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(testimony to Jesus. 30 He must increase, but I must timony hath set to his seal that God decrease.
is true. 31 He that cometh from above is 34 For he whom God hath sent above all: he that is of the earth is speaketh the words of God: for God earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he giveth not the Spirit by measure unto that cometh from heaven is above all. him.
32 And what he hath seen and 35 The Father loveth the Son, heard, that he testifieth; and no man and hath given all things into his receiveth his testimony.
hand. 33 He that hath received his tes- 36 He that believeth on the Son
EXPOSITION. this verse, is thought to have an allusion ferior to what it now is in many Sunday to certain figures of speech, pretty similar Schools. Owhy will men learn every to those used on this occasion by our Lord, thing, or any thing, in preference to the and not unfrequent among the Rabbies, “ one thing needful?" who considered the baptism of proselytes But we must proceed with our Lord's as a new birth. To this sort of language, discourse. “ We teach” (perbaps meantherefore, it might be thought extraordi- ing to include the Baptist with bimselfDary that Nicodemus should be go much a “ we teach) what we do know," which stranger. I think, however, that our Lord's seems to include a strong, though tacit recensure rather relates to his being so en- flection on Nicodemus and his brethren, tirely unacquainted with that effusion of who taught without knowing what they the Spirit which would take place under ought to teach : “and we testify that we the Messiah, and which had been so clearly have seen;"intimating that none were quaforetold by the prophets." Dr. Doddridge lified to teach divine truths, but those who also doubts whether the metaphorical lan. bad in themselves the witness of their Juage of the new birth of proselytes was reality, “ The deep mysteries of godliness known at such an early age : but however (says Bp. Hall), which, to the great clerks that migbt be, Nicodemus was puzzled, as of the world, are as a book clasped and many Masters in Israel have since been, sealed up, lie open before him (the pious not at the term “born of water," which and devout man], fair and legible; and our Lord had not yet used, but at the no. while those book-men know whom they tion of a second birth. He might bave heard have heard of, he knows in whoin he hath of the Pythagorean philosophy, and of the believed." transmigration of souls, and might think Our Lord proceeds farther to instruct that our Lord had some reference to such this learned man in the principles of the 1 notion ; his mind was, however, evin gospel of his kingdom. “ If (says he) I dently confused, and not less so when, in have told you earthly things"-the simplest the next yerse, Jesus spake of being “ born truths of religion-"and ye believe not, of the spirit, of which he was capable of how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly formiog po idea, and therefore puts that things ?” that is, of things far more su. first question in au ignorant man's cate- blime. "No man hath ascended up into chism (as ag old writer calls it), “How can heaven," to search into the deep and myse these things be?" This language, how- terious things of God, “but he who came ever, clearly shows the iniserable state of down from heaven, even the Son of man, religious knowledge among the Jewish who," in reference to his divine nature, Rabbies, where all their study was spent "is" still "i in heaven," and whose proper in questions of no importance, and ritual residence is there. That Jesus Christ Services of no utility. We wish the case “ came down from heaven," is, indeed, were not similar in any modern schools of repeatedly asserted, both by himself and learning. We venerate both literature and his apostles. So ver. 31, “He that cometh science, but we could paine some schools from above, is above (or over) all." Chap. of high fame, where, not many years since, vi. 38, “ I came down from heaven, not to the state of religious knowledge was in- do mine own will," &c. St. Paul also de
NOTES. Ver. 31. Hfe that cometh from abot'e is above word here used (apeithon) is not a mere negative, Dr. Smith, "over" all. , "over" all.
