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He ajserts,

them out of my Father's
Hand.
30 I and my Father are

31 Then the Jews took up Stones again to stone him.

32 Jesus answered them, Many good Works have I (hewed you from my Father; for which of those Works do ye stone me!

33 The Jews answered him, saying-, For a good Work we stone thee not; but for Blasphemy, and because that thou, being a Man, makest thyself God.

34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law, I said, Ye are Gods?

that he and the Father are one. 219

able to pluck [them] out of my Father's Hand. Sect. 134.
But it is a most great and certain Truth, that 1\~*~^T^-)
and the Father are one fe) j and the Union be- ^hn 3°*
tween us is so strict and intimate, in Nature, as
well as in Affection and Design, that his Almighty-
Power is mine, to be employed for the Defence
of my Sheep; and no one can deprive them of
Eternal Life, without prevailing against him, as
well as me.

Then the Jews, transported with Rage, took 31
up some Fragments of Stones, which lay in the
Court of the Temple, where they were still re-
pairing some of the Buildings; and armed them-
selves with them again, as they had formerly
done, (John viii. 59. pag. 80.) in order to Jlone
him.

But 'Jesus, with his usual Mildness and Strength 32
of Reason, answered them, I have Jhewedyou many
good Works from my Father; and for which of
these Works do you go about to Jlone me? or what
have I ever done among you, but Acts of Bene-
ficence and Kindness?

The sews replying said unto him, Whatever thy 3 3
other Works have been, it is very apparent from
what has just now passed, that we do not Jlone
thee for a good Work, but for the most detestable
Blasphemy; even becaus thou, being only a wretch-
ed, mortal, sinful Man, makest thyself GOD;
pretending to be One with him in so extraordinary
a Manner, that his Omnipotence and other Di-
vine Perfections are thine.

Jesus, not judging it proper at that Time to [34
bring the sublime Doctrine of his Deity inro far-:
ther Debate, answered them, Is it not written in
your Law, or in those Sacred Books which you •
own to be of Divine Original, (Psal. lxxxii. 6.)
where it is plain the Persons that «ue spoken of j

are

[e) I and the Father are one."] If we attend, not only ta the obvious Meaning of these Words, in Comparison with other Passages of Scripture, but to the Connection of this celebrated Text, it so plainly demonstrates the Deity of our Blessed Redeemer, that I think.

it may be left to speak for itself, without any laboured Comment. How widely different

that Sense is, in which Chrijiians are said to be one with GOD, {'John xvii. 21.) will sufficiently appear, by considering, how flagrantly absurd and blasphemous it would be, to draw that Inference from their Union with GOD, which Christ does from his.

E e 2 (f)T»

35 If he called them Gods, unto whom the Word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken:

220 Magiflrates are called Gods, much more may he claim the Title,

Sect. 134. are Princes and Magistrates, "/ have said, Ye \ o^v^j " are Gods; and all of you are Children of the JohnX. 35. « Most High?" Now if the Psalmist thus

applied this Character, and it appears he called

them Gods, to whom the Word of GO D then

came (f), merely with Regard to that Office which

by Divine Designation they bore; {and certainly

the Scripture cannot be brokeny nor can you with

any Shew of Reason pretend to censure the Pro-
priety of those Expressions, which a divinely in-

36 spired Writer has used ;) How is it then, that
you are so offended now? or how do 'you pretend
to fay concerning him, whom the Father hath so
solemnly fanftified, or set apart to this great Work
in his eternal Counsels, and whom he at length
has sent into the World under such an exalted Cha-
racter, Thou blasphemes j because I said, I am the
Son of GOD? when you allow there is a Sense,
in which even oppressive Magistrates may be ho-
noured with such a Title (g).

37 And when I claim this Character, and speak
so highly of myself, I do not expect to be cre-
dited, merely on my own Affirmation: If I do
not the Works of my Father, such glorious Works
as could not be performed by any but a Divine

38 Agent, believe me not. But if it be apparent
that / do such Works, tho' you believe not me, and

are

36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the World, Thou blasphemest; because 1 said, I am the Son of God:

37 If I do not the Works of my Father, believe me not.

38 But if I do, tbor ye believe not me, believe the

Works: and believe, that the Father ;'; in me, and I in him.

(f) To whom the Word of GOD came.} I apprehend, the Coming of the Word of GOD to them here, refers to the Mejfage then delivered to them in the Name of God, rather than in the general, to their receiving a Commission from him: But the Difference is not very material.

