Page images
PDF
EPUB

on the nature and

CHAP. III.

necessity of the next birth.

A.M. 407.31.
A.D. 17.

CCI. S.

14 [ And as Moses lifted up the | 16 T “For God so loved the world, 4. 10. An. Olymp. serpent in the wilderness, even so that he gave his only begotten Son, An.Vlyng.

must the Son of man be lifted up ; that whosoever believeth in him should 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. not perish, but have eternal life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world

[ocr errors]

('('1.3.

a Numb. 21. 9.ch. 8. 28. & 12. 32. ver. 36. ch. 6. 47.

& Rom. 5. 8. 1 John 4. 9.

Le Luke 9. 56. ch. 5. 45. & 8. 15. & 12. 47. 1 Johın 4. 14.

to heaven, in order to get the Law. It is not Moses who is in upon our Lord's argument, before he had fully stated it. to be heard now, but Jesus : Moses did not ascend to heaven; The words, un apoantat am7.c, may not perish but, are onnitted but the Son of man is come down from heaven to reveal the by some very ancient MSS, and Versions. divine will.

Verse 16. For God so loved the world] Such a love as that That came down] The incarnation of Christ is represented which induced God to give his only begotten Son to die for under the notion of his coming down from heaven, to dwell the world, could not be described :--Jesus Christ does not at. upon earth.

tempt it. He has put an eternity of meaning in the particle Which is in heaven.) Lest a wrong meaning should be taken OUTW, so, and left a subject for everlasting contemplation, from the foregoing expression, and it should be imagined that wonder, and praise, to angels and to men. The same Evanin order to manifest himself upon earth, he must necessarily gelist uses a similar mode of expression, 1 Epist. iii. 1. Beleave heaven; our blessed Lord qualifies it by adding, the Son hold, whAT MANNER of love, TOTAAN, ayatny, the Father hath of man who is in heuven : pointing out by this, the ubiquity bestowed upon us. or omnipresence of his nature: a character essentially belong- Froin the subject before him, let the Reader attend to the ing to God; for no being can possibly exist in more places following particulars. than one at a time, but he who fills the heavens and the First, The world was in a ruinous condemned slate, about earth.

to perish everlastingly; and was utterly without power to resVerse 14. As Moses lifted up] He shews the reason why cue itself from destruction. he descended from heaven, that he might be lifted up, i. e. Secondly, That God, through the impulse of his eternal crucified for the salvation of mankind; and be, by the ap- love, provided for its rescue and salvation, by giving his Son pointment of God, as certain a remedy for sinful souls, as the to die for it. brazen serpent elevated on a pole, Numb. xxi. 9. was for the Thirdly, That the sacrifice of Jesus was the only mean by bodies of the Israelites, which bad been bitten by the fiery which the redemption of man could be effected, and that it serpents in the wilderness. It does not appear to me, that is absolutely sufficient to accomplish this gracious design : for the brazen serpent was ever intended to be considered as a it would have been inconsistent with the wisdom of God, to type of Christ. It is possible to draw likenesses and resem- have appointed a sacrifice, greater in itself, or less in its merit, blances out of any thing : but in such matters as these, we than what the urgent necessities of the case required. should take heed that we go no farther than we can say, Thus Fourthly, That sin must be an indescribable evil, when it it is written. Among the Jews, the brazen serpent was con required no less a sacrifice to make atonement for it, than God sidered a type of the resurrection--through it the dying | manifested in the flesh. lived : and so by the voice of God, they that were dead shall Fifthly, That no man is saved through this sacrifice, but he be raised to life. As the serpent was raised up, so shall Christ that believes, i. e. who credits what God has spoken concernbe lifted up: as they who were stung by the fiery serpents, || ing Christ, his sacrifice, the end for which it was offered, and were restored by looking up to the brazen serpent : so those the way in which it is to be applied, in order to become efwho are infected with, and dying through sin, are healed and fectual

