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The Pharisees cavil at the cure

6 When he had thus spoken, made clay of the spittle, and he man with the clay,

ST. JOHN.

he spat on the ground, and anointed the eyes of the blind

7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) i He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

8 The neighbours, therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered and said, ⋆ A man that is called Jesus nade clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. 13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.

Mark 7.33. & 8. 23.-g Or, spread the clay upon the eyes of the blind man.h Neh. 3. 15.

body were proofs of sin in the soul. From a like persuasion, probably, arose that proverb among our northern neighbours Mark him, whom God marks.

wrought on the blind man

14 And it was the sabbath day, when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him, how he had re ceived his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.

16 Therefore said soine of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And in there was a division among them.

17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, " He is a prophet 18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the pa rents of him that had received his sight.

19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?

20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:

21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who i See 2 Kings ♬ 14.-k Ver. 6, 7.- Ver. 33. Ch. 3. 2.-in Ch. 7. 12, 43. & 19 19 — n Ch 4.19. & 6 14.

been used by such as had formerly been in better circumstances, was this: NIN D bonox km Look back and see what I have been; look upon me now, and see what I am Nee Lightfoot.

4. While it is day] Though I plainly perceive that the cure of this man will draw down upon me the malice of the 9. Some said, This is he] This miracle was not wrought in Jewish rulers, yet I must accomplish the work for which I private-nor before a few persons-nor was it lightly credited. came into the world while it is day; while the term of this Those who knew him before, were divided in their opinion life of mine shall last. It was about six months after this that concerning him: not whether the man who sat there begging our Lord was crucified. It is very likely that the day was now was blind before; for this was known to all: nor whether the declining, and night coming on; and he took occasion from person now before them saw clearly; for this was now notothis circumstance to introduce the elegant metaphor imme-rious but whether this was the person who was born blind, diately following. By this we are taught that no opportunity and who used in a particular place to sit begging. for doing good should be omitted-DAY representing the op Others said, He is like him] This was very natural: for portunity: NIGHT the loss of that opportunity. certainly the restoration of his sight must have given him a very different appearance to what he had before.

5. I am the light of the world] Like the sun, it is tny business to dispense light and heat every where; and to neglect no opportunity that may offer to enlighten and save the bodies and souls of men. See chap. viii. 12.

6. Anointed the eyes of the blind man] It would be difficult to find out the reason which induced our Lord to act thus. It is certain this procedure can never be supposed to have been any likely medical means to restore sight to a man who was born blind-this action, therefore, had no tendency to assist the miracle. If his eyelids had been only so gunned together, that they needed nothing but to be suppled and well washed, it is not likely that this could possibly have been omitted from his birth until now. The Jews believed that there was some virtue in spittle to cure the diseases of the eye; but then they always accompanied this with some charm. Our Lord might make clay with the spittle, to show that no charms or spells were used; and to draw their attention more particularly to the miracle which he was about to work. Perhaps the best lesson we can learn from this is: That God will do his own work in his own way; and to hide pride from man, will often accomplish the most beneficial ends by means not only simple or despicable in themselves, but by such also as appear entirely contrary, in their nature and operation, to the end proposed to be effected by them.

7. Siloam] Called also Shiloah, Siloe, or Siloa, was a fountain under the walls of Jerusalem, towards the east, between the city and the brook Kidron. Calmet thinks that this was the same with En-rogel, or the Fuller's fountain, which is mentioned in Josh. xv. 7. xviii. 16. in Lam. xvii. 17. and in 1 Kings 1,9. Its waters were collected in a great reservoir for the use of the city; and a stream from it supplied the pool of Bethesda. By interpretation, SENT] From the Hebrew n shalach, he sent; either because it was looked upon as a gift sent from God, for the use of the city; or because its waters were directed or sent by canals or pipes into different quarters, for the same purpose. Some think there is an allusion here to Gen. xlix. 10. that this fountain was a type of Shiloh, the Christ, the SENT of God; and that it was to direct the man's mind to the accomplishment of the above prophecy, that our Lord sent him to this fountain. This supposition does not appear very solid. The Turks have this fountain still in great veneration; and think the waters of it are good for the diseases of the eyes. Lightfoot says, that the spring of Siloam discharged itself by a double stream into a twofold pool-the upper was called shiloach, the lower n shelach; the one signifying areaλuevot, sent, the latter kodtwv, fleeces; and that our Lord marked this point so particularly, to inform the blind man that it was not to Shelach, but to Shiloach, that he must go to wash his eyes. These two pools seem to be referred to in Isa. vii. 23. xxii. 9.

8. That he was blind] 'Ori rvßdos nu: but instead of this, wpoσairns, when he begged, or was a beggar, is the reading of ABC*DKL. seven others, both the Syriac, both the Arabic, latter Persic, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Sahidic, Gothic, Slavonic, Vulgate, eight copies of the Itala, and some of the primitive Fathers. This is in all probability the true reading; and is received by Grieshach into the text.

