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tion of receiving the inestimable gift of the HOLY GHOST is faith in CHRIST. This faith, as was before shewn, consists, in believing him to be the MESSIAH and the Son of God, or, GoD by his DIVINE WORD, manifested in the flesh. The prophecy in the last section was, doubtless, like other divine revelations, uttered by the prophet, in consequence of the WORD of the LORD coming to him. The DIVINE BEING did not make transient visits to the MESSIAH, but constantly abode with him and who can doubt that this was the case, when they find our LORD adopting the very expressions made use of by the WORD of the LORD, who came to the Prophets, and repeating, in his own name, the promises which the LORD had before made? Let us then receive our SAVIOUR's repeated declaration, that the LORD, in him, actually visited and dwelt with his people, as a true and undeniable testimony of the performance of the divine promises; and let us follow him as our Leader, and obey him as our Lawgiver. There is, to be sure, great mystery in this doctrine; but what finite mind can penetrate into the councils of eternal wisdom? As the LORD's ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts than our thoughts, we should set bounds to our curiosity, and contemplate them with an humble sense of his greatness, and our own littleness.
If we carefully consult the Prophecies, and compare them with the Gospel, we may obtain satisfactory proof that the GODHEAD dwelt in him. Let us, therefore, endeavour to purchase, with faith, the inestimable treasures of divine grace, which no earthly riches can procure; and incline our ear to our GOD and SAVIOUR, that our souls may live. Let us seek JEHOVAH while he is to be found, and call upon him while he is near at hand. If we will not acknowledge him in the MESSIAH, he will hide himself from us; and without the media
tion of CHRIST, we shall never gain admittance to his glorious presence.
And since it appears, that by not understanding the writings of the Old Testament we lose a principal part of the testimony for the truth of our Saviour's divine mission; and are exposed to a variety of delusions, let us study, though we are not Jews, the Law and the Prophets; which contain such exact descriptions of many circumstances recorded of our Saviour in the New Testament, as will greatly tend to confirm our faith in him as the Redeemer of the world. And let us without being biassed either by former prejudices, or the insinuations of others (be their rank in life or reputation for knowledge ever so great) take a candid exami. nation of our LORD's doctrine, and we shall soon perceive its divine origin. Then shall we understand how to esteem this gracious proclamation of his, in which we ourselves are interested, for Jesus is glorified, and the Gentiles are received into his church.
From John, Chap. viii.
Jesus went unto the mount of Olives;
And early in the morning he came again into the tem ple, and all the people came unto him, and he sat down and taught them.
And the Scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him But JESUS stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground. as though he heard them
So when they continued asking him, he lift up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even to the last and JESUS was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When Jesus had lift up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, LORD. And JESUS said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Then spake JESUS again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself: thy record is not true.
JESUS answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I came, and whither I go.
Ye judge after the flesh, I judge no man :
And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
I am one that bear witness of myself; and the Fa. ther that sent me, beareth witness of me.
Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? JESUS answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father if ye had known'n me, ye should have known my Father
These words spake Jesus in the treasury as he taught in the temple and no man laid hands on him, for his hour was not yet come.
Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I
go, ye cannot come.
Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath, I am from above: ye are of this world, I am not of this world.
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And JESUS saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
I have many things to say, and to judge of you: he that sent me is true: and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.
They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.
Then said JESUS unto them, When ye have lift up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am the, and that I do nothing of myself: but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
And he that sent me, is with me: the Father hath not left me alone: for I do always those things that please him.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. Notwithstanding the conspiracy which our LORD knew was formed against him, he sat down and taught in the Temple with authority; but was soon interrupted by his constant enemies the Scribes and Pharisees, who would neither hear him themselves, nor suffer others to do so.
The woman they brought to him had been guilty of a crime for which the Jewish law condemned person's to be stoned; and as the court, before which she was to be tried, was not yet assembled, they resolved to see how our LORD would proceed in such a case, as he professed to supersede some of the precepts of the Mosaic law, or to give them a new interpretation: and they knew, that which way soever he might determine, they should have a pretence for accusing him, either to the Romans, for pronouncing sentence of death against her without authority from them: or to the Sanhedrim, for a contempt of the law of Moses. Our LORD, to disappoint their malice, appeared at first inattentive to their question; but on their continuing importunate, he gave that admirable answer by which he avoided the snare they had laid for him. He tacitly acknowledged that the offender deserved to be prosecuted, but appealed to their consciences whether they, according to the rules of morality, were fit to be her prosecutors; referring also to the law of Moses *, which enjoined, that the execution, in such cases, should be begun by the witnesses, To shew that he was not fearful of the resentment of the Pharisees, our LORD again wrote on the ground. It is in vain to conjecture what he wrote, neither is it material for us to know; but it was to his enemies like the hand-writing on the wall, which oc casioned such consternation in the palace of Belshazzart
* Deut. xii. 7.
+ Dan. v. 9.