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the road to his death. This love should be remembered.
The soul that has found its own death, knows something of

2. There they made him a supper, and Martha served : but La-
zarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

Lazarus had been raised from the dead, and there can be
no harm in supposing that St. John here shows us the glory
and happiness of the state of believers after the resurrection,
in his sitting at the table with Jesus. It is Christ"'s own
description of that state, Luke xxii. 30. Martha, it is said,
served. She is represented as only in the way ; and that
she had not yet attained. Look at this pattern. Serving
is our present duty, and it is happiness enough on this side
the grave.

3. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very cost-
ly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her
hair : and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

VEK, 1 — 9.] ST. JOHN. 471

4. Then saith one of his disciples, Jutlas Iscaiiot, Simon's ion,
whicli sliould hetray him,

5. Wliy was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence,
and given to the poor ?

We may take occasion from hence to consider the motives
of our actions, and how apt we are to deceive ourselves with
specious pretences.

6. This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he
was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

7. Then said Jesus, Let her alone ; against the day of my bury-
ing hath she kept this.

Not that she intended it for that use, but it was so in ef-
fect ; and this was said chiefly to give the disciples warning
of his approaching death ; an event of which they little

8. For the poor always ye have with you, but me ye have not

This carries a command in it. Christ, though not pre-
sent in person, always has his receivers in the world.

9. Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there :
and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see
Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.

Let us observe the effect of the miracle; it could not but
excite curiosity in many, to see not only Jesus, but the man
on ivhom it was wrought. There are in the Gospels,
three instances of this kind, recorded as examples of faith,
and dear respect to Christ. What acts of love have we
showed him ? ^Vhat have we ever done to testify our gra-
titude to him 't We may not have the costly ointment to
bestow upon him, we cannot now wipe his feet with our
hairs, but we may own him in his truths, honour him in
our hearts, love him in his members, and throw ourselves
at his feet in obedience, and the sacrifice of oiu- wills to him.
Let this be the improvement of this passage of Scripture.
What it recommends to all is a devoted heart, from a lively
faith. AVhat it reproves in all, is the coldness of our affec-

472 ST. JOHN. [chap. XII.

tions to Christ. We do little, because we love little ; and
we do not love because we do not believe how much has
been forgiven us.


Chap. xii. ver. 10— 22.


10. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Laza-
rus also to death ;

Observe the stubbornness of unbelief, and to what des-
perate lengths it will carry men in wickedness. Millions
have put to death for having been instances of the power
of Jesus, and it is considered crime enough at all times.

11. Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away,
and believed on Jesus.

This speaks to us. Let us consider the miracle, and
see whether it will not hold us to faith in Jesus.

12. On the next day much people that were come to the feast,
when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

13. Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him,
and cried, Hosanna : Blessed is the King of Israel that conieth in
the name of the Lord.

Blessed is the man that can say this. Hosanna in the
heart, to him that cometh in the name of the Lord, is sal-

14. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon ;
as it is written,

15. Fear not, daughter of Sion : behold, thy King cometh, sit-
ting on an ass's colt.

In opposition to the pomp and pride of the world. Be-

VER. 10—22.] ST. JOHN. 473

hold, therefore, the nature of his kingdom, and what it is
that must prove us to be subjects of it. From the manger
to the cross, he was the king of meekness and lowliness, and
has given us a particular charge to learn them of him.
Let each of us know, whoever we are, we must stoop lower.;
we are still short of our pattern. But why is it said, /ear
not f Because his coming in his own state and majesty
would have been terrible to them, as it will be to the
world, when he does so come.

16. These things inidcrstood not bis disciples at the first : biu
when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these tilings
were written of him, and that they had done these things unto

This is an admirable confession of John. The disciples
were in the dark as well as others, about this lowly appear-
ance of Christ. Let us not be discouraged if we do not
know all at once. An humble faith refers itself wholly to
God, and cannot but be improving in knowledge.

17. The people therefore that was with him when he called lia-
zarus out of bis grave, and raised bim from the dead, bare re-

18. For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard
that be had done this miracle.

St. John takes notice again how wonderfully the miracle
wrought on the minds of the people. I verily believe that
thousands would desert Christ if it were not for his mira-
cles. But yet they looked for nothing in him but a tempo-
ral king, and met him with worldly thoughts. We know
better what we are to expect from him.

19. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves. Perceive
ye how ye prevail nothing ? behold, the world is gone after bim.

Whenever the world does indeed go after Jesus, it will
be a happier world tlian it is. Let us resolve with our-
selves to go after him, and allow the world to go wheie it

20. And there were certain Greeks among them that camv up
to worship at the feast :

474 ST. JOHN. [chap. xn.

21. The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida
of Galilee, and desired him, saying. Sir, we would see Jesus.

