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his words can take no hold of them ; and their not receiv-
ing them is full proof that they have nothing of God in

48. Tlieii answered the Jews, and said unto him. Say we not
well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil P

Remember this when you are reproached for the truth's

49. Jesus answered, I have not a devil ; but I honour my Father,
and ye do dishonour me.

This was a full answer to their charge, that he had a
devil. How could he be possessed with Satan, who had
nothing at i)eart but the glory of God ?

442 ST. JOHN. [chap. vni.


Chap. viii. ver. 50 — 59.


50. And I seek not mine own glory : there is one that seeketh
and judgeth.

Who will judge you, and vindicate me, to your eternal
confusion, if you do not believe.

51. Verily, verily, I say unto you. If a man keep my saying,
he shall never see death.

Christ here teaches that there is no way to escape death.
Though believers die, like all other men, it is not under a
sentence of death ; and the life which is begun in them, if
they keep it to the end, does not die with their bodies.

52. Then said the Jews unto him. Now we know that thou hast
a devil. Ahraham is dead, and the prophets ; and thou sayest. If
a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.

53. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead ?
and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?

54. Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing :
it is my Father that honoureth me ; of whom ye say, that he is
your God.

55. Yet ye have not known him ; but I know him : and if I
should say, I know him not, I should be a liar like unto you: but
I know him, and keep his saying.

56. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw
it, and was glad.

Abraham had Christ revealed to him, and he made him
all his hope. As great a saint as he was, his joy was in
Christ, and the righteousness of faith.

57. Then said the Jews unto him. Thou art not yet fifty years
old, and hast thou seen Abraham ?

They spake of the age of Jesus, at the highest calcula-
tion, not knowing how old he was.

CHAP. IX.] ST. JOHN. 443

58. Jesus saith unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Be-
fore Abraham was, I am.

That is, I had a being, and that from eternity.

59. Then took they up stones to cast at him ; but Jesus hiil
himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of
them, and so passed by.

This he probably did by a divine power. He held their
eyes so tliat they saw him no longer. As God did at the
prayer of Elisha, 2 Kings, vi. 17 — 19.

SECTION xxxvni.

Chap. ix. ver. 1 — 7.


1 . And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from
his birth.

2. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin,
this man, or his ])arents, that he was born blind ?

They inquired if he had sinned in some other body. It
seems that they had entertained the notion of the transmi-
gration of souls ; or, perhaps, they thought his blindness
was a punishment for some sin foreseen. What they meant
is not the matter of the chiefest concern to us.

3. Jesus answered. Neither bath this man sinned, nor his pa-
rents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

His blindness was not inflicted on him for any particular
sin, or sinfulness, of himself, or his parents.

His restoration to sight was for the glory of God, and
to promote our belief in Christ. This man's blindness
brought him to the knowledge of Christ, and proved the
greatest of all blessings to him. Afflictions are the means
of saving more souls, perhaps, than anything else ; and it

444 ST. JOHN. [chap. IX.

is his own fault if God does not produce good out of all the
evil that befals us.

4. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is dav :
the night cometh, when no man can work.

Here Christ speaks like other men, and chiefly to give a
lesson of instruction to all. We have a work upon our
hands, which must of all necessity be done, and we have
not a moment's time to spare.

" The night cometh, when no man can work." If that
night, which gives us up to judgment, should be near at
hand, are we ready ? O ! let us think, this night, and every
night we lie down in our beds, what is our great business
in the world, and what condition we are in to appear before

5. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

Christ is not less so, now that he is in heaven. He is
the light of the world at all times. He is now in the
world to shine upon us, and now is our time for walking in
his light, and for reaping the full benefit of it

6. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made
clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with
the clay.

The healing virtue was not in the clay, (for no means
could be more unlikely,) but in the power of him who
formed man of the dust of the ground ; and we make the
right improvement of the miracle, when we trust in the
same power for our spiritual sight, and new creation.

7. And said unto him. Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which
is by interpretation. Sent.) He went his way therefore, and
washed, and came seeing.

