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THE SECOND EPISTLE GENERAL
BY THE REV. THOMAS ADAMS,
RECTOR OF ST. GREGORY'S, LONDON.
A. D. 1633.
REVISED AND CORRECTED
BY JAMES SHERMAN,
MINISTER OF SURREY CHAPEL.
HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
TRULY NOBLE AND WORTHILY HONOURED
SIR HENRY MARTEN, KNIGHT,
JUDGE OF HIS MAJESTY'S HIGH COURT OF ADMIRALTY, AND DEAN OF THE ARCHES COURT
The merchant that hath once put to sea, and made a prosperous voyage, is hardly withheld from a second adventure. It hath been my forwardness, not without the instinct of our heavenly Pilot, the most blessed Spirit of God, to make one adventure before ; for he that publisheth his meditations, may be well called an adventurer. God knows what return hath been made to his own glory; if but little, (and I can hope no less, though I have ever prayed for more,) yet that hath been to me no little comfort. I am now put forth again, upon the same voyage, in hope of better success. For my commission I sue to you ; who have no small power, both in the deciding of civil differences, and in the disposing of naval affairs, and matters of such commerce; being known well worthy of that authority in both these ecclesiastical and civil courts of judicature; that you would be pleased to bless my spiritual traffic with your auspicious approbation. I dare not commend my own merchandise ; yet, if I had not conceived somewhat better of it than of my former, I durst not have been so ambitious as to present it unto you; of whose clear understanding, deep judgment, and sincere integrity, all good men among us have so full and confessed an experience. Yet besides your own candid disposition, and many real encouragements to me your poor servant, this may a little qualify my boldness, and vindicate me from an over-daring presumption: that my aim is your patronage, not your instruction; not to inform your wisdom, , which were to hold a taper to the sun ; but to gain your acceptation and fair allowance: that under your honoured name, it may find the more free entertainment, wheresoever it arrives; which (I am humbly persuaded) your goodness will not deny. That noble favour of yours, shining upon these my weak endeavours, will encourage me to publish some maturer thoughts, which otherwise have resolved never to see the light. The sole glory of our most gracious God, the edification and comfort of his church, with the true felicity of yourself and yours, shall be always prayed for, by
Your ever honoured Virtue's
humble and thankful servant,
THE SECOND EPISTLE GENERAL OF THE HOLY APOSTLE
SAINT PET E R.
VERSE 1. SIMON PETER, A SERVANT AND AN APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST, TO THEM THAT HAVE OBTAINED LIKE
PRECIOUS FAITH WITH US THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD AND OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.
The books of the New Testament have been dis-, with them; for this book lives while they are dead. tinguished into three kinds; Historical, Doctrinal, 2. For the author: some have denied it to be St. and Prophetical. l. Historical ;. such as contain Peter's; and to this error the supposed diversity of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of our the style hath induced them. As if the same author blessed Saviour, with his divine sermons, and mira- might not diversify his style upon due occasion, acculous actions, written by the four evangelists; cording to the difference of the matter or argument seconded by the memorable and famous story of upon which, or difference of the person to whom, he the Acts of his Apostles. 2. Doctrinal; such as writes. The Epistle to the Hebrews is of a more acconcern our instruction in the knowledge of Christ, curate style than St. Paul's other epistles; yet by a and teach us the way of salvation. These are the universal consent it is agreed upon to be St. Paul's. holy Epistles of St. Paul, St. James, St. Peter, St. Certainly the author of this must be some grand imJohn, and St. Jude. 3. Prophetical; such as foretell postor, if he were not one of those three apostles that the estate and condition of the church militant to the were present at Christ's transfiguration upon the end of the world: of which kind is the Revelation of mount, Matt. xvii. 1, where he solemnly professeth St. John the Divine. Yet doth not this distinction | himself to have been. The three witnesses of Christ's debar the history from altogether meddling with pro- clarification there, were Peter, and James, and John: phecy, nor the prophetical part from touching upon no man affirms James or John to be the author of history, nor the doctrinal part from the use of both this epistle, therefore it must be Peter. And if the former. So the evangelists, that wrote the story he were not the author of it, with what impudence of Christ, do nevertheless abound with heavenly should another secretary call himself, “Simon Peter, doctrines, containing in them the life-giving of that a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ !” To supreme Bishop of our souls. Neither are they with. allege that Paul, writing to the Galatians, doth out plentiful predictions; as of the destruction of Jeru- plainly testify, that he withstood Peter to the face, salem, and the end of the world. So the holy apos- and that he was to be blamed, Gal. ii. 11, theretles in their epistles, together with their doctrines, fore it is not likely that Peter would write so fair by which they build up the church, do also prophesy an encomium of Paul, 2 Pet. iii. 15; such critics of future things : as St. Paul doth of the calling of are far from the sanctified spirit of an apostle; for the Jews, and of the coming of antichrist; and the they, without respect for their private affections, last chapter of this present epistle hath been aptly or particular praises, sought only the truth of called St. Peter's prophecy.
the gospel, and the glory of their Master Jesus Concerning which, there have arisen two ancient Christ. doubts, like clouds to obscure the light of truth. The majesty of the Holy Ghost appears in every Some have questioned the authority of this epistle; line of it, therefore the authority is indubitate. The others, the author. 1. For those that have contra- name prefixed warrants it to be St. Peter's, therefore dicted the authority of it, excluding it out of the we cannot deny the author. It remains only that we number of canonical books, Eusebius, (Hist. 3. cap. directly come to the matter: in which proceeding, 25.) Nicephorus, (Lib. 2. Hist. 3. cap. 46.) Hierome, the Spirit of illumination direct me to write, and the (De Viris Illustr. in Petro,) and Gregory, (Hom. 18. Spirit of sanctification direct you to read; that all of in Ezek.) make mention of them. They tell us of us, believing and living according to the holy docsome such quarrellers; they tell us not their names : trine delivered, the name of God may be glorified, such there were, but who they were they do not say. I and our dear souls everlastingly saved, through our Therefore, let their opinion be buried in the dust | Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.