O ! their desire was good. It is a happy time with us
when we desire to see Jesus, in his bestowments of forgive-
ness, of grace, and of love ; and if we know him in his
salvation here, we shall see him in glory.

22. Philip Cometh and telleth Andrew : and again Andrew and
Philip tell Jesus.

As the gospel was to be tendered first to the Jews,
Christ was not easy of access to men of other nations. This
was the reason why the disciples would not introduce them
to him, without his leave. Blessed be God, the case is
happily altered, and the way to him is now open to all.


Chap. xii. ver. 23—30.


23. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that
the Son of man should be glorified.

In his death, resurrection, ascension, sending the Holy
Ghost, and consequent gathering of all nations to him.

24. Verily, verily, I say unto you. Except a corn of wheat fall
into the gTOund and die, it ahideth alone : but if it die, it bringeth
lorth much fruit.

Christ's death, like a corn of wheat, (take notice, not
any grain in general,) should have its increase in the con-
version of men to him in all parts of the world. But he
goes a step farther, and under the same similitude shows
the nature of true conversion.

25. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his
life in this world shall keep it unto life ctcinal.

VER. 23—30.] ST. JOHN. 475

He that lovcth his life more than Christ, or gives the
preference in his esteem to this world, and its advantages,
shall lose it eternally : and he that hateth his life in this
world, by dying to the world in will and affection, for the
hojDe that is set before him in Christ, shall keep it unto
eternal life.

26. If any man serve me, let liim follow me ; and where 1 am,
there shall also my servant bo : If any man serve me, bim will
my Father honour.

Let him follow me in the way marked out for all, if he
will serve me. " If any man serve me, him will my Fa-
ther honour."" Both the duty and reward are now before us.
Think what honour from God is, and whether it will not
be an abundant recompence, for all we can do, or suffer, in
this world.

27. Now is my soul troubled ; and what shall I say ? Father,
save me from this hour : but for this cause came I unto this hour.

O ! that we might have some touch, or feeling, upon our
spirits of that, of which Christ had such a sharp, piercing
sight ; as he was then going to bear the malignity and
curse of sin ! How shall we lie under the weight of it for
ever ! There is a whole volume of instruction in these few
words of the blessed Jesus : " Now is my soul troubled."

28. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from
heaven, saying, 1 have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

God the Father says, " I have glorified it," by sending
Christ into the world for the redemption of mankind, and
owning Christ for my Son, by miracles ; and now the third
time, by a voice from heaven. " And will glorify it again"
by his death ; and the glory that shall follow in his resur-
rection, and intercession at the right hand of God, and in
his recovery of souls to me, his heavenly Father. The
thought which here offers itself, is, God's love to man.
The manifestation of it by Ciirist, he calls his glory.
Blessed God ! thy nature is thy glory, whether we glorify
thee by our conversation, or not.

470 ST. JOHN. [chap. XII.

29. The peoj)le therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that
it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.

30. Jesus answered and said, 'Jliis voice came not because of
me, but for your sakes.

And for our sakes it was recorded, that the name of God
might be glorified in us, by our honouring and accepting
of the Son.


Chap. xii. ver. 31 — 41.


31. Now is the judgment of this world : now shall the prince
of this world be cast out.

Now is the trial, to whom this world shall belong. " Now
shall the prince of this world be cast out," from his pos-
session of the souls of men, and his dominion over them.
AVe are Christ's by purchase, and may be his by our own
free choice.

32. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men
unto me.

The guilt of sin, which was Satan's right and power in
us, was expiated by Christ in his death ; and without the
removal of this grand obstacle, there could be no access to
him, or to God by him. Certainly this is a very happy
alteration in the condition of mankind ; but then, observe,
it is by the sole mercy of God, and by the merits of
Christ : and could not possibly be by any will or works of
our own. Is the question still to ask, whose are we, and
whether we have been drawn to Christ in the exercises of
humility, self-knowledge, and faith ?

33. This he said, signifying what death he sliuuld die.

VKK. ;jl — 41.] ST. JOHN. 477

34. The people answered liiin. We liiue heard out. of the law
that Christ ahideth for ever : and how sayesl thou, The Sou of
man must he lifted up ? who is this Son of man ?

We are told what his lifting up was, and how he who
was lifted up, '' abideth ever ;" and therefore our ignorance
will be less excusable than theirs. He could not so well ex-
plain the matter to them, before his death ; but he proceeds
to advise them, and in them all others, to know their op-
portunity, and to make use of tiie light while they have it.

35. Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light
with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upcjn
you : for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he

36. "NMiile ye have light, helieve in the light, that ye may be
the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and
did hide himself from them.

Let the world pretend what it will, humble believers are
the children of God's light ; and all others, with all their
advantages and improvements, of nature and education, are
in the grossest darkness.