He that cometh from
He that cometn from im plving & simple want of faith, but a positive (15krarea is above, or " over all.
beliet. * It signifies (says the judicions Leigb) the Ve. He that believeth not.-Doddr.“ He that want of obedience of faith." is disobedient." Camp. " He that rejecteth." The
S. JOHN. hath everlasting life: and he that be- but the wrath lieveth not the Son shall not see life; him. (H)
[only in Christ. of God abideth on
EXPOSITION_Chap. III. Continued. scribes the second Adam as “the Lord Saviour, and a great one;" and nothing is from heaven" (1 Cor. xv. 47); and many required of us, but to receive freely the similar expressions occur in the New Tes- salvation which he has freely provided. tament, which prove the divine pre-exist. But it may be asked, How is it, then, ence of our Saviour.
that all men are not saved ? " This is the But to return to the case of Nicodemus: coudemnation"-that is, the true cause of our Lord having explained to him his di- it-" that light is come into the world (for vine origin, goes on to state the errand of Christ is the true light, chap. i. 9), but mercy on which hecame down from heaven, men (have) loved darkuess rather than namely, to offer his life upon the cross, as light, because their deeds [were] evil." Inan atonement for the sins of men. This fidelity, it has often been remarked, is rahe does, first in figurative language, in al- ther a disease of the heart than of the head. lusion to the brazen serpent “ As Moses Men easily disbelieve what they wish not lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even to be true. When the light offends our so must the Son of man be listed up." The eyes, we naturally close them, at least partypical allusion has been already consi- tially; we will see no more than is agreedered in our Expos. of Numbers xxi. 8, 9, ble. And so is it also with our mental eyes : where the history occurs. The grand doc- the holy, mortifying truths of the gospel trine of redemption is then thus stated: pain us, and we will not see them. “ God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth (H) Ver. 22–36. The baptism of John, on him should not perish, but have ever and his doctrine concerning Christ.-We lasting life." The type explains by what have had repeated occasions to advert to means this should be effected. As the ser- John's mission, and his testimony to that of pent was raised up on high to the view of Christ. (See on chap. i. 19, &c.; also on Israel, so must the son of man be lifted Matt. iii. and Luke iii.) In what we add, up on the cross, that is, crucified; and thus it will be our study to avoid all unnecessary become the standard of salvation : by these repetition. What the particular question means, eventually, all nations sball be agitated between John's disciples and the drawn unto him, that is, to believe on him; Jews was, we are not informed, but judg. as he says, chap. xii. 32 : “ And I, if I be ing from the context, it might probably relifted up, will draw all men unto me." gard the different claims of their respective
Though these verses contain no difficulty masters; the disciples of John being not to explain, they contain a volume of im- so willing as their master to yield the preportant truth for enlargement, did our eminence to Jesus. John appeals to them, room permit; but we must confine our that he never assumed any thing like selves to two or three brief remarks. 1. Our equality, but on all occasions suuk into salvation originates in the pure love of God. the back ground, while he proclaimed the To imagine that we have any merits to honours of his Master; and, therefore, claim that love, is alike absurd and im- when he found his popularity increase, and pious. 2. The only meritorious cause of his own decline, instead of complaining, our salvation, is the voluntary atonement as they seem disposed to do, he not only of God's only begotten Son : “ Christ acquiesces, but rejoices in it. Like a faithonce suffered for sins, the just for the un- ful bride-man, or friend of the bridegroom, just, that he might bring us to God" instead of envying, he participates in the (1 Pet. iii. 18); or, as it is here expressed bridegroom's joy." He must increase (ver. 17), “ that the world through him (said he), but I must decrease." So the might be saved." 3. Faith in the gospel moon modestly withdraws before the rising is the only and all-sufficient instrument of sun. But he withdraws not till he has our salvation. God sent his Son, that again and again borne witness to Christ's 6 whosoever believeth in him should not superior glory. “He that is of the earth, perish, but have everlasting life." 4." Ever- as he (John) was, “is eartbly, and speaketh lasting life," or evdless happiness in a future of the earth," and earthly things “ He world, is the great end which God had in that cometh from heaven is above (or over view in the gift of his Son; and which all;" and, as it is elsewhere expressed Christ had in view in dying for us on the “God blessed for ever." (Rom. ix. 5.) cross. 5. Nothing can prevent this most Our great business with this Saviour it desirable issue, but our own obstinate 0n- cordially to receive him ; for, in rejecting belief. It is true, that man is miserably him we forfeit our own salvation. Salva fallen through sin, and can by no means tion is not proposed to us as a matter ol save himself: but God bath provided "a option, that we may take or leave it
Jesus converses with] CHAP. IV. [a woman of Samaria.
woman of Samaria? for the Jews have CHAP. IV.
