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feen is not Hope. Certainty shuts out Hope: And, since being Children makes us only Heirs through Hope, 'tis plain, being certain that we are now the Children of God can give us no absolute Certainty of our Salvation: And therefore 'tis great Presumption to talk of Security. Our Certainty reaches to our present Condition, which is enough to keep our Minds easy and contented. Other Certainty than this might make us remiss: This may encourage us to run with Patience the Race that is before us, and to labour in the Lord; knowing that our Labour Jhall not be in vain.
John xx. 30, 31. And many other Signs truly did Jesus in the
Presence of bis Disciples, which are not written in this Book. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that believing ye might have Life through his Name.
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They give us an Account of the Nature of his Gospel, and of his End and Design in publishing it to the World. The Apostle does not pretend his Gospel to be a perfect and complete Narrative of all that our Lord did whilst he conversed among
Men, not even of all the Miracles and Wonders which he wrought in Confirmation of his Doctrine : Many other Signs truly did Jesus,—which are not written in this Book. He adds farther, that the Signs omitted in his Account were done in the Presence of his Disciples, and were, consequently, of as good Authority as those related by himself. This was but a necessary Piece of Caution ; for St. John wrote his Gospel late, towards the End of his Life, after the Apostles ar Disciples of Christ had spread the Gospel far and near, and had both by Preaching and Writing published the great
Works and Signs done by their Master. To prevent therefore the Suspicions which some might be apt to entertain of their Teachers, when they found the great Evidences insisted on by them not mentioned by St. John, who, being the last Writer of the Apostles, would naturally, for that Reafon, be supposed to be the most accurate ; he declares that he had not recounted all the Signs done by Jesus, but that there were many others, which, having been wrought in the Presence of the Disciples, might very well be taught and published by them, though omitted by himself.
But why does St. John, fpeaking of the Miracles of Jefus, take notice only that they
were done in the Presence of the Disciples ? whereas in truth they were done in the Face of the Sun, in the most open and publick Manner, in the Sight of Friends and Foes; which is so advantageous a Circumstance, and which adds so much to the Credibility of the Signs, that it ought ever to be remembered. St. John knew this very well, having in the course of his Gospel often taken notice of this very Thing: Particularly in the Story of Lazarus he tells us, that many Jews were with Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning their Brother, who followed Jesus to the Grave, and saw Lazarus come forth to Life upon his Call: Many of which, says St. John, Ch. xi. 45, 46, having seen the Things which Jesus did, believed on bim : But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what Things Jesus had done, But the Reafon why this is not insisted on in the Text is, that it was not to St. John's Purpose: He is there speaking of the authoritative Promulgation of the Gospel, as is evident from the last Verse, These Things are written that ye might believe : And this led him nọ farther than to observe that the Preachers and Publishers of the Gospel were Eye-witnesses of the Things they attested, and therefore unexceptionable Witnesses.