Golden Chain 12314

vv. 14-15

12314 Jn 3,14-15

CHRYS. Having made mention of the gift of baptism, He proceeds to the source of it, i.e. the cross: And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.

BEDE; He introduces the teacher of the Mosaic law, to the spiritual sense of that law; by a passage from the Old Testament history, which was intended to be a figure of His Passion, and of man's salvation.

AUG. Many dying in the wilderness from the attack of the serpents, Moses, by commandment of the Lord, lifted up a brazen serpent and those who looked upon it were immediately healed. The lifting up of the serpent is the death of Christ; the cause, by a certain mode of construction, being put for the effect. The serpent was the cause of death, inasmuch as he persuaded man into that sin, by which he merited death. Our Lord, however, did not transfer sin, i.e. the poison of the serpent, to his flesh, but death; in order that in the likeness of sinful flesh, there might be punishment without sin, by virtue of which sinful flesh might be delivered both from punishment and from sin.

THEOPHYL. See then the aptness of the figure. The figure of the serpent has the appearance of the beast, but not its poison: in the same way Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh, being free from sin. By Christ's being lifted up, understand His being suspended on high, by which suspension He sanctified the air, even as He had sanctified the earth by walking upon it. Herein too is typified the glory of Christ: for the height of the cross was made His glory for in that He submitted to be judged, He judged the prince of this world; for Adam died justly, because he sinned; out Lord unjustly, because He did no sin. So He overcame him, who delivered Him over to death, and thus delivered Adam from death. And in this the devil found himself vanquished, that he could not upon the cross torment our Lord into hating His murderers: but only made Him love and pray for them the more. In this way the cross of Christ was made His lifting up, and glory.

CHRYS. Wherefore He does not say, The Son of man must be suspended, but lifted up, a more honorable term, but coming near the figure. He uses the figure to show that the old dispensation is akin to the new, and to show on His hearers' account that He suffered voluntarily; and that His death issued in life.

AUG. As then formerly he who looked to the serpent that was lifted up, was healed of its poison, and saved from death; so now he who is conformed to the likeness of Christ's death by faith and the grace of baptism, is delivered both from sin by justification, and from death by the resurrection: as He Himself said; That whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. What need then is there that the child should be conformed by baptism to the death of Christ, if he be not altogether tainted by the poisonous bite of the serpent?

CHRYS. Observe; He alludes to the Passion obscurely, in consideration to His hearer; but the fruit of the Passion He unfolds plainly; viz. that they who believe in the Crucified One should not perish. And if they who believe in the Crucified live, much more shall the Crucified One Himself.

AUG. But there is this difference between the figure and the reality, that the one recovered from temporal death, the other from eternal.

vv. 16-18

12316 Jn 3,16-18

CHRYS. Having said, Even so must the Son of man be lifted up, alluding to His death; lest His hearer should be cast down by His words, forming some human notion of Him, and thinking of His death as an evil, He corrects this by saying, that He who was given up to death was the Son of God, and that His death would be the source of life eternal; So God loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life; as if He said, Marvel not that I must be lifted up, that you may be saved: for so it seems good to the Father, who has so loved you, that He has given His Son to suffer for ungrateful and careless servants. The text, God so loved the world, shows intensity of love. For great indeed and infinite is the distance between the two. He who is without end, or beginning of existence, Infinite Greatness, loved those who were of earth and ashes, creatures laden with sins innumerable. And the act which springs from the love is equally indicative of its vastness. For God gave not a servant, or an Angel, or an Archangel, but His Son. Again, had He had many sons, and given one, this would have been a very great gift; but now He has given His Only Begotten Son.

HILARY; If it were only a creature given up for the sake of a creature, such a poor and insignificant loss were no great evidence of love. They must be precious things which prove our love, great things must evidence its greatness. God, in love to the world, gave His Son, not an adopted Son, but His own, even His Only Begotten. Here is proper Sonship, birth, truth: no creation, no adoption, no lie: here is the test of love and charity, that God sent His own and only begotten Son to save the world.

THEOPHYL As He said above, that the Son of man came down from heaven, not meaning that His flesh did come down from heaven, on account of the unity of person in Christ, attributing to man what belonged to God: so now conversely what belongs to man, he assigns to God the Word. The Son of God was impassible; but being one in respect of person with man who was passable, the Son is said to be given up to death, inasmuch as He truly suffered, not in His own nature, but in His own flesh. From this death follows an exceeding great and incomprehensible benefit: viz. that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The Old Testament promised to those who obey obeyed it, length of days: the Gospel promises life eternal, and imperishable.

