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17 All unrighteousness is sin and there is a sin not unto death.
18 We know that who
soever is born of God sinneth not: but he that is:
begotten of God keepeth
17 Πασα αδικια ἁμαρτια Και εςιν ἁμαρτια του
3. If the elder's anointing the sick with oil, and his praying over them the prayer of faith, be a sacrament, the person to whom it is dispensed, must not only receive the eternal pardon of all his sins, but he must also be immediately raised up to health by the Lord; for that grace is as expressly promised, James v. 15. to follow the anointing of the sick with oil and the pray. ing over him, as the forgiveness of the sins which he hath committed.-To avoid this consequence, the Papists affirm, that the raising up of the sick to health is conditional, depending on its being expedient for the glory of God, and for the good of the sick person himself. But to this it is answered, as before, That to the raising up of the sick nothing is required but anointing and prayer.-Granting, however, for argument's sake, that expediency as well as repentance, is tacitly implied as the condition on which the sick are to be raised up to health, the Papists ought to shew how it hath come to pass, that, of the multitudes to whom their sacrament of unction and prayer hath been dispensed in their dying moments, so few have been raised up to health by the Lord. Hath this happened, because hitherto the Lord hath not seen it expedient to raise up many of them to health, notwithstanding that grace is as expressly promised to follow the anointing of the sick, and the elder's prayer for their recovery, as the forgiveness of their sins? Or, hath this happened, because of those, to whom their sacrament of extreme unction hath been dispensed, few have been sincere penitents? I suppose the Papists will affirm neither of these, as they would be a great dishonour to their church. And therefore, till they produce some satisfactory reason for God's not raising up the sick, now as anciently, according to his promise, after they have been anointed and prayed for by the priest, we must believe that these rites are not a sacrament to which the graces of pardon and salvation are annexed.
The foregoing three arguments demonstrate, that the anointing of the sick with oil and the praying for their recovery, were not appointed as a permanent office in the church, which every priest may perform, and every professing Christian who is sick may demand, as the effectual means of procuring the plenary pardon of his sins.-These rights were peculiar to the first age, being appointed, not for procuring an eternal pardon of sins to the sick, but a miraculous recovery from some mortal disease which had been inflicted on them as the temporal punishment of their sins. And no person could minister these rites with efficacy, except those who had the gift of healing diseases miraculously. The directions therefore which the
17 All unrighteousness is sin. 1 (Kal, 205.) But there is a sin not unto death.
18 We know that whoever hath been begotten of God doth not sin, (anna, 78.) because He who is be
17 Every unrighteous action is sin, and merits death; but there are sins which, because they are not committed presumptuously, nor continued in, will not be punished with temporal death.
18 We know that whoever hath been begotten of God, (chap. ii. 29. note.) doth not sin habitually, (chap. ii. 6. note 1.) because he who is be
apostles have given concerning these rites, were not intended for the instruction of the ministers of religion in every age, but merely to teach those who in the first age were endowed with the gift of healing diseases miraculously, in what cases and for what ends they were to exercise that gift. See the preceding note 2.
Here a saying, which Bengelius hath quoted from Whitaker, may be introduced as a fit conclusion of this important controversy. Let them, saith he, anoint with oil who can procure health for the sick, and let those, who cannot, abstain from the vain symbol.
5. There is a sin unto death. From the account of the sin not unto death, given in note 1. the reader will easily perceive that the sin unto death, is a sin obstinately continued in, or at least not particularly repented of, the punishment of which is therefore to end in the sinner's death. This the spiritual man knowing, by his not being inwardly moved of the Holy Ghost to pray for his recovery, the apostle in the subsequent clause forbade him, in such a case, to ask it of God.
6. I do not say concerning it, that he should ask. Doddridge, who understands this of our praying for repentance and pardon in behalf of obstinate sinners, thinks the apostle's meaning is, I do not say, that he should pray with a full assurance of being heard. But as there is neither precept nor example in scripture, authorizing us to pray for pardon to obstinate sinners, the only thing we can pray for in their behalf is, that God would grant them repentance. And if he heareth us in that request, their pardon will follow. On this subject Doddridge's reflection is both pious and benevolent. "Let "us not," saith he, "too soon pronounce the case of a sinner hopeless; but "rather subject ourselves to the trouble of some fruitless attempts to re"claim him, than omit any thing where there may be a possibility of suc"ceeding."
Ver. 17.—1. All unrighteousness is sin. By unrighteousness, the apostle means, every thing by which our neighbour is injured: and by sin, a violation of the law of God. See chap. iii. 4.-Perhaps by making this observation here, apostle intended intimate to the sick sinner, that to render his repentance sincere, restitution must be made to every one whom he hath injured by his unrighteousness: in which case his sin, as the apostle adds, will not be unto death.
