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66 water (g) and of the Spirit, he - Art thou a master of Israel, 66 cannot enter into the kingdom " and knowest not these things? « of God. That which is born “ Verily, verily, I say unto thee, 11. 66 of the flesh (r) is flesh; and “ We speak that (t) we do know, " that which is born of the Spirit 6 and testify that we have seen ; “ is spirit. Marvel not that I " and ye receive not our wit6 said unto thee, Ye must be “ ness. If I have told you 12. " born again. The (s) wind " earthly (u) things, and ye be. o bloweth where it listeth, and “ lieve not, how shall ye believe " thou hearest the sound thereof, “ if I tell you of heavenly things? “ but canst not tell whence it 6 And no man hath ascended up 13. " cometh, and whither it goeth: " to heaven, but (x) he that came " so is every one that is born of 6 down from heaven, even the " the Spirit.” Nicodemus an « Son of man, which is in
swered and said unto him, “How “ heaven. And (y) as Moses 14. 10. “ can these things be?” Jesus “ lifted up the (x) serpent in the
answered and said unto him, 66 wilderness, even so must the
church were considered as putting off all their former relations, so that they who were before of kin to them were no longer to be considered so, and they were looked upon as “ new born." In Matt. xv. 3. our Saviour tells his disciples, “ Except “ ye be converted, and become as little " children, ye shall not enter into the “ kingdom of heaven.”
(9)“ Of water and of the spirit," i, e. purified from his evil propensities, habits, &c. and disposed to spiritual virtues.
(r) “ Is flesh," i.e. is carnally disposed. " İs spirit," i. e, is spiritually disposed. So Gal. v. 17. “ The Aesh lusteth against “ the spirit, and the spirit against the “ flesh." And Rom. viii. 5.“ They “ that are after the flesh, do mind the " things of the flesh, but they that are " after the spirit, the things of the spi“ rit ; for to be carnally minded is “ death,” &c.
(s) “ The wind,” &c. The meaning probably is, your inability to account for a thing should not induce you to conclude it cannot exist. You cannot account for the wind: you know not whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth, yet you do not conclude that it has no existence; on the contrary, its effects prove to you that it has : so your inability to account for this “ being born again,” or “ being “ born of water and of the spirit,” must not induce you to conclude it impossible. So far from it, its effects will be so plain, as to put the matter past all doubt.
(1) “ That we do know," &c. Not 8.11. upon conjecture, or with doubt; we have the assurance of knowledge and sight, and therefore speak with perfect confidence.
(u) “ Earthly things,” i, e. perhaps, 6.12. things to which you have something bearing a resemblance : as the notion of “ being born again” prevails upon the admission of a proselyte, and might therefore in this instance also be under stood.
(a) “But he," &c. Therefore who &. 13. but he, or so well as he, can tell you of heavenly things, can know God's plans, the scheme of man's redemption, the necessity of being born again, &c.
(y) “ As," &c. our Saviour apprizes B. lt him that part of God's scheme was his crucifixion-this is one of the “ beavenly " things" mentioned in verse 12.
(z) “ The serpent.” &c. God had it sent serpents amongst the Israelites for murmuring against him, which bit them, so that they died : Moses, at their instance, interceded with God for them, and God ordered him to make a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole, and promised, that every one that was bittes, when he looked upon it, should live! Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole; and it came to pass, L if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass he lived Numb. xxi. 7, 8, 9,
“ Son of man be (a) lifted up; other : for love is of God, and 15. “ that whosoever (6) believeth in every (c) one that loveth, is * him should not perish, but have
born (d) of God, and knoweth
porn y o u, to known or eternal life.”
God. He that loveth not, know. 8.
eth not God; for God is love. First Sunday after Trinity.
