Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

SECT. clxxv.

rity of

316 Chist again commands his disciples to love one another.

These things I have spoken to you, not to grieve 11 These things have you

by any intimation that I suspect the since I spoken unto you, Jobn

your regards to me ; but that you may main in you, and that xv. 11. be so fortified and animated against the tempta- your joy might be full.

tions of life, that my joy and complacency'in
you, as my faithtul friends, might still continue;
and [that] your joy in me may be maintained in
its full height, and may greatly increase ; as it
certainly will, in proportion to the advance-
ment of your resolution and zeal in my service,

IMPROVEMENT.

Ver. How desirable it is that we may learn from this discourse to

I regard Christ, at all times, as the spiritual Head, from whom life and vigour are to be derived to all bis people ! Let us by the

exercise of an unfeigned faith abide in him as the true vine; as 4, 5 being always sensible that without him we can do nothing ; and

that, if we are in him only by an external profession, we are not 6 only in danger of being cut off, and taken away, but sball in the 2 end be cast into the fire. May we rather be purged and pruned,

though it should be with the most painful dispensations of provi8 dence; if by this means our fruitfulness may be promoted to the

glory of God and to the benefit of the world! May his word ope-
3 rate daily upon us, to cleanse us from remaining pollutions ! and
if we thus desire to be clean, let us take heed to our way, accord-
ing to the tenor of that word. (Psal. cxix. 9.)
7

We see our encouragement to pray; let us take it from Christ, and not be dismayed, nor yield to unbelieving suspicions. As 9 the Father has loved Christ, so does he also love his people. Let

us preserve and cultivate this sacred friendship ; and, whatever it may cost us, let us endeavour to continue in his love, and to

avoid whatever would forfeit it; making it above all things our 10 care to keep his commandments. Christ always observing those of

his heavenly Father, cannot but always and invariably continue the object of his love and delight : may our conduct be such as that he may see reason to rejoice in us; and then we shall also have the surest foundation for a sublime and solid joy.

SECT. CLXXVI.

Christ renews his exhortation to mutual love, and declares the Jews

inexcusable in their unbelief. John XV. 12, to the end.

SECT. clxxvi.

JOHN XV. 12.

JOHN XV. 12. -----OUR Lord, in order to impress the principles This is my.com.

mandmentye John

of mutual friendship and benevolence on the XV. 12.

minds

love

SECT.

He did not deal with them as servants but as friends. 317 love one another, as I minds of his disciples in the most powerful manhave loved you.

clxxvi. ner, recommended it to them at large on this tender occasion, and proceeded in his discourse

John to the following purpose: This is in a peculiar xv. 12. manner my commandment to you, which, by all the obligations you are under to me, I charge and conjure you to observe, That ye all do most cordially and constantly love one another ; even, if it be possible, with as great an ardour as that with which I have loved you ; so as to be ready to sacrifice your lives for each other, as I expose and

resign mine for you. (Compare John xiii. 34 ; 15 Greater love hath and 1 John iii. 16.) And surely I can give no 13 no man than this, that

more solid and important evidence of my af-
a man lay down his
life for his friends. fection to you; for no man has ever manifested,

or can indeed imagine, greater and more disina
terested love than this, that a man should be willa
ing not only on some sudden alarm to hazard,
but on the coolest deliberation to submit to lay

down his life for the preservation and happiness
Ye

my of his friends. Now as I am about to give 14 friends, if ye do whatsocver I command you. you this grand demonstration of my love, so I

that you are, and shall be acknowledged as my friends, and shall certainly share in the blessings of my death and life, if you practically acknowledge my authority, and are so

influenced by my love as to do whatsoever I com15 Henceforth I call mand you. I do not any longer call you servants, 15 you pot servants; for though I have sometimes used the phrase, and not what his lord doth: formerly have seen it necessary in some points to but I have called you treat you with reserve ; for the servant is not let friends; for all things into the secrets of his master, and knoweth not that I have heard of my Father I have made particularly what his lord dotha : but I have not known into you. only in words called you my friends (Luke xii.

4, sect. cxi.), but on the whole have treated you
as such ; for all things that I have heard, and
received in charge from my Father, I have, so
far as was convenient, declared to you be in the
most condescending and endearing manner, as
you very well know.

Remember

14

are

assure you,

a I do not any longer call you servants: scheme of redemption undertaken by him; for the servant knowelh not, &c.) Mr. but the apostles nol being yet able bear Locke in his Reasonableness of Christie many things(compare chap. xvi. 12, sect. anily, p. 105) refers this to the caution clxxvii.), especially relating to the calling with which our Lord had spoken of his of the Gentiles and the abolition of the being the Messiah; some instances of Mosaic law, he wisely deferred the diswhich have been already pointed out. Seecovery of them : so that these words must notes on John iv. 26, Vol. VI. p. 166. be taken with the limitation mentioned in

b All ihings that I have heard from my the paraphrase, and signify that he had Father I have declared to you.] Our Lord done it so far as was convenient. bad, no doubt, the fullest view of the Rr2

e That

SECT. clxxvi.

