« ZurückWeiter »
him should not perish, but have manifest that they are wrought 17. everlasting life. For God sent in God.
not his Son into the world to
Tuesday in Whitfun Week. the world through him might be For the Epistle. Acts viii. 14. 18. saved. He that believeth on him
When the apostles which were is not (t) condemned: but he
at Jerusalem heard that Samaria that believeth not is condemned
had received the word of God, already, because (u) he hath not believed in the name of the only they sent unto them Peter and
John (y): who, when they were 19. begotten Son of God. And this
come down, prayed for them, is (x) the condemnation, that
that they might receive the Holy light is come into the world, and
Ghost : (for as yet he was fallen men loved darkness rather than
upon none of them; only they light, because their deeds were
were baptized in the name of the 20. evil. For every one that doeth
Lord Jesus.) Then (z) laid they evil hateth the light, neither their hands on them, and they cometh to the light, the light, lest his
received the Holy Ghost. 21. deeds should be reproved : But
he that doeth truth cometh to the The Gospel. John X. 1. (a) light, that his deeds may be made “ Verily, verily, I say unto
was upon him, and with his stripes we
healed.” So 1 John iv. 9. " In this
only begotten Son into the world, that
(t) “ Not condemned,” i. e. escapes
(u) “Because,” &c. If all have sinned, (and who has not ?) if condemnation is the ordinary consequence of sin, and faith in Christ is the only condition upon which God will exempt from condemnation, it follows, that he who will not perform the condition (by believing in Christ) must continue in a state of condemnation. This corresponds with what St. Peter says, Acts iv. 12. “ Neither is “ there salvation in any other: for there " is none other name under heaven given
among men whereby we must be “ saved.” Ought not we to turn in our minds the observation, Heb. ii. 3. “How “ shall we escape, if we neglect so great “ salvation ?"
(x) “ This is the condemnation," i.e. (perhaps) this justifies it, this shews its propriety and reasonableness, that it is sin only that obstructs this belief : whoever
has a good disposition, is ready to walk
Laid," &c. This was a point on which the apostles could not well be deceived. They must have known whether the persons on whom they laid their hands did receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. And their conviction as to this, and their other extraordinary powers, with their assurance of our Saviour's Resurrection and Ascension, would satisfy them beyond all doubt that God was with them, and accounts decisively for their courage, intrepidity, and exertions in preaching the gospel.
(a) This is a continuation of our Saviour's reproof to the Pharisees, after be
you, He (b) that entereth not Then said Jesus unto them again, 7.
by the door into the sheepfold, « Verily, verily, I say unto you, 6 but climbeth up some other “ I am the (d) door of the sheep. way,
the same is a thief and a " All that ever came before me 8. « robber. But he that entereth " are thieves and robbers: but “ in by the door is the shepherd “ the sheep did not hear them. u of the sheep. To him the “ I am the door : by me if any 9. porter openeth ; and the sheep
man enter in, he shall be 66 hear his voice: and he calleth “ saved, and shall go in and out,
“ his own sheep by name, and “ and find pasture. The thief 10. 4.
« leadeth them out. And when “ cometh not, but for to steal, " he putteth forth his own sheep, " and to kill, and to destroy : I “ he goeth before them, and the “ am come that they might have
" sheep follow him : for they 6 life, and that they might have 5. “ know his voice. . And a stran- “ it more abundantly."
ger will they not follow, but " will flee from him ; for they
“ know not the voice of stran6.
This parable spake TRINITY SUNDAY. (e) Jesus unto (c) them : but they understood not what things they
The Collect. were which he spake unto them. Almighty and everlasting God,
So he says,
had restored to sight the man that was born blind. The Pharisees had been questioning the man; and upon his inferring from the miracle that Jesus must be of God, had cast him out.
(6) “ He that entereth,” &c. i. e. as a clandestine intruder; one who does not come in openly, or by the ordinary entrance, is naturally concluded to be a thief and a robber; so may you fairly conclude, that he does not come from God, whose works are such as God would never sanction: if the means are bad, it is not unfair to infer that the end cannot be good. You may judge by what he does, whether a man is an im. postor or not. And on the contrary, as he who enters in by the door is rightly supposed to be the shepherd, so if my works are such as none but one who came from God could do, you ought to be convinced that I really did come from God. And I not only “ enter in by the “ door," that is, do these works, but I am the door itself, (verse 7.); it is through me alone that any can enter. See infra, verse 7.
(c) “ Them," i.e. the Pharisees.
(d) “ The door." Our Saviour here advances one step farther. He had be.
fore inferred, that he was the true Shep-
unto the Father, but by me.” And agreeably thereto St. Peter says, Acts iv.
“There is none other name under “ heaven given amongst men whereby
we must be saved.”
(e) Upon the subject of this great mystery, it may not be amiss to notice, with some little alteration, the humble language of the great Hooker, Book 1. 8. 2. p. 71.
