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Our Lord assures his disciples that his separation from them would not be final, but that he would still act as their Guardian, and make them finally victorious. John xvi. 16, &c.
shall not see me, and again a little while and you shall see 17 me, because I go to the Father. Some of his disciples therefore
said one to another, What is this that he says to us?.“ A little
while and ye shall not see me, and again a little while and ye shall 18 see me; and because I go to the Father?” They said therefore
among themselves, . What is this little while of which he speaks? 19 we know not what he says.--Now Jesus knew that they were de
sirous to ask him for some explication, but were afraid of being upbraided for the slowness of their apprehension, and therefore said to them, Do you inquire of one another concerning this which I
said, A little while and ye shall not see me, and again a little 20 while and ye shall see me? Verily, verily I say unto you,
weep and lament for a while on account of my being taken away from you, and the world shall rejoice as if it had prevailed
against me : and you shall be sorrowful at the loss of my presence : 21 but your sorrow shall quickly be turned into joy. A woman when
she is in labour has sorrow because her hour is come ; but
when she has brought forth a child she remembers her tribula22 tion no more, for joy that a man is born into the world. And so
you indeed have sorrow now in expectation of (my departure] but I will see you again, and your hearts shall rejoice, and no one
shall deprive you of your joy. 13 And in that day ye shall not inquire * any thing of me: verily
verily I say unto you, That whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in 24 my name, he will give it you. Hitherto ye have asked nothing
in my name, not having been used to regard me as mediator between
God and man. Ask [thus) and you shall receive, that your joy 25 may be full.—These things I have spoken to you in parables, but
the hour is coming when I will speak no more to you in parables
(or dark sayings) but I will tell you what relates to the Father 26 with plainness. In that day ye shall ask him in my name; and I
do not merely say to you, that I will ask the Father on your ac27 count; for the Father himself loveth you, because you have lov
ed me, and have believed that I came out from God, as the messen. 28 ger of his grace lo men : for indeed I came out from the Father, and
am come into the world to enlighten and save it ; and now again, I am leaving the world, and am going to the Father. * The word here is egwaw, which properly signifies to make inqui. ry, though it sometimes means the same as the following word alleen te present a request.
29 His disciples said to him, Behold now thou speakest plainly, 30 and usest no parable. Now we know, by thy discérning our inmost
doubts on this head, that thou knowest all things, and hast no need
that any one should ask thee any questions ; on this account we be31 lieve that thou camest out from God. Jesus answered them, Do
you now believe ? In a little time you will act as if you had no faith 32 in me; for behold the hour is coming, yea is now just come, that
you shall be scattered, every one of you to your own habitations
and employments, and shall leave me alone : Yet I am not alone, 33 for the Father is with me. These things have I spoken to you
that you might have peace in me. In the world you shall have affliction, but be courageous, for I have overcome the world.
REFLECTIONS. We are, perhaps, often regretting the absence of Christ, and looking back with emulation on the happier lot of those who conversed with him 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 sce him ; for he is gone to the Father, and will so sccessfully negociate our affairs there, that whatever our present dificulties and sorrows are, they shall end more happily than those of a woman, who after all the pangs and throes of her labour, 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 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, 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 prevailing 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 that throne, before which Jesus stands as an Intercessor; to that throne, which is possessed by the Father, who himself loveth us, and answers with readiness and delight those petitions which are thus recommended! May our faith in Christ, and our love to him, be still on the increasing hand; and our supplications will be more and more acceptable to him, whose loving-kindness is better than life.
Surely we shall be frequently reviewing these gracious discourses 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 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 enworld 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.
ir most iry moments, will be a thousand times more than an equivalent for whatsoever we lose in the creatures. In the
Christ's prayer to the Father, that he might be glorified; and that those who
were given him might be kept through his name. JOHN xvii. 1—12. 1 ESUS spake these words, and then lifted up
eyes to heaven and said, Father, the hour is come ; glorify thy Son, that thy 2 Son also may glorify thee; according as thou hast given him pow
er over all flesh, that he may give eternal life to all that thou hast 3 given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee the 4 only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.
I have glorified thee on earth ; I have finished the work which thou gavest 5 me to do. And now, O Father, do thou glorify me with thine own
self, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was. 6 I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out
of the world: They were thine, and thou gavest them to me, and 7 they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things 8 whatsoever thou hast given me are of Thee. For the words which
thou gavest to me I have given to them, and they have received
them, and have known in truth that I came out from Thee, and 9 have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them : I pray
not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me ; for they jo are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am 11 glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world: but these are yet in the world, and I am coming to Thee.
Holy Father, keep these whom thou hast given me through thy name, that 1? they may be one, even as we are. While I was with them in the
world, I kept them in thy name, yea I guarded them whom thou gavest me with a constant care, and none of them is lost, unless it be the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.
