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er and John XII.

1.435.

He retires in the Evening to Bethany.

309 while ye have the Light, left therefore while you have the Light ; comply with Sect. 148. Darkness come upon you: the gracious Purposes of God in making these for he that walketh in Darkness, knoweth not whither Discoveries to you, and regulate your Temper and 2 he goeth.

Conduct by them; that Darkness may not overtake"
you, that you may not be deprived of the Gospel,
and left in a Night of Ignorance and Misery : For
you know it is a most uncomfortable Thing for

ller to be benighted in his Way, as he that
walks in Darkness wanders from Place to Place,
and knows not whither he goes, or into what Dan-
gers he may fall the very next Step he takes; and
much more dreadful will it be for you, to be de-
serted of God, and left to the Darkness and,

Folly of your own Hearts. (Compare John xi. 36 While ye have the 9, 1o. Sect. 139.) Let me therefore once 36 Light, believe in the Light,

more seriously and kindly exhort you, that while that ye may be the Children of Light.

you have the Light thus clearly shining around you,

you believe in the Light, and honestly follow it, 97 - $.311 that you may be the Children of Light, who being

now truly wise and good, shall be the Heirs of

Holiness, Glory, and Joy everlasting. These Things fpake These Things Yesus spake, when the Greeks apJesus, (and he left them, plied themselves to him ; and, as the unbelieving and departed ; (MAR. and now the Even- tide was Jews were greatly irritated by the Actions and come, he went] [out of the Discourses of the Day, and would not be awaken. City unto Bethany] [MAR. ed to Conviction, he left them, and departed, thence with the Twelve ;] [and he lodged there,) and did hide to a retired Place : And when no

hide to a retired Place : And when now it was late in himself from them. (Mat. the Evening, he privately went out of the City to XXI. 17. MARK XI.-11.). Bethany, with none to attend him but the Twelve

Apostles; and knowing that his Enemies were:
watching to destroy him, and might have at-
tempted to seize him by Night, if he had tarried,
at Jerusalem, be lodged there at Bethany, and con-
cealed himself from them, to avoid the Affaults of.
their deliberate Malice till his Hour was come.

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UITHO can wonder at the Defire these Greeks expressed, to fee fo Johnxii. 20,,

W celebrated a Person as Yesus was! We hope there was something:21. more than mere Curiosity in it, and that at length they saw him with believing Eyes, and according to his Prediction glorified bim by, a cordial Ver. 23,

Accept

310 RefleEtions on the happy Fruits of the Death of CHRIST. Sect. 148. Acceptance of his Gospel. — His Disciples, we fee, were ready to intro

duce them: And surely every faithful Minister of Christ will undertake Ver. 22. the Talk with Pleasure, when he sees Souls awakened by Divine Grace,

and enquiring after Jesus with affectionate Concern.

Blessed be God, it has already in many Instances been seen, that by Ver. 24. the Death of Christ an immortal Seed was sown, which has multiplied

in all Ages, and is still multiplying : Oh that it might have a greater

Increale ! One would think, that Words so gracious as these should proVer: 25. mote that Increas, and operate upon every Heart, to produce a Love

to him fufficient to conquer every Danger and Opposition, which may

be met with in his Cause : Behold the Promise, which he has left upon Ver. 26. Record ; If any Man, be he ever so mean or unworthy, will but faith

“ fully serve and follow me, whatever his former Wanderings and Rebel“ lions may have been, where I am, there shall also my Servant be.Happy State indeed! not only, like these Greeks, to have a transient Sight of Christ, but to be for ever with him!

How admirable is the Love and Stedfastness of our Redeemer, who

procured so great a Happiness for us at so dear an Expence ! and even Ver. 27. when his innocent Soul was troubled in the View of his Sufferings, in

stead of declining them, met them with Joy! How should it animate us to renew that general comprehensive Petition, than which none can

be more suitable to us with regard to all the Divine Dispensations ; Ver, 28. Father, glorify thine own Name ! Glorify thyself, O Lord! and to that

great End dispose of us as thou pleasest ; for we should abhor ourselves, if we had any Interest separate from thine !