Beggars in all countries have a language peculiar to themselves. The language of the Jewish beggars was the follow ing: Deserve something by me-Give me something that God may reward you. Oh ye tender-hearted, do yourselves good by me. Another form which seems to have

11. A man that is called Jesus] The whole of this relation is simple and artless in the highest degree. The blind man had never seen Jesus, but he had heard of his name he felt that he had put something on his eyes, which he afterwards found to be clay-but how this was made, he could not tell; because he could not see Jesus when he did it-therefore be does not say, he made clay of spittle-but simply, he made clay, and spread it upon my eyes. Where a multitude of incidents must necessarily come into review, imposture and falsehood generally commit themselves, as it is termed; but however numerous the circumstances inay be in a relation of fact, simple truth is never embarrassed.

12. Where is he? They had designed to seize and deliver him up to the sanhedrim, as a violater of the law, because he had done this on the Sabbath day.

13. They brought to the Pharisees] These had the chief rule, and determined all controversies among the people: in every case of religion, their judgment was final: the people, now fully convinced that the man had been cured, brought him to the Pharisees, that they might determine how this was done, and whether it had been done legally.

14. It was the Sabbath] Some of the ancient rabbins taught, and they have been followed by some moderns not much bet ter skilled in physic than themselves, that the saliva is a cure for several disorders of the eyes: but the former held this to be contrary to the law, if applied on the Sabbath. See LIGHTFOOT's Hor. Talm.

16. This man is not of God] He can neither be the Messiah nor a prophet, for he has broken the Sabbath. The Jews always argued falsely on this principle. The law relative to the observation of the Sabbath, never forbade any work but what was of the servile and unnecessary kind. Works of necessity and mercy never could be forbidden on that day, by him whose name is mercy, and whose nature is love: for the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

How can a mun that is a sinner, &c.] They knew very well that though magicians and impostors might do things apparently miraculous, yet nothing really good could be performed by them. We might have safely defied all the magicians in Egypt, who are said to have been so successful in imitating some of the miracles of Moses, to have opened the eyes of one blind man, or to have done any essential good either to the body or to the soul.

And there was a division among them] Exiopa, a schism, a decided difference of opinion, which caused a separation of the assembly.

17. He is a prophet] They had intended to lay snares for the poor man, that getting him to acknowledge Christ for the Messiah, they might put him out of the synagogue, ver. 22. or put him to death; that such a witness to the divine power of Christ might not appear against them. But as the mercy of God had given him his sight: so the wisdom of God taught him how to escape the snare laid for his ruin. On all thy glory there shall be a defence, says the prophet, Isa. iv. 5. When God gives any particular mercy or grace, he sends power to preserve it, and wisdom to improve it. The man said, He is a prophet. Now, according to the Jewish maxim, a prophet might dis pense with the observation of the Sabbath. See Grotius. they allow that Jesus was a prophet, then, even in their sense he might break the law of the Sabbath, and be guiltless: or it they did not allow him to be a prophet, they must account for

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hat opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: be shall speak for himself.

22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out the syna

gogue.

23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.
21 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said
unto hitn, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a
sinner.

25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I
know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now
I see.

26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee 1 how opened he thine eyes 1

27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?

23 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples.

29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, 'we know not from whence he is.

• Ch 7.13 & 12 42 & 19. 38. Acte 5.13-p Ver 34. Ch 14.2-q Josh. 7. 19. 1 Sam. 6.5 Ve. 16 → Ch 8 14.- Ch 3.10.-u Job 27 9. & 36. 12. Psa. 18 41. & 31. 15. & 66 18 Prov. 1. 28. & 15.29.& 8. 9. Isa. 1. 15. Jer. 11. 11. & 14. 12. Ezek. 8. 19.

and confounds them.

30 The man answered and said rnto them, Why, herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes!

31 Now we know that "God heareth not sinners: but if any
man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man open-
ed the eyes of one that was born blind.

33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.
34 They answered and said unto him, w Thou wast altoge
ther born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they * cast him
out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he
had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the
Son of God?
36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might be.
lieve on him!

37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and
it is he that talketh with thee.

38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. 39 And Jesus said, " For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

Mic 34 Zoch 7. 13-v Ver. 16-w Ver 2-x Or, excommunicated him, Ver. 22y Matt. 11.29, 33 & 16.16. Mark 1.1. Chap 10.36. 1 John 5 13—1 Chap. 4. 26.— a Chap.5. 22, 27. See Chap. 3. 17. & 12. 47.-b Matt. 13. 13. Mark 4. 12.

Is not the miracle known to all the town, and could any one do it who was not endued with the power of God?

the miracles some other way than by the power of God: as from Satan or his agents no good can proceed:-to do this it was impossible. So the wisdom of God taught the poor man to give them such an answer, as put them into a complete dilemma; from which they could not possibly extricate them-ligion; and therefore it is put in opposition to BeoGeßns, a worselves.

18 But the Jews did not believe] All the subterfuge they could use, was simply to sin against their conscience, by asserting that the man had not been blind; but out of this subterfuge they were soon driven by the testimony of the parents, who, if tried further on this subject, might have produced as witness, not only the whole neighbourhood, but nearly the whole city: for it appears the man got his bread by publicly begging, ver. 8.

That he had been blind, and received his sight.] This clause is omitted in some MSS. probably because similar words occur immediately after. There is, however, no evidence against it, sufficient to exclude it from the text.

21. He is of age] Hλikiav exɛi, literally, he has stature, i. e. he is a full-grown man: and in this sense the phrase is used by the best Greek writers. See Kypke and Raphelius. Mature age was fixed among the Jews at thirty years.

