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that the Son of God is come; and he hath given us an understanding that we may know the true one; and we are in the true one, even in his Son Jesus Christ: this is 21 the true God, and eternal life. Beloved children, keep yourselves from idols.
true one—As branches in the vine* When in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of
God. This Jesus is the only living and true God, together with the Eathpr and with the Spirit, and the original fountain of eternal life. So the beginning and the end of the epistle agree.
V. 21. Keep yourselves from idols—From oil worship of false gods, from all woes kip of ioiagcs or of any ri;ealjir.e, aid from very inward idol; Jr0^B loving, desiring, tyring any thing more than God. Seek all help and defence front evil, all happiness in the true God alone.
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST. JOHN.
The Parts of this Epistle, (written to some Christian Matron, and her religious Children,) are three:'
I. The Inscription, ver. 1— 3.
ir. An Exhortation to persevere iu true Faith and Love, 4—pt.
HI, The Conclusion, 13, 13.
J. THE elder unto the elect Karia and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not I only, but likewise all
2 who know the truth, For the truth's slake, which abideth
3 in us, and shall be with us for ever. Grace be with you, mercy and peace from God the Father, and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.
4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in the truth, as we received commandment from the
Ver. 1. The elder—An appellation suited to a familiar letter, but upon a weighty subject, to the elect—That is, Christian. Karia is undoubtedly a proper name, both here and iu ver. 5. For it was not then usual to apply the title of Lady to any but the Roman empress, neither would such a manner of speak ins; have been suitable to the simplicity and dignity of the apostle; tohom—'Both her and her children, I love in the truth—With unfeigned and holy love.
V. 2. For the truth's sake, which ahideth in iu—As a living principle of faith and holiness. ,
V. 3. Grace takes away guilt; mercy, misery; peace implies the abiding in grace and mercy. It includes the testimony of God's Spirit, both that we are his children, and that all our ways are acceptable to him. This is the very foretaste of heaven itself, where it is perfected: in truth and love—or, faith and love, as St. Paul speaks. Faith and truth, are here synonymous terms.
V. 4. I found of thy children—Prohably in their aunt's house, ver. 13, walking in the truth—In faith and love.
5 Father. And now I beseech thee, Kuria, (not as writing a new commandment to thee, but that which we had from
6 the beginaing,) that we may love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment as ye have heard from the beginning,
7 that ye may walk in it. For many seducers are entered into the world, who confess not Jesus Christ that came in
8 the flesh. This is the seducer and the antichrist. Look .to yourselves, that we lose not the things we have
9 wrought, but receive a full reward. Whosoever tramp. gresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he
10 hath both the Father and the Son. If any come to you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your
11 house, neither bid him God speed. For he that biddeth him God speed, is a partaker of his evil deeds.
IS Having many things to write to you, I was not minded to write with paper and ink: but I trust to come to you
IS and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. The children of thy elect sister salute thee.
V. 5. That which we had from the beginning —of our Lord's ministry.. Indeed it was, in some sense, from the beginning of the.world: that we may love one another—Mure abundantly.
V. 6. And this is the proof of true love, universal obedience, built on the love of Grid : this—Love, is the great commandment which ye have heard front the beginning of our preaching.
V. 7. Carefully keep what ye have heard from the beginning, for many seducers are entered into the world, who confess not Jesus Christ that came in the flesh—Who disbelieve either his prophetic, or priestly, or kingly office. Whosoever does this, is the seducer—From God, and the antichrist—Fighting against Or st.
V 8. That we lose not the things which we have wrought—Which every apostate does; but receive a full reward—Having fully employed all our talents to the glory of rum that gave them. Here again the apostle modestly transfers it to himself.
V. 9. Receive this as a certain rule. Whosoever transgresseth—Any law of G'd, hath not God—For his Father and his God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ—Believing and obeying it, he hath both the Father and the Son—For ins God.
V. 10. If any come to you—Either as a teacher or a brother, and bring not this rfoc/rtne—That is, advance any thing contrary to it, receive him not into, your house—As either a teacher or a brother; neither hid him God speed—Give him no encouragement therein.
V. 11. For he that hiddeth him Godspeed—That gives him any encouragement, is acc. ssary to his evil deeds.
V. 12. Having many things i0 write, I was not minded to write now—Only of these; which were then pet uliarly needful.
V. 13. The children of thy elect, or Christian, sister—Absent, if not dead, when the apostle wrote this.
THE THIRD EPISTLE OF ST. JOHN.
The Third Epistle Has Likewise Three Parts:
I. The Inscription, ver. li B.
II. The Commendation of Gaius, 3—8.
With a Caution against Diotrephes, 9—U.
And a Recommendation of Demetrius, 12.
III. The Conclusion, 13—IS.
1. THE elder unto the beloved Gaius, whom I truly
I love. Beloved, I pray, that in every respect thou mayst prosper and be in health, as thy soul prospereth.
3 For I rejoiced greatly when the brethren came, and testified of the truth that is in thee, as thou walkest in
4 the truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear that.
5 my children walk in the truth. Beloved, thou dost faithfully whatsoever thou dost to the brethren, and to strangers,
6 who have testified of thy love before the church; Whom
Ver. 1. Gains was, probably, the Gaius of Corinth, whom St. Paul mentions. Bom. xvi. 23. If so, either he was removed from Achaia into Asia, or St. John sent this letter to Corinth.
V. s. For I know thou usest all thy talents to his glory: the truth that is
i n thee—The true faith and love.
V. 4. I have no greater joy than this— Such is the spirit of every true Christian pastor: to hear that my children walk in the truth—Gaius probably was converted by St. Paul. Therefore when St. John speaks of him, with other believers, as his children, it may be considered as the tender style of paternal love, whoever were the instruments of their conversion. And his using this appellation, when writing under the character of the elder, has its peculiar beauty.
V. 5. Faithfully—Uprightly and sincerely.
V. 6. Who have testified of thy love before the church—The congregation with whom I now reside: whom if thou tend forward on their journey—Supplied
if thou send forward on their journey after a godly sort,
7 thou shalt do well. For they went forth for his sake,
8 taking nothing of the Gentiles* We ought therefore to receive such, that we may be fellow-helpers to the truth.
9 I wrote to the church; but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not.
10 Wherefore if I come I will remember his wicked deeds which he doth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth
11 them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that is a doer of good is of God; he that is a doer of evil, hath not seen God.
12 Demetrius hath a good testimony from all men, and from the truth itself: yea, we also bear testimony, and ye know that our testimony is true.
13 I had many things to write; but I will not write to
14 thee with ink and pen. But I trust to see thee shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace be to thee. Our friends salute thee. Salute the friends by name.
with what is needful: thou shalt do well—How tenderly does the apostle enjoin this!
V. 7. They went forth—To preach the gospel.
V. 8. To receive—With all kindness, the truth—Which they preach.
V. 9. I wrote to the e/iizrcA—Probably that to which they came: but Diotrephes—Perhaps the pastor of it: who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them—To govern all things according to his own will: receiveth us not—Neither them nor me. So did the mystery of iniquity already work!
V. 10. He prateth against us—-Beth them and me, thereby endeavouring to excuse himself.
V. 11. Follow not that which is evil—III Diotrephes,, but that which is.good— In Demetrius. He hath not seen God—Is a stranger to him.
V. 12. And from the tntthrtself—^f>m.\. is, what they testify is the verr,trn,th. Yea, we also hear testitntnj-.A and they that are with me.
V. 14- Salute the friends by name—That is,- in the same manner as if I had named them one by one. The word friend, does not often occur in the New Testament, being swallowed up in the more endearing one of brother.