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branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth CHAP. XV.
it, that it may bring forth more fruit. I AM the true vine, and my Father 3 Now ye are clean through the is the husbandman.
word which I have spoken unto you. 2 Every branch in me that beareth 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As not fruit he taketh
every the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
EXPOSITION-C'hap. XIV. Continued. Holy Spirit is rather to instruct, advise, harmony that can be conceived, and even and assist us here below, and thus he be- more than creatures can possibly conceive; comes our Comforter on earth. And this and yet, in the economy of our redemphe does in perfect harmony with the work tion, each has a distinct department. of Christ himself; nor is there more har- In the eastern countries, on entering a mony in the operations of the Father and the house (aud we believe also in departing), Son, then there is between those of the Son it is usual to pronounce a Salam, that is, a and the Holy Spirit : for as the Son doth wish of Peace; and it is, we presume, in nothing of himself, or independent of the conformity with that custom that our Lord Father, so also the Holy Spirit, in all the made this his parting blessing : “Peace 1 consolations which he offers (as it is after- leave with you : my peace I give unto you; wards expressed), takes of "the things of not as the world giveth, give I unto you." Christ," and exhibits them to his people. How does the world give? In a cold, comIn fact, all the comforts which the Holy plimentary, heartless manner. How does Spirit administers to believers are derived Christ give? All the blessings which he from the doctrine and work of Christ-his bestows are sprinkled with his blood. obedience and sufferings; his death and “ He laid down his life" for us. Let not, resurrection.
therefore, our hearts be troubled; neither This Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit let us be afraid. of Truth, because it is his office to reveal Our Lorel proceeds (ver. 28): “Ye have truth, and to apply it to the consolation of heard how I said unto you I the human mind, nor is any consolation come again unto you : If ye loved me as derived from him but what is founded in
ye ought to do, ye would rejoice, because truth and righteousness. The Spirit also I said, I go unto the Father; for niy Father teaches and instructs us, hy bringing to is greater than I.” Far be it from us to our recollection, and impressing on our attempt to dive into the mysteries of the minds--not new truths, but those which divine nature, which must necessarily be Christ himself taught : for as Christ him- incomprehensible. That God is greater self taught nothing but what he had heard than man secms a truism unworthy of the and learned of the Father (chap. viii, 26, occasion ; but where there is a perfect 40), so, it is said, “the Holy Spirit shall equality of nature, we may easily conceive speak nothing of himself, but whatsoever a graçlation in rank between a sop and bis he shall hear" from the Father and from father-between a messenger and lim that Christ, “that shall he speak,” and reveal sent him. In all the offices of Christ, as to men. (ch. xvi. 13.) These things we Prophet, Priest, and King, he evidently introduce by way of anticipation, in order sustains a rank below the Father. But to show that there is, in all the operations wbat ground of joy could it atford to Christ's of the Divine Persons, the most perfect disciples that he was going to his father?
go away, and
NOTES. CHAP. XV. Ver. 2. Every branch in me that the practice in certain cases, we may safely inser beareth not fruit.-By this it is evident, that to be from the directions given for its performance in in Christ implies only a profession; for those who works of husbandry. See Collumella on Husbandry, bear no fruit cannot be real Christians : that such book iv, ch. 29; and Speechley's Treatise on the are taken away, argues, therefore, nothing against Culture of the Vine, 410. 1798. He purgeth it the perseverance of true believers. In allusion to i. e, by pruning; the only way in which a rine can the practice of grafting, it may be obzerved, that persons may be grafted into the Christian profession, Ver. 3. And now ye are clean-or purged: the without being vitally united to Christ by faith, same word as is used in the preceding verse. The though none can be thus unite:l without being expression may refer to chap. xii. 10-_* Now ye grafted, since we are not naturally so.
are clean, but not all;" Judas being then present, be grafted by baptism, or by education, but it re: but now he was gove ont, they were all clean. quires the quickening influences of the Holy Spirit Ver. 4. Abide in me, and (i will abide) in yol.to produce a vital onion and frnitfal branches. As to The expression is evidently elliptical, and must be grasting vines, that this was formerly, and still is thus explained.
And his disciples]
[branches in him. except it abide in the vine; no more 8 Herein is my Father glorified, can ye, except ye abide in me. that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be
5 I am the vine, ye are the my disciples. branches: He that abideth in me, and 9 As the Father hath loved me, so I in him, the same bringeth forth have I loved you: continue ye in my much fruit : for without me ye can do love. nothing.
