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was blind. And it was the sabbath

day when Jesus

Then again the had received his

made the clay, and opened his eyes. Pharisees also asked him how he sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet." There is reason to believe, that some of those who had before questioned the man, were hostile to Jesus, and wished the matter to be brought under the notice of those who had influence and power. This is the more probable, from the event having occurred on the sabbath day, which afforded a pretext to the adversaries of our Lord, and gave rise to the discussion which ensued. It is pleasing to remark, that when the man was questioned by the Pharisees, he returned the same kind of answer, and in as plain and artless a manner, as he had done before: "He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see." Some of them, unable to controvert the fact, resorted to an expedient, which, though too frequent with them, could only be suggested by ignorance and prejudice: they accused our Lord as an ungodly sabbath-breaker. Others, less influenced by prejudice, more open to reason, and perhaps now smitten in their consciences, argued with much force

against such a conclusion; while the man himself— to whom the contending parties appealed-did not hesitate to avow his conviction that his Benefactor was an instructor sent by God. Such, however, was the obstinacy of some among the Jews, that they would not believe the fact of the man's former blindness, till they should obtain that evidence which they could not, with any show of reason, set aside. We observe then,

3. That a conference now took place between the Pharisees and the parents of the man who had been blind: "But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight. And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see? His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not or who hath opened his eyes, we know not he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age: ask him." The parents probably believed the account which was given by their son; and we may hope they were persuaded, as well as he, that our Lord was at least a prophet of the Most High God. Intimidated, however, by the apprehension that, if they should at

all seem to advocate the claims of Jesus, they would be forthwith excommunicated, and thereby deprived of many important privileges, and exposed to severe penalties, both of a civil and of a religious nature, they durst not make any further avowal beyond the acknowledging of their son, and the certification of his having been born blind. Hence it was that they referred the inquirers again to him, as fully competent to speak in his own behalf. We remark then,


4. That a second interview took place between the Pharisees and the subject of our Saviour's miraculous cure: "Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: We know that this man is a sinner." The import of the words, "Give God the praise," may perhaps be equivalent to the expression, speak the truth :”— for in so doing we are supposed to glorify God. If this were their meaning, surely it is awful to observe that in the very same breath these monitors of truth pronounce a blasphemous falsehood against our Lord! Their intention, however, might be to insinuate that what had occurred was entirely independent of any thing that Jesus had done; and that Almighty God would at this time have given sight to the man, had he had no communication with our Lord at all. In reference to their abominable declaration, he replies with honest simplicity, that though it was not for him to decide on the character of Jesus, he could not surrender the fact itself of

JSee Joshua vii. 19,

which he was so happily conscious: "He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see." To their inquiries again made, he replies in the language of sound sense and calm expostulation, adding withal a keen and sarcastic question, such as they justly deserved to hear: "Then said they unto him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes? He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?" Their malignity being now the more excited, they address him with scorn, and again utter abusive language against our Lord: "Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples. We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is."-The man now ventures to reason on the fact, which he had before barely stated. This he does in so plain and forcible a manner as must have reached the consciences of those whom he addressed, had they not been hardened through the deceitfulness of sin: "The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind. If this man were not of God, he could do nothing."-The indignation of his examiners was now raised to the highest pitch. Over

looking, therefore, the happy condition in which he then appeared, they upbraid him, as though, according to the notion already mentioned, he had come into the world under some special displeasure of the Almighty, and were therefore highly presumptuous in taking upon him to argue the matter with them. Under this excitement they excommunicate him: "They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.". The sequel leads us to observe once more,

5. That a conference subsequently took place between our Saviour himself and the subject of his merciful interposition. What time elapsed between the man's excommunication and this interview we are not informed. The gracious conduct of our Lord, however, deserves our particular notice. Apprized of the treatment which the man had experienced, and meeting with him some time after, he proposes to him a most important question, closely connected with his everlasting interests: "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" His reply indicates his readiness to receive information from one to whom he was already so deeply indebted: "He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?" Jesus delays not to make himself known: and it is interesting to observe how quickly the man expresses and manifests his reverence for our Lord: "And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped

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