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Reflections on the benefits we have by Christ. SECT. overflowing in every sentence with the kindest concern, not only clxxiii. for the safety but the comfort of his people. We see a lively

image of that tenderness with which he will another day wipe away all tears from their eyes : (Rev. vii. 17.) Surely when he

uttered these words he was also solicitous that our hearts might John

not be troubled : and therefore has provided a noble cordial, the xiv. 1. strength of which shall continue to the remotest ages, even faith

in his Father, and in him. Oh may that blessed principle be confirmed by what we have now been reading!

Let us observe with what a holy familiarity our Lord speaks of the regions of glory; not, as his servants do, like one dazzled and

overwhelmed with the brightness of the idea ; but as accustomed zand familiarized to it by his high birth P. In my father's house are many mansions ; (delightful and reviving thought !) and many inhabitants in them, whoin we hope through grace will be our companions there, and every one of them increase and multiply

the joy.

It was not for the apostles alone that Christ went to prepare a place : he is entered into heaven as our Forerunner (Heb. vi. 20); and we, if we are believers indeed, may be said, by virtue of our

union with him, to sit together in heavenly places in him. (Eph. ii. John 6.) Let us continually be tending thither, in more affectionate xiv. 4, 6. desires, and more ardent pursuits. We know the way; we hear

the truth; oh may we also feel the life. By Christ, as the true and living way, may ire come to the Father ; that we may bave eternal

life, in knowing him, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he 9 has sent ! (John xvii. 3.) In Christ may we see him, and have our eyes and our hearts open to those beams of the Divine glory which are reflected from the face of his only begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth! (Jobo i. 14.) Has be been thus discovered to 8

us, as our Father, and our God, let it suffice us. Let it diffuse a sacred and lasting pleasure over our souls, though other desirable objects may be veiled or removed ; and engage us to maintain a continual fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (1 John i. 3.)

To

p With what a holy familiarity our Lord the weight of the subject : (compare Rom. speaks of the regions of glory, o'c! This vi. 18, 19; 1 Cor. ii. 9 ; xv. 50, & seq. is the remark of the pious archbishop of 2 Cor. iv, 17, 18; v. 1-9; xii. 9-4; Cambray, in his incomparable Dialogues on and I John iii. 2.) But Christ speaks of Eloquence (which may God put it into the it with a familiar ease and freedom; just as hearts of our preachers ofton and attentive. a prince, who liad been educated in a splen. ly to read); and is much illustrated by ob- did court, would speak with ease of many serving how the apostles, when describing magnificent things, at the sudden view of the heavenly state, employ the most pomp- which a peasant would be swallowed up in ous and energetic language, and seem in- astonishment, and would find himself deed to labour for words, and to be almost greatly embarrassed in an attempt to ex. dazzled with the lustre and oppressed with plain them to his equals at home.

a Thus

clxxiii.

Christ promises the Spirit as a Comforter.

307 To this we are invited by every declaration of his readiness to sect. hear and answer our prayers : and though those miraculous powers of the Spirit are ceased, whereby the apostles were enabled to Ver. equal, or even to exceed, the works of their Master, yet as we have 13, 14 so many important errands to the throne of grace, in which the 12 glory of God and the salvation of our souls is concerned, let us come with a holy boldness to it, in dependance on Jesus, that great High priest over the house of God, who is passed into the heavens, and amidst all the grandeur of that exalted state regards his hum, ble followers on earth, and ever appears under the character of their advocate and their Friend.

SECT. CLXXIV.

Christ proceeds in his discourse with his disciples, recommending a

regard to his commandments as the best proof of their love to him, promising his Spirit, and declaring his readiness to meet his approaching sufferings. John XIV. 15, to the end.

John XIV. 15.

John XIV. 15. I'mycomed mereOUR Lord went on with his discourse to his section

apostles on this solemn occasion, and ob- cixxiv. serving the lively flow of their affection to him

John in this tender conjuncture of circumstances, he xiv. 15 added, If you do indeed love me, express that love by a constant care to keep my commandments; for that will be a surer test, and more acceptable expression of your regard to me,

than all your trouble and concern at parting 16 And I will pray with me. And thus you may depend on the 16 the Father, and he shall give you another correspondent expressions of my friendship to Comforter, that he you": and particularly that I will ask the Famay abide with you ther, and he will give you another Comforter, for ever;

that he may more than supply the want of my

bodily presence, and abide with you, not for a 17 Even the Spirit season only, as I have done, but for ever; (Even) 17

the

of

· Thus you may depend on the corres- this being a consolatory discourse, I chose to pondent expressions of my friendship to use the former, as our translators have you.] The connectiou may possibly inti- done. - Toland says it is by no contemptia muate that they might hope for an abun- ble criticism that the Mahometans (instead dant degree of the Spirit's communication, of weepeeramlov) read wipeuta vlov, that is, the in proportion to the prevalency of their love illustrious, which answers to Mahommed in to Christ.