BEDE; Note here, that the same which he before said of the Son of man, lifted up on the cross, he repeats of the only begotten Son of God: viz. That whosoever believes in Him, &c. For the same our Maker and Redeemer, who was Son of God before the world was, was made at the end of the world the Son of man; so that He who by the power of His Godhead had created us to enjoy the happiness of an endless life, the same restored us to the life we have lost by taking our human frailty upon Him.

ALCUIN. Truly through the Son of God shall the world have life; for no other cause came He into the world, except to save the world. God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

AUG. For why is He called the Savior of the world, but because He saves the world? The physician, so far as his will is concerned, heals the sick. If the sick despises or will not observe the directions of the physician, he destroys himself.

CHRYS. Because however He says this, slothful men in the multitude of their sins, and excess of carelessness, abuse God's mercy, and say, There is no hell, no punishment; God remits us all our sins. But let us remember, that there are two advents of Christ; one past, the other to come. The former was, not to judge but to pardon us: the latter will be, not to pardon but to judge us. It is of the former that He says, I have not come to judge the world. Because He is merciful, instead of judgment, He grants an internal remission of all sins by baptism; and even after baptism opens to us the door of repentance, which had He not done all had been lost; for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Afterwards, however, there follows something about the punishment of unbelievers, to warn us against flattering ourselves that we can sin with impunity. Of the unbeliever He says, 'he is judged already.' - But first He says, He that believes in Him is not judged. He who believes, He says, not who inquires. But what if his life be impure? Paul very strongly declares that such are not believers: They confess, he says, that they know God, but in works deny Him. That is to say, Such will not be judged for their belief, but will receive a heavy punishment for their works, though unbelief will not be charged against them.

ALCUIN. He who believes in Him, and cleaves to Him as a member to the head, will not be condemned.

AUG. What did you expect Him to say of him who believed not, except that he is condemned. Yet mark His words: He that believes not is condemned already. The Judgment has not appeared, but it is already given. For the Lord knows who are His; who are awaiting the crown, and who the fire.

CHRYS. Or the meaning is, that disbelief itself is the punishment of the impenitent: inasmuch as that is to be without light, and to be without light is of itself the greatest punishment. Or He is announcing what is to be. Though a murderer be not yet sentenced by the Judge, still his crime has already condemned him. In like manner he who believes not, is dead, even as Adam, on the day that he ate of the tree, died.

GREG. Or thus: In the last judgment some perish without being judged, of whom it is here said, He that believes not is condemned already. For the day of judgment does not try those who for unbelief are already banished from the sight of a discerning judge, are under sentence of damnation; but those, who retaining the profession of faith, have no works to show suitable to that profession. For those who have not kept even the sacraments of faith, do not even hear the curse of the Judge at the last trial. They have already, in the darkness of their unbelief, received their sentence, and are not thought worthy of being convicted by the rebuke of Him whom they had despised Again; For an earthly sovereign, in the government of his state, has a different rule of punishment, in the case of the disaffected subject, and the foreign rebel. In the former case he consults the civil law; but against the enemy he proceeds at once to war, and repays his malice with the punishment it deserves, without regard to law, inasmuch as he who never submitted to law, has no claim to suffer by the law.

ALCUIN. He then gives the reason why he who believes not is condemned, viz. because he believes not in the name of the only begotten Son of God. For in this name alone is there salvation. God has not many sons who can save; He by whom He saves is the Only Begotten.

AUG. Where then do we place baptized children? Amongst those who believe? This is acquired for them by the virtue of the Sacrament, and the pledges of the sponsors. And by this same rule we reckon those who are not baptized, among those who believe not.

vv. 19-21

12319 Jn 3,19-21

ALCUIN. Here is the reason why men believed not, and why they are justly condemned; This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world.

CHRYS. As if He said, So far from their having sought for it, or labored to find it, light itself has come to them, and they have refused to admit it; Men loved darkness rather than light, Thus He leaves them no excuse. He came to rescue them from darkness, and bring them to light; who can pity him who does not choose to approach the light when it comes unto him?

BEDE; He calls Himself the light, whereof the Evangelist speaks, That was the true light; whereas sin He calls darkness.

