 He exhorts such as have been concerned in these divisions to repent, and return to their unity, confessing their sin to God, 7 which he enforces from the example of Moses, 10 and of many among the heathen, 23 and of Judith and Esther among the Jews.
LET us therefore, as many as have transgressed by any of the [*2] suggestions of the adversary, beg God’s forgiveness.
2 And as for those who have been the [*3] heads of the sedition and faction among you, [*4] let them look to the common end of our hope.
3 For as many as are [*5] endued with fear and charity, would rather they themselves should fall into trials than their neighbours: And choose to be themselves condemned, rather than that the good and just charity delivered to us, should suffer.
4 For it is seemly for a man to confess wherein he has transgressed.
5 [*6] And not to harden his heart, as the hearts of those were hardened, who raised up sedition against Moses the servant of God; whose punishment was manifest [*7] unto all men; for they went down alive into the grave, death swallowed them up.
6 [*8] Pharaoh and his host, and all the rulers of Egypt, their chariots also and their horsemen, were for no other cause drowned, in the bottom of the Red Sea, and perished; but because they hardened their foolish hearts, after so many signs done in the land of Egypt, by Moses the servant of God.
7 Beloved, God is rot indigent of any thing; nor does he demand any thing of us, but that we should confess our sins unto him.
8 For so says the [*9] Holy David, [*10] I will confess unto the Lord, and it shall please him better than a young bullock that hath horns and hoof. Let the poor see it and be glad.
9 And again he saith, [*11] Offer unto God the sacrifice of praise, and pay thy vows unto the Most Highest. And call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. [*12] The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit.
10 Ye know, beloved, ye know full well the Holy Scriptures; and have thoroughly searched into the oracles of God: call them therefore to your remembrance.
11 For when Moses went up into the mount, and tarried there forty days and forty nights in fasting and humiliation; God said unto him, [*13] Arise, Moses, and get thee down quickly from hence, for thy people whom thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have committed wickedness:[p. 137]
Click to enlarge
THE RED SEA SWALLOWING UP THE ARMY OF PHARAOH, AFTER THE ISRAELITES HAD PASSED THROUGH. FROM A FRAGMENT OF THE BIBLE, IN GREEK MANUSCRIPT, OF THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY.
they have soon transgressed the way that I commanded them, and have made to themselves graven images.
12 And the Lord said unto him, I have spoken unto thee [*1] several times, saying I have seen this people, and behold it is a stiffnecked people: let me therefore destroy them, and put out their name from under heaven. And I will make unto thee a great and a wonderful nation, that shall be much [*2] larger than this.
13 But Moses said, Not so, Lord; Forgive now this people their sin; or if thou wilt not, blot me also out of the book of! the living. O admirable charity! O insuperable perfection! The servant speaks freely to his Lord; He beseeches him either to forgive the people, or to [*3] destroy him together with them.
14 Who is there among you that is generous? Who that is compassionate? Who that has any charity? Let him say, if this sedition, this contention, and these schisms, be upon my account, I am ready to depart; to go away whithersoever you please; and do whatsoever [*4] ye shall command me: Only let the flock of Christ be in peace, with the elders that are set over it.
15 He that shall do this, shall get to himself a very great honour in the Lord; and [*5] there is no place but what will be ready to receive him: [*6] For the earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof.
16 These things they who have their conversation towards God not to be repented of, both have done and will always be ready! to do.
17 [*7] Nay and even the Gentiles themselves have given us! examples of this kind.
18 For we read, How many kings and princes, in times of pestilence, being warned by their oracles, have given up themselves unto death: that by their own blood, they might deliver their [*8] country from destruction.
19 [*9] Others have forsaken their cities, so that they might put an end to the seditions of them.
20 We know how many among ourselves, have given up themselves unto bonds, that thereby they might free others from them.
21 Others have sold themselves into bondage that they might feed [*10] their brethren with the price of themselves.
22 And even many women, being strengthened by the grace of God, have done many glorious and manly things on such occasions.
23 The blessed [*11] Judith, when her city was besieged, desired the elders, that they would suffer her to go into the camp of [*12] their enemies: and she went out exposing herself to danger for the love she bore to her country and her people that were besieged; and the Lord delivered Holofernes into the hands of a woman.
