Zechariah Merrill on the Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel


Zechariah Merrill was one of the men who finished Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.  Henry died after completing Acts.

Mathew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible

on 1 Pet. 3:18-20

II. The apostle passes from the example of Christ to that of the old world, and sets before the Jews, to whom he wrote, the different event of those who believed and obeyed Christ preaching by Noah, from those that continued disobedient and unbelieving, intimating to the Jews that they were under a like sentence.  God would not wait much longer upon them.  They had now an offer of mercy; those that accepted of it should be saved, but those who rejected Christ and the gospel should be as certainly destroyed as ever the disobedient in the times of Noah were.

1. For the explication of this we may notice,

(1) The preacher—Christ Jesus, who has interested Himself in the affairs of the church and of the world ever since he was first promised to Adam, Gen. 3:15.  He went, not by a local motion, but by special operation, as God is frequently said to move, Gen. 11:5; Hos. 5:15; Mic. 1:3.  He went and preached, by His Spirit striving with them, and inspiring and enabling Enoch and Noah to plead with them, and preach righteousness to them, as 2 Pet. 2:5.

2. From the whole we learn that,

(1) God takes exact notice of all the means and advantages that people in all ages have had for the salvation of their souls; it is put to the account of the old world that Christ offered them his help, sent His Spirit, gave them fair warning by Noah, and waited a long time for their amendment.



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The Sincere Free Offer of the Gospel