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    -Usherian years of the World, 3999-4033.
    - Alexandrian years of the World, 5497-5531.
    - Antiochian years of the World, 5487-5621.-Constantinopolitan AEra of the World, 5503-5537.
    - Rabbinical years of the World, 3754-3788.
    - Years of the Julian Period, 4708-4742.
    - AEra of the Seleucide, 307-341.
    - From B.C. 5, to A.D. 29.
    - From An. Olymp.CXCIII. 3, to CCII. 1.
    - Years of the building of Rome, 748-782.
    - Years of the Julian AEra, 41-75.
    - Years of the Caesarean AEra of Antioch, 44-78.-Years of the Spanish AEra, 34-68.
    - Years of the Paschal Cycle, or Dionysian Period, 529-31.
    - Years of the Christian Lunar Cycle, or Golden Number, 15-11.
    - Years of the Rabbinical Lunar Cycle, 12-8.
    - Years of the Solar Cycle, 4- 10.
    - From the 25th year of the reign of the Emperor Augustus to the 18th of that of Tiberius.N. B. As it was impossible to ascertain the precise dates of several transactions recorded in this Gospel, I have constructed the above Chronology in all the AEras which it includes, so as to comprehend the whole of our Lord's life on earth, from his conception to his ascension, which is generally allowed to comprise the space of 34 years, Therefore, 34, added to the first date in any of the above AEras, gives the second date; e.g. Usherian year of the world, 3099+34=4033, and so of the rest.


    The eternity of the Divine Logos, or Word of God, the dispenser of light and life, 1-5. The mission of John the Baptist, 6-13. The incarnation of the Logos or Word of God, 14. John's testimony concerning the Logos, 15-18. The priests and Levites question him concerning his mission and his baptism, 19-22. His answer, 23-28. His farther testimony on seeing Christ, 29-34. He points him out to two of his disciples, who thereupon follow Jesus, 35-37. Christ's address to them, 38, 39. Andrew invites his brother, Simon Peter; Christ's address to him, 40-42. Christ calls Philip, and Philip invites Nathanael, 43-46. Christ's character of Nathanael, 47. A remarkable conversation between him and this disciple, 48-61.


    John's introduction is from ver. 1-18. Some harmonists suppose it to end with ver. 14. but, from the connection of the whole, ver. 18 appears to be its natural close, at it contains a reason why the Logos or Word was made flesh. ver. 15 refers to chap. i. 6-8, and in these passages John's testimony is anticipated in order of time, and is very fitly mentioned to illustrate Christ's pre-eminence. ver. 16, 17 have a plain reference to ver. 14. See Bp. Newcome.

    Verse 1. "In the beginning" - That is, before any thing was formed-ere God began the great work of creation. This is the meaning of the word in Gen. i. 1, to which the evangelist evidently alludes. This phrase fully proves, in the mouth of an inspired writer, that Jesus Christ was no part of the creation, as he existed when no part of that existed; and that consequently he is no creature, as all created nature was formed by him: for without him was nothing made that is made, ver. 3. Now, as what was before creation must be eternal, and as what gave being to all things, could not have borrowed or derived its being from any thing, therefore Jesus, who was before all things and who made all things, must necessarily be the ETERNAL God.

    "Was the Word" - Or, existed the Logos. This term should be left untranslated, for the very same reason why the names Jesus and Christ are left untranslated. The first I consider as proper an apellative of the saviour of the world as I do either of the two last. And as it would be highly improper to say, the Deliverer, the Anointed, instead of Jesus Christ, so I deem it improper to say, the Word, instead of the Logos. But as every appellative of the saviour of the world was descriptive of some excellence in his person, nature, or work, so the epithet logov, Logos, which signifies a word spoken, speech, eloquence, doctrine, reason, or the faculty of reasoning, is very properly applied to him, who is the true light which lighteth every man who cometh into the world, ver. 9; who is the fountain of all wisdom; who giveth being, life, light, knowledge, and reason, to all men; who is the grand Source of revelation, who has declared God unto mankind; who spake by the prophets, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, Rev. xix. 10; who has illustrated life and immortality by his Gospel, 2 Tim. i. 10; and who has fully made manifest the deep mysteries which lay hidden in the bosom of the invisible God from all eternity, ver. 18.

    The apostle does not borrow this mode of speech from the writings of Plato, as some have imagined: he took it from the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and from the subsequent style of the ancient Jews. It is true the Platonists make mention of the Logos in this way:-kaq on, aei onta, ta genomena egeneto-by whom, eternally existing, all things were made.

    But as Plato, Pythagoras, Zeno, and others, traveled among the Jews, and conversed with them, it is reasonable to suppose that they borrowed this, with many others of their most important notions and doctrines, from them.

    "And the Word was God." - Or, God was the Logos: therefore no subordinate being, no second to the Most High, but the supreme eternal Jehovah.

    Verse 3. "All things were made by him" - That is, by this Logos. In Gen. i. 1, GOD is said to have created all things: in this verse, Christ is said to have created all things: the same unerring Spirit spoke in Moses and in the evangelists: therefore Christ and the Father are ONE. To say that Christ made all things by a delegated power from God is absurd; because the thing is impossible. Creation means causing that to exist that had no previous being: this is evidently a work which can be effected only by omnipotence. Now, God cannot delegate his omnipotence to another: were this possible, he to whom this omnipotence was delegated would, in consequence, become GOD; and he from whom it was delegated would cease to be such: for it is impossible that there should be two omnipotent beings.

    On these important passages I find that many eminently learned men differ from me: it seems they cannot be of my opinion, and I feel I cannot be of theirs. May He, who is the Light and the Truth, guide them and me into all truth!

    Verse 4. "In him was life" - Many MSS., versions, and fathers, connect this with the preceding verse, thus: All things were made by him, and without him was nothing made. What was made had life in it; but THIS LIFE was the light of men. That is, though every thing he made had a principle of life in it, whether vegetable, animal, or intellectual, yet this, that life or animal principle in the human being, was not the light of men; not that light which could guide them to heaven, for the world by wisdom knew not God, 1 Cor. i. 21. Therefore, the expression, in him was life, is not to be understood of life natural, but of that life eternal which he revealed to the world, 2 Timothy i. 10, to which he taught the way, chap. xiv. 6, which he promised to believers, chap. x. 28, which he purchased for them, chap. vi. 51, 53, 54, which he is appointed to give them, chap. xvii. 2, and to which he will raise them up, chap. v. 29, because he hath the life in himself, chap. v. 26. All this may be proved:

    1. From the like expressions; 1 John v. 11, This is the promise that God hath given unto us, eternal life, and this life is in his Son: whence he is styled the true God and eternal life, 1 John v. 20; the resurrection and the life, chap. xi. 25; the way, the truth, and the life, chap. xiv. 6. 2. From these words, ver. 7, John came to bear witness of this light, that all might believe through him, viz. to eternal life, 1 Tim. i. 16; for so John witnesseth, chap. iii. 15, 36. And hence it follows that this life must be the light of men, by giving them the knowledge of this life, and of the way leading to it. See Whitby on the place. Is there any reference here to Gen. iii. 20: And Adam called his wife's name Eve, hwj chava, zwh, LIFE, because she was the mother of all living? And was not Jesus that seed of the woman that was to bruise the head of the serpent, and to give life to the world?

    Verse 5. "And the light shineth in darkness" - By darkness here may be understood:

    1. The heathen world, Eph. v. 8. 2. The Jewish people. 3. The fallen spirit of man.

    "Comprehended it not." - auto ou katelaben, Prevented it not- hindered it not, says Mr. Wakefield, who adds the following judicious note:-"Even in the midst of that darkness of ignorance and idolatry which overspread the world, this light of Divine wisdom was not totally eclipsed: the Jewish nation was a lamp perpetually shining to the surrounding nations; and many bright luminaries, among the heathen, were never wanting in just and worthy notions of the attributes and providence of God's wisdom; which enabled them to shine in some degree, though but as lights in a dark place, 2 Pet. i. 19. Compare Acts xiv. 17; xvii. 28, 29."

    Verse 6. "Whose name was John." - This was John the Baptist; see his name and the nature of his office explained, Mark i. 4, and Matt. iii. 1-3.

    Verse 7. "That all men through him might believe." - He testified that Jesus was the true light-the true teacher of the way to the kingdom of glory, and the lamb or sacrifice of God, which was to bear away the sin of the world, ver. 29, and invited men to believe in him for the remission of their sins, that they might receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, ver. 32-34. This was bearing the most direct witness to the light which was now shining in the dark wilderness of Judea; and, from thence, shortly to be diffused over the whole world.

