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A. D. cir. 69.

Many antichrists are

I. JOHN,

gone out into the world. A. M. cir. 4073, lust thereof: but he that doeth | 19 ''They went out from us, 4. M. cir. 473. A.D. cir. 69, Impp. Galba, the will of God abideth for but they were not of us; for & if Impp. Galba, Othone, Vitel, et

Othone, Vitel. et Vespasiano. ever. they had been of us, they would

Vespasiano. 18 · Little children, bit is the no doubt have continued with last time: and as ye have heard that anti- us : but they went out, that they might be christ shall come, even now are there many made manifest that they were not all of us. antichrists; whereby we know that it is the 20 But ' ye have an unction from the Holy last time.

One, and 'ye know all things.

a John xxi, 5. b Hebr. i. 2.- .c 2 Thess, ü. 3, &c. 2 Pet, ji. l. Ch. iv. 3. d Matt. xxiv. 5, 24. 2 John 7. / 2 Tim. ii. 19.--h 1 Cor. xi. 19.-12 Cor. i. 21. Hebr. el Tim. iv. l. 2 Tim. iii, 1. - Deut. xiii. 13. Ps. xli. 9. 1. 9. Ver. 27:-- Mark i. 24. Acts üi, 14.—John 1.4, Acts xx. 30. —8 Matt. xxiv. 24. John vi. 37. x, 28, 29. 5. xiv. 26. xvi. 13. Ver. 27.

Pride of life] Hunting after honours, titles, and before us was written while Jerusalem yet stood. pedigrees; boasting of ancestry, family connexions, See what is said in the preface on this head. great offices, honourable acquaintance, and the like. Antichrist shall come] Who is this Artixpuctos,

Is not of the Father] Nothing of these inordinate Antichrist? Is he the emperor Domitian, the Griwaattachments either comes from or leads to God. tics, Nicolaitans, Nazareans, Cerinthians, Romul They are of this world ; here they begin, flourish, Pontiffs, &c., &c.? Ans. Any person, thing, doctricas and end. They deprave the mind, divert it from system of religion, polity, &c., which is opposed o divine pursuits, and render it utterly incapable of Christ, and to the spirit and spread of his gospel, is spiritual enjoyments.

Antichrist. We need not look for this imaginar Verse 17. The world passeth away] All these being in any of the above exclusively. Eren Prthings are continually fading and perishing; and the testantism may have its antichrist as well as Popuri very state in which they are possessed is changing Every man who opposes the spirit of the gospel, as: perpetually; and the earth and its works will be every teacher and writer who endeavours to lose shortly burnt up.

the gospel standard to the spirit and taste of te And the lust thereof] The men of this world, world, is a genuine antichrist, no matter where is their vain pursuits, and delusive pleasures, are among whom he is found. The heresies which spra; passing away in their successive generations, and up in the days of St. John were the antichrist of * their very memory perishes; but he that doeth the time. As there has been a succession of opposite will of God that seeks the pleasure, profit, and to Christianity in its spirit and spread through every honour that come from above, shall abide for ever, age since its promulgation in the world, so there has always happy through time and eternity, because been a succession of antichrists. We may bring God, the unchangeable source of felicity, is his matter much lower; every enemy of Christ, everses portion.

who opposes his reign in the world, in others, or a Verse 18. Little children, it is the last time] This himself, is an antichrist; and consequently est place is variously understood. This is the last dis- wicked man is an antichrist. But the name has iete pensation of