22. Put out of the synagogue.] That is, excommunicated— separated from all religious connexion with those who worshipped God. This was the lesser kind of excommunication among the Jews, and was terined nidui. The cherem or anathema, was not used against the followers of Christ, till after the resurrection.

31. God heareth not sinners] I believe the word apaproλar signifies heathens, or persons not proselyted to the Jewish reshipper of the true God. See the note on Luke vii. 37. But in what sense may it be said, following our common version, that God heareth not sinners? When they regard iniquity in their heart-when they wish to be saved, and yet abide in their sins-when they will not separate themselves from the workers and works of iniquity. In all these cases, God hear eth not sinners.

32. Since the world began] Ex Tov atovos, from the ageprobably meaning, from the commencement of time. Neither Moses nor the prophets have ever opened the eyes of a man who was born blind: if this person then were not the best of beings, would God grant him a privilege which he has hitherto denied to his choicest favourites?

Opened the eyes of one that was born blind.] It will readily appear, that our Lord performed no surgical operation in this cure: the man was born blind, and he was restored to sight by the power of God; the simple means used could have had no effect in the cure; the miracle is therefore complete. That there are cases, in which a person who was born blind may be restored to sight by surgical means, we know; but no such means were used by Christ: and it is worthy of remark, that from the foundation of the world, no person born blind has been restored to sight, even by surgical operation, till about the year of our Lord, 1728; when the celebrated Dr. Cheselden, by couching the eyes of a young man, 14 years of age, who had been born blind, restored him to perfect sound. ness. This was the effect of well-directed surgery; that performed by Christ was a miracle.

24. Give God the praise] Having called the man a second time, they proceeded to deal with him in the most solemn manner: and therefore they put him to his oath; for the words above were the form of an oath proposed by the chief magistrate, to those who were to give evidence to any particular fact; or to attest any thing, as produced by, or belonging 33. If this man were not of God, &c.] A very just conclu. to the Lord. See Josh. vii. 19. 1 Sam. vi. 5. and Luke xvii. sion: God is the fountain of all good; all good must proceed 19 But while they solemnly put him to his oath, they endea- from him, and no good can be done but through him: if this vour to put their own words in his mouth, viz. he is a sin-person were not commissioned by the good God, he could not ner-a pretender to the prophetic character, and a transgressor of the law of God:-assert this or you will not please us. 25. Whereas I was blind, now I see.] He pays no attention to their cavils, nor to their perversion of justice; but in the simplicity of his heart speaks to the fact, of the reality of which he was ready to give them the most substantial evidence.

Ihave told you already] So he did, ver. 15. And did ye not hear? Ye certainly did. Why then do you wish to hear it again? Is it because ye wish to become his disciples? The poor man continued steady in his testimony; and by putting this question to them, he knew he should soon put an end to the debate.

B. Then they reviled him] Eloidopnav. Eustathius derives Mordopia, from Anyos, a word, and doov, a spear:-they #poke cutting, piercing words. Solomon talks of some who spake like the piercings of a sword, Prov. 12. 18. And the Psalmist speaks of words that are like drawn swords, Psal. Iv 21. words which show that the person who speaks them, has his beart full of murderous intentions; and that if he had the same power with a sword as he has with his tongue, he would destroy him whom he thus reproaches.

We are Moses' disciples.] By this they meant that they were genuine Pharisees: for they did not allow the Sadducees to be disciples of Moses.

29. We know not from whence he is.] As if they had said: We have the fullest assurance that the commission of Moses was divine: but we have no proof that this man has such a commission: and should we leave Moses, and attach ourselves to this stranger? No.

30 Why, herein is a marvellous thing] As if he had said, This is wonderful indeed! Is it possible that such persons as you are, whose business it is to distinguish good from evil, and who pretend to know a true from a false prophet, cannot decide in a case so plain? Has not the man opened my eyes

perform such beneficent miracles as these.

34. Thou wast altogether born in sins] Thou hast not only been a vile wretch in some other pre-existent state, but thy parents also have been grossly iniquitous, therefore thou and they are punished by this blindness; thou wast altogether born in sins-thou art no other than a sinful lump of defor mity, and utterly unfit to have any connexion with those who worship God.

And they cast him out.] They immediately excommunicated him, as the margin properly reads-drove him from their assembly with disdain, and forbade his further appearing in the worship of God. Thus a simple man, guided by the Spirit of truth, and continuing steady in his testimony, utterly confounded the most eminent Jewish doctors. When they had no longer either reason or argument to oppose to him, as a proof of their discomfiture and a monument of their reproach and shame, they had recourse to the secular arm, and thus silenced by political power, a person whom they had neither reason nor religion to withstand. They have had since many followers in their crimes. A false religion, supported by the state, has, by fire and sword, silenced those, whose truth in the end annihilated the system of their opponents.

35. Dost thou believe on the Son of God?] This was the same with, Dost thou believe on the Messiah? for these two characters were inseparable; see chap. i. 34, 49. x. 36. Matt. xvi. 16. Mark i. 1.

36. Who is he, Lord?] It is very likely that the blind man did not know that it was Jesus the Christ who now spoke to him; for it is evident he had never seen him before this time; and he might now see him without knowing that he was the person by whom he was cured, till our Lord made that discovery of himself, mentioned in the following verse.

