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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT
1 PETER 4
Ver. 1. He that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sins. Some expound these words of Christ; but he never had committed the least sin. The true sense is, that every one who suffers by Christ's example, leaves off a sinful life, so as not to fall into great sins. Wi.
Ver. 3. For the time past is sufficient, &c. As if he said, you who were Gentiles, have already lived too long in vices before your conversion; so that they who are not yet converted, admire at the change they see in you, make a jest of you, talk against you for your not running on with them in the same wicked and shameful disorders: but they shall render an exact account of all to the just Judge of the living and the dead. For as I told you before, in the last chap. (v. 19.) for this cause (i.e. because Christ is judge of all) he descended to the place where the souls of the dead were, and preached to them, shewing himself, their Redeemer, who judgeth and condemneth those who had lived according to the flesh, but gave life to those who had lived well, or done penance according to the spirit of God. Wi.
Ver. 8. Charity covereth a multitude of sins. It is a great means to atone for them; or it may signify, that a charitable mind excuses many sins in others. Wi.
Ver. 10. As good stewards of the manifold grace of God. An admonition to the ministers of the gospel, to employ well their talents and the graces received to the honour and glory of God. Wi.
Ver. 12. Think not strange, &c. Be not surprised, nor discouraged that a hot and sharp persecution is come upon you at this time, as if it were a new and an extraordinary thing. It is what you must expect and be ready to receive with patience, and even with joy, when you suffer as Christ did before you, and for his sake: this is the way to eternal happiness in heaven. Wi.
Ver. 14. Which is of the honour, glory, &c. He gives them the reason why they must rejoice and look upon themselves happy to suffer for the name of Christ, because to suffer for God's sake is glorious, is a mark that the glorious, the honourable, and the powerful spirit of God rests upon them: for as Paul said, (Heb. xii. 6.) "For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." Nothing then is more honourable, nothing more advantageous, than to suffer for being a Christian. This word is only found here, and Acts xi. 26. Wi.
Ver. 15. Or a railer. The Greek here signifies one that does evil, or a malefactor. — Or as coveting the goods of others. The Greek rather signifies one curiously prying into the affairs of others, which Protestants translate a busy body. Wi.
Ver. 17. The time is that judgment should begin at the house of God. By judgment seems to be here understood afflictions, persecutions, and trials in this world; and the sense is, that the time of this life is a time of suffering. — And if first at us. That is, if the justice of God deal in this manner with his friends whom he loves, much greater will be hereafter the punishments of sinners, and of those who have refused to believe in Christ. Wi.
Ver. 18. Scarcely. That is, not without much labour and difficulty. Ch.
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