« AnteriorContinuar »
CHRIST'S SACERDOTAL PRAYER.
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,
Father, the hour is come ; glorify thy son, that thy son also may glorify thee : As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth : I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Faiher, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things, whatsoever thou hast given me, are of thee : For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me: and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them : I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me ; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine ; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name : those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee ; and these things I speak in ihe world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word ; and the world hath hated
them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth : thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sukes I sanctified myself, that they also might be santified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall 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 тау
be one in us : that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them ; that they may be one, even as we are one : I in them, and thou in me, that they тау be made perfect in one : and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them as thou hast loved me. i'a. ther, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am s that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me : for thou lovest me before the foundation of the world.o righteous Father, the world hath not known thee, but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it : that the love where with thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them.
into the listening ear, and touch the inmost soul. Ah, why are not the impressions, which they produce, as lasting as they are lively! The words of a dying pastor more especially, seem calculated to produce an extraordinary effect. At these last soleinn moments of life, every motive of self-interest or of vain-glory, by which he might have been actuated through the course of his ministry, vanishes away. Then it is that a faithful minister derives from the bosom of that religion which he has taught to others, the means of fortifying himself against the idea of a futurity all gloom, if a man has mere human reason for his only guide, but all light and joy to him who follows the spirit of revelation. Then it is that he feels a more particular concern and tenderness for
the church, and that now, himself lifted up, he would draw all men after him.
When it is a pastor of the ordinary rate that expires, no other consequence can be deduced from his preseverance to the last but this, that he had preached what he believed to be the truth, not what was so in fact. And it is possible he may deceive himself when he is dying, as he pretended not to infallibility while he lived. But the death of those extraordinary men, who have established, by their testimony, the facts on which all religion rests, is the touchstone of the doctrines which they taught. As it was impossible they should have been deceived in the points which they attest, there can remain no other suspicion to affect their testimony, but this, that it was their intention to impose upon others : and this suspicion falls to the ground when we behold them, without deviation, persisting to the end in the faith which they professed, attesting it by new appeals to heaven, calling God to witness their sincerity, and their innocence.
All these different considerations unite in the person of Jesus Christ : all these motives to attention, and in an order infinitely superior, fix our meditation on the words which have been read. Come and behold the sentiments of your Saviour unfolded without disguise: come and behold the most lovely display of the human soul that ever was exhibited : come and behold whether he for one moment doubted, whether he shrunk back : above all, come and behold the charity by which he was animated. Charity formed the plan of the sacrifice which he should offer, and charity is hastening to accomplish it. Every thought of this dying Jesus is employed on his disciples; is employed about you, my beloved brethren. Thine they were, and thou gavest them me. I pray for
them. I pray for those whom thou hast given me : keep them through thini own name.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on mı through their word.
Such are the objects, my friends, which I would this day present to your contemplation. I put aside all the theological controversies which have taken their rise from the passage under review. My only aim shall be to recommend to your most serious attention the expressions, one after another, the heart-affecting, the penetrating expressions of the dying Saviour of mankind. So far from going abroad in quest of enemies to combat, I could even wish to confine my address, at the present hour, to such of my hearers as have a heart susceptible of those tender sentiments with which the religion of Jesus Christ inspires all who cordially embrace it. On hearts possessed of such sensibility I could wish to engrave the last expressions of the Redeemer's love : I could wish this sermon might accompany you up to your dying hour : I could wish that, in the moment of expiring agony, you might be enabled to oppose to the fearful threats of the king of terrors, these fervent petitions of the Saviour of the world, which set open to you the gates of heaven, and which establish your eternal felicity on a foundation more unmoveable than those of heaven and earth: Father, I will that they also whom thou hust given me be with me where I am ; that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me.
Amen. We shall arrange our subject in the order of the three following ideas, and shall endeavor to point out to you:
I. The relation in which Jesus Christ stands to God.