10. If ye keep my commandments, 6 If a man abide not in me, he is ye shall abide in my love ; even as I cast forth as a branch, and is wither- have kept my Father's commanded; and men gather them, and cast ments, and abide in his love. them into the fire, and they are burned. 11 These things have I spoken unto
7 If ye abide in me, and my words you, that my joy might remain in abide in you, ye shall ask what ye you, and that your joy might be will, and it shall be done unto you. full. (U)
EXPOSITION. Plainly this : That as he was about to be instituted the Holy Supper; others, as Hamadvanced to higher honours, so he had mond and Guise, suppose it delivered in promised to his disciples that they should their way through some vineyards to the be with him to behold, and partake his garden of Gethsemane; and we know that glory, “Because I live, ye shall live also." our Lord was used to converse walking When I am raised from the dead ye also with his disciples. It is very possible, howshall be raised to newness of life. When ever, on the former supposition, that the I am raised to the right hand of God, ye guest-chamber might have a view over shall sit with me in heavenly places. I some neighbouring vineyards, which the will not (long) leave you orphans, without Passover full-moou would enable them to hope and comfort ; but will provide you a contemplate with advantage; and we know home in my Father's house, that where I am that it was our Lord's custom to notice there shall ye be also. “ He that loveth me any natural objects which might present shall be loved of my Father; and I will themselves, in order to deliver spiritual love him and manifest myself unto him." truths under the most instructive figures.
Judas (not Iscariot) saith unto him, The Old Testament frequently repre"Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest sents to us the Jewish Church under this thyself onto us, and not unto the world ?" image ; but here we are not to understand This is a question that leads us into the the Church, but Christ himself, as the true very essence of vital religiou, into the doc- Vine; and the members of his Church, intrine of communion with God through cluding all true believers, as branches of this Christ. “If any man love me he will keep vine; and as the branches can only live and my words; and my Father will love him, bear fruit while existing in and deriving and we will come unto him and make our sap from the parent vine, so Christ's disabode with him." This is what the same ciples, whatever they profess, can only Evangelist means, in his Epistles, by bear fruit in virtue of cominunion with “Fellowship with the Father, and with his him, and grace derived from him. Sou, Jesus Christ." (1 John i. 3.)
Sweetly instructive as is this allegory, it
has produced some bitter controversy ; but CHAP. XV.
in arguing theological truths from parables, (U) Ver. 1-11. Christ the true Vine, as this is, we should be very cautivus nut and his disciples the branches.-Dr. Dod to go beyond first principles. It is very dridge supposes the following discourse ceriain that both churches and individuals, was also delivered in the guest-chamber, though branches of this viue, may need where our Lord partuok thc Passover, and pruning; and some divines, we tbink too
NOTES. Ver. 5. Without me.- Marg." Severed from me;" Ver. 8. So shall ye beri.e.evidently appear to be. so Camp. Doddr. * Separate from me."
Ver. 9. Continue ye in my lori. e, according to Ver. 6. Cast forth-ie. thrown away.--And is Camp., Study to maintain your place in my affections. withered.-Camp. " wbich is withered;" a flebrew Ver. ll. That my jou might remain in you. idiom, the copulatire often supplying ihe place of Doddr. “That my joy in yon might continue.” the relative.
Camp." That I migbi continue to bave joy in you." Yer, 7. Unto you,-Doddr." for you."
[commandment. 12 This is my commandment, That 19 If ye were of the world, the ye love one another, as I have loved world would love his own; but because you.
ye are not of the world, but I have 13 Greater love hath no man than chosen you out of the world, therefore this, that a man lay down his life for the world hateth you. his friends.
20 Remember the word that I said 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do unto you, The servant is not greater whatsoever I conımand you.
than his lord. If they have persecuted 15 Henceforth I call you not ser- me, they will also persecute you ;
if vants; for the servant knoweth not they have kept my saying, they will what his lord doeth : but I have called keep your's also. you friends; for all things that I have 21 But all these things will they heard of my Father I have made do unto you for iny name's sake, beknown unto you.
cause they know not him that sent me. 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I 22 If I had not come and spoken have chosen you, and ordained you, unto them, they had not had sin: but that ye should go and bring forth fruit, now they have no cloke for their sin. and that your fruit should remain: 23 He that hateth me hateth my that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father also. Father in my name, he may give it 24 If I had not done among them you.
the works which none other man did, 17 These things I command you, they had not had sin: but now have that ye love one another.
