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gresseth also the law: for sin is the CHAP. III.
transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was mani. REHOLD, what manner of love fested to take away our sins; and in
the Father hath bestowed upon him is no sin. $, that we should be called the sons 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth f God: therefore the world knoweth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen s not, because it knew him not. him, neither known him,
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of 7 Little children, let no man detod, and it doth not yet appear what ceive you: he that doeth righteousle shall be: but we know that, when ness is righteous, even as he is righe shall appear, we shall be like him; teous. r we shall see him as he is.
8 He that committeth sin is of the 3 And every man that hath this devil; for the devil sinneth from the ope in him purifieth himself, even as beginning. For this purpose the Son e is pure.
of God was manifested, that he might 4 Whosoever committeth sin trans- destroy the works of the devil.
EXPOSITION. ersuade us this sort of truths"-namely, word and promise, having already bestowed be peculiar truths of divine Revelation, so sure a pledge, so precious an earnest, of which he instances, among other things, so plentiful first-fruits, will not fail to is follows:
make good the remainder designed and “Particularly he guideth and quicken- promised us, of everlasting joy aŭd bliss." th us in devotion, showing us what we (Quoted by Dr. Knox, Christian Philos. hould ask, raising in us holy desires and 53, 54, 60.) omfortable hopes, disposing us to ap- In the latter part of this chapter St. proach unto God with firm dispositions of John evidently alludes to the rising bere. mind, love and reverence, and humble sies which at this time began to trouble confidence.
the church, and which in succeeding ages "It is also a notable part of the Holy filled the pages of our ecclesiastical his. Spirit's office to comfort and sustain us in torians. Some of them, it seems (as Ce. All our religious practice, so particularly rinthus), separated Jesus from Christ, as in our doubts, difficulties, distresses, and being two persons, and denied him to be
fflictions ; to beget joy, peace, and satis- the Son of God. It appears, that in those action in us, in all our performances and early, as in much later times, many were n all our sufferings, whence the title of food of paradoxes, and took pleasure in Comforter belongeth to him.
starting new and strange opinions, which, " It is also another part thereof to assure among the vulgar, attracted admiration, is of God's gracious love and favour, and and made them highly popular. The hat we are his children; confirming in us strain of the apostle's argument is to show, be hopes of our everlasting inheritance. that Christ was not only one with, but also Ne, feeling ourselves to live spiritually by so united to the Father, as not to be sepauim, to love God and goodness, to thirst rated, either in essence, or in the work of liter righteousness, and to delight in man's redemption ; and he seems to have leasing God, are thereby raised tu hope borne in his recollection the substance of sod loves and favours us; and that he lour Lord's discourse in the 14th chapter laving, hy so authentic a seal, ratified his of his gospel.
CHAP. III. Ver. J. The sons of God.-Greek, children of God." So ver. 2, Ver. 4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law.--Doddr. “ Every one that practiseth
u practiseth also the violation of the law. This earned commentator renders anomia, « violation of he law,” in distinction from paranomia, which is,
properly, a “transgression,” or going beyond the
Ver.8. He that committeth sin --Doddr. “practiseth sin, is of the devil, for the deyil sinueth from the beginning;" i, e. ever since his lali,
The children of God] 1 JOHN. (and of Satan contrasted.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth 17 But whoso hath this world's not commit sin; for his seed remaineth good, and seeth his brother have need. in him: and he cannot sin, because he and shutteth up his bowels of com. is born of God.
passion from him, how dwelleth the 10 In this the children of God are love of God in him? manifest, and the children of the devil: 18 My little children, let us not whosoever doeth not righteousness is love in word, neither in tongue; but not of God, neither he that loveth not in deed and in truth. his brother.
19 And hereby we know that we 11 For this is the message that ye are of the truth, and shall assure our heard from the beginning, that we hearts before him. should love one another.
20 For if our heart condemn , 12 Not as Cain, who was of that God is greater than our heart, and wicked one, and slew his brother. knoweth all things. And wherefore slew he him? Because 21 Beloved, if our heart conden! his own works were evil, and his bro. us not, then have we confidence towar: ther's righteous.
God. 13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the 22 And whatsoever we ask, we tes! world hate you.
ceive of him, because we keep Es 14 We know that we have passed commandments, and do those thing from death unto life, because we love that are pleasing in his sight. the brethren. He that loveth not his 23 And this is his commandmes. brother abideth in death.
