Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

450

He was going to prepare a Place for them. Sect. 173. much less would I have faid so much as I have told you: I go to prepare a

Place for you.
done, to confirm that Expectation : But as it is
John XIV. in itself a glorious Reality, so I am now going, not

only to receive my own Reward, but to prepare a
Place for you there (f); or to make Room for
your coming thither, and to dispose every Thing
for your most honourable and comfortable

Recep-
3
tion. And if I thus go, and prepare a Place for 3 And if I go and prepare

a Place for you, I will come you, you may depend upon it, that this Preparation shall not be in vain, but that I will certainly act again, and receive you unto

myself, that where I am, so consistent a Part, as to come again, and re- there ye may be also. ceive you to myself (8); that as we are now united in fo dear a Friendship, you also, after a short

Separation, may be where I am, and may dwell
4 for ever with me. And surely I may fay in 4 And whither I go ye
the general, after all the Instructions I have given know, and the Way ye

know.
you, that you know whither. I ain going ; and you
knowo the 'Vay that leads thither, and by which
you may safely follow me, which I exhort

you
therefore that you would resolutely keep.
5

But fuch was Aill the Expectation that his 5 Thomas faith unto him,
Disciples had of his erecting a Temporal King-

Lord,

dom, as if our Lord had said, “ Had it not been fo, I would have spoke in another Manner, and þave told you, I am going to prepare a Place for you ; but now I have no Reason to say " that, the place being already prepared.” But it is hard to say, what Sense can be made of ver. 3. on this Interpretation. That the pious Jews considered all the Glories of the Meffiah's Kingdom, as introductory to the Happiness of a future State of eternal Glory, appears from a Variety of Scripturés; and indeed it is difficult to say, how they could think otherwise, considering how much this had been insisted on; or how they could have been good, had not this been their chief Aim. Compare Mat. iii. 12. v. 8, 12. vi. 20. vii. 21.. xiii. 43. xix. 16. xxii. 30. Luke xiv, 34. xvi. 9. John iii. 15, 36. vi. 54, 68. xi. 24,-27

(f) To prepare a place for you. ] When the Glory of Heaven is spoken of as prepared before the Foundatson of the IVorld, (Mat. xxv. 34.) this only refers to the Divine Purpose; but as that was founded in Christ's Mediatorial Undertakings, (Eph. i. 47–6.) it might properly be faid, that when Christ went into Heaven, as our High Priest, to present (as it were) his own Blood before the Father on our Account, and as our Fore-runner to take Possession of it, he did thereby prepare a Place for us ; which the Apostle expresses, (Heb. ix. 23, 24.) by his purifying, or consecrating the Heavenly Places in which we are to dwell, which would have been considered as polluted by the Entrance of such sinful Creatures into them ; as the Tabernacle when new-made was, by having passed thro’ the Hands of Sinners, on which Account an Atonement for the Altar itself, which was to be moj? Holy, was the first Ad to be performed when it was opened: Exod. xxix. 36, 37. And an Atonement for the whole Tabernacle, as polluted by the Access of Sinners to it, was to be repeated annually. Lev. xvi. 16.

(8) I will come again, &c.] This Coming ultimately refers to Chriff's solemn Appearance at the Last Day, to receive all his Servants to Glory; yet it is a beautiful Circumstance, that the Death of every particular Believer, considering the universal Power and Providence of Chrift, (Rev. i, 18.) may be regarded as Christ's coming to fetch him Home; whereas Satan is spoken of as having naturally the Power of Death. Heb. ii. 14.

(b) W

me,

CHRIST is the way, the Truth, and the Life. 45! Lord, we know not whither dom, that Thomas upon hearing this says to bim, Sect. 173. thou goeft, and how can we Lord, thou hast never yet informed us of the know the Way? Place, and we know not so much as whither thou John XIV.

5. art going (b), and how then can we possibly know 6 Jesus faith unto him, I the Way thither? Yesus says to him, I have al- 6 am the Way, and the Truth, ready intimated to you, I am going to the Father ; and the Life: no Man com

and did

you eth unto the Father but by that I am myself the Way, and the Truth, and the

but consider this, you would soon fee, Life (i); that I am to guide, instruct, and animate my Followers in their Passage to eternal Glory, and that their Progress will be sure and vigorous in Proportion to the Steadiness of their Faith in me, and the Constancy of their Regards to me : And this indeed is the true and only Way you can take ; for no Man cometh to the Knowledge and Enjoyment of the Father, to whom I am returning, but by Means of me, whose

proper
Office it is to introduce sinful Creatures to his
If ye had known me, Presence and Favour. If therefore you had 7
ye should have known my known me aright, you would surely have known my
forth ye know him, and have Father also (k), in whose Glory my Ministrations
feen him.

so evidently center; and such indeed are the Dif-
coveries that I have made of him, and such the
Manifestations of the Divine Perfections which
you have seen in me, that in effect it may be
said, that from henceforth you know him, and have,

as it were, already seen him.
8 Philip faith unto him, Then Philip, one of the Apostles, hearing 8
Lord, thew us the Father, these Words, says to him with a pious Ardor be-
and it sufficeth us.

coming his Character, Lord, do but few us the
Father, and bring us to the Sight and Enjoyment
of him (l), and it is Happiness enough for us ;

we

(b) We know not whither thou art going.] It is probable, Thomas might think, that Chrift intended to remove to some splendid Palace on Earth, to set up his Court there for a while, before he received his People to the Celestial Glory.

