The Spirit of truth - The Spirit, or Holy Ghost, whose essential office is to manifest, vindicate, and apply the truth. The Gospel of Christ may be thus called, because it exposes falsity, removes error, and teaches the knowledge of the true God - shows the way to him, saves from vanity and illusive hopes, and establishes solid happiness in the souls of those who believe.
The world cannot receive - By the world, St. John means those who are influenced only by the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eye, and the pride of life, 1 John 2:16. Now these cannot receive the Spirit of the truth, because they see him not, have no spiritual discernment, attend to nothing but the dictates of their corrupt passions and affections, and will admit of no influence but what can be an object of their senses. Hence all the deign and irreligion in the world. God, in the operation of his hands, and in the influences of his Spirit, is found every where except in the perverted passions of men. In these alone do men of corrupt minds seek him; here only he is not to be found, and therefore they become infidels and atheists.
But ye know him - Ye have already received a measure of the truth, and ye believe in this Spirit. Probably our Lord refers to the knowledge which they should afterwards attain: in this sense the passage has been understood by the Vulgate, Nonnus, and two copies of the Itala, which read, Ye Shall know him.
For he dwelleth with you - Or, as the Ethiopic, Vulgate, Nonnus, and six copies of the Itala read, he shall dwell with you, (see above); and this, it is very evident, is the meaning of the evangelist, who not unfrequently uses the present for the future tense. It is certain the Holy Spirit was not yet given to the disciples so as to dwell in them; this St. John himself assures us, John 7:39. And it is evidently of that Spirit and its influences, which was not given till the day of pentecost, that our Lord here speaks.