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He, who was ever desirous to serve and benefit all men, and would never put off any good work to a future time which could be done at the present, straightway (ver. 39.) “ saith unto them, Come and see.”-He courteously desires them immediately to go along with him.
" They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour." i. e. four o'clock in the after
“ One of the two which heard John speak was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother;" who the other was, is not said. But it has been conjectured that it was our evangelist, it being agreeable to his usual style and modesty ; as of all the apostles, in their writings, never to name their own names, unless where it was absolutely necessary.
It showed a pious mind, and earnest zeal for the truth in these two persons, to be so desirous to converse with Jesus, that they might from his own mouth be informed of his doctrines, and gain further satisfaction of his authority from God. And they became fully satisfied and convinced of it. For An
drew, we read, immediately went and told his brother, Simon Peter, that they had found the Messiah.
There is an air of great sincerity and frankness in our Lord's reception of these two persons, who first offered themselves to become his disciples. We discern in it an instance of the same conduct which he uniformly observed afterwards, never to admit any to be his follower, without first bidding him examine the grounds he went upon, and what it was to which he engaged himself.
And it is applicable to us, who profess ourselves his disciples, as well as to those who in person resorted to him during his lifetime
earth. What he said to them, he still speaks to us ; that we are to “come and see.” Take nothing upon trust which you can know of yourself: but examine whether I really came from God, and act as you see best, and as the truth shall lead
you. As our Lord now speaks to us in the Scriptures, and bids us there “ coine and see and learn of him;" I would point out to you
how easily this may be done by all.
I. We may be assured that our Lord's instructions were intended for general use, and for all Christians of whatever rank, because they were delivered by himself at first to persons who for the greater part were not bred up to learning, and who earned a livelihood by their bodily labour. And we never find, in general, that they complained of any obscurity in his discourses, or that they were not intelligible to them. The Jews, indeed, at that time, were commonly brought up to read their sacred writings, even those of the lowest rank amongst them; as they continue to this day.
And, if Christians were now taught to read, as all ought to be, (and they who have the fortunes and means ought to see to this in their several districts, and according to their abilities,) they might be made to understand the Scriptures in a competent degree, as those to whom they were first spoken.
Nor is it any objection to this, that now in general, Christians are strangers to the original Hebrew and Greek, in which the Scriptures were first written. For, in all our own, and in all protestant countries, there are translations of th: Scriptures into their respective
languages, with which we may be satisfied in all great points : though it is a defect in these translations, in our own in particular, that they are not from time to time revised and amended ; because languages alter, and further improvements are made in the understanding of the Scriptures, and finding out the very words in which they were first composed, by comparing of ancient manuscripts with one another, to which discoveries and improvements the vernacular translations ought to correspond.
The evidences for the Gospel are also within the compass of the meanest understanding, where men will make any use of it at all; namely, that there was such a person as Jesus Christ, who lived in Judea in the time of the first Roman emperors, and wrought those miracles, and preached those holy doctrines, which have been recorded by men who were eye witnesses of these things ; whose writings we have in our hands.
Neither can there be any difficulty in understanding our Lord's doctrines and precepts, and those of his apostles in their letters or epistles sent to different congregations of Christians, or private persons, if we take along
with us and attend to the persons to whom they speak, how far what they say was peculiar to them, and how far applicable to all Christians : for it should be inculcated that the argumentae tive, which are the obscurest parts in St. Paul's epistles, belonged only to the Christians of those times.
By studying also the particular phrases and ways of speaking in the Bible, and comparing similar passages one with another, the common understanding easily gets at the knowledge of what at first appears dark and strange.
Such, for instance, as being sent from God, sent into the world, coming into the world, coming from heaven, and the like, which are spoken of John the Baptist, and of our Lord's apostles as well as of himself; and, though they seem to imply the coming from another world to this, yet signify only the being a prophet or messenger of God, having a divine authority and power.
So also when persons are said to be possessed with demons, and the demons are said to speak: which was in those countries and times only as if we should
us, that they were persons out of their mind, and their speeches such as they are wont to utter.