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As "the Son can do nothing of himself," so he states that what he heard of the Father was his rule of judgment, and that the judgment administered according to such a rule is just. Hear the following similar statements: " My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself, seeketh his own glory; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." Our Lord declared to his disciples upon another occasion; "I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin, but now have they no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me, hateth my Father also"." In his concluding prayer, our Lord declares of his disciples, "They have kept thy word. They have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and they have believed that
a John vii. 16-18. It was after these words that our Lord referred to the miracle, which occasioned the discourse now under consideration.
John xv. 15–21.
thou didst send me." In connection with the last clause, and in illustration of the connection of the words which Christ had heard of the Father, with the judgment of the last day, we may now cite another passage: "He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me, seeth him that sent me, I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak, therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak "." We know that our Lord declared, even before Pilate, that "to this end he was born, and that for this cause he came into the world, that he might bear witness to the truth." We know also that he declared, that "the Son of man came not to be ministered unto,
John xvii. 6—8.
d John xii. 44-50.
but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." And as "the Father loveth the Son," so did the Son declare, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received from my Father."-We may now perceive the purport of our Lord when he said, "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." Those words were spoken when our Lord was at Samaria, and when he foresaw, and was deeply interested in, the successful result of his approaching interview with the people of that place. And I would fain hope and believe, that, however little you may be convinced by any reasonings I may have to offer, yet that, as I have recited to you the words of our Lord more largely than is perhaps usual, you may be able to say with those Samaritans, "Now we believe, not because of thy saying; for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world." I know not, indeed, how I could illustrate the words of our text more clearly than in the manner I have adopted, or how I may be likely more strikingly to exhibit to
a John x. 17, 18.
you, the claims, which he, "whom we preach," has upon your reverence, faith, and obedience. And, before I proceed to reason upon the'argument which our text suggests to us, I would cite one other passage, which at once includes the same statement, in almost the same words, and which declares to us what is that will of God concerning us, which is revealed, accomplished, and proposed for our compliance, in the Gospel. "All that the Father giveth me," said our Lord, "shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” And may we not truly remark, that "blessed also are they, that have not seen, and yet have believed;" who so receive, understand, and obey, those things which are written, that they believe, as indeed they have highest moral demonstration to induce them to believe, "that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, in order that, believing, they may have life through his name.”
b John vi. 37-40.
III. That, as far as the subject before us this day gives occasion, we may convince the gainsayer, and assist the believer to build himself more securely on his most holy faith, let us now in the third place, proceed to consider that presumption in favour of the claims of Jesus, which he notices in the text, and in many other parts of his discourses: "I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father, which hath sent me."
Was he not sent by the Father? Then must he, that thinks so, believe, either that he knowingly palmed an imposture upon the world, and taught a cunningly devised fable; or even that he was more weak than wicked, and published, under the influence of delusion and enthusiasm, the infatuated reveries of a heated fancy. Yet, if the latter and more charitable supposition be adopted, why do we find so much that is sublime and undeniable in theology; pure, holy, and enlightened, in morality? Could an enthusiast surpass all the ancient schools of philosophy? Could such a teacher promulgate principles, which led even those who opposed the Christian system to reform their own; which the wisest of men still allow to be consonant with the most improved dictates of human reason; which have left speculation little exercise in religious and moral inquiries, except in demonstrating and arranging anew the im-portant truths, which have been revealed, or in the