37. But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet
they believed not on him :

Here we read ourovvn condemnation, if we do not believe.
They are told us for this end, and if they do not open our
eyes, it is owing to the same hardness of heart in zis, as in

38. That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled,
which he spake. Lord, who hath believed our report ? and to whom
hath the arm of the Lord been revealed ?

How few in every place, have believed this report ?
What are we, who now hear this ! Are we baptized heathens,
or new inen in Christ, by the power of a divine faith ?

39. Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said

40. He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart ; that
they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart,
and be converted, and I should heal them.

They would not see when they might, and being left to

478 ST. JOHN. [CHAr. XII,

themselves could not see if they would. We need not
wade any farther into this depth, and may employ ourselves
better in searching into our own hearts.

41. These things said Esaias, when he saw liis glory, aucl spake
of him.

That is, of Christ. But in the passage referred to,
Isaiah, chapter vi., the prophet evidently speaks of God ;
and therefore the conclusion is undeniable, that Christ is


Chap. xii. ver. 42 — 50.


42. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on
him ; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest
they should be put out of the sj-nagogue :

The fear of man, and the love of truth, cannot dwell

43. For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of

This is a grievous charge, but very common, and may be
our own case. As we dread everlasting shame from Christ,
let us never think what men will say, when we are con-
vinced what we ought to do.

44. Jesus cried and said. He that bclieveth on me, believeth not
on me, but on him that sent me.

Whatever men may think, there is no way of believing
on God, but by believing on Christ. It is impossible that
Ave should know anything of him truly, but as he has re-
vealed himself.

45. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

VEIL 42—50.] ST. JOHN. 479

But what is seeing Christ ? It is not seeing him with our
bodily eyes ; for those who did were no better for tliat
sight. It is therefore receiving him into our iiearts by
faith, seeing him in the beauty and glory of his salvation,
and in him all the mercy and love of God.

46. I am come a light into tlie world, that whosoever bclieveth
on me should not abide in darkness.

Observe, he says, abide, therefore wc are first in dark-
ness, the darkness of sin. None know this so well as those who
are brought into the light. They see both states, and by
what they arc, know what they were.

47. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge
him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

I do not give him up instantly to condemnation, who
hears my words, and does not believe in me. I came not to
judge the world, though it is always ripe for judgment,
and I justly might: but to declare God's mercy to sinners
of mankind, to put them in the way of it, and to make
their salvation possible, by dying for them. O my
soul ! now is thy day of grace; bless thy God, that it is
allowed thee, and know that the time of judgment is

48. He that rejectetli mc, and receivcth not my words, hath one
that judgeth him : the word that I have spoken, the same shall
judge him in the last day.

The word of Christ shall be the rule of his condemna-
tion ; and the justice of his sentence will then be dreadfully
manifest to his conscience, from that very word which he
now despiseth.

49. For I have not spoken of myself ; but the Father which
sent me, he gave me a conunandment, what I should say, and what
I should speak.

We have no doubt of this. We believe that Christ's
words, are God's words, the light of heaven, the soul's
guide, health, and sweetness : and yet how many shut their

480 ST. JOHN. [chap. xiri.

eyes, and harden their hearts against them, year after year,
till they drop into everlasting darkness. O ye careless
ones ! be astonished at yourselves, that you should know,
and prize them, so little as you do.

50. And I know that his comniandment is life everlasting :
whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so
I speak.

Whatever Christ spoke by commandment from him,
is the sole way to everlasting life. And he said, " I know,""
that we might say it too. There are only two or three short
questions to ask. Do you know ? Do you believe ? Do
you gladly hear the Father speaking by Christ, and get
life from what you know and believe ?


Chap. xiii. ver. 1 — 11.


1. Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that
his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto
the Father, having loved his own wliich were in the world, he
loved them unto tlie end.

And how did he show this ? By putting them in the way
of being good, and especially, by teaching them to conde-
scend to the meanest offices for the good of others. Christ's
love is true love. He aims at our happiness ; and the
great end of all his teaching is, that we may not mistake it.
If we choose any other way, Jesus himself cannot help us.

2. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the
heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him ;

Why is this mentioned here .'* Perhaps, to show that he
was still willing to do all for Judas that could be done ;

VEIL 1 — 11.] ST. .JOHN. 481

and, if it were possible, to melt his stubborn heart, by this
astonishing act of lowliness, in washing his feet. And take
notice, that the devil's power in any man, is no excuse for
his wickedness. If a man suffers a thief to enter his house,
when he can keep him out, whose fault is it, if he cuts his
throat ?

3. Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his
hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God ;

This cuts off at once every pretence for not imitating
him. Who can be so great .'' Who can stoop lower ?

4. He risctli from supper, and laid aside his garments ; and
took a towel, and girdt-d himself.

5. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash
the disciples* feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he
was girded.