The interpretation affords a lesson to us. The word sent,
naturally turns our thoughts to Christ, who was sent of
God for our recovery. All depends on knowing our need
of him. " He was washed, and came seeing." There was
no more virtue in the pool than in the clay, to restore his

VER. 8 — 17.] ST. JOHN. 445

sight ; but lie did as he was commanded, and his cure fol-


Chap. ix. ver. 8 — 17.


8. Tlie neiglibours, therefore, and tliey which before had seen
him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged ?

9. Some said, Tliis is he : others said. He is like him; but he
said, I am he.

These persons present a true picture of mankind, blun-
dering in the dark, some saying one thing, some another,
but unwilling to see the truth when it is presented to them.
" But he said, I am he." Let us endeavour to say this,
every one of us for ourselves: I am he to whom the Lord
hath showed mercy.

10. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes
opened ?

11. He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made
clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me. Go to the pool of
Siloam, and wash : and I went and washed, and I received sight.

The blind man is now preaching to us, and is sendino- us
to Jesus for the cure we all want of him. If it was for our
bodies we should listen to him, and say, he who healed him,
can heal me. Remember who gave him this name Jesus,
and for what end. Matt. i. 21.

12. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know

13. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.

They did this that they might inquire into, and con-
sider the matter. Some of them soon decided it, by aspers-
ing him as a sabbath-breaker. You may here see with

446 ST. JOHN. [chap. IX.

advantage, how hardly those who would have condemned
him, were put to it, to find a pretext.

14. And it was the sabbath-day when Jesus made the clay, and
opened his eyes.

15. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had re-
ceived his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eves,
and I washed, and do see.

16. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This rnan is not of
God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said. How
can a man that is a sinner do such miracles ? And there was a
division among them.

Upon the weak and false pretence that Jesus did not
keep the sabbath-day, they baffled the force of a miracle,
which was intended to open their eyes. So Christ's ser-
vants are first reproached falsely, and then disgraced.
Others justly ask, " How can a man that is a sinner do
such miracles?" Let us come in with these, into the light of
divine truth, and leave the rest to their blindness. Let us
hold to the evidence of miracles, and we shall keep fast hold
of Christ, and have an invincible argument for believing,
and obeying him in everything, though never so cross to
our own reason, and worldly interest.

" There was a division among them," and there is a divi-
sion wherever Christ comes. We have his own word for it,
Matt. X. 35 : " For I am come to set a man at variance
against his father, and the daughter against her mother,
and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And
a man's foes shall be they of his own household." Jesus,
however, brings us a blessed peace, peace with God, peace
in ourselves, and a peaceable disposition towards all men ;
but his followers must, and will speak for him, and this, of
course, sets the world against theuu Where is the blame ?

17. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of
him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said. He is a prophet.

Do we, will we say this ? If he has opened our eyes what
do we therefore think of him ?

The cure of this man had wrought faith in him, and faith

VEIL 18 — 28] ST. JOHN. 447

made him bold to acknowledge Christ to be a prophet.
Why are we afraid to speak for Jesus, but because we have
received little or nothing from him ?


Chap. ix. ver. 18—28.


18. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that lie had
been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of
liiin that had received his sight.

If they had only wanted to know the truth, and then to
make a proper use of it, this would have been right. But
it was the strong working of unbelief, and this turns itself
into all shapes to avoid conviction.

19. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say
was born blind ? how then doth he now see ?

20. His parents answered them and said. We know that this is
our son, and that he was born blind :

21. But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or v\bo
hath opened his eyes, we know not : he is of age ; ask him : he
shall speak for himself.

22. These words spake his parents, because they feared the
Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did con-
fess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.

Fear of man, is one of the greatest difficulties we have to
encounter, in coming to Christ. Here thousands stop short,
and though they see the right way, will not enter upon it ;
because the world is in another way, and they do not choose
to endure its reproaches.