grace

and mercy to mankind; the generally applied to whatever person or thing agat present age is the conclusion of the Jewish state, as matically opposes Christ and his religion. the temple and holy city are shortly to be destroyed. Many antichrists] Many false propbets, false Ms But as there are many who suppose that this epistle siahs, heretics, and corrupters of the truth. was written after the destruction of Jerusalem, Whereby we know that it is the last time.] That tix consequently the words cannot, on that supposition, which our Lord has predicted, and of which he is refer to this. Others think that coxaty wpa should warned us. be translated, a most difficult, perilous, and wretched Verse 19. They went out from us] These heretiko time; a time in which all kinds of vices, heresies, had belonged to our Christian assemblies, they pro and pollutions shall have their full reign; that time fessed Christianity, and do so still ; but we apesia which our Lord predicted, Matt. vii. 15, when he said, did not commission them to preach to you, fur chap Beware of false prophets. And xxiv. 11, 12: Many have disgraced the divine doctrine with the most pro false prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many; nicious opinions ; they have given up or explaized and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many away its most essential principles; they have miseks shall wax cold. And verse 24: There shall arise false the rest with heathenish rites and Jewish glasa Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs while, therefore, we acknowledge that they once be and wonders. And verse 25: Behold, I have told you longed to us, we assert that they are not of us. The before. Now the apostle may allude to these pre- are not Christians; we abhor their conduct and tóra dictions of our Lord; but all these refer to a time creed. We never sent them to teach. antecedent to the destruction of Jerusalem. I am

They were not of us] For a considerable tis: therefore inclined to think, whatever may be here before they left our assemblies they gave proofs than the precise meaning of the last time, that the epistle they had departed from the faith; for if they but

le is antichrist who denies

CHAP. II. .

the Father anil the Son. 1. cir. 4073. 21 I have not written unto Jesus is the Christ? He is

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

A. D. cir. 69. liopp. Galba,

you because ye know not the antichrist, that denieth the Fa- Impp. Galba, toone, Vitel. et

Othone, Vitel. et Vespasiano. truth, but because ye know it, ther and the Son.

Vespasiano. and that no lie is of the truth. 23 - Whosoever denieth the 22 · Who is a liar but he that denieth that Son, the same hath not the Father: but he

* Ch. iv. 3. 2 John 7,-_ John xv. 23. 2 John 9.

• John xiv. 7, 9, 10. Ch. iv. 15.

n of us—if they had been apostles, and continued doubt its accuracy. The adjective navra, which we the firm belief of the Christian doctrines, they translate all things, is most probably the accusative ruld not have departed from us to form a sect of case singular, having av&pw tov, man, or some such mselves.

substantive, understood. The verse therefore should That they were not all of us.] They were not ex- be translated: Ye have an ointment from the Holy One, led from the Christian church; they were not and ye know or discern EVERY MAN. This interpret out by us; but they separated from it and us. tation appears to be confirmed by twv #lavwvtwv in De of them had been inspired as we apostles were, ver. 26, those who are deceiving or misleading you ; ugh they pretended to a very high teaching; but and in the same sense should havrwv, ver. 27, be ir separating from us manifested that they were understood : But as the same anointing teacheth you taught, as we were, by the Spirit of God. These Tavrwv, not of all things, but of all men. It is plain, e teachers probably drew many sincere souls from the whole tenour of the epistle, that St. John is ly with them; and to this it is probable the guarding the Christians against seducers and deceivers, stle alludes when he says, they were not all of who were even then disturbing and striving to corrupt Some were; others were not.

the church. In consequence of this he desires them 'erse 20. But ye have an unction] The word to try the spirits whether they were of God, chap. iv. 1. ya signifies, not an unction, but an ointment, the But how were they to try them? Principally by y thing itself by which anointing is effected; and that anointing-that spiritual light and discernment, t was properly rendered in our former translations. which they had received from God; and also by bably this is an allusion to the holy anointing oil comparing the doctrine of these men with what they he law, and to Ps. xlv. 7: God hath anointed thee had heard from the beginning. The anointing here i the oil of gladness—he hath given thee the mentioned seems to mean the spirit of illumination, itude of the Spirit, which none of thy fellows or great knowledge and discernment in spiritual things. e of the prophets, ever received in such abun- By this they could readily distinguish the false ce. By this it is evident that not only the gifts of apostles from the true. Spirit, but the Holy Spirit himself, is intended. Verse 21, I have not written, &c.] It is not because s Spirit dwelt at that time in a peculiar manner in ye are ignorant of these things that I write to you, church, to teach apostles, teachers, and all the but because you know them, and can by these judge nitive believers, every thing requisite for their of the doctrines of those false teachers, and clearly ation ; and to make them the instruments of perceive that they are liars; for they contradict the ding down to posterity that glorious system of truth which ye have already received, and conseth which is contained in the New Testament. As quently their doctrine is a lie, and no lie can be of the was used among the Asiatics for the inauguration truth, i. e. consistent with Christianity. persons into important offices, and this oil was Verse 22. Who is a liar but he that denieth that nowledged to be an emblem of the gifts and Jesus is the Christ?] Here we see some of the false ces of the Holy Spirit, without which the duties doctrines which were then propagated in the world. those offices could not be discharged; so it is put There were certain persons who, while they acknowe for the Spirit himself, who presided in the church, ledged Jesus to be a divine teacher, denied him to be

