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their difciples. John fpake in the fame manner concerning Caius. 3 Epift. ver. 3. And Paul concerning his converts, Philip. iv. 1. i Theff. iii. 9.

Ver. 5.--1. Now I befeech tiee lady. This fort of addrefs fuiteth a particular perfon, better than a whole church confifting of many individuals, to which, in the opinion of fome, this letter was directed. See Pref. Sect. 2.

' 2. Not as writing to thee a new commandment. The apottle doth not fpeak of a new commandment, in the fenfe in which our Lord used that phrafe, when he faid to his difciples, John viii. 34. A new commandment I give to you, that ye love one another: as I have loved

that ye


alfa love one another. See 1 John ii. 8. note 1. But his meaning is,

either, that the commandment to love one another which he gave to this lady, was not a commandment which had never been delivered to the church before; or, that it was not a commandment peculiar to the gofpel. The firft of these I take to be the apoftle's meaning; as he tells this lady, that the difciples of Christ had had this commandment delivered to them from the beginning.

3. But that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. In inculcating this commandment fo frequently and fo carnestly in all his writings, John fhewed himfelf, not only a faithful apottle of Chrift, but a perfon of an excellent heart. His own breaft being full of love to mankind, he wished to promote that amiable difpofition in


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all the difciples of Jefus. See the conclufion, at the end of this epiftle.

Ver. 6.-1. This is the love, that we walk according to his commandments. Moft commentators think John is here defcribing the love mentioned in the preceding verfe, namely the love which Chriftians owe to each other. But, fince he tells us that the love of which he now speaketh, confifts in the keeping of God's commandments, he must mean the love of God: for he delivers the fame fentiment, 1 John v. 3. This is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.

2. This is the commandment; that is, the commandment by way of eminence. Wherefore, though the apoftle doth not tell us what this commandment is, yet by calling it the commandment, he certainly directeth us to God's great commandment to obey his beloved Son Je fus Chrift, whom he sent into the world made flesh, to save finners. To this interpretation, the reafon affigned by the apostle in the next verfe, for putting the difciples in mind of God's commandment, agreeth for many deceivers are entered into the world, &c. :

3. Even

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και τον υιον εχει.

10 Ει τις ερχεται προς ύμας, και ταυτην την διδασ χην 8 φέρει, μη λαμβανετε αυτον εις οικίαν, και χαιρειν αυτῷ μη λέγετε.

3. Even as ye have heard from the beginning, that ye may wall in it. The apoftle having, from the beginning of the gofpel, declared itto be God's commandment to obey Chrift, John might well tell his dif. ciples, that they had heard it preached from the beginning in order that they might conftantly obey it.

Ver. 7.-1. Η ho do not confefs Jefus Chrift did come in the fleft. Ερχόμενον being the participle of the imperfe&t of the indicative, is rightly tranflated did come: for Jefus Chrift was not on earth in the flesh when John wrote this; as the tranflation in our Bible, is come, imports. He had come in the flesh, but was gone For which reason no tranflation of this claufe, which reprefenteth Jefus Christ as then prefent, can be jult. Beza, in his note on ερχόμενον, after obferving that it is not the participle of the prefent but of the imperfect tense, tells us, that this participle is ufed in innumerable places for the aorift : and gives as an example, 3 John, ver. 3. where ερχομενων is put for ελθόντων, and is rendered accordingly, even by our tranflators; auben the brethren came.- In the Vulgate verfion of the verfe under our confideration, ερχόμενον is rightly tranflated veniffe.

2. This is the deceiver, and the antichrift. Notwithftanding thefe appellations are in the fingular number, they do not denote any par ticular falfe teacher, but a number of fuch; as is plain from the precedent claufe, where it is faid many deceivers are entered into the world. Perhaps the apostle ufed the fingular number emphatically, to lead this lady to recollect our Lord's prediction concerning the falle teachers who were to arife. See 1 John ii. 13. note 3. iv. 3.

note 2.

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8 Keep yourselves from thefe deceivers, that we who have converted you, may not, by your following them, life our labour, but by prefenting you faultlefs at the day of judgment, may receive our reward complete.