24 Nor did [*13] Esther, being perfect in faith, expose herself to any less hazard, for the delivery of the twelve tribes of Israel, in danger of being destroyed. For, by fasting and humbling herself, she entreated the Great Maker[p. 138]
of all things, the God of [*1] spirits; so that beholding the humility of her soul, he delivered the people, for whose sake she was in peril.
The benefit of mutual advice and correction. He entreats them to follow that which is here given to them.
WHEREFORE let us also pray for such as are fallen into [*2] sin. That being endued with humility and moderation, they may submit not unto us, but to the will of God.
2 For by this means [*3] they shall obtain a fruitful and perfect remembrance, with mercy, both in our prayers to God, and in our mention of them before his [*4] saints.
3 Let us receive correction, at which no man ought to repine.
4 Beloved, the reproof and the correction which we exercise towards one another, is good, and exceeding profitable: for it unites us the more closely to the will of God.
5 For so says the Holy Scripture, [*5] The Lord corrected me, but he did not deliver me over unto death. [*6] For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
6 [*7] The righteous, saith he, shall instruct me in mercy and reprove me; but let not oil of sinners make fat my head.
7 And again he saith, [*8] Happy is the man whom God correcteth; therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty.
8 For he maketh sore and bindeth up; he woundeth and his hands make whole.
9 He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea in seven there shall no evil touch thee. In famine he shall redeem thee from death; and in war from the power of the sword.
10 Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue; neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.
11 Thou shalt laugh at the wicked and sinners; neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth. The wild beast shall be at peace with thee.
12 Then shalt thou know that thy house shall be in peace; and the habitation of thy tabernacle shall not err. Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great and thy offspring as the grass of the earth.
13 Thou shalt come to thy grave as the ripe corn, that is taken in due time; like as a shock of corn cometh in, in its season.
14 Ye see, beloved, how there shall be a defence to those that are corrected of the Lord. For being a good instructor, he is willing to admonish us by his holy discipline.
15 Do ye therefore who laid the first foundation of this sedition, submit yourselves unto your [*9] priests; and be instructed unto repentance, bending the knees of your hearts.
16 Learn to be subject, laying aside all proud and arrogant boasting of your tongues.
17 For it is better for you to be found little, and approved, in the [*10] sheepfold of Christ, than to seem to yourselves better than others, and be cast out of his [*11] fold.
18 For thus speaks the excellent and all virtuous wisdom,[p. 139] [paragraph continues] [*1] Behold I will pour out the word of my spirit upon you, I will make known my speech unto you.
19 Because I called and ye would not hear, I stretched out my words and ye regarded not.
20 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. I will also laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh.
21 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction as a whirlwind, when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
22 Then shall ye call upon me, but I will not hear you: the wicked shall seek me, but they shall not find me. For that they hated knowledge, and did not seek the fear of the Lord.
23 They would not hearken unto my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own ways; and be filled with their own wickedness.
* * *
1 Recommends there to God. Desires speedily to hear that this Epistle has had a good effect upon them. 4 conclusion.
NOW God, the inspector of all things, the [*2] Father of Spirits, and the Lord of all flesh, who hath chosen our Lord Jesus Christ, and us by him, to be his peculiar people;
2 Grant to every soul of man that calleth upon his glorious and holy name, faith, fear, peace, long-suffering, patience, temperance, holiness and sobriety, unto all well-pleasing [*3] in his sight; through our High-Priest and Protector Jesus Christ, by whom be glory, and majesty, and power, and honour, unto him now and for ever more. Amen.
3 The messengers whom we have sent unto you, Claudius, Ephebus, and Valerios Bito, with Fortunatus, send back to us again with all speed in peace, and with joy, that they may the sooner acquaint us with your peace and concord, so much prayed for and desired by us; and that we may rejoice in your good order.
4 The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and with all that are anywhere called by God through him: To whom be honour and glory, and might and majesty, and eternal dominion, by [*4] Christ Jesus, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen.
^112:2 Called. See Hammond on Matt. xx.
^112:3 Gr. in. See Bp. Pearson’s note on this place.
^112:4 Ed. Colomesii. p. 2.
