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Jesus drives the money-changers,

ST. JOHN.

ģc. out of the temple.

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raise it up

15 And when he had made a scourge to him, “What sign shewest thou unto A. M. 4931. An. Olymp. of small cords, le drove them all out us, seeing that thou doest these things ? An. Olymp.

of the temple, and the sheep, and the 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, oxen; and poured out the changers' money, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will and overthrew the tables ;

. 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take 20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years these things hence; make not a my Father's was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear house a house of merchandise.

it
up

in three days ? 17 And his disciples remembered that it was 21 But he spake of the temple of his body. written, ”The zeal of thine house hath eaten 22 When therefore he was risen from the dead,

his disciples remembered that he had said this 18 | Then answered the Jews and said un- unto them; and they believed the scripture,

me up:

* Luke 2. 49.-Ps. 69. 9.------- Matt. 12. 38. ch. 6. 30.- Matt. 26.

61. & 27. 10. Blark 14. 18. & 15. 29.

• Col. 2. 9. Hebr. 8. 2. So 1 Cor. 3. 16. & 6. 19. 2 Cor. 6. 16.- Late

94. 8.

“Jesus works his first miracle at Cana of Galilee, chap. ii. 11. concluding his ministry, being abont to offer up his life for then he passes a few days at Capernaum, which brings him the salvation of the world; in consequence of which, he speaks on his way to Jerusalem, ver. 12. The pass-over being near, fully and without reserve. For answers to all the objections he goes up to Jerusalem, ver. 13. and casts the traders out made against two cleansings of the temple, see the notes at of the temple, ver. 15, 16. At the pass-over he works many the end of Bp. Newcome's Greek Harmony of the Gospels, miracles, ver. 23. While he is in Jerusalem, which city he p. 7, 8, 9. does not leave till chap. iii. 22. Nicodemus comes to him by Verse 17. The zeal of thinė house] See Psal. Jix. 10. Zeal night, chap. iii. 1, 2. Chap. iii. 2. contains a reference to to promote thy glory, and to keep thy worship pure. chap. ii. 23. After these things, Jesus departs from Jeru- Verse 18. What sign shewest thou] See on Matt. xii. 38. salem, and dwells and baptizes in Judea, chap. iii. 22. And and xvi. 1. When Moses came to deliver Israel, he gave all these incidents take place before John was cast into prison, signs or miracles, that he acted under a divine commission : ver. 24. But the second cleansing of the temple, happens What miracle dost thou work, to shew us that thou art vested most clearly during the last week of our Lord's life, after the with similar authority ? death of the Baptist, and at a time when it would be absurd Verse 19. Destroy this temple] Toy ywy TOUTOY, this very to say that, afterwards Jesus dwelt and baptized in Judea.” temple ; perhaps pointing to his body at the same time.

The vindication of God's house from profanation, was the Verse 20. Forty and six years was this temple in building] first and the last care of our Lord : and it is probable he | The temple of which the Jews spake, was begun to be rebegan and finished his public ministry by this significant built by Ilerod the Great, in the 18th year of his reign : Jos. act.

Aut. b. xv. c. 11. s. 1. and xx. c. 9. s. 5,7. But though he It certainly appears that John directly asserts an early finished the main work in nine years and a half, yet some cleansing of the temple, by the series of his history; as the additional buildings or repairs were constantly carried on for other three Evangelists assert a latter cleansing of it. And many years afterwards. Herod began the work sixteen years though the act mentioned here, seems to be nearly the same before the birth of our Lord : the transactions which are here with that mentioned by the other Evangelists, yet there are related, took place in the thirtieth year of our Lord, which some differences. St. John alone mentions the scourge of make the term exactly forty-six years. Rosenmuller. Joserushes, and the casting out of the sheep and oxen. Besides, phus, Ant. b. xx. c. 8. s. 5,7. has told us, that the whole of there is a considerable difference in our Lord's manner of do- i the buildings belonging to the temple, were not finished till ing it: in the cleansing mentioned by the three Evangelists, Nero's reign, when Albinus, the governor of Judea, was suche assumes a vast deal of authority, and speaks more point- ceeded by Gessius Florus, which was eighty years after the edly concerning himself, than he appears to do in this cleans.cighteenth year of Herod's reign. See Bp. Pearce. ing mentioned by St. John: the reason which has been given Verse 21. Of the temple of his body.) Ratier, the temple, is: In the first cleansing he was just entering upon his public his body: his body had no particular temple : but it was the ministry, and therefore avoided (as much as was consistent temple of his divinity—the place in which, as in the ancient with the accomplishment of his work) the giving any offence temple, his Godhead dwelt. See how the Jews perverted so the Jewish rulers : but in the last cleansing, he was juist | these words, Matt, xxvi. 60. and ibe notes there.

