<29> the way. before the face of the Lord. Who ever had such a trust committed to him, before or since? No man! Secondly He was trusted with the important mission & it was required of his hands, to baptize the son of man. Who ever did that? Who ever had so great a privilege & glory? Who ever led the Son of God into the waters of baptism, & had the privilege of beholding the Holy Ghost desend in the form of a dove, or rather in the sign of the Dove, in witness of that administration. The sign of the dove was instituted before the creation of the world. as a a witness for the Holy Ghost. And the Devil cannot come in the sign of a dove. The Holy Ghost is a personage, <& is> in the form of a personage. It does not confine itself to the form of a dove, but in sign of a dove. <*> <* The Holy Gho[s]t cannot be transformed into a dove, but the sign of the dove was given to John to signify the truth of the deed. As the dove was <is> an emblem a token of truth & innocence> Thirdly, John at that time was the only legal administrator, <in the affairs of the kingdom> holding the keys of power, there was <then> on the earth, and holding the keys of power. The Jews had to obey his instructions or be damned, by their own lord; and Ch[r]ist himself fulfilled all righteousness in becoming obedient to the law which he had given to Moses on the mount, and therby magnified it and made it honorable instead of destroying it. The Son of Zachari[a]h wrested the keys, the kingdom, the power, the glory, from the Jews, by the holy anointing and decree of heaven, and these three reasons constitu[t]ed him the greatest propet born of a woman.
2[nd] Question. How was the least in the kingdom of heaven greater than he? <In reply I asked> Who did Jesus have reference to as being the least? inthekingdom? Jesus was looked upon as having the least claim in all God’s Kingdom, <and was least intitld to their credulity as a propet.> As though he had said, he that is considerd the least among you is greater than John, that is myself.
In reference to the Prodigal Son, I said it was a subject I had never dwelt upon, that it was understood by many to be one of the intricate subject of the scriptures, and even the in this have preached largely upon it, without having any rule of interpretations. What is the rule of interpretation? Justnointerpretationatall; understand it precisely as it reads. I have a key by which I understand the scriptures. I enquire what was the question which drew out the answer from Jesus,or caused Jesus to utter the parable. It is not national, it does not referr to Abraham, Israil or the gentiles, <in a national capacity> as some supposd.— To ascertain its meaning we must dig up the root, & ascertain who it was that drew the saying out of Jesus. [p. 12]