(g) When you allow Magistrates &c] A late learned and pious Paraphrajl apprehends, that our Lord here vindicates his Claim to Stiprcam Divinity, by pleading that the "Jewish Rulers are called Gods, not in a general Regard to their Office as Rulers, but as Types of the Messiah, the great Sovereign of the Church, who (as it is expressed at the Close of this lxxxii*/ PJalm,) was to inherit all Nations. But not to urge, that it seems improbable, that such wicked Magijirates, as are there spoken of, stiou,ld be described as Types of Christ; this Explication seems to imply, that every Person whose Office was Typical of the Mejfiah might be called a God; and on the other Hand, that a Creature's beine called by that Name, would intimate, that he was a Typical Person; the Consequences of which I am sure that worthy Writer would abhor. (Compare 2 Cor. iv. 4.) I think myself therefore obliged to acquiesce in that plain and natural Sense of the Passage, which the Generality of Commentators, both Antient, and Modern, have given. J*fus was charged

here by the Jews with ascribing Divinity to his Human Nature; and in Reply to this he shews, that calling himself the Son of GOD did not imply that; and that his Works proved such a Union of the Human Nature with the Divine, as he had before afiertsd > than which no Answer could have been more wise and pertinent.

3g Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their Hand,

He escapes from the Jews, and goes again beyond Jordan. 221

Works: that ye mayjcnow are regardless of my own Testimony in the Cafe, Sect. 134.

yet at lead: believe the mighty Works that I per- }^^T^
form j and let the Evidence of these remove the ->ohn X' *8-
Prejudices you have entertained, that ye may know,
and believe, jhat the Father [is] in me, and I in
him, by such a Union, as abundantly justifies the
Expression, which seenas to give you such pecu-
liar Offence.

Then, tho' they knew not what to answer him, 39
the Jews were so enraged against him, that they
sought again to seize him, that they might accuse
him of Blasphemy before the Sanhedrim: But he
withdrew himself, as he had done before, in an
extraordinary Manner, and so escaped out of their
Hands. (Compare Luke iv. 30* Sect. 32. and John
viii. 59. Sect. 105.)

And presently departing from Jerusalem, he 4a
•went away again into the Country beyond "Jordan,
to the Place called Bethabara, where (as it has
been observed before, John i. 28. Vol. i. pag. 120.)
John was at first baptizing; and there he abode for
a while, till the Fury of the Multitude was a
little abated. And many of the Inhabitants of 4*
that Place, who had been formerly acquainted
with the Baptist,, and remembered the strong and
repeated Testimonies which he had borne to Jesus,
came to him there, to attend upon his Preaching,
and said among themselves, John indeed did no
Miracle himself; but he foretold extraordinary
Things of another ; and we now find, that all
the Things which John said os this Man, were
exactly true, which is a Divine Attestation to the
believed Authority of both. And many of them be- 42.
lieved on him there, and happily improved this little
Season of his Recess among them, as the Means,
of their Instruction and Establishment in Piety..

40 And went again beyond Jordan, into the Place where John at first baptized j and there he abode.

41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no Miracle: but all Things that John spake of this Man, were true.

47. And many on him there.

IMPROVEMENT.,

IT is worthy of Remark, that we here fee our Lord Jesus at a Festival, Johnx. 22* appointed only by Human Authority, in Commemoration of a National Deliverance. He came from Galilee to observe it in the Temple, .tho' it was Winter y and brought with him, as at all Times, a Heart

glow

222 RefleSilom on our Safety under the Care of Christ.

Sect. 134. glowing with the most ardent and amiable Zeal, for the Honour of God,

v^—V-n*> and the Salvation of Men, even of those who were studying to insnare and destroy him.

Ver. 24,25. What Prudence, mingled with Spirit and Sweetness^ runs thro* his Answers to them! What inestimable Blessings does he propose, to invite them to enter into his Fold! May we never forget those gracious Words! May we ever be intitlcd to all the Comfort of them! I give unto my Sheep

Ver. 28. Eternal Life; and they shall never perist}, neither shall any pluck them out of my Hand. Lord, may we be found in the Number of those secure and happy Souls, even of those who know thee, and who obey thy Voice, and

Ver. 27. follow thee, whithersoever fhou leadest them by thine Example, thy Providence, and thy Spirit! Then may we look on our Eternal Life and Happiness, as inviolably secure. Safely indeed may we trust it in bis

Ver. 30. Hands, who could fay, in so sublime, and so glorious a Sense, / and the Father are one. The Enemies of our Salvation must triumph then over

Ver. 28, 29. Omnipotence itself, before they can wrest the Sheep of Christ out of bis Hands; nor will his Fidelity to God, or his Love to them, suffer them to be seduced by Fraud, any more than destroyed by Violence.