Dangerous it were for “ the feeble brain of man to wade far « into the nature of the Most High ; “ whom although to know be life, and
joy to make mention of his name, yet
our soundest knowledge is, to know, " that we know him not as indeed he is, " neither can know him ; and our safest
eloquence concerning him is our si“ lence, when we confess, in humble “contemplation, that his glory is inex
plicable, his greatness above our capa. city and reach. He is above, and we
who hast given unto us thy ser
about the throne were four and vants grace, by the confession of
twenty seats: and upon the seats a true faith to acknowledge the I saw four and twenty elders sitglory of the eternal Trinity, and ting, clothed in white raiment ; in the power of the divine Ma- and they had on their heads jesty to worship the Unity ; We crowns of gold. And out of the 5. beseech thee, that thou wouldest throne proceeded lightnings and keep us stedfast in this faith, and thunderings and voices: and there evermore defend us from all ad.
were seven lamps of fire burning versities ; who livest and reignest, before the throne, which are the one God, world without end. seven Spirits of God. And be 6. Amen.
fore the throne there was a sea
of glass, like unto crystal : and For the Epistle. Rev. iv. I. in the midst of the throne, and AFTER this I looked, and, be- round about the throne, were hold, a door was opened in hea. four (6) beasts, full of eyes beven; and the first voice which I fore and behind. And the first heard was as it were of a trum- beast was like a (i) lion, and the pet talking with me; which said, second beast like a calf, and the “ Come up hither, and I will
third beast had a face as a man, “ shew thee things which must be
and the fourth beast was like a 2. “ hereafter.” And immediately flying eagle. And the four beasts 8.
I was in the (f) Spirit : and, be- had each of them (k) six wings hold, a throne (8) was set in about him ; and they were full
heaven, and one sat on the throne. of (1) eyes within : and they rest 3. And he that sat was to look upon not day and night, saying, “ Holy,
like a jasper and a sardine-stone : holy, holy, Lord God Aland there was a rainbow round “ mighty, which was, and is, and
about the throne, in sight like “ is to come.” And (m) when 9. 4. unto an emerald. And round those beasts give glory and ho
upon earth; therefore it behoveth our “ words to be wary and few.” The
words in italics are alterations. v.2. “ In the spirit,” i.e. in a vision,
or trance ;-spiritualized.
those of the twenty-four elders, &c. &c.
()) “ Four beasts." These represent
(1) “ A lion," &c. The Israelites had four standards, that of Judah, Ephraim, Reuben, and Dan; and the first had the ensign of a lion, the second that
of an ox, the third that of a man, and the fourth that of an eagle. In their encampments and marches in the wilderness, according to Numb. ii. Judah was to take the east, Ephraim the west, Reuben the south, and Dan the North ; and the tabernacle and Levites were to be in the midst. So Ezek. i. 10. the four living creatures which came from the north had the faces of a man towards the south, of an eagle towards the north, of a lion on one side, and of an ox on the other.
(1) “ Six wings," to fly about every - 8 where to fulfil God's commands.
() “ Of eyes," i.e. sharpsighted, to , 8. understand God's mysteries.
(m) “ When," &c. i. e. when the v.9. churches perform their services, the elders fall down, &c.
nour and thanks to him that sat Jesus by (n) night, and said unto
on the throne, who liveth for him, “Rabbi, we know that 10. ever and ever, the four and 6 thou art a teacher come from
twenty elders fall down before " God; for no man can do these him that sat on the throne, and
" miracles that thou doest, exworship him that liveth for ever cept God be with him.” Jesus 3. and ever, and cast their crowns answered and said unto him, before the throne, saying, “ Thou “ Verily (6), verily, I say unto “ art worthy, O Lord, to re- “ thee, Except a man be born “ceive glory and honour and again (p), he cannot see the
power; for thou hast created kingdoin of God.” Nicode- 4. “ all things, and for thy pleasure mus faith unto him, “ How can a “ they are and were created.” “ man be born when he is old ?
can he enter the second time The Gospel. John iii. 1.
into his mother's womb, and be There was a man of the Phari- “ born?” Jesus answered, “ Ve- 5.
sees, named Nicodemus, a ruler “ rily, verily, I say unto thee, 2. of the Jews : the same came to “ Except a man be born of
This was per
(n)“ By night,” therefore probably “ secretly, for fear of the Jews."
(6) Verily,” &c. haps intended as a rebuke to him, for coming by night : and the meaning probably is, it is not sufficient for you privately to acknowledge me, I must have a public avowal. If you are really convinced I am the Messiah, no fear of man must deter you from professing it. Agreeably to Matt. x. 32. “Whosoever shall confess me before
him “ will I also confess before my Father " which is in heaven ; but whosoever “ shall deny me before men, him will I “ also deny before my Father which is * in heaven.” So Luke xiv, 26. « If
ang man come to me, and hate not" (i. e. in comparison of his duty to me) is his father and mother, and wife and “ children, and brethren and sisters, yea, “ and his own life also, he cannot be my
“ disciple.” 9.3.