Many believe on him

CHAP. III,

because of his miracles.

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CCI. 3. lem at the pass-over, in the feast day, men, many believed in his name, when they saw the 25 And needed not that any should testify of miracles which he did.

man : for a he knew what was in man.

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Ch. 6. 64. & 16. 30. Acts 1. 24. Rer. 2. 43.

• 1 Sam. 16.7. 1 Coron. 28. 9. Matt. 9. 4. Mark 2. 8.

men,

Verse 22. Remembered that he had said this unto them] Av- Verse 24. He knew all men] Instead of παντας, ,

all EGH. T015, to them, is wanting in AEHLMS. Matt. BV. upwards of and about thirty others read #ayte, every man, or all things : and one hundred others: both the Syriuc, Persie, Arabic, Coplic, this I am inclined to believe is the true reading. Jesus knew Æthiopic, Armenian, Slavonic, Vulgule, and Itala. Griesbach all things, and why? because he made all things, chap. i. 3. and has left it out of the text.

because he was the all-wise God, ver. 1. and he knew all men, They believed the scripture] The scripture which the Evan- | because he alone searches the heart, and tries the reins. He gelist immediately refers to, inay have been Psal. xvi. 10. knows who are sincere, and who are hypocritical: he knows Compare this with Acts ii. 31, 32. and with chap. xiii. 35– those in whom he can confide, and those to whom he can nei37. See also Psal. ii. 7. and compare it with leb. i. 5. and ther trust himself nor his gifts. Reader, he also knows thee : chap. v. 5. and with Acts xiii. 33. They understood these thy cares, fears, perplexities, temptations, afflictions, desires, scriptures in a sense in which they never before understood and hopes ; thy helps and bindrances; the progress thou hast them.

made in the divine life, or thy declension from it. If he know It is the properly of many prophecies, never to be under- | thee to be hypocritical or iniquitous, be looks upon thee with stood except by their accomplishment; but these are so marked, abhorrence: if he know thee to be of a meek and broken that when their fulfilment takes place, they cannot be misun- / spirit, he looks on thee with pity, complacency, and delight. derstood, or applied to any other event.

Take courage--thou canst say, Lord, thou knowest all things, Verse 23. Many believed in his name] They believed him thou knowest that I do love thee, and mourn because I love and to be the promised Messiah, but did not believe in him to the serve thee so little : then expect him to come in unto thee, salvation of their souls: for we find from the following verse, and make his abode with thee : while thy eye and heart are that their hearts were not at all changed, because our blessed simple, he will love thee, and thy whole soul shall be full of Lord could not trust himself to them.

light. To him be glory and dominion for ever.

CHAPTER III. The conversation between Nicodemus and our Lord, about the new birth and faith in his testimony, 1–15. The

love of God, the source of human salvation, 16. Who are condemned, and who are approved, 17-21. Jesus and his disciples come to Judea, and baptize, 22. John baptizes in Enun, 23, 24. The disciples of John and the Pharisees dispute about purifying, 25. The discourse between John and his disciples about Christ, in which the excellence, perfection, and privileges, of the Christian dispensation are pointed out, 26-36. A. M. 4031. THERE was a man of the Phari- . 2 • The same came to Jesus by night, A.M.4031. An. Olymp.

sees, named Nicodemus, a ruler and said unto him, Rabbi, we know An. Olymp. CCI. 3. of the Jews.

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that thou art a teacher come from God:

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* Ch. 7. 50. & 19. 39.

• Ch. 9. 16, 33. & 2. 23. & 7. 13. & 12. 42.

NOTES ON CHAP. III.

rulers among the Jews. A person of the name of Nicodemus, Verse 1. Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.] One of the mem- || the son of Gorion, is mentioned in the Jewish writinys, who bers of the Grand Sanhedrin ; for such were ordinarily styled (lived in the time of Vespasian, and was reputed to be so rich,

The discourse of our

ST. JOHN.

Lord with Nicodemus,

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the kingdom of God. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man

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& Ch. 9. 16, 59. Acts 2. 29.