In (e) this was manifested the love 9. The Collect.
of God toward us, because O God, the strength of all them
that God sent his only-begotten that put their trust in thee, merci
Son into the world, that we fully accept our prayers; and be
might (f) live through him. cause through the weakness of
Herein () is love, not that we 10. our mortal nature we can do no
loved God, but that he loved us, good thing without thee, grant
and sent his Son to be the prous the help of thy grace, that in
pitiation for our sins. Beloved, 11. keeping thy commandments we
if God so loved us, we ought may please thee, both in will and
also to love one another. No 12. deed, through Jesus Christ our
man hath (h) seen God at any Lord. Amen.
time. If (i) we love one another,
God dwelleth in us, and his love The Epistle. 1 John iv. 7. is perfected in us. Hereby know 13. Beloved, let us love one an we that we dwell in him, and he
v.14. (a) “ Be lifted up.” This, therefore,
was a prediction which was verified when
he was crucified. 9.15. (6) “ Believeth," i. e. has such a
belief as thoroughly influences his con
duct. See ante 148. note on James i. 22. 0.7. (c) “ Every one," &c. This is a test :
no one can be altogether “ of God," such as God would have him ; who has
not perfect love and benevolence to man. 9.7. (d) “ Born of God,” i. e. a child of
God, with his temper, disposition, &c.;
walking in his steps. v.9. (C) is In this,” &c. St. John points
out this transcendent instance of God's benevolence to man, to inforce the duty of benevolence from man to man; and he accordingly draws the conclusion in
what causes attachment amongst men
() “ If,” &c. Though we have never 0. 12.
0.9. (B) - Live," i. e, have life, be rescued
from the curse of death.
(s) “ Herein," &c. This sets his love in a striking light, that when by sin we had shewn our enmity to God, he sent his son to redeem us from the punishment of sin. According to Rom. v. 8. “ God “ commendeth his love towards us, in “ that while we were yet sinners, Christ
“ died for us." *. 12. (b) “ Hath seen,” &c. So that at.'
tachment to God cannot proceed from
in us, (k) because he hath given || cause fear hath torment. He 14. us of his (1) Spirit. And we || that feareth, is not made perfect
have (m) seen, and do testify, in love. We love him, (s) because that the Father sent the Son to he first loved us. If a man say,
be the Saviour of the world. I love God, and hateth his bro. 15. Whosoever shall (n) confess that ther, he is a (t) liar: for he
Jesus is the Son of God, God that (u) loveth not his brother
dwelleth in him, and he in God. whom he hath seen, how can he 16. And we have (6) known and be love God whom he hath not
lieved the love that God hath to seen? And this commandment us. God is love; and he that have we from him, " That he
dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, “ who loveth God love his bro17. and God in him. Herein (p) is " ther also." · our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day
The Gospel. Luke xvi. 19. of (9) judgement: because as he THERE (x) was a certain rich
is, so are we in this world. man, which was clothed in purple 18. There is no (r) fear in love; but and fine linen, and fared sump
perfect love casteth out fear; be. | tuously every day: and there
(1) “ Spirit,” i. e. of universal love and benevolence. So 1 John iii. 24. “ Hereby we know that he abideth in “ us, by the spirit which he hath given
“ us." (See post 166.)
have the fullest assurance of this great
doubt. See ante 41, note on 1 John i. 1.
of all danger; making this return for
as another test.
most perfect proof : so that we ought
fered for ours.
seems to be this : this is perfect love to
&c, where he is hated, &c.
(r) “ No fear in love," i.e. the two are inconsistent: perfect love has no fear; disregards all danger. Whoever is deterred by dread of peril from doing what love would dictate, has not reached the. standard of love.
(s) “ Because,” &c. i. e. it is a strong inducement for bold and fearless attache ment in us, that it is a debt of gratitude, a mere return for previous love in God.
(1) “ A liar," i. e. advances incon. sistent propositions. So St. James says, James ü. 14. “If ye have bitter envying “ and strife in your hearts, glory not, “ and lie not against the truth," i.e. do not say you are Christians, for you are not.
(u) “ For he that loveth not,” &c. " Love may proceed from two sources, personal knowledge, or attachment to the commands of him who is the object of our love: but love to God cannot proceed from personal knowledge, for no one hath 'seen God at any time ; and in the instance of him who loveth not his brother, and is therefore guilty of a breach of one of God's positive commands, how can he pretend to love from the other source, from attachment to God's commands?
