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SECT. cxxxiii.

16 The

88 He preaches at the

feast of dedication in Solomon's porch. In the mean time let us maintain all proper regards to him, and especially the most cheerful confidence in his care; repeating Ver. with evangelical views, and so with a peculiar sublimity of sense, 14 those words of David as our own, (Psal. xxii, 1–4.)

Lord is my Shepherd, I sball not want: he maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters : he re. storeth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake: yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”

SECT. CXXXIV.

Christ, discoursing of his union with the Father, is charged with

blasphemy; and, being assaulted by the Jews, retires beyond Jordan,' John X. 22, to the end.

salem the scast of

John X. 22.

JOHN X. 22. cxxxir. NOIV it may be proper to observe, that the AND it was at Jeru

time when these discourses were delivered the dedication, and it John by our Lord we'as the feast of dedicationa, which was winter. Å. 22. was observed at Jerusalem in memorial of the

purification of the temple after it had been pol

luted by the idolatries and impieties of Antio-
23 chus; and consequently it was winter. And, ed in the tempis, in

23 And
to shelter himself from the inclemencies of the Solomon's porch.
weather, Jesus teas then walking in the covered
walk that went round the temple, and was now
in that part of it which was called Solomon's

porchb.
24 Then several of the Jews surrounded him, and 24 Then came the
said unto him, Ilow long dost thou hold us in an and said unto him,

Jews round about him, anxious

How

a The feast of dedication.] As it is ex b Solomon's porch.] Josephus informs us pressly said this feast was in winter, it is (Antiq. lib. vii, cap. 3 (al. 2), § 2, 9, plain it could not be observed in remem and lib. xx. cap. 9 (al. 8), $ 7) that Sobrance of the dedication of Solomon's temple, lomon, when he built the iemple (finda which was just after harvest (1 Kings vill. ing the area of Mount Sion too small to an. 2.) nor of that of Nehemiah's, which was swer bis magnificent plan), filled up a part in the spring (Ezra vi. 15, 16.) but the of the adjacent valley, and built an outfeast here intended must be that instituted ward portico over it towards the east. This by Judas Maccabæus on his having porin was a most noble structure, supported by fied the temple and altai tiom the pollutions a wall 400 cubits high, and consisting and idolatries of Antiochus Epiphanes. of stones of a vast bulk, each stone (as This was celebrated every year for cight it is said) heing twenty cubits long and days successively, in the month of Decem- six cubiis high. And Joseplius speaks ber (1 Mac. iv. 52, 59.) and is mentioned of it as continuing even to the time of hy Josephus as a festival to which great re Albinns and Agrippa, which was several gard was paid in his time. See Joseph. years after the death of Christ. This is

cintig. lib. xii. cap. 7 (al. 11), § 6,7, called Solomon's porch, Acts iji. 11. and and Selden. de Sened. lib. iii. cap. 13,8 7.

cl

v. 12.

IIe asserts that He and the Father are one.

89

CXXXIV.

X. 24.

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said unto you.

nie.

How long dost thou anxious and uneasy suspense? If thou art indeed sECT
make us to doubt? Jf the Messiah,tell us so plainly and expressly: which
thou be the Christ, tell
us plainly.
they said with a malicious design to insnare and

John
accuse bim.
25 Jesus answered And Jesus answered them, I have in effect 25
them, I told you, and told you over and over°, yet you believe me not ;
works that I do in my and, bad I offered nothing more, the works which
Father's name, they I do in my Father's name sufficiently declare it,
bear witness of me.

as it is clearly to be seen that they bear witness
of me in a language which you would easily

understand if rou were to judge impartially.
26 But ye believe But you do not believe, because you are not persons 26
not; because ye are of such simplicity and sincerity as I described
not of my sheep, as I

under the character of my sheep. For, as I
27 My sheep hear said unto you but just now (ver. 4, 14, 16), My 27
my voice, and I know sheep hèur my voice, and I know and take care of
them, and they follow them; and they, like sheep accustomed to their

28 And I give unto shepherd, acknowledge and follow me. And 23
then eternal life, and the consequence of that will be such as would
they shall never perish, make it well worth your while to lay aside all
Deither shall any pluck
them out of my hand, these prejudices, and to join with them: for I

give unto them an invaluable blessing, even eter-
nal life; and guard them with such almighty
power and constant care, that they shall never pe-
rish, neither shull any enemy, be he ever so sub-
tile, or ever so outrageous, be able to pluck them

out of my hand", or injure them while they re-
My

Father, main in it. Nor indeed is it possible that any 29 which gave them me should; for my Father, who gave [them] to me and none is able to on purpose that I might redeem and save them, pluck them out of my is confessedly greater than all; and therefore Falber's hand.