6 Acts 10. $8.-ch, 1. 13. Gal. 6. 15

Tit. 3. 5. James 1. 18. 1 Pet. 1. 23. 1 John 3. 9. Or, from abore.

that he could support all the inhabitants of Jerusalem for ten the Messiah's kingdom : and in reference to this, he imme
years. But this is said in their usual extravagant mode of diately says, Ercept a man be born again, &c.
talking

The repetition of amen, or verily, verily, among the Jewish
Verse 2. Came to Jesus by night] He had matters of the writers, was considered of equal import with the most solemn
utmost importance, on which he wished to consult Christ ; | oath.
and he chose the night season, perhaps less through the fear of Be born again] Or, from above : different to that new
man, than through a desire to have Jesus alone, as he found birth, which the Jews supposed every baptized proselyte en-
him all the day encompassed with the multitude ; so that it joyed ; for they held that the Gentile, who became a prose-
was impossible for him to get an opportunity to speak fully lyte, was like a child new born. This birth was of water from
on those weighty affairs, concerning which he intended to con- below : the birth for which Christ contends is avw-far, from
sult him. However, we may take it for granted, that he had above-by the agency of the Holy Spirit. Every man must
no design at present to become his disciple; as baptism and have two births, one from heaven, the other from earth : one
circumcision, which were the initiating ordinances among the of his body, the other of his soul : without the first, he can-
Jėws, were never administered in the night time. If any per- not see nor enjoy this world, without the last he cannot see
son received baptism by night, he was not acknowledged for a nor enjoy the kingdom of God. As there is an absolute ne-
proselyte. See Wetstein.

cessity that a child should be born into the world, that he Rabbi] My Master, or Teacher, a title of respect given may see its light, contemplate its glories, and enjoy its good; to the Jewish dectors, something like our Doctor of Divinity, so there is an absolute necessity that the soul should be brought i. e. teacher of divine things. But as there may be many out of its state of darkness and sin, through the light and found among us, who, though they bear the title, are no power of the grace of Christ, that it may be able to see, ide, teachers, so it was among the Jews : and perhaps it was in or, to discern, the glories and excellencies of the kingdom of reference to this, that Nicodemus uses the word sodatxaros, Christ here, and be prepared for the enjoyment of the kingdidaskalos, immediately after, by which, in chap. i. 39. St. dom of glory hereafter. The Jews had some general notion Jobn translates the word Rabbi Rabbi, teacher, is often no of the new birth : but like many among Christians, they put more than a title of respect : didaskalos signifies a person, the acts of proselytism, baptism, &c. in the place of the Holy wlio not only has the name of teacher, but who actually Spirit and his influence : they acknowledged that a man must does teach.

be born again, but they made that new birth to consist in proWe know that thou art a teacher come from God] We, all | fession, confession, and external washing. See on ver. 10. the members of the Grand Sanhedrin, and all the rulers of The new birth which is here spoken of, comprehends not the people, who have paid proper attention to thy doctrine only what is termed justification or pardon, but also sanctifiand miracles. We are all convinced of this, though we are cation or holiness. Sin must be pardoned, and the impurity not all candid enough to own it. It is possible however, that of the heart washed away, before any soul can possibly enter ondaysy, we know, signifies no more than, it is known, it is into the kingdom of God. As this new birth implies the regenerally acknowledged and allowed, that thou art a teacher newing of the whole soul in righteousness and true holiness come from God.

it is not a matter that may be dispensed with : heaven is a No man can do these miracles] It is on the evidence of thy place of holiness, and nothing but what is like itself, can ever miracles that I ground my opinion of thee. No man can enter into it. do what thou dost, unless the omnipotence of God be with Verse 4. How can a man be born when he is old ?] It is prohim.

bable that Nicodemus was pretty far advanced in age at this Verse 3. Jesus answered] Not in the language of compli- time; and from his answer we inay plainly perceive, that ment:-- he saw the state of Nicodemus's soul, and he imme- like the rest of the Jews, and like multitudes of Christians, diately addressed himself to him on a subject, the most inter- he rested in the letter, without paying proper attention to the esting and important. But what connection is there between spirit: the shudow, without the thing signified, had hitherto our Lord's reply, and the address of Nicodemus? Probably ! satisfied him. Our Lord knew him to be in this state, and our Lord saw, that the object of his visit was to inquire about this was the cause of his pointed address to him.

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on the nature and

CHAP. III.

necessity of the new birth.

