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4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
5 Beloved, thou dost faithfully whatfoever thou doft to the brethren, and to ftrangers;
4 MEZOTEрav TZTWY ४% εχω χαραν, iva 0186 τα εpex Teкva εν αλήθεια τε
5 Αγαπητέ, πιςον 201
εις ο εαν εργατή εις τες α δελφες και εις τες ξενες,
he gave them money to defray the expences of their journey among the Gentiles.-But be this as it may, it is evident that Caius had made himself remarkable among the Chriftians in that part of the world, for his many virtues. For the apottle made his proficiency in the Chriftian graces, the measure of that temporal profperity and health which he wished to him, not for his own fake alone, but for the benefit of the church. Wherefore, in the apoftie's with, there was a delicate infinuation, that if Caius's riches, of which he had made fo good an ufe, and his bodily health, were in proportion to his virtues, they would be very great, and the continuance of his life and health would be a fingular bleffing to the church.
Ver. 3.-1. For I rejoiced greatly. The connexion in which this verfe ftands with ver. 2. where the apoftle told Caius, that he prayed for him, teacheth us, that the moft proper expreffion of our joy for the happinefs and virtue of our friends, is to give thanks to God for the fame, and to pray that thefe bleffings may be continued to them.
2. When the brethren came. That
ξεχομένων is rightly rendered came, See proved, 2 John, ver. 7. note 1.- The brethren here fpoken of, feem to have been thofe mentioned ver 5. who having been fent by the apoftle, either to convert the Gentiles, or to water the Gentile churches already planted, had been hospitably entertained by Caius, and perhaps affitted by him with money and who, on their return to the apoitle, had in a meeting of the church over which he prefided, given an account of Caius's perfeverance in the true faith, and de clared the great kindness which he had fhewed to them, ver. 6. which was the more acceptable to them, as they had generously refolved to take nothing for their maintenance from the Gentiles, to whom they preached the gofpel.
3. And bare witness to thy truth. The apoftle emphatically terms Caius's joining works of charity, with faith in the doctrines of the gofpel, his truth. For there is no true faith without good works: It always produces good works; neither are any works good, but fuch as proceed from faith. The two joined, conftitute the truth of religion.
Ver. 4.-1. I have no greater joys than those which I have. In the new tranflation of this claufe I have fupplied the words, which I have: because the plural demonftrative pronoun 8 conftrued, as it must
4 I have no greater joys than those which I have, when I hear my difciples are walking in the true faith of the gofpel.
be, with forepay xagav, cannot be tranflated without the addition of thefe words.-Rich. Baxter's note on this verfe is good. "True. "minifters rejoice more for the welfare of men's fouls, than in their
procuring wealth and worldly honours." See 2 John, ver. 4. note 2. 2. When I hear. So iva answ must be translated. This use of in is thought by fome a peculiarity in John's ityle. See however, Eff. iv. 199.
5 Beloved, thou doft agreeably to the faith which thou profeffeft, what thou performeft for the brethren who are gone forth to preach the gospel, and for the frangers who aflift them in that good work.
3. My children. I think John, by reckoning Caius in the number of his children, means to tell us that Caius was converted by him. Others however are of opinion, that the apoftle gave to those who were under his inspection, the appellation of a Texx my children, to exprefs his tender affection to them, and his concern for their welfare. And in fupport of their opinion they obferve, that the term children, is used to exprefs affection, 1 John ii. But the terms used in that chapter are Tεxx μs, my little children, and waida, young children, which ftrongly exprefs affection. See 1 John ii. 1. note 1. Whereas here, ux Texva, my children, denotes fimply the relation of children to their father. Ver. 5-1 -1. Beloved, thou doft faithfully. Tisov πcias. Thou doft a faithful thing: a thing becoming a faithful perfon; or one who is a real believer.
2. What thou performeft for the brethren, and for the ftrangers. As the brethren are here diftinguished from the ftrangers, the brethren I fuppose were members of the church over which John prefided. Ac. cordingly it is faid of them, ver. 7. that they went forth from the place of their refidence, which I fuppofe was Éphefus or fome other city of Afia where John abode, to publish the name of Chrift as the Son of God to the Gentiles in those parts. And at their return from their firft journey, they bare witnefs to the faith and love of Caius in the prefence of the church from which they went forth. But the frangers were poor Chriftians who, as Heuman fuppofes, having been driven from their habitation by their perfecutors, had come to the city where Caius dwelt, in the hope of finding relief. And happening to meet the brethren there, they joined them in their firft journey among the Gentiles. To fhew how unfaithfully the Papifts have tranflated the fcriptures, Benfon takes notice that to give countenance to their VOL. VI. M
pilgrimages, they have, in fome of their verfions of this paffage, tranflated the claufe xa u Ts Evas and to pilgrims. With the fame view they have tranflated, vodono, 1 Tim. v. 10. If he hath lodged pilgrims. See another inftance, James v. 11. note.-Thefe examples fhew, of what importance, toward the faithful tranflation of the facred oracles, it is to give the true literal meaning of the words, as far as it can be done with propriety.
