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the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an bireling, and not she shepherd, whose owu the sheep are hot, teeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The bireling fleeth because be is an .bireling, and careth not for the sheep. John ix. i1, 12, 13.
And as I am the gooil skepherd, and so earnest in tending them, so I know every particular sheep, am able to claim it, in whose possession soever it be, and know every thing relating to the sheep. I know the circumstances wherein they are placed, and well acquainted with their wants, and can judge what assistances they stand in need of. Besides I love them all with the greatest sincerity, and approve of their obedience to me, because, though it be imperfect, it is sincere. For they have just notions of my dignity and character: they know that I am their shepherd and Saviour sent from God; and that I am able to feed them with knowledge, deliver them from the punishment of sin, and bestow on them eternal life, and procure them a place in the blissful mansions of my father's kingdom. “I am the good sheplierd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine." John X. 14.
And this mutual knowledge and love of each other is like that subsisting between me and my father. " As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father : and I lay down my, life for the sheep.” John X. 15.
fully submit to my laws. There shall be then but one visible church, they, shall know me, shall distinguish my voice from that of a stranger, and though consisting of Jews and Gentiles, yet shall they have but one shepherd to feed and govern them : for the middle wall of the partition shall be broken down. “ And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold : them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice ; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” John x. 16.
And because I lay down my life to save the world, therefore my heavenly Father loveth me. But though I lay down my life, I will take it again; for I will in due time rise from the dead. I do not, however, either lay down my life, or rise from the dead, without the appointment of the Almighty. I act in both according to the divine wisdom, and agreeable to the will of my heavenly Father. , “ Therefore doth niy heavenly Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down, of myself: I have power to lay it down ; and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” John x. 17, 18.
Various were the effects produced by this discourse, upon the minds of the Jews. Some of them cried out that he was mad, or possessed with a devil, and that it was the highest folly to hear them ; while others, who judged more impartially of him and his doctrine, declared that his discourses were not those of a lunatic, nor his miracles the works of a devil; asking those who were enemies to Jesus, if they imagined any devil was able to confer the faculty of sight on one that was born blind ? ." There was a division, therefore, again among the Jews, for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad : why hear ye bim? Others said, these are not the works of him that hath a devil : Can a devil open the eyes of the blind ?” John X. 19, 20, 21.
I will give a convincing proof of the love I bear the sheep; I will lay down my life for them; an instance of regard that will never be given by any hireling.
But I have other sheep besides these of theseed of Abraham ; numbers of my flock are among the Gentiles. These also I must bring into my Church, and they must cheer
Soon after, as Jesus was standing in So- ! The Jews were so incensed at this de lomon's porch, the Jews came to him, claration, which they considered as blásdesiring that he would tell them plainly, phemous, that they took up stones to cast at whether he was the expected Messiah, or him, in conformity to the law, which comnot? But Jesus knowing that they did mands all blasphemers to be stoned. But not ask this question for information, but to Jesus asked them, which of the beneficent gain an opportunity of accusing him to the | miracles he had wrought, in confirmation Romans, as a seditious person, who en- of his mission, deserved such treatment ? dearoured to deceive the people, by pre “ Many good works have I shewed you tending to be the great Son of David, pro from my Father; for wbich of those works eised by the prophets, in order to usurp do ye stone me?" As if he had said, I the kingdom, told them, that they must have fed the hungry in the desart, I have form a judgment of him from his actions. , healed the lame, I have cleansed the lepers, “ I told you, and ye believe not: the works I have cured the sick, I have given sight to that I do in iny Father's name, they bear the blind, I have cast out devils, and I have witness of me. But ye believe not, be raised the dead: for which of these works cause ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto are ye going to stone me? Do these mirayou." John X. 25, 26. Your unbelief is cles indicate that the author of them is an the effect of your attachment to this world, | impostor? Or can you be so stupid to being unwilling to receive the doctrine of think that the Almiglity would suffer any the kingdom of heaven : because you must person to perform such works, with no then renounce all your fond hopes of tem other intention than to deceive the human poral power and advantages. But, on the race? The Jews answered, we are far contrary, those who are of a meek and from thinking that thou deservest punishhumble disposition, and their minds free ment for any good work thou hast done in froni worldly passions, easily perceive the favour of the afflicted and distressed : the truth of my doctrine and miracles, and con- l punishment is intended to chastise thee for sequently are readily disposed to beconie | thy blasphemous speeches ; for thou, though my disciples. Nor shall such persons lose a weak mortal, the being of a day, like their reward ; for I will willingly receive | ourselves, arrogantly assumed the power them and make them partakers of eternal and majesty of the Most High, and by life in my Father's kingdom. And however claiming the incommunicable attributes of assiduous malicious men may be, in endea the Deity, makest thyself God. “For a vouring to hinder men from believing on good work we stone thee not: but for me, they sliall never be able to effect their blasphemy, and because that thou, being a . purpose, though assisted by all the powers man, makest thyself God.” John x. 33. of darkness. For my heavenly Father, who hath given them to me, is far greater than Jesus replied, have not the scriptures them all ; nor is any able to contend with expressly called those gods, and the sons of him ; and this powerful, this Almighty God, who were commissioned to govern Being and I are one in power. “My sheep God's people, on account of their high ofhear my voice, and I know them, and they fice, and the inspiration of the Spirit, which follow me. And I give unto them eternal was, though sparingly, bestowed upon life ; and they shall never perish, neither them ? Can you, therefore, impute to that shall any pluck them out of my hand. My person whom the Almighty had sanctified Father, which gave them mne, is greater and sent into the world to save lost manthan all; and no man is able to pluck them kind, and pay the price of redemption for out of my Father's hand. I and my Father all the sons of men ; can you, I say, imare one." John x. 27, &c.