^112:7 Gr. Strange to.
^112:8 Gr. Lodged as a stranger.
^112:9 Adorned with all manner of virtues.
^113:3 Canon, rule.
^113:4 Themselves do their own business. Vid. Not. Junii in loc.
^113:5 Temperance, sobriety.
^113:6 1 Pet. v. 5.
^113:8 Acts, xx. 35.
^113:9 1 Tim. vi. 8.
^113:10 Embraced it in your very bowels.
^113:11 pathemata. See Dr. Grabe’s Addit. to Bp. Bull’s Def. fid. Nic. p. 60, 61.
^113:12 Gr. lipara.
^113:13 Holy counsel, or purpose, or will.
^113:14 Gr. good.
^113:15 With mercy and conscience.
^113:16 Ye were without repentance in all well-doing. Titus iii. 1.
^113:17 Prov. vii. 3.
^113:18 Deut. xxxii. 15.
^113:19 Confusion, tumults, &c.
^114:1 Walketh after.
^114:2 Gen. iv. 3 &c.
^114:3 This is according to the LXX.
^114:4 Apostrofe, conversion.
^114:7 Gen. xxviii.
^114:8 Gen. xxxvii.
^114:9 Exodus ii. 15.
^114:10 Exod. ii. 14.
^114:11 Made to lodge out.
^114:12 Num. xii. 14, 15.
^114:15 Had, or underwent the hatred, not only, &c.
^114:16 To cease from.
^114:17 Combatants, wrestlers.
^114:18 The faithful and most righteous.
^115:2 And so.
^115:3 By envy.
^115:4 Having borne seven times bonds, &c.
^115:5 He received the, &c.
^115:6 Vid. Pearson de Success, c. viii. 9.
^115:7 Men who have lived godly, is gathered together.
^115:8 Become an excellent example among us.
^115:10 The names of Danae and Dirce I omit.–See Junius Annot. in loc.
^115:11 Cursed afflictions or torments.
^115:12 Envy or emulation.
^115:13 Gen. ii. 23.
^115:16 Instructing you, but also remembering, &c.
^115:17 Place of encounter.
^115:18 Imposed upon us all.
^115:19 1 Tim. v. 4.
^115:20 Afforded or given to.
^115:21 Look diligently to.
^115:22 From age to age.
^115:23 Be turned.
^115:24 2 Peter ii. 5. Genesis vii.
^115:25 John iii.
^116:1 Received salvation.
^116:3 Ezekiel xxxiii. 11.
^116:4 So much as his repentance.
^116:5 Repent from.
^116:6 Ezekiel xviii. 30, 23; Isaiah i.; Jeremiah iii. 4, 19.
^116:7 Isaiah v. 16.
^116:8 Evil from your souls.
^116:9 I will make them as wool.
^116:10 Becoming suppliants of, &c.
^116:11 Turn ourselves to his mercy.
^116:12 Vain labour.
^116:13 Gen. v. 24.
^116:15 Being found.
^116:16 Gen. vi., vii., viii.
^116:17 In unity.
^116:18 James ii. 23; Isaiah xli. 8.
^116:20 This man.
^117:1 Gen. xii. 1.
^117:2 Gen. xiii. 14.
^117:3 Towards the sea.
^117:4 Gen. xv. 5.
^117:5 A son was given unto him.
^117:6 Gen. xix. 2; 2 Peter ii. 6; Jude 7.
^117:7 See Not. in loc. or punished with.
^117:8 But those that turn another way, he puts, &c.
^117:9 Not in concord.
^117:10 Put for a sign.
^117:12 Jos. ii. 1, &c.
^117:13 He sent men that should take them, that being taken, &c.
^117:14 Therefore hospitable Rahab.
^118:1 Men being sent by the king, and saying.
^118:2 Verse 4.
^118:3 Verses 4, 5.
^118:4 Vid. Conjecture. Coteler. in loc.
^118:6 Verse 9.
^118:7 Given you this city.
^118:8 Verse 13.
^118:9 Verses 18, 19.
^118:10 Verse 18.
^118:11 Many of the Fathers have applied this to the same purpose.–See not. Coteler in loc.
^118:12 Jer. ix. 23. Comp. 2 Cor. xi. 31.
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