Jesus predicts)


[his resurrection. 18 Then answered the Jews and bered that he had said this untı, them; said unto him, What sign shewest thou and they believed the Scripture, and unto us, seeing that thou doest these, the word which Jesus had said. things?

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem 19 Jesus answered and said unto at the Passover, in the feast day, many them, Destroy this temple, and in three believed in his name, when they saw days I will raise it up.

the miracles which he did. 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and 24 But Jesus did not commit himsix years was this temple in building, self unto them, because he knew all and wilt thou rear it up in three days? men;

21 But he spake of the temple of 25 And needed not that any should his body.

testify of man: for he knew what was 22 When therefore he was risen in man. (E) from the dead, his disciples remem

EXPOSITION-Chap. II. Continued. bowl; but, when it is swallowed, these readers to the observations offered by us on dissolve in the instant, and there remains Matthew, so far as the circumstances agree; bitterness, and the malignity of colliquin- we add only a remark on the proneness there tida (i.e. the wild cucumber, bitter and is in mere professors of religion to make a acrid in the extreme). Every sin smiles in gain of yodliness; and to pursue their own the first advance, and carries light in the interests, under the pretence of serving face and houey on the lip; but, when we God. For it was doubtless the pretence of have well drunk, then comes that which is these men, in bringing their cattle into the worse, .... sears and terrors of conscience, courts of the temple, to serve the couveand shame and displeasure, and diffidence nience of those who wanted them for sacri[we might add, despair] in the day office; and of the inoney-changers, to acdeath... (But] Jesus keeps the best wine till commodate either buyers or sellers with the last : not only because of the direct exchange for money or drafts : but, carereservation of the highest joys till the near less as they were in religion, we cannot beapproaches of glory, but also because our lieve that the priests would have tolerated relishes are higher after a long fruition these excesses, bad they not reaped advanthan at the first essays; such being the tages therefrom, either in the form of rentnature of grace, that it increases in relish age for the ground, or fees for the privilege as it does in fruition." (Life of Christ, of their standing ! Strong and severe as Pt. 2, § 10.)

was the language of our Lord, relative to This is called “ the beginning," or these guardians of the temple, we doubt “ first," of Christ's miracles, as Dr. Camp. not but that it was perfectly just; and we bell renders it; for we pay no regard to the fear that there are few temples, few reports of the juvenile miracles which com. churches, few cbarels, few religious instipose the pseudo-gospels of “the apocryphal tutions of any kind, in which his eyes, New Testament:" and by this miracle he which are “as a name of fire," do not showed forth not only the glory of his discern some thieves who rob God and power, but of his beneficence; and all his oppress his poor! Alas! if the sons of miracles were of the same benevolent cast. Aaron-if the sons of Eli, practised villany, As he turned water iuto wine, so he turned we need not wouder to find the like in the pain into ease, darkness into light, and degenerate days of Herod and Caiaphas. death into life: in this case also he kept And when the Sou of Man again “coineth, the best wine till last,

shall be find faith in the earth,"-fidelity

in the church-orintegrity in its ministers? (E) Ver. 12-25. Jesus purges the temple, (See Luke xviji. 8.) and foretels his own death. - It seems evident, It is not wonderful that the Jews, both and is so generally understood, that our priests and laymen, should be alarmed on Lord twice, at least, cleansed the temple of this occasion. A Reformer comes amoug these cattle-traders and money-changers. them, under the character of a Prophet, This, which was the first instance, must and by the zeal he manifests, they know have happened soon after the miracle just not how far the reform may spread ; aud related ; the latter instance occurred near every priest and every ruler, conscious of the close of his ministry, and is related by abuses, trembles lest it should exteud to the three other Evangelists. (Niatt. xxi. 12; him; - the more so as reformers are naMark xi. 15; Luke xix. 45.)

turally sanctioned by the injured and opTo avoid repetition, we beg to refer our pressed. Certain Jews, therefore, probably

His conversation]

(with Nicodemus. CHAP. III.