they must needs be safe, as none is able to pluck
30 I and my Father [them] out of my Father's hand. Now it is a 30

most certain truth that I and the Father are
one : and the union between us is so strict and

intimate,

29

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are one.

c I hade in effect told you over and our English version have frequently done.
over.] What he had just been saying of (Compare Mat. xi. 27. Mark xiii. 5. and
himself, in the preceding verses, as the Jam. i. 13.) The sheep of Christ are ex-
great Shenheril, was in sense equivalent to posed to so great danger from the infera
a declaration of his being the Messiah.—1 bal lion (1 Pet. v. 8.) that I doubt not but
mention that discourse as what had just this text most eminently refers to the care
been delivered, because I think it most na of their Shepherd to guard them from his
tural to explain the 22d verse as referring to assaults.
what was said before, and not merely to el and the Father are one.] If we at-
what follows: for else the evangelist would tend, not only to the obvious meaning of
probably have said, After these things was these words in comparison with other pas.
the seast of dedication. Compare John v. sages of Scripture, but to the connection of
1. vi. 4. and vü. 1, 2.

this celebrated text, it so plainly demon-
d Neither shall any enemy pluck them, strates the Deity of our blessed Redeemer,
&c.] This is the plain import and energy that I think it may be left to speak for it.
of the original (excptatitis auic), which sels, without any laboured comment.
is greatly enervated by adding the word How widely different that sense is in which
mon in the translation, as the authors of Christians are said to be one with God (John

xvii.

stone him.

90 They are about to stone him, as making himself God,
SECT: intimate, in nature as well as in affection and
cxxxiv.

design, that his almighty power is mine, to be John employed for the defence of my sheep; and no X. 30. one can deprive them of eternal life without

prerailing against him as well as me. 31 Then the Jews, transported with rage, took ир

31 Then the Jews some of the stones which lay in the court of the took up stones again to temple, where they were still repairing some of the buildings, and armed themselves with them again, as they had formerly done, (John viii.

59. Vol. VI. p. 5+5), in order to stone him. 32 But Jesus, with his usual mildness and strength 32 Jesus answered of reason,answered them, I have shewed you many works have chewed

Many good good works from my Father; and for which of you from my Father : these works do you go about to stone me? or what for which of those have I ever done among you but acts of bene- works do ye stone me?

ficence and kindness? 33 The Jetes replying, said unto him, Whatever 33 The Jews anthy other works have been, it is very apparent, For a good work we

swered him, saying, from what has just now passed, that we do not stone inee not; but stone thee for a good work, but for the most de- for blasphemy,' and testable blasphemy; even because thou, being only because that thou, bca wretched, mortal, sinful man, makest ihyself thyself God.

man, makest God; pretending to be one with bim in so extraordinary a manner, that his omnipotence and

other divine perfections are thine. 34 Jesus, not judging it proper at that time to 34 Jesus answered

bring the sublime doctrine of his Deity into far- them, is it not written ther debate, answered them, Is it not written in are gods!

in your law, I said, Ye your law, or in those sacred books which you own to be of Divine original, (Psal. Ixxxii. 6.) where it is plain the persons that are spoken of are princes and magistrates, “ I have said, Ye

are gods; and all of you are children of the 35 Most High?” Now if the Psalmist thus ap S5 If he called thein

plied this character, and it appears he called gods; unto whom the
them gods, to whom the word of God then came', and the scripture can-
merely with regard to that office which by not be broken :
Divine designation they bore (and certainly the
scripture cannot be broken, nor can you, with
any shew of reason, pretend to censure the pro-

priety of those expressions which a divinely in36 spired writer has used); How is it then that you 36 Say ye of him, are so offended now ? or how do you pretend to

say

whom

xvii. 21), will sufficiently appear by con- apprehend the coming of the word of God sidering how flagrantly absurd and blas to thein which is here mentioned refers to phenous it would be to draw that infcrence the message then delivered to them in the from their union with God which Christ name of God, rather than, in the general, does from bis.

to their receiving a commission from him : To whom the word of God came.] I but the difference is not very material.

When

SECT.
Cxxxiv.

John

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a

He escapes from the Jews, and goes beyond Jordan.