the Arabic language, and so urge this as a b He will give you another Comforter.] It prophery of him. (Tol. Nazaren. p. 13.) is well known that the word wapannia Yet he would probably have thought this may signify a comforter, an advocate, or a criticism very contemptible in any but the monitor; and it is evident the blessed Spirit enemies of Christianity, bustained each of these characters: but Vol. VII.

I will

Q9

clxxiv.

Jolin

you.

13

sce

me:

because I

308

He that hath his commands, and keeps them, SECT. the blessed Spirit of truth and grace, whom the of truth, whom the

world cannot possibly receite as a Comforter, be- World cannot receive,

cause it neither sees him nor knows him; being not, neither knoweth XIV. 17. altogether destitute of bis sanctifying influences, him; but ye know birn, and refusing to admit his testimony to me: buí for he dwelleth with

you, and shall be in Bje know him in some measure, even now,

by his powerful operations in you, and by you; for he already dwells with you in part, and shall quickly be more abundantly in you, by a much anpler communication both of his gifts and graces.

Encourage yourselves therefore with the pleas- 18 I will not leave ing expectation, and be assured that I will not you comfortiess; I will

come to you.
leave you neglected, like a family of helpless or-
phans, who have no friend or guardian surviv-
ing"; but I will come to you by my spiritual

presence, and visit you by the most valuable to.. 19 kens of my constant care. For it is but yet a

19 Yet a little while, little while, and the world seeth me no more, as it and the world seeth

me no more: but ye has done for some time past, though it knows me not ; but after I have done conversing with live, ye shall live also. the world, I will appear again to you, and you shall see me in such a manner as to feel the blessed effects of my distinguishing regard to you; for because I live, you also shall live, by means of those Divine influences you shall derive from me, to cherish the workings of grace in your hearts, and to train you up to a growing meet

ness for sharing with me in eternal life. (Com20 pare 2 Cor. iv. 10, 11.) And in that day, 20 At that day ye when I fulfil this promise to you, you shall expe- in my Father, and you

shall kuow that I am rimentally know, by the most evident and reviv- in me, and I in you. ing tokens, that I [am] indeed in my Father,

and that you also are in me, and I in you, by a 21 most intimate and inseparable union. But this 21. He that hath my

will only be the privilege of such as evidence commandments, and their love to me by an obedience to my word ; that loveth me: and he for he that has my commandments discovered to that loveth me, shall be him, and diligently keeps them, he it is that loveth loved of my Father,

and I will love him, me; but none besides have any title to this and will manifest mycharacter, whatever specious pretences they may self to him. make to it: and he that thus shews that he loveth me, shall be loved by my Father, and I will also love him, and in a most condescending and en

dearing manner will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas was very much surprised at this; not

22 Judas saith unto Judas

him,

cI will not leave you orphans.) Elsner priety a father, is elegantly and tenderly justly observes that the case of those who expressed by this word oppaves. (Compare have lost the presence and patronage of 1 Thess. ii. 17, Gr.) Scc Elsner. Obseru. some dear friend, though not in strict pro- Vol. I. p. 341,

d Was

SECT.

The Father and Christ will love him, and come to hiin. 300 him, ' (not Iscariot,) Judas Iscariot; for he, as it was said before, was Lord, how is it that

clxxiv. thou wilt manifest thy- gone out before our Lord began this discourse self unto us, and not (chap. xiii. 31, sect. clxxi) and had be been

John anto the world? there, he was always too much on bis guard to XIV.22.

have dropped any hint of his view to Christ's
temporal kingdomd; but another apostle of that
naine, who was also called Thaddeus and Leb-
beus, the son of Alpheus, and the brother of
James (see note on Mark iji. 18, Vol. VI. p.
282), a near relation to our Lord himselfe: this
Judas, upon hearing Christ express bimself in
such a way, says to him, Lord, how is it that
thou wilt manifest thyself to us, and not to the
world? Dost thou not then intend to make a

public appearance, which will be obvious to the 23 Jesus answered

Jesus answered and said to hiin, As to that, it 23
and said unto him, Ifa
man love me, he will may be sufficient to tell you, that, as I said be.
keep my words: and fore (ver. 21), If any man sincerely love me, he
my father will love will in an humble avd obedient manner keep
unto him, and make and observe my word; and if he shall be found
our abode with him. to do so, my Father, who at all times has a ten-

der regard to my honour and interest, will un-
doubtedly love him; and we will both of us come
to him, by the favourable tokens of our presence,
and will make cour] constant abode with him: you
are therefore to understand what I said of mani-
festing myself to him that loves me, not of any
eorporeal and sensible appearance, but of such a
spiritual and intimate correspondence as the in.