38. And he said, Lord, I believe.] That is, I believe thou art the Messiah: and to give the fullest proof of the sincerity of his faith, he fell down before and adored him. Never

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having seen Jesus before, but simply knowing that a person of that name had opened his eyes; he had only considered him as a holy man and a prophet: but now that he sees and hears him, he is convinced of his divinity, and glorifies him as his Saviour. We may hear much of Jesus, but can never know his glories and excellencies, till he has discovered himself to our hearts by his own Spirit; then we believe on him, trust him with our souls, and trust in him for our salvation. The word kupte has two meanings: it signifies Lord, or Sovereign Ruler, and Sir, a title of civil respect. In the latter sense it seems evidently used in the 36th verse; because the poor man did not then know that Jesus was the Messiah: in the former sense it is used in this verse; now the healed man knew the quality of his benefactor.

39. For judgment I am come] I am come to manifest and execute the just judgment of God. 1. By giving sight to the blind, and light to the Gentiles, who sit in darkness. 2. By removing the true light from those who, pretending to make a proper use of it, only abuse the mercy of God. In a word, salvation shall be taken away from the Jews, because they reject it; and the kingdom of God shall be given to the Gentiles. 40. Are we blind also?] These Pharisees understood Christ as speaking of blindness in a spiritual sense; and wished to know if he considered them in that state.

41. If ye were blind] If ye had not had sufficient opportu nities to have acquainted yourselves with my divine nature, by the unparalleled miracles which I have wrought before you, and the holy doctrine which I have preached; then your rejecting me could not be imputed to you as sin: but because ye say, we see-we are perfectly capable of judging between a true and false prophet, and can from the Scriptures point out the Messiah by his works; on this account you are guilty: and your sin is of no common nature, it remaineth, i. e. it shall not be expiated: as ye have rejected the Lord from being your deliverer, so the Lord has rejected you from being his people. When the Scripture speaks of sin remaining, it is always put

the sheepfold.

41 Jesus said unto them, & If ye were blind, ye should have no sin; but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. d Ch. 15.22, 24.

in opposition to pardon : for pardon is termed the taking away of sin, chap. i. 29. Psal. xxxii. 5. And this is the proper import of the phrase, agɛoi5 7wv apoption, which occur so frequently in the Sacred Writings.

1. The history of the man who was born blind and cured by our Lord, is in every point of view instructive. His simplicity, his courage, his constancy, and his gratitude, are all so many subjects worthy of attention and emulation. He certainly confessed the truth at the most imminent risk of his life; and therefore, as Stephen was the first martyr for Christianity, this man was the first confessor. The power and influence of TRUTH, in supporting its friends and confounding its adversa ries, are well exemplified in him; and not less so, that provi dence of God by which he was preserved from the malice of these bad men. The whole story is related with inimitable simplicity; and cannot be read by the most cold-hearted without extorting the exclamation, How forcible are right words!

2. It has already been remarked, that since the world began, there is no evidence that any man born blind, was ever restored to sight by surgical means, till the days of Mr. Cheselden, who was a celebrated surgeon at St. Thomas's Hospital, London. For though, even before the Christian era, there is reason to believe that both the Greek and Roman physicians performed operations to remove blindness occasioned by the cataract, yet we know of none of these ever attempted on the eyes of those who had been born blind: much less of any such persons being restored to sight. The cure before us must have been wholly miraculous; no appropriate means were used to fect it What was done, had rather a tendency to prevent and destroy sight, than to help or restore it. The blindness in question was probably occasioned by a morbid structure of the organs of sight; and our Lord, by his sovereign power, instantaneously restored them to perfect soundness, without the intervention of any healing process. In this case there could be neither deception nor collusion.

CHAPTER X.

Christ speaks the parable of the sheepfold, 1-6. Proclaims himself the door of the sheepfold, 7-10, and the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep, 11-18. The Jews are again divided, and some revile and some vindicate our Lord, 19-21. His discourse with the Jews at the temple, on the feast of dedication, 22-29. Having asserted that he was one with the Father, the Jews attempt to stone him, 30, 31. He vindicates his conduct, and appeals to his works, 32-38. They strive to apprehend him; he escapes, and retires beyond Jordan, 39, 40. Many resort to and believe on him there, 41, 42. (A. M. 4033. A. D. 29. An. Olymp. CCII. 1.]

VERILY, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

a Jer. 23, 21. Ezek. 34. 23. Mic. 2. 12.

NOTES-Verse 1. Verily, verily, &c.] From ver. 6. we learn that this is a parable, i. e. a representation of heavenly things through the medium of earthly things. Some think our Lord delivered this discourse immediately after that mentioned in the preceding chapter: others think it was spoken not less than three months after. The former, says Bishop Pearce, was spoken at the feast of tabernacles, see chap. vii. or about the end of September, and this at the feast of dedication, or in December. See ver. 22.

2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: b'Pea. 110.4. Matt 7.15. Acts 20.28-c Isa. 43.1. Matt.25.34, 41. Acta . 31.

of Christ and his people. Ambition, avarice, love of ease, a desire to enjoy the conveniences of life, to be distinguished from the crowd, to promote the interests of one's family, and even the sole design of providing against want; these are all ways by which thieves and robbers enter. And whoever en ters by any of these ways, or by simony, craft, solicitation, &c. deserves no better name. Acting through motives of selfinterest, and with the desire of providing for himself and his family, are innocent, yea laudable in a secular business; but to enter into the ministerial office through motives of this kinds, is highly criminal before God.

