1 Renouncing therefore every kind of malice, and knavery, hypocrisy, envy, and detraction, as new-born infants desire that mystical milk, 2 which is without any mixture, and will make you thrive. Since you have tasted how good the Lord is, 3 adhere to him as to a living stone, 4 which however rejected it is by men, is the precious stone, which God has chosen: and 5 you your selves are as so many living stones, you are the edifice, the spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, agreeable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 wherefore it is said in the scripture, I lay in Sion the principal stone of the angle, a choice one of great value: he that
7 trusts thereon shall not be confounded. it will prove an honour to you, who believe; but to the incredulous, the same stone, which is the chief of the angle,
8 and which the architects rejected, will be an occasion to the incredulous of their stumbling, and bruising themselves thereby:
9 and this they were destin'd to. but you are the chosen race, you are kings and priests, the holy nation, the peculiar people, that you might display his glory, who called you out 10 of darkness into his marvellous light: you, who formerly were not a people, but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy,
11 but at present have obtain'd it. I exhort you, my dear brethren, as strangers and travellers to avoid all sensual passions, as destructive to your 12 souls. Let your behaviour among the Gentiles be virtuous, that instead of inveighing against you as vicious, they may observe your honest behaviour,
13 and glorify God in the times of distress. be subject therefore, for the Lord's sake to every human establishment: whether it be to the king, 14 as supreme; or to governors, as being deputed by him to punish those who do ill, 15 and to encourage those who do well. for such is the divine pleasure, that by your good conduct you obviate the cavils of inconsiderate 16 men. You are free, don't let your liberty serve as a pretext for vice: but act as the servants 17 of God. Be respectful to all, love your brethren, fear God, and honour the king.
18 You that are servants, be subject to your masters with all reverence: not only to such as are kind and gentle, 19 but even to the morose. for it is a recommendation to the divine favour, to suffer unjust persecution 20 from a principle of conscience. what glory is there in suffering corporal punishment for real offences? but if you meet with ill usage for doing your duty, and bear it with constancy,
21 this will conciliate the divine favour. and this is the condition of your vocation, since Christ himself has suffer'd for us, 22 leaving an example for your exact imitation, he who never offended, and from whose lips no fallacy was ever utter'd, 23 who, when he was reviled, did not revile again: when he was in his sufferings, he did not threat, but referr'd his cause to the righteous judge. 24 he himself cancel'd our sins by the crucifixion of his body, that we being set free from sin, might live in the service of virtue. it is by his bruises that you were healed: 25 for you were as sheep going astray, but now you are brought back to the pastor and overseer of your souls.