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trines which he inspired Jesus to preach, by the miracles which he gave him to per, form, and by the influences of the Spirit which bre' empowered him to dispense. Every one, therefore, that hath heard and understood what the Father hath said concerning Messiah, whether by the prophets, or by Jolin the Baptist, or by the voices from heaven, or by my doctrine, miracles, and spirit, and has learned thereby to forin a just notion of Messiah, will believe on me as the Messiah Not that any man here seen the Father, save he that is of God, he hath seen the Father : when I speak of men's hearing and learning of God, I do not mean that they can see God personally, and be tæught of him in the manner that a scholar is taught of his master. No man hath seen the Father personally, except the Son, whom the Father has sent, and whose peculiar privilege it is to have been taught immediately of the Father, the doctrine which he preaches to men. Vürily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life : because I have been personally taught of the Father the doctrines which I preach, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life begun in him, and is as sure of being raised to the perfeci cnjoyment thereof as if he had it already in his possession. The reason is, by my doctrine I deliver believers from their sinful inclinations, which are the seeds of corruption; and cherish in them gracious dispositions, which are the principles of eternal life. In respect of my doctrine, therefore, I am undoubtedly that bread of life' which I spake to you of before. Thus Jesus explained the nature of the dignity which he had assumed to himself in the foregoing part of his discourse, and demonstrated that it really belonged to him,
Next, he ran a comparison between himself, cousidered as the bread from heaven, and the manna which Moses provided for their fathers in the desert, and which they admired so greatly. He told them that the manna bad not preserved their fathers either from temporal or cternal death : whereas, he' was come down bread from hea ven, to make men immortal. Your fathers did cat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may cat thereof, and not die. But because it was a matter of infinite importance to his hearers that they should form a just notion of his ability to save them, and believe in him as the Saviour of the world, he affirmed, the third time, that he was himself the living bread which came down from heaven to make immortal, and that all who did eat of it should live for ever ; because he was about to give them his fresh to eat, by making it an expiation for the sins of the world. I am the living bread which came down from heaven ;' if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever : and the bread that I will gire is my flesh, that I will give for the life of the world. All the terms made use of by our Lord on this occasion, were such as the Jews had been accustomed to interpret figuratively ; for which reason, they might easily have understood him. Nevertheless, taking them in a literal sense, they were astonished beyond measure, and fell into keen disputes about the meaning of them. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, sayiny, how can this man give us his flesh to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, vcrily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and · drink his blood, ye have no life in you. To use Dr. Clarke's words here. “Jesus, knowing how unreasonable his hearers were, did not think fit to explain himself more particularly at this time; but, persisting in the same figurative way of expressing himself, be repeated and affirmed more earnestly what he had asserted before. Exrept ye be entirely united to nie, by a hearty belief and practice of my doctrines, and partake of the merit of that sacrifice which I shall offer for the sins of the world, and continue in the communion of my religion, and receive spiritual nourishment by the continual participation of those means of grace which I shall purchase for you by my
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death, se can never attain eternal life.” Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day : he has the principles of eternal life implanted in him, and shall enjoy it, because I will raise him up at the last day. For ny flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed: my flesh and blood are the true nutriment of the soul; for they feed it, and make it grow; they give vigour to all its faculties, preserve it continually alive, and make it fit for heaven. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood dwelleth in me, and I in him : we are most intimately connected together in the closest friendship ; and, therefore, whatever blessings I can bestow, whicther by my own power, or by my interest with tbe Father, or lay the influences of my Spirit, my friends shall enjoy them in full perfection. The expression of persons dwelling in each other occurs often in John's 'writiogs, and denotes the closest union of affections and interests. Wherefore, according to the grand figure made use of by the apostle Paul, it siguifies, that he who truly believes on Christ is so united to him, as to be a member of his body, and, consequently, a partaker with him of his life and immortality, and of all the happiness which he himself enjoys, or is able to communicate. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth ine shall live by me. As it is my meat and drink to do the will of my Father, who is the author of life and happiness, as I nourish and delight my mind with the punctual execution of all the orders he gave me when he sent me into the world ; so he that eateth me; he that believes my doctrine and obeyg my precepts, shall find therein eternal nourishment and refreshment to his soul. Or the meaning may be, as I shall live after I am put to death, because I am sent by the Father, the author of life, and because he dwells in me, and I in him ; so he that eateth me, and thereby has me dwelling in him, shall, after be dies, he raised again by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: this is the bread which, in the beginning of my discourse, I told you was come down from heaven ; a kind of bread infinitely superior to the manna, both in its nature and efficacy; for it is to be eaten by you, not as your father's did eat manna, and are dead : it is peither to be eaten the same way that your fathers did eat the manna, nor with the same effect; but he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum : he spake them openly, in the hearing of all the people who attended at public worship in the synagogue,