Christ, says Calmet, having declared himself to be the light of the world, which should blind some while it illuminated others, chap. ix. 41. continues his discourse, and under the 2. He that entereth in by the door] Observe here the marks, similitude of a shepherd and his flock, shows that he was about qualities, and duties of a good pastor: The first mark is, that to form his church of Jews and Gentiles; and that into it he he has a lawful entrance into the ministry by the internal call would admit none but those who heard his voice. The un- of Christ, namely, by an impulse proceeding from his Spirit, believing and presumptuous Jews who despised his doctrine, upon considerations which respect only his glory; and upon are the sheep which hear not the voice of the shepherd: the motives which aim at nothing but the good of his church, the proud and self-sufficient Pharisees are those who imagine they salvation of souls, the doing the will of God, and the sacrifisee clearly, while they are blind. The blind who become illucing himself entirely to his service, and to that of the meanest minated are the Gentiles and Jews who turn from their sins of his flock. and believe in Jesus.

The light of the world, the good Shepherd, and the door which leads into the sheepfold, are all to be understood as meaning Jesus Christ: the hireling shepherds, the wilfully blind: the murderers and robbers are the false Christs, false prophets, scribes, Pharisees, wicked hireling priests, and ungodly ministers of all sorts, whether among primitive Jews, or mo dern Christians.

Our Lord introduces this discourse in a most solemn man. ner, verily, verily, amen! amen! it is true, it is true! a Hebraism for, this is a most important and interesting truth; a truth of the utmost concern to mankind. At all times our Lord speaks what is infallibly true; but when he delivers any truth with this particular asseveration, it is either, 1. Because they are of greater importance; or, 2. Because the mind of man is more averse from them; or, 3. Because the small number of those who will practise them may render them incredible. Quesnel.

He that entereth not by the door] Christ assures us, ver. 7. that he is the door; whoever therefore, enters not by Jesus Christ, into the pastoral office, is no other than a thief and a robber in the sheepfold. And he enters not by Jesus Christ, who euters with a prospect of any other intcrest besides that!

3. To him the porter openeth] Sir Isaac Newton observes, that our Lord being near the temple where sheep were kept in folds to be sold for sacrifices, spoke many things paraboli. cally of sheep, of their shepherds, and of the door to the sheepfold; and discovers that he alluded to the sheepfolds which were to be hired in the market-place, by speaking of such folds as a thief could not enter by the door, nor the shepherd himself open, but a porter opened to the shepherd. In the porter opening the door to the true shepherd, we may discover the second mark of a true minister-his labour is crowned with success. The Holy Spirit opens his way into the hearts of his hearers, and he becomes the instrument of their salvation. See Col. iv. 3. 2 Cor. ii. 12. 1 Cor. xvi. 9. Rev. iii. 8.

The sheep hear as voice] ▲ third mark of a good shepherd is, that he speaks so as to instruct the people-the sheep hear His voice; he does not take the fat and the fleece, and leave another hireling on less pay to do the work of the pastoral office. No; himself preaches Christ Jesus the Lord, and in that simplicity too that is best calculated to instruct the common people. A man who preaches in such a language as the people cannot comprehend, may do for a stage-player or a mounte bank, but not for a minister of Christ.

He calleth his own sheep by name] A fourth merk of a good

Character of the false

CHAPTER X.

and he cafleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
Aad 4 when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before
them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from
hirn: for they know not the voice of strangers.

6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood
not what things they were which he spake unto them.

7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

8. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

27.9. Jer. 17.16. Matt. 25. - Gal.1.8 1 Thess. 5. 21.- Ezek. . 40-Ch. 145. Eph 2:48

pastor is, that he is well acquainted with his flock; he knows
them by name; he takes care to acquaint himself with the
spiritual states of all those that are entrusted to him. He speaks
to them concerning their souls; and thus getting a thorough
knowledge of their state, he is the better qualified to profit them
He who has not a proper ac-
by his public ministrations.
quaintance with the church of Christ, can never, by his
preaching, build it up in its most holy faith.

And leadeth them out.] A fifth mark of a good shepherd is, be leads the flock, does not lord it over God's heritage; nor attempt by any rigorous discipline, not founded on the Gospel of Christ, to drive men into the way of life; nor drive them out of it, which many do, by a severity which is a disgrace to the mild Gospel of the God of peace and love.

He leads them out of themselves to Christ, out of the follies, diversions, and amusements of the world, into the path of Christian holiness: in a word, he leads them by those gentle, yet powerful persuasions, that flow from a heart full of the word and love of Christ, into the kingdom and glory of his God. 4. He goeth before them] A sirth mark of a true pastor is, the gives them a good example: he not only preaches, but he lives the truth of the Gospel; he enters into the depths of the salvation of God, and having thus explored the path, he knows how to lead those who are entrusted to his care, into the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel of peace. He who does not endeavour to realize in his own soul the truths which he preaches to others, will soon be a salt without its savour; his preaching cannot be accompanied with that unction, which alone can make it acceptable and profitable to those whose The minister who is in this state hearts are right with God. of salvation, the sheep, genuine Christians, will follow, for they know his voice. It was the custom in the eastern countries for the shepherd to go at the head of his sheep, and they follored him from pasture to pasture. reds of sheep thus following their shepherd on the extensive downs in the western parts of England.

shepherds and teachers, &c.