. saved by looking up to, and believing in Christ crucified. Sixthly, That those who believe, receive a double benefit. These are all the analogies which we can legitimately trace, 1. They are exempted from eternal perditionthat they may between the lifting up of the brazen serpent, and the cruci- not perish. 2. They are brought to eternal glory-that they fixion of Jesus Christ. The lifting up of the Son of man, may have everlasting life. These two benefits point out tacitiy may refer to his mediatorial office at the right hand of God. || the state of man :-he is guilty, and therefore exposed to puSee the note on Numb. xxi. 9.

nishment : he is impure, and therefore unfit for glory. Verse 15. That whosoever believeth] Bp. Pearce supposes They point out also the two grand operations of grace, by that this verse is only the conclusion of the 16th, and that it has which the salvation of man is effected. 1. Justification, by been inserted in this place by mistake. The words contain the which the guilt of sin is removed, and consequently the perteuson of the subject in the following verse, and seem to break || son is no longer obnoxious to perdition. 2. Sunctivation, or Those who believe, are saved ;

ST. JOHN.

those who believe not, condemned.

A.M. 331.
A. D. 27.
CCI. S.

A.D. 27.

CCI. S.

to condemn the world ; but that the rather than light, because their deeds A. M. 4931, . An. Olymp. world through him might be saved. were evil.

An. Olymp. 18 T . He that believeth on him is 20 For every one that doeth evil not condemned: but he that believeth not is hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, condemned already, because he hath not be lest his deeds should be reproved. lieved in the name of the only begotten Son 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the of God.

light, that his deeds may be made manifest, 19 And this is the condemnation, that light that they are wrought in God. is come into the world, and men loved darkness 22 | After these things came Jesus and his

a Ch. 5. 24. & 6. 40, 47. & 20. S1.

LB ch. 1. 4, 9, 10, 11. & 8. 12.

Job 24. 13, 17. Eph. 5. 13.- Or, discovered.

the purification of his nature, by which he is properly fitted quently used by the Jewish writers, for the angel of death and for the kingdom of glory.

for the devil. See many examples in Schoetgen. Verse 17. For God sent not, &c.] It was the opinion of the Because their deeds were evil.] An allusion to robbers and Jews, that the Gentiles, whom they often term the world, cut-throats, who practise their abominations in the night seanaby ôlmuh, and buyn nimis omoth hâolum, nations of the son, for fear of being detected. The sun is a common blessworld, were to be destroyed in the days of the Messiah. ing to the human race—it shines to all, envies none, and calls Christ corrects this false opinion; and teaches here a contrary all to necessary labour. If any one chuse rather to sleep by doctrine. God, by giving his Son, and publishing his design day, that he may rob and murder in the night season; he in giving him, shews that he purposes the salvation, not the does this to his own peril, and has no excuse :-his punishdestruction of the world—the Gentile people : nevertheless, ment is the necessary consequence of his own unconstrained those who will not receive the salvation he had provided for actions. So will the punishment of ungodly men be. There them, whether Jews or Gentiles, must necessarily perish; for was light--they refused to walk in it. They chose to walk in this plain reason, There is but one remedy, and they refuse the darkness, that they might do the works of darkness—they to apply it.

broke the divine law, refused the mercy offered to them, are Verse 18. Ile that believeth] As stated before on ver. arrested by divine justice, convicted, condemned, and pu16.

nished. Whence then does their damnation proceed ? From Is not condemned] For past sin, that being forgiven on his THEMSELVES. believing in Christ.

Verse 20. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light] He But he that believeth not] When the gospel is preached to who doth vile or abominable things : alluding to the subject him, and the way of salvation made plain.

mentioned in the preceding verse. Is condemned alreudy] Continues under the condemnation The word Davros, cvil or vile, is supposed by some to come which divine justice has passed upon all sinners : and has this from the llebrew viso phalas, to roll, and so cover oneself in dust superadded, he hath not believed on the name of the only be or ashes, which was practised in token of humiliation and grief, gotten Son of God, and therefore is guilty of the grossest insult. not only by the more Eastern nations, see Job xlii. 6. but to the divine majesty, in neglecting, slighting, and despising al:o by the Greeks and Trojans, as appears from Homer, Iliad, the salvation, which the infinite mercy of God had provided xviii. 1. 26. xxii. I. 414. xxiv. I. 640. compare Virgil, Æn. X. for him.

