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John hopes to visit

II
JOHN.

and converse with them. not write with paper and ink : but I trust to our joy may be full. The children of thy cho- 13 come unto you, and speak face to face, that sen sister salute thee. Amen.

REFLECTIONS UPON 11 Joan. 1. Though not many noble | adhere to the truth against all opposers.

. “By this shall all men or rich are called, yet there are some, and nothing adds more to their know, said Jesus, that ye are my disciples, if ye hare love to one honour, than to be humble, consistent believers and servants of Christ. another.” This then is the test, the proof we are to give to the world, All who know and love the gospel, will love such as profess and adorn that we are the disciples of him, who so loved us as to give up himself it; and will must cordially pray for, “grace, mercy, and

peace,

from 10 death for us, to redeem us to God by his blood. Faith in him, and God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the love to his followers for bis sake, will be our best security against the Father, in truth and love.” What pleasure does it afford to ministers, arts of deceivers, or the attacks of open enemies. Alas, how many to find any devoted to the Saviour, and employing their talents and stumble yet at the corner-stone which God has laid in Zion, and disinfluence in every way to promote his glory in the salvation of sinners. honour the Saviour by hostility to the testimony borne to his person, How useful may pious mothers be to their children, by their instructions, atonement, and glorious grace. What need is there for hearers to affectionate warnings, cautions, prayers, and example. And what watch, and take heed to themselves lest they be ensnared, and thus delight must they experience when they see those of whom they tra- ministers, teachers, and parents, lose the things which they have vailed, whom they nursed with the tenderest affection and care, born wrought? If such deceivers come, receive them not into your houses, of the spirit, led to believe on the Saviour, and honourably walki-g in Rot wish themi success; but abide in the doctrine of Christ, for it is a the truth. In this case their natural union is cemented by divine love doctrine not only true, but holy in its influenoe ; and through the and grace, and they can joyfully hope for its everlasting continuance. knowledge of it, and faith in him whose doctrine it is, we shall be O God, may the seed of thy servants be established before thee. preserved from babitual transgression, and enjoy an interest in the

2. We are again admonished to abound in brotherly love, and to Faiher and the Son.

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iii. 1.;) and if not, they made some profession of their faith. Now if any one taught not as a christian or teacher this doctrine, " Chat Christ did come in the flesh,” and that obedience to him in all things taught in the gospel is due, receixe him not iuto your bouse, nor wish bim sùccess, &c. as this would in effect be approving of his errors, and becoming partakers with him in the guilt

of his evil deeds, and would expose you to dreadful punishment hereafter,

13. Of thy chosen sister, &c. From this it appears that the lady to whom John wrote had a sister, who resided with her family where John was; and who like her had embraced the gospel. As nothing is said respecting their busbands, we may infer that they were dead, or else. continned heathens.

THE THIRD E PISTLE

OF

JOHN.

INTRODUCTION.

This epistle is directed to Gaius, who, according to Lardner, was an eminent christian who lived in some city of Asia not far from Ephesus The apostle speaks of shortly coming to him, which he could not have done had he lived at Corinth, or in some other distant place.

A. D. 91 He commends Gaius for his piety and hospitality to strangers und y We therefore ought to receive such, that we 8 ministers ; and complains of Diotrephes for his pride, while he bears tes

might be fellow-labourers for the truth. I 9 timony to good Demetrius.

would have written to the church ; but Dio. 1 Tue elder to the well beloved Gaius, whom trephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence I love in the truth.

among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, 10 2 Beloved, I wish that thou mayest prosper if I come, I will remember his deeds which he

in all things and be in health, even as thy soul doeth, tattling against us with malicious words: 3 prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the and not content herewith, he receiveth not the

brethren came and bore testimony of the truth brethren himself, and forbiddeth those that

which is in thee, according as thou walkest in would, and casteth them out of the church. 4 the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear Beloved, imitate not that which is evil, but Il 5 that my children walk in the truth. Beloved, that which is good. He that doeth good is of

thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen 6 the brethren, and to strangers; Who have God. Demetrius hath a good testimony from 12

borne testimony of thy love before the church : all men, and from the truth itself; and we whom if thou conduct on their journey in a also bear him testimony; and ye know that our

manner becoming a servant of God, thou wilt testimony is true. 7 do well : Because for the sake of his name I had many things to write, but I will not 13

they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. with ink and pen write unto thee : But 14 Reflections.'

