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WHEREFORE This Faith, this Behe VII. that Jefus is the Son of God, that he is the perfon by whom God will judge the World in righteousness; This, I fay, bes ing a Matter of fo great importance, a Doctrine on which the Whole of Religion depends; the Apostle proceeds to tell us, ver. 6; that our Lord did not barely affirm this of himself, but came with powerful Evidence and Proof, with fufficient and undeniable Witnesses of fo important a Truth: This is be that came, faith he, by Water and Blood, even Jefus Chrift. He Came that is, he manifefted himself to be the True Meffiah, and made it appear that he was really fent of God. For Thus the Meffiah, is defcribed, in the Question put by John Baptift's Difciples to our Saviour; Matt. xi. 3; Art thou He that should Come, or do we look for Another? Before his appearing, his Title was, He that Should Come; And after it, the Apoftle here ftiles him accordingly, This is he that Came. He came, declaring himself to be sent from God, as his Son, the Chrift, the Judge of the World; and proving the Truth of what he affirmed by the evi dence
dence of Three concurring Teftimonies, The SER M.
THE words, not by Water only, but by Water and Blood; feem to be an Allufion to what the fame Apoftle St John records in his Gospel, that, when our Lord's fide was pierced, forthwith there came out Blood and Water: But it feems to be an Allufion only; the Words in this place, having a different Senfe; and referring no otherwise to thofe in the Gospel, than as the Blood and Water there mentioned are recorded as an Evidence of the Reality and Certainty of our Lord's Death: Which Death, or voluntary laying down of his Life, the fame Apoftle here in his Epifle, alledges as One Teftimony of the Truth of our Lord's Doctrine, ftiling it the Blood.
By Three concurring Teftimonies therefore, diftinctly recited in the fixth verfe, did our Lord prove himself to be the M 3 True
SERM. True Meffiah. And because they are the VII. Three Great and most undeniable Evidences, that gave Teftimony to our Lord and to the Truth of his Doctrine; therefore the Apostle repeats them again, (as it were by way of recapitulation of the Summ of his Argument,) in the words of the Text, ver. 8; There are Three that bear Witness, the Spirit and the Water and the Blood; and thefe Three agree in One: They are One concurring or agreeing Testimony. And if we receive the Witnefs of Men, fays he, ver. 9; (that is, if Two Witneffes were in the Law fufficient Evidence of any matter of Fact among Men;) The Witness of God is greater; this Threefold Teftimony which God has given to the Truth of the Doctrine of Chrift, is ftill more certain and undeni able.
THE End and Defign, for which this Doctrine of the Gospel was preached by Christ, and thus attefted of God; is fet forth, ver. 11; And This is the Record, that God hath given to us eternal life; and this Life is in his Son: Which words are of the fame import with thofe of our Saviour
Saviour himself in the Gospel of St John; SER M.
THE Application of the Whole, follows, ver. 18; We know, faith the Apostle, that whofoever is Born of God, finneth not. And why doth fuch a one not fin? Even because the Son of God is come, ver. 20; and hath given us an Understanding that we may know Him that is True; that is, he hath taught us how the True God will be acceptably ferved and obeyed: And we are accordingly in Him that is true, (we do accordingly fo obey and ferve the True God,) in his Son, that is, by or through bis Son Jefus Chrift: This, fays he, is the True God, and eternal Life.
H. AND now, having explained distinctly the Connexion of the Text, with the whole Thread of the Apoftle's Reasoning in This chapter; I proceed in the Second place to confider the Doctrine contained particularly in the words themselves: There are Three that bear Witness, the Spirit, and the Water, and the Blood. The Order in which they are ranked in the Sixth M 4
SER M. verfe, is the true Order of nature; the VII. Water, the Blood, and the Spirit; And ~ in That order, I fhall difcourfe upon
First therefore; The first of the three great Teftimonies here recorded by St John, as given to the Truth of our Savi our's Miffion and Doctrine; is That which he ftiles The Water. His Meaning iş; That Teftimony, which God gave to our Lord in fo very remarkable and illuf trious a manner at the Time of his Baptifm: Matt, iii. 16; And Jefus when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the Water; and lo, the Heavens were opened unto him, and he faw the Spirit of God defcending- upon him: and lo, a Voice from Heaven, faying, This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleafed. St John, in his Gospel, answerable to the Stress here laid upon it in his Epistle, enlarges very particularly upon This Teftimony; alledging the Account given of it by John the Baptift in the following manner; ch. i. 31; I knew him not; But that he should be made manifeft to Ifrael, therefore am I come baptizing with Water: And John