REFLECTIONS. With pleasure let us behold! our gracious Redeemer in this posture of humble adoration ; lifting up his eyes to God with solemn devotion, and pouring out his pious and benevolent Spirit in those divine breatlıings which are here recorded. From his example, let us learn to pray ; and from his intercession, to hope. We know that the Father heare!! him always; and singularly did he manifest that he heard him now, by all that bright assemblage of glorics which shone around him in the concluding scenes of his abode on earth, and in those that'attended his removal from it: and in all this too did the blessed Jesus manifest his zeal for the glory of the Father. May we emulate that holy temper! and when we pray eren for our own consummate happiness in the
heavenly world, may we consider it as ultimately centering in the honour and service of God.
Well may we be encouraged to hope for that happiness, since Christ has an universal power over all fiesh, and over spirits superior to those that dwell in flesh; with which he is invested on purpose that he may accomplish the salvation of those whom the Father has given him, even of every true believer. We see the certain way to this life, even the knowledge of God in Christ : let us bless God, that we enjoy so many opportunities of obtaining it; and earnestly pray that he who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, would, by his divine rays, shine forth on our benighted souls; and so animate us in his service, from the noblest principles of gratitude and love, that we may be able to say, even in our dying moments, with somewhat of the same Spirit which our Lord expressed, Father, we have glorified thee on earth, and finished the work which thou gavest us to do; and therefore, being no more in the world, we come unto thee. Then may we hope, in our humble degree, to partake of that glory to which he is returned, and to sit down wiih him on his victorious throne.
In the mean time, may our faith see, and our zeal confess Christ! May we acknowledge his divine authority, as having come out from the Father! May we be united in love to him, and to each other; and be kept by that divine word which is the security of his people, that none of them shall be lost! Let the son of perdition, who perished even from among the apostles, teach us an humble jealousy over our own hearts, whatever external privileges we enjoy; and engage us to maintain a continual regard to him who is able to keep us from falling; and to present u8 faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy!
Jesus recommends his apostles, and Christians in every age, to the regards of
his Father, praying for their union on earth and glory in heaven. JOHN xvii. 13, &c.
13 UR Lord proceeded in his address to God, saying : And now I
come unto Thee, and these words I speak while I am in the world, that they who now hear me may have my joy fulfilled in 14 them. I have given them thy word, and yet the world has hated
them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the 15 world. I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, 16 but that thou wouldst preserve them from the evil. They are not 17 of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through 18 thy truth; thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, .19 I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanc
tify* myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth. 20 Nor do I pray for these alone, but for them also who shall hereafter 21 believe on me through their word; that they all may
be one, as thou Father art in me, and I in thee: that they also may be one in
* That is, set myself apart as an offering holy to thee.
us ; that the world seeing their charity and holy joy, may believe 22 that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I 23 have given them, that they may be one even as we are one : I in
them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one, and
that 80 the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved 24 them as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they whom thou
hast given me may be with me where I am, that they may behold
my glory which thou hast given me ; for thou hast loved me bea 25 fore the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, though the
world has not known Thee, I have known Thee, and these have 76 known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared thy name to
them, and will declare it, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them : that I may take up my constant residence in them by my spiritual presence, when my bodily presence is removed,
REFLECTIONS. We have indeed perpetual reason of thankfulness that our gracious Redeemer spake these words in the world, and recalled them thus exactly to the memory of his beloved disciple so many years after, that we in the most distant ages of his church might, by reviewing them, have his joy fulfilled in us. Let us with pleasure recollect that those petitions which Christ offered for his apostles were expressly declared not to be intended for them alone ; but, so far as circumstances should agree, for all that should believe on him through their word, and therefore for us, if we are reai, and not merely nominal, believers, For us doth he still pray, not that God would immediately take us out of the world, though for his sake we may be continually hated and injured in it; but that he
uld keep us from the evil to which we are here exposed. For our sakes did he also sanctify himself as a propitiation for our sins, that we might also be sanctified through the truth ; for he gave himself for us, that he might redecm us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
May these wise and gracious purposes of his love be fulfilled in us! May we be one with each other, and with him! May that piety and charity appear in the whole series of our temper and behaviour, which may evidently shew the force of our religion, and reflect a conspicuous honour upon the great Founder of it! And may all concur to train us up for that complete felicity above, in which all the purposes of his love centre ! It is the declared will of Christ, and let us never forget it, that his people should be with him where he is, that they may behold his glory which the Father has given him. And there is apparent congruity, as well as mercy, in the appointment: that where lie is, there al80 should his servants and members be. The blessed angels do undoubtedly behold the glory of Christ with perpetual congratulation and delight; but how much more reason shall we have to rejoice and tri. umph in it when we consider it as the glory of one in our own nature, the glory of our Redeemer and our Friend, and the pledge and security of our own everlasting happiness! Let us often be litting up the eyes of our faith towards it, and let us breathe after hcaven in this view; in the