Page images


the foldes says to them, If you he Children of Abrad drenas Braham.

74 They boast of being Abraham's Seed, yet they do not his Works : Sect. 104. impoflible to reconcile your Practice with my have seen with my Father ; John VIII y Doctrine ; for I speak that which I have seen with and ye do that which ye have

feen with your Father.
my Father, and which I know to be agreeable to
his Mind and Will ; and you do that which you

een with your Father, and shew a visible
Conformity to him : By which he intimated, that
their Works as much resembled the Nature of
the Devil, as his Doctrine answered to that of
But they replied with some Warmth, and said 39 They answered and

said unto him, Abraham is ake need on whom this Renection inay our Father. fall; for Abraham is our Father, and surely thou wouldst not insinuate any Thing to the Injury of that holy Patriarch's Memory, who was called the Friend of God.

Yesus says to them, If you were indeed, and in ..-Jesus saith unto them, the most important Sense, the Children of Abra- dren. ve would do the Works.

ahme If ye were Abraham's Chil. ham, you would do the Works of Abraham, and of Abraham.

would make it the great Business of your Life to 40 imitate so wise, and so holy an Example. But 40 But now yé seek to now you seek and contrive to Nay me, a blameless kill me, a Man that hath

told you the Truth, which I and innocent Man, for no other Reason, but be

e have heard of God; this

cause I am one who has faithfully told you the did not Abraham.
Truth, which I have heard and received in Com-
mission from GOD: Abraham your boasted An-
cestor did not any Thing like this; but gave the
readiest Credit, and the most joyful Welcome, to
all the Messages which God sent him. Nevers 41 Ye do the Deeds of
theless, tho you are so unlike Abraham, I may your

your Father.
well say, as I have just now intimated, (ver. 38.)
that you do the Works of him, who is indeed your .

Then said they to him, We would have thee to -Then said they to him, know, that we are not born of Fornication ; we

We be not born of Fornia

cation ; we have one Father, are not Bastard Jews, whose Blood has been con- even God. taminated with idolatrous Alliances ; but by Virtue of our Descent from his People, and our Profession of his Religion, we have all one great, and

common Father, (which is] GOD. 42 Yesus said to them, If GOD were indeed your 42 Jesus said unto them, Father, as you pretend, instead of attempting to

If GOD were your Father,

ye would love me : for Í take away my Life, you would honour and love me : For, to speak without any Reserve on this important Head, I renew the Declaration, that

I pro

. pro

[ocr errors]

But imitate the Devil, and he therefore is their Father. 75 proceeded forth, and came I proceeded originally, and do come from GOD (f), Sect. 104. from God; neither came and appear among you as his Messenger ; for In I of myself, but he sent me.

came not of myself, but He has sent me, and I con43 Why do ye not un- stantly

stantly keep his Commission in View. And John VIII.
derstand my Speech ? even why do you not understand this my Language, and 43.
because ye cannot hear my acknowledge it. fimple as it is, to be indeed Di-

vine ? [Is it] because you cannot hear my Word (8) ?
Can you pretend to say, that I decline giving you
the most publick and frequent Instructions, or
that those Instructions are unintelligible and ob-
scure ? Your Consciences, in the general, know

the contrary, as to the main Series of them.
44 Ye are of your Father The Case is sufficiently plain, nor do I fear to 44
the Devil, and the Lufts of represent it in the most express Terms: I tell you
your Father ye will do : he
was a Murderer from the

e therefore, You are the genuine Children of your
Beginning, and abode not Father the Devil (b); and the malicious and abo-

. in minable Lusts of that accursed Spirit, whom I

justly call your Father, you will resolutely and ob-
stinately perlift to do (2) : And even now there is
the plainest Evidence of your Resemblance to him,
in your Design to murther me, and in your Op-
position to the Truth that I deliver to you ; for
he has always acted as the Enemy of Mankind,
and was a Murtherer from the Beginning, in his
Attempt to bring Destruction on the World by

Sin ; (compare 1 John iïi. 8.) and to accomplish
· his destructive Purpose, as his original Integrity

was lost by his Apostacy from God, he threw off
all Regard to what was right, and continued not

If I proceeded originally, and do come from GOD.] This seems to be the proper Distinc-
tion between ena boy and now. The Seventy, (as several Commentators have observed,) use
the first of these Words, to express the Descent of Children from their Parents. Compare
Gen. xv. 4. xxxv. II, and Ifai xi, 1. The Form in which the other stands, favours the
rendering I have given, (do come from GOD,) and may intimate, not only his first Milion,
but his exact Attendance to every particular Message.