from which all gifts and graces flowed. The the Christ, i. e. the Messiah. rua, chrism or ointment here mentioned is also

He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the allusion to the holy anointing ointment prescribed Son.] He is antichrist who denies the supernatural God himself, Exod. xxx, 23—25, which was com- and miraculous birth of Jesus Christ, who denies ed of fine myrrh, sweet cinnamon, sweet calamus, Jesus to be the Son of God, and who denies God to sia lignea, and olive oil. This was an emblem of be the Father of the Lord Jesus; thus he denies the

gifts and graces of the divine Spirit. See the Father and the Son. The Jews in general, and the es on the above place. And for the reason of this Gnostics in particular, denied the miraculous concepinting see the note on Exod. xxix. 7.

tion of Jesus; with both he was accounted no more Ye know all things.] Every truth of God necessary than a common man, the son of Joseph and Mary. your salvation and the salvation of man in general,

But the Gnostics held that a divine person, Æon, al have no need of that knowledge of which the or angelical being, dwelt in him ; but all things else Eostics boast.

relative to his miraculous generation and divinity they But although the above is the sense in which this rejected. These were antichrists, who denied Jesus rse is generally understood, yet there is reason to I to be the Christ. 1953

6 H

A. D. cir. 69.

The necessity of continuing

I. JOHN.

in the doctrine of Christ. A. M. cir. 4073. that acknowledgeth the Son of him abideth in you, and 'ye A. M. cir. 403.

. Impp. Galba, hath the Father also.

need not that any man teach Impp. Galba, Othone, Vitel. et

Othoue, Vitel. et Vespasiano. 24 Let that therefore abide you: but as the same anointing

Vespasiado. in you 'which ye have heard teacheth you of all things, and from the beginning. If that which ye have is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath heard from the beginning shall remain in you, taught you, ye shall abide in him. ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the 28 And now, little children, abide in him; Father.

that, when he shall appear, we may have 25 ° And this is the promise that he hath confidence, and not be ashamed before him promised us, even eternal life.

at his coming. 26 These things have I written unto you 29 'If ye know that he is righteous, " ye concerning them that seduce you.

know that "every one that doeth righteousness 27 But othe anointing which ye have received is born of him.

* 2 John 6. b John xiv. 23. Ch, i. 3.-_John xvii. 3. Ch. i. 2. v. 11. _d Ch. iii. 7. 2 John 7. Ver. 20. Jer. xxxi, 33, 34. Hebr. viii, 10, 11.-- John xiv. 26.

xvi. 13. Ver. 20. h Or, it. Li Ch. j. 2.- Ch. ir. 17.--Acts xxii. 14.- - Or, know ye.-- Ch.p.7, 10.

