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Impp. Galba,

Confession of sin necessary

CHAP. I.

to salvation from it. A. M. cir. 4073. him, and walk in darkness, we ceive ourselves, and the truth A. M. cir. 4073. A. D. cir. 69.

A. D. cir. 69. lie, and do not the truth : is not in us.

Impp. Galba, Othone, Vitel. et Vespasiano.

7 But if we walk in the light, 9 d If we confess our sins, he Othone, Vitel. et

as he is in the light, we have is faithful and just to forgive us fellowship one with another, and a the blood our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrightof Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all eousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we 8 "If we say that we have no sin, we de- make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

sin.

• 1 Cor. vi. 11. Eph. i. 7. Hebr. ix. 14. 1 Pet. i. 19. Ch. ii. 2. Rev. i. 5.-_b1 Kings viii. 46. 2 Chron. vi. 36. Job ix. 2. xv, 14. xxv. 4. Prov. xx. 9. Eccles. vii. 20.

James üži, 2.- - Ch. ii. 4.
13. Le Ver. 7. Ps. li. 2.

- Ps. xxxii. 5. Prov. xxvïi.

f a man profess have such com on, and walk deed, the Gnostics even denied that Christ suffered: in darkness-live an irreligious and sinful life, he lies, the Æon or Divine Being that dwelt in the man

a the profession which he makes, and does not the Christ Jesus, according to them, left him when he ruth—does not walk according to the directions of was taken by the Jews; and he, being but a common he gospel, on the grace of which he holds his relation man, his sufferings and death had neither merit nor > God, and his communion with him.

efficacy. The Gnostics, against whose errors it is supposed We deceive ourselves ] By supposing that we have is epistle was written, were great pretenders to no guilt, no sinfulness, and consequently have no nowledge, to the highest degrees of the divine illu- need of the blood of Christ as an atoning sacrifice : uination, and the nearest communion with the foun- this is the most dreadful of all deceptions, as it leaves in of holiness, while their manners were excessively the soul under all the guilt and pollution of sin, exrrupt. .

posed to hell, and utterly unfit for heaven. Verse 7. But if we walk in the light] If, having The truth is not in us.] We have no knowledge of ceived the principle of holiness from him, we live the gospel of Jesus, the whole of which is founded on holy and righteous life, deriving continual light, this most awful truth-all have sinned, all are guilty, wwer, and life from him, then we have fellowship one all are unholy; and none can redeem himself. Hence ith another ; that is, we have communion with God, it was necessary that Jesus Christ should become id God condescends to hold communion with us. incarnated, and suffer, and die, to bring men to God. bis

appears to be the intention of the apostle ; and Verse 9. If we confess our sins] If, from a deep he was understood by some Versions and MSS., sense of our guilt, impurity, and helplessness, we hich, instead of uer' aliniwv, with each other, have humble ourselves before God, acknowledging our

avrov, with him. Those who are deeply expe- iniquity, his holiness, and our own utter helplessness, enced in divine things converse with God, and God and implore mercy for his sake who has died for us ; ith them. What John says is no figure; God and he is faithful, because to such he has promised holy heart are in continual correspondence. mercy, Ps. xxxii. 5, Prov. xxviii. 13; and just, for The blood of Jesus Christ] The meritorious effi- Christ has died for us, and thus made an atonement

cy of his passion and death has purged our con- to the divine justice ; so that God can now be just, iences from dead works, and cleanseth us, ka@apıšel and yet the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus. tas, continues to cleanse us, i. e. to keep clean what And to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.] Not has made clean (for it requires the same merit only to forgive the sin, but to purify the heart. id

energy to preserve holiness in the soul of man, to produce it), or, as several MSS. and some Observe here, 1. Sin exists in the soul after two ersions read, kabapiet and rabapioel, will cleanse ; modes or forms: (1.) In guilt, which requires forleaking of those who are already justified, and are giveness or pardon. (2.) In pollution, which requires pecting full redemption in his blood.