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A. M. 4031. be born when he is old ? can he enter 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, A. N.4031.
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8 The wind bloweth where it list5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto eth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but thee, * Except a man be born of water and of canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of it goeth : so is every one that is born of the God.

Spirit. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and 9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

How can these things be?

* Mark 16. 16. Acts 2. 58. Or, from above.

c Eccles. 11. 5. 1 Cor. 2. 11.->ch. 6. 52, 60.

Verse 5. Of water and of the Spirit] To the baptism of viz. the Holy Ghost under the similitude of fire-pervading water a man was admitted, when he became a proselyte to every part, renning and purifying the whole. the Jewish religion; and in this baptism, he promised in the Verse 6. That which is born of the flesh is flesh] This is most solemn manner to renounce idolatry, to take the God of the answer to the objection made by Nicodernus in ver. 4. Israel for his God; and to have his life conformed to the pre- | Can a man enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be cepts of the divine law. But the water which was used on born ? Our Lord here intimates, that were even this posthe occasion, was only emblem of the Holy Spirit. The sible, it would not answer the end: for the plant will ever soul was considered as in a state of defilement, because of | be of the nature of the seed that produces it-like will beget past sin: now, as by that water, the body was washed, its like. The kingdom of God is spiritual and holy; and that cleansed, and refreshed; so by the influences of the Holy which is born of the Spirit, resembles the Spirit; for as he Spirit, the soul was to be purified from its defilement, and I is who begat, so is he who is begotten of him. Therefore strengthened 10 walk in the way of truth and holiness. the spiritual regeneration is essentially necessary, to prepare

When John came baptizing with water, he gave the Jews the soul for a holy and spiritual kingdom. the plainest intimations that this would not suffice; that it Verse 8. The wind bloweth] Though the manner in which was only typical of that baptism of the Holy Ghost under this new birth is effected by the Divine Spirit, be incomprethe similitude of fire, which they must all receive from Jesus hensible to us; yet we must not, on this ground, suppose it Christ : see Matt. iii. 11. Therefore, our Lord asserts that a to be impossible. The wind blows in a variety of directions man must be born of water and the Spirit, i. e. of the Holy -we hear its sound, perceive its operation in the motion of Ghost, which, represented under the similitude of water, the trees, &c. and feel it on ourselves—but we cannot discern cleanses, refreshes, and purifies the soul. Reader, hast thou the air itself: we only know that it exists by the effects which never had any other baptism than that of water? If thou it produces ; so is every one who is born of the Spirit : the hast not had any other, take Jesus Christ's word for it, thou effects are as discernible, and as sensible as those of the canst not, in thy present state, enter into the kingdom of God. | wind; but itself we cannot see. But he who is born of God, I would not say to thee merely, read what it is to be born of knows that he is thus born: the Spirit itself, the grand agent the Spirit: but pray, O pray to God incessantly, till he give in this new birth, beareth witness with his spirit, that he is thee to feel what is implied in it! Remember, it is Jesus born of God, Rom. viii. 16. for, he that believeth hath the witonly who baptizes with the Holy Ghost : see chap. i. 33. He ness in himself, 1 John iv. 13. and v. 10. Gal. iv. 6. And so who receives not this baptism, has neither right nor title to does this Spirit work in, and by him, that others, though the kingdom of God: nor can he with any propriety be term- they see not the principle, can easily discern the change proed a Christian, because that which essentially distinguished duced; for whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world, the Christian dispensation from that of the Jews, was, that 1 John v. 4. its author baptized all his followers with the Holy Ghost. Verse 9. How can these things be ?] Our Lord had very

Though baptism by water into the Christian faith, was ne- plainly told him how these things could be; and illustrated cessary to every Jew and Gentile that entered into the king- the new birth by one of the most proper similies that could dom of the Messiah, it is not necessary that by water and be chosen : but so intent was this great man, on making every the Spirit, (in this place) we should understand two different thing submit to the testimony of his senses, that he appears things : it is probably only an elliptical form of speech, for unwilling to believe any thing, unless he can comprehend it, the Holy Spirit under the similitude of water; as in Matt. iji. 3. This is the case with many--they profess to believe because the Holy Ghost and fire, do not mean two things, but one, they comprehend--but they are impostors who speak thus ; The discourse of our

ST. JOHN.

