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knew what he had said, although at a distance; he then calls upon this disciple to say, whether, after having examined him in the way which he himself proposed, he was not his master.

28. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God!

These words are no more than an exclamation of the apostle, the effect of sudden surprise and astonishment, to find the person whom he felt and handled to be his master raised from the dead. The sentence is evidently incomplete, and like other exclamations implies more than is expressed.

Some, however, consider the words as addressed to Christ, as if he had said, Thou art my Lord and my God, and deduce hence what they deem an irrefragable argument for the deity of Christ; but nothing can be more weak and inconclusive. That Thomas, a Jew, who had just notions of the spirituality and universal presence of the Supreme Being, should call a man who had been lately crucified and dead, his God, is utterly incredible.

29. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed," and yet believe."

These words were intended as a mild reproof to Thomas for his incredulity; for they commend the faith of those who believe the resurrection of Jesus upon the testimony of others, without enjoying the evidence of sense. The reason of this commendation is evident; for such men show a greater love of truth, minds more free from prejudice, and more enlarged conceptions of divine power,

30. And many other signs truly

did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this



But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that, believing, ye might have life through his name.

These verses relate not to what immediately precedes, but to the whole history, respecting which John tells us that it does not contain all the miracles which Jesus performed, but only a few; and those few are recorded to prove Jesus to be the Messiah, or, which is the same thing, the Son of God: for upon the belief of this truth depends our knowledge of the way which leads to eternal life. The name of Christ seems to be here put for Christ himself, just in the same manner as the name of God, in the Old Testament, frequently signifies the Divine Being.


1. This portion of scripture affords us fresh and more satisfactory evidence of that most important fact, the resurrection of our master. After appearing to Mary and some other disciples, separately, and in the morning, he meets the apostles, when assembled together, in the evening. He allows them time to recover from the surprise which would be occasioned by the first report of his being risen from the dead, leaves room for reflections on the nature and possibility of the fact, and for starting such doubts as might occur to thinking men, and then appears to them again, in order to remove their doubts and satisfy their inquiries

Here is no room left for saying that the disordered imagination of a woman, weeping for a friend whom she had lost, conjured up a phantom which had no reality; for he is seen and heard by ten persons at once, whose different imaginations could never concur in exhibiting the same things. Here is nothing left to be accounted for by a sudden illusion, which appears for a moment and then vanishes; but Jesus converses with his apostles for some time, and permits them to recover from their surprise and terror, if they felt any. Here is no forwardness to believe on the one side, nor any studied caution and concealment on the other; but the strictest inquiry is courted and called for. The proofs of the crucifixion of Christ are displayed before their eyes, without reserve; and, where the evidence of sight was not thought sufficient, the superior satisfaction arising from the sense of touch is likewise afforded. Surely we must say that to a fact the belief of which was established in this manner, nothing can be fairly objected.

2. The conduct of Jesus towards Thomas discovers much condescension: he would not believe the testimony of his fellow disciples, when they assured him that they had seen his master. In rejecting such testimony, he was influenced by unreasonable prejudices and was much to blame: but Jesus does not abandon him to his unbelief, as he might justly have done; but knowing him to be an honest, although mistaken man, appears again to his disciples for the express purpose of removing his doubts, and furnishing him with such evidence as he required.

Let us learn hence how to behave towards unbelievers in the gospel, or in the genuine doctrine which it contains: they are highly unreasonable in their demands, and are influenced by strong prejudices against the truth: but let us not on that account load them with reproaches, or despair of correcting their opinions. Many of them have upright minds, which only require to be better informed by patient instruction, in order to embrace the truth. If our first endeavours to

convince them should fail, let us not give up the work in despair; a second or third attempt may prove more successful. Such labours, it must be acknowledged, are painful and discouraging; but they are acts of enlightened benevolence, and are recommended to us by the highest example.

John xxi. 1-14.

The last appearance of Jesus to his disciples was at Jerusalem; but having directed them to go before him to Galilee, Matt. xxviii. 7. Mark xvi. 7. that they might meet him there, we now find him showing himself to them at the sea of Tiberias in that country.

1. After these things, Jesus showed himself to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise," in this manner," showed he himself.

2. There were together Simon Peter and Thomas, called Didymus, and Nathaniel, of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

Nathaniel is here classed with the apostles, and was probably one of their number, although usually called by another name, that of Bartholomew.


Simon Peter saith unto them, I go, "I will go" a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee; " We also will go with thee." They went forth and entered into a ship immediately, and that night they caught nothing.

While Jesus was with them, the apostles had been supported by him; but now he was gone they find it necessary to have recourse to their usual occupation for subsistence, and with this view go out in the boat which formerly belonged to them as fishermen, or in one which they hired.

4. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore. But the disciples knew not that it was Je


They were prevented from knowing him by his being at a considerable distance, and perhaps by its being not quite light.

5. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, "Sirs," have ye any meat? meaning to ask whether they had any fish: they answered him, No.

6. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.

They thought that this stranger might be well acquainted with the best place for fishing, and therefore complied with his directions.

They cast, therefore, and now they were not able to draw it, that is, into the ship, for the multitude of the fishes.

Such a great draught of fishes, after toiling all night without taking any thing, might well convince them that there was a miracle performed, and awaken their suspicions that this supposed stranger was Jesus.

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