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to his disciples, we may conclude this review of his reasonings respecting John.
"His disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the Scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered, and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed ; likewise also shall the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist"." And when the Son of man had "suffered many things," and had "risen from the dead," then did our Lord again direct their thoughts to that particular prediction of the Baptist, which he had himself also delivered, and which was then about to be accomplished; thus, in another instance, pointing out to them the difference of their respective functions, and the tendency which their consecutive ministrations had to accomplish the purposes of God in the establishment of his kingdom. "Wait, said he, in Jerusalem, for the promise of the Father, which ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost, not many days hence "."
may, I think, derive from the whole series
a Matt. xvii. 10-13. Mark ix. 11-13.
b Acts i. 4, 5.
of our Lord's reasonings on this subject, and from a comparison of his remarks with the instructions, predictions, and transactions, to which they refer, a conviction of the completeness and force, even of this single head of evidence. It shews to us the divine authority of the witness of John; and how clear a light is from thence reflected on the authority of Jesus. And may we, therefore, be "children of wisdom," and justify its proceedings. We are men of like passions with those, who rejected the instructions both of Jesus and of John. We may be under the influence of prejudices equally powerful; we may, in like manner, be inattentive and obdurate. But, though John were "a burning and a shining light," he was not "that light, 'which, coming into the world, enlighteneth every man;" he was sent only "to bear witness of that light;" to exhibit to the world, as it were, the dawn of the rising "Sun of Righteousness." But "the day - spring from on high has now visited us." "The true light now shineth." Let us "be willing," not "for a season" only, but continually and perseveringly, "to rejoice in the light of him, who declared himself to be "the light of the world." Let the convictions, which from time to time we feel, be encouraged, and not stifled. Let the resolutions, to which they give rise, not be "like the morning dew," and refresh us only for a time; but be so cherished
and renewed, as to abide the scorching sun of temptation and persecution. Let such a stedfastness be maintained, that hope may arise, and gather strength and maturity, within us. Yet a genuine and well-grounded hope cannot even exist in the soul of him, who does not know and obey the promises and precepts of the Gospel. But if hope has respect to the blessings which Jesus has purchased, and be founded on a scriptural faith, and attended by that "charity, wh never faileth," it will then be "an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, which entereth within the vail, whither our forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus." He, as the Baptist declared, is " the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." And John also bare witness, "that he is the Son of God;" and solemnly said to his disciples, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him"."
OUR LORD'S APPEAL TO HIS MIRACLES AS ATTESTING HIS DIVINE MISSION.
St. JOHN V. 36.
But I have greater witness than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
In whatever point of view the serious inquirer contemplates the facts and circumstances of the Christian story, or any portion of them, he cannot fail to be impressed with a conviction, that he therein discerns the arm of the Almighty not obscurely revealed, but employed for great and holy purposes. The evidence arising from miracles doubtless affords to us one of the most obvious and intelligible indications of this truth; and one which has been observed and acknowledged even by those, who have taken a less detailed and complete survey of the whole, and who have, therefore, perhaps, not attended much to the
evidence arising from the proceedings, character, and witness, of John. The Gospel records, however, present to us the latter of these as the earliest subject for our examination; and no one, who has given to it the attention which it deserves, will be disposed to deny, that it affords a most satisfactory evidence of the truth of Christianity. In our last Lecture we took the particular view of this extensive argument, which was suggested by the words immediately preceding our text. In our text our Lord states, that the miracles which he wrought are "a greater witness than that of John." Not that the one was of divine appointment and interference, and the other not; but because miracles are the visible tokens of divine interposition, from which the inference is more immediate, and of which the evidence is more sensible. And, indeed, the witness of John, considered merely as the testimony of a zealous and holy person, and even as that of a prophet, is not complete without the evidence of miracles; for these were necessary in order to prove Jesus to be the mightier one of whom he spoke. John's ministry wonderfully prepared the way for that of our Lord, that he might, with more advantage, appear as the worker of miracles, and as the authoritative teacher of a more enlarged scheme. But the miracles themselves were the greater, more definite, and more unequivocal