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this chapter we have recorded his last prayer, with and for his disciples, before he left the world; which is a copy left upon earth, of what he doth now intercede for as an advocate in heaven. "It is good (sailh one) to compare scripture with scripture, but not to prefer scripture before scripture; all scripture being written by inspiration of God:" but if any part of scripture be to be magnified above another, this chapter claims the pre-eminence; it contains the breathings-out of Christ's soul for his church and children before his departure ; not for his disciples only, but for the succeeding church to the end of the world. In the verse before us, observe, I. The order of our Saviour's prayer: These words spake Jesus: that is, after he had finished his excellent sermon, he closes the exercise with a most fervent and affectionate prayer; teaching his ministers, by his example, to add solemn prayer ana supplication to all their instructions and exhortations: if every creature of God be to be sanctified by prayer, much more the word of God, which works not as a natural agent, but as a moral instrument in God's hand. Now as God sets the word on work, so is it prayer that sets God on work. Observe, 2. As the order of Christ's prayer, so the gesture in which he prayed: He lifted up his eyes to heaven;—as an indication of his soul being lifted up to God in heaven; to signify his reverence of God, whose throne is in heaven; and to denote his confidence in God, and raised expectation of aid and help from God, and not from any creature. Learn, That the gestures which we use in prayer, should be such as may express our reverence of God, and denote our affiance and trust in him. Observe, 3. The person prayed to, God, under the appellation of a Father: it intimates a sweet relation; it is a word of endearing affection, and implies great reverence towards God, and great confidence and trust in him. Learn, it is very sweet and comfortable in prayer, when we can come and call God Father. Observe, 4. The mercy prayed for; The hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son may a Iso glorify thee. The hour is come; that is, " The hour of my sufferings, and thy satisfaction; the hour of my victory, and of thy glory ; the hour, the sad hour, determined in thy decree and purpose." No calamity can touch us till God's hour is come; and when the sad hour is come, the best remedy is prayer, and the only person to fly unto for succour is our hea
venly Father.—Father, the hour is come, the doleful hour of my death and passion; glorify thy Son, glorify him at his death, by manifesting him to have been the Son of God; glorify him in his death, by accepting it as the death of thy Son for the sins of the world: glorify him after his death, by a speedy resurrection from the grave, and triumphant exaltation at thy right hand. Here note, How the glory of the Father and the Son are inseparably linked together; it was the Father's design to glorify the Son, and it was the Son's desire to have glory from the Father, for this end, that he might bring glory to the Father: Glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to us many as thou hast given him.
Observe here, I. The dignity which Christ was invested with, power over all flesh: that is, authority to judge and sentence all mankind. Observe, 2. How Christ came to be invested with this power; it was given him by his Father: Thou hast given him power over all flesh. Hence the Socinians would infer, that he was not God, because he received all from God: but the text speaks not of his divine power as God, but of his power as Mediator. And the note is, That all mankind is under the power and authority of Jesus Christ as Mediator; he has a legislative power, or a power to give laws to all mankind; and a judiciary power, or a power to execute the laws that he hath given. Observe, 3. The end for which Christ was invested with this power: That he might give eternal life to as many as God hath given him. Here note, 1. That all believers, that is, all sincere and serious christians, are given by God the Father unto Christ; they are given to him as his charge, to redeem, sanctify, and save; and as his reward, Isa. liii. 10. 2. All that are given to Christ, have life from him; a life of justification and sanctification on earth, and a life of glory in heaven. 3. The life which Christ gives to them that are given him, is eternal life. 4. That this eternal life is a free gift from Christ unto his people; though they do not work for wages, yet they shall not work for nothing: I give unto them eternal life.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.
