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fronting His slanderers before the tribunal of Him Who will judge rightly, and to Whom He commits His cause, as any righteous servant might."
The same author goes on to the next verse: "God will judge them who persistently refuse to honour me by believing my words, in the day when He makes manifest my glory; but I would save you from this great evil, and pluck you out of the hands of the liar and murderer . . It is certain that the words keep my saying do not here mean keeping the commandments in act, but that the living word of Christ is the seed of divine and eternal life, which being sown is to be kept in the heart until all its fruit is borne. He who bears this within himself will not and cannot in the essential meaning of the word die. -Shall not see death, that is, not know death at all as such.-This great promise denies the being of death in dying itself; and in proportion as the eye of faith can behold and penetrate this word of Christ, and the soul can hold it fast, believers in Him pass through all the bitterness of bodily death, and all the final anguish of the soul, without any dread of ultimate condemnation, fearing indeed no more evil, and thus in the act of dying feel not and see not death; As he who walks towards the sun, sees not the shadow behind him."
Isaac Williams quotes the fathers thus: "If any one should ask, says Origen, with the prophet, Who is he that liveth and shall not see death? taught by our Saviour we may answer, It is he who keepeth Christ's word. St. Cyril notices the expression as implying His divinity, for He had said, He that is of God heareth God's words: And now, If any one keep my saying he shall not die. St. Chrysostom considers it as a tacit intimation that they could do nothing to Him, for if he that keepeth His word shall never die, much less is it possible that He Himself should die. 'He saw,' says Augustine, 'another death, from which He came to deliver us, the eternal death of damnation, which is alone the true death; the other is but a migration; the leaving of the body, the laying aside a heavy weight.""
Alford says: "The death of the body is not reckoned as death, any more than the life of the body is life, in our Lord's discourses."
First Thought.-How true it is still of our Lord, in the world through His Church, that He seeks not His own glory! All manner of neglect is shown Him, all manner of insult offered Him, all manner of blasphemy spoken against Him. How often one hears the sacred Name uttered in profanity, and in light foolish
talking; but He never resents it, never strikes the blasphemer down. How great responsibility is laid upon all those who love and serve Him to seek His glory, to judge so far as they may those who dishonour Him. We can do much to show our love and reverence in our speech, in our devout behaviour, in our jealousy for His honour. We are not the judges of wrong-doers in the sense of being set over them to pronounce sentence upon their lives. But we are judges of all words and deeds of irreverence, and we are bound to make our protest against them as effectively as we can. We can shun the society of the blasphemer and irreverent talker; we can refuse the book and the play which set at nought holy things. God on high, Who is jealous for our Lord's honour, will surely judge us, who know very well what our duty is, most strictly, if we fail to uphold the dignity and glory of our Master so far as that may be in our power.
There is comfort for us personally and likewise warning in our Lord's words if we be His true followers. We are not to seek our own glory, or the praise of the world. We can afford to be misunderstood, despised even, and treated with contempt. We know in very truth that we have no honour save as we are faithful to Christ; therefore it is ever His honour that we should seek; that men should glorify Him in our lives.
There is One That seeketh and judgeth. The Father seeks in us a likeness to His Son, and in so far as He finds that He delights to glorify us. But He judges too, and where there ought to be found that likeness to our Lord, yet instead of it there is only self-seeking, He will certainly judge such lives with no light judgment.
Second Thought.-There are many in this world who look forward to death with a great shrinking; if only one might escape it. There are others who wearied with life's burdens long for death, or think that they do, as if it were to be a great release from every evil, a peaceful lying down to sleep at the close of life's weary day. We know that death is to be feared because it is the end of probation, and that for all those who are not saved it is the entrance into the jaws of the bottomless pit. How then can one make sure that death shall not mean eternal loss in his own case? If a man keep my saying, says the Master, "he shall never see death." Though one know full well that the Judge must be met so soon as the soul has been set free from the body, nevertheless one may rest fearlessly, awaiting the end, if he be keeping the Lord's saying. That saying is His whole revelation of the way of devout living; it is plainly
revealed in Holy Writ, it is reduced to practice in the system of the Church. So must it be loyally received by us from the Church and made effective in our lives.
The characteristic feature of the Master's saying is that it can be kept neither in the outward form alone, nor yet in the will without the outward form. There must be at once faithful outward conformity and complete heart loyalty. Those who fancy that because they care very much in heart, they can be lax in practice, and not suffer for it, err grievously. Equally do they err who fancy the most punctilious outward fidelity to duty can profit them, unless be wholly surrendered in heart also to Christ. Who is there of us all that in very truth keeps His saying?
Third Thought.—Such an one shall never see death. When the actual moment of dissolution comes the soul shall be conscious of no impending doom, no terror. The throne of judgment whereon the Lord sits is very awe-inspiring, and the angelic attendants on every side are very solemnly impressive, but there is no sense of despair or hopelessness; it is plain at once to him who has kept the Master's saying in this world, that the Master's face is gracious and full of welcome as it is there beheld. Having