91 whom the Father hath say concerning him whom the Father hath so the world, Thou bias. solemnly sanctified, or set apart to this great phe nest;

because I work in his eternal counsels, and whom he at
said, I am the Son of length has sent into the world under such an X. 36.
God?

exalted character, Thou blasphemest; because I
said, I am the Son of God? when you allow there
is a sense in which even oppressive magistrates

may be honoured with such a title 8.
37 Jf I do not the And when I claim this character, and speak 37
Forks of my Father,
believe me not.

so highly of myself, I do not expect to be cre-
dited, merely on my own affirmation : If I do
not the works of my Father, such glorious works.

as could not be perforined by any but
38 But if I do, though Divine agent, believe me not. But if it be ap-39
ye believe not me, be-
lieve the works : that parent thit I do such works, though believe

you
ye may know and be- not me; and are regardless of my own testimony
lieve, that the father in the case, yet at least believe the inighty works
is in me, and I in him, that I perform; and let the evidence of these

remove the prejudices you have entertained,
that ye may know and believe, that the Father [is]
in me, and I in him, by such a union, as abun-
dantly justifies the expression, which seems to

give you such peculiar offence.
39 Therefore they Then, though they knew not what to answer 39
sought again to take bin, the Jews were so enraged against him, that
him: but he escaped
out of their hand, they sought again to seize him, that they might

accuse bun of blasphemy before the Sanhedrim :
But he withdrew bimself, as he had done before,
in an extraordinary manner, and so escaped out
of their hands. (Compare Luke iv. 30. sect. 32.

and Jobo viij. 59. sect. 105.)
40 And rent again And presently departing from Jerusalem, le 10
beyond Jord
place there John at

went away again into the country beyond Jordan, first baptized; and theie to the place, called Bethabara, where (as it has hic abode.

been observed before, John i. 28. Vol. VI. p.
120.) John was at first baptizing; and there he

abode

into the

5 When you allow—magistrates, &c.] being called by that name, would intimate, A late learned and pious paraphrast appre that he was a typical person ; the conseliends that our Lord herc vindicates bis quences of which I am sure that worthy claim to supreme divinity by plealing that writer would abhor. (Compare 2 Cor. iv. 4.) the Jewish rulers are called gots, not in a I think myselftherefore obliged to acquiesce general regard to their office as rulers, but in that plain and natural sense of the pasau types of the Messialı, the great Sovereign sage, which the generality of commentators, of the church, who (as it is expressed at the both antient and modern, have given.close of this Ixxxijd psalm) was to inherit all Jesus was charged here by the Jere's with nations. But not to urge that it seems im- ascribing divinity to his human nature; and probable that such wicked magistrates as are in reply to this he shows, that calling himthere spoken of should be described as types self the Son of God did not imply that; and of Christ, this explication seems to imply, that his works proyed such a union of the that every person whose office was lypical human nature with the divine, as he had of the Messiah might be called a God; before asserted; than which no answer and on the other hand, that a creature's could have been more wise and pertinent. VOL. vi.

MI

true.

92 Reflections on our safety under the care of Christ.

SECT. abode for a while, till the fury of the multitude cxxxiv.

was a little abated. And many of the inhabi 41 And many resort. John tants of that place who had been formerly ac

ed unto him, and said,

Juho did no miraclc: X. 41. quainted with the Baptist, and remembered the but all things that John

strong and repeated testimonies which he bad spake of this man, were
borne to Jesus, came to him there, to attend
upon his preaching, and said among themselves,
John indeed did no miracle bimself; but be fore-
told extraordinary things of another; and we
now find, that all the things which John said of
this man were exactly true, which is a Divine

attestation to the mission and authority of both.
42 And many of them believed on him there, and 42 And many be-
happily iinproved this little season of his

lieved on him there. among them, as the means of their instruction and establishment in piety.

recess

IMPROVEMENT.

Ver. It is worthy of remark, that we here see our Lord Jesus at a 22 festival, appointed only by human authority, in commemoration of

a national deliverance. He came from Galilee to observe it in the temple, though it was winter; and brought with him, as at all times, a heart glowing with the most ardent and amiable zeal, for the honour of God, and the salvation of men, even of those who

were studying to insnare and destroy bim. 24, 25 What prudence, mingled with spirit and sweetness, runs through

his answers to them! What inestimable blessings does he propose, to invite them to enter into his fold! May we never forget those

gracious words! May we ever be entitled to all the comfort of 28 them! I give unto my sheep eternal life; and they shall never

perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. Lord, may

we be found in the number of those secure and happy souls, even 27 of those who know thee, and who obey thy voice, and follow thee,

whithersoever thou leadest them by thine example, thy Providence, and thy Spirit! Then may we look on our eternal life and hap

piness, as inviolably secure. Safely indeed may we trust it in 30 his hands, who could say, in so sublime, and so glorious a sense, I and the Father are one.

The enemies of our salvation must tri28, 29 umph then over Omnipotence itself, before they can wrest the

sheep of Christ out of his hands; nor will his fidelity to God, or his love to them, suffer them to be seduced by fraud, any more than destroved by violence.

Blessed situation of thy little Rock ! O thou faithful, thou compassionate, thou Almighty Shepherd, gather thou our souls with theirs; and never suffer us to forget of how great importance it is, that we still continue near thee, that we look up to thee for our

defence

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