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and he that is chief, as he that doth sorve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth al meat, or he that serveth ; is not he that sitteth at meat ? but I am among you as he that serveth. These last words refer, no doubt, not merely to the general tenor of his life, but particularly to his late act of condescension in washing their feet. He then proceeded to assure them, that as they had continued with him in his temptations, while Judas was gone forth to betray him, they should eat and drink at his table in his heavenly kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. At the same time, to check their ambition, and lead them to form a just notion of his kingdom, he told them that he was soon to leave them, and that whither lie was going they could not follow him at that time ; for which cause, instead of contending with one another about which of them should be greatest, they would do well to be united among theinselves by the happy bond of love.
Peter, however, still retained his carnal ideas of the Messiah's kingdom, and therefore inquired to what place Christ was going, as wherever he travelled he was determined to hear him coin pany. To check his confidence, Christ informed him that Satan was then busily seeking the destruction of all the apostles, by the subtilty of his temptations ; but that he had prayed for them, and especially for him, as exposed to the greatest danger, that his faith should not fail; adding, when thou art converted, by a full acquaintance of my character and kingdom, then shalt thou be useful to strengthen thy brethren. Peter, probably, felt himself hurt by thus being singled out as the weakest, and declared that, so far from being frighted by any of the dangers of the way, he had resolved to be his faithful companion, even in imprisonment and death. Jesus answered him, wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? verily, verily, I say unto thee, the cock shall not crow till thou hast denied me thrice...
When the disciples of Christ had been first sent out, they went forth without purse, and scrip, and shoes, and yet suffered the want of nothing. He told theni, however, that matters were now altered : they were to be violently assaulted by their enemies, were to meet with the strongest temptations, and to be so hotly persecuted by their countrymen, that they could no longer expect any succour at their hands ; for which reason, he ordered them, in their future journeys, to provide money and swords for themselves, that is, besides relying on the divine providence as formerly, they were to use all prudent precautions in fortifying themselves against the trials that were coming upon them. But lest they should think that he ‘intended them to make war upon their enemies, he informed them that two swords were fully enough for their purpose, which was, probably, only to defend themselves against the wild beasts of the desert.
Jesus not only forewarned his disciples of the great trial that was coming upon them, and commanded them to arm themselves against it, hut he spake a long discourse, wherein he animated them to sustain that trial manfully, and comforted them under the dismal apprehensions which it might raise in them. They were to see him ciue cified whom they had acknowledged as the Messiah. Wherefore, having been always accustomed to consider immortality and temporal dominion as the characteristics of their deliverer, and great worldly prosperity as the privilege of his subjects, the death of their Master, and the persecutions befalling themselves, could not fail to give a violent shock to their faith. But that the force of these blows might be weakened, he foretold his own sufferings, and thereby made it evident that he volun. tarily submitted to them. Withal, to reconcile their minds to the thoughts of his sufferings, lie distinctly explained the end of them. 1John viv. 1.] Let noí your heart be troubled : yc believe in God, believe also in me. Be not discomposed with the thoughts of those temptations that are to come upon you. As you believe in God
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the almighty preserver and governor of the world, who is able to deliver you out of all your distresses, you ought to believe in me, who am not only sent by God, but, being appointed governor and judge of the world, I can both protect you from evil, and reward you plentifully for whatever losses you sustain on my account. For in iny Father's house, whither I am carrying you, are many mansions, or apartments, in allusion to the palaces of kings. If it were not so I would have told you. If there were no state of felicity hereafter, into which good men are to be received at death, I would have told you ; and not have amused you with dreams of things that never shall happen. And, therefore, though I am to be killed, ye need not be troubled at it, since I go away for no other reason but to prepare those mansions in my Father's house for your reception, which were destined for you from the foundation of the world. (Mat. xxv. 34.] I go to prepare a place for you. I die to open heaven to you. John xiv. 3.] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, und receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. I will return, and carry you with me into the mansions of the blessed, that you may be forever where I am to remain, and that you may partake with me in muy felicity. This Christ will accomplish when he comes to judge the world. [John xiv. 4.] And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Ye cannot but know the place to which I am going, and the way that leads to it; for I have told you both plainly enough. Thomas mith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest ; and how can we know the way? We know not where thy Father's house stands, and consequently cannot know the way to it: for as their thoughts turned very much upon a temporal kingdom, they might imagine that their Master intended to remove to some splendid palace on earth, which he was to prepare for their reception, making it the seat of his couri. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life : 110 mnan cometh unto the Father but by me. Perhaps our Lord had now in view the metaphors which be formerly used, viz. “ I am the door of the sheep." John x. 7.] “ I am the bread of lise." John vi. 35.7 Or we may suppose the form of expression to be an Hebraism, whose meaning is, I am the true and living way; as Dan. iii. 7, “all the people, the nations, and the languages," signifies people of all nations and languages. But in whatever manner we resolve the sentence, its meaning is the same, viz. this faith in me and obedience to my commandment, will lead you to the Father's house whither I am going; they are the only true road to the mansions of felicity. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. If ye had known my doctrine fully, and obeyed my precepts, ye should have known the perfections and counsels of my Father, and have done his will as far as is necessary to your enjoyment of him. And from henceforth ye know him, und have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father. and it sufficeth us. It is hard to say whether Philip as yet understood who the Father was of whom his Master spake. If he did, we cannot suppose that he asked a sight of the divine essence, which in itself is invisible; but, like Moses, he desired to see the inaccessible light wherein God dwells, it being the symbol of his presence in heaven. Jesus saith unto him, have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip ? he tliat hath seen me hath seen the Father, for I am the image of the invisible God; and how sayjest thou then, shew us the Father ? believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwelleth in me he doth the works. Dost thou not believe that there is the closest union between the Father and the Son ? and that as the Father knows all the thoughts of the Son, so the Son causeth men to know all the thoughts of the Father respecting their salvation, and is vested with his power and authority. This thou must acknowledge, if thou considerest the works which I
dn, even the miracles wherehy my mission is established. Believe me, upon my own testimony, that I am in the Father, and the Father in mc : or else believe me for the very works' sake.
