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CONTENTS OF THE SECOND VOLUME.
EXPOSITORY LECTURES ON
FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL
ST. PE TE R.
CHAPTER II. VERSE 21-23.
Ver. 21. For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered
for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps ; Ver. 22. Who did not sin, neither was guile found in his mouth; Ver. 23. Who when he was reviled, reviled not again ; when he suffered,
he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously.
THE rules that God hath set men to live by, are universally just, and there is a universal obligation upon all men to obey them ; but as they are particularly addressed to His own people in his word, they, out of question, are particularly bound to yield obedience, and have many peculiar persuasives to it, not extending to others, which are therefore usually represented to them, and pressed upon them in the holy Scriptures. Thus the preface of the Law runs to Israel : Besides that I am Jehorah, and have supreme power to give men laws, it is added, I am thy God, especially thy deliverer from slavery and bondage, and so have a peculiar right to thy obedience. (Deut. vii. 6.) Thus, the Apostle here urgeth this point in hand, of inoffensiveness and patience, particularly in Christian servants, but so as it fits every Christian in his station, For hereunto, says he,
ye are called. Whatsoever others do, though they think it too straight a rule, yet you are tied to it by your own calling and profession as you are Christians; and this is evidently the highest and clearest reason that can be, and of greatest power with a Christian, namely, the example of Jesus Christ himself : For Christ also suffered for us, &c.
So it is all but one entire argument, viz., that they ought thus to behave themselves, because it is the very thing they are called to, as their conformity to Jesus Christ, whose they profess to be, yea, with whom, as Christians, they profess themselves to be one...
Hereunto were ye called.] This, in the general, is a thing that ought to be ever before our eye, to consider the nature and end of our calling, and to endeavour in all things to act suitably to it; to think in every occurrence, What doth the calling of a Christian require of me in this ? But the truth is, the most do not mind this. We profess ourselves to be Christians, and never think what kind of behaviour this obliges us to, and what manner of persons it becomes us to be in all holy conversation, but walk disorderly, out of our rank, inordinately. You that are profane, were you called by the Gospel to serve the world and your lusts? Were you called to swearing and rioting and voluptuousness? Hear you not the Apostle testifying the contrary in express terms, that God hath not called us to uncleanness, but unto holiness ? (1 Thes. iv. 7.) You that are of proud, contentious spirits, do you act suitably to this holy calling ? No, for we are called to peace, says the same Apostle. (1 Cor. vii. 15.) But we study not this holy calling, and therefore we walk so incongruously, so unlike the Gospel; we lie and do not the truth, as St. John speaks (1 John i. 6); our actions belie us.
The particular things that Christians are here said to be called to, are, suffering, as their lot, and patience, as their duty, even under the most unjust and undeserved sufferings.
And both these are as large 'as the sphere of this calling, Not only servants and others of a mean condition, who, lying