That is, "This is the true way and means to obtain eternal life, namely, by the true knowledge of God the Father, and of Jesus Christ the Mediator, who was commissioned and sent by his Father to accomplish the work of redemption for a lost world." Here observe, Christ calls God the Father the only true God; not in opposition to the Son and Holy Ghost, who, being one in essence with the Father, are truly and really God, as well as the Father; but in opposition to idols and false gods. There is a great difference betwixt these two propositions: The Father is the only true God, and the Father only is true God. Christ saith the former: This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God. The Socinians say the latter: This is life eternal, to know only thee to be the true God, and that neither Jesus Christ nor the Spirit are God, but the Father only. But how comes eternal life to depend as well upon the knowledge of Jesus Christ, as of God the Father, if Jesus Christ be only man, and not truly and really God? For thus our Saviour affirms, This is life eternal, to know thee and Jesus Christ. Whence learn, I. That the beginning, increase, and perfection of eternal life, lieth in holy knowledge. 2. That no knowledge is sufficient to eternal life, but the knowledge of God, and Jesus Christ, who is also God; for who can think that the knowledge of a mere creature should be accounted equally necessary to salvation with the knowledge of the great and mighty God? Surely, if our happiness consists equally in the knowledge of God and Christ, then God and Christ are of the same nature, equal in power and glory. The comprehensive sense of the word seems to be this, " That the knowledge of the only true God, and of Jesus Christ the Mediator, is the life of grace, and the necessary way to the life of glory."
4 I have glorified thee on earth:—
Learn hence, That the whole life of Christ, while here on earth, was a glorifying of his Father; he glorified his Father by the doctrine which he preached; he glorified his Father by the miracles which he wrought; he glorified his Father by the unspotted purity and innocency of his life, and by his unparalleled sufferings at his death.
1 have finished the work
which thou gavest me to do.
That is, I am now about to finish it: He speaks of what he was resolved to do, as already done. Here note, 1. That it ■ work that glorifies God. 2. That every man has his work, his proper work, assigned him by God. 3. This work must be finished here upon earth. 4. That, when we have done our proportion of work, we may expect our proportion of wages. 5. That it is a blessed thing at the hour of death to be able to say in sincerity and uprightness, that we have glorified God in the world, and have finished the work which be appointed as to do: Father, I have glorified thee on earth; and have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, g-lorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
From the connexion of this with the former verse learn, I. That whoever expects to be glorified of God in heaven, must glorify him first here upon earth. 2. That, after we have glorified him, we may expect to be glorified with him and by him. / have glorified thee, And now, O Father, gtorify thou me; it follows, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. Here note, 1. That Christ, as God, had an essential glory with God the Father before the world was: He had this glory not in the purpose and decree of God only, as the Socinians would have it; for he doth not say, " Glorify me with the glory which thou didst purpose and prepare for me before the world was;" but " which I had and enjoyed with thee before the world was:" by which words our Lord plainly asserts his own existence and being from eternity, and prays for a re-exaltation to that glory which he enjoyed with his Father before his incarnation. Note, 2. That Christ, as Mediator, did so far humble himself, that he needed to pray for his Father to bestow upon him the glory which he wanted ; namely, the glory of his ascension and exaltation : Now, O Father, glorify me with thine own self. As if Christ had said, " Father, glorify me, embrace and honour me as thy Son, who have been, in the eyes of the world, handled disgracefully as a servant." It is an actual glory that Christ speaks of, not in decree and purpose
only, for that believers had as well as he; but this was a glory when no creature was in being.
6 I have manifested thy name un. to the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
By the name of God, we are here to understand his nature, his property, and attributes, his designs and counsels for the salvation of mankind. Christ, as the prophet of his church, made all these known unto his people. Learn hence, That Jesus Christ has made a full and complete discovery of his Father's mind and will unto his people: I have manifested thy name unto them which thou gavest me; Thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. I .earn, 1. That all believers are given unto Christ, as his purchase, and as his charge: they are given him as his subjects, as his children; as the wife of his bosom, as the members of his body. Learn, 2. That none are given to Christ, but those that were first the Father's: Thine they were, and thou gavest them me. Learn, 3. That all those that are given unto Christ, do keep his word, they keep it in their understandings, they hide it in their hearts, they feel the force of it in their souls, they express the power of it in their lives: They have kept thy word.