Blessed Situation of thy little Flock! Oh thou faithful, thou compassionate, thou Almighty Shepherd, gather thou our Souls with theirs; and never suffer us to forget of how great Importance it is, that we still continue near thee, and confide not in our own Power and Wisdom, but in thine!

Ver. 31. Who could have imagined, that any Heart could have been so base,

as to have intended Evil, or any Hands so cruel, as to have armed themselves with Instruments of Death, against such a Person, while speaking such Words as these? Yet behold, these Jews do it; and that even in so sacred a Place, as the Temple itself; as the genuine Offspring of those, who flew the Prophet and Priest of the Lord, even at his Altar. (Compare

Ver. 32. Mat. xxiii. 31, 35. and Luke xi. 48, 51.) But his wise and gentle Reply disarmed them for a few Months; and the Divine Care and Power once

Ver. 39. more rescued him from their murtherous Hands.

Ver. 40. Happy the Inhabitants of the Country about Jordan, to which he re

tired! especially happy, in that they knew the Day of their Visitation!

Ver. 41, 42. The Testimony of John the Baptist is now recollected to excellent Purposes, tho' he himself was mouldering in his Tomb: Nor is there any Thing, which a faithful Minister will more earnestly desire, than t*hat even while dead, he may yet fpeakt for the Honour of Christ, and the Salvation of Souls.

SECT. Multitudes follow Christ, and he preaches to them. 223

SECT. CXXXV.

Chris T declares against Divorces, except in Cafe of Adultery, and adds some other Particulars relating to the Married State. Mat. XIX. 1,—12. Mark X. i,—12.

Mat. XIX. i. Mat. XIX. 1.

AND it came to pass, that /42VD after the Instructions that were given Sect. 135.

A when Jesus had finished /i by our Lord to his Disciples at Capernaum, V^TV'

theseSayings, he [arose from , fa. h recovfed above, from Sect. 93. t0 ^t. XIX.

thence, and] departed from V . »-*/•# J £ •/» i1,

Galilee, and came into the 96.) tf Cslfftf to pass, that when Jejus bad Jini/hed
Coastsof Judea, beyondJor- these Discourses sa), he arose from thence, \and\
dan. [mark 10. 1.-] departed from Galilee, where he had dwelt so-
long, and thro' which he had made such repeated
Journies. And after he had first beefi up at Je-
rusalem, (as was before related, John vii. 10. pag.
44.) and several other Things had happened, which
have already been considered in their proper Place,
he came at length (as was observed in the last-
Section, John x. 40.) inter the Borders of Judea,
beyond Jordan (i), where he spent some of the
Winter Months, crossing the River, as he saw
2 And great Multitudes Occasion. And his Arrival was no sooner 2

known,

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(a) TVhen Jesus had finljbed these Discourses.] The Passages which Matthew and Mark have mentioned, immediately before they introduce this Story, are those Discourses on Humility and the Forgiveness of Injuries, which have been considered above, from Seel.

S2- to 96. And I have sometimes been inclined to think, that this, and the next solwing Sections, might have been introduced there, as previous to that Feajl of Tabernacle*, which we have so often mentioned. But most Harmonizers without any Scruple or Apology place them here, being determined, I suppose, by the close Connection between the Passages that are here related, and those Events that follow them, which happened but a very little while before Christ's Death. It is of very little Importance to us, whether these Discourses were delivered now, or a few Months before. However, he might truly be said, to arise from Galilee, and come into these Parts, tho' he took a considerable Compass, and spent several Weeks in the Journey. Compare Note (n) on Luke ii. 39. Vol. i. pag. 66.

(fc) Beyond 'Jordan.] Mark has expressed this with some little Variation, //* ntfcm T* 1**<pcuh, by the farther Side of Jordan, or, as the learned Beza, and some other Crkicks chuse to render it, on the Banks of Jordan; and this may seem to be more suitable to what is said of Christ's coming to the Coasts of Judea, which was bounded by Jordan, and had no Coasts beyond it. But it appears from John x. 40. that Belhabara, where John at firjl baptized, (John i. 28.) was the Place to which our Lord removed, which was undoubtedly beyond Jordan, and over-against Jericho. (Compare Jo/h. iii. 16. and Judg. vii. 24.) And this was so near to the Coasts of Judea, that we might very well retain the usual Version, and take the Phrase as Matthew hath expressed it; especially, as it is probable, that Jesus during his Abode in these Part9 might often cross the River, and pass from Bethabara to Judeay which lay on the opposite Side.

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