Page images

Others charge him]

CHAP. VII. [with having a devil. 18 He that speaketh of himself 23 If a man on the sabbath day reseeketh his own glory: but he that ceive circumcision, that the law of seeketh his glory that sent him, the Moses should not be broken; are ye same is true, and no unrighteousness is angry at me, because I have made a in him.

man every whit whole on the sabbath 19 Did not Moses give you the law, day? and yet none of you keepeth the law? 24 Judge not according to the apWhy go ye about to kill me?

pearance, but judge righteous judgment, 20 The people answered and said, 25 Then said some of them of JeruThou last a devil: who goeth about to salem, Is not this he, whom they seek kill thee?

to kill ? 21 Jesus answered and said unto 26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and them, I have done one work, and ye they say nothing unto him. Do the all marvel.

rulers know indeed that this is the very 22 Moses therefore gave unto you Christ? circumcision ; (not because it is of 27 Howbeit, we know this man Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on whence he is : but when Christ cometh, the sabbath day circumcise a man. no man knoweth whence he is. (X)

EXPOSITION (X) Ver. 14–27. Jesus goes up about he employed an easy and popular elothe middle of the feast, and justifies both cution, a force of reasoning, and a deep his doctrine and his conduct.-'What parti- acquaintance with the Hebrew Scriptures, cular circumstance might render it proper which eminently distinguished his disfor Jesus to go up to the feast now, and courses from those of the Scribes and Phanot before, it is impossible to ascertain. risees, and thus excited the adniration of No sooner, however, did he arrive, than the people, and the envy and malevolence je went up into the temple, and his teach of their accustomed teachers. og, as usual, soon attracted attention and But the great point before us is the docadmiration; and they who knew bis limited trine here laid down, that the best way to ducation, exclaimed, How knoweth this understand the will of God is by studying bau letters, having never learned ?" This to obey bim : “If any man will do his will, ertaiuly cannot refer to the mere elements he shall know of the doctrine [1 preach] f reading, for every Jewish child was whether it be of God.” But on this subaught to read; but letters must be here ject we shall present our readers with anoiken in the higher sense of literature, or ther beautiful extract from Bp. Taylor, of learning," as our margin reads it. Not pious memory. “We [says the Bishop] Jat we apprehend our Lord made any dis- have examined all ways in our inquiries lay of secular or polite literature, which after religious truth, but one ; all but as foreign to his style and manner; but Gov's way. Let us, having missed in all

NOTES. Ver. 18. No unrighteousness.-Doddr, " impos. Comp. Expos. Not because ( Doddr.“ that”) it re, deception."

was of Moses, but of the fathers-or early patri. Ser. 20. Thou hast a devil (or demon). --So chap. archs, namely, Abraham, Gen. xvii. 16.

21), " He hath & devil, and is mad;" which Ver. 23. That the law of Moses should not be plainly shows (says Doddr.) that they (the Jews) broken.--" Marg, “ Without breaking the law of nght that (at least) some of the worst kinds and Moses." — Every whit whole-or sound throughgrees of luuacies proceeded from the agency of out. See Doddr. ne deton : as many considerable Greek writers Ver. 24. Judge not according to the appearance

als did." See our Notes on Matt. iv. 24. &c. &c. literally, according to the face, or outward surfaces Ver, 21. One work-namely, healing the infirm of things : weigh the evidence before you, and judge 10 at the pool of Bethesda and ye all marvel equitably, or, righteous judgment. I wonder) on account of it. Doddr.

Ver. 25. He, whom they seek to kill ?-NotwithVer. 22. Moses therefore. --The word therefore standing some of the people allected to think Jesils

G:. dia tonto) begins this verse in our common mad, because he said, "Ye go about to kill me,” Bek Testaments, and is therefore included in it yet it is very evident from this, and several other our translators; but Doddr., Camp., Wesley, and expressions in this chapter, that they really had of modern translators (following Theophylact such a design, and had made no great secret of it. ) Beza), attach it to the preceding verse, as the Ver. 26. The very Christ. -The word (alethos) and of the Jews marvelling. Thus Mr. Wesley "very," or "true," Dr. Camp. remarks, is wantT. 21). " I did one work and ye all marvel Aring in many MSS. and versions, and some early (Ver. 22) “ Moses gave you circumcision," &c. editions, and is not necessary to the sense.

