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go away? They, probably understanding no more of the preceding Difcourse than the others, answer by Peter, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou haft the Words of eternal Life. Let this suffice us.
The Scriptures compard with human Writings, may be thought less curious and instructive in many Particulars : Be it so. The Greek cannot find in them the Wisdom he seeks : But whoever considers our Lord, under che peculiar Character of the Author and Giver of Life, is immediately constrained to own, that he speaks as never Man spake. Herein is the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord. We may know him well in other respects, as his Crucifiers heretofore did, and call his Blood upon our Heads, instead of incorporating it into our Hearts.
Some Persons may probably think, that in the Prosecution of this Sub
ject, in recommending the Search of the Scriptures from this single Motive, their containing in them eternal Life, that I have not done Justice to other Inquiries, and that I may have lefsen'd the Value of the several kinds of human Learning. This has been far from my Purpose. These Engagements may indeed by too eager a Pursuit draw us off from our highest Concern, and they may also be moderated and directed to assist it greatly. The Mind must be exercised variously as well as the Body, to improve its Strength and Vigour: The Employments of each are consistent with eternal Life, and may either advance or retard the Businels of it, as they are subordinated to it or otherwise. There is a Liberty, as well as a Simplicity in the Gospel
. Brethren, we are called unto Liberty, only use not Liberty for an Occafon to the Flem. If we keep our supreme Concern in our View, it
will bless and fanctify all our Labours, and be a sweet Companion and Guide to us in all our Inquiries: But if we suffer it to depart from us, we deprive our selves of our greatest Comfort, having nothing left to retreat to but Stupidity and Thoughtlessness.
I shall conclude this Discourse with this most excellent Collect of our Liturgy.
Blessed Lord, who haft caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our Learning: Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by Patience and Comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast, the blessed Hope of everlasting Life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ
The Gospel Notion of eternal Life
inquired into and explained.
John vi. 68. Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord,
to whom shall we go ? Thou hast the Words of eternal Life.
HE Occasion of these Words was this: Our Lord had been entertaining his Followers
with a very strange and mysterious Discourse, which was so shocking and offensive to many of them in its outward and obvious Meaning, that they called it a hard Saying, ask
ing amongst themselves, who could bear it? Nay, so hard was it to them, that we are told, that from that time many of his Disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
The Discourse at which they were so highly disgusted, and provoked to a final Desertion of him, was concerning eating and drinking his Flesh, and Blood; which he assured them was so absolutely necessary, that without it they could have no Life in them. This, when understood in its Literal Meaning, must be very surprising to the Jews, who were under positive and repeated Commands from God, not to eat or drink so much as the Blood of any Beast. Levit. vii. 26. it is said, Te fall eat no manner of Blood, whether it be of Fowl, or of Beast, in
any of your Dwellings : Whatfoever Soul it be that eateth any Blood, even that Soul fall be cut off from his People. The Jews being under such