How much God hath done for them, making them Christians: 5. and that they again, must doe
their part, not hauing only faith, but al other vertues also and good workes, that so they may
haue the more assurance to enter into the Kingdom of Heauen. 13. And that he is so careful to
admonish them, knowing that his death is at hand, knowing also most certainely the comming of Christ
by the witnes of the Father himself, as also be the Prophets. Concerning whom he warneth them that
they follow not priuate spirits, but the Holy Ghost (speaking now in the Church.)
1. SIMON PETER seruant and Apostle of IESVS Christ, to them that haue obtained equal faith with vs in the iustice of our God and Sauiour IESVS Christ. 2. Grace to you & peace be accomplished in the knowledge of God & Christ IESVS our Lord: 3. As al things of his diuine power which pertaine to life & godlines, are giuen vs by the knowledge of him which hath called vs by his owne proper glorie and vertue, 4. by whom he hath giuen vs most great pretious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the diuine nature, flying the corruption of that concupiscence which is in the world. 5. And you employing al care minister ye in your faith, vertue: and in vertue, knowledge: 6. and in knowledge, abstinence: and in abstinence, patience: and in patience, pietie: 7. and in pietie, loue of the Fraternitie: and in the loue of the Fraternitie, charitie. 8. For if these things be present with you, and abound, they shal make you not vacant nor without fruit in the knowledge of our Lord IESVS Christ. 9. For, he that hath not these things ready, is blind, and groping with his hand, hauing forgotten the purging of his old sinnes. 10. Wherfore, Brethren, labour the more that by good workes you may make sure your vocation and election. For doing these things, you shal not sinne at any time. 11. For so there shal be ministred to you aboundantly an entrance into the euerlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Sauiour IESVS Christ. 12. For the which cause I wil begin to admonish you alwaies of these things: and you indeed knowing and being confirmed in the present truth. 13. But I thinke it meet as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stirre you vp by admonition: 14. being certaine that the laying away of my tabernacle is at hand, according as our Lord IESVS Christ also signified to me. 15. And I wil doe my diligence, you to haue often after my decease also, that you may keep a memorie of these things. ⋮ The Epistle in the Transfiguration of our Lord, Aug. 6. 16. For, not hauing followed vnlearned fables, haue we made the power and ✟ 'prescience' presence of our Lord IESVS Christ knowen to you: but ✟ By this it is plaine, that either Iohn, Iames or Peter must be the Authour of this epistle. For these three only were present at the Transfiguration. Mat. 17. 1. made beholders of his greatnesse. 17. For, * Mt. 17,5. he receiuing from God his Father honour and glorie, this manner of voice comming downe to him from the magnifical glorie, This my beloued Sonne in whom I haue pleased my self, heare him. 18. And this voice we heard brought from heauen, when we were with him in the ✟ You see that places are made holy by Christ's presence, & that al places be not alike holy. See Annot. Act. 7,31. holy mount. 19. And we haue the Prophetical word more sure: which you doe wel attending vnto, as to a candel shining in a darke place, vntil the day dawne, & the day-starre arise in your harts: 20. vnderstanding this first, that no prophecie of Scripture is made by priuate interpretation. 21. For, * 2 Tim. 3,17. not by man's wil was prophecie brought at any time: but the holy men of God spake, inspired with the Holy Ghost. ANNOTATIONS. CHAP. I. 10. By good workes.) Good workes must concurre with God's predestination to the effect thereof.
Here we see, that Gods eternal predestination and election consisteth with good workes: yea that the certainty and effect thereof is procured by man's free wil and good workes, and that our wel doing is a meane for vs to attaine to the effect of Gods predestination, that is, to life euerlasting. And therfore it is a desperate folly and a great signe of reprobate persons, to say, If I be predestinate, doe what I wil, I shal be saued. Nay, the Apostle saith, if thou hope to be one of the predestinate (for know it thou canst not) doe wel, that thou maist be the more assured to attaine to that thou hopest: or, make it sure by good workes. The Protestants in such cases not much liking these wordes, by good workes, though the latin haue it vniuersally, and some Greek copies also, as Beza confesseth, leaue them out in their translations, by their wonted pollicie.
διὰ τῶν καλῶν ἔϱγαν.
15. After my decease also.) The heretikes (according to their custom) exclude this sense altogether by their translation.
These words though they may be easily altered by construction into diuers senses not vntrue, yet the correspondence of the parts of the sentence going before and folowing, giue most plaine this meaning, that, as during his life he would not omit to put them in memorie of the things he taught them, so after his death (which he knew should be shortly) he would not faile to endeauour that they might be mindful of the same. Signifying that his care ouer them should not cease by death, & that by his intercession before God after his departure, he would doe the same thing for them, that he did before in his life by teaching and preaching. This is the sense that the *Greek Scholies speake of, and this is most proper to the text and consonant to the old vse of this Apostle and other Apostolike Saints & Fathers of the primitiue Church.
