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LOVE THE PRINCIPAL CHRISTIAN VIRTUE.
Julian Pen impunity-He cautions Christians from being seduced by Asia Minor. riod, 4799. Vulgar Æra,
these Doctrines and Practices, by condemning them in the 96.
strongest Terms—He contrasts them with the Truths and
Doctrines of the Gospel, in which they had been instruct-
ed, and in which they are exhorted to continue.
1. 1 John i. 1-4.
The Apostle begins by asserting, in opposition to the false
Teachers, that Jesus Christ, who was from Eternity, had
as Man a real Body-in Proof of which he declares they
had heard him speak—they had looked on him, and
handled him after his Resurrection, and were convinced
by the Testimony of their Senses of the identity of his
Person—The Fountain of Life the Son, or Word of
God, was made manifest in the Flesh to all, and was seen
by the Apostles, who bear witness of the eternal Life pos-
sessed by Him with the Father, which was made known to
them at his Baptism and Transfiguration–The Apostles
declare the Miracles and Doctrines they had seen and
heard ; that all who believe their Testimony, may enter
with them into Communion with God and Christ—which
Union with the divine Nature should make their Joy
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have
into the same volume with the didactic writings of the apostles,
which, with this single exception, are all in the epistolary form.
It is indeed a didactic discourse upon the principles of Chris.
tianity, both in doctrine and practice: and whether we consi-
der the sublimity of its opening with the fundamental topics of
God's perfections, man's depravity, and Christ's propitiation-
the perspicuity with which it propounds the deepest mysteries
of our holy faith, and the evidence of the proof which it brings
to confirm them; whether we consider the sanctity of its pre-
cepts, and the energy of argument with which they are en-
forced-the dignified simplicity of language in which both
doctrine and precept are delivered; whether we regard the
importance of the matter, the propriety of the style, or the
general spirit of ardent piety and warm benevolence, united
with a fervid zeal, which breathes throughout the whole compo-
sition-we shall find it in every respect worthy of the boly au-
thor to whom the constant tradition of the church ascribes it,
( the disciple whom Jesus loved.”
Admirable as these observations of Bishop Horsley are, this
eminent theologian has omitted to observe that the solemn and
yet affectionate charges it contains to mutual love and charity,
seem more especially
to constitute this composition, wbat it is generally called, a Catholic epistle. It may be considered as the last advice of the surviving apostle, enforcing the dying injunctions of his and our divine Master. It is limited to no pation--it is equally addressed, and is equally suitable to all mankind, that they love one another. It is the precept which, if observe ed, will ever be the criterion by which the true Christian will be distinguished, without whicb, faith, and hope, and profession and practice, will be incomplete and unavailing.
WILFUL SIN HAS NO COMMUNION WITH GOD.
Julian Pe. heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have Asia Minor. riod, 4799. looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word Vulgar&ra, 96.
2 (For the Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal Life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us ;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us : and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that our joy
§ 2. 1 John i. 5, to the end.
To confute the Doctrines of those who perverted the Grace
of God to Licentiousness, St. John declares that God is
perfect Light, therefore perfect Knowledge and unspotted
Holiness, without the least Imperfection or Ignorance-
Those therefore who profess having a Communication
with God, and lead a sinful Life, act as contrary to
his holy Nature as Darkness is to Light—those who
walk after the Light received from him, who is essentially
and perfectly pure and holy, have communion with God,
and the atoning Blood of Christ will cleanse them from
Sin—Those who say they have no Sin, and therefore have
no need of a Saviour, have no Knowledge of their own
Hearts, or of the great Truth of the Gospel, the Fall and
Recovery of Man—But those who from a deep sense of
Guilt confess their Sins to God, who is faithful to his
Promises of Mercy (Ps. xxxii. 5. Prov. xxvüi. 13.)
and just to his own Perfections, Christ having made an
Atonement to the divine Justice, will have their Sins for.
given, and their Hearts cleansed by the sanctifying In-
fluences of the Holy Spirit — Those who assert they have
not sinned, make God a Liar, and can have no Knowledge
of his Word, which has declared throughout Revelation,
that all Mankind are in a degenerate State under Guilt
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth :
7 But if we walk in the light, as he 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 for.
LOVE AND HOLINESS TRE MARKS OF A CHRISTIAN.
Julian Piero give us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteous- Asia Minor.
4799. Vulgar Æra,
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a
liar, and his word is not in us.
I John ii. 1-6.
