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give sentence, that they might accuse him of severity or intermeddling, if he condemned her; or of remissness and popularity, if he did acquit her. But Jesus found out an expedient for their difficulty, and changed the scene, by bidding" the innocent person among them cast the first stone at the adulteress ;" and then "stooping down," to give them fair occasion to withdraw, "he wrote upon the ground with his finger," whilst they left the woman and her crime to a more private censure: Jesus was left alone, and the woman in the midst;" whom Jesus dismissed, charging her to "sin no more." And, a while after, Jesus begins again to discourse to them, " of his mission from the Father, of his crucifixion and exaltation from the earth, of the reward of believers, of the excellency of truth, of spiritual liberty and relations; who are the sons of Abraham, and who the children of the devil; of his own eternal generation, of the desire of Abraham to see his day." In which sermon he continued, adding still new excellencies, and confuting their malicious and vainer calumnies, till they, that they also might confute him, "took up stones to cast at him;" but he "went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."
21. But, in his passage, he met a man who had been born blind and after he had discoursed cursorily of the cause of that blindness, it being a misery not sent as a punishment to "his own or his parent's sin," but as an occasion to make public "the glory of God;" he, to manifest that himself was "the light of the world" in all senses, said it now, and proved it by a miracle: for, sitting down, " he made clay of spittle," and, "anointing the eyes of the blind man," bade him "go wash in Siloam;" which was a pool of limpid water, which God sent at the prayer of Isaiah the prophet, a little before his death, to satisfy the necessities of his people, oppressed with thirst and a strict siege; and it stood at the foot of the Mount Sion, and gave its water at first by returns and periods, always to the Jews, but not to the enemies. And those intermitted springings were still continued, but only a pool was made from the frequent effluxes. The blind man "went, and washed, and returned
Epiphan, de Vita et Interitu Prophet. c. 7.
seeing;" and was incessantly vexed by the Pharisees, to tell them the manner and circumstances of the cure: and when the man had averred the truth, and named his physician, giving him a pious and charitable testimony, the Pharisees, because they could not force him to disavow his good opinion of Jesus, "cast him out of the synagogue." But Jesus, meeting him, received him into the church, told him he was Christ; and the man became again enlightened, and he “believed, and worshipped." But the Pharisees blasphemed : for such was the dispensation of the Divine mysteries, that the blind should see, and they which think they see clearly, should become blind, because they had not the excuse of ignorance to lessen or take off the sin; but, in the midst of light, they shut their eyes, and doted upon darkness, and "therefore did their sin remain."
22. But Jesus continued his sermon among the Pharisees, insinuating reprehensions in his dogmatical discourses, which, like light, shined, and discovered error. For, by discoursing "the properties of a good shepherd,' and the lawful way of 'intromission,' he proved them to be thieves and robbers,' because they refused to enter in by Jesus,' who is the door of the sheep; and, upon the same ground, reproved all those false Christs, which before him usurped the title of Messias; and proved his own vocation and office by an argument, which no other shepherd would use, because he 'laid down his life for his sheep' others would take the fleece and eat the flesh, but none but himself would die for his sheep; but he would first die, and then gather his ' sheep' together into one fold,' (intimating the calling of the Gentiles;) to which purpose he was enabled by his Father to lay down his life, and to take it up;' and had also endeared them to his Father, that they should be preserved unto eternal life, and no power should be able to take them out of his hand, or the hand of his Father:' for because Jesus was ' united to the Father,' the Father's care preserved the Son's flocks."
23. But the Jews, to requite him for his so divine sermons, betook themselves to their old argument: "they took up stones again to cast at him," pretending he had blasphemed but Jesus proved it to be no blasphemy to call himself "the Son of God," because "they to whom the
word of God came, are," in Scripture," called gods." But nothing could satisfy them, whose temporal interest was concerned, not to consent to such doctrine, which would save their souls by ruining their temporal concernments. But when "they sought again to take him, Jesus escaped out of their hands, and went away beyond Jordan, where John at first baptized :" which gave the people occasion to remember that "John did no miracle," but this man does many; and John, whom all men did revere and highly account of, for his office and sanctity, gave testimony to Jesus. “And many believed on him there."
24. After this, Jesus, knowing that "the harvest was great," and as yet the labourers had been few, sent out seventy-two of his disciples, with the like commission as formerly the twelve apostles, that they might "go before to those places, whither himself meant to come." Of which number were the seven, whom afterwards the apostles set over the widows, and Matthias, Mark, and some say Luke, Justus, Barnabas, Apelles, Rufus, Niger, Cephas (not Peter), Thaddæus, Aristion, and John. The rest of the names could not be recovered by the best diligence of Eusebius and Epiphanius. But when they returned from their journey, they rejoiced greatly in the legation and power, and Jesus also "rejoiced in spirit," giving glory to God, that he had "made his revelations to babes" and the more imperfect persons; like the lowest vallies, which receive from heaven the greatest floods of rain and blessings, and stand thick with corn and flowers, when the mountains are unfruitful in their height and greatness.