1. 844. and Orid, Metam. lib. viii. l. 528. From the above Verse 19. This is the condemnation] That is, this is the Hebrew word, it is likely 'that the Saxon ful, the English reason why any shall be found finally to perish, not that they foul, the Latin vilis, and the English vile, are derived. See came into the world with a perverted and corrupt nature, Parkhurst under Pavaos. which is true; nor that they lived many years in the prac- Lest his deeds should be reproved.] Or discovered. To manitice of sin, which is also true; but because they refused to fest or discover, is one sense of the original word $288Xw, in receive the salvation which God sent to them.

the best Greek writers ; and it is evidently its meaning in this Light is come] That is, Jesus, the Sun of righteousness, place. the fountain of light and life; diffusing his benign influences Verse 21. Wrought in God.] In his presence, and through every where, and favouring men with a clear and full revela- his assistance. This is the end of our Lord's discourse to lion of the divine will.

Nicodemus : and though we are not informed here of any Men loved darkness) Have preferred sin to holiness, Belial gond effects produced by it; yet we learn from other scripto Christ, and hell to heaven. yon chushac, darkness, is fre- tures, that it had produced the most blessed effects in his

John's farther

CHAP. III.

testimony to Christ.

CCI. 3.

CCI. 3.

A.M.4931. disciples into the land of Judea ; and dan, “to whom thou barest witness, A. M.4031. An. Olyrap. there he tarried with them, “and bap- behold, the same baptizeth, and all An. Olymp. tized.

men come to him. 23 | And John also was baptizing in Ænon, 27 John answered and said, 'A man can near to “Salim, because there was much water 5 receive nothing, except it be given him from there: "and they came, and were baptized.

heaven. 24 Ford John was not yet cast into prison. 28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 25 Then there arose a question between " I am not the Christ, but that I am sent besome of John's disciples and the Jews about pu- fore him. rifying

29 * He that hath the bride is the bridegroom : 26 And they came unto John, and said unto but 'the friend of the bridegroom, which standhim, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jor-| eth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of

_k Matt.

* Ch. 4. 2.b 1 Sam. 9. 4.-_Matt. 3. 5. 6.- 4 Matt. 14 3.-_ech himself :-—ch. 1. 20, 27.-- Mal. 3. 1. Mark 1. 2. Luke 1. 17. 1.7, 15, 27, 34. f 1 Cor. 4. 7. Hebr. 5. 4. Jam, 1.17.-- Or, take unto 22. 2. 2 Cor. 11. 2. Eph. 5. 25, 27. Rev. 21. 9:— Cant. 5. 1.

mind, and that from this time he became a disciple of Christ. they dipped themselves, tends to remove the difficulty expressed He publicly defended our Lord in the Sanhedrin, of which in the note on Matt. iii, 6. See the observations at the end he was probably a member, chap. vii. 50. and with Joseph of Mark. of Arimathea, gave him an honourable funeral, chap. xix. 39. Verse 25. John's disciples and the Jews] Instead of loudaiwy, when all his bosom friends had deserted him. See Dodd. Jews, ABELS. M. BV. nearly 100 others, some Versions and

Verse 22. Cameinto the land of Judea] Jerusalem itself, | Fathers, read loudasov, a Jer, which Griesbach has admitted where Christ held the preceding discourse with Nicodemus, into the text. The person here spoken of, was probably one was in Judea : but the Evangelist means, that our Lord quit- who had been baptized by the disciples of our Lord ; and the ted the city and its suburbs, and went into the country parts. subject of debate seems to have been, whether the baptism of The same distinction between Jerusalem and Judea is made, John or that of Christ, was the most efficacious towards puriActs i. 8. x. 39. and in 1 Macc. iji. 34. and in 2 Macc. i. fying. 1, 10. See Bp. Pearce.