That we should believe on the name 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is his Son Jesus Christ, and love og a murderer: and ye know that no another, as he gave us commentmurderer hath eternal life abiding in ment. him.
24 And he that keepeth his cic 16 Hereby perceive we the love of mandments dwelleth in bim, and he is God, because he laid down his life for him. And hereby we know that he us : and we ought to lay down our abideth in us, by the Spirit which be lives for the brethren.
hath given us. (D)
this passage, that he shrunk from it, i (D) Ver. 1-24. The grace of God in the far too buld: “ Let me rather render adoption, sanctification, and salvation of (says he), They shall be permitted to kiss his people. " Bebold. what manner of his feet." But even this is not all; 5. love the Father hath bestowed upon us, only are we to be recoguized as the adoper that we should be called the sons of God!" children of God, but also, conformed to t* Su astonishing did this seem, when one of image of his only begotten Son. And sori the Malabarian converts was required by is the transforming efficacy of his por the Danish Missionaries thus to translate that when we “ see hiin as he is," wè sbal
s, are pot by our fredasers
pplies from rer. , -T
NOTES-Chap. III. Con. Ver. 9. Doth not commit.- Doddr. “ Doth not Ver. 16. Hereby perceire we the lore e practise sin." Mackn." Doth not work sin."-- The words * of God” being omitted in D for his seed remaineth in him ; i. e. says Doddr.. and most printed editions, are pot by our " There is an immortal principle planted by God in in italics : bat Mackn. sopplies from rer. the heart."-See 1 Peter i. 23.
Sort of God.” Doddr, reads. Hereby perceive Ver. 10. Doeth not righteousness.--Doddr.“ Doth love!" Compare ver. 1. not practise righteousness."
Ver. 18. Not love in word, neither in lengs
Ver. 19. And shall assure.-Mare. * pers 28 Ver. 12. Not as Cain, &c.-See Heb, xi. 4.
Doddr. and Mackn, prefer the former. Ver. 15. Is a murderer-i. e. in his heart; and Ver 20. If our heart-i. e. our CODICICH circumstances may make bien so in fact, as in the next verse. instance of Cain, ver. 12.
FI. c. our conscience. So ia
Ver. 12 e bine in
How to try]
[the spirits. CHAP. IV.
2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of
God : Every spirit that confesseth BELOVED, believe not every spirit, that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh
but try the spirits whether they is of God : are of God: because many false pro- 3 And every spirit that confesseth phets are gone out into the world. not that Jesus Christ is come in the
EXPOSITION. be changed into his image-we shall be But, 2, The late ingenious Mr. Fuller pure, as he is pure; for we“ know that he has remarked (and we have met with the was manifested to take away our sins; and suggestion in him only), that the apostle in him is no sin."
had been before exhorting Christians to This similitude will not, we consess, be abide in tbe truth, and to “ walk as Christ complete in the present life: we must see also walked.” In the close of this Epistle, Christ even as he is, before we can be con- also, the apostle speaks of apostacy--that formed wholly to his image. There is, is, of complete and final apostacy-as “ a however, a partial resemblance, which sin unto death," or a fatal and soul-debecomes more and more complete as grace stroying sin : of this sin, therefore, Mr. prevails in us. In this state we “ know Fulier conceives that the apostle here but in part,” and are sanctified but in part, treats, and which he describes as utterly inas the holiest and best of men admit, and consistent with true godliness. He that is as St. John himself assures us: “ If we say born of God, in this seuse, “ signeth not," that we bave no sio, we deceive ourselves, and “ cannot sin.” Mr. F. would, there and the truth is not in us." (Chap. i. 8.) fore, for the term sin, substitute apostacyThe same apostle, therefore, canuot inean meaning, inveterate and complete aposto be understood absolutely, when he says, tacy, and reads the text as follows :“ He that is born of God doth not commit “Whoso abideth in him, apostatiseth not: sin ;' but it is yet a question bow the words whosoever apostatiseth bath not seen him, can be best explained, in harmony with neither known him. He that is guilty of other passages in this epistle, and of the apostacy is of the devil; for the devil hath Scriptures in general. We shall mention been an apostate from the beginning.two ways in which this has been attempted. Whosoever is born of God doth not aposta
1. It has been commonly understood, tise, for his seed remaineth in him; and thai by committing sin is bere meant thé he cannot apostatise, because he is born of habitual practice thereof, as the heathen God.” (Harmony of Script. p. 49.) practised idolatry, and the Jews their now Either of these expositions may be suffi. obsolete and superstitious ritual. It must, cient to reconcile our apostle to himself, however, be admitted, that every act of and to the general tenor of Scripture. Our tin is as much forbidden as the habit; that readers will judge for themselves; we feel peither the law nor the gospel tolerate even too much of our frailty to dogmatize, where
