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5.

John viii. 4. They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in Jerusalem..

adultery, in the very act.

Now Moses in the law commanded that such should be
stoned: but what sayest thou?
6. 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 not.
7. 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.

*
8. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own

conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest,
even unto the last : and Jesus was left alone, and the

woman standing in the midst.
10. 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?
11. She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her,

Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

SECTION V.
Christ declares himself the Son of God.

JOHN viii. 12-20.
John viii.12, 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.

appointed for that crime, and which, through a pretended
zeal, they took upon themselves the power of executing, though
they were no less guilty of the very same sin, as is most pro-
bably implied in his words to them.

(a) Comment. in libros Histor. N. T. vol. iii. p. 286. (6) On the
Integrity of the Greek Vulgate, p. 37. (c) Nonnulli modicæ fidei, vel
potius inimici veræ fidei, credo, metuentes, peccati inapunitatem dari
mulieribus suis, illud quod de adulteræ indulgentia Dominus fecit, ad-
ferrent de codicibus suis. St. August, de Adult. conjug. lib. ii. cap. vii.
tom. vi. c. 299. (d) 'Εκτέθειται δε [Παπίας] και άλλην ισορίαν περί
γυναικός επί πολλαίς αμαρτίαις διαβληθείσης επί το Κυριά ήν το
kal' 'Elpairs 'Evayyéliov nepréxec-Euseb. Hist. Eccles. lib. iii.
cap. xxxix. p. 138, lib. v., (e) Lightfoot's Works, vol. ii. p. 562. fol.
edit. (f) Family Expositor, vol. i. p. 527. (g) Reflections on the
Life of Christ, 12mo. 1803, London, p. 75, 76, note. The same work 'is
generally printed at the end of the “ Theory of Religion."

• Our Lord here claims one of the titles given by the Jews to the Deity. Tanchuma. fol. 63. 3. and Banamidbar rabba, sect. 15. fol. 229. 1. The Israelites said to God, Holy, blessed,

, . Thou art the light of the world. If our Lord applied the word in this sense, He made himself equal with God. But the expression was sometimes used also as a title of honour to Moses; whom the Jews called obvyn 77x, the light of the world: if our Lord referred

14.

John viii.13. The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest Jerusalem.

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 come, and whither I go: but ye cannot tell

whence I come, and whither I go.
15.

Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
16. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not

alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
tt. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of

two men is true.
18. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father

that sent me beareth witness of me.
19. Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father ? Jesus

answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father : if ye

had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20.

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.

SECTION VI.

Christ declares the Manner of his Death.

JOHN viii. 21 to the end.
Soha viïi.21. 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.
23.

And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am
from above: ye are of this world ; I am not of this world.
24. 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. 25.

Then said they unto him, Who art thou ? And Jesus
said unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from

the beginning.
26. I have many things to say, and to judge of you: but

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 unto them of the
Father.
28.

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lift up the
Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am he; and that
I do nothing of myself; but as the Father hath taught
me, I speak these things.

27.

to this custom, He made himself equal to Moses, as the foun-
der of a new dispensation.-Schoetgen, vol. i. p. 366, and
Tzerot Hammor, fol. 114, 3. ap. Gill, vol iii. p. 474.

John viji.29. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not Jerusalem.

left me alone; for I do always those things that please

him.
30. As he spake these words, many believed on him.
31. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him,

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples in-
deed ;
And

ye

shall know the truth, and the truth shall make

32.

you free.

33. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were

never in bondage to any man : how sayest thou, Ye shall

be made free?
34. Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,

Whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin.
35. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever, but

the Son abideth ever.
36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be

free indeed.
37. I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to
kill me, because my

word hath no place in you.
38. I speak that which I have seen with my Father; and
ye do that which ye have seen with your

father.
89. 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.
40. 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. 41.

Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We were not born of fornication; we have one Fa

ther, even God. 42.

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.
43.

Why do ye not understand my speech? even because
ye cannot hear my word.
44. Ye are of

your

father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, 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. 45.

And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
46.

Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say
the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47.'

He that is of God, heareth God's words: therefore
hear them not, because ye are not of God.
48. Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we

not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil ?
49.

Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my
Father, and ye do dishonour me.

: ye

52.

John viii.50. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that Jerasalem.

seeketh and judgeth.
51. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my say-
ing, he shall never see death.

Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou
hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and
thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste

of death.
53. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is

dead ? and the prophets are dead : whom makest thou

thyself?
54. Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is
nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye

your

God :
55. Yet ye have not known him : but I know him : and if

I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto

you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
56. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he

saw it, and was glad.
57. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty
years old, and hast thou seen Abraham '' ?