Verse 26. And they came unto John] That he might decide And baptized.] It is not clear that Christ did baptize any the question. with water, but his disciples did : chap. iv. 2. and what they Verse 27. A man can receive nothing, &c.] Or, A man can did by his authority and command, is attributed to himself. receive nothing from heaven, unless it be given him. I have reIt is a common custom in all countries and in all languages, ceived not only my commission, but the power also by which to attribute the operations of those who are under the govern- | I have executed it, from above. As I took it up at God's ment and direction of another, to him by whom they are di- || command, so I am ready to lay it down when he pleases. I rected and governed. Some however suppose, that Christ at have told you from the beginning, that I was only the forefirst did baptize; but when he got disciples, he left this work runner of the Messiah ; and was sent, not to form a separate to them : and thus these two places are to be understood :- party, but to point out to men that Lamb of God, which takes 1. this place, of Christ's baptizing before he called the twelve away the sin of the world : ver. 28. disciples; and 2. chap. iv. 2. of the baptism administered by Verse 29. He that hath the bride] The congregation of bethe disciples, after they had been called to the work by lievers. Christ.

Is the bridegroom] The Lord Jesus—the Head of the Verse 23. In Ænon] This place was eight miles southward church. See Matt. xxii. 2, &c. where the parable of the from Scythopolis, between Salim and Jordan.

marriage feast is explained. There was much water] And this was equally necessary,

The friend of the bridegroom] The person whom the Greeks where such multitudes were baptized, whether the ceremony called the paranymphthere were two at each wedding : one were performed either by dipping or sprinkling. But as the waited on the bride, the other on the bridegroom : their busiJewish custom required the persons to stand in the water, and ness was to serve them, to inspect the concerns of the bridehaving been instructed, and entered into a covenant to re-chamber, and afterwards to reconcile differences between nounce all idolatry, and take the God of Israel for their God, husband and wife, when any took place. John considers then plunge themselves under the water ; it is probable that the himself as standing in this relation to the Lord Jesus, while rite was thus performed at Ænon. The consideration that espousing human nature, and converting souls to himself:

Believers on Christ

ST. JOHN.

have everlasting life.

A.D. 47. An. Olymp.

CCI. S.

crease,

A M. 4031. the bridegroom's voice: this my joy || 33 He that hath received his testimony A. M. 6031

. An. Olymp. therefore is fulfilled.

hath set to his seal that God is true.

Cils. 30 He must increase, but I must de 34 * For he whom God hath sent speak

eth the words of God; for God giveth not the 31 'He that cometh from above is above all: Spirit" by measure unta him. " he that is of the earth is earthly; and speaketh || 35 'The Father loveth the Son, and hath given of the earth : "he that cometh froin heaven is all things into his hand. above all.

36 * He that believeth on the Son hath ever32 And what he hath seen and heard, that lasting life : and he that believeth not the Son he testifieth ; and no man receiveth his testi- shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth mony.

on him.

* Ver. 13. ch. 8. 23,Matt. 28. 18. ch. 1. 15, 97. Rom. 9. 5.ci Cor. 15. 47.ch. 6. 33. 1 Cor. 13. 47. Eph. 1. 21. Pbil. 2. 9. e ver. 11. ch. 8. 26. & 15. 15.

f Rom. 3. 4. 1 Jolin 5. 10. ch. 7. 16. ch. 1. 16. Dlatt. 11. 27. & 28. 18. Luke 10. 22. ch. 5. 2), 42. & 13. 3. & 17. 2. Hebr. 7. 8.* Hab. 2. 4. ch. 1. 12. & 6. 47. ver. 15, 16. Rom. 1. 17. 1 John 3. 10.

this is the meaning of standeth by, i. e. ready to serve. See Spirit as none before him ever did. Without measure—not for the observations at the end of the chapter.

a particular time, people, purpose, &c. but for the whole comVerse 30. He must increase] His present success is but the pass of time, and in reference to all eternity. Former disbeginning of a most glorious and universal spread of right- | pensations of the Holy Spirit made partial discoveries of ineousness, peace, truth, and good-will among men.

