[WRITTEN FROM ROME, A. D. 65.]
I.--SYMEON PETER, a servant and Apostle of Jesus Christ, to them who have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ: Favor and peace be multiplied to you, through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
3.--As his divine power has gifted to us all things which are necessary to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who has called us to glory and virtue. On account of which, the greatest and most precious promises are freely given to us, that by these we might be made partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world through lust. And for this very reason, indeed, giving all diligence, add to your faith, courage; and to courage, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love: for these thins being in you, and abounding, make you to be neither slothful, nor unfruitful, in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he, who has not these things, is blind, shutting his eyes, having become forgetful of the purification of his old sins. Wherefore, the rather, brethren, earnestly endeavor to make your calling and election sure; for doing these things, you shall never fall: and thus there shall be richly ministered to you, an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore, I will not neglect to put you always in remembrance of these things, although you know, and are established in, the present truth. Yes, I think it fit, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up, by putting you in remembrance; knowing, that the putting off of this my tabernacle is soon to happen, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has showed me. Therefore, I will carefully endeavor, that you may be able, after my decease, to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his grandeur; for when he received from God the Father, honor and glory, a voice to this effect came to him from the magnificent glory, "This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I delight." And this voice we heard come from heaven, being with him on the holy mountain: so we have the prophetic word more firm; to which you do well to take heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, till the day dawn, and the morning star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private impulse; for never, at any time, was prophecy brought by the will of man; but the holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit.
II.--But there were also false prophts among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you; who will privately introduce destructive sects, denying even the Lord who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their lewd practics, on account of whom, the way of truth will be evil spoken of. And through covetousness, they will make merchandise of you, by fictitious tales; to whom the punishment threatened of old liners not, and their destruction slumbers not. For God, indeed, did not spare the angels who sinned, but with chains of darkness confining them in Tartarus, delivered them over to be kept for judgment; and did not spare the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth, a proclaimer of righteousness, when he brought the flood on the world of the ungodly; and having reduced to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, punished them with an overthrow, making them an example to those who should afterward live ungodly; and rescued righteous Lot, exceedingly grieved by the lewd behaviour of the lawless: Lot, exceedinly grieved by the lewd behaviours of the lawless: (for;--that righteous man, dwelling among them, by the sight and report of their unlawful deeds, tormented his righteous soul from day to day;) the Lord knows how to rescue the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unrighteous to a day of judgment, to be punished; but especially those who go after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and who despise government: being audacious, self-willed, who fear not to revile dignities; whereas angels, who are greater in strength and power, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural irrational animals, made for capture and destruction, speaking evil of matters which they do not understand, shall be utterly destroyed by their own corruptions; receiving the due reward of righteousness. These delight to spend the day in luxurious festivity: they are spots and blemishes, revelling in their deceits when they feast with you; having eyes full of the adulteress, incessantly sinning, alluring unstable souls; having a heart exercised with insatiable desires; an accursed progeny: having forsaken the right path, they have wandered, following in the way of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of iniquity, and was convicted of his transgression; the dumb brute, speaking with man's voice, reprimanded the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds driven by a tempest; for whom, the blackness of darkness is reserved forever: for speaking great swelling words of falsehood, they allure by the lusts of the flesh, even by lasciviousness, those who have actually fled away from them who are living in error. They promise them liberty, whilst they themselves are slaves of corruption: for every one is enslaved by that which overcomes him. Now, if having fled away from the pollutiosn of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and being again entangled, they are overcome by them; their last condition is worse than the first. Therefore, it had been better for them, not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them. But the saying of the true proverb has happened to them: "The dog is returned to his own vomit; and the washed hog, to its wallowing in the mire."
III.--Beloved, this second epistle I now write to you, in which epistles I stir up your sincere mind to remembrance: to be mindful of the words before spoken by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the Apostles of the Lord and Saviour.--Knowing this first, that scoffers will come in the last days, walking after their own lusts; and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for from the time the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as at the beginning of the creation. But this wilfully escapes them, that, by the word of God the heavens were of old, and th earth subsisting from the water, and by water: by which the world that then was, being deluged with water, perished. But the present heavens and the earth, by the same word are treasured up, being kept for fire to a day of judgment, and destruction of ungodly men. But this one thing, let it not escape you, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord does not delay his promise in the manner some account delaying; but he exercises long-suffering towards us, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should come to reformation. However, as a thief, the day of the Lord will come; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noice, and the elements burning shall be dissolved; and th earth, and the works that are on it, shall be utterly burned. Seeing, then, all these things shall be dissolved;--what sort of persons ought you to be, in holy behaviour and godliness, expecting, and earnestly desiring, the coming of the day of God; in which the heavens being set on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements burning, shall be melted? But we, according to his promise, expect new heavens, and a new earth, in which dwells righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, expecting these things, diligently endeavor to be found of him spotless, and irreproachable, in peace. And reckon the long-suffering of our Lord, to be for salvation; as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, has written to you. As, indeed, in all his epistles, speaking in them concerning these things: in which there are some thins hard to be understood, which the untaught and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, beloved, foreknowing these things, be on your guard; lest being also carried away by the deceit of the lawless, you fall from your own steadfastness. But frow in favor, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
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