Verse 23. Whosoever denieth the Son] He who of his love ; and ye all, thus continuing, shall have denies Jesus to be the Son of God, and consequently fellowship with the Father and with the Son. the Christ or Messiah, he hath not the Father-he can Verse 25. This is the promise] God has promised have no birth from above, he cannot be enrolled eternal life to all who believe on Christ Jesus. So among the children of God, because none can be a they who receive his doctrine, and continue in coschild of God but by faith in Christ Jesus.

munion with the Father and the Son, shall have ttä He that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.] ) eternal life. This clause is printed by our translators in italics

Verse 26. These things have I written] Eitte to show it to be of doubtful authority, as it was

meaning the whole epistle, or what is contained in probably wanting in the chief of those MSS. which the preceding verses, from the beginning of the 18 they consulted, as it was in Coverdale's Bible, printed to the end of the 25th. 1535; Tindall's Text, printed 1548; and in all the carly printed editions (which I have seen) previously That is, the deceivers that were among them,

Them that seduce you.] Περι των πλανωντων μας to 1566; the Bible of Richard Cardmarden, printed who were labouring to pervert the followers of Ches

: in English at Rouen, where this clause is inserted in a different letter between brackets. But that the

Verse 27. But the anointing which ye have receitas clause is genuine, and should be restored to the text That ointment, the gifts of the Holy Spirit

, mentica without any mark of spuriousness, as I have done in

ver. 20, where see the note. the text of this work, is evident from the authorities Ye need not that any man teach you] The Gnostin, by which it is supported. It is found in ABC, and in who pretended to the highest illumination, and between twenty and thirty others of the best authority; bring no proof that they were divinely taught

, as also in both the Syriac, Erpen’s Arabic, Coptic, had they any thing in their teaching wortby : Sahidic, Armenian, and Vulgate. It is also quoted acceptance of the meanest Christian ; therefore tlag as a part of the text by Origen, Meletius, Athanasius, had no need of that, nor of any other teaching but both the Cyrils, Theophylact, Vigilius of Tapsum, that which the same anointing teacheth, the same Pelagius, Cerealis, Cassian; and in substance by Spirit from whom they had already received the list Euthalius, Epiphanius, Cyprian, Hilary, Faustinus, of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Chris Lucifer of Cagliari, Augustine, and Bede. It is want. Whatever that taught, they needed; and whatctu ing in the Arabic, in the Polyglot, in a MS. in the those taught whose teaching was according to Harleian library, and in some few others. It is Spirit, they needed. St. John does not say that these doubtless genuine, and Griesbach has with propriety who had once received the teaching of the divine restored it to the text, from which it never should Spirit had no farther need of the ministry of the have been separated.

gospel; no, but he says they had no need of such Verse 24. Let that therefore abide in you] Con-teaching as their false teachers proposed to thes. tinue in the doctrines concerning the incarnation, nor of any other teaching that was different from thá passion, death, resurrection, ascension, and interces- anointing, i. e. the teaching of the Spirit of God. No sion of the Lord Jesus, which you have heard man, howsoever holy, wise, or pure, can ever be in preached from the beginning by us his apostles.

such a state as to have no need of the gospel ministry; Ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the they who think so give the highest proof that this Father.] Ye who are preachers shall not only be have never yet learned of Christ or his Spirit. acknowledged as ministers of the church of Christ, And is truth] Because it is the Spirit of truth, but be genuine children of God, by faith in the Son John xvi. 13.

Of the titles

CHAP. II.

given to Christians. And is no lie) It has nothing like the fables of the priesthoodan holy nationa peculiar people, 1 Pet. ii. Gnostics. It can neither deceive, nor be deceived. 9; the following observations may be of use.

Verse 28. And now, little children] Tervia, Beloved “1. These high titles were anciently given to the children, abide in him—in Christ Jesus. Let his word | Israelites as a nation, because they were separated and Spirit continually abide in you, and have com- from mankind to be God's visible church, for the munion with the Father and the Son,

purpose of preserving the knowledge and worship of That, when he shall appear] To judge the world, him in the world, as the only true God. ere may have confidence, mapenolav, freedom of speech, “This appears from God's own words, Exod. xix. liberty of access, boldness, from a conviction that our 3, &c.: Tell the children of Israel ; Ye have seen what cause is good, and that we have had proper ground I did to the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' for exultation ; and not be ashamed-confounded, wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if when it appears that those who were brought to ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, Christ Jesus have apostatized, and are no longer found then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all in the congregation of the saints, and consequently people. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, are not our crown of rejoicing in the day of the Lord and an holy nation. Deut. xiv. 1, &c.: Ye are the Jesus. Abide in him, that this may not be the case. children of the Lord your God-for thou art an holy

