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s not that I am he, ye shall die in your fins : Chapter Verle and they very properly asked Who art thou ?' viii. 25 But received an answer full as unintelligible as the former, viz. Even the same that I said

unto you from the beginning :'-Adding-- I • have many things to say, and to Judge of you.' (And yet he had just before in the fifteenth yerse) told them that he judged no man. And after this upon another occasion, Jesus said. For " judgment I am come into this world : that they

which see not, might see; and that they which ' fee might be made blind. (Vide John ch. ix, v. 39.) But he that sent me is true : and I & speak to the world those things which I have • heard of hiin. The next verse informs us that

they underfood not that he spake to them of the • Father. Then said Jesus unto them, When ye • have lift up the Son of Man, then shall ye know

that I am be. Who? When they had lifted up, * or crucified, the Son of Man, were they then, S or from that circumstance, to know that he was

the Son of God?' The thirtieth verse informs us' As he spake these words, many believed ' on him :' and yet the following verses inform us that a misunderstanding soon ensued, and Jesus asked them- Why do ye not understand my

speech ? Adding--Even because ye cannot hear 'my words *. Ye are of your father, the devil, 44

* Vide page 73.

(and

Chapter Verser and the lusts of your father will ye do. He vii. 48 goes on irritating the Jews till they ask-Say we

not well, that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil ? He replied, that he had not a devil ; that

they dishonoured him, but that he honoured hiš 51 Father, adding- Verily verily I say unto you,

if a man keep my saying, he shall never see · death. This unintelligible speech' irritates them still more ; they tell hin they were then assured that he had a devil : that Abraham and the prophets were dead; asked if he was greater than their father Abraham; and what he pretended to be ? After telling them that he, whom

they called their God, was his Father; that he 56 knew him, but they did not; he adds— Your

o father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and

" he saw it and was glad.' They, first reminding 57 him that he was not fifty years old, asked-And 58 hast thou seen Abraham ? His reply- Verily

Sverily I say unto you, before Abrahain was, I

ram,' put them beyond all patience, and they 59 took up stones to cast at him : but Jesus bid

himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them and so passed by. There is some obscurity in this last verse : to avoid being ftoned, Jerus hid himself: Where or how did he hide himself? What was the use of this hiding, if he soon after went out of the temple through the midst of the people ? And how did he then escape being stoned? Are questions only to be

answered ; answered ; by supposing that he rendered him- Chapter Verse self invisible. That he had this power, we are no where told : there is indeed something like it in his appearances after the resurrection : and a case something similar to the above, in Luke ch. iv, . v. 30, where Jesus escapes the people of his own town Nazareth.

The latter part of this eighth chapter and be. ginning of the ninth, affords interesting matter for enquiry— And as Jesus passed by, he saw a ix. " man which was blind from his birth. And his • disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did ' fin; this man, or his parents, that he was

born blind ? Jesus answered, neither hath this * man finned, nor his parents : but that the o works of God should be made manifest in him. • Adding-I must work the works of him that

sent me, while it is day ; the night cometh ( when no man can work. As long as I am in " the world, I am the light of the world. He then anointed the man's eyes with clay, and ordered him to wash in the Pool of Siloam : the man did so and received fight. By the question -Master, who did fin; this man or his parents; that he was born blind? and from several other passages in the gospels, it is plain the disciples held the doctrine of pre-exiitence. Had they been in an error, their Master assuredly would upon this occafion have corrected it, instead of which his reply, by implication, confirms their belief-Neither hath this man finned, nor his parents;

but

wa

but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. (The inference to be made from the conclusion of this answer is not very satisfactory. Did God cause this man to be born blind, that his delegated power of giving him fight should be made manifest in the person of Jesus? But though it is plain, the apostles held the doctrine of pre-existence ; it is not so clear that it' was admitted by the Jews who were their Mafter's auditors in the last chapter : if it was, why should they stone Jesus for saying he had, in that antecedent state, seen Abraham; or that Abraham rejoiced to see him ? St. Luke, Acts ch. xxiii, tells us the Scribes and Pharisees believed the resurrection of the dead, which was denied by the Sadducees. But historians tell us that this resurrection was of the soul, in another body, according to the system of Pythagoras; and this, for reasons given in pages 90, III, and 113, I believe to be the fact. But in this case it will be asked ; Who then were the audience mentioned above? It might be answered-Sadducees : but in this we are not warranted. Scribes and Pharisees are mentioned in that chapter, but not a word of the Sadducees. This brings us back to the Pharisees, and as they believed this antecedent ftate, their rage against Jesus, must have had fome other source. They were rigid observers of the law, and particularly so of that part which related to the Sabbath-day. Jesus, at his first outfet, had

told

told them (Matthew ch. v, v. 17, 18, 19) that Chapter Verse he was not coine to destroy, but to fulfil their law : that not a tittle of it should pass, till heaven and earch should pass : and that whoever broke the least commandment, or taught men to do so, should be called least in the kingdom of heaven. Notwithstanding all this; it appeared to them, that he afterwards not only broke the Sabbath himself, and taught others to do so likewise, but endeavoured to justify the same by saying The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath-day. Vide Matthew ch. xii, or page 63. This was a . crime they could not forgive, and for which he . had more than once fled to avoid their resentment. There is not in the Jewish law, any command so ftri&ly and frequently enjoined as the fourth which relates to the Sabbath. Vide Exodus ch. xx. ch. xxxi, v. 13, 14, ch. XXXV, v. 2, 3. Numbers ch. xv, V. 32. Jeremiah ch. xvii, v. 27. That resentment was, upon this occasion, increased by his irritating speeches, and at length roused to fury by his degrading, as they thought, their great father Abraham. John proceeds with the story of the blind man who had received sight, and should have told us, that the Pharisees first doubted the fact, as to his having been born blind, then questioned his parents; and upon their confirming it; some of the Pharisees said to Jesus— This man is not of God, because ix. 16 • he keepeth not the Sabbath-day. Others asked

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