951 am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be sa
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to
ved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
might have it more abundantly.
destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they

11h I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his
life for the sleep.

12 But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own
the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the
the sheep.
sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth

h Isa. 40. 11. Ezek. 34. 12, 23. & 37. 24. Hebrews 13. 2). 1 Peter 2. 23. & 5.4.-
i Zech. 11. 16, 17.

which respect they are always robbers, since they rob the
grace of Christ of the glory of saving the sheep. God often
puts such pastors to shame, by not opening the hearts of the
people to receive their word: while he blesses those who are
humble, in causing them to be heard with attention, and ac-
companying their preaching with an unction which converts
sufficiency and success are of the Lord.
and saves souls. Let every man know that in this respect his

9. I am the door; by me if any man enter, &c.] Those who
come for salvation to God, through Christ, shall get it: he shall
be saved-he shall have his sins blotted out: his soul purifi
ed; and himself preserved unto eternal life. This the scribes
and Pharisees could neither promise nor impart.

Go in and out] This phrase, in the style of the Hebrews, points out all the actions of a man's life; and the liberty he has of acting or not acting. A good shepherd conducts his flock to the fields where good pasturage is to be found; watches over them while there, and brings them back again, and secures them in the fold. So he that is taught and called of God feeds the flock of Christ with those truths of his word of grace which nourish them unto eternal life: and God blesses together both the shepherd and the sheep, so that going out and coming in they find pasture: every occurrence is made useful to them: and all things work together for their good.

10. But for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy] Those who enter into the priesthood that they may enjoy the revenues of the church, are the basest and vilest of thieves and mur. derers. Their ungodly conduct is a snare to the simple, and the occasion of much scandal to the cause of Christ. Their doctrine is deadly; they are not commissioned by Christ, and therefore they cannot profit the people. Their character is well pointed out by the prophet Ezekiel, chap. xxxiv. 2, &c. Wo I have seen many hund-be to the shepherds of Israel, that do feed themselves! Ye eat fed: but ye feed not the flock, &c. How can worldly-minded, the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool; ye kill them that are 5. And a stranger will they not follow] That is, a man, who hireling, fox-hunting, and card-playing priests, read these pretending to be a shepherd of the flock of God, is a stranger words of the Lord, without trembling to the centre of their His mode of souls! Wo to those parents who bring up their children mereto that salvation which he professes to preach. preaching soon proves to those whose hearts are acquaintedly for church honours and emoluments! Suppose a person with the truths of God, that he is a stranger to them: and there- have all the church's revenues, if he have God's wo, how mi fore, knowing him to have got into the fold in an improper serable is his portion! Let none apply this censure to any one way, they consider him a thief, a robber, and a murderer; and class of preachers exclusively. who can blame them if they wholly desert his ministry? There are preachers of this kind among all classes.

7. I am the door of the sheep.] It is through me only that a man can have a lawful entrance into the ministry; and it is through me alone that mankind can be saved. Instead of I am the door, the Sahidic version reads, I am the shepherd; but this reading is found in no other version, nor in any MS.

That they might have life] My doctrine tends to life, because it is the true doctrine-that of the false and bad shepherds tends to death, because it neither comes from, nor can lead to, that God who is the fountain of life.

Might have it more abundantly.] That they might have an things; greater felicity than ever was enjoyed under any peabundance, meaning either of life, or of all necessary good riod of the Mosaic dispensation; and it is certain that Christians have enjoyed greater blessings and privileges than were ever possessed by the Jews, even in the promised land. If reparoy be considered the accusative fem. Attie, agreeing with (wny, (see Parkhurst,) then it signifies more abundant life; that is, eternal life; or, spiritual blessings much greater a glorious immortality. Jesus is come that men may have abundance; abundance of grace, peace, love, life, and salvation. Blessed be Jesus!

8. All that ever came before me] Or, as some translate, All that came instead of me, po pov, i. e. all that came as the Christ, or Messiah, such as Theudas, and Judas the Gaulo. wife, who are mentioned Acts v. 30, 37. and who were indeed no other than thieves, plundering the country wherever they came; and murderers, not only slaying the simple people who resisted them, but leading the multitudes of their follow-than had ever yet been communicated to man, preparing for ers to the slaughter.

But our Lord probably refers to the scribes and Pharisees, who pretended to show the way of salvation to the peoplewho in fact stole into the fold, and clothed themselves with the fleece, and devoured the sheep.

The words po epov, before me, are wanting in EGMS. Mt. BKV. seventy others, Syriac, Persic, Syriac Hieros. Gothic, Sazon, Vulgate, eleven copies of the Itala; Basil, Cyril, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euthemius, Augustin, and some others. Griesbach has left them in the text with a note of doubtfulness. The reason why these words are wanting in so many respectable MSS., Versions, and Fathers, is probably that given by Theophylact, who says that the Manicheans inferred from these words, that all the Jewish prophets were impostors. But our Lord has borne sufficient testimony to their inspiration in a variety of places.

