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The Biblical Illustrator II Pet 3

The Biblical Illustrator II Pet 3

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 12, 2011
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THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR II PET 3CHAPTER III.Vers. 1, 2. This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto yoiL — St. Peter^s lovetoken : — I. The nature of it — a letter written. What shall we render to the Lordfor His mercy in writing these blessed covenants ? U. The number of it — a secondafter the former. " This second " ; not so much fearing the miscarriage of thefirst, as hoping to work better confirmation by the next. III. The tenor of it — to stir up their minds. Why are the words of the wise compared to goads (Eccles.xii. 11) but to show that the best in God's team need pricking forward? IV. Theorder — by way of remembrance. This is a just order and method ; first, to teachthe way of the Lord, then to remind men of walking in it. We are not only calledteachers, but remembrancers (Isa. Ixii. 6). {Thos. Adavis.) I stir up your pureminds. — A Christian memory : — The power of memory is, perhaps, the mostamazing part of our mental equipment. It is a golden thread that links infancyand age, on which are hung, like pearls, varied facts and experiences of every hue.Memory has her servant, recollection, an invisible librarian running about thechambers of the mind, to find what she calls for. ow God uses this faculty inthe work of building up Christian character. 1. The gospel has a history to beremembered. 2. History repeats itself ordinarily; but this history of the gospelcan never be repeated. Christ has suffered once for all. A Christian memory isswift to remember this. 3. In the revelation of His " memorial name " Jehovahhas emphasised the significance of memory. He is not an abstraction, a far-distantpersonality, even, but " the Father of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob " — a historic<jod. 4. Again, keep in mind that the life of our Lord in glory is linked with thatof His redemptive work on earth, as truly as your existence there, some day, will beconnected with your residence here on earth. 5. Finally, a Christian memory holdsin trust these historic dates of Christ and His redemption, because of the fact thatthey are to be the theme of adoring praise throughout eternity. (J. M. English,D.D.) Mindful of the words which were spoken before. — Mindfulness : — I.The object of their mindfulness. 1. " Words," for their plain certainty ; notshadows and abstruse paradoxes. 2. " Spoken before," for their antiquity ; notthings of yesterday ; no new devices. 3. " By the prophets," for the authority ;men that had their commission immediately from God Himself. 4. " Holyprophets," for the sanctity ; they passed not through the lips of a Balaam, orCaiaphas. 5. " The commandment of us," &c. The prophets were legal apostles,the apostles are evangelical prophets. Both these came to the world with com-mandments. (1) either prophets nor apostles did ever command in their ownnames ; but the former came with " Thus saith the Lord," and the other in thename of Christ. (2) St. Peter refers us to the words of the prophets and command-
 
ments of the apostles, and precisely chargeth our mindfulness with these lessons.{3) either the prophets without th^ apostles, nor the apostles without theprophets,but both together. The gospel without the law may lift men up to presumption ;the law without the gospel may sink them down to desperation. (4) The rule otruth is delivered to us by the prophets and apostles. II. Their mindfulness of THAT object. This consists in two things : 1. Observation. God never meant HisWord for a vanishing sound ; that which is kept upon eternal record in heaven,and is a constant dweller in the elected heart (Col. iii. 16), must not be a sojourner,much less a passenger, with us. 2. Conversation. It is a barren mindfulness thatdoes not declare itself in a holy fruitfulness. Conclusion : 1. Let us desire thefaculty and facility of doing ; earnestly to desire it is one half, yea, the best half.2. Let us be thrifty husbands of time and means to be spiritually rich. 3. Let usreduce all to practice. (Thos. Adams.) Compendious commandments : — Cultivatethe habit of reflective meditation upon the truths of the gospel as giving you thepattern of duty in a concentrated and available form. It is of no use to carry about& copy of the " Statutes at Large " in twenty foUo volumes, in order to refer to itwhen difficulties arise and crises come. We must have something a great deal morecompendious and easy of reference than that. A man's cabin-trunk must not be asbig as a house, and his goods must be in a small compass for his sea voyage. Wehave in Jesus Christ the " Statutes at Large," codified and put into a form whichthe poorest and humblest and busiest amongst us can apply directly to the suddenemergencies and surprising contingencies of daily hfe, which are always sprunguponus when we do not expect them, and demand instantaneous decision. {A.Maclaren.)K' '152 THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR. [chap. hi.Vers. 3, 4. There shall come in the last days scoffers. — The character of the lastdays : — I. The personal qualifications of the disputeks here described. Tobe a scoffer is sure no very laudable character, being the joint result of pride andmalice, the doing mischief, and the doing it in sport. But as this temper is mostinjurious, it is also ignorant and indocile. The sure effect of knowledge is anhumble sense of the want of it ; the deeper we immerse ourselves in any art orscience, the greater difficulties are started by us. But over and above the in-gredients, of pride, Ul-nature, and incorrigible folly, the mockers of the text are
 
branded with immorality and vice — " to walk after their own lusts." And surethere cannot be a more prodigious impudence than that guilty persons liable to theseverest punishments should dare to awaken observation by being sharp on others.II. The force of their discoursings. " Where is the promise of His coming ? "The delaying of performance is no prejudice against it. With Almighty God every-thing, however distant it may seem, is actually present. First, the apostle denies theproposition that all things continue as they were since the Creation ; and secondly,he denies the consequence drawn from thence, Though all things did continue, itno way follows they shall for ever do so. III. As they are a recital of aprophecy. The appearance of these scoffers in the world is itself a very signalmark of its approach (Jude 17, 18 ; 1 Thess. v. 1 ; Matt. xxiv. 37). Will theyfind arguments of mockery and laughter in the place of weeping, and wailing,and gnashing of teeth? If they can do this, in God's name let them mock on, deny a future judgment, or what is more brave, let them dare it. {JohnFell, D.D.) The nature, folly, and danger of scoffing at religion : — I. Toconsider the nature, folly, and danger of scoffing at religion, thanwhich nothing can be more offensive to a considerate mind. 1. Is thereanything ridiculous in the belief of a Deity, a supreme, infinite, and intelli-gent mind, the creator and governor of the universe? Is it absurd to assertthat He who made the world exercises an universal providence and directs allthe affairs of it? What is there ludicrous in any of the duties of piety, in asupreme reverence and love of God ? What is there that has a ridiculous aspect,or can excite any but the laughter of fools, in justice, temperance, &c. ? Again, isit at aU unsuitable to our most worthy notions of God to believe, that when theworld was universally corrupted, He would graciously interpose for the good of Hiscreatures, and teach them their duty by an extraordinary revelation ? Is it in theleast irrational to suppose that this revelation has fixed, with the utmost distinct-ness, the terms of our acceptance with God, and thereby removed distractingsuspicions and superstitious terrors ? 2. Further, the grand principles and dutiesof religion are so far from having anything ridiculous in them, that they are someof the plainest and most obvious dictates of reason, which renders the guilt of the scoffer much more aggravated and his impertinence and folly more insup-portable. 3. Let me only add that religion is of the utmost consequence to thecomfort of men's minds, the peace of society, and the general good of the world.So that whoever sets himself to viUfy these important truths not only fixes certainreproach upon himself by misplacing his ridicule on what has really nothingabsurdin it, but is, in fact, whatever his intention may be, whether to gratify a trillinghumour, display the forwardness of his genius, or corrupt the morals of the age, anenemy to society and the general happiness of mankind. 4. And as the guilt of these scoffers is very great, their danger is in proportion. For if the principles of 

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