visible Father of glory and grace maintains with 24 He that loveth his people through me,

But on the contrary,

24 me not, kcepeth not he that does not really love me, does not observe my

and

eyes of all ?

d Was always too much on his gnari, soul of the author scemed to be trans&c.] It is observable, that Judas Iscariot formed. was so finished a hypocrite, that we ne- e A near relation to our Lord himself.] ver find him saying one word of Christ's His father Alpheus seems to have been te’aporal kingdom, though probably the hope the same with Cleopas; for as Julas and of preferment and gain in it was the James were the sons of Alpheus (Luke chief consideration which engaged him to vi. 15, 16), so James is elsewhere said to follow our Lord.Let the reader indulge be the son of Mary (Mat. xxvii. 56. and me while I tell him, that he owes this Mark xv. 40), who was the toife of Cleopas, remark to that incomparable person, the and sister to the mother of our Lord (John late reverend Mr. David Somc, of Harbo- xix. 25); Judas is therefore numbered songh; and let him join with me in lamen. with Jam's, and Joses, and Simon, among ting the fatal morlesty which engaged him the brethren or near kinsmen of our Lord with his dying breath to consign to the (Mat. xiii. 35, and Mark vi. 3); and, be. flames those writings which (unfinished as ing so nearly related to Jesus, he might some of them might have appcared) would think himseli peculiarly concerned to inprobably have been the means of spread. quire into the meaning of an assertion ing among thousands that spirit of wisdom, which seemed inconsistent with the pros. piety, and love, into which the whole pect of a temporal kingdom, in which, per

haps, he expected some eminent office.

clxxiv.

John

310 The Comforter would come and teach them all things. SECT: and keep my words with any constancy and reso. my sayings: and the

lution; and therefore must expect no such spiri- is not mine, but the

tual and eternal benefits, whatever outward pri- Father's which seat XIV.24. vileges be mar enjoy: see to it therefore, that me.

you diligently hearken and attend to what I say ;
for the word which you hear me speak is not
originally or inerely mine, but it is the word of
the Father that sent me, who has particularly
given it in charge to me, that I should thus ina
sist upon practical and universal holiness, as one

great end of my appearance.
25 And accordingly you know, that I have strong-

25 These things ly insisted upon it as such; and these things I have I spoken unto

you, being yet present
have spoken to you again and again, while I con- with you.
26 tinued personally present with you: But when 26 But the Comfor.

the Comforter, that I have promised you, is ter, which is the Holy
come ; leven the Holy Spirit, whom the Father ther will send in my
after my departure will send in my name, to act name, he shall teach
as the great Agent in my cause, and to negotiate you all things, and
the affairs of my kingdom; he shall teach you all remembrance, whatso.
things which it is necessary for vou to know, ever I have said unto
and remind you of all things which I have said you.
to you,

that you may not only recollect them in
the fullest manner for your own instruction, but

be able to record them for the edification of my 27 church in succeeding ages. In the mean time,

27 Peace I leave as I am now departing froin you, peace I leave give unto you : not as

; with you as my legacy; and, as a blessing of the the world giveth, give greatest moment and importance to you, my

I unto you. Let not peace I give unto you ; such a peace as none but õled, neither let it be

your heart be trou. I can impart, a peace with God and yourselves, afraid. as well as with your fellow-creatures, which will be the spring of solid and lasting happiness : and it is not as the world often gives and wishes peace, in an empty form of ineffectual, and of ten, perhaps, unmeaning compliment, that I give it unto you; but, as I most sincerely wish it, I will most certainly secure it to you.

Let not your heart therefore be troubled at the thoughts of my departure, neither let it be afraid of what may befall you when I am gone ; for I will help you to possess your souls in quietness and peace,

and will establish it upon the firmest basis. 28 You need not then to be discouraged at the se- 28 Ye have heard

paration that will now be made between us ; for how I said unto you, as you have heard how I have said to you, that again unto you. If ye I go away, so also you have been informed of loved me, ye would my intention in it, and know that I have added,

rejoice, U krill come ( again to you : and surely if you loved me with a wise and rational affection, it would

allay

with

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