Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIÓUR, JESUS CHRIST. 139 Why dó ye not believe me? BM the reafòn is plain, you do not belong to God, ye. have no interest in his favour, nor are partakers of his grace : He that is of God, hea'reth God's words : ye therefore hear them not, becaufeye are not Of God: Thisdeclaratidti exafperated and enraged the Jews to the higheft pitch, and, with a Mixture of difdain and contempt, they re- plied, Say we not well, that thou Ort a Sa- maritan, and haft a devil? His calling the defcendants ofAbraham the children ofthe Devil, they thought was a fufficient proof; that either he muff be a profligate wretch, which they meant by calling him a Sama: titan, or elfe mült be infligated by Tome evil fpirit. But JEsus replied, that he was not under the dominion of any evil fpirit, but fpoke the words of eternal troth ; he was not in league with hell; nOr in alliance with the prince of darknefs : on the con- trary, he honoured his Father, by fpeakìng the words of truth, which he fent hitü to deliver: Ihave not a devil, faid he ; but I honour my Father; and ye do dilhOnbur me. And Ifeek not mine ownglóry: there is one that feeketh and judgeth. Our great Re- deemer, by there words, gave them to un- derftand, that he did not court their ap- plaufe, or fear their reproaches ; for there was one concerned, that was able to vin- dicate his honour, and feverely punifh all who Ihould dare to attack him. with unjufi and malignant reproaches: Our great Redeemer, having vindicated his charaEter, proceeded to make a decla- ration, which very much furprifed the Jews with whomhe was converting, Verily, verily, Ifay unto you, Paid he, if a man keep my words, hejhall neverfee death. The Jews, thinking there words had reference to a natural death, cried out, with an air of triumph, now we know that thou haft a devil. Abraham is dead, and theprophets; and thou fay, If a man keep myfaying, he ,/hall never tafe of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? And the prophets .are dead; whom makf thou thyfef? John viii. 52, 5R, To this our great Redeemer replied, that as they had lately objeEted to the teflimony which he bare of himfelf, he fhould not reft the cáüfe on that foundation, but refer it to his Father, Whom they acknowledged to be the fupreme Lord of heaven and earth : but, though they pretended to won; ship the true God, they were totally igno= rant of hini'; they neither formed kin con- ceptions of him, not worshipped him in the manner they ought ; they were not the perfons by whom he reqùired to bewor- (hipped, and whom he always accepted on the contrary, Jesus declared, that hé formed jitít ideas of God, and obeyed his precepts ; if he was tó fay he did not know him, he wouldbe a liar, like the Jews with whom he was convertng. Arid as to the patriarch Abraham, of whom they boafled fo much, he earneftly defired to fee the day of the Mefliah, and had fo much of it revealed to him, as filled his heart with gladnefs : If Ihonoùr myfelf, laidour great Redeemer, my honour is nothing it is my Father that honoureth me; of Whomyefay, he is your God, yetye have not known him, but I know him and if Ifhould fay, I know him not, Ijhould be a liar like unto you : but I know him, and k'eeP hisfaying. Your father Abraham rejoiced, or defired, to fee my day; and he faro it, and was glad. The Jews underflanding there words in a natural fenfe, concluded that he affirmed, that he was before Abraham, and knowing that he was under fifty years old, they con- fidered this declaration as abfolutely im- pofíible and highly ridiculous. They had no conception ofhis divine nature, though he had fo often told them he was the Son of God, and, of confequence, exiled with the Father before the commencement of time. This grofs flupidity and perverfe- nefs, induced our great Redeemer to áffert his dignity in the plainefl terms; Verily, verily, I fay unto you, before Abraham was, I am. This declaration fo enraged the- Jews, that they ruffled upon him with the útmoft violence and fury ; and, as no- thing