We may be assured, as certainly as by a Voice from Heaven, that this

great End shall be answered ; and in this we should rejoice. Behold, the Ver. 31, 32. Prince of this world is cast out! Behold, Satan is vanquished by Chrift!

and Jesus is lifted up on the Cross, for a Standard to all the Nations. Behold the attractive Magnet, by which all Men are to be drawn, by which all his chosen People shall be brought to him, and so raised up to Heaven itself ! Let us look unto him from the Ends of the Earth, and labour with our cold Hearts, to awaken them to that lively and ardent

Affection, which we owe to him who was crucified for us. Ver. 35, 36. For ever adored be Divine Grace for this Gospel Light, which disco

vers to us so excellent an Object ! May we use it to saving Purposes, and so walk in it, as that we may appear to be the Children of Light ! Let us think of that last Distribution of Mankind, when the Children and Heirs of Light and Darkness are once for all to be separated. Let us think of the Gloom of eternal Night, which will shortly overtake those, by whom the Gospel is now despised ; and remember how much it will be aggravated by the Light we have so long seen. Do thou, Oh GOD, at whose Word Light arose out of Darkness, send forth by thine Influ

ences (b) Hath the Arm of the Lord been revealed ?] I apprehend this Phrase may allude to the Habit generally worn by the Easterns, and especially by Persons of Rank, which was a

The Jews are hardened, and will not believe. 311 ences on our Hearts thy Light and thy Truth, that they may lead and Sect. 148. bring us to thine holy Hill ; (Psal. xliii. 3.) and that we may have them Satisfaction of knowing whither we go, even when we walk thro' the dark Valley of the Shadow of Death ! (Psal. xxiii. 4.)

S E C T. CXLIX.
John's Reflection on the Infidelity of the Jews. As Christ

was returning the next Morning to Jerusalem, be curses
the barren Fig-tree. John XII. 37,---43. Mat. XXI.
18, 19. Mark XI. 12,---14.

JOHN XII. 37.

John XII. 37. BUT tho” he had done NOW such was the Perverseness of the Jews, Sect. 140 D so many Miracles before I

and such the Prejudice they had conceived
them, yet they believed not
on him :

against our Lord, that tho' he had sufficiently John Xbo.
declared himself to be the true Messiah, and thó37.
be bad done so many undeniable and glorious Mi-
racles at this and other Times before them, in
their most publick Places and most numerous
Assemblies; yet the greater Part of them were
hardened in their Infidelity, and notwithstand-

ing all that he had said and done, they did not
88 That the Saying of generally believe on bim as the Messiah. So 38
Efaias the Prophet might that the Saying of Isaiah the Prophet was plainly
be fulfilled, which he spake,

fulfilled and verified in them
f

(a), which
Lord, who hath believed Juquiea and verined in them
eur Report? and to whom in the Name of Christ and of his Servants, re.
hath the Arm of the Lord ferring expressly to the Gospel Times, (Isa. liii. 1.)
been revealed ?

Lord, who hath believed our Report ? and to
" whom hath the Arm of the Lord been so effectu-
« ally revealed or made bare (6), as to conquer.

" those

(a) So that the Saying of Isaiah was fulfilled. It is apparent, (as the late judicious Mr.. Jeffery has observed, in his True Grounds &c. pag. 110.) that the Accomplishment of this: Prophecy could not be the End they proposed to themselves in their Unbelief; and consequently, that the Expression eve winpwon must be rendered, as it is here : Which may be applied to several other Passages, and shews, by the way, how precarious that Remark of Mr. Pierce is, by which he would make that Phrase an Argument, that the Scripture introduced by it is quoted, not in any Instance by way of Accommodation, but always according to its original Design and literal Meaning.

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The Prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled in them. Sect. 149. “ those strong Prejudices, which Men have enw " tertained against thine appointed Method of

* Salvation ? John XII. And for this Reason they were now in a man- 39. Therefore they could 39. ner utterly incapable of believing, because many of Efaias said again.

s not believe, because that them having long wilfully opposed the most sufficient and proper Methods of Conviction, were at length given up by God to a judicial Hard

ness and Blindness ; (as) the same Prophet Isaiah 40 Jays elsewhere, (Isa. vi. io.) “ He, i. e. God, 40 He hath blinded their

so has in righteous Judgment blinded their Eves. Eyes, and hardened their « and hardened their Hearts (c), left they should fee with their Eyes, nor un

Heart; that they should not “ (as he adds in the Name of God) see' with derstand with their Heart, " their Eves, and understand with their Hearts. and be converted, and I

hould heal them.
" and be converted, and I pould heal and save
" them, which after such obstinate Perverseness !
“ I am determined that I never will.” (Compare

Mat. xiii. 14, 15. Vol. i. pag. 398. and Acts
41. xxviii. 27.). These Things Isaiah spake, when 41 These Things said E-

be saw his Glory (ă), i. e. the Glory of Christ, faias, when he saw his Glowho was then the Medium of the Divine Mani. ry, and spake of him. festation, and Spake of him and of his Times, in.

the

dong Robe without Sleeves ; so that when the Arm was stretched out, to perform any Action which required Strength, it would appear uncovered. (Compare Isa. lii. 10.) In this connection, it seems strongly to imply, that whenever true Faith is produced in the Mind, it is to be considered as the Effect of a Divine Energy. See Eph. i. 19. and Col. ij. 12.

