19 [a]By [b]the which he also went, and preached unto the [c]spirits that are in prison.

20 Which were in time passed disobedient, when [d]once the long suffering of God abode in the days of (A)Noah, while the Ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight [e]souls were saved in the water.

21 [f]Whereof the baptism that now is, answering that figure, (which is not a putting away of the filth of the flesh, but a confident demanding with a good conscience maketh to [g]God) saveth us also [h]by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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  1. 1 Peter 3:19 A secret objection: Christ indeed might do this, but what is that to us? yet (saith the Apostle) for Christ hath showed forth this virtue in all ages both to the preservation of the godly, were they never so few and miserable, and to revenge the rebellion of his enemies, as it appeareth by the history of the flood: for Christ is he which in those days (when God through his patience appointed a time of repentance to the world) was present not in corporal presence, but by his divine virtue, preaching repentance even by the mouth of Noah himself who then prepared the Ark, to those disobedient spirits which are now in prison waiting for the full recompence of their rebellion, and saved those few (that is, eight only persons) in the water.
  2. 1 Peter 3:19 By the virtue of which Spirit, that is to say of the divinity: therefore this word, Spirit, cannot in this place be taken for the soul, unless we say, that Christ was raised up again, and quickened by the virute of his soul.
  3. 1 Peter 3:19 He calleth them Spirits, in respect of his time, not in respect of the time that they were in the flesh.
  4. 1 Peter 3:20 This word (once) showeth that there was a furthermost day appointed, and if that were once past, there should be no more.
  5. 1 Peter 3:20 Men.
  6. 1 Peter 3:21 A proportional applying of the former example to the times which followed the coming of Christ: for that preservation of Noah in the waters was a figure of our Baptism, not as though that material water of Baptism saveth us, as those waters which bare up the Ark saved Noah, but because Christ with his inward virtue, which the outward Baptism shadoweth, preserveth us being washed, so that we may call upon God with a good conscience.
  7. 1 Peter 3:21 The conscience being sanctified may freely call upon God.
  8. 1 Peter 3:21 That selfsame virtue, whereby Christ rose again, and now being carried into heaven, hath received all power, doth at this day defend and preserve us.