Obrázky na stránke

maintaining that connection unbroken; he now suggests that they must not be surprised, if, in consequence of the intimacy of this relation, they experience the same treatment as himself.

18. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

By " the world” we must here understand the wicked part of the Jews, who were the majority of that nation: from them Christ had received many marks of dislike; his divine mission was denied, his miracles were reviled, and several attempts had been made to ensnare him in his discourse and to seize his person. A conspiracy was forming at this time for putting him to death: the disciples, therefore, ought not to be offended if they were exposed, as he intimates they would be, to like treatment. He next mentions another reason why they should not be surprised at this usage.

19. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own. But because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

If you had the same principles and pursuits as your countrymen, you might have reason to expect popularity, in consequence of that affection which men of the same views and occupations naturally have for one another; but as your principles and pursuits are totally different from theirs, you must expect to be obnoxious in consequence of that dislike and enmity which mutually prevail among persons of opposite characters. To be of ths world, is to be of a worldly mind; just as the phrases “to be of the devil,” and “ to be of God,” used by this evangelist, viii. 44. 47. signify to be of a diabolicat and of a divine temper.

20. Remember the word that I said unto you, what I told you (John xii.

10. Matt. x. 24.) The servant is not greater than his master.

This is a familiar saying in common life, employed to check the hopes of those who expect too much indulgence, which I have already applied to the relation subsisting between yourselves and me, and which I now desire you again to recollect and to keep in mind as a rule of your future expectations.

If they have reviled me, they will also revile you; if they have watched iny words, they will watch yours' also.

“If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you. The word which we render persecute, signifies also to revile or to accuse, and this seems to be its sense in this place, and what Christ seems to refer to, is the opprobrious appellation which they had given lim, calling him Beelzebub, and attributing his miracles to a connection with the prince of dæmons. Matt.

X. 24.

“ If they have kept my words, they will keep yours also.”

That this cannot be the proper reading of these words, appears from the next verse, whence it is evident that they are to be understood in a bad sense, and must refer to the Jews watching his words that they might find something to accuse him *.

21. But all these things, i. e. watching your words and reviling you, will they do unto you for my name's sake,


my name, or on my account, because they know not him that sent me.

They will show dislike to you, because they disliked me; and their enmity to me is established upon

• Sce Pearce, Wakefield and Macknight.

because you

their ignorance of the perfections and character of the Being who gave me my commission, and consequently upon a dislike of the doctrine which he has authorized me to teach. Their opposition to him was owing to ignorance ; that ignorance, however, would not excuse them.

22. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak, “no excuse," for their sin.

By appearing among the Jews with sufficient evidence of a divine commission, and of being prepared to instruct them in the perfections of God and in the nature of true religion, their rejection of him and their consequent ignorance were rendered inexcusable and highly criminal.

23. He that hateth me hateth my Father also,

The proof of their criminality lies in this, that their dislike of me proves their dislike of my Father, of whom my doctrine was intended to give them just ideas, and whose perfections they must have seen in my

miracles. This declaration would afford comfort to the disciples, because it assured them that the ill. treatment which their master received would be

punished by God.

24. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin.

If I had not performed among them greater miracles than any of the prophets, and had not, by showing my superiority to them, proved myself to be the Messiah, their crime in rejecting me would not have been so great as it is; but these works are so extraordinary as evidently to display the hand of God, and, in rejecting me, they have virtually rejected him.

But now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.

25. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

The Psalms are here called the law, as they were before, x. 34. that name being given to all the sacred writings of the Jews, except the prophets. The passage is found Psalm xxxv. 19. and the expressions are applied by David to his enemies: nor is there the smallest intimation that they are prophetical of the treatment of any other person. By the expressions, therefore, “ that the word might be fulfilled," we are to understand no more than that Jesus meant that the language was applicable to himself, as well as to Davie, without pretending that it was designed for him originally. In the preceding verses Christ had reminded his apostles of his own want of success as a divine teacher, in order to prepare them, who were to be employed in the same cause, for a like disappointment: but he now assures them of what could not fail to give them much encouragement—that his gospel would derive great assistance from the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to be bestowed upon them after his departure, and from their own testimony in his favour,

26. But when the Advocate is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me, he will bear witness to me.

“ He shall bear witness to me." The miraculous powers with which you shall be endowed by me, and which you shall exercise in my name, shall bear witness to my divine commission, in as much as they

[ocr errors]

could proceed originally from my Father only. The divine power manifesting itself in miraculous gifts is here again personified. The spirit of truth is called the advocate, because he was to plead their cause and that of Christ before the world. He is said to be sent by Christ, because these powers were at the disposal of Christ after his departure from the world, as well as during his continuance with his disciples : he is likewise said to proceed from the Father; by which Christ intends no more than that these powers, which came apparently from himself, proceeded orig. inally from God: but in these simple words sone persons have discovered the mysterious origin of the Spirit, which they have called the procession of the Holy Ghost, and supposed to be something peculiar to that Being, and to mark one of the differences between him and the Son, who is said to be begotten : where we see what important errors arise from a small mistake, and how necessary it is to be careful in interpreting scripture-language. Christ next mentions the second ground for encouragement, which was their own testimony in his favour.

27. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning

Your testimony will add much weight to the evidence of miraculous powers; for you will be able to declare every thing which I have said or done, from the commencement of my public ministry.


1. Christians ought not to be surprised or offended, any more than the apostles, if they find themselves disliked and hated by the world, that is, by worldly minded men: their principles and pursuits are totally

« PredošláPokračovať »