the thought of foolishness" (Prov.xxiv.9); wise and good men differ. iet it is not every sipful thought, or even Mutual love among Christians is the ict, that proves a man hypocritical or in- burden of this Epistle; but that love must incere. Christians are bound to the prac be connected with love to Christ, because ice of pietv and good works; and yet, as we are commanded to love them as breit. James savs (chap. iii. 2), “In many thren, that is, as fellow Christians; and hings we all oflend;" and as St. John- to the extent (ver. 16), that we should be
If any man sin," upon repentance and ready to “ lay down our lives" for them, umiliation, we have an advocate with if circumstances should require. Now this he Father, even Jesus Christ” himself; mutual love produces mutual fellowship
that, as we must not presume on this and communion, not with them only, but encourage ourselves in sin, neither must also with God, our cominon Father, and e despair of pardon when we repent. And with Christ, our common Saviour, through ris exposition is, we think, in perfect har. the medium of his Holy Spirit, which he Tony with Scripture truth.
hath given to abide with us for ever.
NOTES. CHAP. IV. Ver. 2. Every spirit that confesselh Doddr. thinks these words not only may, but must at, &c._ Every spirit who confesseth Jesus be translated. hrist, who is come in the flesh, is of God.” So Ver. 3. This is that spirit of Antichrist.-Roman
The test of]
(true doétrine. flesh is not of God: and this is that dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have in us. heard that it should come; and even 13 Hereby know we that we dwell now already is it in the world.
in him, and he in us, because he hath 4 Ye are of God, little children, given us of his Spirit. and have overcome them : because 14 And we have seen and do testify greater is he that is in you, than he that the Father sent the Son to be the that is in the world.
Saviour of the world. 5 They are of the world : therefore 15 Whosoever shall confess that speak they of the world, and the world Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth heareth them.
in him, and he in God. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth 16 And we have known and beGod heareth us ; he that is not of God lieved the lore that God hath to us heareth not us. Hereby know we the God is love ; and he that dwelleth spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. in love dwelleth in God, and God in
7 Beloved, let us love one another: him. fur love is of God; and every one that 17 Herein is our love made perfect, loveth is born of God, and knoweth that we may have boldness in the day God.
of judgment : because as he is, sů are 8 He that loveth not knoweth not we in this world. God; for God is love.
18 There is no fear in love ; but 9 In this was manifested the love perfect love casteth out fear : because of God toward us, because that God fear bath torment. He that feareth is sent his only begotten Son into the not made perfect in love, world, that we might live through 19 We love him, because he first him.
loved us. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved 20 If a man say, I love God, and God, but that he loved us, and sent hateth his brother, he is a liar : for be his Son to be the propitiation for our that loveth not his brother whom ke sins.
hath seen, how can he love God whou 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we he hath not seen? ought also to love one another.
21 And this commandment have we 12 No man hath seen God at any from him, That he who loveth God lore time. If we love one another, God his brother also. (E)
vine inspiration; many of whom, however, (E) Ver. 1-21. Christians are warned were inspired by a spirit opposite to that not to believe every pretender to inspiration, of God and Christ. The great criterion but to try such by the word of God. By the apostle proposes is, their regard and the spirits here named, it should seem respect for Jesus Christ. If they coules that we must understand those Christian him as their Lord and Master, then may teachers who, in that age, pretended to di. they be considered as actuated by his Spi:
NOTES-Chap. IV. Con. Catholics plead, that the Pope cannot be Antichrist, in us.”_ Because as he is, so are nr:-By take because he admits and maintains that Jesus Christ and communion with Christ. we became like but is “ come in the flesh :" but St. John tells us that and like him, in the world are neglected and er there are many Antichrists; that is, many who op. spised. pose Christ, and his trath, though in different ways. Ver. 18. There is no fear in lore.-Fear is lett See Note on chap. ii. 18.
