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immaterial substance; and hath not flesh and bones, as ye see and feel me to have.
XXIV. 43 And he took it, and did eat before them.
Not out of any necessity or use of nature, but to give unto them a more full proof of his true human body, now raised up from the dead, he took that fish, and honeycomb, and did eat before them.
THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN.
I. 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
In and before the beginning of the world, the Son of God, who is the Eternal and Essential Word of the Father, had a true and perfect being; and that Word was co-eternal with God the Father, and the Holy Ghost; and that Word was in essence one and the same with God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
I. 2 The same was in the beginning with God.
The same Word, though he appeared not to the world until the fulness of time, yet was from everlasting with God the Father, and of one essence with him.
I. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
He was the Almighty Creator of all things; for the Father made all things by him: neither is nor was there any thing, that had a being in the world, but from and by him and his omnipotent power.
I. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
He did not only give a being to the creature, at the first; but he also gave and doth still continue the life and preservation of those things, which he hath made: and, as he hath both given and preserved a life to the rest of his creatures, so to man especially he hath pleased to give such a life, as is joined with the light of ynderstanding and knowledge; whereby he may come to the sight and acknowledgment of him, who is the author and giver of all good to him.
I. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
It is true indeed, that the faculties of man's knowledge and understanding are now so overspread with darkness of ignorance and misconceit, that he cannot rightly apprehend and conceive the things of God; yet the means of this divine knowledge are offered and held forth unto him, howsoever the indisposition of man's depraved nature is such, that he doth not entertain them, and make use of them accordingly.
I. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. There was a man, fore-ordained and sent from God, to be the harbinger of that Son of his into the world, whose name was, as it was fore-appointed by the angel, John.
I. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
The same came purposely to bear witness of the truth of that Saviour, who is the Light of the World; that, through his testimony, all men might be won to a belief in Christ, their Re
I. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
This John was indeed a great and holy Prophet; but he was not that Light, which God had fore-promised should shine forth into the world, for their redemption and salvation; but was only sent to give testimony to that Messiah, whose forerunner he was.
I. 9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
That Blessed Messiah is he, which was the True Light, that shined from heaven; and from whose beams every man in the world, that hath any glimpse at all of right understanding, receiveth his illumination.
I. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
He was, for a time, visibly here in the world: and though, by his divine power, the world was made; yet, so as he was shrouded in the state of a servant, the world did not know nor acknowledge him.
I. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. He came to his own creature, man; and that, in man's own shape: he came to his own peculiar people, the Jews, having taken flesh from one of that nation; yet, his own creature man, his own countrymen the Jews, received him not.
I. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: But to so many of mankind, as did, by a true faith, receive him, to them he gave this blessed privilege, that, whereas formerly they were aliens from God and enemies to him, now, they should become the sons of God, heirs of salvation :
I. 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
To them, I say, which are truly regenerate; who, besides their natural birth from their earthly parents of whom they received flesh and blood, have been born again; and, from the Spirit of God, have received a new life of grace, which no means of nature could possibly convey into them.
I. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten Son of the Father.
And as this substantial Word of the Father was, from all eternity, one Spirit with him and the Holy Ghost, so, in the time appointed by the determinate counsel of God, he came into the world, and took flesh upon him, and dwelt among us men, in a plain, famiJiar, and sociable manner; yet so, as we, that were his inward and
domestical followers and faithful disciples, beheld, in that mean condition of his, many evident demonstrations of his Glory and Majesty; even such glory and majesty, as was meet for the Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Father.
I. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For we, that are of ourselves empty of all good, have, from his infinite bounty, received all the good gifts that we enjoy; and those spiritual graces, which were without measure in himself, hath he pleased, in a due proportion, to communicate unto us, in those several measures and degrees which he knows fit for us.
I. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
And, if your thoughts fly back to the ancient courses of God's favour to his people by the hand of Moses, as if, under and by him, grace were conveyed to men: yet know, that, howsoever the Law was indeed given by the hand of Moses, yet as the truth of those promises, which were shadowed out in the Law, is accomplished and fulfilled in Jesus Christ; so the grace and power of performing all those good duties, which the Law requireth, is only given by Christ, and wrought by his Spirit.
