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Julian Pe in him; and he that does not conform himself to his Asia Minor. riod, 4799.

Image, has no reason to expect the eternal Life obtained Vulgar Æra, 96.

through Christ.

1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat, loveth him also that is begotten of him.

2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments : and his commandments are not grievous.

4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world : and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one

8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood : and these three agree in one.

9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater : for this is the witness of God, which he hath testified of his Son.

10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God, hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life.


§ 12. 1 JOHN v. 13, to the end.
St. John writes these things to them, that they may ascer-

tain whether they have the Witness of the Spirit within
themselves by the Regeneration it produces, and that they
may continue in the Faith of the Son of God. And this is
the great Privilege of their Faith ; that if they pray for
any thing which is consistent with the revealed Will of
God God will hear them, and grant their Petitions!

38 The arguments of Mr. Nolan, and of the present Bisbop of Salisbury, convince me that this passage is genuine.

708 APOSTACY, THE SIN NOT TO BE PRAYED FOR. Julian Pe any Man see his Brother afflicted for a Sin of Infirmity Asia Minor, riod, 4799.

or Ignorance, he shall pray to God for his Pardon and Valgar Æra, 96.

RestorationBut there is a Sin unto Deaththe Sin of

A postacy from Christianity, or a total and wilful Rejec-
tion of it, which it is useless to pray for, for such Offen-
ders renounce the only Condition of Salvation-Every
unrighteous Action is Šin; being a Violation of the Lan
of God, and merits temporal Deathbut those Sins which
are not presumptuous and wilful, should be interceded
for, and on Repentance a Pardon may be hoped for-
Those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit do not
continue in Sin, being preserved by Divine Grace from
the Assaults of the Devil, so that they are not enslaved
by himChristians are assured by the Influences of the
Spirit that they are born of God; but the World (unre-
generate and wicked Men) are still lying wounded and
slain under the Dominion of the Wicked One-But Chris-
tians know that the Son of God came in the Flesh, and
hath given them a spiritual Understanding, that they may
have the knowledge of the true God, and be united to
him through Jesus Christ, who partakes of the proper
Deity of his Father, and imparts to those who are united
to him through his Spirit eternal Life-On this account
he exhorts them as beloved Children to keep themselves
from A postacy, or any false Worship, and from every
thing that would alienate their Affections and Worship
from the true God, who can preserve them to eternal Life.

13 These things have I written unto you that believe
on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that
ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name
of the Son of God.

14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth


15 And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

16 If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not
unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for
them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death :
I do not say that he shall

pray for it.
17 All unrighteousness is sin : and there is a sin not
unto death.

18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth
not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and
that wicked one toucheth him not.

19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

Julian Pe 20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and Asia Minor.
riod, 4799. hath given us an understanding, that we may know him
Vulgar Æra,
96. that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his

Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

St. John writes this Epistle to caution a Christian Mother

and her Children against the Seductions and pernicious
Errors of the false Teachers, supposed to be a Sect of
the Gnostics 39.

39 The second and third epistles of John may be regarded as an epitome of the first epistle, containing very little which is not to be found in the former.

The thoughts and style of both are so similar to those of the first epistle, that almost all critics attribute them to St. John; and supposc in all probability they were written about the same time as that epistle. Various roasons have been assigned to account for the doubts entertained of their authenticity by the primitive Church. Michaelis thinks they originated from the address, in which the author neither calls himself John, nor assumes the title of an apostle, but simply names bimself the “ elder” (ò apsolutepos); which title the apostle John migbt with great propriety assume, as by reason of his great age, he was probably the only remaining 'apostle. It is however most probable, that, being letters to private persons, they had been kept by the descendants of the families to whom they were written, and were not discovered till long after the apostle's decease. In which case, on their first discovery, all the immediate vouchers for their genuineness must have departed this life; and the Church of Christ, vigilantly on its guard against imposture, hesitated to receive them into the number of canonical Scriptures, until it was fully ascertained that they were divinely inspired.

The second epistle is cited by Irenæus, and received by Cle. mens of Alexandria. Origen mentions all three epistles, and remarks that the second and third were not allowed to be ge. nuine by all persons. Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, speaks of them as being ascribed to St. John. The second epistle was quoted by Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria; and the three cpistles were received by Athanasius, by Cyril of Jerusalem, by Epiphanius, by Jerome, by Ruffinus, and all those writers who received the same canon of the New Testament that we do.

Commentators are greatly divided respecting the person to whom the second epistle is addressed.

Some suppose it to have been written to an individual, others to some particular Church.

