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SECT. elxxviii.

John

328 But he would see them again, and their hearts should rejoice. Now Jesus, as the secret workings of their 19 Now Jesus knew

that they were desitous hearts were open to his view, knew that they

to ask him, and said were desirous to ask him for some farther expli- unto them, Do ye XVI.19. cation of what he had been saying, and yet that inquire among your

they were afraid of being upbraided for the slow- selves of that I said,
ness of their apprehensions ; and therefore kind- shall not see me : and
ly prevented their confusion, and said to them, again, a little while and
Do you inquire of one another concerning this ye shall see me ?
which I said, A little while and ye shall not see
71!e, and again, a little while and ye shall see me?

Surely, if you reflect a little, it cannot be very 20 difficult to understand the meaning of that. 20 Verily, verily, I rily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall shortly shall weep and lament

,

, wcep and lament for a while, on account of my but the world shall rebei taken away from you", and in the mean joice: and ye shall be time, the world shall rejoice, as if it had prevailed sorrowful but your against me; and you shall be sorrowful at the loss into joy. of my presence, but then you have this to com

fort you in that interval of distress, that your 2. sorrow shall quickly be turned into joy. Just as

21 A woman, when

she is in travail, hath a woman when she is in labour, has great anxiety

because her and sorrow because her hour of distress and agony hour is come : bue as is come ; but when she has brought

forth a child, cd of the child, she reshe forgets the pangs she endured and remember- membereth no eth [her tribulation no more, for joy that a man the anguish, for joy is born into the world, and added to her family that a man is born in

world 22 for its future honour and support. And so it

22 And ye now is, that you indeed have sorrow now, in expecta- therefore have sorrow ; tion of the melancholy scene which is approach- but I will see you again, ing; and it willvery much increase your trouble to

your heart shali

rejoice; and your joy see me in a few bours more torn away from you no man taketh from with inhuman violence, bung as a malefactor you. on the cross, and buried in the grave; but when pour hopes are at the lowest ebb, I will quickly see you again, after my resurrection, and your hearts shall rejoice; and afterwards, though I am absent from you in the body, yet I will 6ll you with such consolation by my Spirit, that no one shall, by any means whatever, deprive you of your joy, wbich shall sweetly mingle itself even with your heaviest afflictions

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Ve shall weep and lament, &c.] What- the one day he lay in the crave, supposing ever immediate reference this may have to (which is very possible) they had then but the sorroirs of the apostles, immediately on little relish to their food. See Vol. VI. the death of Christ, before his resurrection, p. 373 I question not but it includes all their sub d No one shall deprive you of your joy. ] sequent afflictions in the days of fasting, As this promise will be for ever accomwhen the bridegroom was taken away from plished to all Christ's faithful servants, so them, as it is elsewhere expressed in a pa- it is observable how the apostle Paul, in his rallel phrase, (Mat. ix. 15.) which must more abundant afflictions, attests his ex. express much inore than the abstinence of perience of its truth, when he says, As

sorrowful,

Whatever they ask in his name the Father will give it. 323 23 And in that day And in that day, when I have sent the Com- Sect: ye shall ask me ne forter, you shall not inquire any thing of me',

clxxviii. I say unto you, What- norbe pizzled with much greater difficulties than

John soever ye shall ask the those which I have now been explaining ; but XVI.23. Father in my name, Divine illuminations shall be poured in upon you he will give it you.

in the richest abundance, and with it the spirit
of earnest and successful prayer; for verily,
verily, I say unto you, and repeat the important
assurance which I before gave you (chap. xiv.
13, 14, and xv. 16), That whatsoever ye shall

ask the Father in my name, he will give [it] you. 24 Hitherto have ye Hitherto ye

have not been used to regard me 24 asked nothing in my under the character of a Mediator between God name: ask and ye shall and man, and therefore have asked nothing in receive, that your joy may be full.

my name; but then, having received a fuller re-
velation of the doctrine of my intercession, vou
may come with a cheerful boldness to the throne
of grace, and freely ask whatever shall be neces-
sary for you; and depend upon it you shall re-
ceive such a liberal supply, that, in the midst of
all your temporal discouragements, your joy in

God may still be maintained in its full height.