him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,

Except a man be born again, he canTHERE was a man of the Pharisees, not see the kingdom of God.

damed Nicodemus, a ruler of the 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How Jews:

can a man be born when he is old ? can 2 The same came to Jesus by night, he enter the second time into his moand said unto him, Rabbi, we know ther's womb, and be born? that thou art a teacher come from God: 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I for no man can do these miracles that say unto thee, Except a man be born thou doest, except God be with him. of water and of the Spirit, he cannot

3 Jesus answered and said unto enter into the kingdom of God.

EXPOSITION. deputed by the Saphedrin, demand of him be had said this.” So our Lord had prua sign, or miracle, in proof of bis divine mised, that after his resurrection the Holy authority as a Reformier: “ What sign Spirit should bring “ all things to their re. shewest thou uvto us, seeing that thou membrance" which he had said to them. doest tbese things?".

(Ch. xiv. 26.) Jesus replied, no doubt with such an In this, and in every instance in which expressive action (pointing to himself) as the Jews demanded a miracle, our Lord might have led them to a just interpreta constantly refused to gratify them, because tion of his meaning: “ Destroy this tem- his miracles were mostly designed to relieve ple," meaning the temple of his body; the poor and the distressed : during the * and in three days I will raise it up." The time of the Passover, however, Jesus reJews, however, whether through inatten- maining at Jerusalem, wrought many mitiga or perverseness, understood Jesus as racles, and those who saw them believed in speaking of the temple in which they then him ; but these people, though they acWere; and, therefore, shocked with the im- tually witnessed many miracles of this naposubility of such a thing, they exclaiin, ture, were always inquiring after others** Forty and six years was this temple in probably wishing to see soine splendid exbuilding, and wilt thou rear it in three hibition of his power-such as that to which days?" “ But (says the historian) he Satan tempted him (Matt. iv. 6), to cast spake of the temple of his body,”

himself down from a piunacle of the temA difficulty has been felt in making out ple, before all the congregation. But Jesus, de" forty and six years" here mentioned, though he never sent away a poor and miSince, by the account of Josephus, it was serable object in distress, never wrought a built within eight or nine. Lardner re- miracle merely to exhibit himself, or gratify barks, however, that this refers to what curious hearers. Herod did at his own expense; but the As to those who did, or at least professed deys were continually adding improve to believe in him, he knew too much of Toents and embellishments, as late as human nature to trust in them. "He 4.D. 65, within a few years of its final knew man"-his weakness, frailness, and destruction by Titus. Yet they, as well as inconstancy; and he knew “ what was in the Christians, called this the second tem- man," pamely, the deceitfulness and deple. (See Lard. Cred. i. ch. 11.)

pravity which was in his heart. (Matt. xv. Not only did the Jews misunderstand 18, 19.) He, therefore, never trusted himour Lord, as to the temple of which he self in the hands of his enemies till his Spake, but his disciples appear not to have hour was come, to offer himself in sacrifice tomprehended his meaning till after his for our salvation. resurrection : “ then remembered they that

NOTES. CAP. III. Ver. 3. Except a man be born again. which we find in the Greek.” Tiic oldest versions

Narz. * from above." So ver. 7. 'The Greek concur in the former interpretation, which is also Sarthen) in ambiguous, and means either " again," clearly the sense of the word in Gal. iv.9.

frana abore:” and anime expositors prefer the Ver. 5. Ercept a man be born of water and of the Her interpretation, which it is clear the word Spirit-i.e. Except a man be born not only of water, cars, both in ver.31, of this chapter, and in ch. xix. but also of the Spirit. Christian baptism, strictly

* But that the coinmon version is here preler speaking, was not yet instituted ; the only baptism se says Dr. Campbell), is evident from the answer known to Nicodemus was that of Proselytism, which ea by Nicodemus, which shows that he under had bren long practised by the Jews, and was now

11 uo aberwise tban as a second birth. And practised both by John and Jesus; but are the advobe remefobered that, in the Chaldee language cates of baptismal regeneration prepared to say, that a by our Lord, there is not the same ambiguity John's baptism was attended with a regenerating NOTES-Chap. III. Con. power? or that it was necessary to salvation For life, which are by no means necessary to our ex our parts, without undervalning any divine ordi- istence. nonce, we are far from thinking either of the Chris. Ver. 8. 7'he wind bloweth.-Not only does t1 tian Sacraments by any means absolutely essential same word stand for both wind and spirit, in t1 to salvation, though certainly highly important in

The nature of ]


(Regeneration. 6 That which is born of the flesh is 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, flesh; and that which is born of the and thou hearest the sound thereof, but Spirit is spirit.

canst not tell whence it cometh, and 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, whither it goeth : so is every one that Ye must be born again.

is born of the Spirit. (F)


be irreproachable. Nor, 2, any merely (F) Ver. 1–8. Our Lord's discourse with outward rite; for after this solemn introNicodemus.- The doctrine of Regeneration, duction, to make the great essential of or the new birth, is here proposed in terms Christianity consist merely in an outward so clearly indicative of its high importance, rite, would be an instance of the bathos as to call for our particular attention. Ni in Theology, which be far from our Recodemus was not only a ruler, or magistrate deemer! But to us it appears to be that of the Jews, but, from chap. vii. 50 of this same great point which is elsewhere repre. gospel, has been generally considered as a sented, both by our Lord and his apostles, member of the Sanhedrim, or great council under images very similar. Thus, when of Jewish rulers. He came to Jesus by his disciples discovered a spirit of pride and nigbt, partly, perhaps, for the sake of pri. ambition (Matt. xviii. 3),' he set a little vacy; and partly, because then less liable child before them, and said, “ Except ye to be interrupted, either by his own friends, be converted, and become as little chilor Jesus's disciples. And though he had dren, ye shall not enter into the kingdom probably heard of his mean origin, he had of heaven." And what is this becoming as heard also of his miracles and discourses, little children, but the being born again? which marked him as the great prophet to It is to have the heart humbled by repent. be sent from heaven (Deut. xviii. 15), and ance, and renewed by grace. So St. Peter, consequently entitled to very high respect. after the day of Pentecost, addresses the He therefore addresses him by the title of murderers of his Lord (Acts jji. 19), “ ReRabbi, which was always appropriated to pent, therefore, and be converted (or betheir learned men, and cousidered as equi. come as little childreu], that your sins may valent to Doctor, among ourselves. " We be blotted out, when the tiines of refreshikuow," said he--that is, we rulers know, ing shall come from the presence of the though few of us have the courage to con Lord"-that is, when he shall come in the fess it-" that thou art a teacher, come" glory of bis gospel kingdom. And the express" from God; for no man can do these same apostle, speaking of persons thus miracles that thou doest, except God be with converted, states, that they were “ bort him." Under this impression, the Jewish again; not of corruptible seed," that is, a ruler comes to make farther enquiries into erroneous doctrines, “but of incorrupti the doctrines of Jesus, and into the reli- ble, by the word of God, which liveth ani gious system he was about to introduce abideth for ever.” (1 Pet. i. 23.) So thi amoug the people. Our Lord, meaning at apostle John, who relates this conversation once to direct him to the most important with Nicodemus, tells us, that " whosoeve part of true religion, cuts off all farther en. [in his heart] believes that Jesus is that quiries by abruptly stating, but in the most Christ, is " born of God”- the very plaras solemn manner, « Except a man be born used by our Lord, ver. 13; and that whe again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” soever loveth his brother is “horn of Go By "the kingdom of God,” it is admitted and kuoweth God, and doth not commi that our Lord must mean the gospel dis- sin"-- that is, doth not live in its allowe pensation, which could neither be under practice. (Sec i Johu iii. 9; iv. 7 ; v. I, i stood nor enjoyed without this indispensa. 18.) On a comparison of these passages ble qualification; but what can this being then, it appears to us, that the regenera born again mean? Not, surely, moral re- tion of which the Scriptures speak, implie forination; for, whatever might be the case faith, repentance, and good works, or work with others, this man's morals appear to meet for repentance." (Acts xxvi.ver. 20

nportant in Hebrew, as 'above noted, but also in the Greek ai their proper place. So are there many things highly Latin - Where it listeth-i. c. chooseth. imp.rtant to our health and comfort in the present

The true cause]

(of infidelity. 9. Nicodemus answered and said 16 For God so loved the world, unto him, How can these thirgs be? that he gave his only begotten Son,

10 Jesus answered and said unto that whosoever believeth in him should him, Art thou a master of Israel, and not perish, but have everlasting life. knowest not these things?

