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8 Look to yourselves' 8 Keep yourselves from these dethat we may not lose the ceivers, that we who have converted THINGS which we have you, may not, by your following wrought, but may receive them, lose our labour, but by presenting 2 full reward. 3
faultless at the day of judgment,
may receive our reward complete. 9 Whosoever (wapao
9 Whosoever goeth beyond, and doth Carray) goeth beyond, and not abide in the doctrine taught by doth not abide in the doc- Christ and his apostles, (lee i John trine of Christ,' acknow. ii. 23. note.) acknowledgeth not God. ledgeth not God. He who He who closely adheres to the doctrine abideth in the doctrine of taught by Christ and his apostles, the Christ, the fame acknow- fume acknowledgeth the authority both ledgeth both the Father of the Father and of the Son, who have and the Son. (See i
confirmed that doctrine in the most John v. 12. note.)
ample manner. any one come to 10 If any teacher come to you, and you, and do not 'bring this do not bring this doctrine, that Jesus do&rine,' do not receive Christ the Son of God did come in him into YOUR house: the flesh to fave mankind, do not renor wiss him bappiness. 3 ceive kim into your house, nor express
your approbation of him by giving him the common falutation.
Ver. 8.1. Look to yourselves. Betett, Look attentively to gourfelves, 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 wrougót. Five of Stephen's MSS. the Alexandrian and other MSS. the Vulgate, the fecond Syriac, and the Ethiopic versions, for amoroup. Sy i supyasami Iz read here, a WONECHTE Figyucache that ye may not lose the things which ye have wrought. Grotius saith, this agrees better, than the commor reading, with what goeth before.
3. But may receive a full reward. The eleet 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
of their reward which is promised to them who turn others to righteouiness. Dan. xă. 3. And even, although no particular reward were promised to thole who are instrumental in converting others, certainly, by the apostasy of their disciples, fuch will lose the joy which their perfeverance in faith and holiness would give them, See Heb. xiii. 17.-The person, who was to receive a full reward, in confequence of this lady and her children's looking to themselves, is the apostle: For if the others apoftatized, they would receive no reward at all.
Ver. 9. Whosoever goeth beyond, and doth not abide in the doctrine of Chrift. MagaBauws. This word lignities, to pass over, in any ditection the bounds which are prescribed to a person. Now, as the
JI For he that biddeth I 'O γαρ λεγων αυτω him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds.
αυτό τους πονηρούς. 12 Having many things I 2 Πολλα to write unto you. I would not write with paper and reac@elv, 8% 96enn Inn 3.0 ink; but I trust to come un
Херта και μελανζυ: αλλα to you, and peak face to ελπιζω ελθειν προς υμας, face, that our joy may be
και 5ομα προς 5ομα λαληfull.
σαι, ίνα η χαρα ημων η πεπληρωμενη. .
doctrine of Christ is contained within certain limits, he who teacheth a different doctrine gocth beyond these limits. And to make this plain the apostle adds, And doth not abide in the dottrine 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 doc. trine concerning Christ, that he is the Son of God sent into the world made fesh, 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 verse. Here, more is meant than is expressed For the apostle, in this soft expression, condemned thole who brought, or taught a contrary doctrine. - From this precept it appears, that when those who professed to be the dis
. ciples 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 cuítom, because it shews the propriety of the apostle'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 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 Chriftians, they exercised hospitality to their stranger brethren from a ftill 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,
itrongly moved them to these kind offices, See Rom. xii. 8. note 5.-- From the example of Apollos mentioned Aēts xviii. 27 and from what is insinuated 2 Cor. iii, i cerning the false teachers who had come from Judea to Corinth, it
ii For he who wish. 11 For he who giveth him the cometh him happiness, par- mon salutation, thereby exprefseth his taketh in his deeds, which approbation of his conduct, and ARE evil.
partaketh in the evils which his corrupt doctrine
may occasion. 12 Having many things 12 Having many things to urite to to write to you,' I did not you concerning those deceivers who incline TO COMMUNI- call themselves inspired teachers, I CATE THEM by paper did not incline to communicate them by and ink ; ? (arra) because paper and ink; because I hope to come I hope to come to you, to you soon, and to speak to you freely and speak face to face, face to face concerning these deceivers, that our joy may
be made that our mutual joy may be made comcomplete.
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 infinuated 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 do&rine concerning the person of Christ, he advised her not to receive them into her house, nar even to give them the common falutation of wishing them health and happiness. For, among the Chrif. tians 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. Seet.
paragr. 3. Nor with him happiness. Χαιρειν αυτω μη λεγετε. The Greeks usually began their letters to each other with a wish of health and happiness, which they expressed by the word Xaigeix. Also, with it, they Vol. VI.
13 The children of thy
13 Ασπαζεται σε τα τεκelect fifter greet thee. A
να της αδελφης σε της εκλεκτης. Αμην. .
faluted one another 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 falutation.
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 wilhed 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 foon, and to converse with them personally.
2. I did not incline to communicate them by paper and ink. Ada yozta. From this Bengelius conjectures, that in writing this letter John made use of paper, not parchment.
Ver. 13.-1. The children of thy elect filer. The word eleat, here as in ver. i. and fome other passages of scripture, doth not fignify
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 juft idea of só excellent a quality, and raise in us a fincere 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 perfon 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 10 gain applause, or to promote some worldly purpose. Whereas the benevolence peculiar to the real disciples of Christ, is that alone which proceeds from love to God, and from a regard to his will. So John hath told us,
13 The children of 13 The children of thy excellent fifter, thy elect' filter salute who are now with me, desire me in thee: 2 Amen.
their name to wish thee health and kappiness in token of their love. Ament.
chosen from eternity to salvation. For the apostle could not know that the lady's filter was so elected, unless the matter had been made known to him by a particular revelation, which is not alleged to have been the cafe, by any who so interpret election. But it lignifies a person of an excellent character: fuch by the Hebrews being called ele&t perjons, Eff. iv. 41.
2. Salute thee. Aswazitai qe The falutations which the Christians in the first age gave to each other, were not of the fame kind with the falutations of unbelievers, which were wishes of temporal health and felicity only : but they were wishes of health and happiness to their fouls
, and expressions of the most încere love. See 3 John ver. 2. -The apostle sent this lady the falutation of the children of her excellent filter, to intimate to her that they were all Christians, and that they persevered in the true doctrine of the gospel. Probably they and their mother lived in the city, or place of the country, where the apoftle had his residence.
chap. V. 2. By this we know that we love the children of God in a right manner, when we love God, and from that principle, keep his commandments, particularly his commandment to love one another : Not however in word or in tongue only, but in truth and in deed, by doing them good according to our power. If so our love to each other is to be judged of and measured, not so much by the warmth of our affection, for that depends on one's natural temper, as by our doing good to others from a regard to the commandment or will of God.-That true Christian love conlists in beneficence, John hath taught us by telling us, that as the love of God to us consists in his doing us good continually, so our love to one another consisteth in doing them good, even to the laying down our lives for them, 1 Epist. ii. 16. - According to this view of love, persons whose natural temper does not admit of great warmth of affection, but who from an habitual regard to the will of God do all the good they can to others, really possess a greater degree of the love which Christ hath enjoined, than those persons, who, having warmer affections, are moved to do acts of beneficence, merely from natural disposition, without any regard to the will of God.
İf the love which Christ hath enjoined consists in beneficence, how fortunate are those to whom God hath given the means of