23. Therefore said his parents. He is of age, ask him.

24. Then again called ilicy the man that was blind, and said
unto him, Give God the praise : we know that this man is a

448 ST. JOHN. [chap. IX.

By a true confession, they bid him give God the praise.
This is worthy of our notice, though it came from such
unhallowed mouths.

When they said, " We know that this man is a sinner,"
they meant that they themselves were not. Here was great
boldness, and, as it often happens, arising from great blind-
ness. Well may others, knowing themselves to be sinners,
bear to have this said of them, when it was said so confi-
dently of the only man who never was a sinner.

25. He answered and said. Whether he be a sinner or no, I
know not : one thing I know , that, whereas I was blind , now 1

We are all born blind to the things of God, as this man
was in respect of his bodily eyes. What can we say now ?
That our eyes are opened to see sin in ourselves more than
we ever imagined, and death for sin ; to see Christ, and life
in him : to see the beauty and necessity of holiness, and
that our wills are with Christ for the attainment of it.^ Or
are we still blind, going on in the beaten track of the world,
seeing no need of Christ, and never considering what a
work he has to do in us ? Whatever you may think, it is
the happiest condition on earth, to be able to say truly,
" One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I

26. Then said they lo liini again, What did he unto tliee ? how
opened he thine eyes ?

Mark again the workings of unbelief, and how it seeks
for pretences to maintain itself. They said, " What did
lie to thee," and how opened he thine e_yes.^ when the only
thing they should have asked was respecting the fact, that
they were opened, and that it could only be by a divine

27. He answered theui, I have told you already, and ye did
not hear : wherefore would ye hear it again ? will ye also be his
disciples ?

They heard but they did not believe him. What is all

VER. 29—41.] ST. JOHN. 449

our hearing, if it does not bring us to faith in Christ, and
newness of life ?

28. Then they reviled liini, and said. Thou art his disciple ; but
we are Moses' disciples.

They thought this the greatest reproach they could cast
on liini. Do not mistake : it is seldom otherwise. A true
disciple is still a bye-word, even among those who call
themselves Christians.


Chap. ix. ver. 29—41.


29, We know that God spake unto Moses : as for this fellow,
we know not from whence he is.

We know no more than they did, till we come to Christ
in faith, and with an earnest desire to experience his power
in us.

30. The man answered and said unto them. Why herein is a
marvellous thing, that ye know not whence he is, and yet he hath
o))ened mine eyes.

We know from whence he is, and have no doubt of liis
coming from God ; but in vain, if we do not consider the
ends for which he came, and that he might open our eyes.

.31. Now wc know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man
be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

The conclusion was undeniable ; God would never have
enabled him to perform such a miracle, if he had been a
simier. I^et us apply tiiis to our own prayers, and learn
from hence in what way they will be heard.

32. Since the world bc^^an was it not heard that any man opened
the eyes of one that was born blind.

VOL. If. (i a

450 ST. JOHN. [chap. IX.

33. II" this man were not of God, he could do nothing.

The plain reasoning of this man, did not convince them ;
but rather provoked their enmity still more. When men
cannot answer an argument, they too often revile those who
offer it. — Edit.

34. They answered and said nnto him, Thou wast allogetlier
born in sins, and dost thou teach us ? And they cast him out.

Because he was born blind, they accused him of having
been born in sin. We are often falling into the same
rashness, and presumption : Christ knew better.

" Dost thou teach us ?"" Observe the blindness and pride
of worldly wisdom. They thought not of sin in them-
selves, and would not be taught by an illiterate man.
Nevertheless, he was well qualified for the office, by the
recovery of his sight, and the knowledge of Christ's
power in himself.

" And they cast him out," namely, of their communion.
If man's judgment were always to be ratified in heaven,
many saints would be excluded.

35. Jesus heard that they had cast him out ; and wlien he had
found him, he said unto him. Dost thou believe on the Son of

Doubtless we think it great condescension in Jesus, and
a great blessing to this poor man, that he would be at the
pains to seek him. O ! did he not come down from heaven
with bowels of pity, to seek and to save us all, to suffer
and die for us ? Does he not seek us in his word, and
make the first offer of himself to us by his Spirit ? And
does he not rejoice over us when we are found of him ?
Let us think ourselves lost and undone without him, and
we shall be found of him.

