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The word of God]
(made flesh: CHAP. I.
8 He was not that light, but was
sent to bear witness of that Light. IN the beginning was the Word, and 9 That was the true light, which
the Word was with God, and the lighteth every man that cometh into Word was God.
the world. 2 The same was in the beginning 10 He was in the world, and the with God.
world was made by him, and the world 3 All things were made by him; knew him not. and without him was not any thing 11 He came unto his own, and his made that was made.
own received him not. 4 In him was life; and the life was 12 But as many as received him, to the light of men.
them gave he power to become the · 5 And the light shineth in dark- sons of God, even to them that believe pess; and the darkness comprehended on his name: it not.
13 Which were born, not of blood, 6 There was a man sent from God, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the whose name was John.
will of man, but of God, 7 The same came for a witness, to 14 And the Word was made flesh, bear witness of the light, that all men and dwelt among us, (and we beheld through him might believe.
his glory, the glory as of the only be
NOTES, CHAP. I. Ver. 1. The Word.- In addition to is the same, but it is worse English. Because the what is remarked above, we add from Dr. Campbell, Greek article is prefixed to the word, but not to God, “ The Greek work Logos, is susceptible of several same would render it (as the Unitarian version, interpretations, the chief of wbich are reason and (The word was a God.” But Dr. Campbell re: speech. .... The latter acceptation has been adopted marks, that “ though the article prefixed shows a by most interpreters. If the practice of preceding noun to be definite, the bare want of the article is translators is ever entitled to implicit regard from not sufficient evidence that the noun is used indefitheir successors, it is where the subject is of so pitely. See verses 6, 12, 13, and 18, of this chapter abstruse a nature, as hardly to admit an exposition iu all which, though the word " God” (Theos bal which is not liable to great objections. .... Were I no article, there can be no doubt that it means God to desert it (which I do not think there is here suffi. in the strictest sense. cient evidence to warrant), I should prefer the word Ver. 3. All things were made by him.-Camp. " reason. ......
IT,” as better corresponding with “ the word;" ba * I entirely agree with those who think it most wé doubt this, and conceive that the perpetus likely that the allusion here is to a portion of holy iteration of the impersonal pronoun, both imko writ, and not to the reveries of either Philo or Plato. verishes the style and confounds the sense, whe The passage referred to is Prorerbs viii. throughout. applied to the Word as a person. There is such a coincidence in the things attributed Ver. 6. The durkness comprehended it not to each, as evidently shows, that both were intended Doddr. “ apprehended it not."'-Camp. “ admitte to indicate the same divine personage. The passage it not.” The allusion seems to be to air, so gro in Proverbs, I own, amits of a more familiar ex. and foul as to extinguish any light (liok or fore! planation, as regarding the happy consequences of that may be introduced into it. that mental quality, which we call true or heavenly Ver. 7. That all men through him-i. e. all w wisdom: but it is suitable to the genius of scripture heard his testimony--might believe-in Jesus. prophecy to convey, under such allegorical language, Ver. 9. Which lightech every man that comet the most important and sublime discoveries."'-Com. &c.- Doddr. " which coming into the world el pare our Exposition, wbich was written before we lighteneth every man."-" He that cometh," was ubkerved this Note.
periphrasis for the Messiah. See ch. vi. 14, &c. In our exposition of this verse, we have mentioned Ver. 10. Knew him not.- They neither knew n the Chaldee word Meinra, which the Targums use, acknowledged him, as the word often means. as corresponding both to the Heb. Debar, and the Ver. 11. He came unto his onn, and his orn, & Gr. Loyos. They use it not only for the Word of-The word "own," in the first instance, is nendi God, the Angel of God, and the Messiah, but for in the second, masculine; it is, therefore, prope God himself, and sometimes in a way that can only rendered by Camp: “He came unto his own (lam Be accounted for by considering it as a favourite and his own (people) received him not." See Lu term, which they seem often to introduce with XX 9-16, out occasion, and even without any distinct mean. Ver. 12. To them gave he power.-Marg. “ 1 ing. But it had been imported from the Alexan- right or privilege.” Doddr. and Camp, both ad drian School, and become naturalized among the the latter term. Jews before the time of John; and in Greek, Logos Ver. 13. Born, not of blood.-Gr. "blonds, "wh was always used as corresponding with it, and was may refer to the two ways in which men beca the only term, therefore, adapted to the use of the children of Abraham-by natural generation, and Evangelist. See the Bp. of St. David's (now of circumcision. Salisbury), " The Bible, and nothing but the Bible," Ver. 14. The Word was made flesk.-Camp." &c. p. 124-130. Also Dr. Smith's Messiah, vol. i. came incarnate," which is doubtless the true sea p. 400, &c.
