Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

mind of God's commandment, agreeth: for many deceivers are entered into the world, &c.

3. Even as ye have beard from the beginning, that ye may walk in it. The apostle having, from the beginning of the gospel, declared it to be God's commandment to obey Christ, John might well tell his disciples, that they bad beard it preached from the beginning in order that they might constantly obey it.

Ver. 7.1. Who do not confess Jesus Christ did come in the flesh. Ερχομενον being the participle of the imperfect of the indicative, is rightly translated did come for Jesus Christ was not on earth in the flesh when John wrote this; as the translation in our Bible, is come, imports. He bad come in the flesh, but was gone. For which reason no translation of this clause, which representeth Jesus Christ as then present, can be just. Beza, in his note on ερχόμενον, after observing that it is not the participle of the present but of the imperfect tense, tells us, that this participle is used in innumerable places for the aorist: and gives as an example, 3 John, ver. 3. where ερχομένων is put for ελθόντων, and is rendered accordingly, even by our translators; when the brethren came.—In the Vulgate version of the verse under our consideration, ερχόμενον is rightly translated venisse.

2. This is the deceiver, and the antichrist. Notwithstanding these appellations are in the singular number, they do not denote any particular false teacher, but a number of such; as is plain from the precedent clause, where it is aid many aeceivers are entered into the world. Perhaps the apostle used the singular number emphatically, to lead this lady to recollect our Lord's prediction concerning the false teachers who were to arise. See 1 Jehn ii. 18. note 3. iv. 3. note 2.

Look to yourselves1 that we may not lose THE THINGS which we have wrought, but may receive a full reward. 3

9

Whosoever (cepceCavay) goeth beyond, and doth not abide in the doctrine of Christ,1 acknowledgeth not God. He who abideth in the doctrine of Christ, the same acknowledgeth both the Father and the Son. (See 1 John v. 12. note.)

10 If any one come to you, and do not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into YOUR house2 nor wish him happiness.3

8 Keep yourselves from these deceivers, that we who have converted you, may not, by your following them, lose our labour, but, by presenting you faultless at the day of judgment, may receive our reward complete.

9 Whosoever goeth beyond, and doth not abide in the doctrine taught by Christ and his apostles, (see 1 John ii. 23. note.) acknowledgeth not God. He who closely adheres to the doctrine taught by Christ and his apostles, the same 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 Jesus Christ the Son of God did come in the flesh to save mankind, do not receive him into your house, nor express your approbation of him by giving him the common salutation.

Ver. 8.-1. Look to yourselves. Brewere, Look attentively to yourselves, and to those around you, that they may not by any crafty methods, seduce you into the paths of error and vice.

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 second Syriac, and the Ethiopic versions, for απολέσωμεν ά ειργασάμεθα read here, απολέσητε ά ειργασασθε that ye may not lose the things which ye have wrought. Grotius saith, 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 reasons, that the apostles who had converted them, might not lose that part of their reward which is promised to them who turn others to righteousness. Dan. xii. 3. And even, although no particular reward were promised to those who are instrumental in converting others, certainly, by the apostasy of their disciples, such will lose the joy which their perseverance in faith and holiness would give them, See Heb. xiii. 17.-The person, who was to receive a full reward, in consequence of this lady and her children's looking to themselves, is the apostle: For if the others apostatized, they would receive no reward at all.

11 For he that biddeth

'0

11 Ὁ γαρ λεγων αυτῷ him God speed, is partaker χαιρειν, κοινωνει τοις εργοις αυτου τοις πονηροις.

of his evil deeds.

12 Πολλα εχων ὑμῖν γραουκ ηβουλήθην δια χαρτου και μελανος· αλλα ελπιζω ελθειν προς ὑμας,

φειν,

και ςομα προς ςομα λαλησαι, ἵνα ἡ χαρα ἡμων ῃ πεπληρωμένη.

12 Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink; but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full.

[ocr errors]

Ver. 9.-1. Whosoever goeth beyond, and doth not abide in the doctrine of Christ. Пagaßasov. This word signifies, to pass over, in any direction, the bounds which are prescribed to a person. Now, as the doctrine of Christ is contained within certain limits, he who teacheth a different doctrine goeth beyond these limits. And to make this plain the apostle adds, And doth not abide in the doctrine of Christ. Wherefore, the person who either neglecteth to teach any part of the doctrine of Christ, or who teacheth what is not the doctrine of Christ, is equally culpable, and doth not acknowledge God.-The doctrine of Christ which the apostle had in his view here, I suppose, is the doctrine concerning Christ, that he is the Son of God sent into the world made flesh, to ve mankind, See 1 John ii. 23.