things These weighty and important things I have of- 25 have I spoken unto you ten spoken to you in the obscurity of parables, cometh when I shall which have appeared dark and mysterious tó no more speak unto you ; but the hour or time is coming when I will you in proverbs, but speak no more to you in parables or dark sayings shall show you plainly of the Father. but I will tell you what relates to the Father with

26 At that day ye all openness and plainness of speech. In that 26 shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you

day you shall ask in my name, and shali present that I will pray the your supplications to the Father with an express Father for you: acknowledgment of your dependance mpon me

for the success of your petitions ; and I do not
merely

say to you, that I will ask the Father on
your account, and plead with hin for the accept-
ance of your prayers, though you may assure

yourselves that I shall always be ready to do it ; 27. For the Father But I represent it not to you in such a view, as 27 thimself lovethe you, if every favour were obtained and as it were extorted, merely by my importunity, from one

who

25 These

sorrowful, yet always rejoicing (2 Cor. vi. almost in the same sense with the latter 10); and mentions his share in the joy of (see Mat. xvi. I); and the word seems to Christians as a most important and sacred have the same ambiguity with demand in onth. (1 Cor. xv. 31.)

English. The argument some have drawn e You shall not inquire any thing of me.] froin hence against praying to Christ, on the We render it ask ; but I thourht ie proper preceding criticism, has no appearance ot to make some distinction between spulaw, weight; and did pulau signify to prny, which properly signifies to make un inquiry, would prove (if it proved any thing) tinat and ailow, which is to present a request. Paul lived, and Stephen died, in a very (See Dr. Calamy on the Trinity, p. 154.) unwarrantable, and perhaps an idolaisuus, Yet I confess the former is sometimes used practice,

1

330 He came from the Father, and is returning to him.

sect. who has himself no regard for your happiness ; because ye have loved ¢lxxviii. for, on the contrary, I assure you, that the Fa: me, and have believed

bat I came out from John

ther himself most tenderly loves you, and there- God. XVI.27. fore will be ready to grant your requests, and

to watch over you with paternal affection and
care; because you have loved me, and have be,
lieved that I came out from God, as the messen.
ger of his grace to men; and have accordingly

relied upon me with such stedfastness, that you
28 have ventured your all upon that belief. And 28 I came forth from

you have therein acted a very prudent and happy the Father, and am
part ; for I indeed came out from the Father, again, I leave the world,
and am come into the world to scatter a Divine and go to the Fathes.
light upon it, and to conduct men into the paths
of lite and peace: and now again, having dis-
patched my errand, I am leaving the world, and
am going back to the Father ; where I shall keep
my stated abode, and whither I will shortly
conduct

you to a more glorious kingdom than
you ever expected here. This is the sun of
wirat I have been telling you, and was particu-
larly my meaning in what I have said before
(ver. 16), “ Yet a little while, and ye shall see

me again, because I go to the Father.” 29

And his disciples, struck with the correspon 29 His disciples said dence of what he said to what was secretly

, pass- speakest thou plainly,

unto him, Lo, now ing in their own minds, suid to him, Lord, Be- and speakest no prohold, now thou speakest very plainly to us, and verb. usest no paruble, or obscure form of expression ;

so that we clearly understand thy meaning, and 30 rejoice in it. And now we know by this far.

30 Now are we sure

that thou knowest all ther token, even thv discerning our inmost

and needest doubts on this head, that thou knowest all things, not that any man and liast no need that any one should ask thee any should ask thee: by

we believe that particular questions, to inform thee of those

thou camest forth from scruples which thou seest when first rising in God. the mind: on this account therefore we firmly

believe that thou camest out from God. 31 Jesus answered them, Do you now at length be 31 Jesus answered

them, Do ye now lieve? and do you apprehend your faith to be

believe ?
firm, that nothing shall be able any more to
shake it? Let me advise

you

not to be too confident ; for I assure you, that in a very little time you will be found to act, as if you had not anv faith in me: pray therefore, that God would

fortify you against those trials of which I have 32 warned you once and again. For behold, the

32 Behold, the hour

comeih, yea, is now hour is coming, yea, is so near at hand, that I

come, that ye shall be may even say, it is 110w come, that

you

shall all scattered, every man Þe scattered and dispersed, and every one of you to his own, and shall

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John

Reflections on the joy that we may have in Christ. 331 leave me alone : and return to your own habitations and employments, SECT:

. cause the Father is with or otherwise shift for yourselves as well as you can; and to consult

your own security, you shall flee away and leave me alone; but yet I am not, XV1.32. properly speaking, alone, for the father is with me, and he will comfort and support me, in the

absence of all human friends, 33 These things I These things have I spoken thus largely to you 33 have spoken unto you, that whatever difficulties may arise in life, havthat in me ye might have peace.

