Sivut kuvina

them when we have not. Again, we are correspondingly depressed and discouraged by our failures in things temporal. This present time appears to us to be all that we have, and as the years advance, and we do not succeed in our worldly undertakings, we feel that our lives have been profitless.

Yet our Master said, "My time is not yet come," and that surely ought to be true also for His followers. In theory at least we are looking forward to the judgment of the world to come, and its recompenses. Let us not forget this. Our times are in God's hand: doubtless He has work for us to do in this world, but it is never the sort of work which looks to human approval for its vindication. Those who go on day by day striving to do their best in the commonplace circumstances of their lives, are always ready to accomplish God's good purposes for them when He shall lead up to those purposes. But we are not to be impatient; we know not God's time, we know perhaps very little of His purposes; such knowledge is not important; the all-important fact is that we should recognize it for the aim of our lives to accomplish that which God has planned for us, not that which to us seems desirable.

Nor must we forget that the Master's word, "My time is not yet come," clearly intimates

that He has a time. And so has every one of us, the time appointed of God for the manifestation of our loyalty and obedience to Him. We must take heed that we fail not in our part when that time comes. Mere detachment from the world is not going to save any one, if there be not also found in him attachment to Christ. We must cultivate daily heart-loyalty and joyous submission to His will.

Second Thought.—It is startling to be told that one of the conditions of loyalty to Christ is to have the hatred of the world. We do not like to have the hatred of anybody, yet it is certain that to have the hatred of the world must mean that we are to be objects of dislike and antipathy to such as live only for this world. It is much easier, much more natural, for us to court the good will and approbation of everybody, to feel glad in our hearts that no one ever has a word to say against us. Yet we may well stop to think of our Master and of all that was said against Him. larity is not a desirable gift.



The world should hate us even as it hated our Lord, because He testified of it that its works were evil. We are to do the same by our fidelity to Christ. We testify against the world's self-indulgence and lust by lives of hearty self

denial and personal purity: only let us not forget that both self-denial and purity in order to be genuine in God's eyes, must go deeper into the life of the soul than this world can see. We testify against the world's love of money by clearly refusing to be anxious about the getting of money, and by being generous to the extent of pinching self in our dispensing of it. We testify against the world's self-importance and pride by refusing to acknowledge the worth of merely human distinctions, and by choosing for ourselves ignoble parts.

We are likewise to testify against the world's evil deeds in our speech, each one according to his calling and opportunity boldly maintaining, not foolishly but with wise judgment, among his fellows the excellence of the things of God, the worthlessness of all things which are not of God.

Third Thought.-The Master says to His unbelieving followers, "Go ye up unto the feast," that is, to such pleasures and content as the life of this world can supply; and it is also true in a sense that He says the same thing even to those who are earnest in their desire to follow Him, and who do truly believe on Him, as let us hope we ourselves do. For we are still very weak and worldly-minded creatures, and

this world presents many attractions to us. He indeed withdraws Himself from outward part in the feast, nevertheless He also goes up to it in secret, not to have part in the feasting, but to avail Himself of the opportunity of reaching hearts in which there is somewhat of good even in the midst of their worldliness; and to move them in His own wise way to perceive more clearly the difference between the spiritual joys which He offers, and those which are to be found in the temporal things. It ought to be true for us, in our life here below, that as we grow in experience we turn more and more heartily to our Lord Christ, and daily endeavour to forsake earthly aims, earthly delights. Even in the midst of the feast it is never hard to find Him if one but longingly seek for Him; it is never impossible, though indeed it may be very hard, to turn by His help from the service of the world to His blessed service.


"And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, 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." -St. John vii. 15-18.

Exposition.-Isaac Williams says: "This is frequently His declaration to the Pharisees, expressing His agreement with the Father; and was like His usual appeal to the Old Testament. The doctrine is mine, there is unity of Substance: yet not mine, there is distinction of Persons. He is the Word; it is not of Himself, but of the Father: yet all things that the Father hath are mine. Or says St. Augustine, it was His doctrine, as He was God; not His as He His words are full of consolation; if we love God, and love to do His will, we shall see Him in His Son; yet full of terror,

was man.

[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »