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zdfy, The other Comforter here promis'd, is one that will stay with us^ He shjall abide with you for ever. Christ was a Comforter, and a good one too, whilst he staid ; but he was to §o away after he had finisiYd the Work for which he came- , he was to return to the Father that sent him, and to resume the Glory he had with him before the World began. And 'twas no small grief to the Disciples, that when they had one that was a great Comfort to them, they could not keep him ; and their fear was, that when jihey had another, he would be gone too, and so they should be ever changing, and never be at any certainty. But .Christ, to remove these Fears and Troubles, tells them lor their comfort, that there was a Comforter coming to them, that would not move from them, but abide with them for ever ., one that would be still at hand, and ever feady to support and comfort them: not like the miserable Comforters of this World, that can afford no Relief, and are most apt to leave us when we stand in most need of them i but a permanent, true, and constant Friend, whole Joys and Consolations will never fail : but evermore in the midst os all the Sorrows that are in our Hearts, his Comforts fijall resrefij our Souls.
But who or what is this constant and abiding Comforter? Why that the next words tell us, it is the Spirit of Truth, or the Holy Spirit of God, that leads into all, and nothing but Truth: 'tis the Holy Ghost, that descended on this day upon the heads of the Apostles, in the form of Fire, to enlighten them with Knowledg, and inflame them .with Zeal; in the Jhape of Tongues, to enable them tc» speak boldly the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven j and in the shape of cloven Tongues, to enable them to teach, all Nations In their several Tongues and Languages. This is the Paraclete or Comforter, that was to come and stay with us always, when Christ was gone: for Christ's abode .here was as in a Tabernacle, icKwuœ \v rt;uv- Now a Tabernacle, you know, is movable and- of no continuance -, but .the Holy Ghost's abode is as in a Temple, which is permanent, and never to be taken down.
This Spirit of Truth (as our Saviour adds) the World cannot receive, because it Jeeth him not, neither knoweth him: 'that is, carnal and earthly-minded Men, whose Eyes are * :'d only on the visible Pomps and Pleasures of the World, lot perceive or know this Holy Spirit The natural or jal Man dissemeth not the things of tM Spirit of God,
neither neither can he (faith the Apostle) because they are spiritually discern d. These spiritual things are invisible to a carnal Eye, and they that live and walk by Sight only, cannot behold or frame any Notion of them.
But ye knoto him (faith Christ to his Disciples) for he dwelleth *with you, and shall be in you. You are enabled by an Eye of Faith to discern and know him, and to feel his .invisible Comforts and Operations ; for he shall abide with you, and take up his Residence in you. Tho the World rath no Knowledg or Experience of these things, yet, by partaking of his fanctifying Graces, you lball have a true Sense and Conviction of them: And therefore be of good 'Chear, / will mt leave you comfortless, I will come to you j you shall not be left destitute, as Orphans bereft of Patent* and Guardians, that have none to help or take care of them j for I will come to you by the Presence of my Spirit, and that shall be an assur'd Pledg of my Return to you, to your everlasting Joy and Comfort. For in a little while (as he goes on to tell them) the World shall fee me no more:, for I lhall be taken up from this Earth, where Mens bodily Eyes will not be able to follow or behold me any more ., but ye fee me, by the Eye of Faith and heavenly Meditation : and because 1 then live in the Regions of Bliss and Glory, ye also, by my Conquest over Death and Hell, shall arrive thither too, and live for ever with me. Arid at that Day (faith he) ye shaft know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you; that is,, you shall then, by the means of this Holy Spirit, plainly see and know the close and entire Union that is between the Father and me, and likewise between me and you, and all the Members of my mystical Body j that as I and my Father are one, so ye also shall be one in us, and so shall all live together in one entire Fellowship and Communion with each other.