The people divided]


[in their opinion. 28 ( Then cried Jesus in the temple ing him; and the Pharisees and the as he taught, saying, Ye both know Chief Priests sent officers to take me, and ye know whence I am: and him. I am not come of myself, but he that 33 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet sent me is true, whom ye know not. a little while am I with you, and then

29 But I know him: for I am from I go unto him that sent me. him, and he hath sent me.

34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not 30 Then they sought to take him: find me: and where I am, thither ye but no man laid hands on him, because cannot come. his hour was not yet come.

35 Then said the Jews among them31 And many of the people believed selves, Whither will he go, that we on him, and said, When Christ cometh, shall not find him ? will he go unto the will he do more miracles than these dispersed among the Gentiles, and which this man hath done?

teach the Gentiles ? 32 The Pharisees heard that the 36 What manner of saying is this people murmured such things concern- that he said, Ye shall seek me, and

EXPOSITION—Chap. VII. Continued. the other, try this. Let us go to God for life, and the cause of all actions and protruth; for truth comes from God only. If ductions spiritual ; and the consequence of we miss the truth, it is because we will not this is, what St. John tells us, · Ye have find it; for certain it is, that all the truth received the unction from above, and that which God hath made necessary, he hath anointing teacheth you all things' - all also made legible and plain; and if we will things that pertain to life and godliuess ; open our eyes we shall see the sun; and if all that by wbich a man is wise and happy, we will walk in the light,' we shall Unless the soul have a new life put into it, rejoice in the light.' ... The fear of unless there be a vital principle within, the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and uuless the spirit of life be the informer of a good understanding have all they that the spirit of man, unless there be in our do his commandments.' And so David hearts a secret conviction by the Spirit of says of himself, I have more under- God, the Gospel itself is a dead letter. standing than my teachers, because I keep (Via Intellig. quoted in Dr. Knox's Cbrist thy precepts.' And this is the only way Philos. $ 6.) which Christ has taught us. If you ask In thus admonishing the Jews that thi What is truth ? you must not do as Pilate way to acquire a fuller knowledge of th did, ask the question, and then go away divine will was to practice what they al from him that only can give you an answer: ready did know, our Lord strongly implie for as God is the author of truth, so he is that their ignorance arose from disobe the teacher of it, and the way to learn is dience of heart: they hated the truth, au this; for so saith our blessed Lord— If therefore rejected him that taught it. The any man will do his will, he shall know of sought their own glory, and the honou the doctrine whether it be of God.'” which comes of men : they were therefor

We must not, however, attribute this insensible to his merits, who sought ni discovery to our own wisdom or our own his own glory, but that only which comt strength. “There is continues the good from God. (Sée ch. v. 41.) prelate) in every righteous mau a new vital Our Lord then adverts to the signal m principle. The spirit of grace is the spirit racle which he had wrought at the pool of wisdom, and teaches us by secret inspi- Bethesda, as related in the begiuning rations, by proper arguments, by actual chap. v., and which, while it had exciti persuasions, by personal applications, by the admiration of the multitude, excit effects and energies; and as the soul of also the eumity of their rulers, under t! man is the cause of all bis vital opera- pretence that it was a violation of the sa tions, so is the Spirit of God the life of that bath, though they themselves made i

NOTES-Clap. VII. Con. Ver. 28. Ye both know me, and yr know whence I Ver. 34. Where I am-i.e. where I reside; name am.–Bp. Chandler, who is followed by Doddr., in heaven. Camp., and Wesley, reads these words interroga- Ver. 25. The dispersed-i. c. the Jews disperi tively; bat, we humbly conceire, without suficient among the Gentiles. Marg. “ Greeks.” So in reason. See our Exposition.

fatter clause and teach the Greeks,"

Jesus promises]


(the Holy Spirit. shall not find me: and where I am, Scripture bath said, out of his belly thither ye cannot come?

shall flow rivers of living water. 37 In the last day, that great day 39 But this spake he of the Spirit, of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, which they that believe on him should saying, If any man thirst, let him come receive: for the Holy Ghost was not unto me, and drink.

yet given; because that Jesus was not 38 He that believeth on me, as the yer glorified. (Y)

EXPOSITION. scruple of performing, on the same boly character and mission in the temple. But day, the rite of circumcision. But if ye be had doubtless his reasons; and as to his yourselves perform this work of circum- enemies, “ They sought to take him; but cision, to prevent one duty from inter no man did (or could) lay hands on him, fering with another, why are ye angry with because bis time was not yet come." They me for performing such a miracle of mercy were bound by an invisible power, and he is the cure of this miserable son of Abra- was “ immortal till his work was done." bam on the sabbath-day.' Such is the tenor But how shall we reconcile this declaraof our Lord's argument, which seems for tion, “ Ye both know me, and whence I the moment to have silenced bis eriemies am," with his assertion in the next chap. ind satisfied the people. “What,” said ter (ver. 19), “Ye neither know me nor my ome of them, “is not this he whom they Father?” This we explain by the followeck to kill ? But, lo! be speaketh boldly, ing paraphrase :-" Ye know me as the nd they say notbing to bini. Du the rulers Son of Mary, the wife of Joseph the carDow"-are they at length convinced penter of Nazareth ; but ye know me not that this is the very Christ ?"-the true as the Son of God from heaven; neither do lessiah ? Recollecting themselves, how- ye know him that sent me; wbu is true, ver, and adverting to some tradition of the and who hath sent me in fulfilment of his Wers (as it seems to us), they conclude he promises of mercy to mankind." arely could not be the Messiah, on ac- Nothing is here said of any particular punt of his parentage being 30 well miracles wrought on this occasion, yet Down : “When Christ cometh, wo man such seem to be implied on their saying, howeth whence he is." This, however, “ When Christ cometh will he do more uld only be true in reference to his miracles than this man hath done!" And sine nature, in which they certainly did many of the people believed on him. These ot believe; but his tribe, bis family, his he informed, that he had not long to rerth-place, were all marked out, and all main with them, but was going whither, actly corresponded iu Jesus, the son of in present circumstances, they could not ary, Ibough they did not know it. The follow him-namely, to heaven; but they It is, they did noc search the Scriptures understood it of bis design to go among 'themselves they did not pray for divine the Gentiles : 'Will he leave Judea, and umivation-they did not dare reason on offer himself, as the Messiab, to the Jews ! evidence before them, or they must scattered in the surrounding nations ? or rely have concluded that he who could even to the Greeks themselves? itore the sick and the blind must be “the Tbe last day of the feast of Tabernacles y Christ"-the true Messiah.

(at which they were now assembled) was

considered as a great and high day; and 'Y) Ver. 28–39. Jesus proclaims his on this it was customary to draw water in gin as sent from God, und gives the pro- the sacred vases from the fountain of Site of his Holy Spirit. It may seem loah (or Siloam), which was a little withange that our Saviour, who was so back- out the wall, and was brought up to the rd to go up to the feast, should now temple with the sound of trumpets and with is expose himself to his enemies in the great rejoicings, and afterwards “poured st public manner, by proclaiming his out before the Lord," at the time of the

NOTES. er. 37. In the last day, &c.-The authorities are freely invited. See Isa. Iv. 1, 10, &C.- Out of I by Doddr. on this verse are Reland, Lightfoot, his belly-i. e. from within him, alluding to the saTremellios.

cred vessels. The first instance we have remarked pr. 38. As the Scripture hath said.-There is no of pouring out water before the Lord, accurs i San. passage which says this terbatim ; but there are vii. 6.

