Page images
PDF
EPUB

And now, my Trinitarian hearers, I think

you

will at least allow that I have

ercise, as you expect, a temporal dominion among you; it is by far other means that I am to draw all men to me, So fatal will be the sufferings through which I am to accomplish this service, that I might assume even a bolder strain than that in which I have already spoken of it: I might say that the food which I will give you is my flesh, which I will give you for the sustenance of the world.

53, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." However strange the doctrine may appear to you, however different from your expectations concerning the Messiah; yet in order to accomplish the errand on which God has sent him, the Messiah must die a violent and bloody death. It is by means of this especially, that his pretensions to your obedience and allegiance will be established.

61, “ When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples mur. mured at it, he said unto them, doth this offend you.” Jesus, who in this, as in many other instances, did not need to be informed of what was passing privately among his hearers, knowing that they were muttering their disapprobation of his discourse, and conceiving the intention to forsake him, said unto them, “Is it a stone of stumbling in your way, that I said I would give you my flesh to eat? Does this dispose you to go back, and withdraw yourselves from among my followers?'

62, “If you should see the Son of Man return (ascend) where he was before ?" When

you

have received proofs of my resurrection, and return to life again, will you then continue in this perplexity about my character? Will you still be con. founded and offended with the doctrine I have taught, and the language in which I have expressed it? That event may perhaps compose the fluctuation of your minds, and solve the

[ocr errors]

acted fairly by you in giving your arguments. If I have not adduced all the

pas

difficulties which now harass you. It may clear your doubts about my claim to your reception and submission, as the prophet who should come into the world. Surely it will shew you that it never could have been meant that

you

should literally eat the flesh and drink the blood of that body that was to be re-animated after death, and the preservation of which was necessary to ascertain the truth and the reality of my existence, resurrection, and return to life again. That event, establish. ing the truth of my doctrine, which contains in it the clearest discoveries of eternal life, and the most powerful assistances to obtain it, will suggest the real sense in which I said that I would give myself for the life of the world; and leave you without doubt, that under the images of eating my flesh and drinking my blood, in order thereby to be nourished to eternal life, I spake to you of receiving my doctrine with that full assurance of faith, and that reverend respect to which it is entitled, and of incorporating that doctrine into your hearts and minds. When these things are come to pass, you will then understand and believe what I am now going to add.' viz.

63, “The spirit is that which giveth life, the flesh profiteth nothing; the things of which I have been speaking to you, are spirit and are life.”

Cappe's Critical Remarks, Vol. i. p. 342–347. 1. “In explaining this passage, it has not been sufficiently adverted to that ávaßaw signifies, not only motion to a higher place than that in which any person is who perceives it, but also motion from a lower place up to that in which the observer is situated. In the latter sense it is often used in scripture. The common English version of the word is quoted in the following instances of this. Rev. xi. 7. “The beast that ascended out of the deep,” &c. namely the sea. xiii. 1, "A

sages, from which you infer the deity of Jesus Christ, I think you will grant, that

beast rising up out of the sea.” Ver. 11, Another beast coming up out of the earth.xvii. 8, A beast about to come up out of the deep,” i. e. the sea. Daniel vii. 3, “ Four great beasts came up from the sea.” Gen. xli. 2, 3, 18, 19, “Kine came up out of the river,” Joshua iv. 19, “ The people came up out of Jordan.” Matt. xvii. 27, “ Take the fish which cometh up first out of the sea.” See also Acts viii. 31; xx. 11; Mark i. 10; Matt. iii. 16; Amos viii. 8. Sept.

2. Avaßaw is also used to signify rising up from the receptacle or state of the dead, in five several instances. These, therefore, strongly countenance the application of this term, in John vi. 62, to the resurrection of Christ. In the Septuagint, the very same participle, as well as the infinitive of this verb, are used to describe Samuel's ascending from the state of the dead to reproye Saul, 1 Sam. xxviii. 13–15; Rev. xix. 2; Xx. 1, 2, 3.

3. “The plain purport of this discourse is as follows; Jesus tells the people that he himself would give eternal life to those who believed in, and obeyed him and his doctrine, as coming from God; and that for this purpose he would give up his own life, and would raise them from the dead at the last day, ver. 27, 40, 47, 50, 51, 54, 58.

4. “Now since it was upon his resurrection, not upon his ascension, that Christ always rested the decisive proof of his divine mission, and of his doctrine of the resurrection of man. kind to a future life; a reference to the former, as being explanatory of any figurative language which he used upon these subjects, is more suitable than a reference to the latter.

5. “That Jesus speaks, in the 62d verse, of his resurrection appears, further, from the main purpose and design of the preceding discourse. It was evidently intended to check the

what remains may be arranged under some of the preceding classes, and are open to

notions which the people and his disciples entertained of him as a temporal prince. A prophecy, therefore, of his resur. rection, after he had given his life for the world, which he had mentioned in his discourse that he should do, would tend to correct their false notions of his temporal power and dominion, and would lead them to consider him more attentively as a spiritual guide to immortality.

6. “ The whole discourse appears to have answered the desired end: it decreased the attachment of the people; it. influenced those to forsake him who followed him from worldly motives; it tried the faith of his apostles and confirmed their adherence.

7. “By understanding the passage under consideration, of the resurrection of Christ, it quite accords with his usual manner of address in similar circumstances.

8. “ It also corresponds with the commission which he gave to his apostles to attest the truth of this fact to the world at large, as the basis of their hope of a resurrection to everlasting life. Luke xxiv, 27, 31, 33, 45, 49; Acts i. 22; ii. 31, 32; ii. 15, 26; iv. 10, 33; v. 30, 32; X. 40, 41; xvii. 3, 31; Rom. i. 4; 1 Cor. iii 4; 1 Pet. i. 3—5; iii. 21. 22.

“ It appears then from the language in John vi. 62, from the subject and design of the whole discourse in that chapter, from our Lord's usual manner upon similar occasions, and from his uniform practice of resting the decisive evidence of his divine authority upon his resurrection, that the term dvaßavoria should be interpreted of his resurrection, and not of his ascen. sion."

Simpson's Essays on the Language of Scripture,

p. 442-451. For additional passages in which avaßairw is used as, coming or coming up, see Matt. xiii. 7; Mark iv. 7, 8; John xii. 20; Acts vii. 23; viii. 39; xxi. 31; 1 Cor. ii. 9.

similar observations. Let me ask one question. Is it usual to treat our arguments with similar fairness ? Are they usually brought forward in your hearing? Or are they not generally omitted ? Is it not customary to dwell upon such passages as I have now quoted, to repeat them again and again, give them a meaning without consulting the context or argument of the writer, without contrasting them with our arguments or the general tenor of the scriptures, and then triumphantly claim a victory?

In the last lecture, I mentioned in general terms the number of passages we could produce to contrast with the few you were able to urge. Under separate heads I shall now direct your attention to a few in particular, in proof that our blessed Saviour was not really and truly God; I shall follow the order adopted by Christie, in his Discourses on the Divine Unity.

First. Jesus Christ is not and cannot rationally be supposed to be the Most High God, or God in the proper and sublime sense of the word, because he is in Scripture plainly distinguished from God.

« PreviousContinue »