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js record, that this is the Son of God.” SECT.VI. So little account did these two wonderfül personages make of their relation according to the flesh. From their infancy they had not conversed together ; and when they met, it was in public, that yohn might bear his testimonys foon after which, he was cast into prison, and law Jesus no more. An higher, more important, and durable connection, than any formed by consanguinity, engaged his attention, as it should do that of all Christ's disciples, according to those deep and divine strains of St. Paul ; « The love of Christ con* (traineth us, because we thus judge, " that if one died for all, then were all “ dead; and that he died for all, that “ they which live should not henceforth “ live unto themselves, but unto him "which died for them, and rose again, " Wherefore henceforth know we no “ man after the flesh, yea, though we « have known Christ after the flesh, yet « now henceforth know we him no “ more. Therefore if any man be in " Christ, he is a new creature : old
Secr.VI.“ things are past away; behold, all u things are become new a.”
The Baptist, having now lived to see the Lord's Christ, and shew him to the world, was ready, like old Simeon, to depart in peace, and to make over his disciples to a better Master, who would never leave them, nor forsake them. " Again, the next day after, “ John stood, and two of his disciples ; “ and looking upon Jesus as he walked, “ he faith, Behold the Lamb of God.”' Happy the Christian minister, who, like St. John, lives only to point out the Saviour to his people. And happy the people, who, like the two disciples, thereupon follow Jesus, enquire where he dwelleth, enter in, and abide with
To one of St. John's disposition it could not but be matter of concern to find envy and jealousy stirring in the breasts of his disciples, on account of the increasing fame of Jesus, as being likely to eclipse that of their master. For on occasion of a dispute which had happened about purification by baptism a 2 Cor. v. 14.
(disputes being seldom managed so as Sect.VI. not to produce ill-will) “ they came " unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, “ he that was with thee beyond Jordan, " to whom thou bearest witness, be« hold, the same baptizeth, and all “ men come unto him a ;” intimating, that John was in danger of losing both his credit and his disciples, by means of one, whom they took for a disciple, like themselves, as he had been baptized by the same master. So ready are men, at every turn, to form parties in religion, and to set up their respective teachers in opposition to each other ; the consequences of which are, that the hearers waste that time in wrangling about a duty, which should be spent in practising it; and the teachers, if they have not good hearts and steady heads, preach themselves, instead of preaching Jesus Christ. “All men come « to him !” Great hath been the power of this argument to kindle the flames of emulation and diffention in the church; and the disciples of John did not doubt but that the consideration would excite . . , ; à John iii: 26, &c.
SBCT.VI. in him those passions, which they felt m working within themselves.
Bụt he was not framed of materials liable to take fire from such a spark. On the contrary, a perufal of the discourse which this address procured from him, is enough at any time to extinguish it, where it may have fallen. He made use of the incident, to bear his last and most noble testimony to the power and majesty of his Lord. So far was he from being offended, or chagrined, because all men resorted to Jesus, that he triumphed in it, as his glory and his joy, as the very end for which he was sent into the world, to preach and to baptize. As if he had said --
Why are ye jealous, and why do envious thoughts arise in your hearts? Look not to me, or to any thing that is in me, but to God, who made me what I am, placed me in the station, and called me to the office designed for me; · “a man can receive," or take to himself, “nothing, except it be given him « from above.” And ye know the character in which I have ever acted; “Ye “ yourselves bear me witness, that I
6 said, I am not the Christ, but that I Sect.VI. « am fent before him," as his messenger and minister, not to assemble disciples in mine own name, but to prepare men for him, and direct men to him. If therefore ye set so much by my authority, why do ye not credit my testimony? To Messiah, not to me, the church is to be gathered and united; and “he " that hath the bride is the bridegroom: “ but the friend of the bridegroom," who hath been honoured with a share in bringing about so happy an event, and who, when it is brought about, “ standeth and heareth him” conversing with his spouse, cannot therefore be grieved and vexed; he cannot envy the felicity of the bridegroom, or desire to take the bride from him ; but most affuredly congratulates with him, and “ rejoiceth greatly because of the bride“ groom's voice,” finding that he hath so well succeeded in the work in which he was employed. This is my very case, when you come and tell me, that all men resort to the person, of whom I have so often testified, that he is the Christ; “ this my joy therefore is ful