The [believers] to whom Peter was writing were not personal disciples of Jesus, but converts of the apostles. They had not seen the Lord Jesus on earth during His incarnate residence here, either while in His humiliation or at the time of His post-resurrection ministry. The Greek has it, “Of whom not having had a glimpse.” Yet they loved Him. They never saw the Lord Jesus with the physical sense of sight, but ah, what a vivid portrait of Him did the Holy Spirit paint for them on the canvas of their spiritual vision. … Paul says “Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (2 Corinthians 5:16). — Wuest, page 27.
love (v.8) = agape
Peter is careful here to use the pronoun “you” instead of “we.” As an apostle of the kingdom, he had seen the Lord and spent the better part of three years with the Master. But these dear saints of the dispersion never had that privilege, yet they loved Him and were rejoicing with unspeakable joy.
Unlike Thomas who refused to believe until he saw the resurrected Christ, these saints believed having never seen Him. Thus, there is an added blessing for all that have believed on Him but never laid eyes upon the glory of His presence. “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thous has seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). — Sadler, pages 53-54.
joy inexpressible and full of glory (v.8) — a surpassing, i.e., heavenly, joy
end (v.9) = promised consummation, outcome
souls (v.9) — The soul as the seat of feelings, desires, affections, etc., regarded as a moral being designed for everlasting life.