though not so simple. The word made, is the si bid. The word was God.-Luther, and the English that is used ver. 3, it is of very extensive use, translators of Henry VIII., achering to the order of in most of its senses is applied to Christ. Vers the original, read," God was the word.” The sense 10, Schleusner understands it of creation : 80
[and truth. the Father,) full of grace 17 For the law was given by Moses ;
but grace and truth came by Jesus are witness of him, and , This was he of whom I
18 No man hath seen God at any niat cometh after ine is pre[ore me: for he was before me.
time; the only begotten Son, which is od of his fulness have all we in the bosom of the Father, he hath ved, and grace for grace. declared him. (A)
joicing in the habitable parts of the earth, (A) Ver. 1-18. Christ, the word of God. and my delights were with the sons of - There can be no reasonable doubt that men;" and if, witls Bp. Patrick, Mr. Holthe Word here (in Greek, Logos) is used den, and many others, we refer this paspersonally, and intends the Son of God. sage to the Son of God, we may trace this We have already shown, in our Introduc. analogy farther than is commonly done. tion, the connexion of this term with the “ The word (or wisdom, for Logos means Chaldee Memra, which Dr. Pye Smith con- both,) was made flesh, and dwelt among siders as primarily importing "whatever us-full of grace and truth." Thus the it may be, which is the medium of com- word” was with God, and came down to municating the mind and intentions of one dwell with us. person to another,” and in this sense he But the word was not only " with God;" apprehends it was very early used to de- he also " was God.” Somne translators sigoate the Messiah as the only mediator, have rendered it " was a god;" but this is and the only anthorized medium of coni. a Pagan translation, and implies a pluramunication between God and sinners. (See lity of gods. Neither would it do to introMessiah, vol. i. p. 408,445 ; ii. 499, &c.) duce the definite article, and render it
Such we consider to be the meaning of "was the God," as that would exclude from the term Logos, which our translators have the rights of Deity the sacred person of the Fightly rendered “ the Word." This Word, Father. it is said, “was in the beginning," and The beginning here is, by some, referred when that phrase is not limited by the to "the beginning of the Gospel,” which context, we conceive it always carries us is the expression of the evangelist Mark back to the beginning of the creation of (ch. i. 1): but he goes no farther back than God," at least of the Mosaic creation ; for the preaching of John the Baptist; John, this only is the subject of divine reve- the apostle, to the creation of all things. lation. The Son of God then, from the For, speaking of the same Word, he says, beginning, was “ with God." Not as then “All things were made by him, and without first brought into being, but as Solomon him was not any thing made that was made;" speaks of Wisdom in his book of Proverbs but this comes short of the original, and is (chap. vii. 30), “ Then was I by him as one very tamely expressed. Doddridge renders brought up with him." It is added, “Re. it, “without him was not made so much
NOTES. Heb. xi. 3: James iii. 9. It is also applied to his this verse in a parenthesis, and connects the 16th incarnation, * made of a woman,"' Gal. iv. 4; to his with the 14th, thus,- The Word was “ full of grace being “ made," or constituled, a propbet,'' Luke and truth;” and “ of his fullness have all we rexxiv, 19; and in various other ways. And dwelt; ceived," &c. literally, "tabernacled." (So Wesley.) Camp," so. Ibid. He was before me. --Though the Gr. protos, Joured." See Heb. xi. 9. But Doddr. thinks it an is sometimes used for pre-eminence (as Lardner allrsion to the Shechinah (or divine) glory which shows), yet as the preceding clause ("* he that resided in the tabernacle.