Remember that, " by grace ye are saved, through faith,'"
Eph. ii. 8, and then we shall see how necessary it is that
every one of us should be able to answer this important
question for ourselves, " Dost thou believe on the Son of
God ?"

VER. 29 — 41.] ST. JOHN. 451

36. He answered and said, Who is he, fiOrd, tliat I might be-
lieve on him P

We have not this question to ask. We know it is /le,
the only begotten Son of God, who was born of the Virgin
Mary, and who came into the world to save sinners.

37. And Jesus said unlo him, Thou hast boih seen him, and it
is he that taliieth with thee.

He has been speaking to us tliroughout this chapter, as
well as to the blind man ; he speaks to us in every one of
the gospels, and all to this end, that he may bring us to a
spiritual sight of him, and speak himself into our hearts.

3b. And he .said. Lord, I believe. And lie worshipped him,

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, as thy Saviour and
Redeemer, and the worship of thy heart will follow.

39. And Jesus said. For judgment I am come into tliis world,
that ihey which see not might see; and that they which see mio-jit
be made blind.

Christ says, " I atn come for judgment," — to give to
every man according to the truth of his case. " That they
which see not might see ;" who though blind, as all men
are by nature, yet know themselves, and arc willino- to
have their eyes opened ; these, through mercy, shall see.
" And tliat they which see might be made blind." Who
think they see when they do not, and are too wise to learn of
Christ. These, by the judgment of God, shall be left to
their natural blindness.

40. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these
words, and said unto him. Arc we blind also ?

We need not their learning to have enough of their pride,
and self-conceit. What ! says one, do you take me for a
reprobate ? Have I not been baptized ? W'ould you make
me believe that I am more ignorant than the rest of the
world ? Another says, Do you think I have lived all this
time for nothing ? One question put home to yourselves
would stagger all this unbelief. Did you ever sit down

G (; 2

452 ST. JOHN [chap. X.

one hour in your wliole lives, to think of your state, and
what you must do to be saved ?

41. Jesus said unto them. If ye were blind, ye should have no
sin : but now ye say. We see ; therefore your sin remaineth.

Better would it be for you, if ye were quite blind ; for
then the sin you could not see, would not be laid to your
charge. You are now condemned out of your own mouth,
as sinning against light, because ye say, " We see ; there-
fore your sin remaineth."

Chap. X. ver. 1 — 9.


1. Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that entereth not by the
door into the sheepfold, but climbeth uj) some other way, the same
is a thief and a robber.

He that entereth not by Christ, and /or Christ, by faith
in him, and a sincere desire to bring others to him, " but
climbeth up some other way," has some of his own ends in
view ; and has no regard to the flock for its own good,
but to make a prey of it for himself, " the same is a thief
and a robber."

2. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the

And no other is, in God's account, whatever he may be
in his own, or in the opinion of the world.

3. To him the porter openeth ; and the sheep hear his voice :
and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

To understand this, and what follows, we must know
that the way of keeping sheep in that country, was in some
respects different from ours. Besides the shepherd, they

VER. 1—9.] ST. JOHN. 453

had a porter, or door-keeper, to guard the sheep by night
from wihl beasts and thieves ; and they gave names to
their sheep, which they were taught to know ; and they
followed the shepherd's call. In the spiritual meaning, God,
or the Holy Spirit, is the door-keeper ; and if he does not
open to the shepherd, the sheep cannot follow him.

4. And when he pnlteth forth his own sheep, he goetli bel'ove
llieni, and the sheep follow him : for they know his voice.

The shepherd of souls (the minister of Christ) should
go before his sheep, in doctrine and example. "And the
sheep follow him," as they ought todo, knowing his concern
for then), and'discerning the wholesomeness of his instruc-

5, And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him :
for they know not the voice of strangers.

