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call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you."

But although this was the first time that he expressly called them by this endearing name, yet he, long ago, had shewn them that he really was what he now condescended to assure them of, their friend. And to some of those instances in which he formerly exhibited it, as well as to those in which he subsequently shewed it, we will proceed to draw your attention, with the hope that we shall derive instruction from the enquiry.

A most affectionate duty due from one friend to another is that of praying for him. This our blessed Lord eminently did for his disciples. Even before he chose his apostles we read that he spent the whole of the previous night in prayer to his heavenly Father', that he would

1 Luke vi. 12.

be pleased to direct his choice. That he did so for them afterwards, generally and individually, we have various proofs. This is his address to one of them: "Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not 1." But the most beautiful instance

1

of his regard for them in this respect is contained in the seventeenth chapter of St. John's Gospel, which consists of one entire prayer from our Lord to his Father for his disciples. It is the very essence of affectionate love and sincere piety. "I pray not," he says, "for the world, but for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine; and all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them." And he concludes with the sentence, "Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me, for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the

world."

"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."

Another duty due from a friend to a friend, is an honest open plainness, and a candid sincerity. It is no part of true friendship to conceal difficulties; it is rather the obligation of any one who loves his friend to be communicative to him, and to tell him the truth. Especially is it so, if his attachment to him is likely to be the cause of any of these troubles, or in any way to bring him into danger. This candid sincerity our Saviour observed towards his disciples, by telling them plainly the persecutions which, for his sake, awaited them, and by unfolding to them by what a severe test their attachment for him would be tried. He did this in the very beginning of his ministry, and he continued it to the very end of it. Immediately after that he had chosen them this was his language to them: "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be

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ye, therefore, wise as serpents and harmless as doves: but beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues, and ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles 1." Just before his crucifixion he held to them the same way of speaking; "But take heed to yourselves, for they shall deliver you up to the councils, and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten; and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them "." Even after his resurrection he still continued the same sincerity. These were his words to Peter: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, when thou wast young thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest; but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not 3." 66 This,"

2

1 Matt. x. 16.

2 Mark xiii. 9.

3 John xxi. 18.

says

the Evangelist, "spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God."

Another evidence of friendship is, when the friend is not afraid to tell his friend, kindly, indeed, and with conciliation, but plainly and sincerely, of his faults. And in this also was the friendship of Jesus for his disciples exhibited. The openness with which he told them of their failings is only to be equalled by the general kindness of the manner in which he did it. When James and John came to him with the presumptuous request, that the one might be permitted to sit on his right hand, and the other on his left hand, in his kingdom, the mild reproachful answer was, "Ye know not what ye ask; can ye drink of the cup which I drink of, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with1?" And when they had presumed to say they could, the mild answer still continued, "Ye shall, indeed, drink of the cup which I drink of, and with the baptism that I

1 Mark x. 38.

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