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powers, triumphing over them in his cross;" and that "Satan shall be bruised under our feet shortly."
It is, indeed, through the revelation of the Gospel, that the temptations, the subtilty, and the devices of the prince of darkness have been so distinctly made known to us. By the attack which he made on our Saviour at the commencement of his ministry, and by the exhibition, during our Lord's ministry, we may almost say, of his visible and sensible influence over the bodies and souls of men, we have been fully assured of his existence, and power, and malignity. Yet are we not left in despair. For he, who has given us the opportunity to learn these things, has also given us assurance of his own superiority; has conquered in our behalf; has assured us that "greater is he that is in us, than he that is in the world;" has declared to us the Father, and poured out the gifts of the Spirit; and has thus furnished us with that divine panoply, clad in which we may "withstand in every evil day, and quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one."
OUR LORD'S APPEAL ΤΟ THE
St. JOHN V. 37, 38.
And the Father himself which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you; for whom he hath sent, him ye believe
THIS passage is certainly involved in considerable difficulty. If we refer to the original itself, we find that although, in some respects, its purport might be more distinctly expressed, it requires the assistance of the Commentator, rather than he amendments of the Translator. For the difficulty principally consists, not in the ambiguity of particular words, but in that apparent want of connexion between the different clauses, which has probably been occasioned by the conciseness of the passage. As far, however, as these words of our Lord will be employed in suggesting topics
for our present consideration, we shall proceed on the most evident and certain grounds. Nor am I without a hope, that we shall be able to illustrate the scope of the whole passage, by comparing the first clause of it with those that precede and follow it. For such a comparison shews, that we cannot, as many have done, identify its subject with that which is treated either in the former, or in the subsequent verses; since by such a supposition we both neglect the most obvious meaning of the passage, and impair the order and completeness of this very methodical discourse of our Lord.
"The same works, that I do," argued our Lord, "bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me." He then adds, "And the Father, which hath sent me, himself hath borne witness of me." The first of these appeals we have considered in a former Lecture; the latter is the subject of our present Lecture. And I have retained the exact order of the words of the original in reciting the latter clause; because it thus very obviously appears, that it is not subjoined merely as a continuation and enlargement of the former, but as an addition and contrast to it. Our Lord had contended, that the works, which the Father enabled him to perform, proved that he had been sent by the Father. He then assumes the truth of that inference, and proceeds to speak of
the Father, as "the Father which had sent him." And he stated, still further, that the Father, as having sent him, had even given a personal, direct, and express declaration respecting him. This, therefore, must be something distinct from the miracles which our Lord himself wrought.Some having observed this, and also the mention in the latter part of the text, of the word of the Father, have referred this to the written word of God in the law and the prophets. But to adopt this opinion, would identify the subject of this passage with that of the following verses, in which our Lord makes a distinct appeal to the Scriptures, or written word of God. But here he evidently speaks of a personal testimony; nor can we have much hesitation in concluding that he referred therein to that personal and audible testimony, which was borne to him by a voice from heaven, when, having been baptized by John, he came out of the waters of Jordan. And this reference was, if not on this occasion necessary, yet very appropriate and convincing. For in the opening of his discourse, as we have already seen, he spoke of God, as "his own proper Father;" of himself, as "the Son whom the Father loveth, and who sought the will of the Father which had sent him." Now when that "Father which had sent him, himself bore witness of him," on the occasion which we
have specified, he declared,
The same heavenly voice, which witnessed to Jesus at his baptism, also witnessed, and in nearly the same words, at his transfiguration.—I mention this now, in order to remark, that if we require any further proof that we have been giving a correct representation of our Lord's meaning, we may find it in a well-known passage of St. Peter. For that Apostle first argues from the testimony given to Jesus by the voice from heaven at his transfiguration, and then from the testimony of prophecy; exactly in the same manner in which our Lord subjoins an appeal to prophecy to his notice of the similar testimony given by the Father at his baptism. "We have not," says the Apostle, "followed cunningly-devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take
a Matt. iii. 17.