(0) He has blinded their Eyes, and hardened their Hearts.] As God is said to harden the Heart of Pharoah in one place, while in another it is said he hardened his own Heart, (Exod. ix. 12. and viii. 15, 32.) and as we ought to be very tender of ascribing to God any thing, that looks like a necessitating Influence to impel Men to Sin; I apprehend that all we are here to understand by GOD's blinding and hardening these Jews is, that he permitted them to grow more and more prejudiced against the Gospel, and for wise Reasons acted in such a Manner, as he knew would in Faet be abused by them to an Increase of those Prejudices. The Learned, by consulting the Originals of the Places below, may fee Instances of a Phraseology nearly resembling, and illustrating this. Compare Lev. xiii. 3. Ezek. xiii. 19, 22. xiv. 9. xx. 25. Gen. xli. 13. Jer. i. 10. iv. 20. and Afts X. 15. where a Person is said to do, what he permits, or what he declares or foretells. The Evangelift in this Quotation has not confined himself exactly to the Words of the Prophet, but the Sense is plainly the same ; and nothing was more usual with the Jews, than to quote Scrip ture in this Way. See Surenhusus, de Formulis allegandi, pag. 367.

(d) When he saw his Glory.j These Words seem To plainly to refer to Chrift, that I cannot but approve the Argument, which the learned Bijop Pearson draws from Ifa. vi. I. to prove that Christ was the Jehovah that spoke to the Prophet. (Pears, on the Creed, pag. 125.) Dr. Clarke indeed explains it of seeing the Father's Glory: (Script. Doctr. of the Trin. pag. 58.) But it is difficult to say on that Supposition, what the Evangelift intended by adding that Clause, (and spake of him :) And it would be quite unexampled to suppose, that aule has two such different Significations in the same Line, as that the Meaning should be, he saw she Father's Glory, and spake of the Son. See Vitringa on Isa. vi. 1. pag. 142, & feq.

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The Rulers that believe, are afraid to confess him. 313

the awful Words which are mentioned above, and Sect. 149. which had their terrible Accomplishment in them

Men of this Generation. -42 Nevertheless, among Nevertheless, at this very Time there were many John XII. the chief Rulers also, many even of the Rulers themselves, who were inwardly 42, believed on him ; but because of the Pharisees they convinced that he was the Me

ther convinced that he was the Messiah, and believed did not confess him, lest on him as such, still expecting that he would by they should be put out of some surprizing Providence be raised to the Throne the Synagogue.

of Israel; but they did not think it convenient as
yet, to confess the Convictions of their own Hearts
concerning (him,] on Account of the declared En-
mity of the Pharisees against him, left by them
they mould be cast out of the Synagogue, and be
exposed to the great Ignominy and secular Detri-

ment, which necessarily attended such a Sen-
43 For they loved the tence. For they were such thoughtless and 43
Praise of Men more than mean-spirited Creatures, that they loved the Praise
the Praise of God.

of Men, more than the Praise of GOD; and 42 p. 317

durft not face the Contempt of their Fellow-
Mortals, even to secure the Approbation of their
Maker. (Compare John v. 44. Vol. i. pag. 301.)
This was the State of Things at Jerusalem, and
this the Effect of Christ's Entrance into it, as

related above. MARK XI. 12. And on But tho' the Malice of his Enemies was known Mark XI. the Morrow [in the Morn- to Tesus, and he was sensible they were contriving 12 ing] when they were come from Bethany, Fas he return to destroy him, yet on the Morrow Morning he ed into the City,) he was again set out with his Disciples for Jerusalem : hungry. [MAT. XXI. 18.] And when they were come from Bethany, as he

returned into the City, he was very hungry; having
come out early without eating, that he might

neither incommode his Friends, nor break in upon
13 And seeing a Fig-tree his secret or publick Devotions (€). And as 13
[in the Way] afar off, have he was now on the Way, feeing a Fig-tree at a

considerable

4

ing

(e) That he might neither incommode his Friends, &c.] This must certainly have been the Reason of our Lord's Hunger; for none can imagine, that the hospitable and most senfibly obliged Family of Lazarus would otherwise have suffered Yesus to come out without eating; or that if he had eaten that Morning, he would have been so hungry before he had walked two Miles, as to go out of the Way to gather Figs. To me there appears an inexpreffible Charm in this oblique Hint; it shews how little the Evangelists were inclined to enter into Panegyricks or Refections on the excellent Character of their Master ; and is a Specimen of that Simplicity and Modesty, which might, independent on other Arguments, almost compell the Altent of Persons of a like Temper, to the wonderful Story which they relate in so genuine and unaffected a Manner.

Vol. II. :

Rr.

(f) The

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