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THE

FIRST EPISTLE OF ST. JOHN THE

APOSTLE.

The same vein of divine love and charity towards our neighbour, which runs throughout the Gospel written by the beloved disciple and evangelist, Sr Jons, is found also in his Epistles. He confirms the two principal mys teries of our faith: the mystery of the Trinity, and the mystery of the in carnation of Jesus Christ the Son of God. The sublimity and excellence of the evangelical doctrine he declares: And this commandment we have from God, that he, who loveth God, love also his brother (chap. iv. 21); and cgain: For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not heavy (chap. v. 3). He shews how to distinguish the children of God from those of the devil: marks out those who should be called Antichrists: describes the turpitude and gravity of sin. Finally, he thews how the sinner may hope for pardon. It was written, according to Baronius' account, sixty-six years after our Lord's Ascension

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our sins.

THAT which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with th our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the word of life:

2 For the life was manifested: and we have seen, and do bear witness, and declare unto you. the life eternal, which was with the Father, and hath appeared to us:

3 That which we have seen

and have heard, we declare unto you, that you also may have fellowship with us, and our fellowship may be with the Father,

and with his son JEsUs Christ.

4 And these things we write to you, that you may rejoice, and your joy may be full.

5 And this is the declaration which we have heard from him, and declare unto you: That God is light, and in him there is no darkness.

6 If we say that we have fel lowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.

7 But if we walk in the light, as he also is in the light; we have fellowship one with another,

and the blood of JESUS Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. -8 If we say that we have no sin; we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins; he is faithful and just, to forgive from all iniquity. us our sins, and to cleanse us

10 If we say that we have not his word is not in us. sinned; we make him a liar, and

a John 8. 12.-b Heb. 9. 14. 1 Pet. 1. 19. Apoc. 1. 5.-c 3 Kings 8. 46. 2 Par. 6. 36. Prov. 20. 9. Eccle. 7. 21.

CHAP. II.

Christ is our advocate: we must keep his commandments, and love one another. We must not love the world, nor give ear to new teachers; but abide by the spirit of God in the church.

MYlittle

Ylittle children,these things I write to you that you may not sin. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, JESUS Christ the Just:

2 And he is the propitiation for our sins and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.

3 And by this we know that we have known him, if we keep his commandments.

4 He who saith that he know. eth him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him:

5 But he that keepeth his word, in him in very deed the charity of God is perfected: and by this we know that we are in him.

6 He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also to walk, even as he walked.

7 Dearly beloved, I write not a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard.

Again a new command

a John 13. 34. and 15. 12.

CHAP. II. Ver. 3. We have known him, if we keep his commandments. He speaks of that practical knowledge by love and affection, which can only be proved by our keeping his commandments; and without which we cannot be said to know God, as we should do.

Ver. 8. A new commandment, Viz.,

the commandment of love, which was first given in the old law; but was renewed and extended by Christ. See John xiii. 34.

ment I write unto you, which thing is true both in him and in you: because the darkness is passed, and the true light now shineth.

9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now.

10 He that loveth his brother, abideth in the light, and there is no scandal in him.

11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth: because the darkness hath blinded his eyes.

12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.

13 I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him, who is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one.

14 I write unto you, babes, because you have known the Father. I write unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

15 Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world, and the concupiscence of the is the concupiscence of the flesh, eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but is of the world.

17 And the world passeth away, and the concupiscence But he that doth

thereof.

b Infra, 3. 14.

the will of God, abideth for ever.

18 Little children, it is the last hour and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh: now there are become many Antichrists: whereby we know that it is the last hour.

19 They went out from us; but they were not of us. For if they had been of us, they would no doubt have remained with us: but that they may be manifest, that they are not all of 1

us.

20 But you have the unction from the Holy One, and know all things.

21 I have not written to you as to them that know not the truth, but as to them that know it: and that no lie is of the truth.

22 Who is a liar, but he who denieth that JESUS is the Christ! this is Antichrist, who denieth the Father and the Son.

23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. He that confesseth the Son, hath the Father also..

Ver. 18. It is the last hour. That is, it is the last age of the world.-Ibid. Many Antichrists: That is, many heretics, enemies of Christ and his church, and forerunners of the great Antichrist.

Ver. 19. They were not of us. That

is, they were not solid, steadfast, genu

ine Christians; otherwise they would have remained in the church."