Occum. in hunc. loc. Gagn.
S. Peters Pastoral care and protection of the Church after his death.
S. Clement in his Epistle to S. Iames our Lords brother, witnesseth, that S. Peter encouraging him to take after his decease the charge of the Apostolike Romane See, promised that after his departure he would not cease to pray for him & his flock, thereby to ease him of his Pastoral burden. To. 1. Concil. ep. 1. S. Clem in initio. And S. Leo the Great, one of his Successours in the said See, often attributeth the good administration and gouernment thereof to S. Peters praiers & assistance: namely in these goodly words Ser. 3 in Anniuers. assumpt. ad Pontif. We are much bound (saith he) to giue thankes to our Lord and Redeemer Iesus Christ, that hath giuen so great power to him whom he made the Prince of the whole Church; that if in our time also any thing be done wel & be rightly ordered by vs, it is to be imputed to his workes and his gouernment, to whom it was said, And thou being conuerted, confirme thy Brethren: to whom our Lord after his resurrection said thrise, Feed my sheep. Which now also without doubt the godly Pastour doth execute, confirming vs with his exhortations, and not ceasing to pray for vs, that we be ouercome with no tentation. &c.
The Saints in heauen pray for the liuing.
Yea it was a common thing in the Primitiue Church among the ancient Christians, and alwaies since among the faithful, to make conuenant in their life time, that whether of them went to heauen before the other, he should pray for his freind & fellow yet aliue. See the Ecclesiastical historie of the holy Virgin & Martyr Potamiæna, promising at the houre of her Martyrdom, that after her death she would procure mercie of God to Basilides one of the souldiars that led her to execution, and so she did Euseb. lib. 6. c. 4. Also S. Cyprian ep. 57. in fine. Let vs (saith he) pray mutually one for another, and whether of vs two shal by God's elemencie be first called for, let his loue continue, and his praier not cease for his Brethren and Sisters in the world. So said this holy Martyr at that time when Christians were so farre from Caluinisme (which abhorreth the praiers of Saints & praying to them) that to be sure, they bargained before-hand to haue the Martyrs & other Saints to pray for them.
Feasts of holy Virgins.
The same S. Cyprian also in his booke De disciplina & habitu virginum, in fine, after a godly exhortation made to the holy Virgins or Nonnes in his time, speaketh thus vnto them: Tantum tunc memento nostri, cùm incipiet in vobis virginitas honorari, that is, Only then haue vs in remembrance, when your virginitie shal begin to be honoured: that is, after their departure. Where he insinuateth the vse of the Catholike Church in keeping the festiual daies and other duties toward the holy Virgins in heauen. S. Hierom also in the same manner speaketh to Heliodorus, saying, that when he is once in heauen, then he wil pray for him that exhorted and incited him to the blessed state of the Monastical life. Ep. 1. c. 2.
Inuocation of Saints.
And so doth he speake to the vertuous matrone Paula after her death, desiring her to pray for him in his old age, affirming that she shal the more easily obtaine, the neerer she is now ioyned to Christ in heauen in Epitaph. Paulæ in fine. It were too long to report, how S. Augustin desireth to be holpen by S. Cyprians praiers (then, and long before a Saint in heauen) to the vnderstanding of the truth concerning the peace and regiment of the Church. li. 5. de Bapt. cont. Donatistas c. 17. And in another place the same holy Doctour alleageth the said Cyprian saying, that great numbers of our parents, brethren, children, freinds, & other, expect vs in great solicitude and carefulnes of our saluation, being sure of their owne. li. 1. de prædest. Sanctorum c. 14. S. Gregorie Nazianzen in his orations of the praise of S. Cyprian in fine, and of S. Basil also in fine, declareth how they pray for the people. Which two Saints he there inuocateth, as al the ancient Fathers did, both generally al Saints, and (as occasion serued) particularly their special Patrones. Among the rest see how holy Ephrem (in orat. de laud. S. Deiparæ) praied to our B. Ladie with the same termes of Aduocate, Hope, Reconciliatrix, that the faithful yet vse, and the Protestants can not abide. S. Basil ho. de 40. Martyribus in fine. S. Athanasius Ser in Euang. de S. Deipara in fine. S. Hilarie in Psal. 124. S. Chrysostom ho. 66. ad po. Antiochenum in fine. Theodoret de curat. Græcorum affectuum li. 8. in fine. Finally al the Fathers are ful of these things: who better knew the meaning of the Scripture and the sense of the Holy Ghost, then these new interpreters doe. 20. Priuate.) Priuate phantastical interpretations.
The Scriptures can not be rightly expounded of euery priuate spirit or phantasie of the vulgar reader: but by the same spirit wherewith they were written, which is resident in the Church.