Most of the metaphors in this discourse, and particularly that of food, to signify doctrine, and of eating and drinking, to signify believing, were abundantly easy, and might have been understood, at the very first, by the Jews, being found in their scriptures, and used in their schools. Only, not being able to comprehend what he meant by his flesh, they took the whole literally : and were so offended at the thougbi of eating his Aesh and drinking his blood, (a thing not only prohibited by the law of Moscs, but repugnant to the customs of all civilized nations,) that many of them, who were his disciples, when they heard it, said it was absurd. Many, therefore, of his disciples, when they heard this, said, this is an hard saying, who can hear it who can believe and obey it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? what and if ye shall sec the Son of mai ascend up where he was before? Are ye offended because I said my flesh is bread, and that it came down from heaven, and that you must eat my flesh and drink my blood in order to your having eternal life? What if ye shall see me ascend up into heaven bodily, where I was before ? will not that convince you of the truth of my having come down from heaven ? will it not shew you, likewise, that I neyer intended you should eat my flesh in a corporal manner. It is the spirit that quickeneth ; the Nicsh profiteth nothing : the words that I spake unto you, they are spirit, and they are life : when I spake of your eating my flesh, I did not mean it in a literal sense ; so used, my flesh would be of no advantage to any man. But I meant your believing the doctrines, to reveal which I was made flesh, by taking upon me human nature. So that, more properly, it is my Spirit that giveth life to men, and maketh them immortal : for the words that I speak to you, the doctrines that I preach, proceed from my spirit, and are the food of your souls, consequently, the means of your life. To some of you, however, my doctrine will be ineffectual, because you do not believe it ; and, perhaps, are desirous to pervert its meaning, that you may have a pretence to forsake me. But there are some of you that believe not : for Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that bclieved not, and who should betray him. He knew the inward disposition of every particular person that heard him, and foresaw which of his disciples would be so base as to betray him. And he said, therefore said I unto you, that no man can come into me, except it were given him of my Father : because I know perfectly the inward frame of your minds, therefore I told you that no man can believe on me, except an opportunity of knowing the evidence of my mission, a capacity to judge of it, and such a hearty love of the truth as will prompt him to use the means proper for discovering it, and, when discovered, dispose him cheeriully to receive it, are given him of my Father. These words are expressive, not only of the strong prejudices of the Jews, but of the total disinclination to receive the words of truth, which exists naturally in every heart, and is removed only by regeneratiug grace.
This sermon was so opposite to the dispositions of those that heard it, that many of his professed disciples, from this time, abandoned his cause. Christ, therefore, turned to the twelve, and asked them whether they also would go away. Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whon should we go ? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe, and are sure, that thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered him, have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? The word devil is here, probably, made use of, not as an appellation for an evil spirit, but in its original sense, as meaning an adversary. If this observation, which has been made by Dr. Campbell, may be admitted as just, it cuts off the pretence which some men may make to vindicate their rash and unguarded expressions, by alledging the example of our Lord. He spake of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon : for hc it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve : he meant Judas Iscariot, though he did not, at this time, think fit to name him. By declaring that he had knowingly made choice of a traitor to be one of the twelve, who constantly attended him, he insinuated that, in his most retired hours and secret actions, he was not afraid of the eyes of his enemies. Wherefore, having initiated a person of this character into all the mysteries of his fellowship, no man can suspect that he was carrying on a plot to deceive the world ; for, if he had, Judas, when he deserted him and betrayed him to the priests, would not have failed to discover the imposture.
The evangelist. Mark, after having described the miracles performed by Jesus, at Capernaum, upon the sick who were brought to him, in consequence of the messages which the inhabitants of the land of Gennezareth sent, on his arrival, from the desert of Bethsaida, into all the neighbouring region, proceeds to give the history of a multitude of cures performed in other towns and villages. [Mark vi. 56.] And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch, if it were but the border of his garment ; and as many as touched him were made whole. It seems, Jesus now made a long journey, in which he visited many different villages, cities, and countries. This was, probably, no other than his journey to the passover, which, the evangelist John says, was wila when the miracle of the loaves was performed. John vi. 1.)
it to signify with recordingly, these dutieshem. But, in proce
ere really of diwe antient doctorat, in process of tinh es unto the former : and istitution, added more the observation of
After Christ had returned from the passover into Galilee, certain emissaries from the scribes and Pharisees, at Jerusalem, collected themselves round him, and ventured to attack him for permitting his disciples to eat with unwashen hands. The law of Moses required external clcanness as a part of religion, not, however, for its own sake, but to signify with what carefulness God's servants should purify their minds from moral pollutions. Acccordingly, these duties were prescribed by Moses in such modcration, as was fitted to promote the end of them. But, in process of time, they came to be multiplied prodigiously: for the antient doctors, to procure the observation of those precepts that were really of divine institution, added many commandments of their own, as fences unto the former ; and the people, to shew their zeal, obeyed them. For example, because the law (Lev. xv. 11.] saith, “ Whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, (and hath not rinsed his hands in water ) he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even,” the people were ordered to wash their hands carefully, and to bathe themselves immediately on their return from places of public concourse, and before they sat down to meat, lest, by touching some unclean person in the crowd, they might have defiled themselves. The Pharisees, therefore, being very zealous in these trifies, would eat at no time, unless they washed their hands with the greatest care; and, when they came from the market-place, they would not sit down to table till they bad first bathed themselves. From this source came that endless variety of purifications, not prescribed in the law, but or-' dained by the elders, such as the washing of cups and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables, not because they were dirty, but from a principle of religion, or rather of superstition.
