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Jesus reproves the Blindness of the Pharisees.
represents himself as the Door of the Sheepfold, thro' which
John IX. 39. AND Jesus said, For W H ILE Jesus stood talking with the Sect. 132. ^ Judgment I am come
Blind Man who had received h into this World : that they
the John IX. which see not, might see several People, who were then entering into the and that they which see, Temple, knowing them both, and desirous to might be made blind. :
hear what passed, gathered together about them:
themselves yet greater Darkness.
hending that he glanced at them, said to him, Are
on the Man whose Eyes he had opened.
and laboured under unavoidable Ignorance, you
210 He declares himself to be the true Shepherd, Sect. 132. what you now have (a); but now you say, Surely have no Sin : but now ye w we see' much more clearly than the reft of Man- tako
an fay, We see ; therefore your
Sin remaineth. hn IX. kind, therefore your Sin abides upon you with
greater Aggravation; and this Conceit which you
your Minds. . John X. 1. Nevertheless, whether you will hear, or whe- JOHN X. 1. Verily, ther you will forbear, I will for a while longer verily I lay unto you, He
that entreth not by the continue my Admonitions; and therefore, Verily, Door into the Sheepfold, but verily I say unto you, who call yourselves the Shep- climbeth up fome, other herds of the People, that he who enters not by the way, the same is a Thief
and a Robber. Door into the Sheepfold, but climbeth up some other private Way, whatever be the Character he may affume, the same is to be looked upon as no better than a Thief and a Robber. But he that 2 But he that entreth in comes in at the Door, is the true Shepherd of the by the Door, is the Shepherd
of the Sheep. Sheep; and such a one will always chuse to enter
in by that which is the regular appointed Way. 3. To him, as soon as he approaches, the Door-keeper 3 To him the Porter opens the Fold (b); and the Sheep themselves bear openeth; and the Sheep hear
his Voice : and he calleth his Voice with Regard ; and he is well acquainted his own Sheep by Name, with each of them, infomuch that he calls each and leadeth them out.
of his own Sheep by Name (c), and leads them out 4 to Pasture. And when he thus buts forth his 4 And when he putteth own Sheep from the Fold, he himself goes before eth before ihem, and the
forth his own Sheep, he gothem, to guide them to good Pastures, and to Sheep follow him ; for they defend them from any Danger which may occur; know his Voice. and the Sheep chearfully follow him ; for they well
know bis Voice, being daily accustomed to it. 5 But a Stranger they will not follow ; but on the 5 And a Stranger will they
ci Blindness and so your Perver Corporeal bli not have any
(a) If you were indeed Blind, you would not have any Sin, &c.] Elsner, (Obferv. Vol. i. pag. 326.) understands this of Corporeal Blindness; as if our Lord had said, “ It is a great " Aggravation of your Perverseness, that you know by Experience the Difference between « Blindness and Sight, which might convince you of the Importance of such a Miracle, and “ of the Divine Power by which it is wrought."- But the following Words, But notu you say, We fee, suit much better with the Sense given in the Paraphrase.
(b) The Door-keeper opens the Fold.] Grotius does not attempt the Accommodation of this Circumstance : Mr. Cradock interprets it of the Holy Gholt ; and Dr. Whitby of GOD the Father, as giving free Admission to those Teachers who maintained a due Regard to Chrift: An Interpretation, which seems much more reasonable, than to refer it (as fome do,) to Ministers.
(c) Calls his own Sheep by Name.) Dr. Hammond justly infers from hence, that the Eastern Shepherds, at least those of Yudea, gave particular Names to their Sheep, as most Men do to their Dog's and Horses, Their Custom also was, to lead the Sheep, playing on some Musical Instrument.
(d) I am
and the Door by which we are to enter in.
211 not follow, but will Alee from contrary, they will flee from him, because they do Sect. 132. him: for they know not the not know the Voice of Strangers. Voice of Strangers.
6 This Parable (pake Je This Thort Parable Jesus spake unto them ; but John IX. 6.. sus unto them : but they un- they did not understand what it was that be said to derstood not what Things them
Things them, but were quite át a Loss to conjecture his
buto they were which he spake
Meaning; tho' his Intent in describing the Cha-
guided by them.