they both seen and hated both me and 18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated ine before it hated you. 25 But this cometh to pass, that
EXPOSITION—Chap. XV. Continued. hastily, have inferred the final apostacy of But the great doctrine of the parable is, real believers, from the circumstance of “Without me," that is, severed from or branches being separated from this vine, independent of me, “ye can do nothing;". in which we think one material circum- that is, bear no fruit ; and the great use of stance has been overlooked. Believers are the doctrine is to guard Christians against not naturally branches of this vine, but self-confidence, and its natural effectare engrafted into the stock, which is apostacy. It is not necessary here to enter Christ, and form a vital union with him. far into the doctrine of final perseverance, The grafting of vines, though not usual, is Three things are certain ; first, that we soinetimes practised, and probably in the cannot be saved without it: “ He that envine countries much more frequently. Now dureth to the end, the same shall be saved." we know that grafting does now always 2. That grace to persevere can be derived succeed, and the branch grafted can only from Christ only; “Without me ye can be considered as stuck on, till it becomes do nothing.” 3. That it is extremely danunited with the stem. If it do not thus unite gerous to trust our salvation to former in due time, as it can bear no fruit, so it experiences, without competent evidence is thrown away as useless, and fit only for from the fruit we bear, that we still belong the fire : but if it properly unites, then it to Christ. “Herein is my Father glorified, becomes fruitful; but still is liable to the that ye bring forth much fruit; su shall ye pruning kuife, that it may bring forth more be my disciples.” fruit.
NOTES-Chap. XV. Con. Ver. 16. That your fruit should remain-i. e. No cloke." Marg. “No excuse." So Doddr. that ye sbould continue to bear fruit even in old age. Ver. 24, Now have they both seen, &c.-Compare Ps. xcii. 14.
chap. xiv.9. Ver. 18. Hated me before it bated you.-Lardner, Ver. 25. But this cometh to pass.- Doddr. “ This “ Hated me, your chiet ;" which Doddr, approves, is permitted;" these words, indeel, are merely sup but Camp.strenuonsly opposes.
plementary, not being in the original; vet are properly Ver. 20. My saying. --Camp.“ My word.” supplied. They hated me without a cause.Ver. 22. They had not had sin.-See chap. ix. 21. These words are quoted from Psalm xxxv. 19.
[promised. the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me
CHAP. XVI. without a cause.
26 But when the Comforter is THESE things have I spoken unto come, whom I will send unto you you, that ye should not be of. from the Father, even the Spirit of fended. truth, which proceedeth from the Fa- 2 They shall put you out of the ther, he shall testify of me:
synagogues: yea, the time cometh, 27 And ye also shall bear witness, that whosoever killeth you will think because ye have been with me from that he doeth God service. the beginning. (X)
3 And these things will they do
EXPOSITION. (X) Ver. 12—27. The great Law of sions which we have noticed. 3. It was Christianity:-Farther promises respecting newly illustrated and enforced by his own the Holy Spirit.-" These things I com- example, which was made the future model mand you (says our Saviour), that ye love of their obedience: “This is my coinmandone another;" on which passage we offer ment, that ye love one another as I have two brief to marks—the authority enjoin- loved you;" namely, by laying down their ing, and the nature of the command lives for one another, if required, as he 1." I command you,” says the Saviour: had done for them. angels and prophets spake " in the name Our Lord then places his attachment to of the Lord”;” and nothing like this, in his disciples in another point of view : it matters of religion, occurs, except when was not only compassion, but it was friendGod himself speaks, in all the Old Testa- ship. He had treated his disciples, and ment. Aud not only does Christ command particulariy the apostles, as friends, to in his own name, but delegates to apostles whom he had communicated' his mind and evangelists to act and to command in freely and fully, and not with that reserve his name, from whom all their authority which men exercise toward their slaves or was derived. Does not this place the
“ All things which I have heard authority of Christ above both men and from my Father I have declared to you." angels ?' Is it not assuming the style of He had recently opened to them the mysDeity?
tery of his sufferings and death, and the 2. The command is also worthy of the glory which should follow, both to him authority-a precept the most unexception- and them. He admonishes them, also, able that heaveo ever gave. This, in an- that they were indebted to his grace and other place (chap. xiij. 34.), our Lord calls favour for all the privileges which they a new commandment; not that it was ab- enjoyed. They had not chosen him for a solutely so, for love to God and man, we Master or a Saviour ; but he had chosen have seen, was the substance of the ten them for disciples, and ordained them to commands.