17 For God sent not his Son into the 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, world to condemn the world ; but that We speak that we do know, and testify the world through him might be saved. that we have seen; aud ye receive not 18 He that believeth on him is not ar Fitness.

condemned: but he that believeth not 12 If I have told you earthly things, is condemned already, because he hath and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, not believed in the name of the only if I tell you of heavenly things? begotten Son of God.

13 And no man hath ascended up 19 And this is the condemnation, to heaven, but he that came down from that light is come into the world, and heaven, even the Son of man which is men loved darkness rather than light, in heaven.

because their deeds were evil. 14 And as Moses lifted up the ser- 20 For every one that doeth evil peat in the wilderness, even so must hateth the light, neither cometh to the the Son of man be lifted up;

light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 15 That whosoever believeth in him 21 But he that doeth truth cometh should not perish, but have eternal life. to the light, that his deeds may be

EXPOSITION. But what bas chiefly led to a different in- water," stands connected with regeneraterpretation seems to be, that these per- tion, or being “ born of the spirit,” as its ols are said to be born both" of water sign or emblem, is freely admitted, and and the spirit.” With respect to the latter, for that reason also, as we humbly conthere can be no difficulty in believing that ceive, it cannot be the thing signified. It spiritual regeneration is the work of God's was this similarity, however, as we supHoly Spirit; but what is it to “be born of pose, which led the Greek and Latin fawater;" Tbis is generally understood thers to call baptisın by the names of reof baptism, considered as a sign or em- generation, illumination, &c. ; id conseblem of true regeneration, rather than quence of which, this became the doctrine the thing itself: aud so it seems to be con- of the Greek and Latin Churches, from the sidered by St. Paul. Writing to the be- latter of wbich it has been adopted by many leving Romans (ch. vi. 3, 4), he says— Protestant divines, under different modifi**Know ye not, that as many of us as were cations of opinion, or expression, which baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized we are not called upon to examine. The into his death?” that is, into the belief of fatal mistake against wbich we wish to his death and atonement on our behalf. guard our readers, is, that true Christianity " Therefore," adds be, in allusion to what consists merely in outward rites and then seems to have been the usual mode of forms, rather than in “au honest and good baptism, " we are buried with bim by bap- heart," derived not by natural generation tisan into death"-dying to sin as he did from our depraved first parents, but reto the world; “ that like as Christ was newed by God's Spirit, and filled with holy raised up from the dead by the glory of the dispositions and desires, which necessarily Father, even so we also should walk in produce good works, and a virtuous conTiewness of life." And again (1 Cor. v. 17), versation. * If any man be in Christ, he is a new That this is not, and cannot be, effected creature ;" which corresponds with the spi- by any outward form or ceremony, is, we nepal regeneration inculcated by our Lord. think, abundantly evident from our Lord's

That baptism, or the being “ born of own words-" That which is born of the

NOTES. t. 10, Art thou a Vaster.- Camp. “ THE Ver. 20. Reproved.-Mars. « discovered.” het (didaskalos) of Israel," intimating, by the Ver. 21. He that doeth truth. Doddr." prackatie article

auc article in Greek, that he was eminent for tiseth." See chap. vii. 17.- Wrought in GodFELIU Snd talent, as a teacher of religion.

i. e, in the strength of God, or by divine assistance. AICA 13 in heaven. Cam." Whose abode But Camp. and others render it, ** Wrought accurd.

ing to God," or according to the divine will.

is locaten."

