The Apostle is led by this to contemplate Christians in their contrariety to the to the world. The transition is suggested by the contrariety between Cain and Abel. "And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you." As Abel is the type of the children of God, Cain the type of the children of the devil,, so in their relation to each other is exhibited the relation of Christians to the world. As Cain hated and murdered Abel on account of the contrariety between the godly and the ungodly disposition, so does the world hate and murder the children of God on account of the same contrariety. The world and the children of God are, like love and selfishness, in perpetual conflict with each other. Hence it need not surprise Christians to find themselves hated by the world; they must expect it beforehand, as a consequence of the contrariety of their spirit to that of the world. It is the stamp of the divine life, whose impress constitutes them the opposite of the world. Hence the words which follow: "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. Whoso loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whoso hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer bath eternal life abiding in him." To John, the love of God alone appears as life absolutely; and the true life of the God-allied spirit can consist only in fellowship with God, in participation in the divine life. All life apart from this fellowship, -- the life of the spirit abandoned to itself, referring only to itself, -- being an estrangement from that which is and can alone be the spirit's true life, and is for the spirit Death. The world, as estranged from God, has therefore fallen a prey to death. Christians also were once, as belonging to the world, subject to the same death. Being separated from the world by faith, and becoming partakers of fellowship with God through Christ, they have passed from death unto life. While yet here below, they possess in themselves this true divine life; and as the seeming life of the world, which is but death, makes itself known by the want of love, by the selfish nature, hatred; so on the other hand, love is the characteristic mark of the true divine life. Herein therefore must the contrariety, between those who have attained to the true life and those who are still in a state of death, make itself manifest. He who loves not his brother, says John, though he calls himself a Christian, belongs still to the world. Love is wanting, and therefore also the divine life whereby the children of God are distinguished from the world. Such an one has not passed from death unto life: he abides in death, like the world to which he belongs. What he calls faith, is not that direction of the spirit whereby one passes from death unto life, and is not therefore what in the true sense can bear the name of faith. In John's view, it is not by assent to certain articles of belief that genuine Christianity, the distinction between what is Christian and what is Unchristian must make itself known, -- but in the life, in love. Here, however, must be borne in mind the connection of ideas peculiar to John's mode of conception, -- viz. that love proceeds only from faith, is something spontaneously evolved. from personal experience of the redeeming love of God in Christ. Hie asserts that where there is not love, there can be no participation in that true life in its nature exalted above change and death, containing in itself the germ of a development for eternity and hence called eternal life. And this he proves by substituting for NOT TO LOVE its equivalent, HATE; and by applying to the germ of hatred in the heart, what is true of murder, which is only the highest expression of hate. He assumes, as already known and admitted, that no murderer hath eternal life; where this disposition exists, eternal life can have no place. Perhaps John here alludes to a spiritual conception of the divine sentence, that lie who sheds the blood of another shall die the death. To him, all life estranged from God is death, -- is the opposite to that true divine life which already is eternal life. What is predicable of murder is, from the standpoint of that highest tribunal which takes cognizance of the intention, to be applied to the germ of murder already existing in hatred, -- in the want of love.