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Farther, wicked men are faid, 2 Tim. ii. 26. To be held in the fnare of the devil.-And Ephef. vi. 11. He is faid to ufe crafty methods for the deftruction of mankind.-And 2 Cor. xi. 3. He is faid to have beguiled Eve by his fubtilty.—And Coloff. i. 13. believers are said to be delivered from the power of darkness, and tranflated into the kingdom of his beloved Son. See the notes on 2 Cor. iv. 4. and on Ephef. ii. 2.- -Becauf Homer ufes the word xara, to denote the bodies of men lying on the ground flain, Doddridge thinks the apoftle, by ufing that word here, represents the wicked men of the world as lying flain by the devil, to give us an affecting idea of the miferable and helplefs ftate of mankind fallen by the ftroke of that malicious mercilefs enemy.
Vei, 20.-1. Hath given us understanding, that we might know the true God. In the tranflation of this claufe I have fupplied the word God from the end of the verfe, not only because it is found in the Alexan◄ drian MS. and in the Vulgate, verfion, but because the sense of the paffage requires it.-In the Vulgate, this verfe is tranflated as follows, Et dedit nobis fenfum ut cognofcamus verum Deum, et fimus in vero filio cjus s Hic eft verus Deus, et vita eterna. And hath 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 tranflation was made, read here, Τον αληθινού Θεού, και ωμεν εν τῷ αληθινῳ εστι
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. A
21 Τέκνια, φυλαξατε ἑ Eαυτους άπο των ειδώλων. Αμην.
z. This is the true God. Because the perfon last mentioned in what goes before, is Jefus Chrift, many commentators and theologians contend, that the demonftrative pronoun duros, ftands here for Jefus Chrift, and that he is the perfon who is called the true God. But as pronouns often denote the remote antecedent, when the circumstances of the cafe require them to be so understood, (Eff iv 63.) others are of opinion that duros, in this paffage, refers not to Jefus Christ the near antecedent, but to torandior, the true one, or true God, whom the Son of God had given the Chriftians understanding to know. And this opinion they think probable, because, if the apoftle by autos, means Jefus Christ, he maketh him the true God, notwithstanding in the fentence which immediately precedes duros, he diftinguisheth the true one, from his Son 7efus Chrift ; Και εσμεν εν τῳ αληθινῳ, εν τῷ ὕσῳ αυτ8 Ιησε Χρισῳ : 'And we are under the true one, under his Son Jefus Chrift Now, although our tranflators have deftroyed that diftinction, and have made Jefus Chrift the true God, by inferting the word even, in their translation between the two claufes of the fentence, in this manner, And we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jefus Chrift; yet as they have inferted that word without the authority of any ancient MS. the critics who make duros refer, not to Jefus Chrift, but to roy annoy, think their opinion ought to have no weight in a matter of fuch importance.- Glaffius, Philolog Sacr. p. 714. tells us that Athanafius in the council of Nice, difputing against Arius, called this text of Jolin, a written demonflration and added, That as Chrift faid of the Father, John xvii. 3. This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, fo John faid of the Son, This is the true God and eternal life: And that Arius then acquiefced in this written demonftration, and confeffed the Son of God to be the true God. For thefe facts Glaffius appeals to Athanafij Oper. Tom. 3. p. 705.
21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
21 Dear children, keep yourselves. from worfhipping falle gods and images. Now to fhew my fincerity in this, and in all the things I have written to you, I conclude the whole with an Amen.
Ver. 21. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. For the meaning of the word Eldonwy idols. See 1 Cor. viii. 4. note 2.- -The apoftle cautioned his difciples againft going with the heathens into the temples of their idol gods, to eat of their feafts upon the facrifices which they offered to these gods, and againft being prefent at any act of worship which they paid to them, because, by being prefent at the worship of idols, they participated in that worship; as is plain from what St. Paul hath written on that subject. 1 Cor. viii. and x.-The exhortation to the brethren to keep themfelves from idols, fheweth that this epiftle was intended for the converted Gentiles every where, as well as for the Jews in Judea to whom I fuppose it was first sent.
SECT. I. Of the Authenticity of John's Three Epiftles. THE internal evidence of the authenticity of the three
epiftles commonly afcribed to John, having been explained in the preface to the first epistle, fect. 2. this section shall be employed in setting before the reader what is called the external evidence, arifing from the teftimony of contemporary, and of succeeding authors, who speak of these epiftles as written by John the apostle.
Lardner on the Canon, vol. iii. p. 262. hath fhewed, That the first epistle of John is referred to by Polycarp, and by the martyrs of Lyons;-That his first and fecond epiftles are quoted by Irenæus, and were received by Clemens of Alexandria;-That Origen faith, "John, befide the Gospel and Re"velation, hath left us an epistle of a few lines: Grant also a VOL. VI. K "fecond