[Chapter 1]

1 This Epistle is written to a woman of great renowne, 4 who brought vp her children in the feare of God: 6 he exhorteth her to continue in Christian Charitie, 7 that she accompanie not with Antichristes, 10 but auoide them.

1 The Elder to the [Note: [a] This is no proper name, but to be taken as the worde soundeth, that is to say, to the worthie and noble Ladie. ] elect [Note: [b] Excellent and honorable Dame. ] Lady, and her children, [Note: [1] The bond of Christian coniunction or linking together, is the true and constant profession of the trueth. ] whom I loue in the trueth: and not I onely, but also all that haue knowen the trueth,

2 For the trueths sake which dwelleth in vs, and shalbe with vs for euer:

3 Grace be with you, mercie and peace from God the Father, and from the Lorde Iesus Christ the Sonne of the Father, with [Note: [c] With true knowledge which hath alwayes loue ioyned with it, and folowing it. ] trueth and loue.

4 [Note: [2] This true profession consisteth both in loue one towards another which the Lord hath commanded, and also especially in wholesome and sound doctrine, which also is deliuered vnto vs: for the commandement of God is a sounde and sure foundation both of the rule of maners, and of doctrine, and these cannot be separated the one from the other. ] I reioyced greatly, that I founde of thy children walking in [Note: [d] According as the trueth directeth them. ] trueth, as we haue receiued a commandement of the Father.

5 And nowe beseeche I thee, Lady, (not as writing a newe commandement vnto thee, but that same which we had from the beginning) that we [Note: Iohn 15.12. ] loue one another.

6 And this is that loue, that we should walke after his commandements. This commandement is, that as ye haue heard from the beginning, ye should walke in it.

7 [Note: [3] Antichristes fighting against the person and office of Christ, were already crept into the Church, in the time of the Apostles. ] For many deceiuers are entred into this worlde, which confesse not that Iesus Christ is come in the flesh. He that is such one, is a deceiuer and an Antichrist.

8 [Note: [4] He that maketh shipwracke of doctrine, loseth all. ] [Note: [e] Beware, and take good heede. ] Looke to your selues, that we lose not the things which we haue done, but that we may receiue full reward.

9 Whosoeuer transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Sonne.

10 [Note: [5] We ought to haue nothing to doe with them that defende peruerse doctrine. ] If there come any vnto you, and bring not this doctrine, [Note: Rom.56.57. ] receiue him not to house, neither bid him, God speede:

11 For he that biddeth him, God speede, is partaker of his euill deedes. Although I had many things to write vnto you, yet I woulde not write with paper & ynke: but I trust to come vnto you, & speake mouth to mouth, yt our ioy may be full.

12 The sonnes of thine elect sister greete thee, Amen.