CHRYS. Then because it seemed incredible that man should prefer light to darkness, he gives the reason of the infatuation, viz. that their deeds were evil. And indeed had He come to Judgment, there had been some reason for not receiving Him; for he who is conscious of his crimes, naturally avoids the judge. But criminals are glad to meet one who brings them pardon. And therefore it might have been expected that men conscious of their sins would have gone to meet Christ, as many indeed did; for the publicans and sinners came and sat down with Jesus. But the greater part being too cowardly to undergo the toils of virtue for righteousness' sake, persisted in their wickedness to the last; of whom our Lord says, Every one that does evil, hates the light. He speaks of those who choose to remain in their wickedness.

ALCUIN. Every one that does evil, hates the light; i.e. he who is resolved to sin, who delights in sin, hates the light, which detects his sin.

AUG. Because they dislike being deceived, and like to deceive, they love light for discovering herself, and hate her for discovering them. Wherefore it shall be their punishment, that she shall manifest them against their will, and herself not be manifest unto them. They love the brightness of truth, they hate her discrimination; and therefore it follows, Neither comes to the light, that his deeds should be reproved.

CHRYS. No one reproves a Pagan, because his own practice agrees with the character of his gods; his life is in accordance with his doctrines. But a Christian who lives in wickedness all must condemn. If there are any Gentiles whose life is good, I know them not. But are there not Gentiles? it may be asked. For do not tell me of the naturally amiable and honest; this is not virtue. But show me one who has strong passions, and lives with wisdom. You cannot. For if the announcement of a kingdom, and the threats of hell, and other inducements, hardly keep men virtuous which they are so, such calls will hardly rouse them to the attainment of virtue in the first instance. Pagans, if they do produce any thing which looks well, do it for vain-glory's sake, and will therefore at the same time, if they can escape notice, gratify their evil desires as well. And what profit is a man's sobriety and decency of conduct, if he is the slave of vain-glory? The slave of vain-glory is no less a sinner than a fornicator; nay, sins even oftener, and more grievously. However, even supposing there are some few Gentiles of good lives, the exceptions so rare do not affect my argument.

BEDE; Morally too they love darkness rather than light, who when their preachers tell them their duty, assail them with calumny.

But he that does truth comets to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. CHRYS. He does not say this of those who are brought up under the Gospel, but of those who are converted to the true faith from Paganism or Judaism. He shows that no one will leave a false religion for the true faith, till he first resolve to follow a right course of life.

AUG. He calls the works of him who comes to the light, wrought in God; meaning that his justification is attributable not to his own merits) but to God's grace.

AUG. But if God has discovered all men's works to be evil, how is it that any have done the truth, and come to the light, i.e. to Christ? Now what He said is, that they loved darkness rather than light; He lays the stress upon that. Many have loved their sins, many have confessed them. God accuses your sins; if you accuse them too, you are joined to God. You must hate your own work, and love the work of God in you. The beginning of good works, is the confession of evil works, and then you does the truth: not soothing, not flattering yourself. And you are come to the light, because this very sin in you, which displeases you, would not displease you, did not God shine upon you, and His truth show it to you. And let those even who have sinned only by word or thought, or who have only exceeded in things allowable, do the truth, by making confession, and come to the light by performing good works. For little sins, if suffered to accumulate, become mortal. Little drops swell the river: little grains of sand become an heap, which presses and weighs down. The sea coming in by little and little, unless it be pumped out, sinks the vessel. And what is to pump out, but by good works, mourning, fasting, giving and forgiving, to provide against our sins overwhelming us?

vv. 22-26

12322 Jn 3,22-26

CHRYS. Nothing is more open than truth, nothing bolder; it neither seeks concealment, or avoids danger, or fears the snare, or cares for popularity. It is subject to no human weakness. Our Lord went up to Jerusalem at the feasts, not from ostentation or love of honor, but to teach the people His doctrines, and show miracles of mercy. After the festival He visited the crowds who were collected at the Jordan. After these things came Jesus and His disciples into the land of Judea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

BEDE; After these things, is not immediately after His dispute with Nicodemus, which took place at Jerusalem; but on His return to Jerusalem after some time spent in Galilee.

ALCUIN. By Judea are meant those who confess, whom Christ visits; for wherever there is confession of sins, or the praise of God, thither comes Christ and His disciples, i. e. His doctrine and enlightenment; and there He is known by His cleansing men from sin: And there He tarried with them, and baptized.

CHRYS. As the Evangelist says afterwards, that Jesus baptized not but His disciples, it is evident that he means the same here, i.e. that the disciples only baptized.