· pute blasphemy unto him, for taking on No. 9.
himself the title of the Son of God? If my this be, the Evangelist tells us, that while own assertion be not sufficient to convince he was executing his ministry, beyond Jor
of my personal dignity, you must surely dan, he happened to pray publicly with think that the many miracles I have wrought such fervency, that one of his disciples, abundantly prove that they are the works who was exceedingly affected, both with of the Most High, as Omnipotence alone the matter and manner of his address, begcould perform them ; and therefore, that ged he would teach them to pray. the Father and I are so united, that what it came to pass, that as he was praying in ever I say or do, is approved of by the a certain place, when he ceased, one of his Almighty “Is it not wriiten in your law, disciples said unto bin, Lord, teach us to I said, Ye are gods? If he called them pray, as John also taught his disciples.” gods, upon whom the word of God came, Luke xi. 1. and the scripture cannot be broken, say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, Soon after our blessed Saviour happened and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; to cast out a devil, when some, who were because I said, I am the Son of God? If present ascribed the miracle to Beelzebub; I do not the works of my Father, believe - And he was casting out a devil, and it me not. But if I do, though ye believe not was dumb; and it came to pass, when the me, believe the works : that ye may
know devil was gone out, the dumb speak : and and believe, that the Father is in me, and I the people wondered. But some of them in him.” John X. 31, &c.
said he casteth out devils through Beelze
bub, the chief of the devils.” Luke xi. 14, But this reply, instead of satisfying the 15. However strange this argument may Jews, rather tended to enrage them the seem, and however weak and absurd it more : and Jesus, seeing it was of no con
must appear to impartial judges, yet it had sequence to reason with so headstrong a a considerable effect on illiterate persons, people, rendered himself invisible, and by especially on those whose prejudices and in that means escaped from them.--" There
terests it favoured. The pharisees pretendfore they sought again to take bim ; but he ed, that as Jesus had all along been at great escaped out of their hands.” John x. 39.
pains to oppose the traditions which most of
the teachers of that age considered as the The feast of the dedication being now essentials of religion, and the principal over, Jesus departed from Jerusalem, and
branches of piety, they concluded that he retired into the parts of Perea beyond Jor must be a very wicked person. dan. Here bis ministry was attended with great success ; for the inhabitants of the They also supposed that a false prophet country, remembering what had been told had the power of working signs and wonthem, by John the Baptist, concerning ders; and thence concluded, that our Jesus, and being sensible that the doc Saviour performed all his miracles by the trine and miracles of our blessed Saviour assistance of evil spirits, with an intention were fully equal to what the Baptist had to turn the people from the worship of the foretold, firmly believed him to be the Mes true God. siah.
Another pretended reason for ascribing his According to this supposition, which miracles to evil spirits was, that the deinons seems the most agreeable to reason, the in- themselves, when they departed out of the habitants of these countries enjoyed the persons possessed, honoured him with the doctrines and miracles of the Son of God for title of the Messiah. Their arguments, a very considerable time. But however though so evidently founded on falsehood,
contributed largely to the infidelity of the not darkness.” Luke xi. 31, &c. Take Jews, and however we may be surprised care, therefore, that thy soul is so completethat such weak reasons should have any ly enlightened by the spirit, that the emanaeffect, considering what multitudes were tion of light be not in the least interruptwitness of the many miracles the blessed Je ed by any evil passion, or affection ; that all sus performed on the sick of all sorts, on the the faculties of the soul may be as much enblind, the deaf, the dumb, the maimed, lightened and assisted, as the members of the lame, on paralytics, lunatics, demo the body are by the bright shining of a candle. niacs, and other miserable objects ; nay “ If thy whole body therefore be full of light, on the dead, whom he raised again to life; having no part dark, the whole shall be full on the winds and the seas : in a word, on of light, as when the bright shining of a every part of nature; yet experience bath candle doth give thee light.” Luke xi. 30. abundantly convinced us, that these, and their own superstitious opinions, fixed that Thus did our blessed Saviour prove the head-strong people in their infidelity. truth of his mission, against the cavils and
sophistical reasoning of his malicious encThough part of the multitude were con mies. And when he had done speaking, tent with ascribing this miracle to the power one of the pharisees present desired he would of evil spirits, others went still farther, de dine with him. The Redeemer of mankind siring him to prove himself the Messiah, accepting the invitation, though probably by giving them a sign from heaven. But given with insidious design, acJesus knowing their thoughts, refused to companied the pharisee to his house, and grant them this request ; telling them that sat down to meat, but without performing they were a wicked race of mortals, and dis
the ceremony of washing, observed by ali covered a very perverse disposition, by the other guests. seeking, after so many miracles had been performed, a sign from heaven ; and there
An omission of this kind could not fail of fore, that no greater sign should be given surprising the pharisee, as he had thereby them than the sign of the prophet Jonas.
