« PreviousContinue »
in tears for me: but forbear this weeping of yours; and reserve your tears rather for those grievous miseries and calamities, which are ready to seize upon you and your children.
XXIII. 29. For, behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the
suck. For, ere long, the days shall come, wherein it shall be grief enough to the mother to think, that she hath children, which must be exposed to so cruel slaughters; and shall envy and bless those, that are barren and childless.
XXIII. 31. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
I am as a green and sappy plant; this people is a sear and dry tree: it is the sear wood, and not the green and juicy, that is for the fire: if then the hardest measure of death be inflicted upon me, how much less shall the vengeance of God forbear those, whom their horrible sins have made fit matter for his wrath and displeasure !
XXIII. 42. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
Lord, howsoever I am now justly dying for my offence, and howsoever thou art now in a despicable and forlorn condition, ready to yield up thy life also; yet I know and see, by the eyes of my faith, that there is a glorious kingdom prepared for thee; whereof, after thy dissolution, thou shalt receive the happy and everlasting possession: O then remember thou me, in that glory of thine, who am now a just partner in that shame and pain, which thou unjustly sufferest; that even after my death, I may be capable of happiness with thee: Remember me, when thou comest into thy kingdom.
XXIII. 43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day thou shalt be with me in paradise.
Since thy faith hath looked thus through my sufferings to my ensuing glory, be thou assured, that I, who have wrought this confidence in thee, will crown it: comfort thyself therefore in thy death, with the certainty of thine immediate happiness : this very day shall thy soul be received up into glory with me: this day shalt thou enjoy my presence, in that happy Paradise of Heaven.
XXIV. 5. Why seek ye the living among the dead?
XXIV. 16. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
But God did so work upon the senses of these two men, that their eyes were held from being able to discern him ; so as they took him for a stranger.
XXIV. 32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures !
Did we not feel an extraordinary working of his Spirit within us, while he talked with us by the way?
XXIV. 39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me hare.
Why are ye affrighted, as if it were some spirit that appeared unto you? let all your senses search and try me : handle me, and convince yourselves of the truth of my human body: a spirit is an immaterial substance; and hath not flesh and bones, as ye see and feel me to have.
XXIV. 43. And he took it, and did eat before them.
Not out of any necessity or use of nature, but to give unto them a more full proof of his true human body, now raised up from the dead, he took that fish, and honeycomb, and did eat before them.
THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN. I. 1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In and before the beginning of the world, the Son of God, who is the Eternal and Essential Word of the Father, had a true and perfect being; and that Word was co-eternal with God the Father, and the Holy Ghost; and that Word was in essence one and the same with God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
I. 2. The same was in the beginning with God.
The same Word, though he appeared not to the world until the fulness of time, yet was from everlasting with God the Father, and of one essence with him.
I. 3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
He was the Almighty Creator of all things; for the Father made all things by him: neither is nor was there any thing, that had a being in the world, but from and by him and his omnipotent power.
I. 4. In him was life ; and the life was the light of men.
He did not only give a being to the creature, at the first; but he also gave and doth still continue the life and preservation of those things, which he hath made: and, as he hath both given and preserved a life to the rest of his creatures, so to man especially he hath pleased to give such a life, as is joined with the light of understanding and knowledge; whereby he may come to the sight and acknowledgment of him, who is the author and giver of all good to him.
I. 5. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
It is true indeed, that the faculties of man's knowledge and understanding are now so overspread with darkness of ignorance and misconceit, that he cannot rightly apprehend and conceive the things of God; yet the means of this divine knowledge are offered and held forth unto him, howsoever the indisposition of man's depraved nature is such, that he doth not entertain them, and make use of them accordingly.
I. 6. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
There was a man, fore-ordained and sent from God, to be the harbinger of that Son of his into the world, whose name was, as it was fore-appointed by the angel, John.
I. 7. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
The same came purposely to bear witness of the truth of that Saviour, who is the Light of the World; that, through his testimony, all men might be won to a belief in Christ, their Redeemer.
I. 8. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
This John was indeed a great and holy Prophet; but he was not that Light, which God had fore-promised should shine forth into the world, for their redemption and salvation ; but was only sent to give testimony to that Messiah, whose forerunner he was.
