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After this he commanded the Apostles to eat Bread and drink Wine, in remembrance of him, when he should be taken from them; plainly fignifying, in the very words of the institution, that his body was to be wounded, and his blood thed, for all mankind*. Then upon Peter's affuring him, that he would lay down his life for his fake, Jesus first replied to him; that notwithstanding his warm affurances at that time, before the dawn of the next day he would even thrice deny that he knew him t, to avoid the danger that would then seem to threaten him. And having thus foretold to Peter what would fo foon befal him in particular'; he addressed himself immediately to All; telling them, that though when he had for, merly sent them round about the villages, to preach repentance, and heal the sick, they had met with no difficulties, the case would be far different when he should be taken from them: that now they would find it neceffary to arm themselves with courage and resolution, to face the dangers that would assault them ; " Because what was written in the prophets concerning the Mes hah, that he was numbered with the transgresors, (or, executed as a malefactor), was now' to be fulfilled in Him 1."
The Disciples, as was natural, being exceedingly alarmed at this discouraging discourse of their Master, and especially at the last part of it ); to prevent them from giving way to those fears, with which he saw them perplexed; Jesus ims mediately addressed them with this exhortation :
Let not your beart be troubled : ye believe in God, believe also in Me S. In other words, 4. Let not
Matth. xxvi. 26-28. Mark xiv, 22-24. Luke xxii.. 19-21. 1.Cor. xi. 23-25.. † John xiii. 36-38.
f Luke xxis. 353374 | lbid. ver. 3&.
$John xiv. 1.
66 what I have just told you ; that I shall be taken " front you, and be put to death as a malefactor, * opprefs you with fear; Ye believe in God, that * every thing he has declared, and all the pro « mises he has made in the Old Testament, and U those more especially which relate to the Mel “siah, will certainly be fulfilled ; Believe also in “ Me; that I have told you nothing but the truth,
in telling you that I am He, the promised Mef. 6. siah, and the Son of God; as I have feveral « times declared ; and that I will certainly fulfil all the Promises I have made
Fa. ther's boufe are many manfions; if it were not fo I would bave told you : Be not dismayed therefore at what may befall Me; I go to prepare a place for
That, as I faid to Peter, though ye cannoc' follow me now, ye may follow me afterwards, And if I go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, tbat where I am, there ye may be also +
After this he exhorts them to believe him, for the very works fake ; on account of the miracles they had seen him perform. And to comfort them still more, he then promifes, that he would enable all who believed on bim ; all who believed him to be what he had just declared himself to be, the promised Messiah, and the Son of God; to do greater works after he was taken from them, than he himfelf had done before them; and would do every thing they should then ask of him . Andfur: ther, That he would pray the Father, and he would give ibem another Comforter, to abide with them for every even the Spirit of Trutb;bo dwelt with them, and Ahould be in then 9. And that the Comforter, the Holy Ghoft, whom the Farber would send in his name,
John xiv.. 2.
t Ibid. ver. 3: # Ibid. ver. Ir. John xiv. 16, 17
Should teach them all things, and bring all things to their remembrance, whatsoever be bad said unto.ibem
After this he again reminded them of the defign of what he had said to them; And now
I have told you, before it come to pass; before his be ing taken from them by being put to death ; that tuben it is come to pass; even when ye shall have leen me crucified, Ye MIGHT BELIEVET: - In other words, that notwithstanding my ignominious death, so opposite to all your expectations con-cerning the Messiah, you may still rest satisfied, that I am indeed that very person, whom I have professed myself, and you acknowledged me to be, the promised Messiah ; and that every thing I have declared to you will assuredly prove true.
. They then went out to the Mount of Olives i where Jesus again discoursed with his Disciples, suitably to the occasion of his being just going to be taken from them: telling them -That be laid down bis Life for bis Friends it: And that when the Comforter was come, who should teftify of bim, they also fhould bear witness, because they bad been with bim from the beginning $:- That notwithstanding Sorrow bad filled their hearts, his going was necessary, that be might fend the Comforter to-tbem. :
That whatsoever they should ask the Father in his name, be would give it them ; - For, that the Father bimself loved them, because they bad loved him, And "HAD BELIEVED THAT HE CAME OUT FROM GOD. to
Then he declared to them, That when he came into the world, be came out from the Father; and should go to the Father, when he left the world ; upon which they replied (because he had resolved their doubts without their proposing them to him ;-) *
John xiv. 25, 26. +Ibid. ver. 26, 29. John xiv. 31, compared with Matth. xxvi. 30. || John xv. 13.
$'Ibid. ver. 26, 27. John xvi. 6,7: HIIbid. ver. 23 + Ibid. ver. 27.
Nora • John xvi. 31, 32.
Now we are sure that thou knoweft all things : by this WE BELIEVE that thou camest forth from God. In answer to this declaration of their Belief in him, JESƯs directly foretold to them, that they would all very shortly forsake him *; and then addressed himself to the Father, to glorify him, HIS SON ;. with the glory, which He had with the Father before the world was : affirming, in this address to the Father himself, that the Father bad given HiM power to bestow eternal life; ---- And that this was' eternal life, To know him, the only true God, and JESUS CHRIST whom he had sent; And declaring to the Father, That bis Disciples had known furely that he CAME OUT FROM HIM; and had BELIEVED THAT HE DID SEND HIM 4:3
After perusing this short abstract of Jesus's last discourse to the Apostles, from which it is so abundantly evident, that in commanding them to Believe in Him, his true and obvious meaning was, 'that notwithftanding they would so soon see him ignominiously put to death, they should rëft assured of his being the promised Meffiah; and depend upon the accomplishment of whatever he had declared; I will leave the Author to reconsider his own interpretation of the passage, and to such reflexions as muft naturally arise, upon so serious an occasion, in the breast of what he would certainly, be thought, an honest man. And when he has thus compared the unquestionable meaning of the paffage itself, with that meaning which he has endeavoured to put upon it; it may posibly be of fome service to him to consider again the truth of the principle he has laid down; " That Belief " always arises out of fufficient evidence, and can “ never arise at all where such evidence is want
ing 1:"-For from this instance it appears, either that this principle is absolutely false, and that the Author himself believes the meaning of this very paffage to be, what the whole evidence clearly Thews it cannot be; or else, that the Author does not really believe Jesus's meaning to have been, what he professes to believe it; and fo‘is difhonestly attempting to persuade his reader to believe, what he himself knows to be false.
+John xvii. 1-3.
I P. 309
The Author's flagrant perversion of the passage just considered naturally leads us to inquire into the truth of what he has not scrupled to assert in another place, to serve the fame design.
“ I do not find, says he, that Christ himself “ ever affumed a higher character, than that of a “ Messenger from God, and such he well might “ be said to be, as he was employed in the repubso litation of the religion of nature, which is the « law of God: Nor was it neceffary for him to “ produce a commission immediately from God,
to claim the regard and attention of mankind; “ seeing that what he taught them was plain and \ clear, and had a natural tendency to promote is their happiness f;">That is, in other words, The New Testament does not represent Christ himself, as pretending to produce any particular commission from God; or laying claim to any higher character than that of a mere man, who chose to spend his time in inculcating the duties of morality alone.
Before we inquire into the truth of this affertion, it may be proper to take notice ho
take notice how consistent the Author is with himself in making it. Here I we find him acquainting us, that Jesus produced no commission immediately from God: but within eight pages after he expressly declares, That Jesus worked miracles for an external proof of the truth