Ver. 18.1. And the wicked one doth not bold him, namely in subjection ; for απτεν signifies to hold fast, as well as to touch. Thus John xx. 17. Mu με απτε, Hold me not ; for I do not yet ascend to my Father. Moreover, to touch signifies, to hurt. John ix. 19. 2 Sam. xiv. 10. 1 Chron. xvi. 22. and even to destroy, Job i. 11.-The Syriac version of this clause is Malus non appropinquat ei.-The devil is called the evil, or wicked one, by way of eminence, because he entertains the greatest malice towards mankind, and is indefatigable in his endeavours to ruin as many of them as he can.
Ver. 19.-1. We know that we are begotten of God. In the original it is, we know that we are × 78 9. But the expression being elliptical must be completed from ver. 18. by supplying γεγεννημενοι, as I have done in the translation. See chap. iii. 12. note 1.
2. But the whole world lieth under the wicked one. Here as in chap. ii. 16. note 1. the world signifies, not the material fabric of the world, but the wicked men of the world. Wherefore, the whole world, denotes all the idolaters, infidels, and wicked men of the world, who having made themselves the subjects of the devil, it may be said of them, that εν τῷ πονηρῳ κεῖται, they lie under the wicked one; they are under his dominion : just as it is said of believers in the next verse, that they are ἐν τῷ αληθινῳ, εν τῷ ὑτῷ, in or under the true God by being under bis Son, See 1 Thess. i. 1. note.-The power of the devil in this lower world, and over its inhabitants, is often spoken of in scripture. Thus Ephes. ii. 2. He is called the prince of the power of the air, the spirit which now inwardly worketh in the children of disobedience.—2 Corinth. iv. 4. he is called The God of this world, and is said to blind the minds of the unbelievers.—1 Pet. v. 8. He is called our adversary, and is said to be going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may swallow up.-Far
ther, wicked men are said, 2 Tim. ii. 26. To be held in the snare of the devil.-And Ephes. vi. 11. He is said to use crafty methods for the destruction of mankind.-And 2 Cor. xi. 3. He is said to have beguiled Eve by his subtilty.—And Coloss. i. 13. believers are said to be delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of his beloved Son. See the notes on 2 Cor. iv. 4. and on Ephes. ii. 2.-Because Homer uses the word kural, to denote the bodies of men lying on the ground slain, Doddridge thinks the apostle, by using that word here, represents the wicked men of the world as lying slain by the devil, to give us an affecting idea of the miserable and helpless state of mankind fallen by the stroke of that malicious merciless enemy.
Ver. 20.-1. Hath given us understanding, that we might know the true God. In the translation of this clause I have supplied the word God from the end of the verse, not only because it is found in the Alexandrian MS. and in the Vulgate version, but because the sense of the passage requires it.—In the Vulgate, this verse is translated as follows, Et deait nobis sensum ut cognoscamus verum Deum, et simus in vero filio ejus: Hic est verus Deus, et vita eterna. And bath given us understanding that we might know the true God, and might be in his true Son: This is the true God and life eternal. It seems the copy from which the Vulgate translation was made, read here, Τον αληθινον θεον, και ωμεν εν τῷ αληθινό ύπο αυτό.
21 Little children, keep
21 Τεχνιά, φυλαξατε ἑαυyourselves from idols τους απο των ειδωλων. Αμην.
2. This is the true God. Because the person last mentioned in what goes before, is Jesus Christ, many commentators and theologians contend, that the demonstrative pronoun duros, stands here for Jesus Christ, and that he is the person who is called the true God. But as pronouns often denote the remote antecedent, when the circumstances of the case require them to be so understood, (Ess. iv. 63.) others are of opinion that duros, in this passage, refers not to Jesus Christ the near antecedent, but to rov anndwov, the true one, or true God, whom the Son of God had given the Christians understanding to know. And this opinion they think probable, because, if the apostle by ivros, means Jesus Christ, he maketh him the true God, notwithstanding in the sentence which immediately precedes ivros, he distinguisheth the true one, from his Son Jesus Christ; Και ἐσμεν ἐν τῷ annDiver, ev te vla aurs Inos Xgis: And we are under the true one, under his Son Jesus Christ. Now, although our translators have destroyed that distinction, and have made Jesus Christ the true God, by inserting the word even, in their translation between the two clauses of the sentence, in this manner, And we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ; yet as they have inserted that word without the authority of any ancient MS. the critics who make duros refer, not to Jesus Christ, but to rov anndivov, think their opinion ought to have no weight in a matter of such importance.— Glassius, Philolog. Sacr. p. 714. tells us, that Athanasius in the council of