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guage is, “Be
herd, but go before him. But in many countries, the shepherd still leads the way, and the flock follow him into that pasture where he intends them to feed. According to this practice, our Lord says, my sheep follow me. And follow him they must, if they would be known as his, here or hereafter. They must follow him in HOLINESS. His lanye holy, for I am holy.”
6. Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” They must follow him also in love. By this, he says, “ shall all men know that ye are my disciples, that
have love one towards another." end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart and a good conscience, and faith unfeigned.” They must follow him too in SELF-DENIAL. He has expressly said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. They must follow him in MEEKNESS, in HUMILITY. " This mind must be in them, which was also in Christ Jesus."
Thus in a quiet and lowly spirit, in a spirit which pleases not itself, in charity of heart and practice, in a pure and blameless life, must the sheep of Christ tread in their Shepherd's path, as they walk towards their Shepherd's heavenly fold. And those who are walking thus, are the flock of whom Jesus spoke, when he said, They shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. He says it not of those, although they may be called by his name, who range the world
at pleasure, doing what they list, and going where their evil inclinations lead them : but he says it of those who place themselves under his care, are directed by his guidance, and governed by his rules. These have a protection which nothing can overcome : they have a power around them and within them, which, notwithstanding many conflicts and many trials, will finally prevail. He whose call they have heard, whose voice they have followed, shall give unto them eternal life. it is not the will of his Father which is in heaven,” that one of the flock of Christ shall ever perish,
THE WORKS DONE BY CHRIST PROVED HIM TO
BE ONE WITH THE FATHER.
John X. 31–42.
In the discourse which we last considered, the Lord had declared the safety of his sheep, by reason of the care which protected them. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.
This might be interpreted in two ways. He might mean that they are one in will, one in sentiment, one in interest. For in that sense he speaks of his people even on earth as one with God: when he prays for them, that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.
" I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.”1
Thus high are those exalted by the word of truth, whose faith has brought them within the fold of Christ.
Our Lord, however, when he declares that he and his father are one, has a further and a higher sense than this, that they are one in counsel and in purposes.
He means also, that they are one in nature and essence; so that each might be termed with equal truth, “the mighty God, the everlasting Father.” 2
He means to explain the name by which he was called, the name “ Immanuel, God with us.” 3 He means to interpret the prophetic psalm, Thy throne, o God, is for ever and ever.” 4 He means to interpret the call which was given to “ the cities of Judah, Behold your God.", He thus led the way to his apostles, who taught afterwards, that he was “God over all, blessed for ever :" that “ God was manifest in the flesh :” that he is the true God, and eternal life.” 6
1 John xvii. 11, 21. 2 Is. ix. 6 3 Is. vii. 14. 4 Ps. xlv. 6; compare Heb. i. 8.
5 Is. xl. 9. 6 Rom. ix. 5; Phil. i. 6; 1 Tim. iii. 16; 1 John v. 20.
This important mystery, and this consoling truth, we can only receive as it is revealed to us. Till we can discover the nature of God, we shall not be able to discover the way in which the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; and yet there are not three Gods, but one God.? St. Paul has reckoned it among the things which shall hereafter constitute the blessedness of the “ saints in light,” that they shall no longer “ know in part, but know even as they are known.”8
But is it certain that we do not mistake the sense in which Christ intended to declare that he and his Father are one? That is made certain by the answer of the Jews to whom he spoke, and by the effect which his words produced upon their minds.
31. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father : for which of those works do ye stone me?
33. The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
35. If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken:
36. Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God ?
7 Athanasian Creed.
8 1 Cor. xiii. 9.
Here, as in many places, the Jews are answered by an argument which might silence themselves. Their scripture, (that scripture which came by inspiration of God, and cannot be broken, cannot err :) their scripture called the rulers of the people gods : for it commands, “ Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.' And another passage says,
“ Ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.”? If those, then, are called by this lofty term, whom even on earth God has raised to honour, Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God? may not he be well deserving of that title who doeth the works of God, and shows by those works that he is one with the Father ? The word god is used in Scripture to distinguish rulers and magistrates, as
" God's ministers, “ powers ordained of God.” So that were he even a prophet and no more ; were he but another Moses, or another Elijah, whom God had sanctified and sent into the world ;—he might without blasphemy be styled the Son of God.
the Son of God. Let them consider this; let this show them, that he could not justly be accused of blasphemy.
9 Exod. xxii. 28.
i Ps. lxxxii. “ God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? I have said, Ye are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”