2+4 And be in health, &c. From this it is inferred that this excellent man did not enjoy good bodily health; but he enjoyed what was better, pros. perity of soul. When I heard of thy knowledge of the gospel, and of thy christian spirit and conduct, I greatly rejoiced, as nothing gives me more unfeigped pleasure than to hear that my children walk as becometh the truth.

5-8. Doest faithfully. As a servant of Christ, faithfully obeying his will, and receiving strangers who have visited thee, and borne testimony to thy love before the church ; whom if thou vow receive, as they are going to preach to the Gentiles, and conduct on their way, thou wilt perform an acceptable service; and let me remind thee that we may be fellow-labourers in propagating the blessed gospel.

9, 10. I would have, &c. Some mss. have ar, which shows how they understood the verb.-Diotrephes, *c. He is generally supposed to be the bishop or pastor, and Benson and others suppose bim to be a Jew, who would

not own the apostle's authority, nor receive those Gentile converts who went forth to preach the gospel. Hence John mildly reproves him, and declares he would remember his deeds when he came.- -Casteth them, $c. Not only refusing them the rights of hospitality, but treating them as if they were net christians. The terms denote excommunicating. John ix. 34, 35.

11. Imitate not, $c. The evil example of Diotrephes ; but ever exercise the brotherly love of the gospel. He that doeth good to all, accordiug to bis ability, is born of God, and knows his character; but he that doeth evil, behaving uokindly to the servants of Christ, hath not seen or knowu God aright. 1 John iii, 10.

12. A good testimony, &c. From all who know him for bis meekness, benevolence, and humility; and from the Truth, from Jesus in the gospel, sbo bears testimony to all such characters; and we join ours, which ye know to be true.

Reflections.

III JOHN. I hope I shall shortly see thee, when we shall || friends salute thee. speak face to face. · Peace be to thee. Our name.

Salute the friends by

be

REFLECTIONS UPON

111 Joan. 1. How many professors many are there, whose pride, selfishness, and coldness, occasion grief of the gospel are there, concerning whom the apostles word may to the servants of God. Even in cases which call most loudly for reversed ; so that we must earnestly desire and pray, that their souls generous assistance ; such as when ministers go forth, constrained by may prosper, as their health and outward circumstances do. And O the love of Christ, and of souls, to preach and spread the gospel ; these what a curse would such a prayer be in respect to many, that they shut up their compassion, and instead of aiding by their counsel, might only prosper, as their souls prospered! And yet what is all prayers, and property, refuse to see them, or to receive them, or to other prosperity without this, but like that offfools which destroys them. contribute a mite towards forwarding such a work and labour of love. There are indeed some few so eminent in grace, so lively and zealous, What numbers under the sacred character have resembled Diotrephes? so ready to every good work, that the precarious state of their health and despised the best servants of Jesus? But let such remember, that is a matter of concern to all who know them, and love the gospel; and a day will come when every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; wbat prayers are poured out for such that their lives may be preserved and their evil deeds and malicious words shall be recompensed. Be it and their ability to do good increased. And what joy does it afford to our aim to imitate that which is good, that we may know tbat we are faithful ministers to hear that their spiritual children thus feel the of God, bis children by adoption and grace. O let us study the chapower of the gospel, and walk in the truth. Their liberal souls devise racter of good Demetrius, who had a good testimony from all who liberal things; and their unostentatious charities, and generous hospi- knew him; and from the truth itself, which he believed and preached; tality, encircle their names with glory; and however they may shun it, and inspired men sealed it with their attestation. May we be found their spirit, holy conduct, and usefulness, like ointment, which betrays among the Lord's people, enjoy their society, and love; and be itself, cannot remain unknown

gathered to the assembly of the first-boru in heaven at last, and to Jesus 2. While some may and ought to be commended, alas! how the Mediator, when we depart hence,

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This epistle was written near the same time and on the same subject as the second of Peter; and in many parts are the same words and sentiments which are found in 2 Pet. ii

. From this some suppose that both were derived from sonje Jewish writing, and that little authority is due to them ; while others more justly think that Jude had seen the epistle of Peter, aud as his intention was to expose the same errors, probably prevailing in some üifferent part of the christian church, he borrowed what was adapted to his design. A. D. 91. He eshorteth to constancy in the faith ; exposer false teachers, for / who believed not. And the angels who kept 6

wchose doctrines and manners dreadful punishment is prepared; the Amity of the godly, $c.

