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be forgiven thee." But it was not until the succeeding passover, that he again thought it necessary to argue with those who saw and heard him; and then it was, that, being brought before the ruling powers for a supposed breach of the sabbath, he delivered that eloquent and comprehensive defence of his mission, the whole of which will be reviewed in our future Lectures, and the first portion of which will form the next subject of our consideration.
The subjects which have been brought before your notice this day are fruitful in topics of practical instruction. I might take occasion to caution you against the prejudices and hardness of heart, which may lead you to be offended in Jesus, by setting before you the unbelief of the people of Nazareth, and that murderous attempt, from which a miracle only preserved our Lord. I might enlarge upon the warnings which he at that time gave them, lest, by a just retribution for the nonimprovement of religious privileges, they should lose them, and others only be benefited by them. I might recommend to you the candour, the earnestness, and the faith of the Samaritans; and shew what encouragement may be derived from observing the condescension which our Lord manifested to their infirmities, and the readiness with which he staid with them, and instructed them. I might exhort you to "ask of him, who will
freely give you to drink of that water of life," by which the thirst after sin and worldly gratifications is quenched, and the thirst after righteousness satisfied. I might entreat you to listen to him, who preaches to all nations the glad tidings of great joy, that unto them is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord." And I might, in fine, recommend to your serious consideration that exhortation with which Jesus accompanied his proclamation; "Repent ye, and believe the Gospel;" reminding you also of the necessity, the nature, and the genuine effects of such a "repentance towards God, and of such a faith in our Lord Jesus Christ." But time only permits me to express an earnest desire, that none of these considerations may be forgotten in your private meditation, and that they may be made the subjects of earnest prayer. For scriptural knowledge will little profit us, unless we are thereby made "wise unto salvation;" unless the things which "happened unto others for ensamples, and which are written for our admonition," are suffered to operate for our warning, and encouragement, and guidance; unless we know, and also are established in the love and belief of those truths, which, in the sacred pages, have been so clearly revealed. It will little avail you to receive the best instructions, and in your judgment to be convinced of the certainty of them, unless "with the heart you believe unto righteousness, make confession
with the mouth unto salvation," and "in all things adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour." "Wherefore, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, if ye add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity; if these things be in you, and abound, they shall make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; and so ye shall never fall ; but an entrance be ministered to you abundantly into his everlasting kingdom"." And soon will he accomplish that prayer which we offer, when we assemble round the opened grave. Soon will he accomplish the number of his elect, and hasten his kingdom." Soon will the time of his second coming be fulfilled. Soon will each of us be consigned to that grave, in which we must await the summons of that day. "The kingdom of God," with which our final redemption shall draw nigh, "is near at hand. Repent ye therefore, and believe the Gospel."
a 2 Pet. i. 5-11.
THE OCCASION OF THE DISCOURSE RECORDED
WHOM IT WAS ADDRESSED.-ILLUSTRATION AND
St. JOHN V. 17-20.
Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus, and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth.
In the concluding words of our text our Lord commences that important discourse, which first suggested to the Lecturer's own mind the subject to which he has solicited your attention; which guided him in the formation of his plan; and the successive portions of which, in their order, will come under review in this, and in many subsequent Lectures. Our first endeavour will therefore be, to explain the circumstances which called
forth this enlarged statement of the claims of our Lord; especially as our attention will thereby also be directed to some other declarations, which he made on occasions of a like nature. For these several statements mutually illustrate each other; and also suggest some reflections, which are, perhaps, peculiarly appropriate to the day on which we are assembled".
The discourse in question was delivered very shortly after the cure, which our Lord had miraculously wrought at the pool of Bethesda, upon one who, for a period of thirty-eight years, had been afflicted with an infirmity, and was then waiting beside the pool, that, upon the troubling of the waters, he might step in, and be healed. Jesus not only healed him immediately, but also directed him to take up the bed on which he lay, and to carry it thence to his own house. This procedure afforded a full and public demonstration of the reality of the cure; nor did the man hesitate to comply with the injunction. And when he was told, that, as "it was the sabbath-day, it was not lawful for him to carry his bed," because the Jews refused, even with superstitious scrupulosity, to carry any burthen on the sabbath, the man deemed it a sufficient defence to answer; "He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy
This Lecture was delivered on Easter-Day.