Kearns and Ansns, the thief and the robber, should be properly distinguished: the one takes by cunning and stealth: the other openly and by violence. It would not be difficult to find bad ministers who answer to both these characters.

The reflection of pious Quesnel on this verse is well worth attention A pastor ought to remember that whoever boasts of being the way of salvation, and the gate of heaven, shows himself to be a thief and an impostor; and though few are arrived at this degree of folly, yet there are many who rely too much upon their own talents, eloquence, and labours; as if the salvation of the sheep depended necessarily thereon; in

11. I am the good shepherd] Whose character is the very reverse of that which has already been described. In verses 7 and 9. our Lord had called himself the door of the sheep, as being the sole way to glory, and entrance into eternal life; here he changes the thought, and calls himself the shepherd, because of what he was to do for them that believe in him, in order to prepare them for eternal glory.

Giveth his life for the sheep] That is, gives up his soul as a sacrifice to save them from eternal death.

Some will have the phrase here only to mean hazarding his life, in order to protect others; but the 15th, 17th, and 18th ciently prove that the first sense is that in which our Lord's verses, as well as the whole tenor of the new covenant, suffwords should be understood.

12. But he that is a hireling] Or, as my old MSS. Bible men's souls; bartering them and his own too for filthy lucre. reads it, the Marchaunt, he who makes merchandize of Let not the reader apply this, nor any of the preceding cen sures, to any particular class or order of men: every religious party may have a hireling priest, or minister; and where the Whose own the sheep are not] A hireling priest, who has provision is the greatest, there the danger is most. 291 never been the instrument of bringing souls to God, will not abide with them in the time of danger or persecution. They

Christ the good shepherd.

13 The hireling

not for the sheep.

ST. JOHN.

A division among the Jews. fleeth, because he is a hireling, and careth | have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

151 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again.

18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I

k2 Tím 2. 19.-1 Mau. 11. 27.-m Ch. 15. 13.-n Isa. 56. 8.-o Ezek. 37. 22. Eph 2 11. 1 Pet. 2. 25-p Isa 53, 7, 8, 12. Heb. 2. 9-4 Ch. 2. 19-r Chap 68 & 15. 10. are not the product of his labour, faith, and prayers: he has no other interest in their welfare, than that which comes from the fleece and the fat. The hireling counts the sheep his own, no longer than they are profitable to him; the good shepherd looks upon them as his, so long as he can be profitable to them. Among the ancient Jews some kept their own flocks, others hired shepherds to keep them for them. And every owner must naturally have felt more interest in the preservation of his flock, than the hireling could possibly feel. 14. I know my sheep] I know, racua, them that are mine; I know their hearts, their wishes, their purposes, their cir cumstances, and I approve of them; for in this sense the word to know is often taken in the Scriptures. Homer represents the goatherds as being so well acquainted with their own, though mixed with others, as easily to distinguish them. Τους δ' ως αιπόλια πλατές αιγών αίπολοι ανδρες Ρεια διακρίνεωσιν, έπει κε νομώ μιγεωσιν. Πiad. 2. 474. "As goatherds separate their numerous flocks With ease, though fed promiscuous." And am known of mine.] They know me as their father. protector, and saviour; they acknowledge me and my truth before the world; and they approve of me, my word, my or dinances, and my people; and manifest this by their attachment to me, and their zeal for my glory. The first clause of the 15th verse should be joined to the fourteenth.

16. Other sheep I have] The Gentiles and Samaritans. As if our Lord had said, Do not imagine that I shall lay down my life for the Jews, exclusively of all other people; no, I shall die also for the Gentiles; for by the grace, the merciful de. sign and loving purpose of God, I am to taste death for every man, Hebr. ii. 9. and though they are not of this fold now, those among them that believe shall be united with the believing Jews, and made one fold under one shepherd. Eph. ii. 13-17.

The original word avλn, which is here translated fold, signifies properly a court. It is probable that our blessed Lord was now standing in what was termed the inner court, or court of the people, in the temple: see ver. 23. and that he referred to the outer court, or court of the Gentiles, because the Gentiles who were proselytes of the gate, were permitted to worship in that place; but only those who were circumcised were permitted to come into the inner court, over the entrance of which were written, in large characters of gold, these words, let no uncircumcised person enter here! Our Lord therefore might at this time have pointed out to the worshippers in that court, when he spoke these words, and the people would at once perceive that he meant the Gentiles.

17. Therefore doth my Father love me] As I shall be shortly crucified by you, do not imagine that I am abandoned by my heavenly Father, and therefore fall thus into your hands. The Father loveth me particularly on this account, because I am going to lay down my life for the life of the world. Again, do not suppose that I shall be put to death by your rulers, be cause I have not strength to resist them. I LAY DOWN my life voluntarily and cheerfully; no one can take it away from me, see ver. 18. and I shall give you the fullest proof of my su preme power by raising, in three days, that very crucified wounded body from the grave.

18. I have power] Or, authority, clovetav. Our Lord speaks of himself here as a man, or the Messiah, as being God's messenger, and sent upon earth to fulfil the divine will, in dying and rising again for the salvation of men.

This commandment have I received] That is, I act accord ing to the divine commandment, in executing these things, and giving you this information.