" (x) There was,"' &c. This follows! the parable of the unjust steward, where our Lord had recommended such a disposition of wealth, as would ensure a reward in the life to come. And part of the object of this parable probably was, to intimate that the application of riches entirely to a man's own luxuries, with a total disregard of the necessities of the poor, was not innocent, and would be visited hereafter.
was a certain beggar named La- | “ may testify unto them, lest
zarus, which was laid at his gate, " they also come into this place 21. full of sores, and desiring to be “ of torment." Abraham sith 29.
fed with the crumbs which fell unto him, “ They have Moses
over, the dogs came and licked “ hear them.” And he said, 30. 22. his sores. And it came to pass « Nay, father Abraham: but if
that the beggar died, and was " one went unto them from the carried by the angels into Abra 66 dead, they will repent.” And 31.
ham's bosom : the rich man he said unto him, “ If (y) they 23. also died, and was buried; and 5 hear not Moses and the pro.
in hell he lifted up his eyes, being phets, neither will they be
Second Sunday after Trinity.
" is comforted, and thou art make us to have a perpetual fear 26. « tormented. And beside all || and love of thy holy Name, 66 this, between us and you there through Jesus Christ our Lord.
is a great gulf fixed : so that Amen. « they which would pass from “ hence to you cannot ; neither
· The Epistle. 1 John iii. 13. “ can they pass to us that would MARVEL not, my brethren, if the “ come from thence.” Then he world (2) hate you. We know 14. said, “ I pray thee therefore, fa that we have passed from death
" ther, that thou wouldest send unto life, because (a) we love the 28. “ him to my father's house ; for brethren. He that loveth not his
I have five brethren : that he || brother, abideth in (6) death.
(v) “ If,” &c. The common grounds for confidence in God, and obedience to his commands, are so strong, that it could hardly be expected that any thing would operate upon him, on whom these had not their proper effect : but admitting that other means might have a greater inAuence, it is for God alone to decide
whether he will supply such other means, 1.13. (z) “ Hate.” He had just been stating
as the reason why Cain slew Abel, be
cause-Cain's works were evil, and Abel's
(a) “ Because,” i.e. this convinces v. 14.
(6) « In death,” i.e. in the same state v. 14 as if our Saviour had not appeared: with out the benefits of his mediation.
15. Whosoever hateth his brother is greater (i) than our heart, and
a (c) murderer: and ye know knoweth all things. Beloved,
that no murderer hath eternal life | if our heart condemn us not, 16. abiding in him. Hereby (d) per then have we confidence toward
ceive we the love of God, be. God: And (k) whatsoever we cause he (e) laid down his life for ask, we receive of him, because
us: and we ought to lay down we keep his commandments, and 17. our lives for the brethren. But do those things that are pleas
whoso hath this world's good, ing in his sight. And this is and seeth his brother have need, his commandment, “ That we and shutteth up his bowels of 66 should believe on the name compassion from him, how dwel “ of his Son Jesus Christ, and
leth (f) the love of God in him ? Il “ love one another, as he gave 18. My little children, let us not love 1 “ us commandment.” And he
in word, neither in tongue; but that keepeth his commandments 19. in deed and in truth. And dwelleth (l) in him, and he in
hereby (8) we know that we are him. And hereby we know
of the truth, and shall assure our that he abideth in us, by the 20. hearts (b) before him. For if | Spirit (m) which he hath given
our heart condemn us, God is
(c) “ Is a murderer," i.e. has a dis.
position which would lead to murder; is
and sees through all its consequences.
the same argument here as in i John iv.
6 another." 1 John iv. II.
therefore, is here distindly referred to by
See p. 12. note (d).
cording to verse 16. we ought even to
supply their necessities?
and in truth.
i. e. as it is expressed in verse 21. shall " have confidence towards God,”
(i) “ Greater," i. e, can judge more correctly, and knows the facts on which the judgment is to be formed, as completely.
(k)“ Whatsoever," &c. If we keep his commandments, he rewards us by granting whatever we ask; but thea (according to verse 23) it is one of his commandments that we should beleve on Christ, and love one another : and we cannot expect the reward, that is, whatsoever we ask, unless we perform the condition, i. e. keeping this commandment.
(1) • Dwelleth in him," &c. The idea of God's dwelling in us, is often noticed by St. John. Thus, i John iv. 12. “ If we love one another, God dwelleth “ in us.” And John xiv, 23. “If a “ man love me, he will keep my words, “ and my Father will love him, and we " will come unto him, and make our “ abode with him.”
(m) “The spirit,” i.e. the temper, disposition, &c. He may be truly said to abide in us, when our temper, &c. is that which his would be. God may truly be said to abide in us, when, to use St. Paul's expression, Philip. č. 5. “ The same " mind is in us, which was also in Christ “ Jesus." In the occurrences of life, might it not often be of service to us to