Verse 41. "If ye were blind" - If ye had not had sufficient opportunities to have acquainted yourselves with my Divine nature, by the unparalleled miracles which I have wrought before you? and the holy doctrine which I have preached, then your rejecting me could not be imputed to you as sin; but because ye say, we see-we are perfectly capable of judging between a true and false prophet, and can from the Scriptures point out the Messiah by his works-on this account you are guilty, and your sin is of no common nature, it remaineth, i.e. it shall not be expiated: as ye have rejected the Lord from being your deliverer, so the Lord has rejected you from being his people. When the Scripture speaks of sin remaining, it is always put in opposition to pardon; for pardon is termed the taking away of sin, chap. i. 29; Psalm xxxii. 5. And this is the proper import of the phrase, afesiv twn amartiwv, which occurs so frequently in the sacred writings.
1. THE history of the man who was born blind and cured by our Lord is, in every point of view, instructive. His simplicity, his courage, his constancy, and his gratitude are all so many subjects worthy of attention and emulation. He certainly confessed the truth at the most imminent risk of his life; and therefore, as Stephen was the first martyr for Christianity, this man was the first confessor. The power and influence of TRuth, in supporting its friends and confounding its adversaries, are well exemplified in him; and not less so, that providence of God by which he was preserved from the malice of these bad men. The whole story is related with inimitable simplicity, and cannot be read by the most cold- hearted without extorting the exclamation, How forcible are right words? 2. It has already been remarked that, since the world began, there is no evidence that any man born blind was ever restored to sight by surgical means, till the days of Mr. Cheselden, who was a celebrated surgeon at St. Thomas's Hospital, London. For though, even before the Christian aera, there is reason to believe that both the Greek and Roman physicians performed operations to remove blindness occasioned by the cataract, yet we know of none of these ever attempted on the eyes of those who had been born blind, much less of any such persons being restored to sight.
The cure before us must have been wholly miraculous-no appropriate means were used to effect it. What was done had rather a tendency to prevent and destroy sight than to help or restore it. The blindness in question was probably occasioned by a morbid structure of the organs of sight; and our Lord, by his sovereign power, instantaneously restored them to perfect soundness, without the intervention of any healing process. In this case there could be neither deception nor collusion.