1 which speak of the blessings of the Gospel to Ver. 39. Should receive. This was spoken proestowed through the Messiah, under the image phetically, of the eflusion of the Spirit on the day of reams of water, milk, and wiue, to which all Pentecost. See Arts, ch. ii. i


The officers refuse]


[to take Christ. 40 Many of the people therefore, 46 The officers answered, Never when they heard this saying, said, Of man spake like this man. a truth this is the Prophet.

47 Then answered then the Phari41 Others said, This is the Christ. sees, Are ye also deceived? But some said, Shall Christ come out 48 Have any of the rulers or of the of Galilee?

Pharisees believed on him? 42 Hath not the Scripture said,

49 But this people, who knoweth not That Christ cometh of the seed of Da- the law, are cursed. vid, and out of the town of Bethlehem, that came to Jesus by night, being one

50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he where David was? 43 So there was a division among

of them,)

51 Doth our law judge any man, the people because of him. 44 And some of them would have doeth?

before it hear him, and know what he taken him; but no man laid hands on

52 They answered and said unto him.

him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, 45 Then came the officers to the and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no Chief Priests and Pharisees; and they prophet. said unto them, Why have ye not 53 And every man went unto his brought him?

own house. (2)

EXPOSITION—Chap. VII. Continued. evening sacrifice. The mystical design of that period, or to miraculous influence this ceremony has been differently ex- only, as we shall find abundant evidence plained. Some suppose it to have been both in the sequel of our Lord's discourse desigued to supplicate rain upon the seed with his apostles, and in the history of tha just sown ; and others, to invoke the in- event. The final remark in this section Auences of the Holy Spirit ; but we see no that “ the Holy Ghost was not yet giver difficulty in embracing both, as the rain because that Jesus was not yet glorified, itself was the established emblem of the teaches us that the gifts of the Spirit, bot diffusion of the Spirit (Isa. ly. 10, 11), ordinary and miraculous, are the fruits which has the express sanction of our Christ's mediatorial work; and bestowe Lord's interpretation. For, “ In the last on us, in consequence of his being exalte day, that great day of the feast, Jesus to the right hand of the Majesty on hig stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, (See Acis ii. 33.) let him come unto ine and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath (2) Ver. 40–53. Divers opinions said, out of his belly," or from bis heart, Christ: and the Pharisees exasperated “ shall Aow rivers of living water;" that the officers refusing to arrest him.-T is, copious streams of piety and benevo- discourses of Christ appear to have be lence. Believers in Christ are here com- equally convincing with his miracles, a pared to the golden vases of the temple, sometimes even more effectual. An ur they are filled with the iufluences of the tion doubtless attended his ministry, a Spirit, as were the bellies of those vases where his hearers were not converted, with the living waters of Siloah.

addresses migbt often make a considera This passage undoubtedly received a sig- impression, as in the case before us, nal accomplishment on the day of Pente- we are not told that any of them believ cost, but is certainly not to be confined to Sume said, “ Of a truth (or truly) this

NOTES-Chap. VII. Con. Ver. 43. There was a division (Gr. schism) among eloquence, that he quite disarmed their resolu the people--"A warm dissension"_" an angry de- and melted them into tears. But these were bate;"so the word signifies, whether it be attended armed, not by an appeal to their passions, boti with separation or not. Doddr.

consciences. Ver. 44. No man laid hands on him.-Compare Ver. 50. He that came to Jesus.-Greek, verse 30.

him;" Jesus being understoud. Ver. 46. Never man spake, &c. -Doddr. quotes Ver. 53. Every man went unto his orn hottsefrom Plutarch, as a proof of the extraordinary elo. Wesley, and some others, attach to this sentenc quence of Mark Anthony, that when Marius sent first verse of the following chapter... “ But (Gr soldiers to kill him, he addressed them with such Jesus went to the mount of Olives.”