9 Whofoever goeth beyond, and doth not abide in the doctrine taught by Chrift and his apoftles, (fee 1 John ii. 23. note.) acknowledgeth not God. He who clofely adheres to the doctrine taught by Christ and his apostles, the fame acknowledgeth the authority both of the Father and of the Son, who have confirmed that doctrine in the most ample manner.

10 If any teacher come to you, and do not bring this doctrine, that Jefus Chrift the Son of God did come in the flesh to save mankind, do not receive him into your house, nor exprefs your approbation of him by giving him the common falutation.

Ver. 8.-1. Look to yourselves. BAETTETE, Look attentively to yourfelves, and to thofe around you, that they may not by any crafty methods, feduce you into the paths of error and vize.

2. That we may not lose the things which we have wrought. Five of Stephen's MSS. the Alexandrian and other MSS. the Vulgate, the fecond Syriac, and the Ethiopic verfions, for awоhowμer à upyaσxμda read here, awoneonte à ugyaσace that ye may not lose the things which ye have wrought. Grotius faith, this agrees better, than the common reading, with what goeth before.

3. But may receive a full reward. The elect lady and her children were to take heed to themselves, for this among other reafons, that the apoftles who had converted them, might not lofe that part of their reward which is promifed to them who turn others to righteouínefs. Dan. xii. 3. And even, although no particular reward were promifed to those who are inftrumental in converting others, certainly, by the apoftafy of their difciples, fuch will lofe the joy which their perfeverance in faith and holiness would give them, See Heb. xiii. 7.-The perfon, who was to receive a full reward, in confequence of this lady and her children's looking to themselves, is the apoftle: For if the others apoftatized, they would receive no reward at all.

Ver. 9. Whofoever goeth beyond, and doth not abide in the doctrine of Chrift. Tagaßawwv. This word fignifies, to pafs over, in any di rection the bounds which are prefcribed to a perfon. Now, as the


11 Ὁ γαρ λέγων αὐτῷ χαίρειν, κοινωνει τοις εργοις αυτ8 τοις πονηροις.

II For he that biddeth him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds.

12 Having many things. to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink; but I truft to come un

to you, and fpeak face to face, that our joy may be full.

12 Πολλα ἔχων ὑμῖν gape, 82 4682nd nu dia харту και μελανθ' αλλά ελπιζω ελθειν προς ύμας, και ςομα προς ςομα λαλησαι, ἵνα ἡ χαρα ἡμων η πεπληρωμενη.

doctrine of Chrift is contained within certain limits, he who teacheth a different doctrine goeth beyond these limits. And to make this plain the apoftle adds, And doth not abide in the doctrine of Christ. Wherefore, the perfon who either neglecteth to teach any part of the doctrine of Chrift, or who teacheth what is not the doctrine of Christ, is equally culpable, and doth not acknowledge God.-The doctrine of Chrift which the apoftle had in his view here, I fuppofe, is the doctrine concerning Chrift, that he is the Son of God fent into the world made flesh, to fave mankind, See 1 John ii. 23.

Ver. 10.-1. If any one come to you, and doth not bring this do&rine, namely, the doctrine mentioned in the preceding verfe. Here, more is meant than is expreffed. For the apoftle, in this foft expreffion, condemned those who brought, or taught a contrary doctrine.- From this precept it appears, that when those who profeffed to be the difciples of Chrift, came to any place where they were not known to the brethren who refided there, nor were recommended to them by fome with whom they were acquainted, they made themselves known to them as the real disciples of Chrift, by declaring their faith. It is neceffary to call the reader's attention to this cuftom, because it fhews the propriety of the apoftle's advice to this pious lady and her child


See the following note.

2. Do not receive him into your house. In the eastern countries, where there were no inns for the entertainment of travellers as with us, to receive and entertain ftrangers in one's houfe, was confidered, either as a duty which triends mutually owed to each other, or as the beginning of a lafting friendship. But after the inhabitants of thefe countries became Chriftians, they exercifed hofpitality to their ftranger brethren from a ftill nobler principle, efpecially when these strangers were employed in fpreading the gofpel. For in that cafe, love to Chrift and a regard to his religion, itrongly moved them to thefe kind offices, See Rom. xii. 8. note 5.-From the example of Apollos mentioned Acts xviii. 27 and from what is infinuated 2 Cor. iii. 1. concerning the false teachers who had come from Judea to Corinth, it


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