cleansing. And being cleansed from all sin is what every be- 2. Guilt, to be forgiven, must be confessed ; and ever should look for, what he has a right to expect, pollution, to be cleansed, must be also confessed. In ad what he must have in this life, in order to be order to find mercy, a man must know and feel himself repared to meet his God. Christ is not a partial to be a sinner, that he may fervently apply to God aviour ; he saves to the uttermost, and he cleanses for pardon ; in order to get a clean heart, a man om ALL sin.

must know and feel its depravity, acknowledge and Verse 8. If we say that we have no sin] This is deplore it before God, in order to be fully sanctified. intamount to ver. 10: If we say that we have not 3. Few are pardoned, because they do not feel and inned. All have sinned, and come short of the glory confess their sins; and few are sanctified or cleansed f God; and therefore every man needs a Saviour, from all sin, because they do not feel and confess uch as Christ is. It is very likely that the heretics, their own sore, and the plague of their hearts. igainst whose evil doctrines the apostle writes, denied 4. As the blood of Jesus Christ, the merit of his hat they had any sin, or needed any Saviour. In- \ passion and death, applied by faith, purges the conSinners have an Advocate

1. JOHN.

with the Father. science from all dead works, so the same cleansès the, the contrary, and thus shows that the word—the docheart from all unrighteousness.

trine, of God is not in him. 5. As all unrighteousness is sin, so he that is Reader, it is the birthright of every child of God to cleansed from all unrighteousness is cleansed from be cleansed from all sin, to keep himself unspotted all sin. To attempt to erade this, and plead for the from the world, and so to live as never more to offerd continuance of sin in the heart through life, is un- his Maker. All things are possible to hiin that begrateful, wicked, and even blasphemous: for as he lieveth ; because all things are possible to the infiwho says he has not sinned, ver. 10, makes God a liar, nitely meritorious blood and energetic Spirit of the who has declared the contrary through every part of Lord Jesus. See the notes on the parallel passages his revelation; so he that says the blood of Christ in the margin ; and particularly in St. John's guspd, either cannot or will not cleanse us from all sin in this chap. i. life, gives also the lie to his Maker, who has declared

CHAPTER II.

He exhorts them not to sin; yet encourages those who may have fallen, by the hope of mercy

through Christ, who is a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, 1, 2. He who knou: God keeps his commandments; and he who professes to abide in Christ ought to walk as Christ walked, 3—6. The old and new commandment, that we should walk in the light, and love the brethren, 7–11. The apostle's description of the different states in the family of God; little children, young men, and fathers, and directions to each, 12–15. A statement of what prevails in the world, 16, 17. Cautions against antichrists, 18—93 Exhortations to persevere in what they had received, and to continue to follow the anointing of the divine Spirit, by which they could discern all men, and know all this? necessary to their salvation, and proper to prepare them for eternal glory, 24–29.

MY

Y little children, these with the Father, Jesus Christ Impp. Galba, things write I unto you, the righteous :

Impp. Galiu Othone, Vitel. et Vespasiano. that ye sin not. And if any 2 And he is the propitiation Othone, Vitel.

Vespasiana man sin, a we have an advocate for our sins : and not for ours

A. M. cir. 4073.
A. D. cir. 69.

A. M. cir. 61
A. D. cit.

a Rom. viii. 34. 1 Tim. ii. 5. Hebr. vii. 25. ix. 24.

b Rom, iï. 25. 2 Cor. v. 18. Ch. 1. 7. iv, 10.