finite justice and mercy: but now the sum of justice, in reI must decrease.] My baptism and teaching, as pointing | quiring such a sacrifice, and the plenitude of mercy, in proout the coming Messiah, must cease ; because the Messiah isviding it, shall, by that Spirit with wbich he baptizes, be now come, and bas entered publicly on the work of his glo-made manifest to all the children of men. It is worthy of rious ministry.

remark, that this was fully done after the out-pouring of the Verse 31. Is above all] This blessed bridegroom, who has | Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Acts ii. 1, &c. as may be descended from heaven, ver. 13. is above all, superior to Mo- clearly seen in all the apostolic epistles. The Jews observe, ses, the Prophets, and me.

that the Holy Spirit was given only in certain measures to the He that is of the earth) John himself, who was born in the prophets ; some writing only one book, others two. So Rab. common way of man.

Acba. Speaketh of the earth) Cannot speak of heavenly things as Verse 35. All things into his hand.] See on Matt. xi. 27. Christ can do; and only represents divine matters by these A principal design of John is, to shew that Christ was infieurthly ordinances ; for the spirit and meaning of which, you nitely above every teacher, prophet, and divine messenger, must all go to the Messiah himself.

that bad ever yet appeared. The prophets had various gifts: Verse 32. And no man receiveth his testimony.) Or, And some had visions, others dreams ; some liad the gift of teachthis his testimony no man taketh up. That is, the testimony | ing, others of comforting, &c. but none possessed all these which John had borne to the Jews, that Jesus was the pro- gifts ; Christ alone possessed their plenitude, and is all things mised Messiah. No man tuketh upNo person is found to in all. tread in my steps, and to publish to the Jews that this is the Verse 36. Hath everlasting life] He bas already the seed Christ, the Saviour of the world. See this sense of the origi- l of this life in his soul, having been made a partaker of the nal, fully proved and vindicated by Kypke in loc.

grace and spirit of lim, in whom he has believed. See on Verse 33. Hath set to his seal] That is, hath hereby confirmed the truth of the testimony which he has borne ; as a He that believeth not] Or, obeyeth not—47#wr: from a, testator sets his seal to an instrument in order to confirm it, || negative, and now, to persuade, or at lowers, to obey-the and such instrument is considered as fully confirmed by hav- | want of the obedience of faith. The person who will not be ing the testator's seal affixed to it: so I, by taking up this persuaded, in consequence does not believe ; and not baving testimony of Christ, and proclaiming it to the Jews, have | believed, he cannot obey. fully confirmed it, as I know it to be a truth; which know Shall not see life] Shall never enjoy it: there being no way ledge I have from the immediate inspiration of the Holy Spi- to the kingdom of God, but through Christ Jesus, Acts iv. 12. rit. See chap. i. 33, 34.

And none can expect to enter into this kingdom, but those Verse 34. For God giveth not the Spirit by measure] He is | who obey him ; for to such only be is the author of eternal the most perfect of all teachers, as liaving received the Holy || salvation, Heb. v. 9.

ver. 8.

Observations on the office of

CHAP. III.

the friend of the bridegroom.

But the wrath of God abideth on him.] Ogyn, the displea- || and it was upon this testimony of this friend, that the bride. sure of God. I should prefer displeasure to wrath, because groom chose his bride. the common acceptation of the latter, (fury, rage) is not pro

2. He was the internuncio between her and her spouse perly applicable here. Perhaps the original word is used in elect; carrying all messages from her to him, and from him the same sense here, as in Rom. ii. 5. iii. 5. xiii. 4, 5. Eph. to her : for before marriage, young women were very strictly v. 6. 1 Thess. i. 10. v. 9. where it evidently means punish- || guarded at home with their parents or friends. ment, which is the effect of irritated justice. Taken in this II. At the wedding : it was the business of the shoshabin, sense, we may consider the phrase as a Hebraism : punish- if necessary, ment of God, i. e. the most heavy and awful of all punish- 1. To vindicate the character of the bride. ments; such as sin deserves, and such as it becomes divine 2. To sleep in an apartment contiguous to the new married justice to inflict. And this abideth on him—endures as long || pair, to prevent the bride from receiving injury. as his unbelief and disobedience remain ! and how shall these 3. It was his office to see that neither the bride nor bridebe removed in a hell of fire! Reader! pray God that thou | groom should be imposed on by each other : and therefore, mayest never know what this continuing punishment means ! it was his business to examine and exhibit the tokens of the

