A PROLOG TO THE FIRST EPISTLE OF SAINT PETER

This epistle did saint Peter write to the heathen that were converted and exhorts them to stand fast in the faith, to grow therein and to wax perfect, through all manner of suffering and also good works.

In the first he declares the justifying of faith through Christ’s blood, and comforts them with the hope of the life to come, and shows that we have not deserved it, but that the prophets prophesied it should be given us, and as Christ which redeemed us out of sin and all uncleanness is holy, so he exhorts to lead an holy conversation: and because we be richly bought and made heirs of a rich inheritance, to take heed that we lose it not again through our own negligence.

In the second Chap. he shows that Christ is the foundation and head cornerstone, whereon all are built through faith, whether it be Jew or Gentile, and how that in Christ they are made priests, to offer themselves to God (as Christ died himself) and to flee the lusts of the flesh that fight against the soul. And first he teaches them in general to obey the worldly rulers and then in special he teaches the servants to obey their masters be they good or bad, and to suffer wrong of them as Christ suffered wrong for us.

Example — ensample (Orig.)

In the third he teaches the wives to obey their husbands, yea though they be unbelievers and to apparel themselves godly and as it becomes holiness. And thereto that the husbands suffer and bear the infirmity of their wives and live according to knowledge with them. And then in general he exhorts them to be soft, courteous, patient and friendly one to another, and to suffer for righteousness after the example of Christ.

In the fourth he exhorts to flee sin and to tame the flesh with soberness, watching and prayer, and to love each other, and to know that all good gifts are of God and every man to help his neighbor with such as he has received of God, and finally not to wonder, but to rejoice though they must suffer for Christ’s name’s sake, seeing as they be here partakers of his afflictions, so shall they be partakers of his glory to come.

In the fifth he teaches the bishops and priests how they should live and feed Christ’s flock: and warns us of the devil which on every side lies in wait for us.

 

 

A PROLOGE TO THE FYRST EPISTLE OF SAYNT PETER

This epistle dyd saynt Peter wryte to the Hethen that were conuerted and exhorteth them to stonde fast in the fayth, to grow therin and to wexe perfect, thorow all maner of sofferinge and also good workes.

In the fyrst he declareth the iustyfyenge of fayth thorow Christes bloude, and comforteth them with the hope of the lyfe to come, and sheweth that we haue not deserued it, but that the Prophetes prophesied it shuld be geuen vs, and as Christ which redeemed vs oute of synne and all vnclennes is holye, so he exhorteth to leade an holye conuersacion: and because we be rychlye bought and made heyres of a ryche inherytaunce, to take hede that we lose it not agayne thorow our awne necgligence.

In the seconde Chap. he sheweth that Christ is the foundacion and hed corner stone, wher on all are bylt thorow faith, whether it be Iewe or gentyle, and how that in Christ they are made Prestes, to offer them selues to god (as christ dyd him selfe) and to fle the lustes of the flesshe that fight against the soule. And fyrst he teacheth them in generall to obeye the worldlye rulars and then in speciall he teacheth the seruauntes to obey their masters be they good or bad, and to soffre wronge of them as Christ soffered wronge for vs.

In the thyrde he teacheth the wyues to obeye their husbandes, ye though they be vnbeleuers and to apparell them selues godlye and as yt becommeth holynes. And therto that the husbandes soffre and beare the infirmite of their wiues and lyue according to knowledge with them. And then in generall he exhorteth them to be softe, courteous, pacient and frendlye one to another, and to soffre for ryghteousnes after the ensample of Christ.

In the fourthe he exhorteth to fle synne and to tame the flesshe with sobrenes, watchinge and prayer, and to loue eche other, and to knowe that all good gyftes are of God and euery man to helpe his neyboure with soche as he hath receaued of god, and fynallie not to wonder, but to reioyce though they must soffre for christes names sake, seinge as they be here partakers of his affliccions, so shall they be partakers of his glorye to come.

In the fyueth he teacheth the bysshopes and prestes how they shuld lyue and fede Christes flocke: and warneth vs of the deuell which on euery syde lyeth in waythe for vs.