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righteousness which is of the law,” on which he had been used to place his own reliance. Left to himself, he would have remained in the prejudices of his brethren, and have thought it impossible that “God should grant unto the Gentiles also repentance unto life.”
But the Spirit received of Christ, and shewed unto him the truth : how “ God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,” had “raised up together” both Jews and Gentiles, and “made them sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”7
It is only through the influence of the same Spirit that Christ is now glorified in the salvation
It is possible to hear, for years, of the death of Christ: to believe in all the facts of his history : to feel no doubt of the articles of the Christian faith : and yet not to apply these truths to our own case in such a manner as either to be comforted or sanctified. The Spirit must take of the things of Christ, and shew them unto us : and make us know “ in whom we have believed, and that he is able to keep what we have committed to him unto the great day.” He must make us understand the efficacy of that blood which “cleanseth from all sin,” that we may be led to sprinkle it upon our own hearts by faith. He must teach us the personal interest which we have in Christ, as “an advocate with the Father,” who “ ever liveth to make intercession for us.” He must teach us to rely on that grace which is “made perfect in weakness.” It is not of himself that the Christian
7 Eph. ii. 4–6.
him to say,
rejoice, as though he rejoiced not; or weep, as though he wept not; or buy, as though he possessed not; or use this world, as not abusing it.”8 Only the teaching which is from above, can enable
“ Most gladly will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me: for when I am weak, then am I strong. It is not of himself that he can say, “ Nay, we glory in tribulations also ; for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us an exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”
These things of the Father the Spirit takes and shews unto them that believe ; and thus bestows that peace and consolation, which the gospel uniformly promises as the effect of faith. For “the kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.' Do we desire more of this? The water of life must be sought from the fountain of life : and if we need larger supplies, we must drink deeper of the spring. The treasures of grace must be received from him in whom all riches are laid
and all fulness dwells. And to dispense these, is the Spirit's office : for Jesus has expressly declared, he shall take of mine, and shew it unto you.
8 1 Cor. vii. 30. 9 2 Cor. xii. 10. 1 2 Cor. iv. 17.
JESUS FORETELLS HIS APPROACHING REMOVAL
TO THE APOSTLES.
John xvi. 16-27.
16. 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.
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 ?
18. They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while ? we cannot tell what he saith.
19. 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?
20. 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.
21. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come : but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22. And ye now therefore have sorrow : but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your
joy no man taketh from you.
. St. John has himself told us in his own simple language how these words were fulfilled a few days after They
they had been spoken. “ Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” Meanwhile they would
weep and lament, as well they might, at the indignities which he should suffer. It would seem as if all their hopes were at an end : whilst the world, the enemies of Christ, rejoiced as if they had gained a victory. But after a short though heavy storm, the sun would again break forth, and the joy be proportioned to the sorrow. would not only see him, but see his glory, his greatness : it would be joy such as no man could take away from them : the joy of knowing that they had not followed a shadow, or given up this present world for nothing; but that one was gone before “ to prepare a place for them,” and meanwhile to support them in their duties; to “establish, strengthen, settle them.”
There is much in this which is applicable to all Christians. They are often called to weep and lament while the world rejoices : they weep over their manifold infirmities, their “ secret faults," and their presumptuous sins :” they weep over the careless lives of the multitude, who the broad road which leadeth to destruction. They are serious in their deportment, and in their habits self-denying, whilst they are “ working out their salvation with fear and trembling.' Meanwhile the world rejoices ; drowns thought in senseless mirth ; and lays up no good foundation against the time to come. But still the Christian has even now a joy which no man taketh from him : a joy in knowing whose he is, and whom he serves.
1 ch. xx. 20.
And he whom he serves, and he whose he is, does not leave him comfortless : sees him again, here by the refreshing presence of the Spirit, and will see him again hereafter, when he comes in clouds and great glory, to receive his faithful followers into the joy of their Lord. Whatever labour he may have undergone, or sorrow he may have endured on earth, he will then remember no more; it will be turned into joy.
Looking onward now to his approaching ascension into heaven, Jesus proceeds to say ;
23. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name : ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
25. 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.
26. At that day ye shall ask in my name : and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you :
27. For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and believed that I came out from God.
2 épwrnoere. Shall have no need to ask such questions as they had been lately asking, and were anxious to inquire about still further : as, whither he was going ; what he meant in saying, “ A little while, and ye shall see me : and again a little while, and ye shall not see me.” All things which they might desire or need to know, should be revealed to them.
And then follows a further promise :-all things which they might desire or need to have, should be granted them. Whatsoever ye shall ask (airnonte) the Father in my name, he will give it you.