bride's purity, according to the law, Deut. xxii. 13–21. Of There are many very important topics brought forward in their office in this case, the Rabbins thus speak: Olim in Juthis chapter ; the principal of which have been already illus- dea paranymphi perscrutati sunt locum (tectum) sponsi et spontrated in the notes : the subject in the 29th verse is of great se-ad scrutandum et officiosè observandum ea, quæ sponsi illa eonsequence, and requires some farther explanation.

nocte fecerint : ne scilicet alter alteri dolo damnum inferat : ne

sponsus, sanguinem virginitatis agnoscat, illum celet aut tollat : The friend of the bridegroom, is the person called among

et ne sponsa pannum sanguine tinctum, secum inferat. the Jews vw shoshabin ; and expavuje pos, paranymph, among the Greeks. Several matters are found in the Jewish writings chaste virgin, they exulted greatly; as their own character,

4. When they found that their friend had got a pure and relative to these, which may serve to throw light, not only on the discourse of John, but also on other passages of Scrip- Baptist alludes, ver. 29. This my joy is fulfilled.

and the happiness of their friend, were at stake. To this the ture.

5. They distributed gifts to the new married couple, which, 1. There were generally two shoshabinim; one for the bride,

on their marriage, were repaid either by their friend, or by another for the bridegroom : though in many instances, we his father. find the shoshabin of the bride only mentioned.

6. They continued with the bride and bridegroom the seven 2. These officers were chosen out of the most intimate and | days of the marriage, and contributed variously to the festiparticular friends of the parties :- a brother might be shosha-sity and hilarity of the occasion. bin or paranymph to his brother.

III. After marriage. 3. Though it is probable that such persons were not always

1. The shoshabin was considered the patron and advocate of found in ordinary weddings; yet they were never absent froin

the wife, and in some sort her guardian, to which the Apostle the marriages of kings, princes, and persons of distinction.

alludes, 2 Cor. xi. 2. He was generally called in to compose 4. The Jews believe that this was an ordinance appointed by God; and that he himself was shoshabin to Adam. But in husband, and reconcile them when they had been at va

any differences which might happen between her and her Bereshith Rabba it is said, that God took the cup of blessing,

riance. and blessed the first pair ; and that Michael and Gabriel were

2. They appear to have bad the keeping of the marriage shoshabins to Adam.

5. So important was this office esteemed among them, that contract, which in certain cases they tore, when they had rea. it was reckoned one of the indispensable works of charity: the marriage was dissolved ; and thus the suspected person

son to suspect infidelity on the part of the woman, by which much depending on the proper discharge of it, as we shall the marriage was dissolved ; and thus the suspected person

was prevented from suffering capitally. Schoetgen produces afterwards find.

a case like this from R. Bechai, in legem, fol. 114. “ A king 6. Those who were engaged in this office, were excused for

visited foreign parts, and left his queen with her maids : the time, from some of the severer duties of religion : be

they raised an evil report on her, and the king purposed to cause they had so much to do about the new married pair,

put her to death. The shoshabin hearing of it, tore the matriespecially during the seven days of the marriage feast.

monial contruct, that he might have it to say, the marriage is These shoshabinim had a threefold office to fulfil, viz. before, dissolved. The king having investigated the case, found the ut, and after the marriage : of each of these in order.

queen innocent: she was immediately reconciled to her husI. Before the marriage : it was the business of the sho

band, and the shoshabin was directed to write another conshabin,

tract." 1. To procure a husband for the virgin, to guard her, and 3. Schoetgen very modestly hazards a conjecture, that if to bear testimony to her corporeal and niental endowments : || the husband had either abandoned or divorced his wife, the

« PreviousContinue »