y in his former Discourse; said to them again, Verily,
in his for
that however you neglect me, I am the Door of
from me, that the People of God are to be
for a despotic Authority in the Church, and teach-
well-disposed Persons, have not heard them, so as
'fore repeat it again, as a most important Truth,
that I myself am the Door; and if any one enter
(d) I am the Door &c.] It would be very impertinent to run a long Parallel here, beTween Chrif, and a Door, The Resemblance plainly centers in this one Circumstance ; that as a Man must observe and pass thro' the Door, in order to his making a regular and unjuspected Entrance into a Sheepfold; so he must maintain a proper Regard to Christ, in Troer to his being a true Teacher in the Church, and must pass (as it were) thro' him, or by his Authority, into his Office. It is by a Simile very near resembling this, that Chrift ellewhere calls himself the Way. Yohn xiv. 6. Sett, 173... !) All that ever came before me, &c.] If it could be thewn by any proper Authority,
apo eus ever signifies in Neglect of me, ur apo Jepas palling by a Door, I should with her, Objerv. Vol. i. pag. 327.) prefer that rendering to any other : But as this does not pear; it is evident that the Words must be understood with the Limitation added in the
raphrafe ; for otherwise they would imply such a Reflection on Mofes and the Prophets, as we know our Lord could neyer intend.. . Dd 2
212 Reflektions on Christ's being the Door of the Sheep. Sect. 132. by me, and acknowledge my Authority, be shall if any Man enter in, he shall w w be like a Sheep in his Fold,' safe from the Inva- be saved, and shall go in and
out, and find Pasture. John X. 9. fion of what might injure and destroy him; and
mall go in and out under my Care and Guidance,
and nourished with true Doctrine, and shall ob-
Thief only comes; that he may steal, and kill, and not, but for to steal, and to destroy ; I am come for the Benefit of all my Sheep, come that they might have
kill, and to destroy : I am even that they may have true Life, and that at Life, and that they might length they may have it yet more abundantly (f); have it more abundantly.. a most plentiful Provision being made for their everlasting Comfort and Happiness, even far beyond what has ever been known before.
IMPROV E M E N T.
John ix. 39. I ET us hear with an holy Awe on our Spirits, that the Lord Jesus.
I Christ came into the World for Purposes of Yudgment, as well as of Mercy; and make it our humble Prayer, that we may be inlightened by him, and not sealed up under aggravated Darkness, as a Punishment for our Obstinacy and Impenitence ; for then all the Means of Knowledge, which we have so ba
rted, will rise up to condemn us. - X.7.
· Let Cbrift be regarded by us as the Door, from whom all true Teachers derive their Authority, and to whom they direct their Administrations : And let it be our Care; that we enter by this Door. Let inferior Shepherds
learn their Duty, so plainly suggested here : Let them learn to know their Ver. 3. Sheep, and take as particular Notice as they can, of each single Person
committed to their Care ; and let them go before them in all the Paths of Duty : For what could the greatest Enemy to the Flock do worse, than to lead them by Example into the Paths of Destruction?
Happy Souls, who are entered in by this Gate! Their Safety, their Comfort, is secure; they enjoy a holy Liberty and Plenty, and going in, and coming out, they find Pasture. If we are Strangers to that Entertainment and Refreshment, which arises from Ordinances, (those green Pastures, which Cbrift hath provided for his Sheep in the Wilderness,)
(f) That they may have it more abundantly.) To refer this latter Clause, at least ultimately, to the Provision which Christ has made for the future and eternal Happiness of all his People, seems beft to suit the other parts of this Discourse, as well as the Genius of the whole Christian Dispensation. Perhaps the Word Episov may intimate, how much this Provision exceeded that made by Mofes.
CHRIST, as the good Shepherd, will die for his Sheep. 213 we have a great deal of Reason to fear, that we belong not to his Flock. Sect. 132. He came, that his Sheep might have Life, and that they might have it morem abundantly ; that greater Provision might be made for their Instruction Ver. 10.. and Consolation now, till they are brought to those better Pastures he intends for them Above. May his Grace prepare us for them and his Hand will certainly conduct us to them ; nor need we fear the darkest Passage in our Way.
S E C T., CXXXIII.
lay down bis Life for the Sheep. John X. 11,---21.
John X. II. I Am the good Shepherd: N U R Lord having thus represented himself Sect. 1330
the good Shepherd giveth. as the Door of the Sheep, and intimated his Life for the Sheep.
the Regards to be maintained towards him, par-John X.. 11..
other (6)I am the good Shepherd. ] Lamy (in his Harmony, pag. 339.) very justly supposes, that there might be some Allusion here to Ifa. xl. 11. But nothing can be more precarious than the Argument he seems to draw from hence, for placing this Discourse at the Feast of Tabernacles, even tho' it should be allowed, that the xlth of Ifaiah was read in the Syna.. gogue at that Time of the Year : For it is certain, our Lord does not confine himself to the . bellen for the Day, in his Quotations from Scripture, or his Allusions to it.
(6) I have