Ver. 10.-1. If any one come to you, and doth not bring this doctrine, namely, the doctrine mentioned in the preceding verse. Here, more is meant than is expressed. For the apostle, in this soft expression, condemned those who brought, or taught a contrary doctrine.-From this precept it appears, that when those who professed to be the disciples of Christ, came to any place where they were not known to the brethren who resided there, nor were recommended to them by some with whom they were acquainted, they made themselves known to them as the real disciples of Christ, by declaring their faith. It is necessary to call the reader's attention to this custom, because it shews the propriety of the apostle's advice to this pious lady and her children. 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 strangers in one's house, was considered, either as a duty which friends mutually owed to each other, or as the beginning of a lasting friendship. But after the inhabitants of these countries became Christians, they exercised hospitality to their stranger brethren from a still nobler principle, especially when these strangers were employed in spreading the gospel. For in that case, love to Christ and a regard to his religion, strongly moved them to these kind offices, See Rom. xii. 8. note 5.-From the example of Apollos mentioned Acts xviii. 27. and from what is insinuated, 2 Cor. iii. 1. concerning the false teachers who had come from Judea to Corinth, it

11 For he who wisheth him happiness, par!aketh in his deeds, which ARE evil.

12 Having many things to write to you, I did not incline TO COMMUNICATE THEM by paper and ink; 2 (arra) because I hope to come to you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be made complete.

[ocr errors]

11 For he who giveth him the common salutation, thereby expresseth his approbation of his conduct, and partaketh in the evils which his corrupt doctrine may occasion.

12 Having many things to write to you concerning those deceivers who call themselves inspired teachers, I did not incline to communicate them by paper and ink; because I hope to come to you soon, and to speak to you freely face to face concerning these deceivers, that our mutual joy may be made complete.

appears, that when the brethren had occasion to go to any church where they were not known, they carried letters of recommendation from persons who were acquainted with some of the members of that church, who on the credit of these letters received and entertained them. Or, if these strangers had no recommendatory letters, they made themselves known as sincere disciples of Christ, by declaring their faith to the bishop and elders of the church to which they came; as is insinuated in the first clause of the verse under consideration. These customs were prudently established in the first age, to prevent the churches from being deceived by the heretical teachers, who very early went about disseminating their errors.-The lady to whom the apostle wrote this letter, being rich and of a very benevolent disposition; perhaps also living in a place where the Christians were too few, or too poor, to have a fund for the entertainment of strangers, she might think herself under the more obligation to pay attention to the wants of these strangers who went about preaching the gospel. Wherefore, to prevent her from being deceived by impostors, the apostle directed her to require these teachers to give an account of the doctrines which they taught; and if she found that they did not hold the true doctrine concerning the person of Christ, he advised her not to receive them into her house, nor even to give them the common salutation of wishing them health and happiness. For, among the Christians of that age, this wish was not a mere compliment, as with us, but an expression of real good will. The apostle's advice, therefore, was perfectly proper, because they who entertained or otherwise shewed respect to false teachers, enabled them the more effectually to spread their erroneous doctrine, to the ruin of those whom they deceived; consequently, as the apostle observes, they became partakers in their evil deeds. See Pref. Sect. 3. last paragr.

3. Nor wish him happiness. Xauuiv autæ μn negets. The Greeks usually began their letters to each other with a wish of health and happiness, which they expressed by the word Xamar. Also, with it, they saluted one another

13 The children of thy

elect sister greet thee. Amen.

να

15 Ασπάζεται σε τα τεκ-
της αδελφής σου
Αμην.

της

εκλεκτης

1

at meeting. Wherefore the apostle's meaning is, as in the commentary; Do not express either good will to a false teacher, or approbation of his behaviour, by giving him the common salutation.

Ver. 12.-1. Having many things to write to you. The apostle, I suppose, meant many things concerning the characters and actions of the false teachers: Perhaps also, he wished to mention the names of the false teachers whom he had in view. But these things he did not think it proper to write in a letter; especially as he proposed to visit this lady and her children soon, and to converse with them personally.

2. I did not incline to communicate them by paper and ink. для харова From this Bengelius conjectures, that in writing this letter John made use of paper, not parchment.

Ver. 13.-1. The childrer of thy elect sister. The word elect, here as in ver 1. and some other passages of scripture, doth not signify chosen from eternity to salvation. For the apostle could not know that the lady's sister

CONCLUSION.

THE frequency and earnestness with which St. John hath inculcated mutual love, his declaring that it is the only sure proof of our love to God, and his assuring us that it banisheth from the mind of the person who possesses it all fear of the judgment, may justly make us solicitous to form a just idea of so excellent a quality, and raise in us a sincere endeavour to acquire it. I therefore observe, that since the love which the gospel enjoins is a duty which is due from all to all, it cannot be that which is called the love of esteem, because of that none but the virtuous can be the objects: neither can it be the love of gratitude, since gratitude is due only to benefactors: But it must be the love of benevolence; an affection which all may exercise toward all only it is more especially due to the good. Yet every kind of benevolence will not mark a person as a real disciple of Christ, nor banish from one's mind all fear of the judgment, because some may be benevolent naturally, and others may do beneficent actions merely to gain applause, or to promote some worldly purpose. Whereas the benevolence peculiar to the real disciples of Christ, is that alone which proceeds

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »