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Chapter Verle opinion; and so, I believe, are most men in

" this age, who examine their Sacred History.) 1, 18No man bath feen God at any time; the only

begotten Son which is in the borom of the Fa.

ther, he hath declared him. If-no man hath • seen God at any time—what dependance have

we upon the Sacred History of the Jews? Vide

Exodus ch. xxiv. Exodus ch. xxxiii, v. 11. • Numbers ch. xii, v. 8. And Joshua ch. xxxiv, sv. IC. And if Jesus was God, as he is said to

be in the first verse, God certainly hath been ' seen by many men, many times.' Leaving, for the present, this extraordinary introduction, we

proceed to other matter in St. John's Gospel, not iii. 1 yet noticed. The third chapter introduces Nico

deinus, a Pharisee, and a ruler of the Jews, 2 coming to Jesus by night, and faying - Rabbi,

we know that thou art a teacher come from . God : for no man can do thefe miracles that thou • doft, except God be with him. (By the by,

John had recorded but one miracle at that time,

the changing of water into wine, a tempting ' one undoubtedly it was ; and much profit • might have been derived from the secret if Ni

codemus could have got at it) Jesus said unto 3 ' him-Except a man be born again, he cannot 4' see the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus asked

how a inan could be born again when ol., and "adds---Can he enter a second time into his moother's womb and be born ? Jesus in reply says

'-Except

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Chapter Verse -Except a man be born of water and of the iii. 5

fpirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of • God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; 6 and that which is born of the spirit, is spirit, To illustrate this, he adds—The wind bloweth

where it listeth, and thou heareft the found
" thereof, but canft not tell whence it cometh
' and whether it goeth : fo is every one that is
(born of the Spirit. This explanation I as little

understand as did Nicodemus who asked
« How can these things be? Jesus said-art thou
' a master of Israel, and knoweft not these things ?'
How should he? Nothing of this sort had ever
been taught in Ifrael, and now it was taught,
it was in a way that could not be understood. He
added--that he spoke what he knew and had seen,
and asks- If I have told you earthly things and

ye believe not; how fhall ye believe if I tell
' you of heavenly things? (What earthly things

had Nicodeinus been told, which he believed

not ?) And no man hath ascended up into 13 • Heaven, but he that came down from Heaven,

even the Son of Man which is in Heaven. I believe it would puzzle a convocation to give this verse even the shadow of common sense ; or confiftency to the transaction alluded to in the verse which follows it. If no man had ascended into Heaven, himself only excepted, the Sacred Hiftory of the Jews, from whence so many quotations are made by the evangelists, contain untruths. They tell us plainly that Elijah ascended alive to

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Chapter Verse Heaven; and, by implication, that Enoch did the

same. The last is confirmed by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Hebrews ch. xi. but when had Jesus ascended to Heaven and how was he in Heaven at the time he was fpeaking upon earth to Nicodemus ? are questions asked by common

fenfe: how they can be answered fatisfactorily, jii 14. I know not. Jesus continued And as Moses

lifted up the serpent in the wildernefs, even fo 15 must the Son of Man be lifted up: that.who

soever believeth in him should not perish, but • have everlasting life.' Nicodemus-a ruler of the Jewsma master of Israel, undoubtedly was acquainted with the story of the brazen serpent, made and erected by Moses in obedience to the commands of God, that upon this brazen serpent, the Ifraelites who had been bitten by living fiery ferpents were to look up and thereby preserve themselves under a disaster in which much people of Israel died. Numbers ch. xxi, v. 6. This furely was a very extraordinary method of restraining the Israelites from the henious fin of Idolatry. A fin for which they had often been feverely punished: but such was their propenfity to this crime, that no threats, no promises, no punishments, could prevent their commiting it. We find, and we do not wonder at it, that they preserved this brazen serpent, and burnt inçense to it many years. Vide 2 Kings ch. xviii. Nicodemus unquestionably was acquainted with this story ; but how was he to apply it as a simile

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or illustration of what had been advanced; unless Chapter Verse he had likewise been acquainted with the inanner in which Jesus was to die? and even had he been fo inforıned, I am inclined to think he would, from the comparison, have made a false inferrence. The remainder of this lecture is not very intelligent to me; and I suspect Nicodemus, profited little by the whole, as we hear very little more of him during the life of Jesus. Įn the fifth chapter John records a curiosity so remarkable that even had there been no attendant miracle we must think the other three strangely negligent in omitting it. A pool in Jerusalem, near the Sheep Market, the waters of which, at certáin seasons, were troubled by the descent of an angel. Whoever stepped first into the water after this troubling, was healed whatever were his diseases. Near this pool, were five porches, in which lay many miserables watching the critical : minute. One of them, who had been diseased thirty eigtht years, and whom Jesus knew to have been a long time in that condition, was asked by Jesus Wilt thou be made whole? The man vi ! answered–That he had no friend to put him • into the pool when the waters were troubled; ? and before he could accomplish it hiinself, ( some other stepped in before him: upon which

Jesus said to him-Rise, take up thy bed and 6 walk :' this he did immediately ; but being the Sabbath-day he was questioned for it by the Jews;

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Chapter Verfe he tells them that he was commanded so to do,

by the person who had niade him whole, but who that was he knew not. However he soon after, in the temple, discovered that it was Jesus and immediately informed the Jews, who in confea

quence taxed Jesus with having broken the Sab18 bath. What he says in reply, exasperates them

the more ; and it is said they fought to kill him. He however continues a long declaration concerning his Father and himself not very intelli. gent to me, nor doth it appear that it made any good impression upon the minds of those to whom it was addressed. What could they think of him, if in this very address, where he is asserting the truth of his own supernatural power and authority, he said to them If I bear witness of myfelf, my witness is not true. In the eighth chapter,

the Pharisees to whom he was declaring himself is 13 in the same manner said to him-- Thou bearest

record of thyself: thy record is not true. Jesus 14 • here says-Though I bear record of myself, yet

O my record is true. He reminds them that their 17 • law says-The testimony of two men is true, and 18 ! adds--I am one that bear witness of myself;

and the Father that sent me, beareth witness of 19 ? me.' They very naturally asked — Where is

thy Father?' And received this evasive answer - Ye neither know ine, nor ny Father ; if .'ye had known me, ye should have known the 24 ' Father also.' He said to them . If ye believe

not

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