Archbisbop Newcome, Wakefield, Macknigbt, and the translators of our authorized version, make eklektñ to be an adjective, and render the inscription “ to the elect (or excellent, or chosen) Lady;" the Vulgate version, Clemens of Alexandria, Calmet, Wolf, and Wetsteip, consider Erdekti to be a proper name, and translate it, “ To the Lady Electa ;" Schleusner, Rosenmüller, and Benson, take Kupta to be a proper pame, and the epistle to be addressed to Kyria the Elect. Michaelis supposes Kupia to be an ellipsis of



Juliao Pe-
§ 13. 2 JOHN 1-3.

Asia Minor. riod, 4799. Vulgar Æra,

The Salutation. 96.

1 The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth ; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth;

2 For the truth's sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.

3 Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesụs Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

Kupra Exklnoua, which, among the ancient Greeks, signified an
assembly of the people held at a stated time, and was held at
Athens three times in every month ; and that, since the sacred
writers adopted the term Exkinola, from its civil use among the
Greeks, Kupla Ekranoia might here mean the stated assembly of
the Christians, held every Sunday; and thus tñ EKNEKTĪ Rupla,
with ekkinoia, understood, would signify, “ To the elect
church or community which comes together on Sundays." He
acknowledges, however, at the same time, that he cannot pro.
duce any instance of such ellipsis. Of these various bypo-
theses, that of Beza, which establishes the authorized transla-
tion, appears the most probable. He observes, in his note on
the inscription, “Some think Eclecta a proper name, which I
do not approve, because in thaŲ case the order of the words
would have been Kvpia Exlektñ, to the Lady Eclecta. Others
think this name denotes the Christian Church in general. But
that is disapproved, first, by its being a manner of speaking al.
together unusual ; secondly, by the apostle's expressly promis-
ing in the two last verses to come to her and her children ;
thirdly, by sending to her the salutation of her sister, whom he
also calls Eclecta. I therefore think this epistle was inscribed
to a woman of eminence, of whom there were some here and
there, who supported the church with their wealth, and that he
called her Elect, that is, excellent, and gare her the title of
Kupia, Lady, just as St. Luke gave to Theophilus, and St. Paul
gave to Festus, the title of Kpatiotos, most excellent. For the
Christian religion doth not forbid such honourable titles to be
given, wben they are due.”

Macknight thinks this epistle was written to confute the
errors. of Basilides, which were propagated by his followers, in
the latter. end of the first century. These false teachers affirm-
ed, that Christ was a man in appearance only, consequently
that his death and sufferings were not real; but only in appear.
ance. Therefore, as this doctrine concerning the person
of Christ, did away entirely with his atonement, and vicarious
sacrifice, John particularly cautions this lady and her children
against receiving into her house those teachers who taught it,
(ver. 7.) that they might not be exposed to their licentiousness,
or the danger of being deceived by them, or assist them in
spreading their errors. It is uncertain where this lady lived
but as the apostle mentions his intention of visiting her soon, it
is conjectured she resided near Ephesus, from which place this
letter was written. Some suppose the Elect Lady was dea-
coness of some church, at whose house it is probable the apos-
tles and evangelists were hospitably provided for and accommo-
dated, in their different journies,

Julian Pe-
§ 14. 2 JOHN 4, to the end.

Asia Minor. riod, 4779. Valgar&ra, The Apostle mentions his Joy at finding some of her Chil96.

dren conducting themselves according to the pure Docs
trines of the Gospel-He exhorts her to Christian Love,
not as in obedience to a Command never before deli,
vered, but to a Command which was given from the very
Beginning, and which the Apostles constantly preached

-The great Proof of Love to God is Obedience and
Conformity to his Commands; and this is the great
Commandment, that they should believe in Him whom God
hath sent (John vi. 19.)—These Doctrines were preached
to them from the Beginning, that they might have proper
Motives and Principles for their Love and Obedience
It is now particularly necessary to remind them of these,
because many Deceivers are gone out into the World, who
deny that Jesus Christ had come in the Flesh, regarding
his Death and Suffering as Appearances, and not as
RealitiesEvery Teacher who teaches such Doctrine is
the false Prophet, and the Antichrist, foretold by Jesus
Christ (1 John ii. 18.)He therefore beseeches the
elect Lady and her children, not to be deceived by
them-Whoever transgresses by teaching other Doc-
trines than those taught by Christ and his Apostles,
hath no Communion with God as their Father-But
he that continues in these Doctrines, hath Communion
with God as his Father, and the Son of God as his
Saviour-Any Teacher who holds not the Doctrine,
that Christ came and suffered in the Flesh for Man, is
not to be received into the House, nor Salutations of good
Success offered to himFor he that treats such as a
Christian Brother, by giving him Protection and Encou-
ragement, accredits his Ministry, and becomes a Par-
taker of the Mischief he may commit.

4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walk-
ing in truth, as we have received a commandment from
the Father.

5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.

6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who' confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.

8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

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