not their first state, but left their own habi

tation, he hath reserved in eternal chains, under 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and bro- darkness, to the judgment of the great day.

ther of James, to those that are sanctified by Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities 7

God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, near to them, which in like manner with them, 2 and called: Mercy, and peace,' and love, be gave themselves over to uncleanness and unmultiplied unto you.

natural passions, are set forth for an example, 3 Beloved, while I gave all diligence to write suffering the vengeance of everlasting fire. In 8

unto you of the common salvation, it became ne- like manner also these dreamers defile the flesh, cessary for me to write unto you, and exhort you, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. that

ye should earnestly contend for the faith Yet Michael, the archangel, when contending 9 4 which was once delivered to the saints. For with the devil, he disputed about the body of

some men have crept in unawares, who were Moses, durst not bring against him a blasphelong before described for this condemnation ; ming accusation, but said, “ The Lord rebuke ungodly men, turning the grace of our God thee.” But these speak evil of those things 10

into lasciviousness, and denying our only sover- which they know not: but what they know 5 eign and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I desire to naturally, as brute creatures, in these things

remind you, though ye once knew this, how they corrupt themselves. Alas for them! be- 11 that the Lord, having saved his people out of cause they have

cause they have gone in the way of Cain, and the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed those greedily followed the error of Balaam for re

1, 2. Brother of James. He was son of Alpheus, and was called Lebbeus and Thaddeus. Matt. x. 3. Mark iii. 18. Sanctified by the Father. Separated in his purposes, being given to Christ, and preserved in and by him in their unregeneracy, and now called by the gospel to repentance and faith. Mercy and peace, &c.

3. Common salvation. Anpounced in the gospel, and enjoyed by all believers. -Contend, &c. Steadily maintain the true doctrine of faith which has been delivered to the saints.

4. Described for this, &c. In the examples of their wickedness, contained in the writings of Moses and the prophets; such as the angels that siuned, the antediluvians, the conduct of the Sodomites, &c. and in the condemnation and punishment of these sinners God has shown what he will do to all others like them.-Sovereign and Lord, &c. Griesbach omits boy, and the authorities for its omission are considerable. Its omission does not in my

opinion alter the sense, as doOTOTHY as strongly refers to the divive nature 13 the term rejected.

5-7. Destroyed those, &c. See Heb. iii. 16-19. The angels ska, 8c. 2 Pet. ii. 4. Did not behave properly, but sinned, and so left or fell from their original abode in heaven, where they had ministered to God; and tbey are now reserved in, &c. -Even as Sodom, &c. See 2 Peter ij. 6. The vengeance of, 8c. Everlasting in its effects, the cities being wholly destroyed.

8–10. Dreamers, 8c. Who fancy themselves wise and great, while they defile themselves with vice, despise dominion, &c. 2 Pet. ii. 10.- Yut Michael, &c. This fact is no where recorded in the Old Testament; but like others might be handed down as a tradition. If we refer what is here said to the dead body of Moses, the devil wished to make known where it was buried, and thus tempt the Jews to idolatry, and Michael as watching over them op posed him successfully. Masknight thinks the Jewish church is called the

1

Prophecy of Enoch.

JUDE.

Character of scoffers. ward, and destroyed themselves by gainsaying great swelling words; admiring the persons 12 like Korah. These are spots in your love-feasts, of men for the sake of gain. But, beloved', 17

when they feast with you, feeding themselves remember ye the words which have been spowithout fear: they are as clouds without water, ken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus carried aside by winds; as trees whose fruit Christ; How they told you that there would 18

withereth, barren, twice dead, plucked up with be in the last time scoffers, walking after their 13 the roots; As raging waves of the sea, foam- own ungodly desires. These are they who 19

ing out their own shame; as wandering stars, separate themselves, sensual, not having the

to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness Spirit. 14 for ever. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, But ye, beloved, building up yourselves in 20

prophesied of these, saying, “Behold, the your most holy faith, praying by the Holy

Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, Spirit, Keep yourselves in the love of God, 21, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convict looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ

all that are ungodly among them of all their to everlasting life. And making a difference, 22 ungodly deeds which they have committed, have compassion on some;

And others save 23 and of all the hard speeches which ungodly by fear, snatching them out of the fire; hating 16 sinners have spoken against him.” These are even the garment defiled by the flesh.