Instead of entering at large into a defence of the conduct of his disciples, our Lord attacked the practices of the Pharisees, charging them with making void the commandments of God through their traditions : for God, said he, commanded, saying, Honour thy father and thy mother; and whoso curseth father and mother, let him die the death. But ye say, whosoever shall say to his father and mother, it is corban, that is to say a gift, by whatsoever thou mightcst be profited by me : he shall be free. And ye suffcr Itim no more to do aught for his father or his mother ; making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered. Two different interpretations are given of this passage ; one, which is very commonly adopted, is, that they impiously taught that a man might suffer his parents to starve, if he could say to them, it is a gift by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me, that is, it is given to the temple, which should have succoured vou. Dr. Gill inclines to a different opinion. After adducing several passages from the Jewish writers in support of his interpretation, he concludes that, upon the whole, the sense of this passage is, not that a man excused himself to his parents according to this tradition, by saying that his substance either in whole, or in part, was corban, or devoted to the service of God, and, therefore, they could expect no profit or relief from him ; but that he vowed that what he had should be as corban, and that they should be never the better for it: so that a man so vcwing, might give nothing to the service of Gud, but keep his whole substance to himself, which he might make use of for his own benefit, and for the benefit of others, but not for his father and mother, who, after such a vow made, were to receive no benefit by it, unless rescinded by a wise man, and which seems to be an explanation of it, made after the times of Christ.
After having proved to the Pharisees the vanity of their worship, while they taught for doctrines the commandments of men, he directed bis attention to the multiture, and said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand ; There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him ; but the things which come out of him, these are they that defile the man. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. Our Lord did not at all mean to overthrow the distinction which the law had established between things clean and unclean in the matter of man's food. That distinction, like all the other emblematical institutions of Moses, was wisely appointed, being designed to teach the Israelites how carefully the familiar company and conversation of the wicked is to be avoided. He only aflirined, that, in itself, no kind of meat can defile the mind, which is the man, though by accident it may; for instance, when taken in quantity or kind, contrary to the commandment of God.
As the apostles were not yet fully acquainted with the nature of their Master's kingdom, they probably supposed that the favour of the rulers of the Jews might contribute towards its advancement. They were, therefore, concerned, that their Master disobliged the Pharisees by undervaluing their traditions and conclemning their practices. When they had informed Christ of the displeasure of these laughty men, he answered, Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall he rooted p.. Though they seem to occupy a place in the garden of God, and to flourish with luxuriant verdure; yet, as their bitter and peruicious fruit proves that they are introduced there by no other than the enemy of souls, they shall be rooted up by their utter and avowed rejection of the Messiah, that they may thus be numbered no longer among the saints of the Most High. After applying to them what he had before observed in the sermon upon the plain, that if the blind lead the blind, both of them would foll into the ditch, he entered into the house where he usually resided, to rest himself from the fatigue of addressing and disputing with the multitude. When he had thus retired, Peter, the most forward of the apostles, enquired the meaning of the expression, that which come out of a man defileth the man. He then assigued the following reason in vindication of his assertion, that from within, out of the heart of man proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefis, coretousness, wickedness, deceit, lisciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from wiihin and defile the man. Thus did our Lord beautifully exhibit the true nature of human actions, and load with perpetual infamy those teachers of religion, who instruct their followers in frivolous supersitions, while they neglect, or even oppose, the eternal laws of righteousness and truth. :
Though our Lord did not seek the favour of the Pharisees, nor fear, on proper occasions, to provoke their resentment; yet, as their plots were levelled at his reputation and his life, and his mour of final suffering was not yet come, he thought it best to retire into the borders of Phænicia, and there dwell for a while in a state of obscurity. His fame, however, had spread so far, that he soon met with those who personally knew him ; and one of the inhabitants of the country indulged the hope that he would display his recovering mercy towards lier daughter, who was under the influence of an infernal spirit. She therefore cried after him, saying, Blace mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David, for I believe that thou art he that was born king of the Jews, my daughter is grievously rered with a devil. But he, willing to shew the greatness of her faith, seemed as if he did not hear her, and answered her not a word. His disciples, though they felt but little pity for a Gentile, vet appear to have been desirous that he might grant her request, and thus rid himself from her iinportunity. But he answered them and said, I am not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, i. e. my ministry, while here on earth, is to be einploved chiefly in seeking their conversion, though, after I have ascended upon higli, the most
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