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did not understand these words, our Saviour explained them unto them. His time, he said, was approaching, he would die, and, for a little time, they would not see him, but again, in a little while, he would revive, and then they would see him ; in the mean time he should go to the Father. He knew, he said, they would grieve at his departure, but that when they saw him again, their heart would rejoice, and their joy no man could take from them. Hitherto, he told them, he had spoken in parables, but now the time was come when he would no more speak to them in parables, but would tell them plainly of the Father. “I came forth,” said he, “from the Father, and am come into the world, again I leave the world, and go unto the Father.” His disciples now told him that they fully understood him, and believed that he came forth from God. Their Lord was well aware of their sincerity, but he also knew their weakness. “ Do ye,” he answered, “now believe? Behold the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye
be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
The remainder of that portion of the Gospel which we have now under consideration, consists of that sublime
prayer of our blessed Saviour to his almighty Father, in which he commends to his heavenly care those who had been attached to him during life. It occupies the whole of the seventeenth chapter of St. John's Gospel, and commences with the emphatic words, “ Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.” In this prayer, Jesus declares that he had finished the work which he had undertaken; that he had preached the word of truth to those whom his Father had given him, with such effect that none of them was lost, save the son of perdition; but he prays God now to keep them in his absence, as
he himself had kept them when present. He said he knew the world would hate them, as it had hated him, because neither he nor they were of the world. He then prays not only for his disciples, but for all who hereafter should believe in him, and he declares, that whoever firmly does so, shall be united with him, and with his Father, in one glorious body; that all shall be with him where he is, and behold the glory which God will give him. His last words are, “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 wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."
When our Saviour had spoken these words, the Scripture goes on to tell us, that he went into a garden, to which heretofore he had often resorted with his disciples, and which was well known to the traitor Judas. His seizure, which
there took place, the circumstances which attended it, and the events which followed it, are well known to us, and will hereafter be the subject of our more particular consideration.
It remains for us now to use this history for our own instruction.
In the first place, I do not know any part of the Gospel which is more thoroughly calculated than this is, to impress us with a full conviction of the divinity of Jesus Christ. The calm and rational manner in which he contemplates his death, the tender care which he expresses for his disciples, yet at the same time the firm trust which he reposes in God for them; the courage and constancy with which he looks forward to his sufferings; all these are so many internal evidences of his character, and of his being “ truly the Son of God.” An impostor could not have demeaned himself with such dignity and composure ; an enthusiast would not have conducted himself with such quietness and self-possession. He
only could thus behave who knew himself to be what he asserted himself to be, the Son of the Most High God.
In the next place we learn, in this discourse of our Lord's, the most particular account of the Holy Ghost the Comforter. We learn that he is come to console the world in the absence of the Redeemer; that he is the Spirit of Truth, that he will guide us into all truth; and that by him the apostles were filled with that wisdom, which enabled them to preach the Gospel of salvation, which contains to us the promise of eternal life. Let us then endeavour to make our hearts fit for the reception of this Holy Spirit, let us never grieve him or drive him from us by vice or sensuality; and let us receive with reverence and gratitude the words of his written will.
Lastly, we find our Lord, in this place, praying, not for his immediate disciples only, but for all those also who at any time shall believe in his name.
And what a comfort is this to us who have