cometh alter me") refers to time, it seems far the The incamation of the Son of God was doubtless most natural to understand this in the same mananticipated under the Patriarchal dispensation. Abra. ner as Doddr. does, “ He existed before me.” ham, and other Old Testament believers, by faith This ver. seems in anticipation of ver. 19. See saw "bis day," and rejoiced in it. (Chap. viii. 66.) ver, 30. From them the doctrine spread among the heathen, Ver. 16. Grace for grace.-The Gr. pre position all whose deities became occasiopally incarnate (anli) rendered for, is capable of various acceptabut the most extraordinary notions of this kind are tions; we shall mention only two, which we think to be found among the Hindoos. According to them, most probable. “Grace for grace " is then either, Veeshnu (or Chreeshna) was nine times incarpate, I. Grace upon grace; so Doddridge, Wesley, and for various great and important purposes, of wbich others; or, 2. Grace answering to grace. See tre last u as, to put an end to hoinarr sacrifices. See Parkhurst. the author's * Dictionary of Religions,” 3d edit. Ver. 18. He kath declared him.- Doddr. and under Hindous.
Camp. “ Hath made him known.” Comp. chap. Ver. 10. John bare witness, &c.-Camp, includes vi. 46.
All grace bestowed) S. JOHN. [through Jesus Christ. . 19 And this is the record of John, from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art when the Jews sent Priests and Levites thou?
EXPOSITION—Chap. I. Continued. as one single being :" Campbell (perhaps of this Gospel, we shall not here enlarge; but better) “not a single creature." Both only add one remark, that it is by faith in versions exclude the Word from being him- Christ only that we obtain the privilege of self a creature. On the contrary, he is becoming sons of God: it is a favour represented as the source of life and light, granted to them only who believe in his and every other blessing to mankind. name. John the Baptist is then introduced as The 14th verse of this chapter speaks of bearing witness to “this light," which, by Christ in reference to his two natares, becoming incarnate, enlightened the world divine and human : considered in respect with the knowledge of the truth. John, to the former, he is “the only begotten of however, declares that he was not that the Father;" that is, he is his Son in a light, but only came (so the morning star sense to which neither men nor angels can precedes the sun) as his harbinger and pretend ; he is “the express image of the prophet.
Father" (Heb. i. 3). And in respect of the But this same Word, by whom were made latter, as man and mediator, he is full of all things both in heaven and earth, was grace and truth : he is the great deposi. himself made flesh.” He had often, in- tory, and the only channel of revealed deed, under the old dispensation, assumed truth and grace to inen. Taking the 15th a human or angelic form, and sometimes verse as a parenthesis, as we are strongly appeared in the “ form of God;" but now inclined to do (see Note), we defer the he became or was “ made flesh;" not consideration of it till after the 18th (which transiently appearing, as of old, in the some consider its proper place), and conhuman form, but he tabernacled, or, as nect it with the 14th, the 16th, and two Doddridge expresses it, “ pitched his taber- following, which leaves the narrative un• nacle," to abide for some time with men; broken. John had said that the Word, or the glory of the Divine Nature being veiled Son of God, was full of grace and truth, in the humanity, just as that of the She. and therefore very naturally adds, " And chinab was shrouded in the accompanying of his fulness have all we received, and cloud ; and as the glory shone at times grace for grace.” 1. He was “full of more or less conspicuously through the grace," and therefore his ministers and cloud, so the glory of the Word, “as of people receive from him an accumulation the only begotten of the Father,” shone of grace--grace in rich abundance. And, 2. through the veil of human nature with He possessed a rich variety of graces, and beams of grace and truth. These beams, therefore does he communicate to us however, were seen but by a few only. He “grace answerable unto" all the graces came to the world which he had made, to which himself possesses, though at humble the nation whom he had chosen, bu: they distance in respect of measure and perfecreceived him not; a few only excepted, on tion. wbom he bestowed the privilege of be It is added, “ the law was given by Moses, coming sons of God by adoption and by but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." grace. This St. John expresses in bis The law given by Moses was either the usual manner, both negatively and posi moral law, and that had no grace; "The tively. They were “born, not of blood;" soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek. that is, they were not sons of God merely xviii. 4); or it was the ceremonial law, by natural generation, as sons of Abraham and that had no truth: that is, no reality; .-not by circumcision, as in the case of for it was only " the shadow of good things proselytes from other nations--not by “the to come," of which Christ was the subwill of the flesh," that is, hy any natural stance. (Heb. x, 1, &c.) For “grace and effort of their own, nor “ of the will of" truth came by Jesus Christ." Chrysostom, any other “man," as in the case of adop the eloquent Greek father, remarks, these tion, at this time a common practice with words are evidently not the language of the Romaus.--" but of God;" by which the Baptist, who uses not the name of we understand that the true regeneration of Jesus. "No man bath seen God [the Fatherj which our Lord here and elsewhere dis, at any time:" the divine nature is invisible; courses, is wholly of divine grace. This “ but the only begotten Son, who is in passage might lead us to enquire into the the bosom of the Fa:her,"_that is, who Scripture doctrine of Regeneration, but as occupies the seat next to him in dignity that subject will necessarily come more and power (See Expos. of Luke xvi 12, fully under discussion in the third chapter “He hath made him known." He is
John the Baptist's]
(testimony to Jesus. 20 And he confessed, and denied 28 These things were done in Bethanot; but confessed, I am not the Christ. bara beyond Jordan, where John was
21 And they asked him, What then? baptizing. Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am 29 The next day John seeth Jesus not. Art thou that prophet? And he coming unto him, and saith, Behold answered, No.
