Wright - BT300 W8 1788

144 The NEW and CoMPLtTE LIFE of our BLESSED matter of fa&, and principles which could not be denied : they all knew, nor duri they deny, that God heareth not 'inners : they all knew, that God had heard Jesus; the miracle which he hadjuft now wrought, and which could not be denied, plainly proved this ; for it was a miracle which never had been performed by any man fince the beginning of the world: it was far aboi^e the reach of the powers of na- ture, or the attainments of human art ; and, therefore, it's origin mull be truly divine. It therefore undeniably followed, that JESUS was not a tanner, but fent from God, otherwife he could do nothing. The Pharifees were not ignorant, that this argument was conclufive; they felt it's whole force, and well knew that it could not be refilled : accordingly, they did not attempt to anfwer it, but had recourfe to punifhment, and abufive language : Thou zee altogether born in fins, and doll thou teach us, faid they : thou impudent illite- rate mortal, whofe underflanding is as dark as thy body lately was, dolt thou prefume to judge and determine, and dif- fent in opinion from the wife and learned ! Thou, who wall born under the heavicl punifhment of fin, drift thou pretend to in- ffruff the rulers of the people, who are eminent for their knowledge of the law! Having thus vented their pride and envy in reviling the poor man, the evangelifl adds, they colt him out; that is, they puffed on him the fentence of excommunication, which is the highefl pundhment it was in their power to inflih : but, though he was scut off from the Jewifh fynagogue and fo- ciety, he was received intoa fociety, whofe privileges are greater, and fromwhich he could never be excluded by any unjufl fentenoe, by any body of men, however powerful : he was unitedto a fociety whofe members are never cut off, but will unite in happinefs, love, joy, and glory, during a boundlefs eternity. That this poor manwas received amongll the number of the difciples of CHRIST, is manifef from the converfation which foon 4 after pawed between the reflored perfon and our great Redeemer : jefus heard that they had colt him out ; and when he had found him, he faid unto him, Deft thou believe in the Sani God? The man did not know how to anfwer this queflion, till he kriëw who was the great perfon which Jesus had mentioned to him; and therefore, he inquired, Who is he, Lord,, that I might believe on him? Our great Redeemer would not keep him in fufpenfe, but immediately and explicitly replied, Thou haft bothfeen him, and it is he who talketh with thee. The poor man anfwered, with gratitude and joy, Lord, I believe; and he worfhipfied him. Our Lord gracioufly accepted of his adoration, and glancing at the pride and perverfenefs of the Pharifees, he faid, For judgment I am came into this world, that they whichfee scot, mightfee; and that they whichfee, might he made blind. Some of the Pharifees, which were with him, heard there words, and, perceiving the reference to themfelves, they afked, Are we blind alfo? To which our Lord replied, Ifye were blind, yefhould have noit? but now ye fy, Wefee, there- fore yourfin remaineth. Our Lord then, to :thew the difparity between himfelf, and thofe proud, 'hypo- critical teachers, affumed the charater of a fhepherd, and difplayed his love, ten- dernefs, and care for his chofen followers, by the fimilitude of the care and watch- fulnefs of a good fhepherd over his flock; while fetch falte pretenders, and hypocri- tical teachers as the Pharifees, might fitly be compared to a gang of thieves, whole . only view is to dillurb and deflroy : The thief cometh not, but for to fleet, and to kill, and to deftroy: I am come that the fheep might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good /hef herd : the good flcejsherd giveth his life for the 'beep. And further to [hew the abfolute neeef- fity of believing in him, and receiving his dofirine, our great Redeemer compared himfelf to a door : Veriy, verily, Ifay unto