NOTES ON CHAP. II.

and rose again for our justification; and there : Verse 1. My little children] Tervia pov' My be- makes intercession for us. He is the righteous; k loved children ; the address of an affectionate father who suffered, the just for the unjust, that he nicks to children whom he tenderly loves. The term also bring us to God. Do not therefore despair, but late refers to the apostle's authority as their spiritual immediate recourse to God through him. father, and their obligation to obey as his spiritual Verse 2. And he is the propitiation] 'Ilaruer. The children.

atoning sacrifice for our sins. This is the paper That ye sin not.] This is the language of the sense of the word as used in the Septuagint, wies whole scripture; of every dispensation, ordinance, it often occurs; and is the translation of but she institution, doctrine, and word of God. Sin not-do an oblation for sin, Amos viii. 14. Oxun chattati, a not run into ruin ; live not so as to promote your own sacrifice for sin, Ezek. xliv. 27. 7150 kippur, an atas misery ; be happy, for it is the will of God that ye ment, Numb. v. 8. See the note on Rom. ü. 25, should be so; therefore, he wills that ye should be particularly the note on Luke xvii. 13. The wat holy: holiness and happiness are inseparable ; sin is used only here and in chap. iv. 10. and misery are equally so.

And not for ours only] It is not for us apreta And if any man sin] If, through ignorance, inex- that he has died, nor exclusively for the Jewish pepata perience, the violence of temptation, unwatchfulness, but nepi olov TOV koopov, for the whole world, Genities &c., ye have fallen into sin, and grieved the Spirit of as well as Jews, all the descendants of Adam. IH God, do not continue in the sin, nor under the guilt; apostle does not say that he died for any select feny do not despair of being again restored to the favour of the inhabitants of the earth, or for svone murter of God; your case, it is true, is deeply deplorable, every nation, tribe, or kindred; but for ALL MANEL : but not desperate ; there is still hope, for

and the attempt to limit this is a violent ount We have an advocate with the Futher] We still against God and his word. have him before the throne who died for our offences, For the meaning of the word sapakintas, whic.

Te must approve our knowledge of CHAP. II. God by keeping his commandments. . M. cir. 4073. only, but also for the sins of himself also so to walk, even as

A. M. cir. 4073. 4. D. cir. 69.

A. D. cir. 69. Impp. Galba, the whole world. he walked.

Impp. Galba, bone, Vitel, et Vespasiano. 3 And hereby we do know 7 Brethren, 'I write no new

Othone, Vitel, et

Vespasiano. that we know him, if we keep commandment unto you, but s commandments.

an old commandment * which ye had from He b that saith, I know him, and keepeth the beginning. The old commandment is it his commandments, is a liar, and the the word which ye have heard from the ith is not in him.

beginning But " whoso keepeth his word, e in him 8 Again, 'a new commandment I write unto ily is the love of God perfected: 'hereby you, which thing is true in him and in you : ow we that we are in him.

m because the darkness is past, and " the true • He that saith he abideth in him "ought light now shineth.

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lohn i. 29. iv. 42. xi. 51, 52. Ch. iv, 14.- b Ch. i. 6. 15. 1 Pet. ï. 21.- 2 John 5. - Ch. ïïi. 11. 2 Jobn 5. 0.--- Chi. 8. d John xiv, 21, 23.- e Ch. iv. 12. 1 Jobn xiii. 34. xv. 12.---- Rom. xii. 12. Eph. v. 8. iv. 13. -- John xv. 4,5.- h Matt. xi. 29. John xiii. 1 Thess. v. 5, 8. n Jobo i. 9. viji. 12. xii. 35.

here translate advocate, see the pote on John fesses to have known Christ, but also that he has 16.

communion with him, and abides in his favour, rom these verses we learn that a poor backslider should prove the truth of his profession by walking I not despair of again finding mercy; this pas- as Christ walked ; living a life of devotion and obeholds out sufficient encouragement for his hope. dience to God, and of benevolence and beneficence re is scarcely another such in the Bible; and to his neighbour. Thus Christ walked ; and he has

That sinners might not presume on the mercy left us an example that we should follow his steps. lod. And why this one? That no backslider To be in Christ, ver. 5, is to be converted to the it utterly despair. Here, then, is a guard against Christian faith, and to have received the remission of amption on the one hand, and despondency on sins. To abide in Christ, ver. 6, is to continue in ther.