no dealings with the Samaritans. WHEN therefore the Lord knew 10 Jesus answered and said unto
how the Pharisees had heard her, If thou knewest the gift of God, that Jesus made and baptized more and who it is that saith to thee, Give disciples than John,
me to drink; thou wouldest have asked % (Though Jesus himself baptized of him, and he would have given thee not, but his disciples,)
living water. 3 He left Judea, and departed again 11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, into Galilee.
thou hast nothing to draw with, and 4 And he must needs go through the well is deep: from whence then Samaria.
hast thou that living water? 5 Then cometh he to a city of Sa 12 Art thou greater than our father maria, which is called Sychar, near to Jacob, which gave us the well, and the parcel of ground that Jacob gave drank thereof himself, and his chilto his son Joseph.
dren, and his cattle? 6 Now Jacob's well was there. Je- 13 Jesus answered and said unto sus therefore, being wearied with his her, Whosoever drinketh of this water journey, sat thus on the well : and it shall thirst again: was about the sixth hour.
14 But whosoever drinketh of the 7 There cometh a woman of Sa- water that I shall give him shall never anaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto thirst; but the water that I shall give her, Give me to drink.
him shall be in him a well of water 8 (For his disciples were gone away springing up into everlasting life. unto the city to buy meat.)
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, 9 Then saith the woman of Samaria give me this water, that I thirst not, unto him, How is it that thou, being a neither come hither to draw. (1) Jew, askest drink of me, which am a
EXPOSITION. for we reject it at our peril. The fatal set their seal, as it were, to the truth of unbelief here and elsewhere spoken of, is divine revelation, and to the covenant of Dat merely that want of faith which may divine mercy. “Truth, Lord”-thy serarise from ignorance, or a deficiency of vant is a dog_" but the dogs eat of the evidence, but a positive rejection of the crumbs which fall from their master's urine testimony, arising from an aversion table.” Matt. xv, 27. to receive it; and therefore, the wrath of ru, originally denounced against sin, re.
CHAP. IV. maineth, or “abideth," on all such persous. (1) Ver. 1-15. Christ's conversation with
On the other hand, those who submit to, the woman of Samaria.-On this very inand receive Christ as their Saviour, thereby teresting narrative we offer the following
NOTES. CHAP. IV. Ver. 1. More disciples than John- Maundrell to be dog in a firm rock, abont three jards namely, at this period, when John's popularity was in diameter, and 35 in depth, of which five were full e the decline, and that of Jesus on the advance of water, but Mr. Buckingham found it dry. Neither See ebap. iii. 30.
he, nor Dr. E. Clarke, seem to doubt the identity of Pet. 2. Jesus himself baptized not. So Paul bap- the wel). Orient. Lit. No. 1343. Satthus on the "Red Tery few, being sent on the higher errand, that well-That is, says Harmer, as a weary traveller. bing the gospel. 1 Cor. i. 13-17.
About the sixth hour-ie. Noon. See Note on . 4. He must needs go through Samaria-We Matt. xxvii. 45. Teed not a
not, as sorne have done, reler for the reason Ver. 10. Living water. --By living water, the Heus to the divine decrees, for a single glance at brew's evidently understood water always in motion, ay map of Judea will show that this was the direct whether in a rising spring, or a flowing stream. *a!, and only to be avoided (as Doddr, remarks) by Stagnant waters were considered dead-as the dead along and inconvenient circuit. PET. 3. Called Swchar --The Jews gave this name Ver. 11. Thou hast nothing to draw with.-Ran
proach, meaning the country of drunkards, as wolf, speaking of the well at Bethlehem, says, the coneg to the tribe of Ephraim. See Isa. xxviii. I. people that go to dip water are provided with small 9.6. Now Jacob's well was there. This well is leathern buckets and a line, as is usual in these to be still in existence, agd is described by countries. Orient. Cust. No. 467,
ping De Spelcite las;
He convicteth her of ] S. JOHN.