7 Now they have known that all things, whatsoever thou hast given me, are of thee.
Observe here, 1. The faithfulness of Christ in revealing the whole will of his Father to his disciples. 2. The proficienc3' of his disciples in the school of Christ: they knew all the things which Christ had told them; namely, that whatsoever he had, was given him of the Father, and that he had these things from him to be a mediator. Learn hence, That Christ hath approved himself a faithful prophet to his church; a faithful messenger from his Father to his people, in that he hath added nothing to his message, nor taken nothing from it. 2. That it is our duty to know and believe on Christ, as the only messenger and mediator sent of God: Now they have known that alt things whatsoever thou hast given me are o f thee.
8 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.
As if Christ had said, " The message by thee my Father committed to me, 1 have communicated to them my disciples, and they have received it, and will communicate it from thee to the world; being sufficiently assured that my coming and preaching was all by commission from thee." Hence learn, 1. That the doctrine of the gospel, which was revealed by Christ, was received from the Father. 2. That faith is a receiving of the word of Christ, and of Christ in and by the word. Receiving is a relative term, and presupposes an offer. God offers on his part, and we receive on our part, the whole word with the whole heart. That the ministers of the gospel are to preach that, and only that, which they have out of the word of God: I have given them the word which thou gavest me.
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
That is," I now offer up a prayer particularly, 1. For my apostles, designed for so great a work as the preaching of the everlasting gospel to the obstinate Jews and obdurate Gentiles. 2. I intercede also for all believers at this time, for their perseverance in the faith, and constancy in persecution, but 1 do not now intercede for the wicked and impenitent world, they not being capable (whilst such) of these mercies and blessings -" though at other times we find him praying for the world, yea, for his very crucifiers: Father, forgive them, Sfc. Nay, in this very prayer, at the 20th verse, he prays for the world; that is, for the Gentile world; all those that, by the preaching of the apostles and their successors, should be brought to believe on him to the end of the world. Learn hence, 1. That the Lord Jesus Christ is the great and gracious intercessor. 2. That all believers, all the children of God in general, are under the fruit and benefit of Christ's intercession. 3. That as all the members of Christ in general, so the ministers and ambassadors of Christ in sperial, have a peculiar interest in Christ's intercession; and great are the advantages of his intercession for them, 1. From the person interceding, Christ: consider the dignity of his person, God-man: the dearness of his person, God's Son. 2. From the manner of his intercession: not by way of entreaty, but meritorious claim. 3. From the sublimity of his office: our intercessor is near to God, even at his right hand. 4. From the fruits of his intercession: it procures the acceptance and justification of our persons, the hearing and answering of our prayers, the pardon and forgiveness of our sins, our preservation in grace, and our hopes of eternal glory.
10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them.
We may understand this two ways; 1. Of all persons; all my friends, all my disciples, are thine as well as mine. Thence leam, That the Father and the Son have a like share and property in all believers. 2. The words in the original, being of the neuter gender, signify, All thy things are mine, and all my things are thine. Christ and his Father are one, and they agree in one; they have the same essence and nature, the same attributes and will; Christ hath all things that the Father hath, willeth all things that the Father willeth, and doeth all things that the Father doeth; he is therefore really and essentially God. It followeth, And I am glorified in them: that is, I am made glorious by their owning and receiving me, by their believing in me, and accepting of me for their Lord and Saviour. Thence note, That the Lord Jesus Christ is eminently glorified in and by all those that believe in him, and belong unto him.
11 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.
Here observe, 1. Our Saviour's present condition : I am no more in the world: that is, I shall continue on earth but a small time longer, and then ascend to my Father in heaven. Learn thence, That Jesus Christ, as he is man, he is gone out of this lower world into the immediate presence of his Father; he had been abased before, he
must be exalted now; he had no more work to do on earth, bnt much to do in heaven, therefore he left this earth to go to heaven. Observe, 2. Our Saviour's prayer to his Father for his apostles, before be left the world: Holy Father, keep them; that is, preserve them by thy divine power and goodness, for the glory of thy holy name. Here note, 1. The title and appellation given to God, Holy Father. Thence learn, That when we go to God in prayer, especially for grace and sanctification, we must look upon him as an holy Father, as essentially and originally holy, as infinitely and independently holy. Note, 2. The supplication requested of God: Keep through thy name those whom thou hast given me. Thence learn, That the perseverance of the saints in a state of grace, is the sweet effect and fruit of Christ's prayer: Christ has begged it, and it cannot be denied, there being such an harmony and sweet consent betwixt the will of the Father and the will of the Son. Three things concur to the believer's perseverance. On the Father's part there is everlasting love, and all-sufficient power. On the Son's part, there is everlasting merit, and constant intercession. On the Spirit's part, there is a perpetual inhahitation, and continued influence. Observe, 3. The end of Christ's supplication on behalf of his people: That they may he one, . as -we are one. Here note, I.'That the heart of Christ is exceedingly set upon the unity and oneness of his members. The believers' union with Christ their head, and one with another, has some resemblance to that unity that is betwixt the Father and the Son. For it is an holy and spiritual union, a close and intimate union, an indissoluble and inseparable union.
