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Matthbw. Mark. Luke. John.
m 11 He came unto his own,
and his own received him not. 12'' But as many as received him, to them gave he power , to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name:
15 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me, is preferred before me ; for he was before me.
16 And of his fulness have
able to distinguish him from their fallacious Teachers. He hVd among his own People, who were fhl'd the Children of God \ yet these did not receive his Doctrine: but such as embrae'd the divine Revelation of it, were therefore reckond in the number of God's People, tho they were not of the Posterity of Abraham; and such who were Israelites neither by Birth, nor Marriage, nor so much as proselyted* . were dignified with this Title by God's Will and Pleasure. That Reason whkh, as we (aid, was in the beginning with God, nay was God himself, has not always conceal'd it self from us, but has been made conspicuous to us, and dwelt among us by the means of that Man on whom it rested. We our selves have seen the divine Majesty of that Reason, which was heretofore invisible, manifesting it self in that Man, as it became him who was the Son of God, not after the manner that we are fc call'd, but by one peculiar and proper to Himself alone. That Eternal Reason, full of Mercy and Benignity, has by him been made visible unto us.
Now John bore a clear and open Testimony concerning this Man, having publickly declar'd, it was he whom he had formerly describes in these words; He robe cometh after me is greater than /. Whatever we know, flows from this knowledg of heavenly Affairs, with which the Divine Reason had most illultrioufly fill'd him. From hence it is we learn that the Mercy and Benignity of God is so great, that all he expects from us in return for his wonderful Grace towards us, and those
Mark. Luke. - John.
til we received, and grace for grace.
17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
18 No man hath seen God at any time;
, the only begotten Son,
which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. » 1 pAnd this is the re
cord of John, when the
immense Benefits he has been pleas'd to make the consequents of our Love of him, is only a Heart fill'd with a grateful sense and acknowledgment of them. For Moses 'having formerly publilh'd nb Laws, by which he impos'd most heavy Rites upon the Jews, with a denunciation of Death unless they were exactly observ'd, Jesus the true M(0th*on whom the Divine Reason rested, has brought us the good tidings of God's Clemency and Bounty to us, by which our past Sins are pardon'd, and the intolerable yoke of the Mosaic Institutions taken off. Heretofore no one was fully acquainted with God's Will and Pleasure herein; but he whom we have been discoursing of, the- only begotten Son ,cf God, mtirely. belov'd by his Father, came down exprefly from Heaven with this Meflage to us.
Now John ckclar'd his Sentiments .concerning Jesus, aster Jesta had been walh'd by him in the River Jordan, in this manner. The Rulers of Jerusalem taking notice of the general concourse to him from all the parts of Judea, delegated some of the Priests and Levites, he also being of the Sacerdotal Line, to go and question him concerning the Office he had taken upon him, and the Authority by which he acted. When they were come to the place where John was, and had acquainted him with the Orders they were charg'd with, many, who suspected him to be the Christ, waited for his answer with some concern and anxiety of Mind. But he public kly
Matthew. Mark. Luke. John.
but confessed, I am not the Christ.
g-fa ai And they asked him,
What then? Art thou Elias i And he faith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent Us: what sayest thou of thy self?
2 j He laid, I am the voice os one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.
24 And they which were sent, were of the Pharisees.
2$ And they asked him, and said unto him', Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? •
lickiv disown'd his being the Messiah before them all. The Deputies then, as if they had been in doubt of his being the Son of Zachariat the Priest, or with a design to infnare him, demanded of him whether he was Elias, the Jews having an Opinion that Elias must first come down from Heaven before the arrival of the Messiah. This, John in like manner disdaim'd. They ask'd him a third time whether he was one of the antient Prophets, which also he denied. They then requir'd him, that since he would not agree with any of the Judgments that had been form'd of him, to tell 'em plainly who he was. Then said John, I am he whom the Prophet Isaiah has delcrib'd in these words, Chap. 40. 3. The voice of one crying in the Wilderness, Make plain the way of the Lord. Now those who were deputed to him being of the Sect of the Pharisees, who are obstinately tenacious of the Institutions and Opinions of their Ancestors, and cannot endure any innovation, desir'd John to tell 'em by what Authority he had instituted the Ceremony of washing, not only the Proselytes (who came to hear him) which was customary, butthejeiw also; since neither the Messiah, nor Elias, nor any other Prophet, had Authority to set
8 I indeed have bap- \6 John answered, i6 John answered
tiied you with wa- saying unto ohem all, them, laying, I bap
ter: I indeed baptuc you tize with water:
-ta -& -fci
0^" & but there stand
eth one among you whom ye know not •,'
up new Customs. John replied, that he wafli'd 'em only with Water, without pretending to confer any celestial Gifts upon them by that his Baptism, but only to signify that their Minds ought to be cleans'd from Vice if they would be in favour with God: But that there was a man among the Jews whom they were ignorant of, who should succeed him as a Messenger from God, but with much greater Power, and Dignity \ in as much as he was not worthy to perform the vilest Offices of a Servant to him, such as the changing of his Shoes at his return home. That this Man Would riot baptize his Disciples with Water only, but also with the Holy Ghost, whom he would shed upon them in the form of Fire. Further, that as the Corn when it has been reap'd, is threlh'd that it may be separated from the Chaff in order to be laid up in Store-houses, while the other is consum'd and wont to serve for £ewel i in like manner^this Person would in a little time separate the good men among the Jews from the bad, and that these should endure the severest Punishments, while the others enjoy'd most ample rewards. With these and the like Discourses John
28 These things were done in Bcthabara beyond
Jordan, where Johm was aptizing.
29 The next day John feeth Jesus coming unto him, and faith, Behold the lamb of God, which taJcethaway the fin of the world.
30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man, which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
31 And I knew htm not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the spirit descending from hea
entertairid the Jews concerning the Meffiah, and this publick witness be bore to Jesus at Bethabara near the Banks of the River Jordan, in which at that time he wafh'd those that repair'd unto him.
In the mean time Jtfvu retum'd to John from the Mountain in which he was last •f all in vain tempted by the evil Spirit. John having seen him the day after he had ?thus publickly testified concerning him, before the Messengers that were sent from Jerusalem, he broke out immediately into frelh Encomiums of him, affrming him to be the Person he had discours'd of with those that had been sent to him. This, feys he; is that Lamb without blemish, who shall offer himself to God for a Victim, to expiate the fins of Men.
v This is he \ told you of, who is adorn'd with far greater Dignity and Authority by God than 1 am. I my self knew him not before, tho I had begun to walh the Penitent, and to assure 'em the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand, that he might by my preaching be manifested to the Jews. Rut I then understood that it was ne, •when after having wasli'd him, I sew file Holy Spirit descend upon him in the shape