[the sin of adultery, 16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call I have no husband. Jesus said unto thy husband, and come hither.
her, Thou hast well said, I have no 17 The woman answered and said, husband :
EXPOSITION—Chap. IV. Continued. observations, acknowledging (as every ho- conversation; but applies directly to one nest man ought to do) such as have been of the great topics of the gospel, the neborrowed.-1. “ When the holy Jesus (says cessity of divine influences: “Whosoever Bishop Taylor), perceiving it unsafe to be at drinketh of this water shall thirst again, Jerusalem, returned to Galilee, where the but whosoever drinketh of the water that largest scene of his prophetical office was I shall give him shall never thirst." How to be represented, he journeyed on foot so ? That water “ shall be in him a well through Samaria; and, being weary and of water, springing up unto eternal life." faint, hungry and tirirsty, he sate down Little indeed did this woman think (as is by a well, and begged water of a Sama observed by the good Prelate just quoted) ritan woman that was a sinner, who at first of the dignity of him who talked with her refused bim, with some incivility of lan- That “ he that sate upon the well had guage. But he, instead of returning anger a throne above the cherubim, In bis and passion to her rudeness, which was arms, who there rested himself, was the commenced upon the interest of a mis- sanctuary of rest and peace, where wearied taken religion, preached the coming of souls were to lay their heads, and dispose Messias to her, unlocked the secrets of her their cares, and there to turn them into heart, and let in his grace; and made à joys, and gild their thorns with glory. That fountain of living water to spring up in her holy tongue, which was parched with heat, soul,to extinguish the impure flames of lust." streamed forth rivulets of holy doctrine,
2. We observe the wisdom and kindness which were to water all the world, to turn of God, in producing good out of evil. The our deserts into paradise. And though he enmity of the Jews, in driving Jesus out begged water at Jacob's well, yet Jacob of Judea, was the means of sending Christ drank at bis. .... But because this well and his Gospel to the Samaritans. So, was deep, and the woman had nothing to oftentimes, when Ministers of the Gospel draw with, and of herself could not fathom have been persecuted in one city, and they so great a depth, therefore she refused him; have fled to another, the Gospel has been just as we do, when we refuse to give drink heard with eagerness, and has produced to a thirsty disciple. Christ comes in that the happiest effects.
bumble manner of address, under the veil 3. We observe the liberality of Jesus in of poverty or contempt; and we cannot see freely conversing with this woman, though Christ from under that robe, and we send he knew that she was a Samaritan and a him away without an alms; little considersinner, with whom neither priest nor pba, ing, that when he begs of us an alms, in risee would have deigned to speak. Even the instance of any of his poor relatives, he the woman herself seems to have been asks of us, but to give him occasion to astonished at this circumstance, for the give [us] a blessing." (Life of Christ, Jews, in the true spirit of sectarianism, Pt. ii. $ 12.) would have no dealings with the Samari- 5. But what is this living water of which tans, nor, in fact, the Samaritans with the our Saviour speaks? He has himself exJews, for they were equally bigotted and plained it in a subsequent discourse to the hostile. Alas! that men, whom God hath Jews, where, speaking of “rivers of living made of the same flesh and blood-men, water," he says, “ This spake he of the on whom be daily causes his sun to rise. Spirit which they that believe on him and his rain to fall-men, involved in the should receive." (Chap. vii. 39.) Under same just condemnation, and dependent on this image two things are intended, inthe same revelation of mercy-alas! that struction and consolation, both which are such men, that any man, should dare to of the most satisfying nature. Those say to his fellow-man, “ Stand by, for 1 who are brought under the teachings of am holier than thou!”
God's Holy Spirit will, in spiritual things, 4. We observe the important subject of desire no other teacher: those who partake conversation. Jesus had, indeed, asked of his consolations, will say to all the for water, and was probably much op riches and pleasures that the world gives pressed with thirst; but he waves his (as Job to his friends), “ Miserable comrequest, and directs her to the considera- forters are ye all, and physicians of uo tion of her own wants. “ If thou knewest value!" Thus they thirst no more on the gift of God, and who it is that saith to earth, and in heaven they cannot thirst. thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest “ Saviour! subdue our worldly thirst, have asked of him, and he would have
(ar love to vanity and dust. given thee living water." The Lord Jesus On us thy consolations pour, wastes not his time in general and trifling
Aud we shall drink, and thirst po more."
and teaches her how] CHAP. IV.