AUG. Our Lord did not baptize with the baptism wherewith He had been baptized; for He was baptized by a servant, as a lesson of humility to us, and in order to bring us to the Lord's baptism, i.e. His own; for Jesus baptized, as the Lord, the Son of God.

BEDE; John still continues baptizing, though Christ has begun; for the shadow remains still, nor must the forerunner cease, till the truth is manifested. And John also was baptizing in AEnon, near to Salim. AEnon is Hebrew for water; so that the Evangelist gives, as it were, the derivation of the name, when he adds, For there was much water there. Salim is a town on the Jordan, where Melchisedec once reigned.

JEROME; It matters not whether it is called Salem, or Salim; since the Jews very rarely use vowels in the middle of words; and the same words are pronounced with different vowels and accents, by different readers, and in different places.

And they came, and were baptized. BEDE; The same kind of benefit which catechumens receive from instruction before they are baptized, the same did John's baptism convey before Christ's. As John preached repentance, announced Christ's baptism, and drew all men to the knowledge of the truth now made manifest to the world: so the ministers of the Church first instruct those who come to the faith, then reprove their sins; and lastly, drawing them to the knowledge and love of the truth, offer them remission by Christ's baptism.

CHRYS. Notwithstanding the disciples of Jesus baptized, John did not leave off till his imprisonment; as the Evangelist's language intimates, For John was not yet cast into prison.

BEDE; He evidently here is relating what Christ did before John's imprisonment; a part which has been passed over by the rest, who commence after John's imprisonment.

AUG. But why did John baptize?

AUG. Because it was necessary that our Lord should be baptized.

And why was it necessary that our Lord should be baptized? That no one might ever think himself at liberty to despise baptism.

CHRYS, But why did he go on baptizing now? Because, had he left off, it might have been attributed to envy or anger: whereas, continuing to baptize, he got no glory for himself, but sent hearers to Christ. And he was better able to do this service, than were Christ's own disciples; his testimony being so free from suspicion, and his reputation with the people so much higher than theirs. He therefore continued to baptize, that he might not increase the envy felt by his disciples against our Lord's baptism. Indeed, the reason, I think, why John's death was permitted, and, in his room, Christ made the great preacher, was, that the people might transfer their affections wholly to Christ, and no longer be divided between the two. For the disciples of John did become so envious of Christ's disciples, and even of Christ Himself, that when they saw the latter baptizing, they threw contempt upon their baptism, as being inferior to that of John's; And there arose a question from some of John's disciples with the Jews about purifying. That it was they who began the dispute, and not the Jews, the Evangelist implies by saying, that there arose a question from John's disciples, whereas he might have said, The Jews put forth a question.

AUG. The Jews then asserted Christ to be the greater person, and His baptism necessary to be received. But John's disciples did not understand so much, and defended John's baptism. At last they come to John, to solve the question: And they came unto John, and said to him, Rabbi, He that was with you beyond Jordan, behold, the Same baptizes.

CHRYS. Meaning, He, Whom you baptized, baptizes. They did not say expressly, Whom you baptized, for they did not wish to be reminded of the voice from heaven, but, He Who was with you, i.e. Who was in the situation of a disciple, who was nothing more than any of us, He now separates Himself from you, and baptizes. They add, To Whom you bare witness; as if to say, Whom you showed to the world, Whom you made renowned, He now dares to do as you do. Behold, the Same baptizes. And in addition to this, they urge the probability that John's doctrines would fall into discredit. All men come to Him.

ALCUIN. Meaning, Passing by you, all men run to the baptism of Him Whom you baptized.

vv. 27-30

12327 Jn 3,27-30

CHRYS. John, on this question being raised, does not rebuke his disciples, for fear they might separate, and turn to some other school, but replies gently, John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven; as if he said, No wonder that Christ does such excellent works, and that all men come to Him; when He Who does it all is God. Human efforts are easily seen through, are feeble, and short-lived. These are not such: they are not therefore of human, but of divine originating. He seems however to speak somewhat humbly of Christ, which will not surprise us, when we consider that it was not fitting to tell the whole truth, to minds prepossessed with such a passion as envy. He only tries for the present to alarm them, by showing that they are attempting impossible things, and fighting against God.

AUG. Or perhaps John is speaking here of himself: I am a mere man, and have received all from heaven, and therefore think not that, because it has been given me to be somewhat, I am so foolish as to spear: against the truth.