The sheep would not follow a stranger ; and persons
enlightened by the Holy Spirit should not follow false
teachers. The meaning farther is, that they shall be
enabled to discern false teachers. If they are first dis-
posed to follow God, he will not suffer them to be deceived
to their ruin. .John vii. 17.

(j. This parable spake Jesus mUo them : but they understood
not what things they were which be spake unto them.

Christ explains himself sufficiently, in what follows ;
and the way is so clearly marked out for all succeeding
pastors, that, though they may desert, they cannot mis-
take it.

7. Then said Jesus unto llieni again, Verily, verily, I say unto
you, I am the door of the sheep.

To the sheep ; or, by which the shepherd enters to the
care of them. For he is speaking of the shepherds, and
fheir manner of entering upon their office.

8. All tlial ever came before me are thieves and robber.^ : but
the .«heep did not bear iheni.

454 ST. JOHN. [chap. X

Those who pretended to be the Messiah, as many did
about that time, were thieves and robbers : but the true
sheep, well-meaning disciples, deservedly so called for their
sincerity and simplicity, " did not hear them," For some
did hear them, and the generality did not hear Christ.

9. I am the door : by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved,
and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

" He shall go in and out," with the consent and appro-
bation of the door-keeper, (the Holy Ghost,) "and shall
find pasture," for his dear sheep, by an abundant supply
from the chief shepherd.

Christ, sent of God to be the great shepherd of the
sheep, is also the door by which all others enter upon their
office ; and under this similitude, his own care and concern
for the sheep., and the qualifications of every true shep-
herd, are described in the most lively and affecting man-
ner„ Let all who are concerned, that is, the ministers of
Christ, keep their eyes and hearts upon tliis pattern. And
do thou, O blessed Jesus, enable us to follow thee, in a
diligent and compassionate feeding the flock, which thou
hast purchased with thy own blood.

Chap. X. ver. 10 — 18.


10. The diief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to
destroy : I am come that they might have life, and that they might
have it more abundantly.

Behold the nature, and character of the false shepherd.
His great aim is to feed himself; and of course the sheep
must be neglected, and perish under his hands. " I am
come that they might have life,'' food, tiie means of life,

VER. 10 — IS.] ST. JOHN. 455

and that in greater plenty- I^et us observe, that if he
came for this end, we are in a starving condition without
him. Let us seek a spirit of discernment to get this first
and we shall be better able to know what is proper food for
our souls,

11. I am the good sliepberd : the good shepherd givcth his hfe
for the sheep.

Well, so it is ; this is being a good shepherd indeed ;
this is true concern for tlie flock ; and, blessed be God,
many have been enabled to follow Christ's example. May
his love be deeply imprinted in the hearts of all !

12. But he that is an hirehng, and not the shepherd, whose own
the sheep are not, seeth the woH" coming, and leaveth the sheep,
and flceth ; and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

Not he who taketh the hire is necessarily an hireling,
for there is a divine warrant for that ; but he who under-
taketh the work chiefly, if not solely, /or the hire. O ! let
us be Christ's own sheep ! Let us be his property !

13. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth
not for the sheep.

It is impossible that the hii'eling shepherd should stand
by the sheep in a time of danger, or expose himself to any
hardships for their sakes. Self will be sure to be true to
itself. It would be better to lose the hire, than to have no
enjoyment of it, or lose life for it. There is a Christian
country, in which not a few run from their flocks, to live
more at ease elsewhere. Of all the fallen sons of Adam,
these are the most abandoned.

" And careth not for the sheep." This, though a seem-
ingly soft censure of a very bad disposition, cuts deep
from the mouth of Jesus, whose care for the sheep cost him
Ills life.

14. I am the good sliephoid, and kndw my sheep, and am
known of mine.

Clirist (h)es not say, " I am the good shepherd," and

456 ST. JOHN. [chap. X.

repeat it, to boast of himself; but that we might know
and come to him as such. " And know my sheep," that

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