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- 1 John
by Robert Hawker
THE FIRST EPISTLE GENERAL OF JOHN
All antiquity have, with one consent, ascribed this lovely and loving Epistle to John, the Apostle and Evangelist, although he hath not put his name to it. There is a great sameness of style, and manner in it, as well as in the doctrine, to the other writings of the beloved disciple. The place from whence written, and the time when, are not so generally agreed upon. But, certainly, it must have been towards the close of John's life, for he speaks of the last time, by which he meant the destruction of Jerusalem, which Jesus foretold, and which took place but a little while (as some think) after John wrote this Epistle: though some have dated it before. The term of General Epistle, is intended only to intimate, that it was not directed to any individual person or Church.
But the most material point to be regarded on this occasion is the very plain and clear marks it bears with it of divine inspiration. Here we rest more than satisfied, and find occasion for thanksgiving and joy. One sweet feature runs through the whole of it, in relation to the Church, namely, the Apostle's testimony to the Father's love, the Son's grace, and the Holy Ghost's fellowship. And, as John lived to behold the springing up of deadly heresies in the coming of Antichrist, and the denial of the Godhead of our Lord, we have reason to bless God for lengthening the Apostle's life, to give the evidence which we have in this Epistle upon record, to this glorious fundamental truth of our most holy faith.
I shall not detain the Reader with any further observations, but only beg of him to bend the knee with me in prayer, that the Lord the Spirit, who hath graciously given us the scripture will give us with it the understanding to apprehend it, that having an unction from the Holy One, We may know all things.
the Sixth Week after Easter