(to worship God. 18 For thou hast had five husbands; worship him must worship him in spiand he whom thou now hast is not thy rit and in truth. husband : in that saidst thou truly. 25 The woman saith unto him, I
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, know that Messias cometh, which is I perceive that thou art a prophet. called Christ : when he is come, he will
20 Our fathers worshipped in this tell us all things. mountain ; and ye say, that in Jeru. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak salem is the place where men ought to unto thee am he. Worship.
27 And upon this came his disci21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, ples, and marvelled that he talked with believe me, the hour cometh, when ye the woman : yet no man said, What shall neither in this mountain, nor yet seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou at Jerusalem, worship the Father. with her?
22 Ye worship ye know not what: 28 The woman then left her waterwe know what we worship : for salva. pot, and went her way into the city, tion is of the Jews.
and saith to the men, 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, 29 Come, see a man, which told me when the true worshippers shall wor- all things that ever I did : is not this ship the Father in spirit and in truth: the Christ? for the Father seeketh such to worship 30 Then they went out of the city, him.
and came unto him. (K) 24 God is a spirit: and they that
EXPOSITION. (K) Ver. 16–39. Jesus continues his of her life, as he presently proved, by say. conversation with the Samaritan woman. ing, “Thou hast well said, I have no huslor Lord having thus gained the attention band; for thou hast bad five husbands; and of this poor Samaritan, is now about to ad- he whom thou now hast is not thine husdress ber conscience. “Go (said he) and band.'" (Robinson's Claude, ii. 144.) call thy husband.” On this questiou, M. Thus she stands charged with adultery, Claude judiciously remarks: “Jesus Christ which she endeavours artfully to evade by did not speak thus because he was igno- turning the conversation : “Sir," said she, raut what sort of a life this woman lived. “ I perceive that thou art a prophet;" and the knew that, to speak properly, she had then she proposes the question as to the to busband. It was a word of trial : for right place for worship whether iu Samaria, the Lord said this to give her an opportu or at Jerusalem. Our Lord avoids this now Uity of making a free confession, I have unimportant controversy, and tells her that ** kusband. It was a word of kind reproof, the hour is fast approaching, when the serfor he intended to convince her of the sin vice of God should not be confined, either la which she lived. It was a word of grace, to this place or that; but when they who for the censure tended to the woman's con- worship God, must " worship him in spirit plation. It was farther a word of wis- and in truth." Here two very important So, for our Lord intended to take occa- points arrest our attention—the object and son at this meeting to discover himself to the nature of religious worship. ber, and more clearly to convince her, that 1. The object of worship, God, who is a be had a perfect knowledge of the secrets spirit. Metaphysicians know, that matter
NOTES. T. 1%. Is not thy husband. The late Mr. Ma. Moabite, his father-in-law obtained leave from Can taintained
maintained carpal union to constitute tbe essence Alexander the Great to build a temple on Mount Barrigen
arege. He supposed that four of ber husbands Gerizim, which mountain they still continued to te deceased, or had been divorced; that she had reverence, though the temple had been long since Des a fifth, and deserted bim, and now lived destroyed. The people were a mixture of Cuthites, adober man. The one she had deserted must, and other Pagan nations, introduced at various
ever, still have been her husband, and the other times into the province by various conquerors. See with whom slie now cobabited, our Lord says, was 2 Kings xvii. 24, 25. It is certain that the Samari. ber bgsband. See Mon. Rev. Oct. 1780.
tans were always bitter enemies to the Jews, as well 41.20. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain ns the Jews to the Samaritans. See Neh. ii. 10, 19; mely, Gerizim. See Deut. x. 29 ; xxvii, 12, iv. 27, &c. and vi. I, &c.
The origin of this schism was as fol- Ver. 27. With the woman.-Camp. "WIIN A WOManasseh having been expelled the priest man.” Lightfoot says, it was disreputable
it was disreputable for any Darrying the daughter of Sanballat, the man of respectability to tak publicly wiwa
hility to tal publicly with a woman,
and Notes. The orig loan:-Manasseh having be Loud in DAT WE