25. And now a doctor of the law came to Jesus, asking him a question of the greatest consideration that a wise man could ask, or a prophet answer: "Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus referred him to the Scriptures, and declared the way to heaven to be this only, " to love the Lord with all our powers and faculties, and our neighbour as ourself." But when the lawyer, being captious, made a scruple in a smooth rush, asking what is meant by "neighbour:" Jesus told him, by a parable of a traveller fallen into
Epiphan. Pan. lib. i. tom. 1. Enseb. lib. i. c. 12. Papius, apud Euseb. lib. iii. c. 33.
the hands of robbers, and neglected by a priest and by a Levite, but relieved by a Samaritan, that no distance of country or religion destroys the relation of neighbourhood; but every person, with whom we converse in peace and charity, is that neighbour, whom we are to love as ourselves.
26. Jesus, having departed from Jerusalem upon the forementioned danger, came to a village called Bethany, where Martha, making great and busy preparation for his entertainment, to express her joy and her affections to his person, desired Jesus to dismiss her sister Mary from his feet, who sate there feasting herself with the viands and sweetnesses of his doctrine, incurious of the provisions for entertainment. But Jesus commended her choice; and though he did not expressly disrepute Martha's civility, yet he preferred Mary's religion and sanctity of affections. In this time (because "the night drew on, in which no man could work,") Jesus hastened to do his Father's business, and to pour out whole cataracts of holy lessons, like the fruitful Nilus swelling over the banks, and filling all the trenches, to make a plenty of corn and fruits great as the inundation. Jesus therefore teaches his disciples "that form of prayer, the second time, which we call the Lord's Prayer:' teaches them assiduity and indefatigable importunity in prayer, by a parable of an importunate neighbour borrowing loaves at midnight, and a troublesome widow, who forced an unjust judge to do her right by her clamorous and hourly addresses: encourages them to pray, by consideration of the Divine goodness and fatherly affection, far more indulgent to his sons than natural fathers are to their dearest issue; and adds a gracious promise of success to them that pray. He reproves Pharisaical ostentation; arms his disciples against the fear of men and the terrors of persecution, which can arrive but to the incommodities of the body; teaches the fear of God, who is Lord of the whole man, and can accurse the soul, as well as punish the body. He refuses to divide the inheritance between two brethren, as not having competent power to become lord in temporal jurisdictions. He preaches against covetousness, and the placing felicities in worldly possessions, by a parable of a rich man, whose riches were too big for his barns, and big enough for his soul, and he ran over into voluptuousness, and stupid complacencies in his perishing goods: he was
snatched from their possession, and his soul taken from him, in the violence of a rapid and hasty sickness, in the space one night. He discourses of Divine providence and care over us all, and descending even as low as grass. He exhorts to alms-deeds, to watchfulness, and preparation against the sudden and unexpected coming of our Lord to judgment, or the arrest of death: tells the offices and sedulity of the clergy, under the apologue of stewards and governors of their Lord's houses; teaches them gentleness and sobriety, and not to do evil upon confidence of their Lord's absence and delay; and teaches the people, even of themselves, to judge what is right concerning the signs of the coming of the Son of Man. And the end of all these discourses was, that all men should repent, and live good lives, and be saved."
27. At this sermon "there were present some, that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate mingled with their sacrifices." For the Galileans were a sort of people, that taught it to be unlawful to pay tribute to strangers, or to pray for the Romans; and because the Jews did both, they refused to communicate in their sacred rites, and would sacrifice apart: at which solemnity, when Pilate, the Roman deputy, had apprehended many of them, he caused them all to be slain, making them to die upon the same altars. These were of the province of Judea, but of the same opinion with those who taught in Galilee, from whence the sect had its appellative. But to the story: Jesus made reply, that these external accidents, though they be sad and calamitous, yet they are no arguments of condemnation against the persons of the men, to convince them of a greater guilt than others, upon whom no such visible signatures have been imprinted. The purpose of such chances is, that we should “repent, lest we perish" in the like judgment.
28. About this time a certain ruler of a synagogue renewed the old question about the observation of the Sabbath, repining at Jesus, that he cured "a woman that was crooked, loosing her from her infirmity, with which she had been afflicted eighteen years." But Jesus made the man ashamed, by an argument from their own practice, who themselves "loose an ox from the stall on the Sabbath, and lead him to watering" and by the same argument he also stopped the