« PreviousContinue »
door of his redemption, but through faith in the TRUB SHEPHERD, who laid down my life for the sheep; for mark the words that I said unto them-All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers. These words have been puzzling to thee, as thou judgedst it alluded to the prophets; but I tell thee, No; I was not speaking of the prophets; I was speaking of the shepherds; and know how I blamed the shepherds by the mouth of my prophets: and now mark in the days of my Gospel, who where followers of me, that were shepherds of the flock? I tell thee, no one ; for it was the shepherds that led the flocks astray; and by the shepherds they are led to this day. Therefore I said they were thieves and robbers of the sheep : but my sheep would not heat them; for if they had been led by the voice of the shepherds they would all have gone astray, as the shepherds led them ; for I now tell thee, it is the wisdom of man to draw men to follow them, that they may set up their own wisdom; therefore I blame the shepherds by the mouth of the prophets ; for they want to prophesy out of their own hearts a. gainst the prophets that I had sent amongst them. Then how dost thou marvel that I said the shepherds who came before Me were thieves and robbers, and in my days they were the same, to rob God of that honour that was due unto his name? For know it it writtten, secret things belong to God; then how can they be known to man before they are revealed by the Spirit of God? Then how canst thou marvel at my words, that I called them thieves and robbers, who resisted my visitation first by the prophets, and when I came into the world who resisted my Spirit the same? Now these words, I have other sheep that are not of this fold, them also I must bring in, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be onc fold and one shepherd ; but how do men believe my Gospel? the sheep that were then my disciples heard my voice, while I was CHRIST THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. 573 with them, and after my ascension they were visited by my Spirit ; but did I tell them the end was then? I tell thee, No; I said I had other sheep to bring in; but know these sheep must be in the end, when all nations are united together; or how can they be one sheep in one fold, and under one shepherd, if that shepherd be not he that laid down his life for the sheep? This I tell thee is the meaning of my words ; and no man can explain them another way, unless he be a thief and a robber, to rob me of my honour and glory.-But this, I tell thee, cannot be done, to rob me of my sheep, that enter in this way by faith ; for when they weigh the whole together, the wisdom of man in past ages with the present, and see how men stumbled by the words of the prophets; and deeply look to the standard of the Jews, and discern, as I have told thee, the different judgments of men under the Gospel, they will discern that men are as dead to knowledge as Lazarus was when he was laid in the grave; then who shall bring the dead to life, but I the Lord that died for man, and rose again in my own body and my own likeness? And so, I tell thee, will I renew man, that is under the fall; I will restore him from that death, and bring him again to newness of life in ME. This is my promise to my sheep, when I come to raise them up at the last day: neither shall there any pluck them out of my band: these are the promises made in my Gospel. Now mark the words that I said unto Martha: I am the resurrection and the life ; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. These were the words that I said unto her, when I raised Lazarus from the dead; but mark the words that follow : he that believeth in me shall never die. This I have explained to thee already, what was the meaning of my words—that they should never die a spiritual death; but know if I am the resurrection of the dead, I must restore the dead, that was pro
nounced dead, to life, as I have promised, as I restored Lazarus from the grave. But now mark the words of the Pharisees, how they took council together against me, when they saw the miracles I wrought; then where was the difference in them and the people in the land of Egypt, that were incensed against the miracles that Moses wrought? Now if men deeply discern, it is not the name of being Christians, or calling them by a Christian name, that makes them so in reality; for I tell thee, from my Gospel, it is plainly proved from the Jews, that they were perfectly like the people of Egypt against the miracles of Moses, till destruction came upon them, as it came upon the land of Egypt; yet all these things do not convince men that they are blinded through unbelief. But now mark the fear of the people; they said if we let him alone in doing these miracles, all men will believe on him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation. Here they feared the very things that their own wisdom brought upon them ! and now I tell thee, here stands a type deep of the end : men are afraid, if they believe in my coming, and believe in the visitation of iny Spirit, it will take away their honour amongst men.
But now I tell thee, perfectly like the Jews of old, men's own wisdom will bring on their own destruction; for as the hearts of the Jews were hardened like the heart of Pharaoh, before their destruction came upon them, so, I tell thee, if men's hearts are now hardened through unbelief, they will bring on their own destruction the same. But mark the words of Caiaphas—"Now it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.” Here he spoke words he did not understand; for had he understood them, he could not have spoken them, if he had understood that I was the Son of God, come down to die for man; but this was not understood by him; though thou
THE TYPE OF LAZARUS.
575 judgest, from his prophesying not of himself, that he understood what he said ; but I tell thee, No; if the prophets, that were called of God to prophesy, understood not their own words, how should a man understand his words that was not for Me, but against me? But know, at that time my death did not prevent the destruction of their nation, because it came hastily on after the death of me and my disciples; therefore seeking of my life did not prevent their destruction ; for that brought it on; neither were all nations gathered together in me at that time; 'and yet, from their own prophet, if they could understand his words and prophecies, my death was that the nations should not perish, but that I should gather together in one all the children of God that were scattered abroad. This was what my death was for ; but can they say it has ever accomplished this ? or was it then accomplished according to the words and wisdom of Caiaphas ? And yet mark how hasty they were, from his words, to seek my life and put me to death. Here you see how eager men are to rely on the wisdom of man, that hath no knowledge or understanding in him ; neither were they convinced when they saw his wisdom fail. Now mark how they tried to deceive the people; the chief priests consulted to put Lazarus to death, that the truth of the miracles might not appear. Then how dost thou marvel in thy heart, that men do not wish to judge with true and righteous judgment ? This discern ye from ages past, the unjust judgment of men ; and how they wished to blind their own eyes, and the eyes of others; for they had no desire to come to the knowledge of the truth ; then where is the difference of the conduct of men, when I came in the Body, and now I am come in the Spirit? Do men wish to judge for theirselves? do they wish to come to the knowledge of the truth ? dą they not wish to conceal the truth, as they wished to put Lazarus to death, to conceal the truth of his
being risen from the dead? Therefore I said the word that I have spoken the same shall judge them in the last day. And now mark, the last days are come, that I come into the world that whosoever believeth on Me should not abide in darkness; then know all men, ye are yet in darkness, and the world abides in darkness; but I come to free you from that darkness and to be a light to every man that cometh into the world. But is this light in every man, that comes into the world, since my death? conscience and reason must answer, No; then know all men, the words of my Gospel, that are left upon record, are to judge all men in the last day, when I come again in the Spirit : but how will men appear when I call forward my Gospel, and shew them the words that are left on record, what I came into the world for, that they might not abide in darkness? But in darkness the world is still; and know I have proved it from the different sects of those that profess to believe my Gospel, how they are in darkness : and darkness comprehends not the true meaning of my Gospel ; neither do mankind ; for where is the man who can prove he understands my Gospel, and can explain the whole? I tell thee, no man: then know the words that I said unto them—if they believed in me they should not abide in darkness; for the words that I said unto them should be judged in the last day.
THESE EXPLANATIONS OF
THE BIBLE are to be continued.
PRINTED BY S. ROUSSEAU, WOOD STREET, SPA FIELDS; And sold by E. J. FIELD, No. 139, near Bloomsbury Court, High Hol
born; E. CARPENTER, Meeting-house, Newington Butts, near the Elephant and Castle ; C. ABBOTT, East End of Old Street : Alse by W. SYMONDS, Gandy Lane; and the Miss EvELEIGHS, Si. Sidwell's, Exeter ; and Mr. Child, Stourbridge, Worcestershire.
[Price One Shilling and Sixpence.]