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gospel; promised it to those who believe in 2 Tim. 1. 10. Him; purchased it by His death; and will John 6: 40. finally give it to all His faithful disciples. This & 8. 12. life was the light of men, inasmuch as it gave them the knowledge of spiritual and heavenly things, shining upon their minds and hearts, just as the sun shines upon, and shews, the various objects of creation.
5. And the light shineth in darkness, amidst an ignorant people, and the darkness, that dark people, comprehended it not. Received it not; shut their eyes, and refused it. Let us here stop, for further improvement from what we have read.
And of a truth we cannot fail to adore this eternal Son of the Father, as “God of God, Light of Light, very God, of very God;" to adore him with all our heart and soul; as the Almighty Maker of all things, as the great and merciful Redeemer of us and all mankind. Let us bear faithfully in mind, that “ He hath made us and not we ourselves ;” (Psal. c. 3.) His we are by creation and redemption : He is our life and our all. Let us then “ give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name, and worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness," (Psal. xxix. 2.) “ Let us pray without ceasing,” that our eyes may be opened to behold “the great light;" that we may be daily walking in it, and thus be made wise unto salvation' by faith in Jesus Christ. Let us watch and pray, that the principle of that divine life, which Jesus came to bestow, the life of God in the soul, may be truly formed in us, may be deeply established, may be daily advancing to strength and maturity. Let us earnestly seek it of Him, who hath purchased it for us; who alone can breathe it into our hearts, even as He did, at the creation of man, “ breathe into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.” (Gen. ii. 7.) Be this our object, this our care, that “the life we now live in the flesh, we may live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us :” (Gal. ii. 20.) that so we may answer the end of His coming, the purpose for which He has revealed Himself to us, even that we may live and reign with Him eternally in His kingdom of bliss and glory.
After the short description of our blessed Lord, of His two-fold nature, as God and man, and the purpose for which He came into the world, the Apostle proceeds to mention the forerunner of Jesus, John the Baptist, who was sent to prepare
way. CHAP. I. 6. 6. There was a man sent from God, Luke, 3. 2. rohose name was John. Not the writer of
this gospel, but the Baptist, of whom we have
Mal, 3, 1 Matt. 3, 1.
been 'speaking. 7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, of Jesus Christ who was the “ light of men,” that all men through him might believe. 8. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9. That was the true Light isohn2: 8: which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
The 9th verse may be read thus : “ That was the true Light, which, coming into the world, lighteth every man :" it shines for all, Gentiles as well as Jews; not confined to any.
10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not, owned Him not, understood and received him not, either as their Maker or Redeemer.
11. He came unto his own, His own city and temple, His own land and kingdom, and his own, His own people, the Israelites, received him not.
Hereby were fulfilled the words of Isaiah, “He was despised and rejected of men."
12. But as many as received him, to them gave
power to become the sons of God, kar. 3. 26. even to them that believe on his name:
He gave them both the privilege and the grace to use it ; “ to become the sons of God,” the children of God by adoption ; i. e. taken into God's family, of His mercy and goodness; being by nature “ the children of wrath,”
Isaiah 53. 3.
Rom. 8. 15.
the wicked one. “ Believing on His name" means, believing on Him as their Saviour, in His power and mercy to save ; and thus embracing His gospel with all their heart, and following Him faithfully. The 13th verse informs us of the change produced in these believers and followers, and of the means by which it was produced :
13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
“ Which were born," as to their new birth; brought into a new state of being, into the family of God; with “ a new heart and a new spirit;" having new principles affections, and desires ; a new life altogether : and this “ not of blood,” not on account of their relationship to the people of God, not because they were descended from Abraham and the fathers of old; “nor of the will of the flesh,” as if it were owing to any mere choice or inclination of their own ;
nor of the will of man," of any parents or teachers or friends, however piously and earnestly they might have wished it; “but of God,” through His sovereign goodness and by the power of His grace.
We are not to gather from all this, that we have nothing to do in the work and attainment of salvation ;
only, that “ we have no power of ourselves to 2 Cor. 3. 5. help ourselves,” that all“ our sufficiency is
of God.” By His free and undeserved mercy we are brought into a state of life, and He gives us the will and the power ; but in this state and with this will we must work diligently; work the more, because of His wonderful goodness and of the ability which He bestows: Thus St. Paul expresses it,
6 Work out your own salvation with fear and tremb-Phi.2. 12, 13. ling, for it is God which worketh in
both to will and to do of his good pleasure." We may now conclude with the 14th verse :
14. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the onlg begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
“ Was made flesh,” became incarnate, as it is called ; took upon Him our nature : then it follows that Christ had some other nature, some other mode of being, before He came into this world : It never could have been said
any mere man, that he was made flesh, or became flesh: a mere man could not be any thing else. But the expression applies exactly to Christ, and to no other : though Lord of all, He“ took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men, and was found in fashion as a man;" though
was rich, yet for our sake He became poor.” The disciples beheld His glory in all 2 Cor. 8.9. His words and works; in His life and death
Phil. 2. 7,8.