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(a)" Be lifted up." This, therefore, was a prediction which was verified when he was crucified.
9.15. (b) Believeth," i. e. has such a belief as thoroughly influences his conduct. See ante 148. note on James i. 22. v.7. (c)" Every one," &c. This is a test: no one can be altogether" of God," such as God would have him; who has not perfect love and benevolence to man. 9.7. (d) Born of God," i. e. a child of God, with his temper, disposition, &c.; walking in his steps. v.9. (e)
In this," &c. St. John points out this transcendent instance of God's benevolence to man, to inforce the duty of benevolence from man to man; and he accordingly draws the conclusion in
(ƒ) “ Live,” i. e. have life, be rescued from the curse of death.
(g) "Herein," &c. This sets his love in a striking light, that when by sin we had shewn our enmity to God, he sent his son to redeem us from the punishment of sin. According to Rom. v. 8. "God "commendeth his love towards us, in "that while we were yet sinners, Christ "died for us."
(b) "Hath seen," &c. So that attachment to God cannot proceed from
other for love is of God; and every (c) one that loveth, is born (d) of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, know- 8. eth not God; for God is love. In (e) this was manifested the love 9. of God toward us, because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might (f) live through him. Herein (g) is love, not that we 10. loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, 11. if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No 12. man hath (b) seen God at any time. If (i) we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know 13. we that we dwell in him, and he
what causes attachment amongst menacquaintance, personal knowledge, &c.; the only way to prove perfect love to him is to keep this his great commandment, of loving one another; and St John accordingly concludes, verse 20. that "he that "loveth not his brother whom he hath
seen," and to whom he has therefore had the opportunity of forming a personal attachment, "cannot love God,” because as to him he can have had no such opportunity, and as the only way of loving him is to keep his commandments, the not loving one's brother, the want of benevolence and goodwill to man, is the breach of one of his chief commandments.
(i) "If," &c. Though we have never v.12. seen God, yet if we have perfect love to man, God filleth our hearts: his love has it's perfection in our ininds: he makes our hearts his dwelling-place: we are animated by his spirit; our conduct is what his spirit would suggest. So Rom: viii. 8. " ye are not in the flesh, but in "the spirit, if so be that the spirit of "God dwell in you: now if any man "have not the spirit of Christ," (i. e. the temper, &c. he would inspire) "he is
none of his."
in us, (k) because he hath given 14. us of his (1) Spirit. And we have (m) seen, and do testify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15. Whosoever shall (n) confess that
Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16. And we have (o) known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, 17. and God in him. Herein (p) is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of (9) judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18. There is no (r) fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear; be
(0) Have known," i. e. have had the most perfect proof: so that we ought boldly to stand by him, as he has stood by us to suffer for his sake, as he suffered for ours.
(p) "Herein," &c. The meaning seems to be this: this is perfect love to God, to be bold before earthly tribunals for his sake, and in his cause; making one cause with him; submitting to hatred, &c. where he is hated, &c.
(q)" Of judgment," i. e. perhaps, of trial, danger.
(1) "No fear in love," i. e. the two are inconsistent: perfect love has no fear; disregards all danger. Whoever is deterred by dread of peril from doing what love would dictate, has not reached the standard of love.
cause fear hath torment. He that feareth, is not made perfect in love. We love him, (s) because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a (t) liar: for he that (u) loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandments have we from him, "That he "who loveth God love his bro"ther also."
The Gospel. Luke xvi. 19. THERE (x) was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day and there
(s) Because," &c. i. e. it is a strong inducement for bold and fearless attachment in us, that it is a debt of gratitude, a mere return for previous love in God.
(t) "A liar," i. e. advances inconsistent propositions. So St. James says, James iii. 14. "If ye have bitter envying "and strife in your hearts, glory not, "and lie not against the truth," i do not say you are Christians, for you are
(u)" For he that loveth not," &c. v. Love may proceed from two sources, personal knowledge, or attachment to the commands of him who is the object of our love but love to God cannot proceed from personal knowledge, for no one hath seen God at any time; and in the instance of him who loveth not his brother, and is therefore guilty of a breach of one of God's positive commands, how can he pretend to love from the other source, from attachment to God's commands?
'(x) There was," &c. This follows the parable of the unjust steward, where, our Lord had recommended such a disposition of wealth, as would ensure a reward in the life to come. And part of the object of this parable probably was, to intimate that the application of riches entirely to a man's own luxuries, with a total disregard of the necessities of the poor, was not innocent, and would be visited hereafter.
was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, 21. full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover, the dogs came and licked 22. his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom : the rich man 23. also died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his 24. bosom and he cried and said, "Father Abraham, have mercy "on me, and send Lazarus, that "he may dip the tip of his finger "in water, and cool my tongue;
for I am tormented in this 25. "flame." But Abraham said, "Son, remember that thou in
thy life time receivedst thy
good things, and likewise La"zarus evil things: but now he "is comforted, and thou art 26." tormented. And beside all "this, between us and you there "is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from "hence to you cannot; neither
can they pass to us that would come from thence." Then he said, "I pray thee therefore, fa"ther, that thou wouldest send 28." him to my father's house; for "I have five brethren: that he
cause Cain's works were evil, and Abel's righteous and he insinuates, therefore, that it will be no wonder if the world, that is the wicked, hate them, for the
(a)" Because," i. e. this convinces v. 14. us; this is our assurance. So verse 24. and chap. iv. verse 13.