(i) I am the Way, &c.] Our Lord had so lately delivered the fame Sentiment, in Language much like this, (fobr x. 9. pag. 211.) that it might well have been expected, they should haye understood him now.

(k) If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.] This is a most important Truth; but it does not determine, to what Degree he must be explicitely known, in order to receiving saving Benefits by him.

(1) Lord, mew us the Father.] The Explication given in the Paraphrase seems to me a more probable Sense, than that in which Mr. Fleming understands it; as if Philip had said, " Let us have a Vision of the Father in a corporeal Form, to testify the Necessity of thy “ Removal from us.” ( See Fleming's Christology, vol, ii. pag, 202.) I cannot apprehend, that the Apostles thought the Father visible. Lll 2

(on) I am

9.

[ocr errors]

452

He is in the Father, and the Father in bim. Sect. 173. we desire no more, and resign every other Hope 9 Jesus saith unto him, in Comparison of this. Jefus says to him, Have Have I been so long

Time John XIV.

with you, and yet haft thou I been with you then so long a Time, and conversed not known me, Philip? Hc among you in so familiar a Manner for successive that hath seen me, hath seen Years, and hast thote not yet known me, Philip? the Father, and how fayeft

thou then, Shew us the FaIf thou hadít well considered who I am, thou ther? mightest have better understood what I have now been faying ; for be that has seen me, has in effect feen the Father, as I am the Brightness of his Glory, and the express Image of his Person : (Heb. i. 3.) And how (then) dost thou say, after all that has passed between us, Shew us the Father ? Dost thou not then believe, tho? I have before

to Believest thou not that

I am in the Father, and the affirmed it so expressly, ( John x. 38. pag. 221.) Father in me? The Words that I [am] in the Father, and the Father is in me, that I speak unto you, I speak by so intimate an Union as to warrant such Lan- not of myself: but the Fa

ther that dwelleth in me, be guage as this (m)? The Words which I speak to you doth the Works. from Time to Time, in which I discover and inculcate this important Truth, I speak not merely of myself; but it is really the Father who dwells in me, that gives me my Instructions thus to speak; and it is be that operates together with me, and performs the miraculous Works that you have so often seen, which are sufficient to demonstrate the Truth of this Assertion, mysterious as it

is, and incredible as it might otherwise seem. II Believe me therefore in what I have said, that II Believe me that I am I [am] thus in the Father, and the Father is in in the Father, and the Father

in me: or else believe me for me; or if what you have fo long known of my the very Works fake. general Character and Veracity, will not engage you to take it merely on my fingle Testimony, at least believe me on Account of those Works, in which you have fo frequently beheld the Father acting with me, and which indeed afford so obvious an Argument of it, that one might imagine, the Sight of a few of them might convince one

that was before a Stranger to me. 12 And yet verily, verily I say unto you, that 12 Verily, verily I say unyou shall have, if possible, a yet stronger Evidence

than (m) I am in the Father, and the Father is in me. It is remarkable, that Pbilo, speaking of the Logos, has this Expression, that he is malp ox@ # w srailalai, the Father's House in which he dwells ; which is nearly parallel to that of the Apostle, Col. ii. 9. that in him dwells all the Fulness of the Godhead bodily. See Dr. Scor's Christian Life, vol. iii. pag. 559. Note Preno

to

12.

Whatever they ask in bis Name, he will do it.

453 to you, He that believeth on than what you have already received ; for be that Sect. 173. me, the works that I do, believes in me (n), that is, many of my Disciples Ihall he do also, and greater

John XIV. Works than these thall he in these early Ages, and each of

you

in particudo ; because I go unto my lar, shall receive such an abundant CommunicaFather,

tion of the Spirit, that the miraculous Works which
I perform, be Mall perform also ; yea, Works in
some respect greater than these shall be perform;
because I go to my Father, who has thought fit to
reserve the most amazing Gifts of the Spirit, to
honour

my

Return into Glory ; in Consequence of which, you shall be enabled to speak with all foreign Tongues, to give the Spirit by the Imposition of your Hands, and to propagate the Gospel with such amazing Success, as to make more Converts in one Day, than I have done in the

whole Course of my Ministry: 13. And whatsoever ye And in a Word, you may depend upon it, that

13
fall ask in my Name, that what foever ye shall ask in my Name, under the
will I do, that the Father
may be glorified in the Son. Influence of that Spirit, and subfervient to the

great End of your Life and Ministry O), I will
certainly do it, that so the Father may still be glo-
rified in the Son ; who, when he is ascended up
to Heaven, will from thence be able to hear and
answer Prayer, and even in his most exalted State
will continue to act with that faithful Regard to
his Father's Honour, which he has shewn in his

And in this Confi

14 dence I repeat it again, for the Encouragement do it.

of your Faith and Hope, that I will be as affec15.6.455 tionate and constant a Friend to you in Heaven,

as I have ever been upon Earth ; and if you shall ask

any Thing in my Name, I will not fail to do [it.]

