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and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay;
And said unto him, Go wash in the pool of Sijoani (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.
The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him, that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? . .
Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?
He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.
Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.
And it was the sabbath-day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. .
Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sighf. Hp sa.id unto them, He put clay iipon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see..
Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of G®f>, because he keepeth not the sabbath-day. Others said, how can a man that is a sinner do such miracles I And there was a division among them.
They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou . fif him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He ;s a prophet. .
But the Jews did not believe concerning him* that he had been bljnd, and received his fight, until they called the paiepts of hies that.J^ad. xeceiyed hk
R 6 And
And they asked them, saying, Is this your son* who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now* see?
His parents answered them, and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:
But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age, ask him, he shall speak for himself.
These words spake his'parrnts, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already; that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.
Therefore said his parents, He is of age, ask him.
Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.
He answered and said, Whether he'be a sinner or no, I know not: one' thing I know, that whereas 1 was blind, now I see. . »'
Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?
He answered them, I have told you already, and ye" did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?
Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples.
We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
: Since'the world began was it not heard, that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind, if this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins^ and dost thou teach Us? And they cast him out. [ .„
Jsstfs' heardthat they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, I>ost thou beliere on the Son of God ? •'
He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?'
And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that walketh with thee. . i
And he said, Lord, 1 believe. And he worshipped him.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
Our Lord being come to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the dedication of the temple, saw in one of the streets a poor man who was a great object of compassion; nor did he pass him with unfeeling inattention, but regarded him with tender pity.. How dreadful wust be the condition of a man born blind! Our Lord's disciples supposed, that the blindness of him who at, tracted.their Master's regard, was a judgment inflicted} by Diuine justice; and they put a strange question, Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he .was born blind? The Jews had a nation (which they borrowed from the Pythagoreans, a sect of heathen philosophers) that, if 3 man behaved himself amiss in this world, he was, after. death, sent into another body, where he met with great calamities, and lived upon much worse terms than he. fore : .and, on the. contrary, that distjngujsljed virtue wa^ tewarded with a more advantageous situation. This
was a very absurd opinion, and beneath our Savioitr'* dignity to refute, as he was not discoursing with heathens; because no such doctrine had been revealed by God to the Jews, and human reason alone might discover the inconsistency of it: instead of satisfying their curiosity, he informed them, that the design of the man's being born blind was, that the miraculous power of God might be manifested in giving him sight; therefore, it was a peculiar part of his business, as the Messiah, to cure him: which he should do, though it was the sabbath-day, notwithstanding it would provoke his enemies to persecute him. Our Lord knew, that the time of his ministry was drawing to a conclusion, and he would lose no opportunity of fulfilling his commission. He had often declared himself to be tin light of the world; and proved that he was so, both in a natural and a spiritual sense, having restored the eyesight of many, and illuminated the minds of thousands, who were blinded by sin and prejudice.
The circumstances of this miracle were singular and Significant; but it is needless to enquire exactly into the meaning of each particular: it is isufficient to re. mark, that anointing the eyes with clay was, according to the usual course of nature, more likely to blind than to clear the sight; which added to the wonder, and proved that it was Divine fxrjotr, and not any medicinal quality in the means our Lord made use of, that effected the cure. The performance of such a miracle must certainly have made a great alteration in the man's appearance; for the eyes are the distinguished ornaments of the human face, and give liveliness and ani. matron ta all the rest r yet the man was not so entirely altered, but that he easily corfyiheed his neighbours ha vai the .same person; and his parents acknowledged him to be their son, though their sinful timidity restrained them from shewing gratitude to his benefactor.
The members of the Sanhedrim, we find, made very particular enquiries concerning this miracle. They examined every circumstance, and each new witness confirmed the truth of it; yet, instead of acting as became men in authority, and professors of righteousness, they would not hear the voice of reason in our Lord's favour, but proceeded against him with prejudice, malice, and passion. What scandal did they endeavour to throw on our blessed Saviour! We read, that they' even made an express law to excommunicate whoever should acknowledge Jesus to be the Christ, thus openly rebelling against Jehovah and his anointed One: but the man who had received the cure, having truth on his side, baffled all the arguments of these learned Pharisees, boldly reproved them for their obstinate infidelity, and, in spite of their power, professed himself the disciple of Jesus, because he was convinced that he came from Go i). When the Pharisees found they could not confound the man, nor bring him to their purpose, they resolved that he should feel the effects of their resentment l they, therefore, cast him out of the synagogue, and cut him off from being a\ member of the church of Israel. ;.
The poor man, whose eyes had never beheld his / deliverer, was, as we may suppose, earnestly desirous of an opportunity of expressing his gratitude: and Jesus, to whom every circumstance of his altercation with the Pharisees was known, came forth to meet him; and it is probable intimated to him that he was the person who had cured him. Our Lord resolved to prove his faith, and then to enlighten his understanding; As soon as the nun professed his willingness to