    Verse 9. "Which lighteth every man" - As Christ is the Spring and Fountain of all wisdom, so all the wisdom that is in man comes from him; the human intellect is a ray from his brightness; and reason itself springs from this Logos, the eternal reason. Some of the most eminent rabbins understand Isa. lx. 1, Rise and shine, for thy LIGHT is come, of the Messiah who was to illuminate Israel, and who, they believe, was referred to in that word, Gen. i. 3, And God said, Let there be LIGHT; and there was light. Let a Messiah be provided; and a Messiah was accordingly provided. See Schoettgen.

    "That cometh into the world." - Or, coming into the world- ercomenon eiv ton kosmon: a common phrase among the rabbins, to express every human being. As the human creature sees the light of the world as soon as it is born, from which it had been excluded while in the womb of its parent; in like manner, this heavenly light shines into the soul of every man, to convince of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and it is through this light, which no man brings into the world with him, but which Christ mercifully gives to him on his coming into it, that what is termed conscience among men is produced. No man could discern good from evil, were it not for this light thus supernaturally and graciously restored. There was much light in the law, but this shone only upon the Jews; but the superior light of the Gospel is to be diffused over the face of the whole earth.

    The following not only proves what is asserted in this verse, but is also an excellent illustration of it.

    The GAYATRI, or holiest verse of the VEDAS, i.e. the ancient Hindoo Scriptures.

    "Let us adore the supremacy of that divine Sun, the Godhead who illuminates all, who re-creates all; from whom all proceed; to whom all must return; whom we invoke to direct our understandings aright, in our progress towards his holy seat." The ancient comment.

    "What the sun and light are to this visible world, that are the supreme good and truth to the intellectual and invisible universe; and, as our corporeal eyes have a distinct perception of objects enlightened by the sun, thus our souls acquire certain knowledge by meditating on the light of truth, which emanates from the Being of beings; that is the light by which alone our minds can be directed in the path to blessedness." Sir Wm. Jones's works, vol. vi. p. 417.

    Sir William observes that the original word Bhargas, which he translates Godhead, consists of three consonants, and is derived from bha, to shine; ram, to delight; and gam, to move:-the Being who is the light, the source of happiness, and the all-pervading energy.

    Verse 10. "He was in the world" - From its very commencement-he governed the universe-regulated his Church-spake by his prophets-and often, as the angel or messenger of Jehovah, appeared to them, and to the patriarchs.

    "The world knew him not." - auton ouk egnw-Did not acknowledge him; for the Jewish rulers knew well enough that he was a teacher come from God; but they did not choose to acknowledge him as such. Men love the world, and this love hinders them from knowing him who made it, though he made it only to make himself known. Christ, by whom all things were made, ver. 3, and by whom all things are continually supported, Colossiansi. 16, 17; Heb. i. 3, has way every where, is continually manifesting himself by his providence and by his grace, and yet the foolish heart of man regardeth it not! See the reason, chap. iii. 19.

    Verse 11. "He came unto his own" - ta idia-to those of his own family, city, country:-and his own people, oi idioi-his own citizens, brethren, subjects.

    The Septuagint, Josephus, and Arrian, use these words, ta idioi and oi idioi, in the different senses given them above.

    "Received him not." - Would not acknowledge him as the Messiah, nor believe in him for salvation.

    How very similar to this are the words of Creeshna, (an incarnation of the Supreme Being, according to the theology of the ancient Hindoos!) Addressing one of his disciples, he says: "The foolish, being unacquainted with my supreme and divine nature, as Lord of all things, despise me in this human form; trusting to the evil, diabolic, and deceitful principle within them. They are of vain hope, of vain endeavours, of vain wisdom, and void of reason; whilst men of great minds, trusting to their divine natures, discover that I am before all things, and incorruptible, and serve me with their hearts undiverted by other beings." See Bhagvat Geeta, p. 79.

    To receive Christ is to acknowledge him as the promised Messiah; to believe in him as the victim that bears away the sin of the world; to obey his Gospel, and to become a partaker of his holiness, without which no man, on the Gospel plan, can ever see God.

    Verse 12. "Gave he power" - exousian, Privilege, honour, dignity, or right.

    He who is made a child of God enjoys the greatest privilege which the Divine Being can confer on this side eternity. Those who accept Jesus Christ, as he is offered to them in the Gospel, have, through his blood, a right to this sonship; for by that sacrifice this blessing was purchased; and the fullest promises of God confirm it to all who believe. And those who are engrafted in the heavenly family have the highest honour and dignity to which it is possible for a human soul to arrive. What an astonishing thought is this! The sinner, who was an heir to all God's curses, has, through the sacrifice of Jesus, a claim on the mercy of the Most High, and a right to be saved! Even justice itself, on the ground of its holy and eternal nature, gives salvation to the vilest who take refuge in this atonement; for justice has nothing to grant, or Heaven to give, which the blood of the Son of God has not merited.

    Verse 13. "Which were born, not of blood" - Who were regenerated, ouk ex aimatwn, not of bloods-the union of father and mother, or of a distinguished or illustrious ancestry; for the Hebrew language makes use of the plural to point out the dignity or excellence of a thing: and probably by this the evangelist intended to show his countrymen, that having Abraham and Sarah for their parents would not entitle them to the blessings of the new covenant; as no man could lay claim to them, but in consequence of being born of God; therefore, neither the will of the flesh-any thing that the corrupt heart of man could purpose or determine in its own behalf; nor the will of man-any thing that another may be disposed to do in our behalf, can avail here; this new birth must come through the will of God-through; his own unlimited power and boundless mercy, prescribing salvation by Christ Jesus alone. It has been already observed that the Jews required circumcision, baptism, and sacrifice, in order to make a proselyte. They allow that the Israelites had in Egypt cast off circumcision, and were consequently out of the covenant; but at length they were circumcised, and they mingled the blood of circumcision with the blood of the paschal lamb, and from this union of bloods they were again made the children of God. See Lightfoot. This was the only way by which the Jews could be made the sons of God; but the evangelist shows them that, under the Gospel dispensation, no person could become a child of God, but by being spiritually regenerated.

    Verse 14. "And the Word was made flesh" - That very person who was in the beginning-who was with God-and who was God, ver. 1, in the fullness of time became flesh-became incarnated by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin. Allowing this apostle to have written by Divine inspiration, is not this verse, taken in connection with ver. 1, an absolute and incontestable proof of the proper and eternal Godhead of Christ Jesus? And dwelt among us] kai eskhnwsen en hmin, And tabernacled among us: the human nature which he took of the virgin, being as the shrine, house, or temple, in which his immaculate Deity condescended to dwell.

    The word is probably an allusion to the Divine Shechinah in the Jewish temple; and as God has represented the whole Gospel dispensation by the types and ceremonies of the old covenant, so the Shechinah in the tabernacle and temple pointed out this manifestation of God in the flesh.

    The word is thus used by the Jewish writers: it signifies with them a manifestation of the Divine Shechinah.

    The original word, skhnow, from skia, a shadow, signifies:

    1. To build a booth, tent, or temporary hut, for present shelter or convenience; and does not properly signify a lasting habitation or dwelling place; and is therefore fitly applied to the human nature of Christ, which, like the tabernacle of old, was to be here only for a temporary residence for the eternal Divinity.

    2. It signifies to erect such a building as was used on festival occasions, when a man invited and enjoyed the company of his friends. To this meaning of the word, which is a common one in the best Greek writers, the evangelist might allude, to point out Christ's associating his disciples with himself; living, conversing, eating, and drinking with them: so that, while they had the fullest proof of his Divinity by the miracles which he wrought, they had the clearest evidence of his humanity, by his tabernacling among, eating, drinking, and conversing with them. Concerning the various acceptations of the verb skhnow see Raphelius on this verse.

    The doctrine of vicarious sacrifice and the incarnation of the Deity have prevailed among the most ancient nations in the world, and even among those which were not favoured with the letter of Divine revelation. The Hindoos believe that their god has already become incarnate, not less than nine times, to save the wretched race of man.

    On this subject, Creeshna, an incarnation of the supreme God, according to the Hindoo theology, is represented in the Bhagvat Geeta, as thus addressing one of his disciples: "Although I am not in my nature subject to birth or decay, and am the Lord of all created beings, yet, having command over my own nature, I am made evident by my own power; and, as often as there is a decline of virtue and an insurrection of vice and injustice in the world, I make myself evident; and thus I appear from age to age, for the preservation of the just, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of virtue." Geeta, pp. 51, 52.

    The following piece, already mentioned, Luke i. 68, translated from the Sanscreet, found on a stone, in a cave near the ancient city of Gya in the East Indies, is the most astonishing and important of any thing found out of the compass of the Sacred Writings, and a proper illustration of this text.

    "The Deity, who is the Lord, the possessor of all, APPEARED in this ocean of natural beings, at the beginning of the Kalee Yoog (the age of contention and baseness.) He who is omnipresent, and everlastingly to be contemplated, the Supreme Being, the eternal ONE, the Divinity worthy to be adored-APPEARED here, with a PORTION of his DIVINE NATURE.

