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commanding look, addressed them to this effect :
My s purpose is to continue with you only a short time : my departure to him that sent me is at hand. The time of distress will come on you, when ye shall in vain ó seek me as your deliverer : for I go
whither ye cannot follow me.” This reasoning against their covert design could not but create wonder and awe; and the discovery of their i thoughts seems to be a principal reason why they declared at their return that "never k man spake like this man.”
“ The woman taken in adultery was brought be. fore Jesus with a view to entrap him, that by a judicial decision he might declare himself a king. But Jesus wisely eluded their malice ; knowing their heart.”
* Zaccheus was a stranger to the person of Jesus'; and therefore our Lord, by m selecting him from a great multitude to be his host, shewed an extraordinary knowledge of his character and good disposition towards him.
When certain proselytes to Judaism among the Asiatic Greeks desired to see Jesus, and Andrew and Philip informed him of it, we shall not rightly understand our Lord's “ abrupt reply about the near approach and consequences of his death, and about the temporal danger of professing the gospel, unless we consider that he addresses himself to the prejudices of his hearers supernaturally known to him, and that he was rectifying their mistaken expectations of a s splendid worldly kingdom shortly to be erected by him.
& Paraphrase of John vii. 33, 34.
1. Matt. xxiv. 23. i Dr. Clagett in his paraphrase on o. 33. says, “ When they were come, Jesus, knowing their business, thus spake unto them. It did without question startle the officers to hear our Saviour reflect so plainly upon the business for which they were sent; this arguing him to be a prophet. Something like this we find 1 Kings xiv. 6. and John i. 48. vü. 46. Locke's Reas. of Christianity, Svo. p. 60, ed. 1736. John viii. 3, &c. m Luke xix. 5. John xii. 23, &c.
When our Lord's disciples reasoned among themselves about his declaration," A P little while and ye shall see me, and again a little while and ye shall not see me, because I go to the Father ;" when they said among themselves, “ What is this that he saith unto us? we cannot tell what he saith ;' Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and graciously solved those doubts which had passed among them apart from him, and which no mere man could have known : “ I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world ; again, I leave the world and go to the Father." Upon which knowledge of their private reasonings his disciples made this declaration; “ Now we are sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.”
St. John observes that Jesus' knew from the beginning who should betray him. And again : “He knew" who should betray him : therefore said he (when he was about to wash the feet of the disciples] Ye are clean, but not all.”
* Judas had given a sign to the band who came with him to seize Jesus, " Whomsoever I. shall kiss,
• See a like instance Luke xiv. 25, 6, &c. and, as Dr. Benson thinks, Luke ix. 57, 58. p John xvi. 17, &c. 9 John vi. 64. John xiii. • Mark xiv. 44.
that same is he : take him, and lead him away safely.” Jesus alluded to this secret transaction, when he said, “ Judas, betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?"
While Jesus stood before the High Priest Caiaphas, he was thrice denied by Peter. Peter being in the hall below, and our Lord in the upper part of the same spacious chamber; it is reasonable to think that our Lord's acquaintance with the fact, and his “ turning and looking on Peter,” immediately after his third and most vehement denial, furnish another instance of his more than human knowledge.
* I shall close this enumeration with two instances of facts preternaturally known by our Lord after he rose from the dead. “He * upbraided the Apostles with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them who had seen him after his resurrection :” and he 'shewed his knowledge of Thomas's incredulity, and of the very words in which he expressed it, when he said to him, “y Reach hither thy finger, and perceive my hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side : and be not faithless, but believing."
Dr. ? Benson has observed that this knowledge directed our Lord in preaching his doctrine, in working miracles, in selecting his Apostles, in conducting himself towards his enemies, and in answering insidious questions.
It also shews that “God gave not the spirit by measure unto him.” We read that the same gift
Luke xxii. 48. a Mark xiv. 66. w Luke xxii. 61. * Mark Ivi. 14. y John xx. 27 2 Life of Christ, c. v. * John iii. 34.
was imparted in a lower degree to his followers. The word of God, spoken by his prophets, was “a b discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart:" and when the first Christians prophesied in the church,“ the secrets of the unbeliever's heart were made manifest; and so falling down on his face he worshipped God, and reported that God was in them of a truth."
At the time, this great and wonderful knowledge must have carried with it much astonishment to all, and the most entire conviction to the well disposed; and it must have filled his enemies with shame, and have greatly aggravated their guilt.
To those who believe the sacred records it will always be a proof of our Lord's heavenly mission. “Christ, says an admirable d writer, knew the hearts of men, as he shewed on all occasions : a knowledge which Almighty God represents in scripture as so peculiar to himself, that he cannot be supposed to suffer those to partake of it who are not sent by him."
b Heb. iv, 12.
c1 Cor. xiv, 25.
4 Jortin : Eccles. Hist. 1. 282. a Matt. xü. 10, 11, 12
OF HIS WISDOX IN DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES, AND IN REPLY.
ING TO IXSIDIOUS QUESTIONS.
AFTER having recounted proofs of our Lord's supernatural knowledge, I shall shew his superior wisdom in trying situations, and in answering difficult or insnaring questions suddenly and publicly proposed; a wisdom uniformly displayed by him, and, though not exceeding the powers of man, yet admirable in itself, and worthy of a prophet sent from God: nor indeed can it easily be accounted for on any other supposition than that of inspiration from above, considering the narrow and mistaken notions of the Jews at the time of Christ's appearance.
Let the reader consider the following instances.
“ Jesus entered into a synagogue'; and there was a man who had his hand withered. And the Pharisees, that they might accuse him [of breaking Moses's law,] asked him, saying, Is it a lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you that shall have one sheep; and, if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do good on the sabbath day.”