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Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
Many other things.' Many miracles, ch. xx. 30. Many discourses delivered, &c. 'I suppose,' &c. This is evidently the figure of speech called a hyperbole. This is a mode of speech where the words express more, or less, than is literally true. It is common among all writers. It is commonly the effect of sui prise; or having the mind full of some object, and not having words to express the ideas. At the same time the words convey no falsehood. The statement is to be taken as it would be understood among the persons to whom it is addressed; and as no one supposes that the author means to be understood literally, so there is no deception in the case, no falsehood, and consequently, no impeachment of the man's veracity, or inspiration. Virgil says of a man, "he was so tall as to reach the stars," and mears only that he was very tall. So when John says that the world would not contain the books that should be written if all the deeds and sayings of Jesus were recorded, he clearly intends nothing more than that a great many books would be required; or that it would be extremely difficult to record them all-intimating that his life was active-his discourses numerous-and that he had not pretended to give them all, but only such as should go to establish the main point for which he wrote-that he was the Messiah, ch. xx. 30, 31. The figure which John uses here is not uncommon in the sacred scriptures, Gen. xi. 4; xv. 5. Num. xiii. 33. Dan. iv. 20.
This gospel contains, in itself, the clearest proof of inspiration. It is a connected, clear, and satisfactory argument, to establish the great truth that Jesus was the Messiah. It contains the record of the Saviour's profoundest discourses; of his most convincing arguments with the Jews, and of his declarations respecting himself and God. It contains the purest and most elevated views of God to be found anywhere. It is in the highest degree absurd to suppose that an unlettered fisherman could have originated this book. Any one may be convinced of this by comparing it with what would be the production of a man in that rank of life now. But if John has recorded the words of the Lord Jesus, and preserved the true record of what occurred so many years before, then it shows that he was under a Divine guidance, and he is himself a proof-a standing proof of the fulfilment of the promise that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth, John xiv. 26. Of this book, as of all other books of the sacred scriptures, we may, in conclusion, apply the words spoken by John, respecting his vision of the future events of the Church. "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this" book "and keep those things which are written therein, for the time is at hand," Rev. i. 3.