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far as to Bethany: and he lifted 52 And they worshipped him, up his hands, and blessed them. and returned to Jerusalem with
51 And it came to pass, while great joy; he blessed them, he was parted 53 And were continually in from them, and carried up into the temple, praising and blessing heaven.
God. Amen. 52. And they worshipped him; they him (Acts 1:9, 10) rising to heaven, bowed down in token of homage to take his station at the right hand See also Acts 1:11. The circum- of God, they felt and expressed such stances show that more than civil re- love, and reverence, and confidence, spect was paid to Jesus by the apostles as well deserved the name of worship. on this occasion. They had received and well may we respond our hearty much instruction from him since his AnEn. And let “every creature resurrection, and their views respect which is in heaven and on the earth, ing him had become much enlarged say, Blessing and honor, and glory and corrected. Their reverence for and power, be unto Him that sitteth their Master had greatly increased; upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, and when, after so much elevating forever and ever.” Rev. 5: 13. and endearing intercourse, they saw
Note on LUKE 21:18, p. 110. There shall not a hair, &c. These words contain a promise of special divine protection. Compare Acts 27 : 34. The .followers of Christ, as a collective body, would enjoy such protection; and though some of them might suffer death (v. 16) yet even they would meet with no real loss. Their eternal welfare would be secured.
GOSPEL OF JOHN. .
JOHN was a son of Zebedee, and was associated with his father in the occupation of fishing on the lake Gennesaret. See Matt, 4: 21. Mark 1: 19, 20. His mother's name was Salome. Compare Matt. 27: 56 with Mark 16:1. From the manner of expression in the first chapter of John's Gospel, vs. 35 and 40, there is reason to believe that he was a disciple of John the Baptist, and that he was among the first who welcomed Jesus as the Messiah. Between him and the Saviour there seems to have existed a peculiar mutual intimacy. See John 13: 23, 24. 19: 26, 27. Though, on one occasion, he was betrayed into an unworthy fervor of feeling through a mistaken zeal for the honor of his Master (Luke 9:54), yet his general character partook largely of the benevolence which was so conspicuous in Jesus himself. He also manifested, on two other occasions, an unholy, ambitious selfishness (Mark 9:38. Matt. 20:20, 21, compared with Mark 10:35), which yielded, at length, in the maturity of his religious character, to humility aud fraternal love. The other notices of him which are found in the New Testament, prove his steady and zealous devotion to the cause of his Master. See Acts 3:1. 4: 13, 19, 20. 8:14, 25. Gal. 2:9. Rey. 1:9. The accounts which have been handed down from the earliest times, after the writings of the New Testament, bear testimony to his unwearied assiduity in promoting the welfare of the churches, and
PREFACE TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN.
cherishing the spirit of brotherly love among the followers of Christ. I cannot prevail on myself to omit the interesting anecdote which has been so often told, but which never loses its freshness. “ When John was far advanced in age, he was too feeble to walk to the meetings. He suffered himself then to be carried in by his disciples. Being unable to speak much, he repeated continually the words, ‘Little children, love one another. And when it was asked why he always repeated these words alone, he replied, “Because such is the commandment of the Lord, and because it is sufficient, if this is done.'” He lived beyond the age of ninety years, and died a natural death at Ephesus, in Asia Minor.
From the earliest dates of Christianity, John has been acknowledged as the author of this Gospel. It was written the last of the four Gospels in the order of time, and probably not long before the year 70 of the Christian era. It is believed to have been written in Ephesus. Its explanations of Jewish terms (see, for instance, 1:38, 41. 6:4) indicate that it was written at some distance from Palestine ; for such explanations would not be needed in the very country of the Jews.
The Gospel of John differs materially in its structure from the other Gospels. It is not so much a record of facts, as a record of the Saviour's discourses and conversations. The events which John relates seem to have been recorded mostly in order to introduce the conversations, or discourses, to which they gave rise; and such a selection was made from our Lord's discourses as would most amply illustrate the dignity of Jesus Christ as the Saviour of men, and The Son of God, not only by his office, but also by his possessing a divine nature. The mind of John was deeply impressed with a sense of the unspeakable excellence and glory of the Saviour; and he wished to convey to his readers the same impression.
GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN.
with God, and the Word was IN the beginning was the God. Word, and the Word was CHAPTER I.
described in the Old Testament as 1. In the beginning. Compare Gen. appearing to the patriarchs and other 1:1. The connection clearly shows, distinguished men, and who used that these words relate to the begin- language respecting himself approning of the creation, or to the period priate to the Deity. That Being they when the world was not yet brought generally believed to have been the into existence. It is equivalent to Messiah in his preexistent state of the expression when the world began, glory, thus occasionally revealing and carries back our minds to the himself to his people for instruction very commencement of time. || The and consolation, and anticipating the Word. By this term, the evangelist manifestation which he was, in after designates Christ as existing in a ages, to make to the nation. Thus it spiritual nature, before time began. happened that this term was very Previously to our Saviour's coming widely diffused as a religious term, into this world, he existed (see 17:5, and as particularly referring either to 24) in a purely spiritual nature. To Him who was to be the Messiah, or designate him in that nature, not to an exalted spiritual nature conyet as a partaker of human nature, ceived to exist in very intimate conJohn employed this term. Why he nection with the Deity. When, then, selected this particular term, we are John was about to speak of the Meg. unable to say, with perfect confi- siah, in his spiritual nature, as existing dence; nor is it necessary, since he before time began, and as most inticlearly uses it as a kind of proper mately connected with the Deity, name applied to Christ in his preëx- and as possessing attributes and peristent state. That Christ was meant, forming deeds appropriate to the Dei. is plain from the fourteenth verse, and ty, the term Word would naturally from the mention of John the Baptist occur to his mind. There had, in. as bearing witness of him (vs. 6–8). deed, been connected with that term The term in the Greek language cor- various erroneous notions; but John responding to word, had been em- could avoid the sanctioning of those 'ployed by some Greek and Jewish errors, by giving himself a descripphilosophers, in their speculations re- tion of Him to whom he applied it. specting the Deity, to signify a being While the term, then, was derived whom they supposed to exist, of a from common use, the nature and very exalted nature, and holding a character of the Being expressed by very intimate relation to the Deity. that term must be learned from John's Their speculations had occasioned the own description. || The Word was term Word to be extensively known with God; was intimately united with in conversations and discussions about God. the Deity. Among the Jews in gen- It may be interesting to notice, eral, also, a term corresponding to that the term Word is applied by Word had come into frequent use as John to Christ not only in his state signifying that exalted Being who is of existence before time began, but 2 The same was in the be- 4. In him was life; and the ginning with God.
life was the light of men. 3 All things were made by 5 And the light shineth in him; and without him was not darkness; and the darkness any thing made that was made. comprehended it not.
also in his state of glory after having fies the power of imparting such life. finished his work on earth. See Rev. Here, Christ, in his spiritual, divine 19: 13-16.
nature, is declared to be the source of 2. The same was in the beginning life; the word life being understood with God. This is a repetition of the in its most comprehensive sense. He sentiment contained in the preceding had just been spoken of as the creator verse, with the additional thought of all things; he is now declared to that the intimate union of the Word have been the source or author of all with God existed before time began. life, natural and spiritual ; to have
3. All things were made by him. had in himself a life-giving power; to Compare Col. 1: 16. || Not any things have been the source of all real good, The thought just expressed is repeated both in respect to the present world with more particularity. Nothing at and to the eternal world. || The life all, not even one thing of all that had was the light of men. The term light, been made, was made without him.
used metaphorically, includes the The work of creation is appealed to ideas of knowledge and happiness. in the Scriptures as elearly proving The knowledge meant, in the Scripits author to be the true God. See tures, by this term, is divine knorol. Ps. 96: 5. Jer. 10: 11, 16. Heb. edge, authentic instruction respect3: 4. Hence this assertion that “all ing God and eternity; the happiness things were made by him," agrees meant by the term light is that which exactly with the declaration in the results from a hearty reception of first verse — " the Word was God." such instruction and a ready obedi
The statement made in this verse ence to it; in other words, spiritual has sometimes been regarded as not und eternal happiness, or saloution. wholly compatible with the remark Now, the life-giving power which in Heb. 1: 2, in which God is dwelt in Christ, is here represented said to have made the worlds by his as a fountain of knowledge and happiSon. But there is no inconsistency ness to men. In other phraseology, between the two statements. The The Word, who possessed in himself testimony of the Bible is, that crea- the source of all life, the ability to imtion is the work of Deity. According part life both for time and for eternito the Bible, the Deity is such that iy, bestowed knowledge and salvathe Father, the Word, and the Holy tion; became the Light of men by Spirit, may severally be spoken of as the religious truth which he revealed, possessing divine attributes and per- and by the salvation which he pro forming divine works. Hence there cured for them. is no contradiction between the two 5. The light shineth in darkness. declarations, Jehovah created the world, The word darkness, used figuratively, and, The Word created the World. signifies ignorance of divine truth, In perfect consistency too, it may be and the misery consequent on such ig. said, The Word creuted the world, and, norance, und on sin. The term is Jehovah created the world by the Word. here employed as designating men
4. In him was life. The term life who are in a state of ignorance and has frequently in the Scriptures a misery. To the world, enveloped in very extensive import, referring to ignorance and misery, Christ came as spiritual and eternal happiness, as well a light ; or, to express the same as to natural life ; and when spoken thought in different words, on the of as being in God, or Christ, it signi- l world, wrapped in the darkness of