    Reverence be unto thee in the form of (a) Bood-dha! Reverence be unto the Lord of the earth! Reverence be unto thee, an INCARNATION of the Deity, and the Eternal ONE! Reverence be unto thee, O GOD! in the form of the God of mercy! the dispeller of PAIN and TROUBLE, the Lord of ALL things, the Deity who overcometh the sins of the Kalee Yoog, the guardian of the universe, the emblem of mercy towards those who serve thee! (b) O'M! the possessor of all things, in VITAL FORM! Thou art (c) Brahma, (d) Veeshnoo, and (e) Mahesa! Thou art Lord of the universe! Thou art under the form of all things, movable and immovable, the possessor of the whole! And thus I adore thee! Reverence be unto the BESTOWER of SALVATION, and the ruler of the faculties! Reverence be unto thee, the DESTROYER of the EVIL SPIRIT! O Damordara, (f) show me favour! I adore thee who art celebrated by a thousand names, and under various forms, in the shape of Bood-dha, the God of mercy! Be propitious, O most high God!" Asiatic Researches, vol. i. p. 284, 285.

    "We beheld his glory" - This refers to the transfiguration, at which John was present, in company with Peter and James.

    "The glory as of the only begotten" - That is, such a glory as became, or was proper to, the Son of God; for thus the particle wv should be here understood. There is also here an allusion to the manifestations of God above the ark in the tabernacle: see Exodus xxv. 22; Num. vii. 89; and this connects itself with the first clause, he tabernacled, or fixed his tent among us. While God dwelt in the tabernacle, among the Jews, the priests saw his glory; and while Jesus dwelt among men his glory was manifested in his gracious words and miraculous acts.

    "The only begotten of the Father" - That is, the only person born of a woman, whose human nature never came by the ordinary way of generation; it being a mere creation in the womb of the virgin, by the energy of the Holy Ghost.

    "Full of grace and truth." - Full of favour, kindness, and mercy to men; teaching the way to the kingdom of God, with all the simplicity, plainness, dignity, and energy of truth.

    (a) Bood-dha. The name of the Deity, as author of happiness.

    (b) O'M. A mystic emblem of the Deity, forbidden to be pronounced but in silence. It is a syllable formed of the Sanscreet letters a, o o, which in composition coalesce, and make o, and the nasal consonant m. The first letter stands for the Creator, the second for the Preserver, and the third for the Destroyer. It is the same among the Hindoos as hwhy Yehovah is among the Hebrews.

    (c) Brahma, the Deity in his creative quality.

    (d) Veeshnoo. He who filleth all space: the Deity in his preserving quality.

    (c) Mahesa. The Deity in his destroying quality. This is properly the Hindoo Trinity: for these three names belong to the same God. See the notes to the Bhagvat Geeta.

    (f) Damordara, or Darmadeve, the Indian god of virtue.

    Verse 15. "Of him" - The glorious personage before mentioned: John the Baptist, whose history was well known to the persons to whom this Gospel came in the beginning, bare witness; and he cried,-being deeply convinced of the importance and truth of the subject, he delivered his testimony with the utmost zeal and earnestness,-saying, This is he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me-for I am no other than the voice of the crier in the wilderness, Isa. xl. 3, the forerunner of the Messiah.

    "Was before me." - Speaking by the prophets, and warning your fathers to repent and return to God, as I now warn you; for he was before me-he was from eternity, and from him I have derived both my being and my ministry.

    Verse 16. "This verse should be put in place of the fifteenth, and the 15th inserted between the 18th and 19th, which appears to be its proper place: thus John's testimony is properly connected. And of his fullness" - Of the plenitude of his grace and mercy, by which he made an atonement for sin; and of the plenitude of his wisdom and truth, by which the mysteries of heaven have been revealed, and the science of eternal truth taught, we have all received: all we apostles have received grace or mercy to pardon our sins, and truth to enable us so to write and speak, concerning these things, that those who attend to our testimony shall be unerringly directed in the way of salvation, and with us continue to receive grace upon grace, one blessing after another, till they are filled with all the fullness of God. I believe the above to be the meaning of the evangelist, and think it improper to distract the mind of the reader with the various translations and definitions which have been given of the phrase, grace for grace. It is only necessary to add, that John seems here to refer to the Gospel as succeeding the law: the law was certainly a dispensation both of grace and truth; for it pointed out the gracious design of God to save men by Christ Jesus; and it was at least a most expressive and well- defined shadow of good things to come: but the Gospel, which had now taken place, introduced that plenitude of grace and truth to the whole world, which the law had only shadowed forth to the Jewish people, and which they imagined should have been restrained to themselves alone. In the most gracious economy of God, one dispensation of mercy and truth is designed to make way for, and to be followed by, another and a greater: thus the law succeeded the patriarchal dispensation, and the Gospel the law; more and more of the plenitude of the grace of the Gospel becomes daily manifest to the genuine followers of Christ; and, to those who are faithful unto death, a heaven full of eternal glory will soon succeed to the grace of the Gospel. To illustrate this point more fully, the following passage in Philo the Jew has been adduced: "God is always sparing of his first blessings or graces, (prwtav caritav,) and afterwards gives other graces upon them, (ant ekeinwn,) and a third sort upon the second, and always new ones upon old ones, sometimes of a different kind, and at other times of the same sort." Vol. i. p. 254, ed. Mang. In the above passage the preposition anti for, is used thrice in the sense of epi, upon. To confirm the above interpretation Bp. Pearce produces the following quotations. Ecclus xxvi. 15: cariv epi cariti gunh aiscunthra-A modest woman is a grace upon a grace, i.e. a double grace or blessing. Euripides uses the very same phrase with John, where he makes Theoclymenus say to Helena. cariv anti caritov elqetw, May grace upon grace come to you! Helen v. 1250. ed. Barn.

    Verse 17. "The law was given by Moses" - Moses received the law from God, and through him it was given to the Jews, Acts vii. 38.

    "But grace and truth" - Which he had already mentioned, and which were to be the subject of the book which he was now writing, came to all mankind through Jesus Christ, who is the mediator of the new covenant, as Moses was of the old: Heb. viii. 6; ix. 15; Gal. iii. 19. See a fine discourse on this text by Mr. Claude, "Essay on the Composition of a Sermon," vol. i. p. 119, &c. edit. Lond. 1788.

    The law of Moses, however excellent in itself, was little in comparison of the Gospel: as it proceeded from the justice and holiness of God, and was intended to convict men of sin, that the way of the Gospel might be the better prepared, it was a law of rigour, condemnation, and death: Rom. iv. 15; 2 Cor. iii. 7, 8. It was a law of shadows, types, and figures: Heb. x. 1, and incapable of expiating sin by its sacrifices: Rom. viii. 3; Hebrews vii. 18, 19; x. 1, 11. But Christ has brought that grace which is opposed to condemnation: Rom. v. 15, 20, 21; viii. 1; Galatians iii. 10; and he is himself the spirit and substance of all those shadows: Col. ii. 19; Heb. x. 1.

    "Jesus Christ" - JESUS the CHRIST, the Messiah, or anointed prophet, priest, and king, sent from heaven. To what has already been said on the important name Jesus, (See Matt. i. 21, and the places there referred to,) I shall add the following explanation, chiefly taken from Professor Schultens, who has given a better view of the ideal meaning of the root [y yasha, than any other divine or critic.

    He observes that this root, in its true force, meaning, and majesty, both in Hebrew and Arabic, includes the ideas of amplitude, expansion, and space, and should be translated, he was spacious-open-ample; and, particularly, he possessed a spacious or extensive degree or rank: and is applied, 1. To a person possessing abundance of riches. 2. To one possessing abundant power. 3. To one possessing abundant or extensive knowledge. 4. To one possessing abundance of happiness, beatitude, and glory. Hence we may learn the true meaning of Zech. ix. i10: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion-behold, thy king cometh unto thee; he is JUST, and having SALVATION:- [ywh -he is possessed of all power to enrich, strengthen, teach, enlarge, and raise to glory and happiness, them who trust in him.

    Man by nature is in want and poverty: in abjectness and weakness: in darkness and ignorance: in straits and captivity: in wretchedness and infamy. His Redeemer is called h[wy JESUS-he who looses, enlarges, and endows with salvation.

    1. He enriches man's poverty:

    2. strengthens his weakness:

    3. teaches his ignorance:

    4. brings him out of straits and difficulties: and 5. raises him to happiness, beatitude, and glory. And the aggregate of these is SALVATION. Hence that saying, His name shall be called JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. See Schultens Origines Hebraeae, p. 15.

