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CXXX,

not.

The man is questioned by the sanhedrim as to his cure. 73

to have been blind? Could any medicine have sect. 11 He answered so strange an effect? And he replied, A ceris called Jesus, made tain man, who is called Jesus, and who is famous

John clay, and anointed for many other extraordinary works, made clay ix. 11, mine eyes, and said by spitting on the ground, and, having anointed urto me, Go to the mine eyes with it, said to me, Go to the pool of wash : and I went and Siloam, and wash there : and accordingly I went washed, and I received and washed, and immediately received my sight; sighi.

and this is, in a few words, a true and exact

account of this wonderful fact.
12 Then said they Then said they to him, Where is he that per- 12
unto him, Where is formed this, and gave thee such directions ?
he! He said, I know

And he said, I do not know ; for I have never
yet seen him, nor ever conversed with him,

otherwise than as I just now told you.
13 They brought to And they brought him who had formerly been 13
the Pharisees him that blind to the Pharisees in the grand sanhedrim,
afore-time was blind.

that he might be examined by them; that so, if

there was any fraud in the matter, they might 14 And it was the discover and expose it.

Now it was on the 14 sabbath-day when Je

sabbath-day when Jesus made the clay', in the
sus made the clay, and
opened his eyes.

manner before related, and opened hiseyes; which
was a circumstance that some of these

s'pocri.
tical rulers pretended to take great offence at.
15 Then again the The Pharisees therefore, disposed to find all the 15
Pharisces also asked fault they could, asked him again, how, or by
him, how he had re-
ceived his sight. He what means, he received his sight. And he said
said uno them, He to them, exactly as he had before declared to the
eves, and I washed, people, He only put clay upon mine eyes, and
and do see.

I then, according to bis command, went and
washed at the neighbouring pool of Siloam, and,

behold, I do now see perfectly well.
16 Therefore said Then said some of the Pharisees, This man, 16
some of the Pharisees, though apparently possessed of some extraordi-
because he keepeth nary power, is not, to be sure, a messenger of
not the sabbath--lay. God, nor can he perform these works by a Divine
Others said, How can agency, because he observeth not the sacred rest
a man that is a sinner,

of the subbath, which the law of God so expressdo such miracles ?

And ly enjoins. But others more wisely said, How

can a man that is a notorious sinner and sabbath-
breaker, as you suppose this man to be, do such
great and beneficial miracles 5, which wear all

the

! It was on the sabbath-day, &c.) Dr. there were at least some iniracles so gloriLightfoot (in his Hor. Hed. on ver. 6.) ous, and so benevolent, that po evil agent dias shewn, that anointing the eyes on the would have either inclination or power to sabbath-day with any kind of medicine was perform them; and that they reckoned this forbidden to the Jews by the tradition of in that number. The thought scems both the elders.

rational and important, and is sct in a very & Such great and beneficial miracles.] strong light by ihe learned Mr. Chapman, This seems to intimate that they thought in his Eusebius, chap. ii.

h The

74

CXXX.

19 on this question. And they asked them, saying ed them, saying, Is

His parents are called, and examined concerning him. SECT. the marks of a divine original that can be ima. And there was a divi.

gined? And there was a warm debate and divi. sion among them. John

sion among them on this important question ; the IX. 16. few friends of Christ among them not failing to

urge so great an advantage against the rest h. 17 But, to prevent the offence that might be taken 17 They say unto at their dispute, they turned and said again to what sayest thou of

the blind man again, the blind man (that is, to bim who had been him, that he hath openblind, and still was spoken of by that title), said, He is a Prophet.

. What sayest thou concerning him, since he hath, said, He is a Prophet. as thou declarest, opened thine eyes? And he free Jy said, It is clear to me that he is a most illustrious Prophet; for surely otherwise he would have been unable to perform so great a mi

racle. 18 The Jews therefore of this great council, be 18 But the Jews did

ing generally displeased with his reply, and yet him, that he had been unable to invalidate it if the miracle was allow- blind, and received his ed, would not believe concerning him on his own sight, until they called credit, that he had formerly been blind, and had the parents of him that

had received his sight.' now received his sight ; but represented it as a confederacy between him and Jesus, by an easy fraud, to get the reputation of so extraordinary a cure : and in this view they went on roundly to censure it, till they had called in the parents of the man, who maintained that he had thus received his sight, that they might strictiy examine them

. , , 19 ask. Is this indeed your son, of whom it is reported this your son, who ye that you say

he was born blind ? Give us an ac- say was born blind ? count of the whole matter ; and particularly tell How then doth he now

us, if you are sure that he was blind from his see ? 20 birth, how then doth he now see? His parents

