That the apostle might the better reach his end in writing this epistle, which is to make them steady and constant in a fiducial and practical remembrance of the doctrine of the gospel, he, 1. Expresses his special affection and tenderness for them, by calling them beloved, hereby evidencing that he added to godliness brotherly-kindness, as he had (2 Pet. 1:17) exhorted them to do. Ministers must be examples of love and affection, as well as life and conversation. 2. He evinces a sincere love to them, and hearty concern for them, by writing the same thing to them, though in other words. It being safe for them, it shall not be grievous to him to write upon the same subject, and pursue the same design, by those methods which are most likely to succeed. 3. The better to recommend the matter, he tells them that what he would have them to remember are, (1.) The words spoken by the holy prophets, who were divinely inspired, both enlightened and sanctified by the Holy Ghost; and, seeing these persons’ minds were purified by the sanctifying operation of the same Spirit, they were the better disposed to receive and retain what came from God by the holy prophets. (2.) The commandments of the apostles of the Lord and Saviour; and therefore the disciples and servants of Christ ought to regard what those who are sent by him have declared unto them to be the will of their Lord. What God has spoken by the prophets of the Old Testament, and Christ has commanded by the apostles of the New, cannot but demand and deserve to be frequently remembered; and those who meditate on these things will feel the quickening virtues thereof. It is by these things the pure minds of Christians are to be stirred up, that they may be active and lively in the work of holiness, and zealous and unwearied in the way to heaven.
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