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Before Abraham was, I am".

say, that he is

58.

10 Had our Lord been younger than the age at which the priests asumed their office, the Jews would have charged him with presumption, ignorance, or vanity. His exalted love, his generous compassion, his fervent piety, would have been attributed to inexperience, to the sallies of imagination, or to the youthful ardour of the passions. His virtues would have been associated in their minds with extravagance or romance, with enthusiam or superstition. His pity and forbearance would bave been considered as the effect of mere feeling, or weakness ; his austerity as ungatural, presumptuous, and morose.

Had our Lord, on the other hand, been an old man, it would have been said, He had lost all interest or concern in those objects and pursuits, which kindle the most active and extensive desires; that he saw things with different views from human beings in general: that he had outlived the remem. brance of the peculiar trials and temptations of early life, and made not proper allowances for the infirmities of others. Some might have reminded him, that the wisdom and experience of age were incompatible with the sprightliness and gaiety of youth ; others might have deemed his opposition to the vices and corruption of the times, as proceeding from the love of singularity, or desire of distinction. His patience and forbear. ance might have been attributed to a deficiency of energy and spirit; and even his resignation in the hour of death, to the want of the power of enjoyment among the living; and, if he had delayed the work of his ministry to a later period, the question would have been asked, why he had deferred so long the reformation of a sipful and degenerate people.-See on this subject, a Sermon by Mr. Hewlett, on the Duties of Middle Life, rol. iii. p. 278.

" As the end of our Lord's ministry approaches, He proelaims, in still plainer language, that He possessed the attributes and

John viii.59.

Then took they up stones to cast at him : but Jesus Jerusalem.

characters of the Messiah. John, in the commencement of his
Gospel, had asserted the pre-existence of Christ; and our Lord
in this passage declares the same truth.

It appears to me, that our Lord here alludes to his eternity,
as well as to his pre-existence. The passage may mean, “I
not only exist at this moment; but before Abraham was, I
exist." "I am the self-existent ; the same Being which in your
Scriptures of the Old Testament is known as the “ I am, of
your fathers. The schoolmen rightly represent the eternity of
God as a punctum stans : or, as Cowley expresses the idea, in
his description of heaven-

Nothing is there to come, and nothing past,

But an eternal Now, does always last.
And Dr. Watts

God fills his own eternal Now,

And sees our ages waste.
And Archbishop King has well described the Deity, as having
neither remembrance of the past, nor foreknowledge of the
future, but as being ever existing in all places, and ever en-
during throughout all time. Therefore whatever has, or is, or
can, or will be, form but Oue present. Sir Isaac Newton, in
his Scholium Generale, bas expressed his notion of a Deity
much in the same manner, but in the most sublime and expres-
sive language. Alike conscious of the past, the present, and the
future, our Lord asserts that such is his mode of existence, and
claims the attributes of Deity to the same extent as they apper-
tained to his heavenly Father.

The general body of Christians have understood this passage
as a plain declaration on the part of our Lord, that He did not
begin to exist at the time when he assumed a human body in
the form of an infant, but that He existed before the time of
Abraham.

It is the belief of the Christian Church, and it was the faith also of the ancient Jews, that the Word of God, their Messiah, existed before his permanent incarnation. He existed before the creation of the world, when He was one with the Father; He existed also after the creation of the world, as the Angel Jehovah.

It will not be possible, in these notes, to discuss the various misinterpretations to which the Socinian writers have resorted, to explain away the grammatical sense of this, and other passages of Scripture, which assert the divinity of Christ. The expression, however, “ Before Abraham was, I am," or before Abraham existed, I exist, is so satisfactory and so decisive, that it might have been supposed to have set the question at rest for ever. But the supporters of the Socinian heresy bave, at various times, employed all their ingenuity and learning to give anotber interpretation to these words--and have presented the world with such a selection of absurd and contradictory illustrations, as to draw upon them the undivided censure of their mildest opponent. Dr. Pye Smith, who seems to write every sentence of his reply to Mr. Belsham with a smile, an apology, or a bow, condemns the interpretation of this passage as trifling, and absolute folly. Archbishop Magee, in the higher tone of dignified rebuke, which becomes a champion of the truth, cbas. tises the ignorance, or blasphemy of the Socinian heresy, with more unsparing severity.

Πρίν 'Αβραάμ γενέσθαι, εγώ είμι, are the words in the origipal.' This is translated by Socinus : Before Abraham can be

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