Lord with Nicodemus,

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10 Jesus answered and said unto him,|| 12 If I have told you earthly things, A, M. 1951. An. Olymp. Art thou a master of Israel, and know and ye believe not, how shall ye be- An. Olymp. est not these things?

lieve, if I tell you of heavenly things? * 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, that we do know, and testify that we have seen; but he that came down from heaven, even the and 'ye receive not our witness.

Son of man which is in heaven.

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1 Cor. 15. 47.

a Matt. 11. 27. ch. 1. 18. & 7. 16. & 8. 28. & 12.49. & 14. 21.

ver. 92.

b

c Prov. 30. 4. ch. 6. 33, 38, 51, 62. & 16. 28. Acts 2. 54.

Eph. 4. 9, 10,

there is not a man in the universe, that can fully comprehend grace? Not by the water, but by the death unto sin, and the one operation, either of God or his instrument nature : and new birth unto righteousness : i. e. through the agency of the yet they must believe, and do believe, though they never did, Holy Ghost, sin is destroyed, and the soul filled with holinor ever can fully comprehend, or account for, the objects of ness. their faith.

Verse 11. We speak that we do know] I and my disciples Verse 10. Art thou a master of Israel, &c.] Hast thou do not profess to teach a religion, which we do not undertaken upon thee to guide the blind into the way of truth ; stand, nor exemplify in our conduct. A strong but delicate and yet knowest not that truth thyself? Dost thou command reproof to Nicodemus, who, though a master of Israel, did proselytes to be baptized with water, as an emblem of a new not understand the very rudiments of the doctrine of salvabirth; an art thou unacquainted with the cause, necessity, tion. He was ignorant of the nature of the new birth. How nature, and effects, of that new birth! How many masters wretched is the lot of that minister, who, while he professes are there still in Israel, who are in this respect deplorably to recommend the salvation of God to others, is all the while ignorant; and, strange to tell, publish their ignorance and dealing in the meagre, unfruitful traffic of an unfelt truth! folly in the sight of the sun, by writing and speaking against Let such either acquire the knowledge of the grace of God the thing itself! It is strange that such people cannot keep themselves, or cease to proclaim it. their own secret.

Ye receive not our witness.] It was deemed criminal among “But water baptism is this new birth.” No. Jesus tells the Jews, to question or depart from the authority of their you, a man must be born of water and the Spirit; and the teachers. Nicodemus grants that our Lord is a teacher come water and its effects upon the body, differ as much from this is from God; and yet scruples to receive his testimony relative Spirit, which it is intended to represent, and the effects pro- to the new birth, and the spiritual nature of the Messiah's duced in the soul, as real fire does from painted flame. kingdom.

“ But I am taught to believe that this baptism is regenera- Verse 12. If I have told you earthly things] If, after I have tion.” Then you are taught to believe a falsity. The church illustrated this new birth by a most expressive metaphor, taken of England, in which perhaps you are a teacher or a mem- from earthly things, and after all you believe not; how can ber, asks the following questions, and returns the subjoined you believe, should I tell you of heavenly things, in such lan

guage as angels use, where earthly images and illustrations “ 2. How many sacraments hath Christ ordained in his can have no place? Or, if you, a teacher in Israel, do not church?”

understand the nature of such an earthly thing or custom of A. Two only, as generally necessary to salvation, that is the kingdom, established over the Jewish nation, as being to say, baptism and the supper of the Lord.”

born of baptism, practised every day in the initiation of pro“ Q: How many parts are there in a sacrament?”

selytes; how will you understand such heavenly things, as A. Two. The outward visible sign, and the inward spi- the initiation of my disciples by the baptism of the Holy ritual grace.”

Ghost and fire from heaven, if I should proceed further on “ 2. What is the outward visible sign, or form in bap- the subject ? tism?"

Verse 13. No man hath ascended] This seems a figurative “ A. Water, wherein the person is baptized, In the name expression for, No mun huth known the mysteries of the kingof the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.dom of God; as in Deut. xxx. 12. Psal. lxxii, 17. Prov. “ 2. What is the inward and spiritual grace?

xxx. 4. Rom. xi. 34. And the expression is founded upon “ A. A death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteous- this generally received maxim : 'That to be perfectly acquaintness ; for being by nature born in sin, and the children of ed with the concerns of a place, it is necessary for a person wrath, we are hereby made the children of grace.”

to be on the spot. But our Lord probably spoke to correct a Now I ask, Whereby are such persons made the children of false notion among the Jews, viz. that Moses had ascended

answers.

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