Ver. 20. The unction from the Holy One. That is, grace and wisdom from the Holy Ghost,Ibid. Know all things. The true children of God's church, remaining in unity, under the guidance of their lawful pastors, par. fake of the grace of the Holy Ghost, promised to the church and her pastors; and have in the church all necessary knowledge and instruction; so as to have no need to seek it else where, since it can only be found in that society of which they are mem. best.

24 As for you, let that which you have heard from the beginIf that ning, abide in you. abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning, you also shall abide in the Son and in the Father.

25 And this is the promise which he hath promised us, life everlasting.

26 These things have I written to you, concerning them that seduce you.

27 And as for you, let the unction, which you have received from him, abide in you. And you have no need that any man teach you: but as his unction teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie. And as it hath taught you, abide in him.

28 And now, little children, abide in him: that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be confounded by him at his coming.

29 If you know, that he is just: know ye, that every one also, who doth justice, is born of him.

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world knoweth not us, because it knew not him.

2 Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God; and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know, that, when he shall appear, we shall be like to him because we shall see him as he is.

3 And every one that hath this hope in him, sanctifieth himself, as he also is holy.

4 Whosoever committeth sin, committeth also iniquity: and sin is iniquity.

5 And you know that he appeared to take away our sins: aand in him there is no sin.

6 Whosoever abideth in him, sinneth not: and whosoever sinneth, hath not seen him, nor known him.

7 Little children, let no man deceive you. He that doth justice, is just: even as he is just.

8He that committeth sin, is of the devil: for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose, the Son of God appeared, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

9 Whosoever is born of God, committeth not sin: for his seed abideth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

10 In this the children of God. are manifest, and the children of the devil. Whosoever is not just, is not of God, nor he that loveth not his brother.

11 For this is the declaration, which you have heard from the beginning, that you should love one another.

12 Not as Cain, who was of the wicked one, and killed his brother. And wherefore did he kill him? Because his own works were wicked: and his brother's, just.

13 Wonder not, brethren, if the world hate you.

14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death.

15 Whosoever hateth his brother, is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself.

16 In this we have known the charity of God, because he hath laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

17 He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shall put up his bowels from him: how doth the charity of

a Isaias 53. 9. 1 Pet. 2. 22-b John God abide in him? 8. 44.

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18 My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth.

19 In this we know that we are of the truth and in his sight shall persuade our hearts.

20 For if our heart reprehend us, God is greater than

e John 13. 34. and 15. 12.-d Gen. 4, 8.- Lev. 19. 17. Supra, 2., 10John 15. 13.-g Luke 3. 11. Jas. 2. 15.

our heart, and knoweth all I confesseth that JESUS Christ is come in the flesh, is of God:

things.

21 Dearly beloved, if our heart do not reprehend us, we have confidence towards God: 22 And whatsoever we shall ask, we shall receive of him because we keep his commandments, and do those things. which are pleasing in his sight. 23 And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son JESUS Christ: and love one another, as he hath given commandment unto us.

24 And he that keepeth his commandments, abideth in him, and he in him. And in this we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given

us.

CHAP. (V.

What spirits are of God, and what not. We must love one another, because God has loved us.

EARLY beloved, believe not

every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

2 By this is the spirit of God known. Every spirit, which

Matt. 21. 22.-b John 6. and

John 13. 34. and 15. 12.17

CHAP. IV. Ver. I. Try the spirits. Viz., by examining whether their teaching be agreeable to the rule of the Catholic faith, and the doctrine of the church. For as he says, ver. 6, He that knoweth God, heareth us, [the pastors of the church.] By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Ver. 2. Every spirit, which confesseth, &c. Not that the confession of this point of faith alone, is, at all times, and in all cases, sufficient: but that with relation to that time, and for that part of the Christian doctrine, which was then particularly to be confessed, taught, and maintained against

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3 And every spirit that dissolveth JESUS, is not of God: and this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the world.

4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome him. Because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. Jum

5 They are of the world: therefore of the world they speak, and the world heareth them.

6 We are of God. He that knoweth God, heareth us. He that is not of God, heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of

error.

7 Dearly beloved, let us love one another for charity is of God. And every one that loveth is born of God, and

8. He that loveth not, knoweth not God for God is charity.

9 By this hath the charity of God appeared towards us, because God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we may live by him. a.

10 In this is charity: not as though we had loved God, but because he hath first loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins.

d John 8. 47.-e John 3. 16.

the heretics of those days, this was the most proper token, by which the true teachers might be distinguished from the false.

Ver. 3. That dissolveth Jesus. Viz., divinity. Ibid. He is now already in either by denying his humanity, or his the world. his spirit, and in his precursors. Not in his person, but in

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