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to promote them, not only exposes his life to danger, but voluntarily gives himself up to certain death. Where shall we find such a leader? What stronger proof of disinterested regard could he have given? To this regard many have pretended; but when their professions have been brought to the trial, they have appeared to be utterly false. But Christ has given the best proof of sincerity which any human being could give. For greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. What encouragement do we derive hence, for relying upon all his declarations, especially upon that most important one, That he came from God, and had a commission from Heaven. Nothing can be more certain than that he thought himself so authorized : for he sacrifices his life in support of that character; and the miracles which he wrought prove that he could not be mistaken. Let us place ourselves under the conduct of such a shepherd without fear, and trust ourselves entirely to his directions.
2. Let Christians endeavour to maintain the character which Christ here attributes to his followers, that of sheep; inoffensive and harmless animals. Much indeed do they depart from it, when they suffer themselves to be inflamed by violent passions; to indulge in abusive language and injurious actions. Too often have Christians hereby deserved the character of wolves, rather than of sheep, tearing and devouring all around them.
3. Let those who are employed in teaching the truths of religion, encourage themselves, as Christ does, with obtaining proselytes among the wise and virtuous part of mankind. There are many who will reject their doctrines, from fear of shame or of injuring their worldly interests, or some vicious inclination; but men of honest and unprejudiced minds will listen to their voice, and with the approbation and attachment of such persons they ought to be satisfied; they are the only men whose good opinion is worth regarding
John X. 22. to the end.
22. And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter, rather, 's rainy weather.”
So the word signifies, and the connection seems to require. The festival here mentioned was instituted by Judas Maccabeus, in commemoration of purifying the temple, after it had been defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes.
23. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch.
He walked in this place as a shelter from the weather.
24. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? or, “ How long dost thou hold us in suspence?" If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.
This question was proposed with an insidious de. sign, that if Jesus had 'declared himself to be the Christ, or Messiah, they might have ground on which to prefer an accusation against him. Jesus was aware of their design, and therefore avoids the snare which they had laid for him.
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not, not told them that he was the Christ, but told them the words that follow, the works
that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.
These are sufficient to inform you whether I am the Messiah or not: if my miracles are more numerous and extraordinary than those of any preceding prophet, they will authorize you in making that conclusion: if not, you are not obliged to receive me in that character.
26. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep.
Here the verse should have terminated. The words that follow connect best with the next verse. You possess not the character and disposition which are necessary to fit men for believing in me, and for becoming my disciples.
As I said unto you,
27. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
This he had said before, in verse the fourth: he refers to it again, in order to remove all surprise or regret at the rejection of him by some of his countrymen. He now subjoins some important privileges which his sheep should enjoy, as an inducement to his hearers to assume that character.
28. And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them, 6 tear them,” out of my hand. .
Sheep, however well guarded, it is possible to take from the shepherd and destroy; but it is not so with mine: for I give them eternal life, of which no one can deprive them. This power of preserving their lives I derive from the Divine Being, whose will nothing can resist.
29. My Father which gave them me is greater than all, and no man is able to tear them out of
30. I and my Father are one, or, 66 “ I and my Father are the same thing."
That is, as the power of the Father is communicated to me, or rather is under my direction, to be in my hands, is the same thing as being in his, and is equally safe to the sheep. This passage affords no countenance to the strange doctrine that Christ and God, although distinct Beings, make but one person; but has a very plain and obvious meaning; implying no more than that to be in the hands of the Son, is the same thing as being in the hands of the Father.
31. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Offended, as we shall see presently, not at the last part of his speech, but at the first, in which he had called God his Father.
32. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; many beneficent miracles have I performed among you; for which of those works do ye stone me?
33. The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
The high offence which the Jews take at the supposition that Jesus made himself God, renders it
highly improbable that he really assumed that character, whichi
, however, many Christians imagine to have been the c:se:
34. Jesus said unto them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are Gods?
The Psalms, in which this passage is found, Ps. lxxxii. 6, are here included under the general appellation of the law, as in other parts of the New Testament.
35. If he called them Gods, unto whom the word of God came *, and the scripture cannot be broken, “
cannot be set aside,"
36. Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, “ Thou blasphemest,” because I said, I am the son of God? These verses may be paraphrased in the following
If the scriptures, the language of which cannot be arraigned, call magistrates Gods, who only exercise their oflice by a commission from Heaven, can you justly accuse me of blasphemy, for calling myself the Son of God, who have been sent into the world on an extraordinary commission, and qualified for my office by God himself? The word sanctified is borrowed from the Jewish ritual, where vessels and persons are said to be sanctified, when they are prepared for divine worship, or for any religious service. When Christ, therefore, speaks of himself as sanctified, he means prepared or qualified for the work in which he was engaged. This last verse serves to show, what
With whom the word of God was, to whom it appertained to pronounce what the word, command, law of God is; for this was the duty of a magistrate in Isracl.
Cappe's Crit. Rem. F'ol. 1. p. 231.