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received its sentence the soul is borne away to purgatory, but as it crosses the threshold of that realm of temporal retribution and of cleansing, there is no shrinking from impending evil, no consciousness of the shadow of death. The purging fires may have their accompaniment of pain, nevertheless it is a blessed pain. The redeemed soul sees before it only the amazing result of glory which those amending fires are to effect in it, and is unspeakably glad.

If there ever be for the true follower of Christ any seeing of death, it is here in this world, when the sense of one's sin and one's failure in repentance make the heart to fear. We cannot really see death, however, for that were to despair. If one should despair of the power of God's grace, he must have ceased to keep Christ's saying.

LXXV.

"Then said the Jews unto Him, Now we know that Thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and Thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste cf death. Art Thou · greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest Thou Thyself? Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father That honoureth me; of Whom ye say, that He is your God: yet ye have not known Him; but I know Him: and if I should say, I know Him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know Him, and keep His saying."-St. John viii. 52-55.

Exposition.-Isaac Williams says: "As the sense of God is in any one, such is his apprehension of immortality; the latter is not so much a matter of revelation, as of faith in the everlasting God. In these Jews there was an absence of both. They answered Him 'with anger, as being already dead,' says St. Augustine, 'in that death which is alone to be avoided. But in that death,' he says, 'of which the Lord wished to be understood, neither Abraham nor the prophets were dead. For as Christ says in an

other place, the God of Abraham is not the God of the dead, but of the living.' And Origen, that Abraham had heard the word of Christ and kept it, as had also the Prophets; and therefore were not dead. Jesus answered, in reply to their saying Whom makest Thou Thyself? If I glorify myself my glory is nothing. It is my Father That glorifieth me. In another place, St. Augustine observes that it is the Son that glorifieth the Father; Of Whom ye say that He is your God. Yet ye have not known Him; but I know Him. The two words translated know are different; the former implies, so learned by observation as to know; the other term expresses more essential knowledge, whether from intuition or otherwise, as here. I know Him for I am from Him. And if I should say, I know Him not, I should be like unto you, a liar. He is constrained to confess; for charity, which vaunteth not itself, yet rejoiceth in the truth. But I know Him, and His word I keep; whereas ye neither know Him, nor keep His word."

Sadler comments thus: "How is it that our Lord contemplates, even for a moment, that He should deny His knowledge of the Father? We may explain the matter thus. He seeks not to glorify Himself but He must assert, His own truth compels Him to assert, that what He teaches, both respecting Himself and the Father,

arises out of the most intimate knowledge of God. It is not His doctrine, it is what He has seen in the Father, heard of the Father, learned of the Father. This He must say. He cannot and must not deny, no matter what opposition it excites, that no prophet, no patriarch, no saint of God, has known the Father as He has. He must for their sakes tell them that the immeasurable distance between them and Him consists in this, that they have not learned of God even what they might have done if they had followed faithfully the light vouchsafed to them, whilst He knew God essentially and intimately, because One with God. If He were to conceal this, which was that on which all His claims rested, but which excited their utmost enmity— if He were to conceal this, much more if He were to deny it, He would be as false as they were; but He says, I know Him and keep His saying. What is this saying, or word, which our Lord here says that He keeps? It must I think mean that which He alludes to elsewhere, 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; or it may allude to a deeper thing still. The Lord in His discourse in the tenth chapter speaks of His laying down and taking again His life, as a commandment received from His Father. Now it was the

assertion of His divine claims which directly led to the taking away of His life, and so keeping God's saying was on His part the setting forth of everything, and the concealment of nothing, told Him by the Father, even though what He set forth was the reason for His crucifixion."

First Thought.-The true believer cannot but be filled with a sense of the great dignity and the vast significance of his calling in Christ. If he have the Master's spirit he cannot but be ever conscious of the supreme unworthiness of his own personality-he knows himself to be by nature but dust and ashes; nevertheless he will not belittle the power of grace, nor limit the wealth of its bestowal upon him through the sacraments. He is a member of Christ, the child of God, an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven. It is not now himself that lives, but Christ liveth in him. So he can say to the world. "If I honour myself, my honour is nothing; it is my Father That honoureth me," even God in heaven, because of my incorporation into the life of our Lord. This sense of the dignity of his calling makes the servant of Christ obnoxious to the children of this world very often. He holds himself aloof from them and their ways; to them he appears proud, self-righteous, pharisaical. He despises earthly honours and the praise

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