'The darkness.' Though a little harsh in these cases in English, 'the' ought to be retained, because it is not simply a state -- a man being in darkness; but a specific darkness, the ignorance and non-revelation of God is spoken of: only it is abstract, and so absolute. 'The darkness' is the natural condition of sinful man without God, who is light; the creature without God. Hence in John 1.5 'the light appears in darkness, and the darkness apprehended it not.' 'Is passing' (ver. 8) is abstract. 'The true light shines:' that is absolute; it shines, whether seen or not. But though some had received the light, he could not say the darkness was all gone, for it was not, but only with some who 'were once darkness, but now light in the Lord.' Thus it was not as in the gospel, when Christ was upon earth; for then the darkness apprehended not the light shining in darkness. It was putting the light out. As long as he was in the world, he was the light of the world. Now it was not so: there was a passing away of the darkness.