    Verse 18. "No man hath seen God at any time" - Moses and others heard his voice, and saw the cloud and the fire, which were the symbols of his presence; but such a manifestation of God as had now taken place, in the person of Jesus Christ, had never before been exhibited to the world. It is likely that the word seen, here, is put for known, as in chap. iii. 32; 1 John iii. 2, 6, and 3 John xi; and this sense the latter clause of the verse seems to require:-No man, how highly soever favoured, hath fully known God, at any time, in any nation or age; the only begotten Son, (see on ver. 14,) who is in the bosom of the Father, who was intimately acquainted with all the counsels of the Most High, he hath declared him, exhghsato, hath announced the Divine oracles unto men; for in this sense the word is used by the best Greek writers. See Kypke in loco. 1095 Lying in the bosom, is spoken of in reference to the Asiatic custom of reclining while at meals; the person who was next the other was said to lie in his bosom; and he who had this place in reference to the master of the feast was supposed to share his peculiar regards, and so be in a state of the utmost favour and intimacy with him.

    Verse 19. "And this is the record of John" - He persisted in this assertion, testifying to the Jews that this Jesus was THE CHRIST.

    Verse 20. "He confessed, and denied not; but confessed" - A common mode of Jewish phraseology. John renounces himself, that Jesus may be all in all. Though God had highly honoured him, and favoured him with peculiar influence in the discharge of his work, yet he considered he had nothing but what he had received, and therefore, giving all praise to his benefactor, takes care to direct the attention of the people to him alone from whom he had received his mercies. He who makes use of God's gifts to feed and strengthen his pride and vanity will be sure to be stripped of the goods wherein he trusts, and fall down into the condemnation of the devil. We have nothing but what we have received; we deserve nothing of what we possess; and it is only God's infinite mercy which keeps us in the possession of the blessings which we now enjoy.

    Verse 21. "Art thou Elias?" - The scribes themselves had taught that Elijah was to come before the Messiah. See Matt. xvii. 10; and this belief of theirs they supported by a literal construction of Mal. iv. 5.

    "Art thou that prophet?" - the prophet spoken of by Moses, Deut. xviii. 15, 18. This text they had also misunderstood: for the prophet or teacher promised by Moses was no other than the Messiah himself. See Acts iii. 22. But the Jews had a tradition that Jeremiah was to return to life, and restore the pot of manna, the ark of the covenant, &c., which he had hidden that the Babylonians might not get them. Besides this, they had a general expectation that all the prophets should come to life in the days of the Messiah.

    "I am not." - I am not the prophet which you expect, nor Elijah: though he was the Elijah that was to come; for in the spirit and power of that eminent prophet he came, proclaiming the necessity of reformation in Israel. See Matt. xi. 14; xvii. 10-13.

    Verse 22. "That we may give an answer to them that sent us." - These Pharisees were probably a deputation from the grand Sanhedrin; the members of which, hearing of the success of the Baptist's preaching, were puzzled to know what to make of him, and seriously desired to hear from himself what he professed to be.

    Verse 23. "I am the voice of one crying" - See the notes on Matthew iii. 3; Mark i. 4, 5.

    Verse 25. "Why baptizest thou then?" - Baptism was a very common ceremony among the Jews, who never received a proselyte into the full enjoyment of a Jew's privileges, till he was both baptized and circumcised.

    But such baptisms were never performed except by an ordinance of the Sanhedrin, or in the presence of three magistrates: besides, they never baptized any Jew or Jewess, nor even those who were the children of their proselytes; for, as all these were considered as born in the covenant, they had no need of baptism, which was used only as an introductory rite.

    Now, as John had, in this respect, altered the common custom so very essentially, admitting to his baptism the Jews in general, the Sanhedrin took it for granted that no man had authority to make such changes, unless especially commissioned from on high; and that only the prophet, or Elijah, or the Messiah himself; could have authority to act as John did. See the observations at the conclusion of Mark.

    Verse 26. "I baptize with water" - See on Mark i. 8. I use the common form, though I direct the baptized to a different end, viz. that they shall repent of their sins, and believe in the Messiah.

    "There standeth one among you" - That is, the person whose forerunner I am is now dwelling in the land of Judea, and will shortly make his appearance among you. Christ was not present when John spoke thus, as may be seen from ver. 29.

    Verse 27. "Is preferred before me" - ov emprosqen mou gegonen, Who was before me. This clause is wanting in BC*L, four others, the Coptic, AEthiopic, Slavonic, and two copies of the Itala, and in some of the primitive fathers. Griesbach has left it out of the text. It is likely that it was omitted by the above, because it was found in verses 15 and 30. At the end of this verse, EG, and ten others, with some copies of the Slavonic, add, He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.

    Verse 28. "These things were done in Bethabara" - It is very probable that the word Bethany should be inserted here, instead of Bethabara. This reading, in the judgment of the best critics, is the genuine one. The following are the authorities by which it is supported: ABCEGHLMSX, BV, of Matthai, upwards of a hundred others, Syriac, Armenian, Persic, Coptic, Slavonic, Vulgate, Saxon, and all the Itala, with some of the most eminent of the primitive fathers, before the time of Origen, who is supposed to have first changed the reading. Bethabara signifies literally the house of passage, and is thought to be the place where the Israelites passed the river Jordan under Joshua. There was a place called Bethany, about two miles from Jerusalem, at the foot of the mount of Olives. But there was another of the same name, beyond Jordan, in the tribe of Reuben. It was probably of this that the evangelist speaks; and Origen, not knowing OF this second Bethany, altered the reading to Bethabara. See Rosenmuller.

    Verse 29. "The next day" - The day after that on which the Jews had been with John, ver. 19.

    "Behold the Lamb of God, &c." - This was said in allusion to what was spoken Isa. liii. 7. Jesus was the true Lamb or Sacrifice required and appointed by God, of which those offered daily in the tabernacle and temple, Exod. xxix. 38, 39, and especially the paschal lamb, were only the types and representatives. See Exod. xii. 4, 5; 1 Cor. v. 7. The continual morning and evening sacrifice of a lamb, under the Jewish law, was intended to point out the continual efficacy of the blood of atonement: for even at the throne of God, Jesus Christ is ever represented as a lamb newly slain, Rev. v. 6. But John, pointing to Christ, calls him emphatically, the Lamb of God:-all the lambs which had been hitherto offered had been furnished by men: this was provided by GOD, as the only sufficient and available sacrifice for the sin of the world. In three essential respects, this lamb differed from those by which it was represented. 1st. It was the Lamb of God; the most excellent, and the most available. 2nd. It made an atonement for sin: it carried sin away in reality, the others only representatively. 3rd. It carried away the sin of the WORLD, whereas the other was offered only on behalf of the Jewish people. In Yalcut Rubeni, fol. 30, it is said, "The Messiah shall bear the sins of the Israelites." But this salvation was now to be extended to the whole world.

    Verse 31. "And I knew him not, &c." - John did not know our Lord personally, and perhaps had never seen him, at the time he spoke the words in ver. 15. Nor is it any wonder that the Baptist should have been unacquainted with Christ, as he had spent thirty years in the hill country of Hebron, and our Lord remained in a state of great privacy in the obscure city of Nazareth, in the extreme borders of Galilee.

    "But that he should be made manifest to Israel" - One design of my publicly baptizing was, that he, coming to my baptism, should be shown to be what he is, by some extraordinary sign from heaven.

    Verse 32. "I saw the Spirit descending, &c." - See the notes on Matt. iii. 16, 17.

    Verse 33. "He that sent me-said unto me" - From this we may clearly perceive that John had a most intimate acquaintance with the Divine Being; and received not only his call and mission at first, but every subsequent direction, by immediate, unequivocal inspiration. Who is fit to proclaim Jesus, but he who has continual intercourse with God; who is constantly receiving light and life from Christ their fountain; who bears a steady, uniform testimony to Jesus, even in the presence of his enemies; and who at all times abases himself, that Jesus alone may be magnified! Reformation of manners, and salvation of souls, will accompany such a person's labours whithersoever he goeth.

    Verse 35. "The next day" - After that mentioned ver. 29.

    "Two of his disciples" - One of them was Andrew, ver. 40, and it is very likely that John himself was the other; in every thing in which he might receive honour he studiously endeavours to conceal his own name.

    Verse 36. "And looking upon Jesus" - Attentively beholding, embleyav, from en, into, and blepw, to look-to view with steadfastness and attention. He who desires to discover the glories and excellencies of this Lamb of God, must thus look on him. At first sight, he appears only as a man among men, and as dying in testimony to the truth, as many others have died. But, on a more attentive consideration, he appears to be no less than God manifest in the flesh, and, by his death, making an atonement for the sin of the world.

    "Behold the Lamb of God!" - By this the Baptist designed to direct the attention of his own disciples to Jesus, not only as the great sacrifice for the sin of the world, but also as the complete teacher of heavenly truth.