(p)“ Born again,” i. e. regenerate, putting off all carnal habits, dispositions, &c. and putting on spiritual ones. “ Put. “ ting off,” according to Ephes. iv. 22. « the old man, which is corrupt,” &c. “ and putting on the new man, which “ after God is created in righteousness, « and true holiness.” The expressions of " being renewed," "putting off the “ old man,” and “putting on the new “ man,” or “ putting on Christ,” are not unfrequent. Thus, Ephes. iv. 23.
St. Paul tells the converts to put off the old man, and put on the new, and “ to be “ renewed in the spirit of your
mind." So Col. iii. 9, 10. he speaks of them as having " put off the old man with his deeds, “ and having put on the new mun, which “ is renewed in knowledge, after the “ image of him that created him,” viz. God. In Rom. xii. 2. he tells them to be“ transformed in the renewing of their “ mind.” And Rom. xiii. 14. he exhorts them to “ put on the Lord Jesus Christ, “ and not make provision for the flesh, “ to fulfil the lusts thereof." In Gal. iii. 27. he reminds them, that “
of “ them as had been baptized into Christ, “ had put on Christ.” And Gal. vi. 15. he says,
á In Christ Jesus neither circum“'cision availeth any thing, nor uncir
cumcision, but a new creature.” And 2 Cor. v. 17.
any man be in Christ, “ he is a new creature.” So in the Old Testament, Ezek. xi. 19. “I will give " them one heart, and I will put a new “ spirit within you : and I will take the “ stony heart out of their flesh, and will
give them a heart of Aesh." And Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26. “ I will sprinkle « clean water upon you,
shall “ be clean, &c. a new heart also will I
give you, and a new spirit will I put “ within you.” So Ps. li. Jo.
me a clean heart, O God, and renew
a right spirit within me." Persons admitted as proselytes into the Jewish
“ water (q) and of the Spirit, he " Art thou a master of Israe
“ cannot enter into the kingdom “ and knowest not these things 6. " of God. That which is born “ Verily, verily, I say unto the
66 of the flesh (r) is flesh; and “ We speak that (t) we do knov
" that which is born of the Spirit “ and testify that we have seen 7. is spirit. Marvel not that I “ and ye receive not our wi “ said unto thee, Ye must be
If I have told yo 8. “ born again. The (s) wind “ earthly (u) things, and ye b
« bloweth where it listeth, and “ lieve not, how shall ye belie " thou hearest the sound thereof, “ if I tell you of heavenly thing 6 but canst not tell whence it " And no man hath ascended i “ cometh, and whither it goeth: 6 to heaven, but (x) he that can every one that is born of
“ down from heaven, even th 9. “ the Spirit.” Nicodemus an- " Son of man, which is i swered and said unto him, “How
And (y) as Mos 10. “ can these things be?” Jesus “ lifted up the (z) serpent in th
answered and said unto him, 56 wilderness, even so must th
church were considered as putting off all
ye be converted, and become as little
kingdom of heaven."
(9) Of water and of the spirit," i.e. purified from his evil propensities, habits, &c. and disposed to spiritual virtues.
(r) “Is flesh,” i.e. is carnally disposed. “ Is spirit," i. e, is spiritually disposed. So Gal. v. 17.
“ The Aesh lusteth against “ the spirit, and the spirit against the «flesh.” And Rom. viii. 5. “They “ that are after the flesh, do mind the
things of the flesh, but they that are “ after the spirit, the things of the spi“ rit ; for to be carnally minded is
(s) “ The wind,” &c. The meaning
(t) “ That we do know," &c. No upon conjecture, or with doubt; we hay the assurance of knowledge and sigh and therefore speak with perfect conf dence.
(u) “ Earthly things,” i.e. perhaps things to which you have somethin bearing a resemblance : as the notion o “ being born again” prevails upon the admission of a proselyte, and might therefore in this instance also be understood.
(a) “ But he,” &c. Therefore who but he, or so well as he, can tell you of heavenly things, can know God's plans, the scheme of man's redemption, the ne: cessity of being born again, &c.
(3) “ As," &c. our Saviour apprizes him that part of God's scheme was hit crucifixion-this is one of the “ heavenly “ things" mentioned in verse 12.
(z) “ The serpent,” &c. God had sent serpents amongst the Israelites for murmuring against him, which bit them so that they died : Moses, at their instance, interceded with God for them, and God ordered him to make a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole, and promised, that every one that was bitten
, when he looked upon it, should live : Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole; and it came to if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass he lived. Numb. xxi. 7, 8, 9.