John

318

The world would hate them, as it hated him.
Remember that have not first chosen me,

16 Ye have not
you
but I by my sovereign and effectual grace have chosen me, but I have

chosen you to the honourable office of my apos. dained you, that ye XV. 16. tles and ambassadors; and have appointed and should go and bring

ordained you, that you should go and publish what forth fruit, and that
you have heard from me to all the world, and maio: that whatsoever
be so qualified and assisted, that you may bear ye shall ask of the Fa-
abundant fruit in the most distant countries, and ther in my name, he
[that] the blessed effect of your fruit should con- may give it you.
tinue even to the remotest generations : yea, I
have also raised you to such a happy circum-
stance, and made you so eminently the favour-
ites of heaven, that, as I lately told you (ver. 7),
whatever you shall ask the Father in my name, he
may perform it for you; and you may certainly

depend upon it he will give it you.
17 But then again I would remind you, that if 17 These things I
you would continue thus the objects of these his command you, that ye

love one another, gracious regards, you must carefully practise your duty to each other as well as to him ; for these things I command you, that ye love one another; and this you should the rather do, as you

will be the mark of common hatred and persecu18 tion. Yet if you find the world hate and in- 18 If the world hate jure you, you have no reason to be offended you, ye know that it

hated mc before it or surprised at this ; for you know, that mild and benevolent as my conduct has always been, yet it has hated me your Chief and Lord", before it

discharged its venom and malignity on you. 19 Indeed if you were like the rest of the world, and 19 If ye were of the

your doctrines and practice were conformable to world, the world would its customs and maxims, the world is so gene- cause ye are not of the rally under the power of selfish prejudices, that

world, it undoubtedly would love its own, and vou might expect much better treatment from ite: but because

hated you.

love his own: but be. clxxvi.

this

c That you should go and bear fruit, &c. words in the original (pe wulov vuur This was a security to them that they perlebenx{Y), which we render, it hated me should be preserved from immediate dan- before it hated you, may (as Dr. Lardner gers, and that their life should be guard. well observes) be more literally rendered by Providence till some considerable ed, It kated ine your Chief ; which makes services had been accomplished by their the expression more lively and exactly means.—When our Lord aucis, that your parallel to Mat, X. 24, 25, sect lxxv. (See fruit should continue, he may allude to the Lord Credib. part i. Vol. II. p. 693.) custom of keeping rich and generous wines Thus ten wçu 10 plotyw (1 Tim. i. 15.) a great many years, so that in some cases is well translated, of whom I am chief. (which was especially applicable to the e If you were of the world, the world sweet eastern wines) they igbt provea core would love its own.] This seems to me dial to those who were unborn when the a strong intimation, that even in nations grapes were produced. In this view there which prof.ss Christianity, if true religion is a beautiful propriety in the representa- fall, as it very possibly may, to a very tion, which I hope will be particularly felt low ebb, they that exert themselves rewhen these reviving chapters are read. markably for the revival of it, must, on d It has hated me your chief.] The the very principlc herc laid down, expect

hatred

The Jews were inexcusable in their hatred of him.

313 world, but I have cho- this is not vour character, and you are not thus SECT: sen you out of the world, therefore the of the world, but I have chosen

you out of the world hateth you. world, not only to separate froin, but to oppose

John its vices and enormities, and even to be leaders XV. 19. in that holy and necessary opposition, it is no wonder that upon this account the world hateth you, though the cause in which you are engaged be indeed so honourable, and your lives so use

ful and beneficent.
20 Remember the Remember, and recollect upon this occasion, 20
word that I said unto the word which I spake to you some time ago
you, The servant is not
greater than his lord. (Mat. x. 24. and Luke vi. 40), and which I
If they have persecuted have but lately repeated (John xiii. 16), The
me, they will also per- servant is not greater than his lord, nor the
secute you: if they
have kept my saying, messenger greater than him that sent him: if
they will keep yours therefore they have persecuted me, and provi-

dence has permitted them to do it, you may rea-
sonably conclude they will also persecute you,
and cannot justly complain if you have your
share of sufferings; and if you have seen that
they have generally kept my saying, I will give

you leave to suppose they will also keep yoursf.
21 But all these But when you see, as you very quickly will, not 21
things will they do un- only my doctrine rejected, but my person assault-
to you for my name's
sake, because they

ed, abused, and murdered, it must be a sensible know hot him that sent warning to you to prepare for the like usage;

and all these things they will in fact do to you for
my name's sake, because they do not know him ihat
sent me; for their ignorance of that God to
whom they boast so near a relation does indeed

lie at the bottom of all their opposition to me.
22 If I had not come, And a dreadful account they will have to give 22
and spoken unto them, for it; for if I had not come and spoken thus
they had not had sin:
but plainly to them, they would comparatively have

had

also.