that state of salvation, growing in grace, and in the se 3. And hereby we do know that we know him] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. e keep the commandments of God, loving him Verse 7. Brethren, I write no new commandment] all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves, There seems a contradiction between this and the have the fullest proof that we have the true next verse. But the apostle appears to speak, not so ig knowledge of God and his Christ. The much of any difference in the essence of the precept

stics pretended to much knowledge, but their itself, as in reference to the degrees of light and wledge left them in possession of all their bad grace belonging to the Mosaic and Christian dispenions and unholy habits; they, therefore, gave no sations. It was ever the command of God that men f that they had known either God or his Son should receive his light, walk by that light, and love is; nor is any man properly acquainted with God, him and one another. But this commandment was is still under the power of his sins.

renewed by Christ with much latitude and spirituality erse 4. He that saith, I know him] This is a of incaning; and also with much additional light to te blow against those false teachers, and against see its extent, and grace to observe it. It may therepretenders to religious knowledge, who live under fore be called the old commandment, which was from power of their sins; and against all Antinomians, the beginning; and also a new commandment refalse boasters in the righteousness of Christ as a vealed afresh and illustrated by Christ, with the imering for their personal unholiness. They are all portant addition to the meaning of Thou shalt love 8, and no truth of God is in them.

thy neighbour as thyself, ye shall love the brethren Perse 5. But whoso keepeth his word] Conscien- so as to lay down your lives for each other. See the isly observes his doctrine, the spirit and letter of note on John xii. 34. religion of Christ.

Instead of aðelpoi, brethren, ABC, thirteen others, Is the love of God perfected] The design of God's with both the Syriac, Erpen’s Arabic, Coptic, Sahidic, e in sending Jesus Christ into the world to die for Armenian, Slavonic, and Vulgate, with several of the : sin of man neredelwrai, is accomplished, in that Fathers, have ayannto, beloved. This is without n who receives the doctrine, and applies for the doubt the true reading. fation provided for him. This seems to be the Verse 8. Which thing is true in him and in you] It aning of the apostle.

is true that Christ loved the world so well as to lay That we are in him.] That we have entered into down his life for it; and it was true in them, in all z spirit and views, received his salvation, have been his faithful followers at that time, who were ready to tabled to walk in the light, and have communion lay down their lives for the testimony of Jesus. ith him by the Holy Spirit.

There is a saying in Synopsis Sohar, p. 94, n. 51, Verse 6. Abideth in him] He who not only pro- that may cast some light on this passage : That way

Instructions to little children,

J. JOHN.

young men, and fathers. A. M. cir. 4073. 9 a He that saith he is in the 12 I write unto you, little A. M. cir

. 4673. A. D. cir. 69.

A. D. cir. 69. Impp. Galba, light, and hateth his brother, children, because your sins Impp. Galba, Othone, Vitel. et Vespasiano. is in darkness even until now. are forgiven you for his name's Othane, Vitel et

Vespasiano. 10 He that loveth his brother sake. abideth in the light, and there is none

осса- 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye sion of stumbling in him.

have known him that is from the beginning. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in I write unto you, young men, because ye darkness, and walketh in darkness, and have overcome the wicked one.

I write unto knoweth not whither he goeth, because that you, little children, because ye have known darkness hath blinded his eyes.

the Father.

b Ch. ii. 14.

a 1. Cor. xiij. 2. 2 Pet.i. 9. Ch. iii. 14, 15.

c 2 Pet, i. 10.-_ Gr. scandal.

e John xü. 35.—_ Luke xxiv. 47. Acts iv. 12. 1. 13.

xii. 38. Ch. i. 7. –8 Ch. 1. 1.