(b) "In death," i. e. in the same state v. 14. as if our Saviour had not appeared: without the benefits of his mediation.
15. Whosoever hateth his brother is a (c) murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life 16. abiding in him. Hereby (d) perceive we the love of God, because he (e) laid down his life for us and we ought to lay down 17. our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth (f) the love of God in him? 18. My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but 19. in deed and in truth. And hereby (g) we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our 20. hearts (b) before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is
(c) "Is a murderer," i. e. has a disposition which would lead to murder; is as bad as a murderer in the sight of him who forbids the first step towards sin, and sees through all its consequences.
(d)" Hereby," &c. St. John presses the same argument here as in 1 John iv. 9. 11. (ante 163), that the transcendency of God's love to man should make men love one another. If God has demonstrated in so strong a way that mankind in general, the whole human race, is so much the object of his love, how can we justify making any one of that race the fixed object of our hatred? "If God so "loved us, we ought also to love one another." 1 John iv. II.
(e)" He laid down." Our Saviour, therefore, is here distinctly referred to by the name of "God." So 1 Tim. iii. 16. "God was manifest in the flesh," &c. See p. 12. note (d).
(ƒ) "How dwelleth," &c. If, according to verse 16. we ought even to lay down our lives for the brethren, how far short does he fall, who will not even supply their necessities?
(g) "Hereby," i. e. by loving in deed
and in truth.
(b)" Assure our hearts before him," i. e. as it is expressed in verse 21. shall "have confidence towards God."
(i)" Greater," i. e. can judge more correctly, and knows the facts on which the judgment is to be formed, as com pletely.
(k)" Whatsoever," &c. If we keep his commandments, he rewards us by granting whatever we ask; but then (according to verse 23) it is one of his commandinents that we should believe on Christ, and love one another: and we cannot expect the reward, that is, whatsoever we ask, unless we perform the condition, i. e. keeping this command.
(4)Dwelleth in him," &c. The idea of God's dwelling in us, is often noticed by St. John. Thus, 1 John iv. 12. "If we love one another, God dwelleth
"in us." And John xiv.
« If a
"man love me, he will keep my words, "and my Father will love him, and we "will come unto him, and make our "abode with him."
(m) "The spirit," i.e. the temper, disposition, &c. He may be truly said to abide in us, when our temper, &c. is that which his would be. God may truly be said to abide in us, when, to use St. Paul's expression, Philip. ii. 5. "The same "mind is in us, which was also in Christ "Jesus." In the occurrences of life, might it not often be of service to us to
The Gospel. Luke xiv. 16. A CERTAIN (2) man made a great supper, and bade many : 17. and sent his servant at supper
time to say to them that were bidden, "Come; for all things 18. are now ready." And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, "I have bought a piece of "ground, and I must needs go "and see it: I pray thee have "me excused." And another 19. said, "I have bought five yoke
"of oxen, and I go to prove "them : I pray thee have
20.❝me excused." And another said, "I have married a wife, "and therefore I cannot come.' 21. So that servant came, and shewed his Lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, "Go out quickly into the streets ❝ and lanes of the city, and bring "in hither the poor, and the
maimed, and the halt, and the 22. "blind." And the servant said, "Lord, it is done as thou hast "commanded, and yet there is
(n) "A certain man," &c. This parable refers to the conduct of the Jews in rejecting our Saviour, and intimates that the grounds on which they rejected him were frivolous and worldly, and that they would therefore be utterly excluded from the benefits of Christ's coming. Should not this be a warning to us not to suffer worldly pursuits to draw us off from our religious duties?
(o)" Tidings," &c. The persecution which followed immediately after the death of St. Stephen (Acts vii. 60.)
drove many of the disciples to very distant parts, and some of them went as far as Phoenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch. At Antioch they preached unto the Grecians: and " the hand of the Lord was "with them: and a great number be"lieved, and turned unto the Lord." Acts xi. 19, 20, 21. It was the intelligence of this success that is here mentioned. It is observable, that the very steps which were taken to suppress Christianity extended the limits of its propagation. The disciples had such convincing evidence of its truth, that nothing could deter them from preaching it; and when they were driven from Jerusalem, &c. they exerted themselves in those distant parts to which they were driven.