20 His parents ananswered them and said, We assuredly know that swered them, and said, this is our son; and affirm it to be true that he our son, and that he

was born blind, and hath continued so from his was born blind: 21 infancy: But as for this strange fact, how he But hy what

mcans he now seeth, now sees, we know not ; or who has opened his

we know not; or who eyes, we know not any more than he has told us, hath opened his eyes, not being present when the cure was wrought :

we know not: he is of he is himself of a sufficient age to answer such

age, ask him, he shall

speak for himself.
question; if you please therefore to ask him, he
will undoubtedly speak concerning himself, and
is best able to tell

you

his own story: 22 These things his parents said in this cautious These words

manner, not that they had any doubt of the cure spake his parents, be

21

a

22

cause

as

h The few friends of Christ among naturally distinguish themselves on this them, &c.] If Nicodemus, and Joseph occasion; and Gamaliel too, on the prinof Arimathea, both members of the sun. ciples he afterwards avowed (Acts v. 38, hedrim, were now present, they would 39), must have been on their side.

CXXX.

Reflections on the cure of him that was born blind.

75 cause they feared the as wrought by Jesus, but because they were afraid SECT. had agreed already, of the Jews: for the Jews, in this their highest that if any man did con. court, had already agreed, that if any one should

John fess that he was Christ, shew such regard to Jesus of Nazareth as to con- IX. 22. he should be put out of fess him to be Christ, he should immediately be the synagogue.

excommunicated and cast out of the synagoguei;
a censure which was reckoned very infamous,

and attended with many civil incapacities and
23 Therefore said his penalties. Not knowing therefore but such an 23
parents, He is of age, interpretation might be put on their owning

the truth of this miracle, his parents declined
giving any particular testimony concerning it;
and rather chose to refer them to their son, and
said, He is of age sufficient to be heard as an evi.
dence, and it will therefore be most proper that
you should ask the particulars from him.

ask him.

IMPROVEMENT.

Oh that the zeal of our great Master might quicken us his too Ver.5. negligent servants! Still is he the light of the world, by his doctrines, precepts, and example. May our eyes by Divine grace be opened to see, and our hearts be disposed to love and to fol. low this light! It was a governing maxim with him, and he meant it also for our admonition, I must work the works of him that sent 4 me while it is day; the night cometh, wherein no man can work. We are sent into the world on an important errand, to work out our own salvation, and that of others : may we improve the present day; and so much the rather, as we see the night approaching! On some the shadows of the evening are already drawing on ; and as to others, their sun may go down at noon. Let us therefore, waving the curiosity of unprofitable speculations, apply ourselves seriously to the business of life, and zealously seize every oppor-2, 3 tunity of usefulness,

Our Lord, as it should seem unasked, and by the person on 6,7whom it was wrought unknown, performed this important and extraordinary cure. And the manner in which he did it is worthy of notice : He anointed his eyes with clay, and then commanded him to wash. Clay laid on the eye-lids might almost blind a man that had sight; but what could it do towards curing blindness ? It

reminds

i If any one should confess him to be character. It also farther appears from Christ, &c.] Hence it appears, that though hence, that the parents, and indeed this our Lord was cautious of professing him- sanhedrim, knew who it was that opened self to be the Christ in express terms, yet this man's eyes, though he himself was many understood the intimations he gave; hitherto a stranger to him, and was not and that most of his disciples by this time yet acquainted with the dignity of his per: declared thcir faith in him under that son. Compare ver. 25, 36. VOL. VII. K

a Give

CXXX.

6,7

16

The man is called again before the sanhedrin. SECT. reminds us that God is no farther from the accomplishment of

any purpose or event when he works with, than without means ; and that all the creatures are only that which his almighty operation makes them.

The blind man believed, and received the immediate benefit of it. Had he reasoned, like Naaman on the impropriety of the means, he had justly been left in darkness. Lord, may our proud hearts be subdued to the methods of thy recovering grace! And may we leave it to thee to choose how thou wilt bestow favours,

which it is our highest interest on any terms to receive. 15, 17 It must be a satisfaction to every true Christian to observe the 18, 19 curiosity and exactness with which these Pharisees inquired into

the miracles of Christ, and how thoroughly they canvassed every circumstance of them. A truth like this need not fear any examination. Every new witness which they heard confirmed the

case, and confounded the obstinacy of their unbelief.-But surely 20--23 the weakness of the parents was very pitiable, who, in the midst

of the evidence and obligation of such a miracle, were more afraid of incurring a human sentence than of offending God, by failing to own so great a favour, and to confess the blessed Person by whom it was wrought. The fear of man bringeth a snare (Prov. xxix. 25); but they whose eyes Christ has opened in a spiritual sense will see a glory and excellence in him which will animate them boldly to bear their testimony to him, in defiance of all the censures which men can pass, or of all the penalties by which they can enforce them.