    Verse 37. "And the two disciples heard him" - And they perfectly understood their master's meaning; in consequence of which, they followed Jesus. Happy they who, on hearing of the salvation of Christ, immediately attach themselves to its author! Delays are always dangerous; and, in this case, often fatal. Reader! hast thou ever had Christ as a sacrifice for thy sin pointed out unto thee? If so, hast thou followed him? If not, thou art not in the way to the kingdom of God. Lose not another moment! Eternity is at hand! and thou art not prepared to meet thy God.

    Pray that he may alarm thy conscience, and stir up thy soul to seek till thou have found.

    Verse 38. "What seek ye?" - These disciples might have felt some embarrassment in addressing our blessed Lord, after hearing the character which the Baptist gave of him; to remove or prevent this, he graciously accosts them, and gives them an opportunity of explaining themselves to him. Such questions, we may conceive, the blessed Jesus still puts to those who in simplicity of heart desire an acquaintance with him. A question of this nature we may profitably ask ourselves: What seek ye? In this place! In the company you frequent? In the conversation you engage in? In the affairs with which you are occupied? In the works which you perform? Do you seek the humiliation, illumination, justification, edification, or sanctification of your soul? The edification of your neighbour? The good of the Church of Christ? Or, The glory of God? Questions of this nature often put to our hearts, in the fear of God, would induce us to do many things which we now leave undone, and to leave undone many things which we now perform.

    "Rabbi" - Teacher. Behold the modesty of these disciples-we wish to be scholars, we are ignorant-we desire to be taught; we believe thou art a teacher come from God.

    "Where dwellest thou?" - That we may come and receive thy instructions.

    Verse 39. "Come and see." - If those who know not the salvation of God would come at the command of Christ, they should soon see that with him is the fountain of life, and in his light they should see light. Reader, if thou art seriously inquiring where Christ dwelleth, take the following for answer: He dwells not in the tumult of worldly affairs, nor in profane assemblies, nor in worldly pleasures, nor in the place where drunkards proclaim their shame, nor in carelessness and indolence. But he is found in his temple, wherever two or three are gathered together in his name, in secret prayer, in self-denial, in fasting, in self- examination. He also dwells in the humble, contrite spirit, in the spirit of faith, of love, of forgiveness, of universal obedience; in a word, he dwells in the heaven of heavens, whither he graciously purposes to bring thee, if thou wilt come and learn of him, and receive the salvation which he has bought for thee by his own blood.

    "The tenth hour" - Generally supposed to be about what we call four o'clock in the afternoon. According to chap. xi. 9, the Jews reckoned twelve hours in the day; and of course each hour of the day, thus reckoned, must have been something longer or shorter, according to the different times of the year in that climate. The sixth hour with them answered to our twelve o'clock, as appears from what Josephus says in his life, chap. liv.

    That on the Sabbath day it was the rule for the Jews to go to dinner at the sixth hour, (ekth wra.) The Romans had the same way of reckoning twelve hours in each of their days. Hence what we meet with in Hor. lib. ii. sat. vi. l. x24: ante secundam signifies, as we should express it, before eight o'clock. And when, in lib. i. sat. vi. l. 122, he says, ad quartam jaceo, he means that he lay in bed till ten o'clock. See Bishop Pearce on this place.

    Dr. Macknight, however, is of opinion that the evangelist is to be understood as speaking of the Roman hour, which was ten o'clock in the morning; and as the evangelist remarks, they abode with him that day, it implies that there was a considerable portion of time spent with our Lord, in which, by his conversation, he removed all their scruples, and convinced them that he was the Messiah. But, had it been the Jewish tenth hour, it would have been useless to remark their abiding with him that day, as there were only two hours of it still remaining. Harmony, vol. i. p. 52.

    Verse 41. "Findeth his own brother Simon" - Every discovery of the Gospel of the Son of God produces benevolence, and leads those to whom it is made to communicate it to others. Those who find Jesus find in him a treasure of wisdom and knowledge, through which they may not only become rich themselves, but be instruments, in the hand of God, of enriching others. These disciples, having tasted the good word of Christ, were not willing to eat their bread alone, but went and invited others to partake with them. Thus the knowledge of Christ became diffused-one invited another to come and see: Jesus received all, and the number of disciples was increased, and the attentive hearers were innumerable. Every man who has been brought to an acquaintance with God should endeavour to bring, at least, another with him; and his first attention should be fixed upon those of his own household.

    Verse 42. "Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." - petrov signifies a stone, or fragment of a rock. The reason why this name was given to Simon, who was ever afterwards called Peter, may be seen in the notes on Matt. xvi. 18, 19, and particularly in Luke, at the end of chap 9.

    Verse 43. "Philip" - This apostle was a native of Bethsaida in Galilee.

    Eusebius says he was a married man, and had several daughters. Clemens Alexandrinus mentions it as a thing universally acknowledged that it was this apostle who, when commanded by our Lord to follow him, said, Let me first go and bury my father, Matt. viii. 21, 22. Theodouret says he preached in the two Phrygias; and Eusebius says he was buried in Phrygia Pacatiana. He must not be confounded with Philip the deacon, spoken of Acts vi. 5.

    Verse 45. "Nathanael" - This apostle is supposed to be the same with Bartholomew, which is very likely, for these reasons 1. That the evangelists who mention Bartholomew say nothing of Nathanael; and that St. John, who speaks of Nathanael, says nothing of Bartholomew. 2. No notice is taken any where of Bartholomew's vocation, unless his and that of Nathanael mentioned here be the same. 3. The name of Bartholomew is not a proper name; it signifies the son of Ptolomy; and Nathanael might have been his own name. 4. St. John seems to rank Nathanael with the apostles, when he says that Peter and Thomas, the two sons of Zebedee, Nathanael, and two other disciples, being gone a fishing, Jesus showed himself to them, chap. xxi. 2-4.

    "Moses in the law" - See Gen. iii. 16; xxii. 18; xlix. 10; Deuteronomy xviii. 18.

    "And the prophets" - See Isa. iv. 2; vii. 14; ix. 5; xl. 10; liii. 1, &c.; Jer. xxiii. 5; xxxiii. 14, 15; Ezek. xxxiv. 23; xxxvii. 24; Dan. ix. 24; Micah v. 2; Zech. vi. 12; ix. 9; xii. 10.

    Verse 46. "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" - Bp. Pearce supposes that the ti agaqon of the evangelist has some particular force in it: for, in Jer. xxxiii. 14, God says, I will perform that good thing which I promised, &c.; and this, in Jer. xxxiii. 15; is explained to mean, his causing the branch of righteousness (i.e. the Messiah) to grow up unto David, from whom Jesus was descended: in this view, Nathanael's question seems to imply, that not Nazareth, but Bethlehem, was to be the birth-place of the Messiah, according to what the chief priests and scribes had determined, Matt. ii. 4-6. If this conjecture be not thought solid, we may suppose that Nazareth, at this time, was become so abandoned that no good could be expected from any of those who dwelt in it, and that its wickedness had passed into a proverb: Can any thing good be found in Nazareth? Or, that the question is illiberal, and full of national prejudice.

    "Come and see." - He who candidly examines the evidences of the religion of Christ will infallibly become a believer. No history ever published among men has so many external and internal proofs of authenticity as this has. A man should judge of nothing by first appearances, or human prejudices. Who are they who cry out, The Bible is a fable? Those who have never read it, or read it only with the fixed purpose to gainsay it. I once met with a person who professed to disbelieve every tittle of the New Testament, a chapter of which, he acknowledged, he had never read. I asked him, had he ever read the Old? He answered, No! And yet this man had the assurance to reject the whole as an imposture! God has mercy on those whose ignorance leads them to form prejudices against the truth; but he confounds those who take them up through envy and malice, and endeavour to communicate them to others.

    Verse 47. "Behold an Israelite indeed" - A worthy descendant of the patriarch Jacob, who not only professes to believe in Israel's God, but who worships him in sincerity and truth, according to his light.

    "In whom is no guile!" - Deceitfulness ever has been, and still is, the deeply marked characteristic of the Jewish people. To find a man, living in the midst of so much corruption, walking in uprightness before his Maker, was a subject worthy the attention of God himself. Behold this man! and, while you see and admire, imitate his conduct.

    Verse 48. "Whence knowest thou me?" - He was not yet acquainted with the divinity of Christ, could not conceive that he could search his heart, and therefore asks how he could acquire this knowledge of him, or who had given him that character. It is the comfort of the sincere and upright, that God knows their hearts; and it should be the terror of the deceitful and of the hypocrite, that their false dealing is ever noticed by the all-seeing eye of God.

    "Under the fig tree" - Probably engaged in prayer with God, for the speedy appearing of the salvation of Israel; and the shade of this fig tree was perhaps the ordinary place of retreat for this upright man. It is not A fig tree, but thn sukhn, THE fig tree, one particularly distinguished from the others. There are many proofs that the Jewish rabbins chose the shade of trees, and particularly the fig tree, to sit and study under. See many examples in Schoettgen. How true is the saying, The eyes of the Lord are through all the earth, beholding the evil and the good! Wheresoever we are, whatsoever we are about, may a deep conviction of this truth rest upon our hearts, Thou God seest ME!