And now our Blessed Saviour, having thus set forth the inestimable Gift of sending the Holy Ghost, together with the great and invaluable Benefits and Blessings that ensue thereupon j he resumes his former Argument, and returns to the Condition upon which this Holy Spirit is promis'd and bestow'd: and that is, the Condition of loving him, Together with the best Proof and Demonstration thereof, which is the keeping of his Commandments; faying in the next Verse, He that hath my Commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me, shall be loved of my father^ and 1 will love him, and will manifest my self to him. Where, as the loving of Christ is the Condition of his giving the Holy Ghost, so the keeping of his Commandments is made the most infallible Sign and Token of our loving of him: for 'tis not he that speaks me fair, and cries Lord, Lord but he that observes my Sayings, and makes my Precepts the Rule and Guide of his Actions ., he it is that truly loveth me. And to encourage us so to do, he tells us, that God the Father will love those that thus express their Love to his Son and Christ himself will requite their Love to him with the blessed Fruits and Effects of his Love to them: for he will freely acquaint them with the Secrets of his Heart, and manifest himself and his Goodness to them.;
Upon this Discourse of our Saviour's, Judas, not Iscariot, but one of his Disciples, said unto him, Lord! how is it.that thou wilt manifest thy self to us, and not unto the World? where he seems desirous to know the reason why he so freely reveal'd his Mind to them, and not unto others. To which our Saviour gives him no direct Answer, but intimates the Reason of it to be, because the World neither lov'd his Person, nor obey'd his Precepts ', for if they did, he would as freely communicate himself to the World as to them: 'tis their Sin and their Disobedience that make them hate me, and that withholds good things from them. If a Man love me (faith Christ) he will keep my Words: And then, My Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our Abode with him: whereas, on the other hand, He that loveth me not, keepeth not my Sayings. And the Evil thereof is the more heinous and dangerous, because the Word which you hear is not mine, but the Father's that sent me. The Message I deliver to the World is from him -, and if that be despis'd, there can be no hopes of Mercy, but a fearful Expectation of Vengeance. These things (faith he) have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you; that is, I was willing to let you know these things before I leave you, that you may remember and consider them when I am gone. Howbeit, soon after my Departure the Paraclete, or Comforter, will come ., that is, the Holy Ghost, which my Father will send in my Name, as he did this Day: and he at his Coming shall more fully instruct you in these and all other Matters; for he JbaU teach you all things, and bring all things to your Remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Where, by teaching all things, artd leading into all Truth, we must not understand indefinitely all things, Vol. IV. Part a. 'E or or all Truths of every kind, but only all Divine Truths necessary to be known in order to Salvation: and in these the Holy Ghost hath not been wanting either to the Apostles or us-, having imparted to both the whole Mind and Will of God, so far as is necessary to bring us to him; which, as it is an inestimable Favour, so is it no more than is needful for us; for we of our selves are naturally blind and ignorant, and know nothing as we ought to know. 'Tis the Holy Spirit of God that enlightens our Minds, helps our Infirmities, and guides us in the Way that we should go ^ without which we mould stumble and fall at Noon-day, and wander in the Paths of Destruction. But thanks be to God, who hath given us of his Spirit, to direct our Footsteps, and lead us in the Way to everlasting Life.
Again, The Holy Ghost is faid to bring all things to our Remembrance, whatsoever our Saviour hath said unto us '., and this too is but needful., for we are too apt to forget what we are most concern'd to remember. Our Memories are treacherous and unfaithful, and, like Water, are wont to keep up light and trivial things, and suffer weightier Matters to fink into Oblivion j and therefore the best of us stand in need of a Monitor, or Remembrancer, to call to mind those faving Truths that are apt to flip from us, and to fasten them upon us by a frequent and seasonable Recollection. This Office the Hdly Ghost still does for us, by secretly moving and inciting us to our Duty, when we are turning from it j by suggesting Motives of Consolation in Trouble, when we are like to faint under it i and in a word, by calling to mind and applying Passages of Holy Scripture for our Comfort and Direction, when we stand in need of it: which shews us the great Use and Benefit of this Comforter.
And now our Saviour Christ, having thus fully declar'd his Mind to the Disqiples, and promis'd them another Comforter to supply his Place, he begins to take his leave of them, faying in the next Verse, Peace I leave with you, my Peace I give unto you, not as the World giveth, give I unto you, Sec. This giving or wishing of Peace was a Form of Salutation* antiently us'd at the departing of Friends, and implies a yVish of all kind of Happiness ., Peace including in it all manner of Blessings: And this he twice repeats, to shewthe Heartiness and Sincerity of his Wish \ Peace I teaveipith you, my Peace I give unto you, not as the World - . . giveth,
giveth: for they do it only formally and heartlefly, with art outward Show of Civility, but without any inward Truth or Sincerity -, but I give it to you after another and better manner; that is, cordially, and with the highest Degrees of Love and Affection: I bequeath it to you as a Legacy, to stand or remain with you. Or else, not as the World giveth, give I unto you, may be meant, because the World cannot give that Peace that it wishes ., it can only desire, but cannot perform it: but I give it unto you with a design of doing it, and will effectually perform it for you; and therefore Ut not your Heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid: be not griev'd at my departing from you, nor be afraid of what may befal you when I am gone, for the Comforter will come, and do all that for you which you can reasonably desire, or your Necessities call for: so that your hearing of what I said unto you, I go away and come again to you, can be no just cause of mourning or repining; yea, //' you loved me (faid he) you would rejoice rather, because t said, I go unto the Father, for my Father is greater than I; for greater is he that fendeth, than he that is sent .,' and my going to him will be for mine and your Advancement. This I have told you (faith he) before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye may believe, and strengthen your Faith ifi me. I shall add no more (faith he) but to let you know, That the Prince of the World, or the Accuser of the Brethren, comes and findeth nothing in me, or hath nothing to lay to my Charge; but that the World may know that I love the Father, I have fulfilled his Will, and as the Father gave me Commandment, even so do 1.
This is the whole Sense and Substance of the Gospel for this Day ; from which I shall infer two or three things by way of Application. As,
\st, Since Love is the Condition of Christ's giving us the Holy Ghost, let us labour to work our Hearts to the Love of God and Christ; for both concur in conferring upon us this inestimable Gift, and therefore we must extend our Love to both. God the Father so loved the World, that he gave his only Son to ransom and redeem it; and God the Son so loved the World, that he gave his Holy Spirit to fanctify and comfort it; the Sense whereof ought to inflame our Hearts With th« most ardent Love and Affection to both.
2dly, Since the best Token and Trial of our Love to Christ, is the keeping his Commandments, let us give him 1 E a *hat