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“ convinçeth me òf sin ? And if I say the “ truth, why do you not believe me?" If I have done any thing that makes me unworthy of belief, why do not some of you lay it to my charge, and prove that charge to be true? But if, with all your malice, you are unable to do this, it is then but just and reasonable that you should give credit to what I say. “ He that is of God, heareth God's words;
ye, therefore, hear them not, because ye are not of God.” A good and upright man, who is anxious to know and please God, and is only in search of truth, will readily listen to him who " teacheth the way " of God in truth;" it is evident, therefore, that this character does not belong to you, because ye reject the words of him who has proved himself to be come from God. “ Then answered the Jews, and said unto
him, Say we not well that thou art a Sa.,
maritan, and hast a devil?” The Jews, struck with the reasonableness of Christ's reproofs, and yet determined not to believe in him, were filled with indignation, and immediately broke out into abuse and reviling. Now, said they, we are certain that no man can blame us for saying that thou art as much an enemy to our nation as the Samaritans are, and art possessed with the spirit, of lying or madness ; for who but a Sa
maritan, or a madman, would dare to say that the seed of Abraham are not the chil. dren of God? “ Jesus answered, I have not “ a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do “ dishonour me.” The reviling words of the Jews could call up no anger in the mind of the meek and lowly Jesus; he replied to their abuse by a simple denial of the fact, of his having a lying spirit; and added, because I will say no other things than such as tend to the honour of my Father, therefore you speak thus dishonourably of me. “ And I seek not mine own glory; there “ is one that seeketh and judgeth:” I am not moved with your reproaches, because I do not aim to promote my own glory; but there is one, even God, for whose sake I willingly suffer all your malice; and who, in his own good time, will judge my righteous cause, and glorify me, as I now seek to glorify Him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a “ man keep my saying, he shall never see “ death." Leaving, therefore, my cause in the hands of God, I say again to you, with the saine assurance that I have before said it, and earnestly desirous that you should listen to the saying, and save yourselves from destruction, that if a man believe my gospel, and obey its commands, he shall obtain everlasting life.
Having thus shortly explained the text, and shewn its connection with the verses that go before it, I will now consider it more at large, and point out to you, first, the meaning of the expression, “ if a man keep “my saying;" and secondly, the nature of the reward which is promised to such cona duct," he shall never see death.'
The people that inhabited the world, when our blessed Saviour appeared in it, consisted either of Jews or Gentiles. The former were only one nation, who alone had any knowledge of the true God; the latter were covered with darkness, and worshipped idols. of wood and stone, the work of men's hands, instead of the Creator and Preserver of heaven and earth. But though the Jews had been, for many ages, a people separated from the rest of mankind, and chosen by God as his own peculiar people, to preserve the knowledge of his holy name in the world, which would otherwise have been lost in vice and superstition ; though they had been blessed with the highest favours by God, and had the most precious promises made to them, if they would but be obedient to his commandments; yet such was their obstinacy and hard-heartedness, that they had repeatedly rebelled against Him, and, at the time of our Saviour's manifestation in the flesh, had become most abominable; being proud, selfconceited, uncharitable, and selfish ; hating or despising all other nations of the world, confining salvation to their own nation; and making sure of it for themselves, by the fulfilling of the law of works, or those outward ce. remonies which their religion prescribed. It is true, they still retained a knowledge of God among them, and were very zealous for his name; but their belief had changed the glorious Majesty of heaven and earth into a partial god, who cared for the Jews alone, and whose favour they were certain of keeping, if they were but regular in their tithes, and sacrifices, and offerings. The Gentiles, on the other hand, were plunged in ignorance and abomination of every description. Saint Paul has given us the following description of their deplorable condition : they were “ filled with all unrighteousness, forni“cation, wickedness, covetousness, malicious
ness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit,
malignant, whisperers, backbiters, haters “ of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, in“ ventors of evil things, disobedient to pa“rents, without understanding, covenant “ breakers, without natural affection, im" placable, and unmerciful." brethren, was the condition of both Jews and Gentiles, or the whole world, when
Jesus Christ took upon him the nature of man; which proves beyond a doubt, that all mankind was in absolute want of a Saviour to lead them from darkness into light; to teach them the way of God in truth; and to make that propitiation for their sins, which neither the law of works among the Jews, nor the false worship among the Gentiles, could possibly do.
Let us now see how the doctrines and commandments of JESUS CHRIST, or, as they are called in the text, bis “ saying," were calculated to do this, by correcting the false notions of the Jews, and the wicked practices of the Gentiles; or in other words, by enlightening and improving the world. The gospel, in the first place, convinced all mankind of sin; and proved that the Jew, as well as Gentile, had “ sinned, and come “short of the glory of God."
" That by one man (Adam) sin entered into the “world, and death by sin, and so death " passed upon all men, for that all have “ sinned;" “ so that every mouth might be “ stopped, and all the world might become
guilty before God.” The saying" of CHRIST, or the gospel, shewed mankind, in the next place, Jew as well as Gentile, the provision which God, in his infinite mercy, had made to redeem them, through the Sam,