John, baptizing]

[at Enon, made manifest, that they are wrought said unto him, Rabbi, he that was in God. (G)

with thee beyond Jordan, to whom 22 After these things came Jesus thou barest witness, behold, the same and his disciples into the land of Ju- baptizeth, and all men come to him. dea; and there he tarried with them, 27 John answered and said, A man and baptized.

can receive nothing, except it be given 23 And John also was baptizing in him from heaven. Enon near to Salim, because there 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, was much water there : and they came, that I said, I am not the Christ, but and were baptized.

that I am sent before him. 24 For John was not yet cast into 29 He that hath the bride is the brideprison.

groom: but the friend of the bridegroom, 25 Then there arose a question be- which standeth and heareth him, retween some of John's disciples and the joiceth greatly because of the brideJews about purifying.

groom's voice : this my joy therefore is 26 And they came unto John, and fulfilled.

EXPOSITION—Chap. III. Continued. Alesh is flesh," that is, merely carpal and covery; but the reality of his operation is corrupt; but that which is born of the perceived by the effects produced on the Spirit” of God is purely “ spiritual," both disposition and life of the regenerate.” in its nature and effects. Nor is it certain W e shall conclude this section with that material water is at all meant, any another admirable extract from Bishop more than material fire was intended by the Taylor :-" This was strange philosophy to fiery baptism which our Lord promised to Nicodemus ; but Jesus bade him not to his disciples, Luke iii. 16. Water, and fire, wonder; for this is not a work of humanity, and air, the great purifying agents in Na- but a fruit of God's spirit, and an issue of ture, are all used as emblems of the Spirit's predestination. For the Spirit bloueth influences ou man; so " the washing of where it listeth, and is, as the wind, cerwater by the word,” and “ the washing of tain and notorious in its effects ; but secret regeneration," are explained by some of our in the principle, and in the manner of probest commentators and divines, of the pu- duction; and, therefore, this doctrine was rifying influences of the Spirit, by means not to be estimated by any proportions to of the written or preached word. (See natural principles, and experiments of Ephes. v. 26; and Titus iii. 5.)

sense, but to the secrets of a new metaOur Lord proeeeds to illustrate this by physics, and abstracted separate speculathe operation of the air or wind : “ The tions. Then Christ proceeds in his sermon, wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou telling him that there are yet higher things hearest the sound thereof; but canst not for him to apprehend and believe; for this, tell whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth: in respect of some other mysterionsness of so is every one that is born of the spirit.” his gospel, was but as earth in comparison This verse is thus illustrated by Dr. Camp- of heaven. Then he tells of his own descent hell:" Nor is there (as if he had said) from heaven, foretells his death and asany thing in this either absurd or unintel- cension, and the blessing of redemption, ligible. The wind, which in Hebrew is ex- which he came to work for mankind; be pressed by the same word as spirit, shall preaches of the love of the Father, the serve for an example. It is invisible; we mission of the Sou, the rewards of faith, hear the noise it makes, but cannot dis- and the glories of eternity." (Life of cover what occasions its rise or its fall. It Christ, Part ii. p. 22.) is known to us solely by its effects. Just so it is with this second birth. The Spirit (G) Ver. 9–21. Our Lori's discourse himself, the great agent, is invisible; his with Nicodemus continued.-Dr. Campbell manner of operating is beyond our dis- here remarks-“The reproof conveyed in

NOTES-Chap. III. Con. Ver. 23. And the Jews.-Camp. says, " Though Jusions. So also Doddridge. the common editions read Jews, the greater number Ver. 27. A man can receive.-Marg. « Take onto of MSS., among whom are some of the most va bimself,'' &c. luable, the Syriac, some ancient expositors also, Ver. 28. Ye yourselves bear me witness.-See and critics, read in the singular" John's disciples chap. i. 20. had a dispute with a Jew," or " one of the Jews."- Ver. 29. He that hath the bride, &c.-Daddr. “Ji About purifying, i. e, about baptism, and other ab. is the bridegroom that hath the bride."

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