the Lamb of God, which taketh away 22 Then said they unto him, Who the sin of the world. art thou? that we may give an answer 30 This is he of whom I said, After to them that sent us. What sayest me cometh a man which is preferred thou of thyself?
before me: for he was before me. 23 He said, I am the voice of one 31 And I knew him not: but that crying in the wilderness, Make straight he should be made manifest to Israel, the way of the Lord, as said the pro- therefore am I come baptizing with phet Esaias.
water. 24 And they which were sent were 32 And John bare record, saying, I of the Pharisees.
saw the spirit descending from heaven 25 And they asked him, and said like a dove, and it abode upon him. unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if 33 And I knew him not: but he thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, nei that sent me to baptize with water, the ther that prophet?
same said unto me, Upon whom thvu 26 John answered them, saying, I shalt see the Spirit descending, and baptize with water: but there standeth remaining on him, the same is one among you, whom ye know not; he which baptizeth with the Holy
27 He it is, why coming after me Ghost. is preferred before me, whose shoe's 34 And I saw, and bare record that latchet I am not worthy to unloose. this is the Son of God. (B)
EXPOSITION. come upon the express errand of making (B) Ver. 19-34. John's testimony to known bis Father's character, and to reveal Jesus.-No one of our Lord's disciples dishis will to men for their salvation. Let us covered more of the cardinal virtue of therefore resign ourselves into the hands humility than did John the Baptist. In the of God our Saviour, and implore his aid, midst of his great popularity, respected by to study and to practice whatever he is all classes, and even feared by Herod, pleased to teach us.
still he sinks in his own estimation, and
shrinks from public notice. Speaking of *) that the Lord would guide my ways
Messiah, he says, “He must increase, but To keep his statutes still ! O that my God wonld grant me grace
I must decrease.” Tam bis herald only, To know and do his will!"
and, having introduced him to public Watts, Ps. 119. notice, I must withdraw into obscurity.
NOTES. Ver. 21. Art Thon Elias? and he saith, I am not. branches of families used to meet at the three great He was not Elijah come from the invisible world, feasts at Jerusalem, which we know Jesus was acas the Jews doubtless meant (for such was their ex customed to attend ; and Zacharias, the father of peetation); yet he was the Elias intended by the John, being a priest, would naturally bring up his prophet Malachi. See Expos. Matt. xi. 1-19. family in that duty. Camp. thinks that John might That prophet.-Marg. "a prophet:" but the Greek have known Jesus to be a prophet, yet not the Mesis more accurately rendered by Camp. “The Christ," siab ; but being himself a prophet, even supposing and "The Propbet." See Deat. xviii. 15.
he had not heard of his miraculous conception, or Ver. 28. In Bethabara.-- Camp. reads, “ in early devotedness to God (which is scarcely proba. Bethany :" and adds, that the MSS. which read ble), he must have naturally suspected that he was
ethany, are, both in number and in value, more the person to whom he was appointed forerunner. than a counterpoise to those in which we find the But seo our Exposition. vulgar reading (Bethabara). Add to these, the Vulg., Ver. 33. I know him not.-In addition to what is The Saxon, and both the Syriac versions," &c. So said in our Exposition, we may remark, that there Griesbach. Bethany signities a ferry-house ; but seems to have been a special providence in the cir
18 Bethany was not where Lazarus and his sisters cumstance of John and Jesus being brought up at Iren, but bevond, or “ upon the Jordan," where such a distance-one in the desert of Judea, and the probably a ferry-boat was stationed.