12 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.
Observe here, 1. That those which shall be saved, are given unto Christ, and committed to his care and trust . 2. That none of those that are given unto Christ, as his charge, and committed to his care and trust, shall be finally lost: Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none o f them is lost: it follows, but the son of perdition. A person may be said to be the son of perdition two ways; actively and passively. Actively, he is so who makes it his work and business to destroy others. Passively, he is a son of perdition, who for his wickedness in destroying others, is destroyed himself. Judas was a son of perdition in both these senses; his heart was maliciously set upon destroying Christ, and wilfully set upon his own destruction: his covetousness and hypocrisy prompted him to betray our Saviour, his despair provoked him to destroy himself.
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
In these words our Saviour declares the great reason why he did at this time so publicly and solemnly pray for his disciples; it was to fill them with joy and comfort, that their joy might not be diminished by Christ's departure, but rather increased by the coming of the Comforter: That they may have my joy fulfilled in them: that is, the joy which they take in me, and the joy which they have from me. There is a double care which Christ takes of his people, namely, a care of t heir graces, and a care of their joy and comfort: how solicitous was he to leave his disciples joyful before he departed from them! He delights to see his people cheerful; and he knows of what great use spiritual joy is in the christian's course, both to enable us for doing, and to fit us for suffering. Learn hence, 1. That Christ is the author and original of the joy of his people: My joy, 2. That it is Christ's will and desire, that his people might be full of holy joy: That my joy may be fulfilled in them. 3. That the great end of Christ's prayer and intercession was, and is, that his people's hearts may be full of joy: These things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 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 have given them thy word, partly by external revelation, and partly by internal illumination; and for thy word's sake the world hates them, as also because they are not of the world. Learn, 1. That christians, especially ministers to whom Christ
has given his word, must expect the world's hatred. Few of the prophets or apostles died a natural death : as their calling is eminent, so must their sufferings be exemplary. The best ministers, and the best men, are usually most hated. There is an antipathy against the power of godliness; or a cruel, causeless, implacable, and irreconcileable hatred against the saints, because of their strictness in religion, and contrariety to the world. 2. That it is to the honour of believers that they are like unto Christ, in being the objects of the world's hatred: The world hates them, because they are not of the world, as I am not of the world. This Christ adds both for information and consolation; for information, that they should look for such hatred, misery, ana trouble, as they saw him grapple with; and for consolation, to think that the world can never hate us so bad as it hated Christ.
15 I pray nut that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as 1 am not of the world.
Here observe, 1. That the wisdom of Christ sees fit to continue his children and people in the world, notwithstanding all the perils and dangers of the world. He has work for them, and they are of use to him, for a time, in the world; till their work be done, Christ's love will not, and the world's malice cannot, removethem from hence. Yet Christ prays that his Father would keep them from the evil; that is, from the sins, temptations, and snares of this wicked world. Thence note, That a spiritual victory over evil is to be preferred before a total exemption from evil; it is a far greater mercy to be kept from sin in our afflictions, than from the afflictions themselves. Learn farther, how necessary divine aid is to our preservation and success, even in the holiest and best of enterprizes, and how necessary it is to seek it by fervent prayer. Note also, That such as sincerely devote themselves to Christ's service, are sure of his aid and protection whilst so employed.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Sanctify them, not initially, for so they were sanctified already, but progressively: let them increase more and more in grace and holiness. Learn hence, 1. That such