I. 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. God is, in his nature and essence, altogether invisible, as being an Infinite Spirit: no man hath ever, or can with mortal and bodily eyes, see him we could never, of ourselves, hope to attain unto the knowledge of him; the Only Begotten Son therefore, who is one with the Father, hath graciously revealed and declared the knowledge of him to the world: He, being the perfect image of his Father, by being himself manifested in the flesh hath manifested God the Father unto me.
I. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
I had no knowledge of him, by any outward denotations; but the same God, that sent me to baptize with water, gave me this charge and revelation concerning him; That man, upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit of God descending from heaven, in the form of a dove, and remaining for some time upon him, the saine is that Messiah, whose forerunner thou art: he it is only, that, together with the outward element of water, can give the Holy Ghost, both in the sanctifying and miraculous graces thereof.
I. 42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, &c.
I know thee already, Simon, who thou art, even the son of Jona, an obscure father; but, out of my fore-knowledge also of what thou shalt be, both of that faith which I will give thee, and of that service wherein I shall employ thee, I will give thee from
henceforth a new name: thou shalt be called Cephas, or Peter, &c.
I. 46 Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
Is it possible, that either Galilee, or therein the obscure village of Nazareth, should yield any such eminent good thing as that Messiah of whom thou speakest? We have learned to expect him out of Bethlehem, and how is it then, that thou namest him of Nazareth?
I. 51 Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. Hereafter ye shall see more clear demonstrations of my Divine Power; for ye shall know and find, that the command of heaven is mine: so as, both I only open it to all believers, and do thence familiarly command the ministration of angels for the attendance of me and mine; and, at the last, ye shall see heaven open, and me, the Son of Man, coming, in a glorious and dreadful manner, to judgment, with all the attendance of thousand thousands of angels.
II. 4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
Thou, who art my parent according to the flesh, mayest justly look for all due respects from me, in all earthly occasions; but, when it comes to divine matters, the businesses of my Heavenly Father, it is not for thee to interpose thyself: the will of God is known to me; and the times are in his most wise and eternal counsel set, when my miraculous works shall be done it is not, as yet, proper and seasonable for me, to do that which thou requirest; but when I see my meet season for this act, I will accordingly effect it.
II. 6 And there were set there six water-pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jew's, containing two or three firkins apiece.
And there were six large vessels of stone, for the receipt of water, for those frequent washings, which the Jewish traditions had brought into use; each of them containing two or three firkins: so as the measure of them was great, and far more than the proportion of that quantity of liquor, which the present necessity might seem to require.
II. 11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him. This was the first of those miracles, which he wrought, with intention of the public notice of the world; for the manifestation of his glory, in the execution of this public office of the Messiah; and his disciples, upon the sight hereof, believed in him.
II. 19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, &c. See Matthew xxvi. 61.
II. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men.
Many believed in him, but Jesus did not rely upon their fidelity, because he knew all the hearts of men; and therefore well understood, who were truly affected to him, and who were false and hollow notwithstanding their pretences of reverence and kind respects to him.
III. 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. The same man, being, on the one side, desirous to hold his reputation with the Jews, and especially them of his own sect; and, on the other side, one who secretly honoured Jesus, and willing to be his disciple; came to Jesus by night, and said, Master, howsoever the envy of thine enemies is ready, both to deny thee thy due, and to cast false imputations upon thee, yet we do well know thou art a teacher sent from God; for it is not possible for any man to do those miracles, which thou doest, but by a divine power. III. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Thou hast indeed given a true confession of me; but this is not enough, without a real change wrought in thy soul: let me therefore most certainly assure thee, that, except a man be regenerate and born anew, he is not fit for that spiritual life and holy profession, which is required of the children of God.
III. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Except a man be born again by the effectual working of God's Spirit, as by the Author of this new birth; and, in the ordinary course of God's proceedings, in his Church, by the water of Baptism, as the sign appointed by God in the Sacrament of our Regeneration; he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
III. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
We receive nothing of our fleshly parents, but a corrupt nature; neither can they convey any thing into us, but what they have: if we will have any goodness or grace, it must be wrought in us by the Spirit of God; which only can bring forth effects like itself, spiritual and holy.
III. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. Let it not seem so strange a thing unto thee, as if it were past thy belief, that I said, Ye must be born again.
III. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
It is not for us, to measure the works of God by our own conceit and comprehension: how possible is it, that we may be born again