other in Lower Galilee (pot less than 60 or 70 miles Ver. 31. I knew him not.--This is differently ex a part), and never seeiog each other, but at the three prained. Doddr. savs, knew lim not " personaliy, great festivals, wbich cut off all reasonable suspicion which seems difficult to believe, since all the male of confederacy or collusion,
The call of ]
[Andrew and Simon; 35 f Again, the next day after, John 40 One of the two which beard John stood, and two of his disciples; speak, and followed him, was Andrew,
36 And looking upon Jesus as he Simon Peter's brother, walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb 41 He first findeth his own brother of God!
Simon, and saith unto him, We have 37 And the two disciples heard him found the Messias, which is, being inspeak, and they followed Jesus. terpreted, the Christ.
38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them 42 And he brought him to Jesus. following, and saith unto them, What And when Jesus beheld him, he said, seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, Thou art Simon the son of Jona : thou (which is to say, being interpreted, shalt be called Cephas, which is by Master,) where dwellest thou? interpretation, A stone.
39 He saith unto them, Coine and 43 The day following Jesus would see. They came and saw where he gu forth into Galilee, and findeth dwelt, and abode with him that day: Philip, and saith unto him, Follow for it was about the tenth hour.
EXPOSITION-Chap. I. Continued. This conduct of John reminds us of the siah, John sent them to hear his preaching, Pagan philosopher, Antisthenes, who kept and see his miracles, as affording the most a school of rhetoric; but, when he heard decisive evidence. (Matt, xi. 3–5.) Socrates, he shut up his school, and told his But the evidence which John gave conpupils, “Go seek for yourselves a master, cerning Jesus, is chiefly confined to two I have found one :” but John did better; points,-1. The divinity of his character, when he had found a master for him- as “ the Son of God;" and, 2. The efficacy self, he recommended him to all his fol- of his atonement, as being " The Lamb of lowers.
God, which taketh away the sins of the But there seems some difficulty to re- world." These great truths should never concile what John here says, “I knew be lost sight of by a preacher of the cross, him not," with the account of Matthew, as being the foundation of the Christian that when Jesus came to be baptized, John system. If John insisted on these points, forbad him, as having more need to be even before the death of Christ, how much baptized by him, which shows that he more should Ministers of the Gospel do so, knew who he was. We have, indeed, no in subsequent ages, after the atonement has doubt that he was persuaded in his own been offered, and after the doctrine of the mind; but he had not yet received that cross has been made the power of God to miraculous attestation to the fact which he the salvation of so many thousands of manhad been taught to expect, and without kind.” which he was not authorized, in his pro. We may also here remark how much phetic character, to announce him as clearer views the Baptist liad of the office Messiah, which therefore he did not iintil and work of Christ than any of his own aposhe saw
“ the sign from heaven,"- the tles! No sooner, however, was the Holy decisive proof of his divine mission. (See Ghost poured down on the day of PenteMatt. iii. 16.), Theu, says he, “I saw and cost, than even Peter, who would not hear bare record, that tbis is the Son of God." of the death of Christ before, made it his From this time, it seeins, be recommended continual theme. his disciples to follow Jesus. Some of them, at least, did so, as for instance,
Let the rain world pronounce it shame,
And fing their scandals on the cause ; Andrew, Simon's brother (ver. 40); and We boast our Saviour's (worthy) name, afterwards, when any appear to have And make our triumphs in his cross.” doubted the fact of Jesus being the Mos
NOTES-Chap. I. Con. Ver. 38. Where dwellest thou? - Marg, “ abidest." Ver. 42. Son of Jona-or Jonas ; probably an
Ver. 39. About the tenih hour.-Supposing these abridgment of Joanna, or John. hours to be reckoned according to the Roman method, Ibid. Cephas, in Syriac, agrees with Peter, in from six in the morning, they bring us to four in Greek (so our English margin), both siguifying a the afternoon, which our translators, in their mar- stone. See Mote on Matt. xvi. 17-20. ginal note, remark, was two hours before night, Ver 43. The day following-or "on the morreckoning their day from six to six. See Note on rov, “next line;" for the word “day” need Matt. xx. 3-6.
not be taken strictly.