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the lips of this divine person, than the great event took place. The impotent man felt a sudden warmth and vigour run through his relaxed nerves, and his feeble limbs assumed their youthful strength; when, finding himself able to perform the command of his great benefactor, he made no scruple of taking up his bed, and carrying it along the streets, though it was the Sabbath-day.
So great a miracle could not fail exciting the wonder of the spectators; and the new cured man, carrying his bed through the city on the Sabbath-day, which was a thing not practised by the Jews, and must have a strange appearance to the beholders, would not fail to spread the account of this surprising event through the whold city. The man, who had so wonderfully recovered the use of his limbs, did not scruple to obey the commands of the Divine Physician, though they were contrary to the custom of his country, and would be likely to expose him to the blame of the Jews; he well knew, that a person who could perform such wonderful works, must be a great prophet; and he supposed that such a person would not order him to perform any action which was sinful, and therefore, regardless of the reproaches he met with from the Jews, he carried his bed through the streets of the city. The Jews beheld him with a mixture of indignation and contempt, and angrily told him, that it was not lawful for him to carry his bed on the Sabbath-day. But the man, elated by his happy deliverance, and holding his great benefactor in the highest esteem, thought it sufficient to answer, He that made mc whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bcd and walk, John v. 11. The Jews, not satisfied with this answer, sharply inquired, who it was that had made. him whole: which question the man was not able to answer, as JESUs, as soon as he had performed the miracle, had mixed with the crowd, and was imperceivably departed from them. * *
Some time after this, the person who had thus been miraculously restored, met with the Divine Physician in the temple, who took the opportunity to impress on his mind, a sense of the great benefit he had received, and the obligations he lay under to amendment of life. Behold thou art made whole, said our great Redeemer, sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. The evangelist has not informed us what effect this admonition had on the person who had been healed; but having, by this event, found out his great benefactor, he, no doubt, expecting the whole nation would revere so extraordinary a person, went to the ruler of the Jews, and told them, that it teas Jesus who had made him whole.
This information had a very different effect than what might be expected; the pride and obstinacy of the rulers of Israel, prevented their conviction, and their inveterate prejudices blinded their eyes, so that every manifestation of divine power was lost on them: for instead of reverencing the Redeemer of Israel, and rejoicing that God had remembered his people, they tumultuously attacked him in the temple, and, probably carried him before the Sanhedrim with an intention to takeaway his life, because he had done good on the Sabbath-day. Our great Redeemer, in answer to their calumny, observed, that by doing good on the Sabbath-day, he acted consistent with the conduct of his heavenly Father, who, as Supreme Governor of the universe, carried on the order of nature, and supplied the wants of his numerous creatures, without distinction of days; and whose providence is constantly employed in doing good to the sons of men without intermission, or regard to times and seasons. But the Jews were not to be convinced by argument, they cherished in their minds a growing rancour, and an implacable hatred to the Son of God; so that what he had observed, instead of composing their minds, only tended to irritate and inflame them: and they attacked him with mortal hatred, and all the virulence of abuse, and stood determined to take away his life because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but had said that God was his Father; making himself equal with God.
Had the Jews been wrong in this conclusion, that CHRIST, in the account which he gave of himself, made himself equal with God, no doubt that divine person, in whom dwelt eternal truth, would have set them to rights in a matter of such high importance, which so nearly concerned himself, and which he was the only proper person to explain. But we find, that the following discourse of our great Redeemer, did not tend to discredit such a conclusion, but to establish and enforce it. He begins with observing, that so close is the connection, and such the equality between himself and the Father, that the same works which are ascribed to one, may be properly ascribed to the other. Verily, verily, I say unto you, said our great Redeemer, the Son can do nothing himself, but what he seeth the Father do : for what things soever he doesh, these also doeth the Son likewise: for the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things, that himself doeth; and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. From this testimony which the Son of God bears to his own divinity, it is evident, that all men should honour the Son as they honour the Father, and that the stupendous works of creation, providence, and grace, may be justly ascribed to our dear Immanuel: and him we may adore, as the great Maker, the All-wise and All-potent Preserver, the Great Supreme Governor, and Judge of the universe.
The Saviour of the world then proceeded to refer to those particular works which manifested him to be the Son of God, and, of consequence, by their own conclusion, equal with the Father; and in this view, he mentions the manifestation of his divine power in raising the dead: Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, so he hath given to the Son, to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. The evidence of the divinity of the Saviour of the world, arises not only from the divine power which he manifested in raising the natural dead, but was also abundantly manifest by his divine power, exerted in raising dead sinners; which is a work which can be effected by nothing less than the mighty power of God; and to which these remarkable words seem to allude.
But our great Redeemer proceeds further to assert and enforce his own divinity, and equality with his Father, by observing, that to him is assigned the great work of sitting in judgment, and fixing the eternal state of all mankind. Marvel not at this, said he, for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall come forth: they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation. And any judgment is just Because I seek not mine own will, but the will of my Father who sent me. On that great and terrible day, the fate of a fallen world will be decided by Unerring Wisdom, and the invariable rules of righteousness and goodness: for the great Judge of heaven and earth hath a full and clear perception of every action which has been performed from the beginning to the end of time; and he is absolutely impartial and unbiased, having no inclination to satisfy, no end to pursue, different from those of his heavenly Father.
The great Saviour of the world, as a further confirmation of his divinity, appealed to the testimony of John, to whom the Pharisees had formerly sent a deputation to know his opinion of CHRIST. Our Lord observed, that he was a burning and a shining light, in which, for a time, the Jews greatly rejoiced, and they had cause to rejoice, because the prophetic spirit, which had so long ceased in Israel, had been revived in that holy man; and he had given a full and clear testimony, that Jesus was the Son of God: but our Redeemer proceeded to a greater testimony than that of John, which was nowther than God himself, who, by his miracles which he daily directed him to perform was bearing a constant witness to the truth of his divinity, and had by an audible voice at his baptism, declared him to be his well-beloved Son; a voice which multitudes of people had heard, and perhaps some of those to whom he was now speaking.
And for a further confirmation of the great truth he had been maintaining, our Lord, as a means to strike a full conviction in the minds of the Jews, with whom he was conversing, appealed to their own Scriptures: Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me. But notwithstanding the clearness of the ancient prophecies, and the remarkable manner in which they described and pointed out the Saviour of sinners, that unhappy nation was so blinded by their prejudices and vices, that they could not believe. The Jews had long expected the Messiah to appear amongst them, but they had formed very different conceptions of his appearance, than the designs of heaven, or the descriptions of their prophets. The Scribes and Pharisees had long amused themselves, and filled the minds of the people with grand and magnificent ideas of the Messiah's kingdom; they had represented him as a potent prince, who was to be adorned with all the ensigns of power, and the glory of sovereign greatness; he was to sit on the throne of his father David, and raise it in power, greatness, glory, grandeur, and magnificence, above all the kingdoms of the earth. Hence it was, that they could not acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah; they took offence at the meanness of his appearance; and though the mighty works which he performed, fully manifested the truth of his mission, and were sufficient to convince every impartial and