4 0 4 0 0 4:1 Try the spirits: Viz., by examining whether their teaching be agreeable to the rule of the Catholic faith, and the doctrine of the church. For as he says, (ver. 6,) He that knoweth God, heareth us [the pastors of the church]. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 4 1 4 0 0 4:2 Every spirit which confesseth, etc: Not that the confession of this point of faith alone, is, at all times, and in all cases, sufficient; but that with relation to that time, and for that part of the Christian doctrine, which was then particularly to be confessed, taught, and maintained against the heretics of those days, this was the most proper token, by which the true teachers might be distinguished form the false. 4 2 4 0 0 4:3 That dissolveth Jesus: Viz., either by denying his humanity, or his divinity. He is now already in the world. . .Not in his person, but in his spirit, and in his precursors. 4 3 4 0 0 4:18 Fear is not in charity, etc: Perfect charity, or love, banisheth human fear, that is, the fear of men; as also all perplexing fear, which makes men mistrust or despair of God's mercy; and that kind of servile fear, which makes them fear the punishment of sin more than the offence offered to God. But it no way excludes the wholesome fear of God's judgments, so often recomended in holy writ; nor that fear and trembling, with which we are told to work out our salvation. Phil. 2.12. 4 18 4 0 0 Content-type: text/html; charset=utf-8
¤ Chapter 4: What spirits are of God, and what are not. We must love one another, because God has loved us.