Having mentioned his miracles, Jesus promised to endow his apostles with a power of working greater wonders thar any they had ever seen him do. [John xiv. 12.) Verily, verily: Isay unto you, he that welieveth in me, the works that I do shall he do also ; and greater works than inesr. shall he do, because I go unto my Father. He made them this promise to animate them in their work, and that they might not despond in his absence when they received such tokens of his remembering them, and such proofs of his power with the Father. Farther : he assured them that whatever miracle they asked in his name they would perform, provided it tended to the glory of God, and the furtherance of the gospel. This promise is conceived in general terms. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Nevertheless, the subject treated of directs us to understand it particularly of miracles to be wrought in confirmation of the gospel. He added, inoreover, that any other matter which they should ask for the furtherance of the gospel, he would by his own power and authority bring to pass. 1 ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. However, he required an exact and stedfast obedience to his commands, as the condition on which their prayers were to be heard. If ye love me keen my commandments. He told them, in that case, he would send down another coinforter, advocate, or intercessor, who would abide with them constantly, even the Spirit of trutb, whom the world could not receive. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you, not for a little while, as I have done, but for ever. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, as you shall do, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him.. The world being blinded with sensuality, can neither discern the operations of his Spirit, nor partake of his joys. But ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shail be in you. Ye know him, because he is with you in some measure, already enabling you to work miracles, and because he shall be given you much more abundantly hereafter. This happened on the day of Pentecost; from which time forth the Spirit dwelt with the apostles, and was in them. Thus, said he, though I am going away, [John xiy. 18.] I will not leave you comfortless. Besides, I will return to you myself: I will come to you. For, alihough the time is at hand that the world shull see me no more, ye shall see me. Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more, but ye see me i nay, because I live, by rising from the dead, ye shall live also by arising from the dead. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father. When ye sēc mo after my resurrection, ye shall no more doubt that I am come from God; but ye shall be fully convinced that I have all along acted by the power and authority of the Father, and that I have had his counsels fully communicated to me. And you in me, and I in you. Ye sball likewise be sensible that my will is fully revealed to you, and my power bestowed on you. For which reason, though I be absent in body, ye shall enjoy every advantage that could have accrued to you from my personal presence. Ye shall preach by my inspiration, and govern the minds of men by my power. In a word : ye shall be sensible that I am in you, only you must constantly bear this in mind, that you obey my commandments; for they alone love me who do so. And they that love me shall be loved both of my Father and me; and, as an expression of my love, I will manifest my love unto them. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he thar loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself unto him. These latter words surprized the apostles not a little : for, &C.
that the no more, but ye see meiend. At that day yé, shano more doubt that
cordiog to the notions they had conceived of Messiah, he was to appear unto all the Jews, nay, to the whole world, and was to take unto himself universal empire. Therefore Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world ? Jcsus told him that he spake chiefly of a spiritual inanifestation, such as the Father and he make of themsclves to trúc believers, even on earth, by the influences of the Holy Spirit who dwells in them as his temples. [I Cor. iii. 16.] For, through the influences of the Spirit of God, believers are enlightened with the knowledge of the perfections of God, and with just views of the characters and offices of his Son. Moreover, by the same influences, they are sanctified for an habitation of God, [Eph. ii. 22 ] who makes his abode with them, that is to say, who fills them with all joy and peace in believing, and with the most elevating hopes; and, in consequence of their sanctification, sheds abroad in their hearts a sense of his love, and, by so doing, gives them prelibations of heaven while on earth. Jesus answered and said unto them, If a man love me he will keep my words ; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode wilh him. This latter clause is remarkable. For had our Lord been a creature, though of the highest rank, it would have been blasphemy in him to have joined himself in this manner with God. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings; and the word which you hear is not minc, bnt the Father's which sent me. The reason why those who profess to be my disciples do not obey my precepts, is because they do not love me : for which cause, since my precepts are the precepts of God, such a person has no ground to expect God's love, or any manifestations from God.
(John xiv. 25.] These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. I have spoken these things during my personal presence briefly, because my time with · you is short. And though you may not just now understand many of the particulars mentioned by me, you shall have perfect knowledge of them afterwards. For my Father will give you the Holy Spirit to supply my place; and he shall be a comforter to you, teaching you every article of the Christian faith, and bringing to your remembrance all the things I have ever said to you in the course of my ministry. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remeinbrance whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you ; my peace I give unto you, not as the world givell give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. “ Peace be to you” was the common salutation and compliment mutually given by the Jews to each other at meeting and at parting. But although this compliment implied a wish of every thing that couid make one happy, it was often used without any meaning. At best, it was but a wish, however sincere ; and had no real efficacy in making him happy to whom it was given. Yet in the mouth of Jesus, hy whose wisdom and power the affairs of the world are governed, a farewel wish was a matter of a very different kind. His peace, his parting blessing, would draw down all manner of felicity upon those who were the objects of it. Accordingly, he encouraged his disciples from that consideration, under the prospect of his departure, desiring them not to be in the least anxious about what was to befàl them after he was gone. Moreover, he badc ihem remember what he had told them before, namely, that though he was to die, he would rise again from the dead. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice becausc I said, I go unto my Father ; for my Father is greater than I. These words asford a strong argument for the proper divinity of our Lord. For had hc been a mere man, or even a creature of the highest order, the comparison would have been foolish and impertinent. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass