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and they stole away with shame and confusion; those whose age had furnished them with the most opportunities for the practice of wickedness, leading the way, and those who were just entering on the paths of vice, following them; all ashamed to justify in themselves those actions which they were ready to condemn in others, yet too proud to repent and receive the Gospel, The woman remained alone in the midst of the crowd, determined to abide by the judgment of the LORD; and struck, as it seems, with deep remorse for her crime, expecting, with fear and trembling, that he would pro nounce her condemnation; but as her accusers were gone, CHRIST dismissed her also, because it did not be long to his office as MESSIAH to give sentence in judicial causes. His kingdom was not of this world; he came to call sinners to repentance, that they might escape eternal death; and in the present instance, though he did not condemn the woman to be stoned, he by no means encouraged her to repeat her crime; on the contrary, he strictly enjoined her to reform her life, lest she should subject herself to a severer judgment from GoD than man could pronounce or inflict.
Our LORD, it seems, after the woman's departure, resumed his discourse to the people; and borrowing an allusion from the mild rays of the morning sun which illuminated the temple, called himself the Light of the world; and invited his hearers to quit the darkness of error and sin, and be guided by his doctrine to everlasting life. Notwithstanding those Seribes and Pharisees were gone who brought the woman, others still re. mained, who, enraged at the disappointment their brethren had met with, resolved to dispute with him, and attributed his assertion to vain-glory. Jesus then assured them, that his testimony concerning himself was cer
tainly true that he was convinced of his union with GOD, and knew that, in respect to his divine nature, he came from heaven, and should return thither. As for themselves, he observed, they were very incompetent judges of him and his doctrine, being entirely ignorant of spiritual things; but the case was very different with the MESSIAH, who, were he inclined to judge in spiri tual affairs, would never be liable to error, because GOD was constantly present in him, and every determination of his judgment, was regulated by the knowledge his soul received from the GODHEAD; yet he should for at present take upon himself the office of judge. If in the law of Moses two witnesses were sufficient to esta blish the credibility of any thing, surely our LORD said they ought to believe what was attested by him, since GOD had, by working miracles through him, borne tes timony to the truth of his doctrine, and also by the prophecies which so particularly described him. In order to evade those powerful arguments, which they could not refute, the Pharisees called upon our LORD to pro, dnce his FATHER, to whose testimony he appealed, pre, tending to understand that he spake of an earthly father: his answer implied, that as they were wilfully blind, it was to no purpose to hold converse with them on di, vine subjects. It was plain, from their ignorance in not distinguishing the MESSIAH, that they understood not what God had already revealed concerning him, and that he alone could give them certain information in re. spect to the mature and will of God.
It is very evident that the Pharisees were restrained by divine power, or they certainly would have seized our LORD, for so openly accusing them of ignorance, and declaring that GOD was his FATHER. Our benevo lent SAVIOUR, unwilling that even his enemies should
perish, warned them of his departure; assuring them, it would be in vain to seek for the MESSIAH in this world, when He should be gone; neither would those who rejected him here, be permitted to follow him to heaven.
Even this awful address they treated with derision, requiring to know who he was, that such regard was to be paid to him; and that it should be so fatal to neglect him? JESUS calmly answered, that he was what he styled himself in the beginning of his discourse, namely, the light of the world, what he declared himself to be in the beginning of his ministry, the Son of GOD; the WORD of the LORD, who had constantly spoken as GOD from the beginning of time; the Seed of the Woman, the Mediator of the Covenant, and the FAITH of the Patriarchs.
Plain as his doctrine must appear to those who understood the Scriptures, the Pharisees comprehended it not. Our LORD then informed them, that at a future time, after his exaltation to heaven, they should be convinced that he was the MESSIAH; and that merely as Man, he did nothing, for every word and action immediately proceeded from GoD and to prevent their regarding him as sent by the DiNIVE BEING; as the Prophets of old frequently were, with messages which they did not understand, our LORD added, that GoD was constantly present in him, and would not leave him to the sole guidance of human reason, because he was obedient to his will.
Let us not, like the proud Scribes and Pharisees, 'refuse to come to the light. As there is but one sun to enlighten our eyes, so there is but one MESSIAH to enlighten our minds. Though our SAVIOUR is in heaven; he continues to transmit his light to us; it shines in *Henry's Annotations.
every page of the Gospel; from, whence we may learn what the MESSIAH has done for us, and what he requires of us. Let us then consider the danger of dying in our sin; and, instead of raising objections against CHRIST and his GOSPEL, let us cheerfully receive the testimony which the FATHER has borne to him, that where our SAVIOUR is we may follow him. Though CHRIST has many things to say of us, and to judge concerning us, he will lay aside severe judgment, and yield to the dictates of mercy, if, in imitation of his blessed example, we strive to do always those things that are pleasing to our heavenly FATHER.
CONTINUATION OF CHRIST'S DISCOURSE WITH THE JEWS IN THE TEMPLE CONCERNING HIS PRE
From John, Chap. viii.
As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said JESUS to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth; and the truth shall make you free.
They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage, to any man; how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
JESUS answered them, Verily, verily I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin.
And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
I know that ye are Abraham's seed: but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
I speak that which I have seen with my Father and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.
Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even Gon.
JESUS said unto them, If GoD were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth, and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lust of your father ye will do: he was a murderer from the begin. ning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of GOD, heareth God's words; ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of Gon.
Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well, that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil: but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.
And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.
Verily, verily I say unto you, if a man keep my saying he shall never see death.