SECT. CXXXI.

The man who was born blind that had received his sight is a second

time examined before the sanhedrim, who, provoked by the freedom of his replies, excommunicate him ; but Jesus meets him, and declares himself to be the Son of God. John IX. 24–38.

cxxxi

JOHN IX. 27.

JOHN IX. 24. cXXX. NOW, as the sanhedrim were not able to dis- THIEN again called

cover any fraud in the miracle mentioned was blind, and said unJohn

in the preceding section by examining the pa- to him, Give God the 1X. 24. rents, they therefore called a second time for the praise : we know that

man who had been blind, and said to him, Give
glory to God, by a free confession of the fraud,
if there be any collusion or artifice in this af-
fair'; or, if the cure was really wrought in the

manner
a Give glory to God, by a free confession ridence that persons who are guilty of
of the fraud, &c.] As it is greatly for the crimes not fully proved against them should
honour of the Divine omniscience and pro- freely confess them, and not presume,

against

сxxxі. .

John

that

They are provoked at his replies.

77
manner thou affirmest, acknowledge the power, SECT:
sovereignty, and goodness, of the Divine Being
in working by so unworthy an instrument ; for
we certainly know that this Jesus of Nazareth, IX. 24.
the man of whom thou speakest, is a profligate
sinnerb, and deserves public punishment rather

than esteem.
25 He answered and Then answered he and said, If he be a sinner, I 25
said, Whether he be a know not any thing of it, having no personal ac-
not: one thing I know, quaintance with him ; but one thing I certainly

whereas I was know, and will stand to the truth of it, that blind, now I see.

whereas I wus blind, even from my birth, I now
see perfectly well, and owe my sight to the very

person whom you condemn.
26 Then said they But they again said to him, hoping that, in some 26
to him again, Wbat
did he to thee; how minute circumstance at least, he might contra-
opened he thine eyes? dict his former account, and give them some

advantage against him, Tell us once more, as
particularly as thou canst, what did he unto thee?

and how did he open thine eyes ?
ony He answered And as the man perceived that they intended 27
them, I have told you only to insnare him, he answered them eagerly,
hear: wherefore would I have told you already, and ye have not regarded
ve hear it again wil what I said, nor would at all believe me : why
ve also be his disci- would you desire to hear it again? Would you

also become his disciples, as many have lately dore, and some, perhaps, on occasion of this miracle

which he has performed on me?
98 Then they re The Pharisees then were filled with indigna- 28
Thou art his disciple; tion, and were so greatly exasperated at what
but we are Moses' dis- appeared to them so insolent a speech, that they
ciples.

reviled him in very opprobrious language, and
suid, Thou art indeed this fellow's disciple, as
many of the herd of ignorant people are ; but
we would have thee to know that we scoro the
imputation, for we are the disciples of Moses?

and

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against the dictates of conscience, to main. a notoriously wicked man. It was certain
tain their own innocence; there is a great from the principles of their sacred writings,
propriety in the phruse taken in this sense: that a person not entirely sinless might per-
(compare Josh. vii. 19, and Rev. xi. 13.) form very illustrious miracles. But how
Yet some have taken it as a general adljilo severe an insult was here on the character
Tation by the glorious name of God; as of our Redeemer, to be pronounced a knoten
1 Kings axii. 16; 2 Chron. xviii. 15; scandalous sinner by this high court of judi-
and Mat. xxvi. 63.) –The words also ad cature ! An infamy which bas seldom, in
mit another sense, which I have compre- any civilized country, fallen on any person
hended in the paraphrase ; but I prefer the not legally convicted.
former.

c We are the disciples of Moses.] Hereby b Tiis mouin is a sinner.) I cannot, with they craftily, but most maliciously and Mr. Locse ( Reasonableness of Christianity, falsely, insinnated that there was such an p. 28), imagine this any proof of a trudition opposition between Moses and Jesus, that among the Jews that the Messiah should it was impossible for the same persons to

be perfectly frre from sin; but rather con be the disciples of both. flude that sinner here, as ver, 16, signifies

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