Let us in our thoughts accompany him yi these several
particulars. Let us imagine we see the Lord of life put-
ting himself in the condition of a servant. It would be
well for us if we had this picture always before our eyes.

6. Then cometh he to Simon Peter : and Peter said unto hini,
Lord, dost thou wash my feet ?

Who could help saying what Peter did ? And yet the
shame was not in our Lord's abasing himself : it is in our
not doing it.

7. Jesus answered and said imto him. What I do thou kn(»west
not now ; but thou shalt know hereafter.

It is an excellent temper, and would save us many
a pang, to give ourselves, as it were, blindfold to Christ,
assuredly believing that we are safe in his hands, and shall
one day know the meaning of all he has been doing for us.
Peter soon knew, ver. 12. Let us not think it much
to wait.

8. Peter saith unto him, Thou slialt never wash my feet. Jesus
answered him. If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

If this washing, and the instruction conveyed by it, had


482 ST. JOHN. [chat. xiir.

not its effect, in bringing him to the same disposition, he
should have no part with him.

9. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lordj not ray feet only, but also
my hands and my head.

Every true Christian is certainly of Peter's mind, and
thinks he can never have too great a share in Christ, and
his v/ashing.

10. Jesus saith to them, He that is washed needeth not save to
wash his feet, but is clean every whit : and ye are clean, but
not all.

We are clean washed from the guilt of sin in Chrisfs
blood, when we believe in him ; but he has a farther work
to do in us, and must cleanse us from tlie defilements
which we are apt to contract in our journey through the
world ; v/e must be cleansed from all filthiness of the flesh
and spirit. ^

Can he say of us, " Ye are clean .?'"' Would not our
hearts be ready to die within us, to hear him saying, Ye
are not clean ? But when did we come to him for cleansing ?
AVhen did we see our need of it .''

11. For he knew who should betray him ; therefore said he. Ye
are not all clean.

This word he kneio^ should alarm us. He knows this
hour what we are doing in the world, how our hearts
stand affected towards him, and whether any true prayers
ever come from them.

Chap. xiii. ver. 12—30.


12. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his gar-
ments, and was set down again, he said unto them. Know ye what
I have done to von ?

VKR. 12 — 30.] ST. JOHN. 483

Thou, (() minister of Christ,) who art concerned, observe
the order in wliich thou art to teach ; be ready to wash
the feet of all, show thyself a pattern of humility: first
stoop, and then speak.

" Know ye what I have done to you ?" What is the
intent and purpose of it. O ! it was a most forcible man-
ner of instruction, a charming lesson of universal, humble
condescension for the sake of souls, and doubtless, went
dcej) into their hearts. But when you hear these words,
carry your thoughts farther. What has he done for you
in other particulars, in all respects ; and what can you say
he has done in you ?

13. Ye call me Master and Lord : and ye say well ; for so
I am.

14. If [ then, your liord and Master, have washed your feet, ye
also ought to wash one another's I'cet.

Who can add to this? Or where shall we find words to
enforce so perfect, so speaking a pattern of humility ?

15. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I
have done to you. ,

It must, it must be done. What arc we, what can we
possibly think of ourselves, if we stand out against such
an example ?

16. Verily, verily, I say unto you. The servant is not greater
than his lord ; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent

Loi'd ! Not greater ! O shame to all the pride of man !

17. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

By abounding in all offices of humble love for the
spiritual good of others ; and, if need be, of washing their
feet. The stress does not lie so much in the letter, as in
the spirit of the command. Obedience to it will lead us
to happiness, and the temper here re([uired is happiness in

18. T speak not of you all: T know whom I have chosen: but,

I I 2

484 ST. JOHN. [chap. xtit.

that the Scripture may be fulfilled. He that eateth bread with irie
hath lifted up his heel against nie.

Christ's benefits, and our profession of him, will be a
dreadful aggravation of our enmity to him. Lifting up
the heel against him is not peculiar to Judas ; every dis-
obedient man does it.

19. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass,
ye may believe that I am he.

His prediction of it would be a great means of confirm-
ing them in the belief of him. Judas had carried himself
so closely, that the other disciples never suspected him;
but he had an all-seeing eye upon him. If we cannot hide
ourselves from that, we do nothing.

20. Verily, verily, I say unto you. He that receiveth whomso-
ever I send, receiveth me ; and he that receiveth me, receiveth
him that sent me.

He had made them fit to be sent, by his washing : and
now fortifies them with this view of the greatness of their
office, and warns all others of the danger of not receiving

21. When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and
testified, and said. Verily, verily, I say unto you. That one of you
shall betray me.

" Jesus was troubled in spirit," not for the consequence
of Judas' treachery to himself, but from a deep sense of
the power of sin in man, and for the loss of a soul.

22. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom

he spake.

And well they might be all amazement, to hear that
any of their company could be guilty of so black a crime.

23. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disci-

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