In the ing been thus warned, and furnished with such world ye shall have consolations as these, you might have lasting good cheer, I bave peace and serenity of soul by the exercise of

your faith in me.

In the world indeed you shall have and must expect affliction ; but be courageous and cheerful in vour combat, for I have myself overcome the world; and, being possessed of a power infinitely superior to it, I will make you partakers in my victory over all its terrors and its

tribulation : but be of

overcome the world.

shares.

IMPROVEMENT.

We are, perhaps, often regretting the absence of Christ, and Ver. looking back with emulation on the happier lot of those who 16 conversed with bim on earth in the days of his flesh : but if we are true believers in an unseen Jesus, it is but a little while and we shall also see him ; for he is gone to the Father, and will so successfully negociate our affairs there, that whatever our present difficulties and sorrows are, they shall end more happily than those of a woman, who after all the pangs and throes of her la-21 bour, through the merciful interposition of Divine Providence, is made the joyful mother of a living child.

In the mean time, we have surely no reason to envy the world 20 its joys and triumphs: alas, its season of weeping will quickly come! But our lamentations are soon to be turned into songs of praise, and our hearts to be filled with that solid, sacred and peculiar joy, 22 which, being the gift of Christ, can never be taken away.

While we are in this state of distance and darkness, let us rejoice that we have access to the throne of grace through the pre- 23 vailing name of Christ. Let us come thither with holy courage and confidence, and ask that we may receive ; and so our joy may be full. With what pleasure may we daily renew our visits to 2.4 that throne, before which Jesus stands as an Intercessor; to that throne, which is possessed by the Father, who himself loveth us, 26, 27and answers with readiness and delight those petitions which are thus recommended! May our faith in Christ, and our love to him, Vol. VII. Tt

be

clxxviii.

332 Christ prays to the Father that he may be glowfied. SECT: be still on the increasing hand ; and our supplications will be more

and more acceptable to him, whose loving-kindness is better than -27 life! (Psal. Ixiii. 3.)

Surely we shall be frequently reviewing these gracious discourses 33— which Christ has bequeathed us as an invaluable legacy. May

they dwell with us in all our solitude, and comfort us in every

distress ! We shall have no reason to wonder if human friendship —32 be sometimes false, and always precarious: the disciples of Christ

were scattered in the day of his extremity, and left him alone, when they were under the highest obligations to have adhered to him with the most inviolable fidelity. May we but be able like him to say, that our Father is with us; and that delightful converse with God, which we may enjoy in our most solitary mo.

ments, will be a thousand times more than an equivalent for what33 soever we lose in the creatures. In the world we must indeed have tribulation; and he that has appointed it for us, knows that it is fit we should: but since Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, who was made perfect through sufferings, has overcome the world, and disarmed it ; let us seek that peace which he has established, and press on with a cheerful assurance, that the least of his followers shall share in the honours and benefits of his victory.

SECT. CLXXIX.

Christ offers up a solemn prayer to the Father, that he himself might

be glorified; and that those who were given him might be kept through his name. John XVII. 1-12.

SECT. clxxix.

JOHN XVII. 1.

JOHN XVII. 1. OUR

UR Lord Jesus spake these words which are THESE words spake recorded in the preceding chapters, and his eyes to heaven,

Jesus; and lifted up then lifted up his eyes to heaven, and poured out and said, Father, the John

a most affectionate and important prayer to his hour is come; glorify XVII.1.

Father; an excellent model of his intercession in also may glorify thee.
heaven, and a most comfortable and edifying re-
presentation of his temper both towards God and
his people. And, that it might more effectually
answer these great ends, he uttered it with an
audible voice, and said, () my beavenly Father,
the appointed and expected hour is come in which
I am to enter on my sufferings, and to com-
plete the work for which I came into the world;
and therefore I pray, that thou wouldest glorify
me, thy Son, in those signal appearances for my
honour and support in death, in my recovery
froin the grave, and mine ascension into heaven,

which

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