But, 1. It was a neglected bring forth much fruit, and that in conticommand. Doddridge remarks (from Ra- nuance, to the divine glory. He prepares pbelius), that Xenophon calls the laws of them, however, for the hatred of the world, Lycurgus very new laws, several ages after and for the persecution which would neces they were made; because, though widely sarily arise out of it ; reminding them that kuown, they had been little acted upon. he had sustained and conquered both. The So the Scribes and Pharisees had, by their world had hated both him and the Father, traditions, in great measure made void which implies not only the absence of love this first and great command. 2. It was a (as the expression is sometimes used), but renewed law : our Lord had largely ex- an enmity of heart against those truths and plained, and amply illustrated it, in his duties which the gospel enjoined upon Sermon on the Mount, and on other occa- them. They shut their eyes that they
NOTES. CHAP. XVI. Ver. 1. Not be offended.-Camp. excommunication included a forfeiture both of pro"enshared.” Literally, "scandalized;” i. e. That perty and life.--- Will think he dorth God service. persecution should not, by coming unexpectedly, --Doddr. “ Will think he offereth [acceptable) serprove a stumbling-block to their faith.
vice to God.” Camp. " Offereth sacribce to God.” Ver. 2. They shall put you out of ---Camp.“ exped This explains Rom. viii. 36 : “ For thy sake we are you from." This refers to Jewish excommunication. killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep Whosoever killeth you. The highest degree of for the slaughter."
The office of ]
[the Holy Spirit. unto you, because they have not 9 Of sin, because they believe not known the Father, nor me.
on me; 4 But these things have I told you, 10 Of righteousness, because I go that when the time shall come, ye may to my Father, and ye see me no remember that I told you of them. more ; And these things I said not unto you 11 Of judgment, because the prince at the beginning, because I was with of this world is judged. you.
12 I have yet many things to say 5 But now
go my way to him unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. that sent me; and none of you asketh 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of me, Whither goest thou ?
truth, is come, he will guide you into 6 But because I have said these all truth: for he shall not speak of things unto you, sorrow hath filled himself; but whatsoever he shall hear,
that shall he speak : and he will shew 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; you things to come. It is expedient for you that I go away: 14 He shall glorify me: for he for if I go not away, the Comforter shall receive of mine, and shall shew will not come unto you; but if I de
it unto you. part, I will send him unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath 8 And when he is come, he will are mine : therefore said that he reprove the world of sin, and of right- shall take of mine, and shew it unto eousness, and of judgment;
EXPOSITION. might not see the former, and they har many persecuturs in the Romish Church dened their hearts that they might not feel thought that they were doing God service the latter.
when burning bis saints under the name
of herelics. But it is to be observed that CHAP. XVI.
Paul never urges this in apology for his
conduct: on the contrary, though one of (Y) Ver. 1—15. The office of the Holy the most successful and accomplished of Ghost-the Comforter.-Our Lord, in the tive Aposiles, he never thought himself beginning of this chapter, repeats the worthy of the name, because he liad per. warning which he had previously given secuted the Church of God. (1 Cor. xv. 9.) to his apostles against persecution from Ignorauce, arising from depravity, is no the world, with this addition : “ Yea, the excuse for sin. time cometh, that whosoever killetlə you The predicted sufferings of their Lurd, will think that he doeth God service." A and the persecutions they were warned 10 remarkable instance of this occurs in the expect, having filled their hearts with sorcase of Paul, who, before his conversion, row, the apostles seem to have sunk into "verily thought"—that is, conscientiously, silent griet, asking no farther questions: our that he “ought to do many things contrary Lord, however, recalls their attention to to the name of Jesus of Nazareth,” whose the mission of the Great Comforter whom disciples he persecuted to prison and to he had promised to send, but who, accorddeath. (Acts xxvi. 9, 10.) And we doubting to the economy of redemption, and not but other Jewish persecutors might the tenor of prophecy, could not come till be equally conscientious. And, even in after bis death and resurrection. " It is more modern times, we are persuaded that expedient for you that I go away: for if I
NOTES-Chap. XVI. Con. Ver. 8. He will reprove.- Doddr. and Camp. evidence which this passage affords to the personality “ Convince." So it often signifies.
of the Holy Spirit; for though the Greek word for Ver. 12. I have yet many things to say-that is, Spirit (pneuma) is neuter, all the propouns are mas. much farther instruction to vive; but as you are culine --He, himself, &c. which he thinks can only not yet prepared to receive it, the lloly Sonit shall be accounter for by the personality of the floly Spie be given to instruct you after my resurrection.
rit. Letters, No. 24. See also Dr. Smith's Messiah, Ver. 13. When He, the Spirit of Truth.-'The vol. ii. p. 748, where the argument is ably juspious Mr. Hervey loog since remarked the strong tified,