    Verse 49. "Rabbi" - That is, Teacher! and so this word should be translated.

    "Thou art the Son of God" - The promised Messiah.

    "Thou art the King of Israel." - The real descendant of David, who art to sit on that spiritual throne of which the throne of David was the type.

    Verse 50. "Because I said-I saw thee, &c." - As thou hast credited my Divine mission on this simple proof, that I saw thee when and where no human eye, placed where mine was, could see thee, thy faith shall not rest merely upon this, for thou shalt see greater things than these-more numerous and express proofs of my eternal power and Godhead.

    Verse 51. "Verily, verily" - Amen, amen. The doubling of this word probably came from this circumstance: that it was written both in Hebrew ma and in Greek amhn, signifying, it is true.

    "Heaven open" - This seems to be a figurative expression:

    1. Christ may be understood by this saying to mean, that a clear and abundant revelation of God's will should be now made unto men; that heaven itself should be laid as it were open, and all the mysteries which had been shut up and hidden in it from eternity, relative to the salvation and glorification of man; should be now fully revealed. 2. That by the angels of God ascending and descending, is to be understood, that a perpetual intercourse should now be opened between heaven and earth, through the medium of Christ, who was God manifested in the flesh. Our blessed Lord is represented in his mediatorial capacity as the ambassador of God to men; and the angels ascending and descending upon the Son of man, is a metaphor taken from the custom of despatching couriers or messengers from the prince to his ambassador in a foreign court, and from the ambassador back to the prince.

    This metaphor will receive considerable light when compared with 2 Cor. v. 19, 20: God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself:-We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you in Christ's stead to be reconciled to God. The whole concerns of human salvation shall be carried on, from henceforth, through the Son of man; and an incessant intercourse be established between heaven and earth. Some have illustrated this passage by the account of Jacob's vision, Gen. xxviii. 12. But though that vision may intimate that God had established at that time a communication between heaven and earth, through the medium of angels, yet it does not appear that our Lord's saying here has any reference to it; but that it should be understood as stated above.

    What a glorious view does this give us of the Gospel dispensation! It is heaven opened to earth; and heaven opened on earth. The Church militant and the Church triumphant become one, and the whole heavenly family, in both, see and adore their common Lord. Neither the world nor the Church is left to the caprices of time or chance. The Son of man governs as he upholds all. Wherever we are praying, studying, hearing, meditating, his gracious eye is upon us. He notes our wants, our weakness, and our petitions; and his eye affects his heart. Let us be without guile, deeply, habitually sincere, serious, and upright; and then we may rest assured, that not only the eye, but the hand, of our Lord shall be ever upon us for good.

    Happy the man whose heart can rejoice in the reflection, Thou God seest me! 1. TESTIMONIES CONCERNING THE LOGOS, OR WORD OF GOD; From the Chaldee Targums.

    The person here styled the Logos is called hwhy rbd debar yehovah, the Word of Jehovah, Gen. xv. 1, 4; 1 Sam. iii. 7, 21; xv. 10; 1 Kings xiii. 9, 17; xix. 9, 15; Psa. cvii. 20; and the Targums, or Chaldee paraphrases, frequently substitute yyd armym meymra d'yay, the word of the Lord, for hwhy Jehovah himself. Thus the Jerusalem Targum in Gen. iii. 22, and both that and the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel, in Gen. xix. 24.

    And Onkelos, on Gen. iii. 8, for the voice of the Lord God, has, the voice of the WORD of the Lord. The Jerusalem Targum on Gen. i. 27, for, And God created man, has, The WORD of Jehovah created, &c. Compare Targum Jonathan, on Isa. xlv. 12; xlviii. 13; Jer. xxvii. 5. And on Gen. xxii. 14, that of Jerusalem says, Abraham invoked, yyd armym b beshem meymra d'yay, in the name of the WORD of the Lord, and said, THOU art Jehovah. So Onkelos, Gen. xxviii. 20, 21, If the WORD of Jehovah will be my help-then the WORD of Jehovah shall be my God. See Parkhurst under the word logov.

    After a serious reading of the Targums, it seems to me evident that the Chaldee term armym meymra, or WORD, is taken personally, in a multitude of places in them. When Jonathan ben Uzziel speaks of the Supreme Being as doing or saying any thing, he generally represents him as performing the whole by this Meymra, or WORD, which he considers, not as a speech or word spoken, but as a person distinct from the Most High, and to whom he attributes all the operations of the Deity. To attempt to give the word any other meaning than this, in various places throughout the Targums, would, in my opinion, be flat opposition to every rule of construction; though, like the Greek word logov, it has other acceptations in certain places. See Lightfoot.

    2. Testimonies concerning the personality, attributes, and influence of the WORD of GOD, taken from the Zend Avesta, and other writings attributed to Zoroaster.

    "Let thy terrible WORD which I pronounce, O Ormusd! elevate itself on high. May it be great before thee, and satisfy my desires!" ZEND AVESTA, vol. i. Vendidad Sade, p. 104.

    Zoroaster consulted Ormusd, and spoke thus to him: "O Ormusd, absorbed in excellence, just Judge of the world, pure, who existest by thy own power, what is that great WORD given by God, that living and powerful WORD, O Ormusd, tell me plainly, which existed before the heavens, before the water, before the earth, before the flocks, before the fire, the CHILD of ORMUSD, before men, before the whole race of existing beings, before all the benefits, and before all the pure germs given by Ormusd?" Ormusd replied: "Pronounce that great WORD well, That WORD which existed before heaven was made, before the water, before the earth, before brute animals, before men, and before the holy angels (amschaspands.) I pronounced that word with majesty, and all the pure beings which are, and which have been, and which shall be, were formed. I continue to pronounce it in its utmost extent, and abundance is multiplied." Ibid. p. 138, 139.

    "By his original WORD, Ormusd created the world and vanquished Ahriman, the genius of evil." Ibid. p. 140, not. 1.

    "The saints in heaven and earth pronounce the sacred WORD:- under the character of Honover (i.e. pure desire) it is worshipped." Ibid. 141.

    "Ormusd, together with the luminous and excellent WORD, is invoked, to defend the true worshipper from the oppression of evil spirits." Ibid. p. 174.

    "Man is healed by the supreme word." Ibid. p. 324.

    "By this WORD all defiled places are rendered pure: fire, water, earth, trees, flocks, men, women, stars, moon, sun, and the primeval light, with all the blessings given by Ormusd, are purified by it." Ibid. p. 368.

    The word of Ormusd is termed, "Ezem bate, I AM;" and is represented as "putting every thing in a safe state-as the author of abundance; the source of all productions; the holy, pure, precious, and desirable word, which watches over all the creation." Ibid. Jescht Rashne Rast. vol. ii. p. 239.

    It is called, "The excellent, elevated, and victorious word: the source of light; the principle of action, which smites and triumphs; which gives health; discomfits wicked men and spirits; which exists through all the world, destroying the evil, and fulfilling the desires of the good." Ibid.

    Jescht of Ormusd, vol. ii. p. 145.

    The Word is invoked as-"The pure word-the most pure word: the strong-the most strong: the extended and ancient-the most extended and the most ancient: the victorious-the most victorious: the salutary-the most salutary: which gives health-is the abundant source of health, and cures wounds and diseases of all kinds." Ibid. Jescht of Ardebehesht, vol. ii. p. 157.

    It is termed, "The creator, or creating principle." Ibid. Jescht of Farvardin, vol. ii. p. 252.

    "Prayer is made to the soul of the excellent WORD, the body of which is supremely luminous." Ibid. p. 262.

    "Through the whole government of Ormusd, men are commanded to invoke that most pure and excellent WORD." Ibid. p. 264.

    That the word, in the above places, does not mean the sacred books of the Parsees, it is expressly said, that-"The law of the Mazdejesnans (the disciples of Zoroaster) comes from this superexcellent Word." Ibid. Si-Rouze; Mansrespand, p. 323, 354.

    "The law is the body under which the primitive WORD, which created the world, is manifested. The primitive WORD therefore is worshipped in reading and reverencing that law; and the effects produced in the soul by it are no less than a new creation, in some sort similar to that which this omnific Word formed in the beginning." Ibid. vol. ii. p. 595.

    "The WORD proceeds from the first principle, time without bounds, i.e. eternity: it is before all created beings, and by it all the creation of God has been formed." Ibid. vol. ii. p. 592.

    I find a word of the same import, used in exactly the same sense, in the Zend Avesta, attributed to the ancient Persian lawgiver, Zoroaster.