(8) Is it because you cannot hear my Word?) I chuse to place a Mark of Interrogation after
this Clause, Olio durante AXXENV TOV nog on tov euov; and Surcats AXBELV may refer, either to their
Opportunity of hearing, which is the most common Sense of the Word, or to their Capa-
city of understanding : I have therefore included both. The Word gevwo nev, in the pre-
ceding Clause, evidently signifies, to understand, Aits viii. 30. and to distinguish, John X. 14.

(6) You are of your Father the Devil.The Account * ofephus gives of the Wickednels of
the Jews about this Time, abundantly vindicates this Affertion of our Lord, from any
Appearance of undue Severity. See 7 ofeph. Bell. 7ud. lib. v. cap. 10. (al. vi. 11.) S. 5.- '.
cap. 13. (al. 16.) $. 6. Edit. Havercamp. and Mr. Lardner's Credibility, Book i. chap. 6.
pag. 181,-184...

(i) You will resolutely and obstinately, persift to do.] This is plainly the Sense of the
Words, Jerele molGV. See Note (a) on John i. 43. Vol. i. pag. 127.


76. Reflections on the Regard due to the Words of CHRIST. Sect. 104. in the Truth, but by an audacious and most per- in the Truth, because there w nicious Lye ruined the First Parents of the Hu- is no Truth in him. When

he speaketh a Lie, he speakman Race, because there was, and is no Truth in eth of his own for he is a him : And indeed when he speaks a Lye, he speaks Liar, and the Father of it. of his own, and indulges the Biass of his own fraudulent and perfidious Nature ; for be is himself a Lyar, and was the Father of it, or the first

Forger of that detestable and pernicious Crime.
45 And as you are of such a Disposition, if I would . 45 And because I tell you
flatter your Prejudices and Vices. you would hear the Truth, ye believe me

me with Pleasure ; but because I plainly and faith-
fully speak the Truth, without Desire of Favour,

or Fear of Offence, you, being under the Influence
46 of this falfe Spirit, do not believe me. If you . 46 Which of you con-

vinceth me of Sin? And if deny this, and accuse me of Fallhood and Preva- I say the Truth, why do ye rication in any Degree, how will you prove your not believe me? Charge? Which of you convinces' me of that, or any other Sin? Büt, on the other Hand, if I do

indead speak the Truth, why do you not believe me? 47 He that is of GOD, or that is really a Child of 47 He that is of God, God, and a Partaker of his Spirit, hears with an

heareth God's Words : ye: affectionate and obedient Regard the Words of cause ye are not of Godi.

therefore hear them not, be-. GOD, his Heavenly Father, and receives them with Reverence, by whomsoever they are brought: The Reason therefore, why you do not hear mine, is because, as I have often said, you are not the Children of GOD.

I MP R O V E M E N T. Johxvii. 31. M A Y we approve ourselves the sincere Disciples of Jesus, by conti

N nuing in bis Word, and being faithful even unto Death, as ever Ver. 37, 38, we expect a Crown of Life! (Rev, ii. 10.) Without this, External Privi

leges will turn to but little Account. The Children of Abraham may be the

Children of Satan; and they are fo, if they imitate the Temper and Works Ver. 44.

of the Fiend, rather than of the Patriarch. The Devil was from the Beginning a Lyar, and a Murtherer ; and all Fallhood and Malice are from him. Let us earnestly pray, that we may be freed from them, and

from the Tyranny of every other sin, to which we have been enflaved ; Ver. 36. that Christ, the Son, may make us free of his Father's Family, and of his

Heavenly Kingdom! Then we shall be free indeed, and no more be reduced to Bondage.


They call bim a Samaritan, and say he is possessed. 77 May we prove, that we are the Children of GOD, by our Readiness to Sect. 104. bear, and receive the Words of our Blessed Ředeemer, the Words of incarnate Truth, and Wisdom, and Love; whom none of his Enemies could Ver. 47• ever convict of Sin, nor ever accused him of it, but to their own Confu- Ver. 46. fion! May we resemble him in the Innocence and Holiness of his Life, that we may the more easily and gracefully imitate that Courage and Zeal, with which he reproved the haughtiest Sinners, and bore his Testimony against the Errors and Vices of that degenerate Age and Nation in which he lived.

'S E C T. CV. JESUS promising Immortality to his Followers, and speaking

of his own Existence as prior to that of Abraham, the Jews in the Temple attempt to fone him ; but he miraculously. escapes from their Hands. John VIII. 48, to the End.


