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it unto you.
my direction, revealing to you nothing but what he is commissioned to discover. For he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that he shall speak. Besides, his revelations shall be so full and complete, that he will discover unto you all such future events as you may be any way concerned to know. And he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew He shall do me great honour in this respect, that all his revelations to you shall be perfectly conformable to the doctrines which I have taught you in person: for though he shall be instructed and commissioned by the Father, he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. Be not surprized that I said unto you, he shall receive of mine, and shew it unto you; for the whole treasures of the Father's wisdom belong to me. [See Col. ii. 3.]. Those who oppose the divinity of Christ seem to be at a loss for an explication of this passage. Le Clerc tells us it is highly figurative, that the subject treated of is such as cannot be understood by reason, that the manner of it is not revealed, and therefore that it is not possible to mark precisely the proper sense of every expression. All these things he told them it was their interest, as well as their duty, to rivet in their memories, because they were his dying words. A few hours would put an end to his life; and though he was to rise again from the dead, he was to remain but a very little while with them. He was soon to ascend into heaven, and to be seated at the right hand of God. A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
The terms in which Jesus had spoken of his death, resurrection, and ascension, being very obscure, the disciples were altogether at a loss to understand them. Wherefore, having revolved them awhile in their own minds, they asked one another privately if they could comprehend what he meant. But each of them declared, with a kind of astonishment, that he could affix no idea to his words at all. [John xvi. 17.] Then said some of his disciples among themselves, what is this that he saith unto us? a little while, and ye shall not see me; and again a little while, and ye shall see me and because I go to the Father? They said therefore, what is this that he saith, a little while? we cannot tell what he saith. Jesus, observing their perplexity, and knowing that they inclined to ask him about this matter, prevented them, by signifying that he knew what they had been saying. Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, a little while, and ye shall not see me; and again a little while, and ye shall see me? I will explain myself upon this point: your not seeing me is an event that shall occasion great grief to you, and joy to my enemies. From these circumstances you may collect, that by your not seeing me I meant my dying. However, your sorrow shall be turned into joy; you shall see me again for I will rise again from the dead. Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. The state of mind you shall be in when the events happen of which I am speaking, I cannot better describe than by comparing it to the condition of a woman in travail. During her labour she hath exquisite pain, because the birth approaches; but as soon as she is delivered she forgets the anguish she was in, being filled with joy that she has brought one of the human species into the world. Just so you, my disciples, will be in the greatest distress during the time of my departure But as I am to rise again from the dead, and to ascend into heaven, you will forget your sorrow, and rejoice exceedingly; and from that time forth your joy shall be of such a kind as that it shall not be in the power of men to rob you of it. of it. One great source of your joy in the period I am speakg of will be that your understanding shall be enlarged and enlightened, so that
you shall have no need of my personal presence with you, nor any occasion to ask questions concerning intricate points, as you find yourselves obliged to do now. And if ever you stand in need of instruction or assistance, or any other blessing, whether for the propagation of the gospel or your own salvation, the Father will immediately supply you with, upon your asking it in my name. On this occasion, I must put you in mind that you have never yet prayed to God in my name. From this time forth, I command you to put up all your petitions in my name, and you shall receive such gracious answers as will exceedingly increase your joy. Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. Perhaps you do not yet understand me, because I have expressed myself in dark sayings; but you may comfort yourselves with this thought, that the time is at hand when I shall speak no more obscurely; but by the teaching of my Spirit, I shall shew you in plain language the whole counsels of God relating to the erection of his church and the salvation of men. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs; but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. I repeat it to you again; that after my ascension you shall offer up all your addresses unto the Father through my mediation; by this I do not mean, that I will solicit the Father in your behalf, as if he was unwilling to bestow on you the blessings ye stand in need of: no; the Father himself bears a warm love towards you chiefly on this account, that ye have loved me, and have believed that I came from God.
To conclude the true and proper meaning of my discourse to you at this time, and particularly of the expression which appeared so obscure to you, is, that as I was commissioned by the Father, and came into the world to reveal his will to mankind, so, having finished that work, I now leave the world, and return to the Father from whom I came. His disciples said to him, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee; by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. We acknowledge that now thou speakest in such a manner as we can understand thee; for what thou sayest is by no means dark, like the things which thou utteredst before. Moreover, by the things which thou hast now spoken to us, we clearly perceive that thou knowest the hearts of men, and that in conversing with men thou hast no need that they should tell thee their thoughts by any question. In short: thy knowledge of our hearts fully convinces us that thou art come from God. It seems, through the whole of this discourse, Jesus had obviated the objections and answered the questions which the apostles were going to propose, or would gladly have proposed to him. Jesus answered, do ye now believe? behold, the hour cometh, nay, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. Are ye now, at length, fully persuaded that I am the promised Messiah? be on your guard. Your faith in me is not so firm but it may be shaken. For the time is coming, nay, is come already, when every one of you shall desert me, flying wherever you think to be in safety from the approaching danger, so that I shall be left singly to encounter mine enemies. Nevertheless, I am not alone, because the Father is with me continually. I have said these things to you, concerning my departure out of the world, concerning the coming of the Holy Ghost, concerning my resurrection from the dead, concerning the Father's hearing your prayers, and concerning the trial you are to be exposed to, in order that you may have consolation in the prospect of the benefits you are to receive, and not be terrified when the afflictions draw nigh which are to overtake you. The truth is, you shall have great tribulation in this present life, because the malice of man will every where pursue you;
nevertheless, be not discouraged, rather take heart by reflecting how, through co» stancy and patience, I have overcome the malice of the world, and that I am able to make you overcome it in like manner also.
As the beauty of the succeeding prayer would be obscured by mutilation, we conceived that we could do it the most justice by giving the whole complete in the translation of Dr. Campbell, a translation which casts considerable light on some important particulars.