19. There was a division] Extopa, a schism, & rent. They were divided in their opinions; one part received the light, and the other resisted it.

Again] There was a dissention of this kind before, among the same people; see chap. ix. 16.

20. He hath a devil, and is mad] So then, a demoniac and a madman were not exactly the saine in the apprehension of the Jews; no more than the effect is the same with the cause which produces it. Some will have it, that when the Jews told our Lord that he had a demon, they meant no more than that he was deranged; but here these matters are evidently distinguished. They believed him to be possessed by a demon, who deranged his faculties, and that he must have been a wicked man, and a deceiver, thus to be put under the power of such a spirit.

21. These are not the words of him that hath a devil) If he were deranged by an unclean spirit, his words would bear a similitude to the spirit that produced them: but these are words

19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.

20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad;
why hear ye him?

21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a
devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?
22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and
it was winter.

23 And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch
24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him,
Acts 224, 22-s Ch.7. 43, & 9. 15,-1 Ch.7.30, & 8.48, 52 - Exod. 4.11. Ps. 1. 2.
& lớn. Bác Ch 3 6 7, 2, 3} - sự | Me 4 x 1493 II là 5 t

of deep sense, soberness, and piety: besides, could a demoni.
ac open the eyes of blind men? This is not the work of a
demon. Now we have seen that this man has restored a man
who was born blind. Therefore it is demonstrably evident
that he is neither a madman nor a demoniac.
Behold the usage which the blessed Lord received from his
creatures! and behold with what meekness and gentleness he
conducts himself; not a word of impatience proceeds from his
lips; nor a look of contempt or indignation is seen in his face.
And what was he doing to merit all this? Why, he was in-
structing the ignorant, and telling the wretched that he was
just going to die to save their souls! Amazing love of God,
and ingratitude and obduracy of men! Let not the disciple
suppose, that, in this respect, he shall be above his master.
When a minister of Christ has done his utmost to do good to
his fellow-creatures, let him not be surprised if he meet with
nothing from many but reproaches and persecutions for his
pains. The grand point is, to take Jesus for an example of
suffering, and to be armed with the same mind.-It appears
that the words spoken by the friendly Jews prevailed; and
that the others were obliged to abandon the field.

22. The feast of the dedication] This was a feast instituted by Judas Maccabæus, in commemoration of his purifying the temple after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes This feast began on the twenty-fifth of the month Cisleu, (which answers to the eighteenth of our December) and continued for eight days. When Antiochus had heard that the Jews had made great rejoicings, on account of a report that had been spread of his death: he hastened out of Egypt to Jerusalem, took the city by storm, and slew of the inhabitants in three days forty thousand persons; and forty thousand more he sold for slaves to the neighbouring nations. Not contented with this, he sacrificed a great sow on the altar of burnt-offerings; and broth being made by his command, of some of the flesh, he sprinkled it all over the temple, that he might defile it to the uttermost. See Prideaux's Connexions, vol. iii. p. 236. edit. 1725. After this, the whole of the temple service seems to have been suspended for three years, great dilapidations having taken place also in various parts of the buildings; see 1 Macc. iv. 36, &c. As Judas Maccabæus not only restored the temple service, and cleansed it from pollu tion, &c. but also repaired the ruins of it, the feast was called ra eykatvia, the renovation.

It was winter.] Xewv ny, or it was stormy, or rainy wea ther. And this is the reason, probably, why our Lord is represented as walking in Solomon's porch, or portico: ver. 23. Though it certainly was in winter when this feast was held, yet it does not appear that the word above refers so much to the time of the year, as to the state of the weather. Indeed there was no occasion to add it was winter, when the feast of the dedication was mentioned, because every body knew that as that feast was held on the twenty-fifth of the month Cisleu, that it was in the winter season.

John has here omitted all that Jesus did from the time when he left Jerusalem, after the feast of Tabernacles in September was ended, until the feast of the Dedication in the December following: and he did it probably because he found that the other evangelists had given an account of what our Lord did in the interval. St. Luke relates what our Lord did on his way from Galilee to Jerusalem, to this feast chap. xvii. 11–37. xviii. 1-14. Observe likewise, that this time here mentioned was the fourth time (according to John's account) that Jesus went up to the feast at Jerusalem in about a year: for first, he went up to the feast of the Pass-over; chap. ii. 13. next to the feast of Pentecost, as it seems to have been; chap. v. .. then to the feast of Tabernacles: chap. vii. 2, 10. and lastly to the feast of the Pass-over, in which he was crucified. seems purposely to have pointed out his presence in Jerusa lem at these four feasts, because all the other evangelists have omitted the mention of every one of them. See Bishop Pearce, and see the note on chap. v. 1.

John

23. Solomon's porch] By what we find in Josephus, Ant. b. xx. c. 8. s. 7. a portico built by Solomon on the east side of the outer court of the temple, was left standing by Herod, when he rebuilt the temple. This portico was four hundred cubits long, and was left standing, probably because of its grandem and beauty. But when Agrippa came to Jerusalem, a few years before the destruction of the city by the Romans, and about eighty years after Herod had begun his building (till which time what Herod had begun was not completed) the Jews solicited Agrippa to repair this portico at his own expense, using for argument not only that the building was grow. Fing ruinous, but that otherwise eighteen thousand workmen,

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