shewn an open contempt of their tra“ This is an evil generation : they seek a ditions. Jesus, who well knew the thoughts sign; and there shall no sign be given it, of this bigotted pharisee, said to him, Your but the sign of Jonas the prophet.” Luke sect are remarkably careful to keep every xi. 29.
thing clean that touches your food, lest by
eating it, your body should be polluted ; but “No man(added the Saviour of the world) you take no pains to clean your minds from when he bath lighted a candle, putteth it the pollutions of rapine, covetousness, and into a secret place, neither under a bushel, wickedness. You must surely be convinced but on a candlestick, that they which come that he who created the body formed also the in may see the light.” No man, endued soul ; and can you imagine that the Al. with the spirit of God, concealeth the bles- mighty, who requires purity of body, besed gift ; but holdeth forth the glorious doc cause it is the work of his hands, will not trines of salvation, as it were like a candle, also insist upon a greater purity of soul, that the light of the same may shine upon which is undoubtedly the far nobler part of the souls of men, who hear them. “ The human nature ? Instead, therefore, of that light of the body is the eye: therefore when scrupulous solicitude of washing your hands, thine eye is single, thy whole body also is when ye sit down to meat, ye should be full of light : but when thine eye is evil, thy careful to apply yourselves to the great duty body also is full of darkness. Take beed, of charity : a duty that will render it impostherefore, that the light which is in thee be sible for any external things to defile you,
but will be at all times acceptable to your
Maker: 6 Now do ye pharisees make clean, you nor they will touch with one of their the outside of the cup and the platter ; but ) fingers. your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Ye fools, did not be that The blessed Jesus also condemned them ipade that which is without, make that which for building the sepulchre of the prophets, is within also ? but rather give alms of such wbom their father's had murdered : because things as ye have, and, behold, all things they did not do it from the respect which are clean unto you.” Luke xi. 39, &c. they had for the memory of these holy
men, but from a secret approbation of their But the pharisees, obstinate and per father's actions ; as too evidently appeared verse, withstood every means made use of by from their whole conduct. “ Woe unto the benigo Redeemer of mankind to conquer you : for ye build the sepulchres of the their prejudices, and bring them to the prophets, and your fathers killed them. knowledge of the truth ; and therefore our Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the blessed Saviour treated them on this occasion, deeds of your Father : for they indeed killwith a kind and wholesome severity, de- ed them, and ye build their sepulclires. nouncing against them the most dreadful Therefore, also, said the wisdom of God, I , woes, for regarding so zealously the cere will send them prophets and apostles, and monial parts of religion, and at the same some of them they shall slay and persecute: time utterly neglecting the very precepts of that the blood of all the prophets, which was their own religion.-“ Woe unto you, phao shed from the foundation of the world, might risees, for ye tythe mint and rue, and all be required of this generation : from the manner of herbs, and pass over judgment blood of Abel, unto the blood of Zacharias, and the love of God: these ought ye to have which perished between the altar and the done, and not to leave the other undone. temple : verily, I say unto you, it shall be Woe.unto you, pharisees, for ye love the required of this generation." . Luke xi. uppermost seats in the synagogues, and 47, &c. greetings in the markets. Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites : for ye Our Lord also reproved the lawyers for are as graves wbich appear not, and the filling the minds of the people with notions men that walk over them are not aware of founded on wrong interpretations of Scripthem.” Luke xi. 42, &c. .
ture, whereby they were prejudiced against
the gospel ; not being contented with reA certain lawyer, who sat at the table, jecting it themselves, but took care to hinder thinking that this rebuke, though levelled others from receiving it-o Woe unto you, principally against the scribes and pharisees, lawyers : for ye have taken away the key affected his order also, was greatly displeas of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, ed. But Jesus who had never any regard and them that were entering in ye hinder.” to the persons of men, despised his resent Luke xi. 52 meut, and told him freely what he thought of their character. “ Woe unto you, also, ye Such honest reprimands highly provoked lawyers ; for ye lade men with burdens the pharisee and his guests. They were grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves conscious of being guilty of the crimes laid to touch not the burdens with one of your their charge, but unwilling the people fingers.” Luke xi. 46. You pervert in a should think them guilty; and therefore, very erroneous mariner, the interpretation out of revenge, urged him to speak on a of scripture for no other veason than to fa variety of topics, hoping they should your the tradition of the elders, and by that I be able, by those means, to find occasion means lay so heavy a burden on the shoulders of rendering hina ubnoxious either to the of the descendants of Jacob; that newber