CHRYS. And see; the very argument by which they thought to have overthrown Christ, To whom you bare witness, he turns against them; You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ; as if he said, If you think my witness true, you must acknowledge Him more worthy of honor shall myself. He adds, But that I was sent before Him; that is to say, I am a servant, and perform the commission of the Father which sent me; my witness is not from favor or partiality; I say that which was given me to say.

BEDE; Who are you then, since you are not the Christ, and who is He to Whom you bear witness? John replies, He is the Bridegroom; I am the friend of the Bridegroom, sent to prepare the Bride for His approach: He that has the Bride, is the Bridegroom. By the Bride he means the Church, gathered from amongst all nations; a Virgin in purity of heart, in perfection of love, in the bond of peace, in chastity of mind and body; in the unity of the Catholic faith; for in vain is she a virgin in body, who continues not a virgin in mind. This Bride has Christ joined to Himself in marriage, and redeemed with the price of His own Blood.

THEOPHYL. Christ is the spouse of every soul; the wedlock, wherein they are joined, is baptism; the place of that wedlock is the Church; the pledge of it, remission of sins, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost; the consummation, eternal life; which those who are worthy shall receive. Christ alone is the Bridegroom: all other teachers are but the friends of the Bridegroom, as was the forerunner. The Lord is the giver of good; the rest are the despisers of His gifts.

BEDE; His Bride therefore our Lord committed to His friend, i.e. the order of preachers, who should be jealous of her, not for themselves, but for Christ; The friend of the Bridegroom which stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the Bridegroom's voice.

AUG. As if He said, She is not My spouse. But do you therefore not rejoice in the marriage? Yes, I rejoice, he said, because I am the friend of the Bridegroom.

CHRYS. But how does he who said above, Whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose, call himself a friend? As an expression not of equality, but of excess of joy: (for the friend of the Bridegroom is always more rejoiced than the servant,) and also, as a condescension to the weakness of his disciples, who thought that he was pained at Christ's ascendancy. For he hereby assures them, that so far from being pained, he was right glad that the Bride recognized her Spouse.

AUG. But wherefore does he stand? Because he fails not, by reason of his humility. A sure ground this to stand upon, Whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. Again; He stands, and hears Him. So then if he fails, he hears Him not. Therefore the friend of the Bridegroom ought to stand and hear, i.e. to abide in the grace which he has received, and to hear the voice in which he rejoices. I rejoice not, he said, because of my own voice, but because of the Bridegroom's voice. I rejoice; I in hearing, He in speaking; I am the ear, He the Word. For he who guards the bride or wife of his friend, takes care that she love none else; if he wish to be loved himself in the stead of his friend, and to enjoy her who was entrusted to him, how detestable does he appear to the whole world? Yet many are the adulterers I see, who would fain possess themselves of the spouse who was bought at so great a price, and who aim by their words at being loved themselves instead of the Bridegroom.

CHRYS. Or thus; The expression, which stands, is not without meaning, but indicates that his part is now over, and that for the future he must stand and listen. This is a transition from the parable to the real subject. For having introduced the figure of a bride and bridegroom, he shows how the marriage is consummated; viz. by word and doctrine. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. And since the things he had hoped for had come to pass, he adds, This my Joy therefore is fulfilled; i.e. The work which I had to do is finished, and nothing more is left, that I can do.

THEOPHYL. For which cause I rejoice now, that all men follow Him. For had the bride, i.e. the people, not come forth to meet the Bridegroom, then I, as the friend of the Bridegroom, should have grieved.

AUG. Or thus; This my joy is fulfilled, i.e. my joy at hearing the Bridegroom's voice. I have my gift; I claim no more, lest I lose that which I have received. He who would rejoice in himself, has sorrow; but he who would rejoice in the Lord, shall ever rejoice, because God is everlasting.

BEDE; He rejoices at hearing the Bridegroom's voice, who knows that he should not rejoice in his own wisdom, but in the wisdom which God gives him. Whoever in his good works seeks not his own glory, or praise, or earthly gain, but has his affections set on heavenly things; this man is the friend of the Bridegroom.

CHRYS. He next dismisses the motions of envy, not only as regards the present, but also the future, saying, He must increase, but I must decrease: as if he said, My office has ceased, and is ended; but His advances.