The Apostle, as their spiritual Father, addresses himself to
the newly converted, shewing that the Mercies of God in
Redemption by the Blood of Christ, should prevent instead
of encourage them to sin (Ps. cxxx. 4.)- Those who sin
from Infirmity, have an Advocate abiding with the Father,
who is the Sacrifice of Atonement for the Sins of all Be-
lievers, both Jews and Gentiles-The only sure Mark of
a true Faith and true Knowledge of God is the keeping of
his Commandments-For he who asserts he has a Knon-
ledge of God (as the Gnostics did) and indulges in Sin
is a and acts contrary to the Truth; but those who
observe his Doctrines, in them the Design of the Love of
God in the death of Christ, is made perfect, and they
know they have communion with him by ihe Influence of
his Spirit in their Hearts and Lives: for he that pro-
fesses to be united to Christ, through his Spirit, ought to
walk or behave as Christ did while he was on Earth.
1 My little children, these things write I unto you,
that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advo-
cate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous :
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins : and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected : hereby know we that we are in him.
6 He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also
so to walk, even as he walked.
§ 4. 1 John ii. 7–17.
St. John, in exhorting them to Holiness and Obedience to
Christ, writes no new Commandment, but what was in-
culcated by the Law of Nature, and by the Mosaic Dis-
pensation (Deut. xviii. 15.)- On the other Hand it may
be called a new Commandment, as being renewed and
enforced by higher Motives and Obligations, for the typi-
cal Represeniations of the Mosaic Dispensation were
non past, and the Light of Truth is shining, pointing out
their Signification and Accomplishment~He who hates
his Brother has no Fellowship with God, but like the Jews
Julian Pe." who hated the Gentiles, he is in Darkness and Ignorance, Asia Mime riod, 4799. whatever are his Pretensions-But he that loves his Bro. Vulgar&ra,
ther, gives Proof that he lives in Christ; and being in 96.
the Light he can see his Way, and is preserved from
Stumbling, or giving Offence (John xi. 9.)—But he that
walketh in Darkness is in the greatest Danger of falling,
to his own Destruction, not knowing whither he goeth-
He writes to the Infants, or those newly born into the
Family of their heavenly Father, because their Sins are
forgiven for Christ's sake-to those who had been of the
longest standing in the Christian Faith, because they had
attained to the greatest Knowledge of the Doctrines and
Manner of Life of Christ, who was from Eternity-To
those who are in the Vigour of their spiritual Life, be-
cause they had overcome the wicked one-To those who
had not made much progress, because they were adopted
Sons, and had received the Holy Spirit - He cautions the
whole Household of God, in their different Gradations,
not to love the World, or earthly Things, which are in-
compatible with the love of God and Man; for all its
Gratifications, Magnificence, and Honors neither come
from nor lead to God, but are excited by the Things of
the World which passes away with its Followers; but
they who do the Will of God, mortifying their worldly
Lusts, shall live
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you,
but an old commandment, which ye had from the begin-
ning. The old commandment is the word which ye have
heard from the beginning.
8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you:
which thing is true in him and in you: because the dark-
ness is past, 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 none occasion of stumbling in him.
11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that 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 ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the
THEY ARE CAUTIONED AGAINST FALSE TEACHERS.
Jalian Pe- word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the Asia Minor, riod, 4799. wicked one. Vulgar Æra, 96.
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
§ 4. 1 John ii. 18, to the end.
The Apostle assures his Converts that the end of the
tolic Age had come--He reminds them of Christ's Pre-
diction, (Matt. vii. 15, and xxiv. 11, 12. 24, 25.) which
was now accomplished in their false Teachers—who went
out from the Christian Church, having, to serve their own
purpose, joined themselves to it—He writes to them not be-
cause they are ignorant of the Truths of the Incarnation
of the Word, and the necessity of a Holy Life, but be-
cause they know it, and can testify that every opposite
Doctrine must be false—Who then is the Liar, or false
Prophet, predicted by our Saviour, but he who denies
Jesus who came in the Flesh to be the Christ, the Mesa
siah of God He is Antichrist, who denies that God is the
Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and who denies the divine
and human Nature of the Son-He who denies Jesus to be
the Son of God, hath no regard to the Father, who has
declared him to be so at his Baptism and Transfigura-
tion--but he who acknowledges him is accepted of the
Father also-He exhorts them to continue in the Doc-
trines they had received concerning Christ from the Apos-
tles, and they shall be in Fellowship with the Son and
the Father, and be made partakers of God's promise of
eternal Life through the Son-He has written these
Things concerning those who would attempt to seduce
them, to caution them against these Impostors, although
they had received the Holy Ghost, and needed not to be
taught how to judge between the true and false Doctrines,
for the Spirit had fully instructed them in the Truth-in
which they must abide, and be united to Christ through
the same Spirit, if they would have Confidence before him
at his coming-For as they know that God is perfectly
righteous, those only who practise Righteousness are born
or generated by his Holy Spirit--and become his Chil-
18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there