used in the sense of alarm and terror_" fear that? Ver. 4. Greater is he that is in you, &c.-That is, hath torment.” God, who actuates the believer, is infinitely above Ver. 20. How can he love God whom kehakse that fallen spirit which actuates the world.
scen? --Intercourse and familiarity between Inends 17. Herein is our love-Gr.“ love with us"
engenders love ; but it is by faith only in the reyente made perfect.--Doddr." Herein is love perfected tion of his wil), that we can love God,
[in heaven. overcometh the world : and this is the CHAP. V.
victory that overcometh the world,
even our faith. W HOSOEVER believeth that 5 Who is he that overcometh the
" Jesus is the Christ is born of world, but he that believeth that Jesus God: and every one that loveth him is the Son of God? that begat loveth him also that is be 6 This is he that came by water gotten of him.
and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by 2 By this we know that we love the water only, but by water and blood. children of God, when we love God, And it is the Spirit that beareth witand keep bis commandments.
ness, because the Spirit is truth. 3 For this is the love of God, that 7 For there are three that bear we keep his commandments: and his record in heaven, the Father, the commandments are not grievous. Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these
4 For whatsoever is born of God three are one.
EXPOSITION. it; if not, then most assuredly they must that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the ve actuated by another spirit.' « To con- propitiation for our sips." And what are less Jesus Christ (says Dr. Doddridge), the natural tendencies and consequences eems to mean, not barely professing some of this love ? 1. “ We love him, because kind of regard to him, but yielding a regu. he first loved us" (ver. 19); and, 2.“ If ar, consistent humage ; and, as it were, God so loved us, we ought also to love one larmonizing and falling in with his de- another." (ver. 11.) Thus should all our igo." To confess that Jesus Christ is love rise out of the infinite fulness of God's
come in the flesh," implies, 1. His pre- love ; for he is the ocean of beneficence, Fious existence before he came; 2. His and every thing in creatures which deserves ncarnation, that “ the word was made the name of love, springs up therefrom. lesh and dwelt amongst us." (John i. 14.) Another criterion of love to God is, that 3. That this incarnation was real, and not it hath " no fear"-no terror-no tormerely apparent ; for while some of the ment. Pagans, and unconverted Jews, ncient beretics considered our Lord Jesus might dread approaching into the presence s man, and as man only, others thought of a dread Jehovah, or a terrific idol; but is incarnation was in appearance only, those who come to God through Christ, and that himself, in reality, neither suf- will bave boldness in the day of judgment, Ered nor died. That spirit which denies for the Judge bimself is also their Friend - contradicts Christ, either in his person and Saviour.
mission, is undoubtedly “ the spirit of ntichrist,” as being opposed to him, and
"Ob! for a heart in thought renew'd, onsequently the spirit of error" and of Isehoud.
And all'd with love divine ! The apostle now returns to his favourite Perfect, and right, and pure, and goodeme of divine love (ver. 10): “ Herein is
A copy, Lord, of thine!" Anon. ve; not that we [hirst] loved God, but
NOTEs. CHAP. V. Ver. 1. He that loveth him that beyat, ness. The probability is, that the passage was orireth him also, &c.-Love to a friend waturally en: ginally a marginal comment on the Spirit, the oders love towards his offspring.
water, and the blood;' and was introduced, by the Ter. 6. This is he that came by water and blood ignorance or the predilection of transcribers, into at is, he was baptised first by water, and then the text of the Vulgate Latin version. There is no blood, and in both cases did the Holy Spirit bear authority for it whatsoever in any manuscripts of the Eness. See Matt. jii. 17; xvii. 5; compare Note Greek original, except one, which is too modern to ver. 8, below. See also John xii. 28.
be of much value..... But it should be recollected. Per. 7. 8. There are three that bear record in that critical disquisition upon the authenticity of zren, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: any document, should be carried on with the most
these three are one." The evidence in favour of rigorous impartiality, and without either favour or - genuineness of these words is so inferior to that disfavour to particular doctrines which the document the opposite side, that the great majority of per migbt affect; that many who have denied the doc. s who have gone through the whole case (which trines of the Trinity and the divine nature of the o trifling labour), are satisfied of their spurious. Saviour, have adiniited the common reading of these