Verse 29. If ye know that he is righteous) That people to the Lord thy God. In particular, the title of God is a holy God, ye know also, that every one who God's son, even his first-born, was given to the whole doeth righteousness—who lives a holy life, following Israelitish nation by God himself, Exod. iv. 22, the commandments of God, is born of him, BEGOTTEN chiefly because they were the descendants of Isaac, of him—is made a partaker of the divine nature, who was supernaturally begotten by Abraham, without which he could neither have a holy heart, through the power which accompanied the promise, por live a holy life.

Gen. xviii. 10: Lo, Sarah shall have a son. So St. This verse properly belongs to the following chapter, Paul informs us, Rom. ix. 7: Neither because they are and should not be separated from it. The subject is the seed of Abraham, are they all children (namely of the same, and does not stand in any strict relation to God); but in Isaac shall a seed be to theethe chil that with which the 28th verse concludes.

dren of the flesh, these are not the children of God;

but the children of promise are counted for the seed. The titles bestowed on Christians in the New The apostle's meaning is, that Ishmael and his posTestament have been misunderstood by many. What terity, whom Abraham procreated by his own natural Helongs, strictly speaking, to the pure and holy, is strength, being children of the flesh, were not children flen applied to those who, though bound by their PRO- of God; that is, they were not made the visible "Ession to be such, were very far from it. This has church and people of God. But Isaac and his debeen strongly denied by writers who should have scendants, whom Abraham procreated through the known better. Dr. Taylor has handled this point strength which accompanied the promise, being more Fell in his Key to the Apostolic Writings, from which properly procreated by God than by Abraham, were have given a copious extract in my preface to the the children of God, i. e. were made the visible church pistle to the Romans, from the conviction that the and people of God, because by their supernatural ubject had been most dangerously misapprehended; generation and title to inherit Canaan, they were a ind that several of the worst heresies which disgrace fit image to represent the catholic invisible church of eligion had sprung from this misapprehension. God, consisting of believers of all ages and nations, With some, Dr. Taylor's being an Arian was sufficient who, being regenerated by the Spirit of God, are the o invalidate any testimony he might offer ; but it true children of God, and heirs of the heavenly s no discovery of Dr. Taylor ; it is what every atten- country of which Canaan was a type. ive, unprejudiced reader finds on reading the Old “ 2. As the promise, Lo, Sarah shall have a son, l'estament in connexion with the New. Perhaps the which was given to Abraham when he was a hundred estimony of a judicious Calvinist may be better years old, and Sarah was ninety, implied that that son eceived, not that this truth needs the testimony of was to be supernaturally procreated; so the promise ither, because it every where speaks for itself, but given to Abraham, Gen. xvii. 5, A father of many because those who have too little grace, sense, and nations have I constituted thee, implied that the many andour to search for themselves, may be pleased nations of believers who, by this promise, were given hat Dr. Macknight saves them the trouble.

to Abraham for a seed, were to be generated by the After having remarked that the words born of him, operation of the Spirit of God, producing in them { avrov yeyevvntal, should be translated hath been faith and obedience, similar to those for which AbraEGOTTEN of him, which is the literal signification of bam was constituted the father of all believers. This he word, from yevvaw, genero, gigno, 1 beget (BORN higher generation, by which believers have the moral f God being no where found in the scripture), he image of God communicated to them, is well described, poes on to say:

John i. 12: As many as received him, to them gave he " To understand the import of the high titles which power to be called the sons of God, even to them who in the New Testament are given to the disciples of believe on his name ; oi eyevvnOnoav, who were BEGOTTEN, Christ, viz.: the begotten of God, as here ; children of not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will God, as in the next chapter ; heirs of God, Rom. viii. of man, but of God. That is: Men become the true 17; elect of God adopted of God-saints royal sons of God, not by their being naturally descended

66

God's great love
I. JOHN.