IMPROV EM E N T.
S we see in the Beginning of this Section that Care of Christ over Luke xxiii.

his Servants, which may engage us chearfully to trust him for 35, 38.. providential Supplies, when employed in his Work ; so we see in the

Remain

Thing in my Name, I wil Humiliation on Earth.

[ocr errors]

(n) He that believes in me.] It is most evident in Fact, that tho' this Promise be expressed in such indefinite Language, it must be limited as in the Paraphrase.

() Whatsoever ye shall ask in my Name, under the Influence &c.] As Reason in general: requires fome such Limitation, as is here given in the Paraphrafe, so the Conclusion of the. Verse plainly implies it; for it was only by the Grant of such Petitions that the Father could. be glorified in the Son..

(e) With

Sect. 173

454 Reflections on the Care of CHRIST for bis People.

Remainder of this, and in the following Discourses, the most affectionate Discoveries of the very Heart of our Blessed Redeemer, overflowing in every Sentence with the kindest Concern, not only for the Safety, but the Comfort of his people. We see a lively Image of that Tenderness, with which he will another Day wipe away all Tears from their Eyes.

(Rev. vii. 17.) Surely when he uttered these Words, he was also foliJohn xiv. 1. citous, that our Hearts might not be troubled ; and therefore has

pro• vided a noble Cordial, the Strength of which shall continue to the remotest Ages, even Faith in his Father, and in him. Oh may that blessed Principle be confirmed by what we have now been reading!

Let us observe with what a holy Familiarity our Lord speaks of the Regions of Glory; not, as his Servants do, like one dazzled and over

whelmed with the Brightness of the Idea ; but as accustomed and familiVer. 2.

arized to it by his high Birth (). In my Father's House are many Manfions ; (delightful and reviving Thought!) and many Inhabitants in them, who we hope thro' Grace will be our Companions there, and every one of them increase and multiply the Joy.

It was not for the Apofiles alone, that Christ went to prepare a Place : He is entered into Heaven as our Fore-runner ; ( Heb. vi. 20.) and We, if we are Believers indeed, may be said by Virtue of our Union with him, to fit together in Heavenly Places in him. ( Eph. ii. 6.) Let us con

tinually be tending thither, in more affectionate Defires, and more ardent Ver. 4, 6. Pursuits. We know the Way ; we hear the Truth ; oh may we alfo feel

the Life ! By Christ as the True and Living Way, may we come to the Father ; that we may have Eternal Life, in knowing him the only true GOD, and Jesus Chrif whom he has fent! (John xvii. 3.) In Christ may we fee him, and have our Eyes and our Hearts open to those Beams of the Divine Glory, which are reflected from the Face of his Only-begotten Son, who is full of Grace and Truth! (John i. 14.) Has he been thus discovered to us, as our Father, and our GOD? let it suffice us. Let it diffuse a facred and lasting Pleasure over our Souls, tho' other desirable Objects may be vailed or removed : And let it be our Care to maintain a continual Fellowship with the Father, and with bis Son Jesus Chrift. ( 1 John i. 3.)

Το

Ver. 9.

Ver. 3.

[ocr errors]

(R) With what a holy Familiarity our Lord speaks of the Regions of Glory, &c.] This is the Remark of the pious Archbishop of Cambray, in his incomparable Dialogues on Eloquence; (which may God put it into the Hearts of our Preachers often and attentively to read !) and is much illustrated by observing, how the Apostles, when describing the Heavenly State, employ the most pompous and energetic Language, and seem indeed to labour for Words, and to be almost dazzled with the Lustre, and oppressed with the Weight of the Subject : (Compare Rom. viii. 18, 19. 1 Cor. ii. 9. xv. 50, & seq. 2 Cor. iv. 17, 18. v. 1,-9. xii. 2,-4. and 1 yohn iii. 2.) But Chrií speaks of it with a familiar Ease and Freedom; just as a Prince, who had been educated in a splendid Court, would speak with Ease of many magnificent Things, at the sudden View of which a Peasant would be fwallowed up in Astonishment, and would find himself greatly embarrafled in an Attempt to explain them to his Equals at Home.

« EdellinenJatka »