By father

in which the just have walked, although it be old, yet darkness] He is still in his heathen or unconvered may be said to be new in the love of the righteous. state ; and walketh in darkness, his conduct being a The love that the righteous bear to God and to each proof of that state; and knoweth not whither le other is a renewal of the commandment.

goethhaving no proper knowledge of God er The darkness is past] The total thick darkness of eternal things ; and cannot tell whether he is going to the heathen world, and the comparative darkness of heaven or hell, because that darkness has blinded his the Mosaic dispensation, are now passing away; and eyes—darkened his whole soul, mind, and heart. the pure and superior light of Christianity is now dif- Verse 12. I write unto you, little children] Terrir fusing its beams every where. He does not say that Beloved children (see on ver. 1); those who wer: the darkness was all gone by, but tapayerai, it is pass- probably the apostle's own converts, and memba ing away; he does not say that the fulness of the of the church over which he presided. But it may light had appeared, but non palvel, it is now shining, be applied to young converts in general; those who and will shine more and more to the perfect day ; can call God Abba, Father, by the Holy Spirit: for the darkness passes away in proportion as the therefore he says of them, that their sins were fara light shines and increases.

given them for his name's sake ; i. e. on accound Verse 9. He that saith he is in the light] He that Jesus, the Saviour, who had died for them, and we professes to be a convert to Christianity, even in the now their Mediator at the right hand of God. lowest degree; and hateth his brothernot only does Verse 13. I write unto you, fathers] not love him, but wills and does him evil, as the Jews is very likely that the apostle means persons did the Gentiles; is in darkness~has received no had embraced Christianity on its first promulgaira saving knowledge of the truth; and, whatever he may in Judea and in the Lesser Asia, some of whom bad pretend, is in heathen ignorance, or even worse than probably seen Christ in the flesh; for this appear 17 heathen ignorance, to the present time, notwithstand-be what is meant by, Ye have known him from the ing the clear shining of the light of the gospel. beginning. These were the elders and cye-rituzten Verse 10. He that loveth his brother] That is, who were of the longest standing in the church

, his neighbour, his fellow-creature, whether Jew or and well established in the truths of the gospel

, 294 Gentile, so as to bear him continual good will, and in Christian experience. But τον απ' ' αρχής. : to be ready to do him every kind office; abideth in who is from the beginning, may mean Jesus Christ in the lightnot only gives proof that he has received the eternity of his nature, see John i. 1,2; but *** Christ Jesus the Lord, but that he walks in him, that sense is the same. he retains the grace of his justification, and grows I write unto you, young men] These were com therein.

firmed disciples of Christ ; persons who were And there is none occasion of stumbling in him.] grounded in the truth, had been thoroughly eierKai okavdalov ev avtu ove fotivo And there is no cised in the Christian warfare, were no longer stumbling-block in him; he neither gives nor receives agitated by doubts and fears, but had arrived at tše offence : love prevents him from giving any to bis abiding testimony of the Spirit of God in their comneighbour; and love prevents him from receiving any sciences; hence they are said to have overcome from his neighbour, because it leads him to put the wicked one, ver. 14. They were persons in the prise best construction on every thing. Besides, as he walks of life, and in the zenith of their faith and love. in the light, he sees the stumbling-blocks that are in I write unto you, little children] Ilaldia, a Fery the way, and avoids them ; every part of his path different term from that used in the 12th verse, PE being illuminated. Many fall into sin because they which means beloved children, as we have already do not see the snares that are in the way; and they seen. This is another class, and their state is difdo not see the snares because they either have not ferently described: Ye have known the Father. If the received, or do not abide in, the light.

apostle does not use these two words indifferently, Verse 11. But he that hateth his brother is in four states instead of three, are here described :

We must not love the world,

CHAP. II.

nor the things of the world. A. M. cir. 4073. 14 I have written unto you, that are in the world. If any

A. M, cir. 4073 A.D. cir. 69.

A. D. cir. 69. Impp. Galba, fathers, because ye have known man love the world, the love of

Impp. Galba, Othone, Vitel. et him that is from the beginning the Father is not in him.

Othone, Vitel. et Vespasiano.

Vespasiano. I have written unto you, young

16 For all that is in the world, men, because “ye are strong, and the word of the lust of the flesh, dand the lust of the eyes, God abideth in you, and ye have overcome and the pride of life, is not of the Father, the wicked one.

but is of the world. 15 "Love not the world, neither the things 17 And the world passeth away, and the

d Eccles. v. 11.