I. 9. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
That Blessed Messiah is he, which was the True Light, that shined from heaven; and from whose beams every man in the world, that hath any glimpse at all of right understanding, receiveth his illumination.
I. 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He was, for a time, visibly here in the world : and though, by his divine power, the world was made; yet, so as he was shrouded in the state of a servant, the world did not know nor acknowledge him.
I. 11. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
He came to his own creature, man; and that, in man's own shape: he came to his own peculiar people, the Jews, having taken flesh from one of that nation; yet, his own creature man, his own countrymen the Jews, received him not. I. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave
power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his
But to so many of mankind, as did, by a true faith, receive him, to them he gave this blessed privilege, that, whereas formerly they were aliens from God and enemies to him, now, they should become the sons of God, heirs of salvation :
I. 13. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
To them, I say, which are truly regenerate; who, besides their natural birth from their earthly parents of whom they received flesh and blood, have been born again; and, from the Spirit of God, have received a new life of grace,
which no means of nature could possibly convey into them.
I. 14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father.
And as this substantial Word of the Father was, from all eternity, one Spirit with him and the Holy Ghost, so, in the time appointed by the determinate counsel of God, he came into the world, and took flesh upon him, and dwelt among us men, in a plain, familiar, and sociable manner; yet so, as we, that were his inward and domestical followers and faithful disciples, beheld, in that mean condition of his, many evident demonstrations of his Glory and Majesty ; even such glory and majesty, as was meet for the Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Father.
I. 16. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
For we, that are of ourselves empty of all good, have, from his infinite bounty, received all the good gifts that we enjoy; and those spiritual graces, which were without measure in himself, hath he pleased, in a due proportion, to communicate unto us, in those several measures and degrees which he knows fit for us.
I. 17. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
And, if your thoughts fly back to the ancient courses of God's favour to his people by the hand of Moses, as if, under and by him, grace were conveyed to men: yet know, that, howsoever the Law was indeed given by the hand of Moses, yet as the truth of those promises, which were shadowed out in the Law, is accomplished and fulfilled in Jesus Christ; so the grace and power of performing all those good duties, which the Law requireth, is only given by Christ, and wrought by his Spirit.
I. 18. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
God is, in his nature and essence, altogether invisible, as being an Infinite Spirit: no man hath ever, or can with mortal and bodily eyes, see him: we could never, of ourselves, hope to attain unto the knowledge of him; the Only Begotten Son therefore, who is one with the Father, hath graciously revealed and declared the knowledge of him to the world : He,
being the perfect image of his Father, by being himself manifested in the flesh hath manifested God the Father unto me.
I. 33. And I knew him not : but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
I had no knowledge of him, by any outward denotations ; but the same God, that sent me to baptize with water, gave me this charge and revelation concerning him; That man, upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit of God descending from heaven, in the form of a dove, and remaining for some time upon him, the same is that Messiah, whose forerunner thou art: he it is only, that, together with the outward element of water, can give the Holy Ghost, both in the sanctifying and miraculous graces thereof.
I. 42. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the Son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, fc.
I know thee already, Simon, who thou art, even the son of Jona, an obscure father; but, out of my fore-knowledge also of what thou shalt be, both of that faith which I will give thee, and of that service wherein I shall employ thee, I will give thee from henceforth a new name: thou shalt be called Cephas, or Peter, &c.
I. 46. Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth ? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Is it possible, that either Galilee, or therein the obscure village of Nazareth, should yield any such eminent good thing as that Messiah of whom thou speakest? We have learned to expect him out of Bethlehem, and how is it then, that thou namest him of Nazareth ?
I. 51. Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. Hereafter ye shall see more clear demonstrations of my
Divine Power; for ye shall know and find, that the command of heaven is mine: so as, both I only open it to all believers, and do thence familiarly command the ministration of angels for the attendance of me and mine; and, at the last, ye shall
see heaven open, and me, the Son of Man, coming, in a glorious and dreadful manner, to judgment, with all the attendance of thousand thousands of angels.
II. 4. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
Thou, who art my parent according to the flesh, mayest justly look for all due respects from me, in all earthly occasions; but, when it comes to divine matters, the business of my Heavenly Father, it is not for thee to interpose thyself: the