    One might suppose that Mohammed had she first chapter of St. John's Gospel in his eye when he wrote ver. 33, of Surat xix., of his Koran: - Zalyka Isa. ibno Mareema Kawlolhokki, This is Jesus the Son of Mary, the WORD of TRUTH.-Some may understand the Arabic differently: This is a true word, that Jesus is the son of Mary.


    From Philo Judaeus.

    After I had begun my collections from Philo Judaeus relative to the Logos, I casually met with a work of the late very learned Mr. Jacob Bryant, entitled, The sentiments of Philo Judaeus concerning the logov, or WORD of GOD. 8vo. Cambridge, 1797. From this valuable tract I shall make a few extracts, and beg leave to refer the reader to the pamphlet itself.

    "Philo Judaeus speaks at large, in many places, of the word of God, the second person, which he mentions as (deuterov qeov) the second divinity, the great cause of all things, and styles him, as Plato, as well as the Jews had done before, the LOGOS. Of the Divine Logos, or Word, he speaks in many places, and maintains at large the divinity of the second person, and describes his attributes in a very precise and copious manner, styling him: (a) ton deuteron qeon ov estin ekeinou (qeou prwtou) logov, the second Deity, who is the Word of the Supreme God; (b) prwtogonon uion, his first begotten Son; (c) eikwn qeou, the Image of God; and (d) poimhn thv ierav agelhv, The shepherd of his holy flock.

    In his treatise upon Creation, he speaks of the WORD, as (e) the Divine operator, by whom all things were disposed; and mentions him as (f) superior to the angels and all created beings, and the image and likeness of God, and says that this image of the true God was esteemed the same as God-(g) wv auton (qeon) katanoousi. (h) This LOGOS, the WORD of GOD, says he, is superior to all the world, and more ancient; being the producter of all that was produced. (i) The eternal Word of the everlasting God is the sure and fixed foundation, upon which all things depend. He mentions man as in need of redemption, and says, What intelligent person, who views mankind engaged in unworthy and wicked pursuits, but (k) must be grieved to the heart, and call upon that only saviour God, that these crimes may be extenuated, and that, by a ransom and price of redemption being given for his soul, it may again obtain its freedom! It pleased God therefore to appoint his LOGOS to be a mediator. (l) To his WORD the chief and most ancient of all in heaven, the great Author of the world gave this especial gift, that he should stand as a medium (or intercessor) between the Creator and the created; and he is accordingly the advocate for all mortals.

    The same (m) WORD is the intercessor for man, who is always tending to (n) corruption: and he is the appointed messenger of God, the governor of all things, to man in subjection to him. (o) He, therefore, exhorts every person, who is able, to exert himself in the race which he is to run, to bend his course without (p) remission to the Divine WORD above, who is the fountain of all wisdom; that, by drinking at this sacred spring, he, instead of death, may obtain the reward of everlasting life. He repeats, continually, that the LOGOS is the express image of God.

    (q) The WORD, by which the world was made, is the image of the supreme Deity. (r) As we perceive the sun's light, though the sun itself is not seen; and behold the brightness of the moon, though its orb may not appear to the eye; so men look up to, and acknowledge, the likeness of God, in his minister the LOGOS, whom they esteem as God. He attempts to describe his nature by representing him as, (s) not uncreated, like God; nor yet created, as man; but of a Divine substance. (t) For the WORD of God, which is above all the host of heaven, cannot be comprehended by human wisdom, having nothing in his nature that is perceptible to mortal sense.

    For, being the image of God, and the eldest of all intelligent beings, he is seated immediately next to the one God, without any interval of separation. This, in the language of Scripture, is sitting on the right hand of God. He adds, (u) For not being liable to any voluntary or involuntary change, or falling off, he has God for his lot and portion, and his residence is in God. The like is mentioned in another place, where he is represented again as sinless, and as the great High Priest of the world. (v) We maintain, that by the (true) High Priest is not meant a man, but the Divine WORD, who is free from all voluntary and involuntary transgressions; being of heavenly parentage, born of God, and of that Divine Wisdom by which all things were produced. He speaks to the same purpose in another place, there he makes mention of the WORD. (w) en w kai arciereuv, o prwtogonov autou (qeou) qeiov logov, In which presides that High Priest, the holy WORD, the first-born of God; at other times styled, presbutatov uiov qeou, the Son of God, antecedent to all creation. (x) touton men gar presbutaton uion o twn ontwn aneteile pathr, on eterwqi prwtogonon wnomase. It is manifest that every attribute which the sacred writers have given to Christ, in his mediatorial capacity, Philo has attributed to him in his Divine character, antecedent to creation, page 15-22.

    Mr. Bryant thinks that Philo derived all this knowledge, concerning the Logos, from the apostles, and the works and conversation of Christian writers; for it is very probable that Philo was contemporary with our Lord himself. Mr. B. is so well satisfied that Philo derived all this knowledge from these sources that he goes on to ask: - "Whence else could he have obtained so many terms which bear such an analogy with the expressions and doctrines in the apostolical writings? Such are uiov qeou, logov prwtogonov, presbutatov, aidiov, logov arciereuv, mesov, meqoriov, ikethv tou qnhtou, dhmiourgov, poimhn thv lerav agelhv, uparcov qeou, sfragiv, eikwn teou, fwv, pneuma qeou, pneuma pansofon. We read farther concerning redemption, and-lutra kai swstra, the price and ransom for the soul, anti qanatou zwhn aidion, and nouv anqrwpou naov qeou. To these other instances might be added equally significant; few of which are to be found in the Greek version, or in any Jewish doctrines, at least in the acceptation given. They were obtained either from the conversation, or from the writings, of the first Christians; or rather from both." Page 202.

    At p. 105, Mr. B. gives "A recapitulation of the characters and attributes of the Logos, with the collateral evidence from Scripture." This, with some other matters of a collateral import, he argues in 52 particulars, from which I have extracted the following, as being most closely allied to the subject, inserting the original words along with the translation. The references, in all cases, are to Dr. Mangey's edition of Philo, 2 vols. fol. Lond. 1742.


      1. The Logos is the Son of God-uiov qeou. Deuteronomy Agric. vol. i. p. 308; Deuteronomy Profug. ib. p. 5l12: compare Mark i. 1; Luke iv. 41; ver. 34; Acts viii. 37.

      2. The second divinity-deuterov qeov logov. Fragm. vol. ii. p. 625: comp. ver. 1: 1 Cor. i. 24.

      3. The first-begotten of God-logov protogonov. Deuteronomy Somniis, vol. i. p. 6l3: comp. Heb. i. 6; Colossiansi. 15.

      4. The image of God-eikwn tou qeou. Deuteronomy Mundi Opific. vol. i. p. 6, 414, 419, 656. comp. Colossiansi. 15; Heb. i. 3; 2 Cor. iv. 4.

      5. Superior to angels-uperanw pantwn (aggelwn) logov qeiov. Deuteronomy Profugis, vol. i. p. 5l11: comp. Heb. i. 4, 6.

      6. Superior to all the world-o logov-uperanw pantov esti. Deuteronomy Leg. Allegor. vol. i. p. c21: comp. Heb. ii. 8.

      7. By whom the world was created-ton qeion logon ton tauta diakosmhsanta. Deuteronomy Mund. Opif. vol. i. p. i5: comp. chap. i. 3; 1 Cor. viii. 6; Heb. i. 2, 10.

      8. The great substitute of God-uparcov tou qeou. Deuteronomy Agricult. vol. i. p. 308: comp. ver. 3; xvii. 4; Eph. iii. 9; Phil. ii. 7.

      9. The light of the world-fwv kosmou: and intellectual sun- hliov nohtov. Deuteronomy Somniis, vol. i. p. 6, 414, 632, 6x23: comp. ver. 4, 9; viii. 12; 1Pet ii. 9.

      10. Who only can see God-w monw ton qeon exesti kaqoran. Deuteronomy Confus. Linguar. vol. i. p. 418: comp. ver. 18; vi. 46.

      11. Who resides in God-en autw monw katoikhsei. Deuteronomy Profug. vol. i. p. 5l11: comp. ver. 1, 18; xiv. 11.

      12. The most ancient of God's works, and before all things- presbutatov twn osa gegone. Deuteronomy Confus. Ling. vol. i. p. 427; Deuteronomy Leg. Allegor. ib. p. c21: comp. ver. 2; xvii. 5, 24; 2 Tim. i. 9; Heb. i. 2.

      13. Esteemed the same as God-logon wv auton (qeon) katanoousi. Deuteronomy Somniis, vol. i. p. 6l6: comp. Mark ii. 7; Romans ix. 5; Phil. ii. 6.

      14. The Logos is eternal-o aidiov logov. Deuteronomy Plant. Noae, vol. i. p. 332, and vol. ii. p. 60i5: comp. chap. xii. 34; 2 Tim. i. 9; iv. 18; Heb. i. 8; Rev. x. 6.