* Eph. vi. 10. — Rom. xii. 2. -c Matt. vi. 24. Gal. i. 10.

James iv. 4.

1 Cor. vii. 31. James i. 10. iv, 14. 1 Pet. i. 24.

1. Fathers, hatepes those who had been converted their family, property, and country, against spoilers at the very commencement of Christianity, and had and oppressors. 4. There are the parents, the father xen the eternal Word manifested in the flesh. and mother, from whom the family sprang, and who

2. Young Men, veavuoroi youths in the prime of are the governors and directors of the household. heir spiritual life, valiant soldiers, fighting under the To these four classes, in a perfect family, the apostle anner of Christ, who had confounded Satan in his appears to allude; and we see, considered in this viles, and overcome him by the blood of the Lamb. light, with what delicacy and propriety he uses

3. LITTLE CHILDREN, raidiadisciples of Christ, these images. ot of very long standing in the church, nor of much Verse 14. The word of God abideth in you] Ye xperience, but who had known the Father ; i. e. have not only thoroughly known and digested the ersons who had been made sons : God had sent the divine doctrine, but your hearts are moulded into it; pirit of his Son into their hearts, whereby they cried ye know it to be the truth of God from the power bba, Father!

and happiness with which it inspires you, and from 4. BeLoveD CHILDREN, rekvia the most recent the constant abiding testimony of the Spirit of that nverts, and particularly those among young men truth which lives and witnesses wherever that truth ad women who, from their youth, simplicity, open- lives and predominates. artedness, and affectionate attachment to God and Verse 15. Love not the world] Though these s cause, were peculiarly dear to this aged apostle several classes were so well acquainted with divine Jesus Christ. These are represented as having things, and had all tasted the powers of the world to teir sins forgiven them on account of his name, ora come; yet so apt are men to be drawn aside by sen

ovoua avrov, that is, for the sake of Jesus, or sible things, that the Holy Spirit saw it necessary to I account of his merit or worthiness.

caution these against the love of the world, the These four classes constituted the household or inordinate desire of earthly things. Covetousness is mily of God; each class, in ascending gradation, the predominant vice of old age: Ye fathers, love not ems to have had more light, experience, and holi- the world. The things which are in the world, its ss than the other. 1. The tervia, beloved children profits, pleasures, and honours, have the strongest * infants, are those who are just born into the hea- allurements for youth; therefore, ye young men, nly family. 2. The raidia, little children, are those little children, and babes, love not the things of this ho are able to walk and speak; they know their world. Let those hearts abide faithful to God who avenly Father, and can call him by that name. 3. have taken him for their portion. be veavikot, young men, are such as are grown up The love of the Father is not in him.] The love of

man's estate; these perform the most difficult God and the love of earthly things are incompatible. trt of the labour, and are called to fight the battles If you give place to the love of the world, the love

the Lord. 4. The Fatepes, fathers, are those who of God cannot dwell in you; and if you have not e at the foundation of the spiritual family, and his love, you can have no peace, no holiness, no ave known the whole economy of the work of God heaven. 1 themselves and in others. These have the largest Verse 16. For all that is in the world] All that it ock of spiritual wisdom and religious experience. can boast of, all that it can promise, is only sensual, ll these answer to the component members of a transient gratification, and even this promise it erfect human family. 1. There is the beloved infant cannot fulfil; so that its warmest votaries can comandled on the knees of its parents. 2. There are plain loudest of their disappointment. he little children that can speak a little, run about, The lust of the flesh] Sensual and impure desires nswer to their own names, distinguish and call on which seek their gratification in women, strong drink, Eheir father and mother, and are now put under delicious viands, and the like. astruction. 3. There are the youths, those who are Lust of the eyes] Inordinate desires after finery rown up to man's estate, are strong to labour, of every kind, gaudy dress, splendid houses, superb etain the instructions they have received, act upon furniture, expensive equipage, trappings and deconem, and are occasionally called upon to defend rations of all sorts.

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