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30 years.

on Jesus. Consequently to publish this miracle whilst Lazarus and his sisters lived in the vicinity of Jerusalem, was to set up that worthy family as marks to the malice, not of the chief priests only, but of all the enemies of the Christian name. If we may credit tradition, Lazarus lived after this resurrection,

Within less than 20, Matthew, Mark and Luke published their gospels. But it was 32 years at least, and consequently after the death of Lazarus, that John wrote his gospel. I subjoin an observation on the suppression of a small circumstance in another passage, which is similarly accounted for, and deserves notice, because the similarity itself is a presumption of the justness of the account in the solution of both. It has been observed that all the four mention, that in the slight attempt to resist, when Jesus was apprehended, the high priest's servant had an ear cut off, but John alone acquaints us that the disciple who did this was Simon Peter. The fact must have been well known to them all : but the other gospels were written in Peter's lifetime; this alone after his death, when the mention of that circumstance could nowise hurt him. The uniformity of this caution in the sacred writers appearing in different instances, renders the justness of the reasons assigned the more probable. I may add, that, from circumstances which to a superficial view seem to add improbability to a narrative, there arises sometimes, when nearly inspected, additional presumptive evidence of its truth. There is also in these hints what may serve to confirm the traditions and early accounts we have both of the writers of the gospels, and of the time of their composition. This gospel may be truly said to interfere less with the rest than these do with one another: in consequence of which, if its testimony cannot often be pleaded in confirmation of theirs, neither is it liable to be urged in contradiction. It is remarkable also, that though this Evangelist appears, more than any of them, to excel in that artless simplicity, which is scarcely compatible with the subtlety of disputation, we have, in his work, a fuller display of the evidences of our religion, on the footing on which it then stood, than in all the rest put together.

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$ 12, HERE we have also the true sources of Christian consolation under persecution, and the strongest motives to faith, patience, constancy, and mutual love, in every situation wherein Providence may place us.

From the incidents here related, we may learn many excellent lessons of modesty, humanity, humility, and kind attention to the concerns of others. Nor does any one of those incidents appear to be more fraught with instruction, than the charge of his mother, which our blessed Lord, at that critical time when he hung in agony upon the cross, consigned to his beloved disciple 28. Though the passage is very brief and destitute of all artful colouring, nothing can impress more strongly, on the feeling heart, his respectful tenderness for a worthy

23 John, xix, 25, &c.

340

PREFACE TO JOHN'S GOSPEL.

parent, and his unalterable affection for a faithful friend. Upon the whole, the language employed in conveying the sentiments, is no more than the repository, the case. Let not its homeliness discourage any one from examining its invaluable contents. The treasure itself is heavenly, even the unsearchable riches of Christ, which the Apostle observes 29, to be committed to earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may, to the conviction of all the soberminded, be of God, and not of men.

13. The Apostle John, by the concurrent tes. timony of all Christian antiquity, after suffering persecution for the cause of Christ, lived to a very great age, and having survived all the other Apostles, died a natural death at Ephesus in Asia Minor, in the reign of the emperor Trajan.

29 2 Cor. iv. 7.

THE

GOSPEL BY JOHN.

SECTION I.

THE INCARNATION.

I. IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word 2 was with God, and the Word was God. This was Col. 1; 16. 3 in the beginning with God. All things were made

by it, and without it not a single creature was 4 made. In it was life, and the life was the light 5 of men. And the light shone in darkness; but

the darkness admitted it not. 6: A man named John was sent from God. This Mat. 3: 1:

man came as a witness to testify concerning the 8 light, that through him all might believe. He was

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Mar. 1; 2:

VOL. III.

SECT. I.

CH. 1.

not himself the light, but came to testify concern9 ing the light. The true light was he who, com

ing into the world, enlighteneth every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made 11 by him ; yet the world knew him not.

He came to his own home, and his own family did not re12 ceive him; but to as many as received him, believ

ing in his name, he granted the privilege of being 13 children of God, who derive their birth not from

blood, nor from the desire of the flesh, nor from

the will of man, but from God. Mat. 1; 16. 14 And the Word became incarnate, and sojourned Lu. 2; 7.

amongst us ( and we beheld his glory, the glory as

of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace 15 and truth. (It was concerning him John testified,

when he cried, This is he of whom I said, He

" that cometh after me is preferred to me ; for he 16 “ was before me.) Of his fulness we all have 17 received, even grace for his grace ; for the law

was given by Moses, the grace and the truth came 1 Ti. 6; 16. 18 by Jesus Christ. No one ever saw God; it is the 1 Jo. 4; 12.

only begotten Son, that is in the bosom of the Fa. ther, who hath made him known.

19 NOW this is the testimony of John. When the

Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to 20 ask him, Who art thou ? he acknowledged and de

nied not, but acknowledged, saying, I am not the 21 Messiah. And they asked him, Who then ? Art

thou Elijah ? He said, I am not. Art thou the 22 Prophet ? He answered, No. They said, Tell then

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