to mankind. from this or that father, nor by their being called the individuals likewise, on account of their faith and sons of God by men like themselves, but by God's holiness. When given to whole churches, these titles bestowing on them that high appellation on account imported nothing more than that the society to which of their faith and holiness” (which were produced in they were given was a church of Christ (i. e. prothem by their regeneration through the Spirit of God). fessed Christianity), and that the individuals of which

“3. If the Israelites, of whom the ancient visible that society was composed were entitled to all the church and people of God were composed, were all privileges belonging to the visible church of God. But called the sons of God because Isaac, from whom when appropriated to individuals, these titles inthey were descended, was supernaturally begotten plied that the persons to whom they were given by the power of God; certainly the believers of all were really partakers of the nature of God; and that ages and nations, of whom the visible church is com- they were the objects of his paternal love, and heirs posed, may with much greater propriety be called of his glory. the sons of God, since they are begotten of God, and Wherefore, in reading the scriptures, by attendpossess bis moral nature.

ing to the different foundations of these titles, and by “4. Thus it appears that the high titles above considering whether they are applied to churches or mentioned, namely, the sons of God, the children of individuals, we shall easily understand their true imGod, the elect of God, the adoption of sons, the election, port. Thus, when St. Paul, writing to the Thessalosaints, holy nation, royal priesthood, peculiar people, nians, says, 1 Thess. i. 4, Knowing, brethren, belard were anciently given to the Israelites As A NATION, of God, your election, he could not mean their election merely on account of their being the visible church to eternal life, since many of them were living dis. and people of God, without any regard to the personal orderly, 2 Thess. iii. 11, but their election to be the character of the individuals of whom that nation was visible church of God under the gospel; whereas, composed. It appears, also, that under the gospel when John, in the verse before us, says, Etery or the same high titles were bestowed on whole churches, who doeth righteousness hath bren begotten of God merely on account of their profession of Christianity, by restricting the title to a specific character be without any regard to the personal character of the teaches us that the persons of whom he speaks ar individuals who composed these churches. But the sons of God in the highest sense, and heirs di these high titles, with some others of greater import- eternal glory." How forcible are right words! St ance, such as the begotten of God, the heirs of God, also the introduction to the Epistle to the Romans. the adoption, were given in an appropriated sense to

CHAPTER III.

The extraordinary love of God towards mankind, and the effects of it, 1–3. Sin is the

transgression of the law, and Christ was manifested to take away our sins, 4–6. The children of God are known by the holiness of their lives, the children of the devil by the sinfulness of theirs, 7–10. We should love one another, for he that hateth his brotke is a murderer; as Christ laid down his life for us, so we should lay down our lives for the brethren, 11-16. Charity is a fruit of brotherly love ; our love should be active, not professional merely, 17, 18. How we may know that we are of the truth, 19–21. They whose ways please God, have an answer to all their prayers, 22. The necessity of keeping the commandment of Christ, that he may dwell in us and we in him by his Spirit, 23, 24.

BEHOLD, what manner of God! therefore the world knowImpp. Galba,

love the Father hath be-eth us not, because it knew Othone, Vitel. 'et Vespasiano. stowed upon us, that him not.

Vespasians should be called the sons of 2 Beloved, now are we the

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

A. D. cit. Impp. Gali Othone, Tata

a
we

с

a John i, 12.

ch John xv. 18, 19. xvi. 3. xvii. 25.

c Isai, Ivi. 5. Rom. viii. 15. Gal. ii. 26. iv. 6. Ch.r.l.

NOTES ON CHAP. III.
with God, and walking in the fulness of his light

:

does not attempt to describe it; he calls on the word Verse 1. Behold, what manner of love] Whole and the church to behold it, to look upon it, to 0 volumes might be written upon this and the two fol- template it, and wonder at it. lowing verses, without exhausting the extraordinary What manner of love.- lloranny ayarny' Fkaterest subject contained in them, viz., the love of God to love, both as to quantity and quality; for these ideas man. The apostle himself, though evidently filled are included in the original term. The length, the

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