me.

hatred and opposition; and that the pas- have been accessary to their own damage, sages in scripture relating to persecution and the much greater mischief of those that are not so peculiar to the first ages, or to have injured them. Christians living in idolatrous cou tries, f If they have kept my saying, &c ] I as some have supposed. Would to God, am surprised that such a multitude of learn. the malignity to be found in some of us cd commentators, and among the rest Gataagainst our brethren, diri not too plain'y ker and Knatchbull, should contend that illustrate this remark! Men will probably try nogou should here be understood of experience the truth of it, in proportion observing a person's discourse with a maligto the degeneracy of those around them, nant design to carp at it. (See IVolfius, in and to the vigour and resolution with loc.) llaçelupety has indeed that sense, which they bear their testimony against Mark in. 2. Luke vi. 7. xiv. 1. xx. 20.) prevailing errors and vices. Yet it is cer- But no certain argument can be drawn tain, that the impri dence and bigotry of from hence, especially considering how some very good men has sometimes made constantly the phrase before us is taken in matters worse than they wou d otherwise a good sense, fór an obedient regard, in this have been, and perhaps has irritated the very discourse, in which it often occurs. vices of their enemies, so as in part to See John xiv. 15, 21, 23. xv. 10. xvii. 6.

% They

John

23 He that hateth

320

The Spirit, when he comes, will testify of him. SECT. had no sinz; but now they have no excuse or pre- but now they have no clxxvi.

tence for their sin, but, being committed against cloak for their sin.

so clear and strong a light, it stands exposed in XV. 23. its most odious colours:

Yea, it appears rebellion against God, as well as ingratitude to me, hateth my Father me; for he that hateth and opposeth me, hateth and opposeth my Father also, whose commission I bear"; and this is what they have done, af

ter all reasonable methods have been taken for 24 their conviction. If I had wrought no mi- 24 If I had not done

racle at all, nay, if I had not done among them among them the works
such extraordinary works as no other man ever did, they had not had
did, not even their prophets, or Moses himself, sin : but now they
they had not had any degree of sin, comparable hated both me and my
to that which they are now under ; but now, as Father.
they have rejected my superior miracles, which
they have seen with their own eyes, at the same
time that they own the evidence of those which
Moses wrought, of which they have heard only
by distant report, they manifest such an obsti.
nate perverseness of temper, that I may truly
say, they have both seen, and hated both me and
my.

Father; and God himself will justly resent and punish it, as an indignity that shews their 25 enmity to him. But [this is all permitted], 25 But this cometh to

that the word which is written in their law, or in pass;, that the word
their sacred volume, concerning David (Psal. is written in their law,
xxxv. 19), might eminently be fulfilled in me, They hated me with
as many ancient prophecies foretold that it out a cause.
should,“ Surely they have hated me without a

causei."
26
But when the Comforter is come, whom, as I

26 But when the

Comforter is come, told you (chap. xiv. 26), I will shortly send to whom I will send un

you

to

& They would have had no sin.] It is so i They have hated me without a cause.] It evident from the word of God (see Rom. i. appears to me very evident that Psal. xxxv. 20, 21. and ii. 12-15), as well as from cannot be, strictly speaking, a prophecy the reason of things, that sin may be im- concerning the Messiah, especially from ver. puted to those who have no revelation, that 13, 14, which represent a person incait is most evident this is only a hebraism; pable of helping others in their sickness, as when, according to the pathetic man- otherwise than by fasting and prayer, ner of speaking, especially in use among whereas Christ (and, so far as we can find, the eastern nations, that is said to be no- he alone) had a power of working miracles thing at all which, wben compared with whenever he pleased. Nevertheless, that something else, is inconsiderably small. the enemies of the Messiah should hate See Psal. xxxix. 5. Isa. xl. 17. i Cor. i. him without a cause was expressly forctold 28. iii. 7. and compare John ix. 41. (Isa. liii. 3-9. Dan. ix. 26. and Zech,

h Hateth my father also.] How much xii. 10.) not to mention the argument it is to be wished that those who make arising from comparing all the places in light of Christ, while they pretend a great which his innocence and holiness are describveneration for the Father, would seriously ed, with those which refer to his sufferings. attend to this weighty admonition, lest so that I apprehend the turn given in the haply they be found even to fight against God! paraphrase sufficiently justified. (Acts v. 39.)

« ZurückWeiter »