AUG. What means this, He must increase? God neither increases, nor decreases. And John and Jesus, according to the flesh, were of the same age: for the six months' difference between them is of no consequence. This is a great mystery. Before our Lord came, men gloried in themselves; He came in no man's nature, that the glory of man might be diminished, and the glory of God exalted. For He came to remit sins upon man's confession: a man's confession, a man's humility, is God's pity, God's exaltation. This truth Christ and John proved, even by their modes of suffering: John was beheaded, Christ was lifted up on the cross. Then Christ was born, when the days begin to lengthen; John, when they begin to shorten. Let God's glory then increase in us, and our own decrease, that ours also may increase in God. But it is because you understand God more and more, that He seems to increase in you: for in His own nature He increases not, but is ever perfect: even as to a man cured of blindness, who begins to see a little, and daily sees more, the light seems to increase, whereas it is in reality always at the fall, whether he sees it or not. In like manner the inner man makes advancement in God, and it seems as if God were increasing in Him; but it is He Himself that decreases, falling from the height of His own glory, and rising in the glory of God.

THEOPHYL. Or thus; As, on the sun rising, the light of the other heavenly bodies seems to be extinguished, though in reality it is only obscured by the greater light: thus the forerunner is said to decrease; as if he were a star hidden by the sun. Christ increases in proportion as he gradually discloses Himself by miracles; not in the sense of increase, or advancement in virtue, (the opinion of Nestorius,) but only as regards the manifestation of His divinity.

vv. 31-32

12331 Jn 3,31-32

CHRYS. As the worm gnaws wood, and rusts iron, so vainglory destroys the soul that cherishes it. But it is a most obstinate fault. John with all his arguments can hardly subdue it in his disciples: for after what he has said above, he said yet again, He that comes from above is above all: meaning, You extol my testimony, and say that the witness is more worthy to be believed, than He to whom he bears witness. Know this, that He who comes from heaven, cannot be accredited by an earthly witness. He is above all; being perfect in Himself, and above comparison.

THEOPHYL. Christ comes from above, as descending from the Father; and is above all, as being elected in preference to all.

ALCUIN. Or, comes from above; i.e. from the height of that human nature which was before the sin of the first man. For it was that human nature which the Word of God assumed: He did not take upon Him man's sin, as He did his punishment.

He that is of the earth is of the earth; i.e. is earthly, and speaks of the earth, speaks earthly things. CHRYS. And yet he was not altogether of the earth; for he had a soul, and partook of a spirit, which was not of the earth. What means he then by saying that he is of the earth? Only to express his own worthlessness, that he is one born on the earth, creeping on the ground, and not to be compared with Christ, Who comes from above. Speaks of the earth, does not mean that he spoke from his own understanding; but that, in comparison with Christ's doctrine, he spoke of the earth: as if he said, My doctrine is mean and humble, compared with Christ's; as becomes an earthly teacher, compared with Him, in Whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

AUG. Or, speaks of all the earth, he said of the man, i.e. of himself, so far as he speaks merely humanly. If he says ought divine, he is enlightened by God to say it: as said the Apostle; Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. John then, so far as pertains to John, is of the earth, and speaks of the earth: if you hear ought divine from him, attribute it to the Enlightener, not to him who has received the light.

CHRYS. Having corrected the bad feeling of his disciples, he comes to discourse more deeply upon Christ. Before this it would have been useless to reveal the truths which could not yet gain a place in their minds. It follows therefore, He that comes from heaven.

GLOSS. That is, from the Father. He is above all in two ways; first, in respect of His humanity, which was that of man before he sinned: secondly, in respect of the loftiness of the Father, to whom He is equal.

CHRYS. But after this, high and solemn mention of Christ, his tone lowers: And what he has seen and heard, that he testifies. As our senses are our surest channels of knowledge, and teachers are most depended on who have apprehended by sight or hearing what they teach, John adds this argument in favor of Christ, that, what he has seen and heard, that he testifies: meaning that every thing which He said is true. I want, said John, to hear what things He, Who comes from above, has seen and heard, i.e. what He, and He alone, knows with certainty.

THEOPHYL. When you hear then, that Christ speaks what He saw and heard from the Father, do not suppose that He needs to be taught by the Father; but only that that knowledge, which He has naturally, is from the Father. For this reason He is said to have heard, whatever He knows, from the Father.

AUG. But what is it, w which the Son has heard from the Father? Has He heard the word of the Father? Yes, but He is the Word of the Father. When you conceives a word, wherewith to name a thing, the very, conception of that thing in the mind is a word. Just then as you have in your mind and with you your spoken word; even so God uttered the Word, i.e. begat the Son. Since then the Son is the Word of God, and the Son has spoken the Word of God to us, He has spoken to us the Father's word. What John said is therefore true.

Golden Chain 12314