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other Teacher. And is it not then most evident that the Holy Spirit does alwaies teach the Saint by immediate Revelation? No surely; for I shal soon make it appear, that these words of the A. postle are nothing to the purpose of our Adversa. ries, by giving a brief and true Explication of them.
Every body knows, that ( as has been already faid) in the beginnings of the Gospel it pleased God to bestow, not only upon the Apostles, but also upon those Churches which the Apostles planted, the Extraordinary Gifts of the Holy Ghost; that is, diverse of the New Converts, as well as those who preached the Gospel to them, were inspired, and enabled to Work Miracles in Confirmation of the Doctrines they believ'd. This is what St. John here calls the ( a) Unction, or anointing of the Holy Ghost; and by this anoin. ting the Primitive Christians proved, that Jesus was the - Christ. But the Devil raifed up many false Teachers who denyed, that Jesus was the Christ; and endevored by them to seduce Men from the Truth. Of these false Teachers the Apostle is speaking, and warning those he wrote to, to beware of them.
v. 18. Little Children, faies he, it is the last time. And as ye have heard, that Antichrift mall come (or j'ather (b) cometh) to oppose or deny Christ: so even now are there many Antichrifts; whereby we know that it is the last time.
v. 19. 'Tis true, they who are Antichrists, went out from us who believe Jefus to be the Christ; but they were false Brethren, and not of us. For if they had been of us, they would, no doubt have
(a) See Dr. Hammond's Annot, upon Acts 10. e. pag. 368. Lond. 1689. (b) "Eexsas.
continued with us, and assisted in the Propagation of that Doctrin which we preach. But they went out from us, that they might be made manifest , that they were not all of us.
v. 20. But, tho' there are many Opposers and Denyers of Christ, yet you cannot but know what truths you ought still firmly to believe. For ye to whom I write, have in your several Churches An Un&tion (or rather (c) the Unktion) from the Holy One. Ye are blested with Inspired Guides, who teach you the Truth sincerely, and therefore Je all know all things belonging to Salvation; and particularly, by the constant teaching of those Inspired Guides ye know, that Jesus is the Christ.
v. 21. Now I have not written unto you, because ge know not the Truth; for I am abundantly convinced, that your Inspired Guides perpetually inculcate it. But I have written, because ye know it, and that no lie is of the Truth.
v. 22. And consequently ye know, that the Doctrine of these false Teachers, who are amongst you, is a lie. For since what your Inspired Guides do teach you, is Truth; and since they teach that Jesus is Christ ; is it not plain, that those false Teachers are liars ? For who is a liar, but be that denyeth that Jesus is the Christ, as there false Teachers do? And certainly he is most justly estcemed and named an Antichrist, who first denieth the Father, or refuses to believe the testimony of the Father, who has born witness of the Son by enabling him to work Miracles, and raising him from the Dead; and then denieth the Son also, whose Messiahship has been so fully attested.
v. 23. For, let these Antichrists pretend what they will, whosoever denieth the Son, the fame bath not the Father.
v. 24. Let that Doctrine abide in yon, which ye have heard from the beginning. For if that Doctrine, which ye have heard from the beginning mall remain in you, ye also pall continue in the
shall rend in the Fore have gre. continue ise belong.
V. 25. And ye have great Encouragement so to do. For to those who continue in the Son and in the Father, does God's promise belong.
And this is the promise that he hath promised us who continue in the Son and in the Father, even Eternal Life... .
v. 26. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.' · v. 27. Bur my writing these things unto you was the less necessary, because the anointing which ye have received of him, abideth, in (or rather (6) among) yon; and ye are furnished with. Inspired Guides, who preach these things unto you. And therefore ye need not that any other Man, besides those Inspired Guides, should Teach you; but, as the same anointing of the Holy Ghost teacherh you of all things necessary, by the Ministry of your Guides who are anointed therewith :. and as the same anointing is Truth, and is no lie; and even as it has taught you, ye shall abide in Him.
From what hath been said it appears, that the anointing here mentioned is by no means common to all Christians, but a peculiar favor of God, who was pleased in the Primitive times to bestow ima mediate inspiration and other Extraordinary Gifts
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led and tausher Argument is with on the Son of
of the Holy Ghost upon the Church. Nor are we to imagin or expect, that God does or will vouchsafe to us in these latter daies, in which those Extraordinary Gifts are ceased, that anointing which was poured forth upon so many of the fir it Christians. Wherefore, unless our Adversaries can Thew,that the fame anointing which the Apostle here speak's òf, does still continue in the Church; and that what was once enjoyed by some 'particular Christians, must now of necessity belong to every true Christian whatsoever ; I say, unlefs they can prove these two things, 'tis abfurd and una reasonable for them to conclude from these words, that all Christians are, and must be immediately led and taught by the Spirit of God.
16. Another Argument is built upon the same Apoftles' saying, He that believeth on the Son of God; hath the witness in himself, 1 John 5. 10. that is, . say our Adversaries, he that believes on Christ, has it immediately revealed to him by the Spirit which dwells in him, that Jesus is the Son of God, Bur I shalt ptove, that these words of St. Föhne mult be understood in a sense very different from thać which our Adversaries fasten upon them. "To this end I observe, that the word Mapoveis, which is here rendred witness; denotes either the Object or the Act of the person that bears witness. 1. "It denotes the Object, that is, the thing which iš attested or born witness of. Thus, i receptuesca von isty can gris, this witrėjs is true, Tit. 1. 13. that is, 'the thing attested or born witness, of concerning the Creciaris by a Prophet of their own (viz: that they were alwaies liars, evil beasts, îlow: bellies) is true: :2. It denotes the Act, that is, the Attestation of bearing witness concerning a thing. Thůs our Savior faies, I have greater wit
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ness than that of John, John 5:36. that is, I have a greater Attestation concerning me, than that of John.
Now 'tis granted on all hands, that the witness fpoken of in this controverted Text, which he that believes on the Son of God has in himself, is the Witness of God concerning his Son. But then the question is, in what sense it is the Witness of God; that is, whether it be that thing which is attested or born witness of by God concerning his Son, or God's Attestation or bearing witness concerning him. For my part, I shall not contend for either interpretation; because neither of them can advantage the Cause of our Adversaries.
For if the witness in this place signifies the thing attested or born witness of by God concerning his Son; then the witness is this truth, viz. that 7e. sus is the Son of God. Because 'tis plain from the Apostles foregoing discourse, that this truth is the thing attested or born witness of by God concerning his Son. And if the witness be this truth, viz. that Jesus is the Son of God; then he that has the witness in himself, has in himself this truth, viz. that fesus is the Son of God. And consequently, he that believes on the Son of God, has in himself this truth, viz. that Jesus is the Son of God.
But will it follow from thence, that he received this truth by immediate Revelation? No surely; for the Apoille faies nothing like it. He tells us indeed, that the Believer has this truth in himself: but he does not tell us, after what manner he received it. 'Tis true, if God pleases, he may receive it by immediate Revelation : but it cannot be said that God has made it impossible for him to receive it otherwise than by immediate Revelation. And if it be possible for him to receive