[John xvii. 1..26.] "When Jesus had ended this discourse, he said, lifting up his eyes to heaven, Father, the hour is come; glorify tby Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee; that, being endowed by thee with authority over all men, he may bestow eternal life on all those whom thou hast given him. Now this is the life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus the Messiah, thy apostle. I have glorified thee upon earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, Father, glorify thou me in thine own presence, with that glory which I enjoyed with thee before the world was.
I have made known thy name to the men whom thou hast given me out of the world. They were thine; and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Whatsoever thou hast given me, they now know to have come from thee; and that thou hast imparted unto me the doctrine which I have imparted unto them. They received it (as such), knowing for certain that I came forth from thee, and am commissioned by thee. It is for them that I pray. I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me, because they are thine. And all thine are mine, and mine thine, and I am glorified in them. I continue no longer in the world; but these continue in the world; and I come to thee. Holy Father, preserve them in my name which 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 whom thou hast given me I have preserved. None of them is lost except the son of perdition, as the scripture foretold. But now that I am coming to thee, I speak these things in the world, that their joy in me may be complete. I have delivered thy word to them, and the world hateth them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray thee to remove them out of the world, but to preserve them from evil. Of the world they are not, as I am not of the world. Consecrate them by the truth; thy word is the truth. As thou hast made me thy apostle to the world, I have made them my apostles to the world. And I consecrate myself for them, that they may be consecrated through the truth.
Nor do I pray for these alone, but for those who shall believe on me through their teaching, that all may be one; that as thou, Father, art in me, and I am in thee, they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me; and that I have given them the glory which thou gavest me, that they may be one as we are one: 1 in them, and thou in me, that this union may be perfected, and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and that thou lovest them as thou lovest me. Father, I would that where I shall be, those whom thou hast given me may be with me, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me, because thou lovedst me before the formation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world knoweth not thee, I know thee; and these know that I have thy commission. And to them I have communicated, and will communicate, thy name, that I being in them, they may share in the love wherewith thou lovest me."
On this prayer we remark: 1. That the denominating the Father the only true God, is evidently not meant to deny the divinity of Jesus Christ, but to distinguish the Jehovah of Israel from the false gods of the heathen. To mention no other passage,
the very first verse of this gospel asserts the important doctrine of our Saviour's Godhead in the most express and explicit language. 2. The glory which Christ had with his Father was not merely predicted, but possessed, before the world began. This also is evident from the verse we have just now cited. 3. The sanctification, or, as Dr. Campbell more properly translates it, the consecration, which is here spoken of with respect to Christ and his people, signifies a dedication to sacred purposes, like that of the priest, the altar, and the sacrifice, under the law. Nothing more powerfully counteracts the love of sin, than the consideration that we are redeemed to he kings and priests to our God, and to the Lamb; and that therefore, being members of an holy kingdom, it becomes us not to be partakers of the unfruitful works of darkness. 4. This prayer is evidently divided into two parts; the first, which terminates with the nineteenth verse, particularly relating to the apostles; and the latter part of it, to the Christians who should believe through their preaching. 5. It appears that the whole dignity and happiness of Christians consist in their union with the Son, and through him with the Father; a doctrine which our Lord had beautifully illustrated in his late discourse concerning the vine and its branches.
When our Lord had terminated this prayer, he went with his disciples to a place near the mount of Olives, which was called Gethsemane. This is supposed to be a field which was crossed by the brook Cedron; and in it, on the other side of the brook, opposite to the mount of Olives, was a garden, commonly known by the name of the garden of Gethsemane. Having entered into this garden, he left the greater part of his disciples, probably, as a watch at the door while he took with him Peter, James, and John, to be the witnesses of his agony, as they had been of his transfiguration. A sore amazement, attended with all the bitterness of sorrow, now seized upon his soul. After commanding his three most favourite disciples to watch, he went forward about a stone's cast; and, finding his human nature inconceivably burdened, he fell on the ground, and besought his heavenly Father, that if it were possible, or consistent with the great end of his mission, he might be delivered from the sufferings that were then laying upon him. That it was not the mere apprehension of dying on the cross that so heavily afflicted him, is evident from this, that to suppose it, would be to degrade our Lord's character infinitely. Make his sufferings as terrible as possible; clothe them with all the aggravating circumstances imaginable; yet if no more is included in them than the pains of dying, Jesus, whose human nature was strengthened by its union with God, would not have shrunk at the prospect, when many of his followers have endured more terrible deaths without the least emotion. The difficulty is solved when we recollect, that the Lord laid upon him the iniquitics of us all; and that, therefore, the sense of that strong aversion which God has to every species of sin, was, no doubt, the heavy burden that pressed so heavily upon him. Under the pressure of this heavy load, he first poured out his soul in prayer; and then, returning to his disciples, mildly rebuked them, but more especially Peter, who had so much boasted of his strength, for being found sleeping at such an unseasonable hour. But such was the mildness of his disposition, that even now he half excused those whom he thus reproved, acknowledging that the spirit was willing, though the flesh was weak. He then a second and third time retired to supplicate his Father, and, returning to his disciples, found them a second and a third time sunk in slumber. It is remarkable, that between his two last prayers, an angel was sent to succour him, which is, by some, understood to imply, that now the divinity withdrew his usual support. His third prayer appears to have been more vehement than the rest, his perspiration having the colour and consistency of drops of blood. There is no reason for supposing this miraculous, as it has happened in a few other instances, Voltaire
himself being witness; but it serves to mark the extremity of his sufferings; and as it is an event of a very unusual kind, serves to strengthen the credibility of the gospel history. When he rose up from prayer, he came to his disciples, and said unto them, why sleep ye? behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, and let us be going, behold he is at hand that doth betray me.