Ver. 6.-1. Thefe have borne teftimony to thy love, in the prefence, &c. Since the apoftle reprefents the ftrangers, as joining the brethren in bearing witnefs to Caius's love before the church, from which the brethren went forth to the Gentiles; alfo fince in ver. 7. thefe ftrangers are reprefented as having gone forth with the brethren to the Gentiles, it is probable, as was obferved in note 2. on ver. 5. that thefe ftrangers met the brethren in the city, or place, where Caius lived, and joined them in their journey to the Gentiles; and accompanied them, when they returned to the church from which they had come.
2. Whom if thou help forward on their journey. These brethren and ftrangers, it feemeth, propofed to undertake a fecond journey, or had undertaken it, for the purpofe of preaching to the Gentiles. The apoftle therefore requested Caius, ftill to affilt them in executing their pious refolution by entertaining them. For in the language of fcripture, to help forward on a journey, fignifies, not only to accompany a perfon in a part of his journey, Acts xxi. 5. but allo to furnish him with neceffaries for his journey, Tit. iii. 13.
Ver. 7.-1. Because for his name's fake they went forth. For the different interpretations of these words given by the ancient commenta. tors fee Pref. Sect. 3. par. 4.—I think these brethren and ttrangers were preachers, who had gone forth among the Gentiles for the fake of making known to them the name of Christ, that is, his character as the Son of God, and his office as Saviour of the world; because, as was observed, Pref. Sect. 3. par. 4. if these strangers had been merely
perfons in want, there was no reason for their not receiving affistance from the Gentiles, whether converted or unconverted.
2. Receiving nothing from the Gentiles. It is not clear whether the apostle meant the converted, or the unconverted Gentiles, or both. I am of opinion that he meant both; because if the brethren and the ftrangers were preachers, they may have prudently refolved to receive neither entertainment nor money from the Gentiles, left it might have marred the fuccefs of their preaching among them, when they found the reception of the gofpel attended with expence. This at leaft was the confideration which determined the apostle Paul to preach the gofpel gratis.-The commentators who think thefe brethren and ftrangers were fimply poor Chriftians who had been driven from their homes by their perfecutors, fuppofe that they received nothing from the unconverted Gentiles, left it might have given them occasion to say that there was no charity among the Chriftians.
Ver. 8. We therefore ought to entertain fuch. See Luke xv. 27. Galat. iv. 5. where Aroλaubave, fignifies, fimply to receive, which, in the language of the New Teftament, means to lodge and entertain a perfon in one's houfe; to keep company with him, as one whom we efteem. Wherefore the apoftle's fentiment in this precept is, that
9 I wrote unto the church;
but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us
10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating againft us with malicious words; and not content therewith, neither doth he
himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
9 Έγραψα τη εκκλησία αλλ ̓ ὁ φιλοπρωτεύων αὐτῶν & Διοτρεφης εκ επιδέχεται μας
IÓ Δια τετο, εάν ελθω, ὑπομνήσω αυτ8 τα εργα α α ποιεί, λογοις πονηροις φλυαρων ήμας" και μη αρκε μένω επί τέτοις, στε τος επιδέχεται τες αδελφες, και τες Ευλομενες κωλύει, και εκ της εκκλησιας εκβαλ λειο
fuch of the brethren as had not devoted themselves to the preaching of the gospel, but followed their ordinary occupations at home, were bound to contribute according to their ability toward the maintenance of those who went about preaching the gofpel. And to render his exhortation the more acceptable to them, he included himfelf in the exhortation: We ought to entertain fuch.-Benfon thinks Caius was a Jewish Chriftian, and that the apoftle's exhortation was directed particularly to Jewish believers, who if they contributed towards the fupport of those who preached the gofpel to the Gentiles, would thereby Thew their earneft defire of the converfion of the Gentiles.
Ver. 9.-1. I would have written to the church. Eygala ty xxλnoia. Six or feven MSS. read here sygala as, which is followed by the Vulgate; fcripfiffem. The fecond Syriac likewife and the Coptic verfions follow that reading, which I fuppofe is genuine; because if the common reading is retained, the particle a muft be fupplied; as is plain from what follows, where the apoftle, in apology for not writing to the church, adds, But Diotrephes, who loveth to rule them, doth not receive us; doth not acknowledge me as an apoftle. The letters which the apostles wrote to the churches were all fent to the bishops and elders in thefe churches, to be by them read to the people in their public affemblies. See Eff. ii. page 73. If Diotrephes was a bifhop or elder of the church to which John would have written, he might fufpect that that imperious arrogant man would have fuppreffed his letter: confequently to have written to a church of which he had ufurped the fole government, would have anfwered no good purpose. -The tranflation of this claufe in our English Bible reprefents the apostle as faying that he had written a letter, which is now loft. This to fome may appear a difficulty. But the tranflation I have given, which is fupported by feveral MSS. and by the Vulgate version, obviates that difficulty,