The woman taken]

[in adultery. CHAP. VIII.

adultery; and when they had set her

in the midst, JESUS went unto the mount of 4 They say unto him, Master, this Olives.

woman was taken in adultery, in the 2 And early in the morning he came very act. again into the temple, and all the peo- 5 Now Moses in the law commanded ple came unto him; and he sat down, us, that such should be stoned: but and taught them.

what sayest thou ? 3 And the Scribes and Pharisees 6 This they said, tempting him, that brought unto him a woman taken in they might have to accuse him. But

EXPOSITION. the prophet"-namely, the great prophet principles or conduct, but were bound to long foretold by Moses. (Deut. xviii. 15.) surrender their consciences to their supeOthers said, this is the Christ, or Messiali, riors—a sentiment now happily exploded, alluding probably tu David, speaking of the as equally irrational and unscriptural; for Lord's Anointed (which is of the same in- “ every one of us must give an account of port), in the second and other Psalms. But himself to God." (Rom. xiv. 12.) an angry dispute, a division, here arises Nicodemus, one of the rulers, is here among the people. Some say, " Shall again introduced to notice—the saine who Christ come out of Galilee?" And others came to Jesus by night for fear of the Jews, of them are learned enough to ascertain and who now assumes a little more couthat he was to be of Betblebem, the city rage, and ventures to put in a word on his of David. True ; but might be not be behalf :-“ Doth our law”- the law of born in Bethlehem, and yet preach in Ga Moses and of God" judge any man before lilee? It seems, indeed, a little strange it hear him?" Certainly not; but his wise that, though they remeinbered well enough fellow-senators, instead of answeriug that the obscure parentage and education of Je- question, give a sneering reply-" Art sus, they seem to have no tradition of the thou also of Galilee Search and look ; visit of the Magi, or of Herod's subsequent for out of Galilee ariseth uo prophet." And cruelties at Bethlehem.

yet here they betray their ignorance ; for Among those who debated thus about the prophets Jonah' and Nahum, as DodChrist, were the officer's sent by the Sache dridge observes (if no others), were both drim to apprebend him, but who were so of that country. Tu consequence of this overcome by the eloquence and unction dissension among the people, the demur with which he spake, that they could not of Nicodemus, and especially the disobeexecute their warrant. Aud when they re. dience of the officers, the council appears turned, and were called to account, why to have broken up without coming to any they had not brought their prisoner, they determination, and every man departed to honestly confessed the cause was, that, in his own house. Jesus, however, retired to their opinion, “ Never man spake like this the Mount of Olives ; but whether he spent man." Upon this the Pharisees fly into a the whole night ju devotion, as he somerage, and exclaim, “ Are ye also deceived times did, or retired afterwards to rest at Have any of the rulers, or of the Pharisees, the bouse of Lazarus, in Bethany, at the believed on bim?" As if truth always foot of it, we are not informed; we find dwelt with the higher ranks of society; him, however, in the temple early on the and as if the lower orders were not ac- following morning. countable to their Maker for either their

NUTES. CHAP, VIIJ. Ver. 1-11.-" It is well known Lord being too indulgent to the adulteress. See (says Doddr.) that this story is wanting in the Sy- Nir. Preb. Townsend's N. Test, arr. vi. 315. nac version, in the Alexandrian and Bodleian copies, Ver. 6. Wrote on the ground. This is not uncomand in inost of the oldest MSS., which engaged Beza mon in the East. Some commentators think our to question, and Le Clerc, with many others, to re- lord's conduct had some reference to the law of ject its authority.” But it is ably vindicated by Dr. Jealousy, Num. v. II, &c.--to the priest's stoaping Mill, Bp. Pearce, and the learned Mr. Nolan. Dod- to take up dust, and writing the curses pronounced dridge appears satisfied of its authenticity, but upon her; but of this we are very doubtful.- As Campbell is very donbtful, and piaces the whole though he heard them not." - What Christ wrote we passage, with the last verse of the preceding chap know not, and it is in vain to guess: but if the ter, between brackets. It is certainly more easy to words are genuine, his writing could laver account for its omission than its insertion, and many ference to her case, or they must have kno think it was omitted from a mistaken notion of cur heard them. Dr. Mill, however, Omits thes

« PreviousContinue »