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We know both better than they did then. We live when all is fully opened. Let us know our advantages, and bless God for them.
5. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
The ignorance of Thomas, becomes a benefit to us. His question drew from Christ such an answer as is worthy of our notice, and which can make us wise unto salvation.
6. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life : no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Christ is the way of holiness, the way of happiness, the way to heaven, and the only way: the truth of God, in his discoveries of himself to man, his commands, promises, and threatenings: and the life of our souls, in their redemption from death by the sacrifice of himself, and from their dead state by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” To the knowledge of Christ here, or the enjoyment of him hereafter, but by faith, and by faithful obedience to him.
The great design of this whole discourse, to the end of the seventeenth chapter, was to establish the apostles, and all others, in the faith of Him, in all his offices.
7. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also : and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
In the full manifestation of his nature, power, and will, by me. This knowledge of God all may have, and when it is spiritual and effectual, it is the same to all intents and purposes as seeing him: and Christ here teaches us to call in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
8. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it suf
9. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and
yet hast thou not known me, Philip ? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how savest thou then, Shew us the Father ?
10. Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father
11. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the
works' sake. Let it be carefully observed, how often he appeals to his works, or miracles, as a proof of his divine mission. So long as we keep ourselves on this ground, we shall be steady in our belief of Christ; we shall receive whatever he teaches, and whatever he commands, and hope for every thing which he promises.
Chap. xiv. ver. 12–17.
HE ENCOURAGES TO PRAYER.
12. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do also ; and greater works than these shall he do; because I
Father. He would send down the Holy Ghost, by which the apostles, especially, would be enabled to do greater works than he himself did, chiefly in the conversion of greater numbers. That work was the fruit of his ascension, and the Holy Spirit is always doing it in the world ; indeed the recovery of every single sinner to God, is a greater miracle than any which Christ performed upon the bodies of meu. Nothing so fatally keeps us out of the way of Christ's power, and from a state of prayer, as thinking this recovery is an easy matter. If we have never applied to Christ, under a clear conviction of the necessity of this work, and of our own helplessness, we have neither faith in him, nor strength from him, and are no better to this hour than we have been able to make ourselves.
13. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, tbat will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
That is, whatever ye ask believing in me, through whom alone your prayers will be accepted.
Until we believe, we cannot pray according to the will of God, in the possession of self-knowledge, and with a true desire for the blessings of the gospel.
66 That will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son," by granting all our petitions, and bringing us to salvation through him. Our conversion to God, by Christ, is called his glory, because till then we are the stain and blemish of his creation. Let not this pass without notice.
14. If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.
He repeats it for our direction, and assurance ; and says again, 66 I will do it.”. Who can hear and answer all our prayers, but God ?
15. If ye love me, keep my coinınandınents.
This is only saying in other words, if ye love me, love yourselves. Nothing can give rest to our souls, without keeping them, especially in love to him. The not keeping them is the plague of our natures, and the bane of all happiness. Obedience to this one commandment of love, would make the world a paradise.
16. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Let us ask our hearts, whether they desire he should thus pray for us? Are the comforts of the Holy Ghost, peace with God, a will to obey him, and the hope of eternal life, our own great prayer ? Let us bring ourselves to this test. Christ was about to leave his disciples, yet he would be always present with them, in the power of his Spirit.
17. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
“ The Spirit of truth,” shows us the truth of our state of sin, manifests to our consciences the truth of God for our recovery, brings us into the truth, and keeps us in it.
" Whom the world cannot receive,” while it is the world ; the world lying in wickedness; no man while the world is uppermost in his heart. The world we so much love, and live for, stands in direct opposition to him, and the heavenly nature he comes to raise in us.
6. Because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him,"—has no sense of his benefits, nor desire of his operations.
“But ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” To know him, in his abiding influences, is to see him. How happy shall we be if each one of us can say, I see him plainly in his work upon my heart !
Chap. xiv. ver. 18—24.
CHRIST PROMISES THE COMFORTER.
18. I will not leave you comfortless : I will come to yoni.
Let us note this. Why are we joyless, and comfortless all our lives, without knowing why, or ever asking the reason of it, but because he never came to us?
19. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more ; but ye see me : because I live, ye shall live also.
We may see Christ, if we please, in his salvation. Let us catch at this promise,-see ourselves undone without him, and then we shall be in pain for a saving sight of him.
“Because I live, ye shall live also." His resurrection is our resurrection, his life is our life, when we are in him by faith. We live by him, and shall live with him. 20. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and
ye in me, and I in
you. The apostles in Christ, by the power of miracles in them: they, and all others, by faith and conversion. There
is no being a Christian without attaining to this knowledge.
21. 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 I will love him, and will inanifest myself to him.
We have Christ's commandments, but how do we keep them? There is no avoiding this: without the offering up of our wills to Christ in obedience, whatever we pretend, there can be no love to him.
“ And he that loveth me, shall be loved of my Father.” This promise furnishes a great motive for love and obedience! Is this nothing to you ? Ponder these words, and think what it is to live and die, with, or without, the Father's love. “And I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” In the increase of his light and love.
22. Judas saith unto him, (not Iscariot,) Lord, how is it that thou will manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world ?
Judas seems to have been under the common mistake of the Jews, as to the manner of Christ's manifesting himself.
23. Jesus answered and said unto him, 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 with him.
If a man love Christ, he will, and can keep his words: for nothing but love does, or can keep them. Here Jesus puts love first, as the root and cause of a lively, unfailing, universal obedience. This is beginning our work in the way Christ orders, and now it will prosper
our hands, “We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” It was the great end of Christ's coming into the world, that he might make his followers again the living temples of God.
24. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings : and the word which ye have heard is not mine, but the Father's which
How shall we attain to that love of Christ, which makes