« 前へ次へ »
not in darkness; but this light shineth in the darkness, that having dispelled the darkness, it may produce and beget faith. And lastly, We must believe through that, and become believers through that, by walking in which, fellowship with God is known and enjoyed; but, as hath been aboveobserved, it is by walking in this light that we have this communion and fellowship; not by walking in Fobn, which were nonsense. So that this relative di divzk, must needs be referred to the light, whereof Jobn bears witness, that through that light, wherewith Christ hath lighted every man, all men might come to believe. Seeing then this light
is the light of Jesus Christ, and the light through The light is which men come to believe, I think it needs not to supernatu- be doubted, but that it is a supernatural, saving, and fuffick and sufficient light. If it were not supernatural, io
could not be properly called the light of Jesus; for though all things be his, and of him, and from him ; yet those things which are common and peculiar to our nature, as being a part of it, we are not said in so special a manner to have from Christ. Moreover, the evangelist is holding out to us here the office of Christ as mediator, and the benefits which
from him as such do redound unto us. Obferv. 2. Secondly, It cannot be any of the natural gifts
or faculties of our soul, whereby we are said here to be enlightened, because this light is said
to shine in the darkness, and cannot be compreThe dark- hended by it. Now this darkness is no other
but man's natural condition and state; in which ral ftate and natural state he can easily comprehend, and doch condition. comprehend, those things that are peculiar and
common to him as such. That man in his natural condition is called darkness, see Epb. v. 8. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. And in other places, as Asts xxvi. 18. Col. i. 3. i Thell. v. s. where the condition of man in his natural state is termed darkness: there
ness is man's natu
fore I say this light cannot be any natural property or faculty of man's soul, but a supernatural gift and grace of Christ.
Thirdly, It is sufficient and saving.
That which is given that all men through it may Arg. i. believe, must needs be saving and sufficient: that, by walking in which, fellowship with the saints and the blood of Christ, which cleanseth from all fin, is possessed, must be sufficient :
But such is the Light, I John i. 7.
That which we are commanded to believe in Arg. 2. that we may become the children of the Light, must be a fupernatural, sufficient and saving principle :
But we are commanded to believe in this light:
The proposition cannot be denied. The assumption is Christ's own words, John xii. 36. While ye bave the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of the light.
To this they object, That by (light] here is un- Object. derstood Christ's outward person, in whom he would bave them believe.
That they ought to have believed in Christ, that Answ. is, that he was the MESSIAH that was to come, is not denied; but how they evince that Christ in- Whether tended that here, I see not : nay the place itself Chrift'soutThews the contrary, by these words, While ye bave was the the light; and by the verse going before, Walk light, while ye have the light, left darkness come upon you : which words import, that when that light in which they were to believe was removed, then they should lose the capacity or season of believing. Now this could not be understood of Christ's person, else the Jews might have believed in him; and many did savingly believe in him, as all Christians do at this day, when the person, to wit, his bodily presence, or outward man, is far M
The light of removed from them. So that this light in which Chriftis not they were commanded to believe must be that in
ward spiritual light that shines in their hearts for a mon. or pero season, even during the day of man's visitation ;
which while it continueth to call, invite, and exhort, men are said to have it, and may believe in it; but when men refuse to believe in it, and reject it, then it ceaseth to be a light to shew them the way; but leaves the sense of their unfaithfulness as a sting in their conscience, which is a terror and darkness unto them, and upon them, in which they cannot know where to go, neither can work any ways profitably in order to their salvation. And therefore to such rebellious ones the day of the Lord is said to be darkness, and not light, Amos v. 18.
From whence it appears, that though many receive not the light, as many comprehend it not, revertheless this - saving light shines in all, that it may save them. Concerning which also Cyrillus
Alexandrinus faith well, and defends our principle : Cyrillus “ With great diligence and watchfulness,” faith Aus upon he, “ doth the apostle John endeavour to anticipate John, lib.s. « and prevent the vain thoughts of men: for there chap. II.
« is here a wonderful method of sublime things,
“ liim not.] Let not the world,” faith he, “ac« cuse the word of God, and his eternal light, “ but its own weakness; for the sun enlightens, The sun ene “ but the creature rejects the grace that is given
but man « unto it, and abuseth the sharpness of understand through “ ing granted it, by which it might have naturally babies tilida “ known God; and, as a prodigal, hath turned its mination. “ right to the creatures, neglecting to go forward, " and through laziness and negligence buried the “ illumination, and despised this grace. Which « that the disciple of Paul might not do, he was « commanded to watch; therefore it is to be im“ puted to their wickedness, who are illuminated, “ and not unto the light. For as albeit the sun “ riseth upon all, yet he that is blind receiveth no “ benefit thereby; none thence can juftly accuse “ the brightness of the sun, but will ascribe the “ cause of not seeing to the blindness: fo I judge « it is to be understood of the only begotten Son « of God; for he is the true light, and sendeth “ forth his brightness upon all; but the god of " this world, as Paul faith, hath blinded the minds “ of those that believe not; 2 Cor. iv. 4. that the
light of the gospel shine not unto them. We fay " then that darkness is come upon men, not be« cause they are altogether deprived of light, for “ nature retaineth still the strength of understand« ing divinely given it, but because man is dulled a by an evil habit, and become worse, and hatb “ made the measure of grace in some respect to
languish. When therefore the like befalls " man, the Pfalmift justly prays, crying, Open mine
that I may bebold the wonderful things of thy “ law. For the law was given that this light might « be kindled in us, the blearedness of the eyes of
our minds being wiped away, and the blindness being removed which detained us in our former
ignorance. By these words then the world is ac" cused as ungrateful and unsensible, not knowing
eyes, that Ť
“ its author, nor bringing forth the good fruit of the “ illumination ; that it may now feem to be said is
truly of all, which was of old said by the pro
phet of the fews, I expected that it should have “ brought forth grapes, but it brought forth wild
grapes. For the good fruit of the illumination “ was the knowledge of the only begotten, as a “ cluster hanging from a fruitful branch, &c."
From which it appears Cyrillus believed that a
saving illumination was given unto all. For as to naturalgift. what he speaks of nature, he understands it not of
the common nature of man by itself, but of that nature which hath the strength of understanding divinely given it: for he understands this universal illumination to be of the same kind with that
grace of which Paul makes mention to Timothy, saying, Negleat not the grace that is in thee.
that is in thee. Now it is not to be believed that Cyrillus was so ignorant as to
judge that grace to have been some natural gift. Pro. II. §. XXII. That this faving light and seed, or a
measure of it, is given to all, Christ tells us expresly
in the parable of the sower, Mat. xiii. from ver. 18. The seed of Mark iv. and Luke viii. II. he faith, That this feed the king, sown in those several sorts of grounds is the word of in several the kingdom, which the apostle calls the word of grounds faith, Rom. x. 8. James i. 21. i dozo fuçule,
the implanted ingrafted word, which is able to save the soul; the words themselves declare that it is that which is saving in the nature of it, for in the good ground it fructified abundantly.
Let us then observe, that this seed of the kingdom, this saving, supernatural, and sufficient word, was really sown in the stony thorny ground, and by the way-side, where it did not profit, but became useless as to these grounds : it was, I say, the same feed that was sown in the good ground. It is then the fear of persecution and deceitfulness of riches, as Christ himself interpreteth the parable, which hindereth this feed to grow in the hearts of many :