John VIII, 48.

John VIII. 48.
THEN answered the N O W when the Jews heard Jesus fò ex. Sect. 105

Jews, and said unto I pressly declaring, that they were ignorant' w !
him, Say we not well, that
thou art a 'Samaritan, and

tanad of God, and were the Children, not of Abra- John VIII.. haft a Devil?

ham, but of the Devil, they answered him there-
fore with great Rage and Contempt, and said unto
him, Do we not well say, that thou, who speakest
of Israelites in such Language as this, art a Sa-
maritan, rather than one of the Holy Seed, and
art possessed by a Dæmon, who hurries thee on to

such Outrage and Madness (a)?
49 Jesus answered, I have but to this insolent Charge Jefus meekly an- 49)
not a Devil; but I honour swered, It is plain from the whole Series of my
my Father, and ye do dilho- . 'Dironucres and actions that I a

02 · Discourses and Actions, that I am not a Dæmoniack, ! nour me.

nor can any of you produce any Thing in all that
I have said or done, which looks like Lunacy or
Impiety; but the Truth is, I bonour my Father,
by bearing a steady and consistent. Testimony to
the Doctrine he sent me to reveal to the World ;;
and because this is contrary to your corrupt Pre-

judices (a) Pollefsed by a Dæmon, who hurries thee on to such Outrage and Madness.] See Note () on John vii, 20. pag. 48.

. (b) Shall.


78 He that keeps his Word, Ball never see Death. . Sect. 105. judices and Passions, therefore you dishonour me by m such opprobrious Reflections, in hope of discreJohn VIII. diting my Message. But as for what personally 50 And I seek not mine relates to me, I am little affected with it ; for own Glory: there is one

that seeketh and judgeth. I seek not my own Glory; nevertheless I know, there is one that seeketh, and will secure it, and who now judgeth of all that passes, and will at length evidently shew the exact Notice he has taken of it, to my Honour, and to your Confusion. For God will not only finally glorify me, but 51 Verily, verily I say will confer the highest Honours and Rewards on unto you, If a Man keep all my faithful Servants ; and therefore verily, fee Death

my Saying, he thall never verily I say unto you, If keep my Word, he Mall never fee Death (b), but shall assuredly be intitled to Eternal Life, and shall immediately be advanced to so glorious and happy a State, that the Dissolution of this mortal Nature fhall, with respect to him, hardly deserve to be called Death.

Then the Yews, thinking he had asserted, that 52 Then said the Jews his Disciples Thould be exempted from the com

unto him, Now we know

that thou hast a Devil. Abramon Lot of Mortality, said again to him in a re- ham is dead, and the Proproachful Way, Now we assuredly know, that thou phets ; and thou sayest, If a balt a Dæmon dwelling in thee, which hurries Man keep my Saying, he

thall never taste of Death. thee on to this Madness and Pride, otherwise thou couldft never talk at this extravagant Rate : For Abraham, the Friend of God, and the great Founder of our Nation, is dead; and all the holy Prophets, whom God raised up in succeeding Ages, were so far from being able to bestow Immortality on their Followers, that even they themselves are long since dead; and yet thou presump

tuously fayeft, If any Man observe my Word, he fa fall never taste of Death (c). Art thou greater 53 Art thou greater than

than .


[ocr errors]

(6) Shall never fee Death, &c.] The Turn I have given to this Expresfion in the Paraphrase accounts, not only for this Passage, and that in John xi. 26. (Seet. 140.) but for what is said, of Christ's having abolished Death, (2 Tim. i. 10.) having destroyed the Devil, (Heb. ii. 14.) and raised up Christians with himself, and made them fit with him in heavenly Places. (Eph. ii, 6.) Death is as nothing, compared to what it would otherwise have been to the Sinner ; and the Felicity of Heaven is so sure, and so near, that by an easy and common Figure true Christians are spoken of as already there. See the following Note.

(c) Yęt thou sayest, If any Man observe my Word, he shall never taste of Death.] This is not the Phrase, which our Lord used, ver. 51. tho' perhaps its Signification is nearly equivalent. But I think it Thews, how improper it would be, to interpret the preceding Words, Oavalor e un Jewpnon ES TOV Alwa, He shall not see Death for ever ; i, e. he shall not die eternally. For on this Interpretation of the Words, there could have been no Shadow of Force

noe the Penthou Sayej;lians are fpokdeaven is compared to whide them file

tam But ei mahich our ear dan peserole as already bed. So near, why

« PreviousContinue »