      15. Beholds all things-oxuderkestatov, wv panta eforan einai ikanov. Deuteronomy Leg. Allegor. vol. i. p. c21: comp. Hebrews iv. 12, 13; Rev. ii. 23.

      16. He unites, supports, preserves, and perfects the world-o te gar tou ontov logov, desmov wn twn apantwn-sunecei ta merh panta, kai sfiggei-periecei ta ola, kai peplhrwken. Deuteronomy Prof. vol. i. p. 562; Fragm. vol. ii. p. 6l5: comp. chap. iii. 35; Colossiansi. 17; Heb. i. 3.

      17. Nearest to God without any separation-o eggutatw mhdenov ontov meqoriou diasthmatov. Deuteronomy Profug. vol. i. p. 5l11: comp. ver. 18; x. 30; xiv. 11; xvii. 11.

      18. Free from all taint of sin, voluntary or involuntary-aneu trophv ekousiou-kai thv akousiou. Deuteronomy Profug. vol. i. p. 5l11: comp. chap. viii. 46; Heb. vii. 26; ix. 14; 1 Pet. ii. 22.

      19. Who presides over the imperfect and weak-outov gar hmwn twn atelwn an eih qeov. Deuteronomy Leg. Allegor. vol. i. p. cx18: comp. Matt. xi. 5; Luke v. 32; 1 Tim. i. 15.

      20. The Logos, the fountain of wisdom-logon qeion, ov sofiav esti phgh. Deuteronomy Profug. vol. i. p. 560, 5l16: comp. chap. iv. 14; chap. vii. 38; 1 Cor. i. 24; Colossiansii. 3.

      21. A messenger sent from God-presbeuthv tou hgemonov prov to uphkoon. Quis Rer. Div. Haeres. vol. i. p. 501: comp. chap. v. 36; viii. 29, 42; 1 John iv. 9.

      22. The advocate for mortal man-ikethv men esti tou qnhtou. Quis Rer. Div. Haer. vol. i. p. 501: comp. chap. xiv. 16; xvii. 20; Rom. viii. 34; Heb. vii. 25.

      23. He ordered and disposed of all things-dieile kai dieneime panta. Ib. p. 506: comp. Colossiansi. 15, 16; Heb. xi. 3.

      24. The shepherd of God's flock-ton orqon autou logon,-ov thn epimeleian thv ierav tauthv agelhv. Deuteronomy Agricul. vol. i. p. 308: comp. chap. x. 14; Heb. xiii. 20; 1 Pet. ii. 25.

      25. Of the power and royalty of the Logos-o tou hgemonov logov-kai basilikh dunamiv autou. Deuteronomy Profug. vol. i. p. 5l11: comp. 1 Cor. xv. 25; Eph. i. 21, 22; Heb. i. 2, 3; Rev. xvii. 14.

      26. The Logos is the physician, who heals all evil-ton aggelon (ov esti logov) wsper iatron kakwn. Deuteronomy Leg. Allegor. vol. i. p. c22: comp. Luke iv. 18; vii. 21; 1 Pet. ii. 24; James i. 21.

      27. The Logos is the seal of God-o de-estin h sfragiv. Deuteronomy Profug. vol. i. pp. 547, 548; Deuteronomy Plant. Noae, ib. p. 3x22: comp. chap. vi. 27; Eph. i. 13; Heb. i. 3.

      28. The sure refuge of those who seek him-ef on prwton katafeugein-wfelimwtaton. Deuteronomy Profug. ib. p. 5l10: comp. Matt. xi. 28; 1 Pet. ii. 25.

      29. Of heavenly food distributed by the Logos equally to all who seek it-thn ouranion trofhn yuchv. Quis Rer. Divin. Haer. vol. i. p. 4xci10: comp. Matt. v. 6; vii. 7; xiii. 10; xxiv. 14; xxviii. 19; Rom. x. 12, 18.

      30. Of men's forsaking their sins, and obtaining spiritual freedom by the Logos-eleuqeria thv yuchv Deuteronomy Cong. Quaer. Erud. Grat. vol. i. p. 534; Deuteronomy Prof. ib. pp. 561, 5l13: comp. chap. viii. 36; 1 Cor. vii. 22; 2 Cor. iii. 17; Gal. v. 1, 13.

      31. Of men's being freed by the Logos from all corruption, and entitled to immortality-o ierov logov etimhse, gerav exaireton douv, klhron aqanaton, thn en afqartw genei taxin. Deuteronomy Cong. Quaer. Erud. Grat. vol. i. p. 5x25: comp. Rom. viii. 21; 1 Corinthians xv. 52, 53; 1 Pet. i. 3, 4.

      32. The Logos mentioned by Philo, not only as uiov qeou, the Son of God; but also, agaphton teknon, his beloved Son. Deuteronomy Leg. Allegor. vol. i. p. cx19: comp. Matt. iii. 17; Luke ix. 36; Colossiansi. 13; 2 Pet. i. 17.

      33. The just man advanced by the Logos to the presence of his Creator-tw autw logw-idrusav plhsion eautou. Deuteronomy Sacrificiis, vol. i. p. 1l15: comp. chap. vi. 37, 44; xii. 26; xiv. 6.

      34. The Logos, the true high priest-arciereuv, o prwtogonov autou qeiov logov. Deuteronomy Somniis, vol. i. p. 653; Deuteronomy Profug. ib. p. 5l12: comp. ver. 41; viii. 46; Acts iv. 27; Heb. iv. 14; vii. 26.

      35. The Logos in his mediatorial capacity-logov arciereuv meqoriov: of whom he says, qaumazw kai ton meta spoudhv apneusti dramonta suntonwv ieron logon, ina sth mesov twn teqnhkotwn kai twn zwntwn. "I am astonished to see the Holy Logos running with so much speed and earnestness, that he may stand between the living and the dead." Quis Rer. Divinar. Haeres. vol. i. p. 501: comp. 1 Tim. ii. 5; Heb. viii. 1-6; ix. 11, 12, 24.

    These testimonies are truly astonishing: and if we allow, as some contend, that Philo was not acquainted either with the disciples of our Lord, or the writings of the New Testament, we shall be obliged to grant that there must have been some measure of Divine inspiration in that man's mind, who could, in such a variety of cases, write so many words and sentences, so exactly corresponding to those of the evangelists and apostles.

    5. Testimonies concerning a Trinity among the Chinese, and concerning the Word of God.

    Among the ancient Chinese characters which have been preserved, we find the following [Chinese], like the Greek delta, and since written [Chinese].

    According to the Chinese Dictionary Kang-hi, this character signifies union. According to Choueouen, a celebrated work, [Chinese] is three united in one. The Lieou chou tsing hoen, which is a rational and learned explanation of ancient characters, says: "[Chinese] signifies intimate union, harmony, the chief good of man, of the heaven, and of the earth: it is the union of three." The book Se-hi says, "Formerly the emperor made a solemn sacrifice every three years to the Spirit Trinity in Unity." [Chinese] ehin san Y.

    The word Tao in ordinary discourse signifies rule, law, wisdom, truth, way, word. In the text of Lao tse it signifies the Divinity. "Tao (says he) is an abyss of perfections which comprehends all beings. The Tao which can be described is not the eternal Tao. The Tao is its own rule and model.

    The Tao preserves the heavens, and sustains the earth. It is so elevated that none can reach it; so deep that none can fathom it; so immense that it contains the universe; and, notwithstanding, it is complete in the smallest things."He who is as visible, and yet cannot be seen, is denominated lieou [Chinese]; he who can be heard, and yet speaks not to the ears, hi; he who is as tangible, and yet cannot be felt, is named ouci: in vain do you consult your senses concerning these three; your reason alone can discourse of them, and it will tell you that they are but one: above, there is no light; below, there is no darkness. He is eternal. There is no name which can designate him. He bears no similitude to any created thing. He is an image without form; and a form without matter. His light is encompassed with darkness. If you look upwards, you cannot see his commencement: if you follow him, you cannot discover his end. What the Tao has always been, such he continues to be: for he is eternal, and the commencement of wisdom." One of the missionaries at Peking, who wrote the letter from which I have made the above extracts, takes it for granted that the mystery of the Trinity was known among the ancient Chinese, and that the character [Chinese] was its symbol. Lettre sur les Characteres Chinois, 4to. Bruxelles, 1773.

    IT is remarkable that Moses and the prophets, the ancient Chaldee Targumists, the author or authors of the Zend Avesta, Plato and the first philosophers of Greece, Philo the Jew, John and the apostles, and perhaps even Mohammed himself, should all so perfectly coincide in their ideas concerning a glorious person in the Godhead! This must have been more than the effect of accident. Moses and the prophets received this Divine doctrine from God himself: it was afterwards confirmed to the apostles by Divine inspiration; and ancient philosophers and lawgivers borrowed from both.


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