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CHAPTER IX.

MARCH 22, JULY 21, Nov. 17. And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind ? Jesus answered, Neither hath

3 Neither have he nor his parents, this man sinned, nor his pa- however they are like other men, rents : but that the works of offenders against God's perfect law, God should be made mani- 80 conspicuously sinned, as to call fest in him. I must work down any special judgment. The

occasion is an opportunity for my the works of him that sent divine power to be mercifully exerme, while it is day : the night cised for his relief *.” cometh, when no man can 6“My doctrines, like light, give work. SAs long as I am in guidance, safety, and comfort.” (Ch. the world, I am the light of viii

. 12.) the world. When he had 6 Means these, evidently so inadethus spoken, he spat on the quate, of themselves, to their pur

that he used them only as ground, and made clay of affording a test of faith and obedience the spittle, and he anointed on the part of the blind man. Thus the eyes of the blind man in all his benefits, the means by which with the clay, and said unto they are conferred, are as simple as

the benefit is great. him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he 9 No false shame had room in his that sat and begged ? 'Some heart

. Gratitude is ever bold to said, This is he: others said, confess obligation. He is like him : but he said, I am he. Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened ? He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash :

* A certain sect of philosophers believed that the souls of men were pre-existent. So it is first asked, what sins had this man committed in his former state of existence, that he should, as a punishment, be born blind in this ? For, being born blind, the infliction, if a punishment, must have had reference to a former state; the infant at birth not having committed actual sin. The next question supposed the son to suffer for some sin of his parents. Christian, art thou afflicted-blind, or deaf, or sick, or in other misery?

“ Whom the Lord lopeth he chasteneth." O blessed word ! The world, in all its power and greatness, can offer no comfort like this. The sick, and the afflicted in mind, body, or estate, have Almighty God as their friend.

Fear not.

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and I went and washed, and I received sight. Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not. They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles ? And there was a division among them. They say unto the

17 It was evident even to this illiteblind man again, What sayest rate person that Jesus was sent from thou of him, that he hath

God. opened thine eyes ? He said, he is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind ? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: but by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age ; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews : for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.

Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise : we know that this man is a sinner. 25 He answered 25 He leaves their own sense to de. and said, Whether he be a termine the question, and recurs to sinner or no, I know not:

the facts of the case, as supplying one thing I know, that, where- ample conviction. as I was blind, now I see. Then said they to him again. What did he to thee ? how opened he thine eyes ? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again ? will ye also be bis disciples? Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses : as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is. 30 The man answered and 30 The whole of this confession is said unto them, Why herein most noble and affecting ! noble in is a marvellous thing, that ye its courage, affecting in its gratitude. know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners : but if

36 He

any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God ?

36 O the blessing of a willing mind

and a ready faith! answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him ? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And Jesus said, For judgment I am

come into

39 To judge, or discriminate bethis world, that they which

tween the righteous and the wicked.

The Gentiles, hitherto in darkness, see not might see ; and that shall see ; for they willingly receité they which see might be made the light. The Jews, who have the blind. And some of the Pha- light, and therefore might see, are

blind in unbelief. risees which were with him heard these words, and said

41 Man's responsibility is in proporunto him, Are we blind also ? judged according to our knowledge.

tion to his powers. We shall all be Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin : but now ye say, We see ; therefore your sin remaineth.

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CHAPTER X.

March 23, JULY 22, Nov. 18. VERILY, verily, I say unto

i The Church-or the family of you, He that entereth not

God-is compared to a sheepfold, of by the door into the sheep- which Jesus keepeth the door. They fold, but climbeth up some

who like the Pharisees pretend to other way, the same is a thief admit men therein, not having com

mission from God so to do, are no and a robber. But he that

shepherds. entereth in by the door, is the shepherd of the sheep *. To him the porter openeth ; and the sheep hear his voice : and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him : for they know his voice. 5 Those are called strangers, who And

a stranger will they not are uncommissioned to their office. * In the East, flocks of sheep are not driven ; but they follow the shepherd, and are guided by his voice.

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follow, but will flee from him : for they know not the voice of strangers. This parable spake Jesus unto them : but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door

$“ All pretenders to the Messialiof the sheep. * All that ship, plot only evil against my reliever came before me gion.” thieves and robbers: but the 9 What a blessed word to those sheep did not hear them. 'I whose souls hunger and thirst after am the door: by me if any

righteousness ! man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief

10 False teachers destroy the soul ; cometh not but for to steal, as did the Pharisees : “ teaching for and to kill, and to destroy: doctrines the commandments of

men." I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd : the goou shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an

12 He, who attempts to guide my hireling, and not the shep- people, without that strength and herd, whose own the sheep courage which a consciousness of doe are not, seeth the wolf com- authority gives, no sooner seeth daning, and leaveth the sheep, ger, than fear masters him, and be

fleeth *. and fleeth : and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine, As the Father

15 Thus far, our Lord applied this knoweth me, even so know parable to his chosen, the Jews. I the Father : and I lay down

16 The Gentiles- we

ourselves my life for the sheep. 16 And among the number—are now called

into the fold. other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it

18 All these things Jesus did +. again. 18 No man taketh it

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* It is the authority under which he is conscious of acting, which alone enables the minister of the Gospel to “speak the truth boldly, as he ought to speak”; and so, by divine blessing on his exertions, drive from the fold of Christ the enemies which attack it.

+ His death was voluntary : for his Will was free. He had power to die, for his human nature was perfect. He had power to resume the life he laid down ; for he was perfect in his divine nature also. Thus was he “perfect God, and perfect man."

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from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him ?

Others said, these are not 21 This was sound reasoning. Devils the words of him that hath do to men, all the harm they can. a devil. Can a devil open

Jesus did only good. the eyes of the blind? And it was at Jerusalem the feast * of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's

name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: ** And I give unto them eter

28 Happy tidings ! Jesus is our nal life ; and they shall never defence. No fraud and malice of perish, neither shall

evil men or evil angels-no efforts of pluck them out of my hand. others—shall separate us from him. My Father, which gave

them

Take we heed, not ourselves to cause

the separation. me, is greater than all ; and no man is able to pluck them 30 No language can more strongly out of my Father's hand. express the essential unity of the

Father and the Son. ** I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are

35 If ye call your prophets divinely gods ? 35 If he called them inspired ; and allow that they spake, gods, unto whom the word as from God ; surely ye may allow of God came, and the scrip- my claim to be the Son of God, who ture cannot be broken; say

thus do the works of my Father. ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the

any man

This was a feast, instituted by Judas Maccabæus, to celebrate the restoration of the temple : in token that the people acknowledged the gracious providence of their God in so great a national mercy. As our Lord attended this feast, it appears right in a Christian country, on any national blessing, that there be held a public solemn assembly, in the house of the Lord, in token that He “ ruleth over all.

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