murmurers, complainers, walking after their Now to him that is able to keep you from 24 own evil desires : and their mouth speaketh falling, and to present you faultless before the

REFLECTIONS UPON JUDE. 1. We are called to admire way interesting, that we should labour to understand it, and strenuously the humility of the apostle, as well as to regard the exhortation which maintain it against all opposers. O let us remember that if any creep he gives us. He does not mention his apostolic commission, but des- into the church who are ungodly, turning the grace of God' into lascicribes himself as the brother of James and the servant of Jesus Christ. viousness, they deny practically our only Sovereign and Lord Jesus But assuredly to be the servant of Christ, is the highest stile and cha- Christ, and for them the most awful jodgment is prepared. The racter of man. He addresses those sanctified by God the Father, and examples recorded in the scriptures, the death of the unbelieving called, and who were, and would be, in the use of means, pre- Israelites, the destruction of Sodom, the misery of the apostale angels, served in Christ Jesus; and be prays for mercy, peace, and love to be are examples of vengeance, to warn bold and daring sinners what they multiplied to them. Like him will every faithful servant of Christ, may expect. pray for the church, and exhort and warn with all long-suffering and 2. We are reminded to what degrees of presumption, vice, and gentleness. While writing or speaking of the concerns of our common folly, men of corrupt minds may arrive. While boasting of freedom, salvation, it may be necessary to guard our friends against prevailing these dreamers defile the flesh, and are the veriest slaves of the devil. errors and delusions. The faith once delivered to the saints, the doc- Like the factious Jews they despise dominion, and speak evil of digtrine taught by our Lord and his apostles, is so true, holy, and every nities, opposing civil government, giving a loose to their tongues, in

body of Moses, as the christian is the body of Christ ; and that Jude refers to son, proves him a prophet, Methuselah, which according to Bochart signifies, Zech. iii. 1.; xii. 1, and admitting the various reading, Zech. iii. 1, 2, the re- “Xhen he is dead a flood cometh."- - The Lord cometh, &c. If he thus proference is clear. ---But these speuk evil, &c. 2 Pet. iv. 12.

phesied to the sinners of the old world, it is true respecting those who now 11–13. Gone in the way of Cain. By their pernicious and destructive live; for be will come to judgment, when he will convict all that are, &c. errors, ruining and murdering the souls of men, as he murdered his brother; 16. Murmurers, &c. Against God, because they do not enjoy what they and by perverting the truth of God for gain, they have imitated Balaam; and wish; and yet they gratify their evil desires to the utmost of their power; and hy opposing Christ as Korah did Moses, they are destroying themselves. They they pretend to great knowledge, speaking in a pompous style, and admiring are guilty of murder, covetousness, and ambition.-Spots in, $c. 2 Peter and praising any that listen to them for the sake of base gain. ii. 13.-As clouds, &c. 2 Peter ii. 17. As trees whose, &c. As blasted 17-19. How they told you, &c. See 2 Pet. iii. 3, and 2 Tim. iii. 1-5. trees, or as barren, or as trees twice or wholly dead, having been placked up -In the last time. Under the gospel-covenant, God's last dispensation to with the roots; or to use another comparison, they are as raging waves of the mankind. Acts ii. 17. Heb. i. 2, &c.—Who separate, &c. On account of sea, turbulent and furious against all who oppose them, foaming out their own gain, but pretending to greater knowledge, being mere animal men, gratify. shame; as wandering stars, unsteady in their conduct like those stars which ing their animal passions, and not having the Spirit of God. appear to us now to go forward, and then to recede back, &c. or like comets 20—23. Building up, &c. By mutual conversation and instruction, in which appear, and then pass away.

the knowledge, belief, and practice of that system of truth called the faith, 14, 15. Prophesied of these, &c. This fact is not mentioned elsewhere; and the nature and tendency of which is most holy; praying for one another but from what Moses relates, Enoch was a man eminent for his piety, walking by the Holy Spirit, and thus keep each other in the exercise of love to God, with God on earth, and translated to heaven. Like Noah, he was doubtless and so be looking for the mercy of our Lord, &c. Here we are directed to exà preacher of righteousness; and Benson observes that the name he gave his pect mercy, the pardon of sin from Christ, and even everlasting life, which Vol. M. PART XXIV. 3 N

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