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grave, and ascend to my Father, and be for ever with him : therefore ye shall live also, through the exercise of my power. Your earthly life shall be under my charge; no man shall set on you to hurt you,” except as I see reason to permit it so to be; and your spiritual life shall be supported by a source which never fails, a source which no man knows, except they who are nourished by it. But ye shall know it; know its reality, and know its origin ; its supply shall be a proof to you that I am in my Father, and partake of all his power : and that ye
in me, and supported by my union with you.
Is all this a hidden or inward union, of which there is no outward evidence ? There is a visible and external proof by which those are known to whom the privilege belongs. Men might profess to enjoy or to feel the love of Christ; as numbers have professed it with their lips, whilst their hearts were far from him : but there is a test to prove them by : He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22. ? Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
2 Judas, or Jude; called also Lebbæus, or Thaddeus.
24. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings : and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
These words of our Lord could not be easily comprehended by a person not accustomed to turn his thoughts within, and to observe what passes in the heart. So that the apostle Jude inquires how it could be that they should see him, or that he should manifest himself to them, when the world saw him no more.
Jesus does not explain to him how this could be, but repeats the assurance; I and my Father will love the man that keepeth my words, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 3
In this clear and decisive manner is expressed the spiritual presence of God with his people. This is not unusual in Scripture. He who has made God his portion is said to dwell with God; as (Ps. xci. 1,) " He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” And again, God is said to make his abode with those who are his people. (Is. lvii. 15.) “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
This is indeed a great promise : but not greater than is fulfilled, sensibly and certainly fulfilled. Its fulfilment is evident in many ways.
First, 3 The Father and Son: personally distinct, though essentially the same : therefore the plural form is used; we will come unto him.
by the gradual departure of those other inmates which ought never to have a place in the heart, but which will surely abide there till the Spirit of God dislodge them ; evil passions, worldly cares and desires. And then, the presence of God will be made manifest by such an habitual state of the soul as nothing else could produce. The disposition of the heart is changed : perhaps, from what it has been formerly ; certainly from what it would be, if God were not dwelling there.
This change is evident, especially, in two particulars. First, an indifference towards worldly things. The affections are set “on things above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God :” and therefore worldly pleasures have little power to interest : worldly advantages are light in the balance, when weighed against things eternal : it is perceived, that worldly riches may bring danger, as well as purchase enjoyment: and thus they that gain, are enabled to be as though they possessed not ; and they that lose as though they lost not ; and they that are honoured, to regard the honour which cometh from God only; and they that are lightly esteemed for Christ's sake, to count it their glory. Thus there is plain evidence that he who is not with all men has come unto them, and is making his abode with them.
And this is seen, further, in the comfort, and tranquillity, and peace of mind, which they enjoy. . As the blessings of life do not unduly transport them, so neither do its trials and sorrows overwhelm them. Exactly at the time when it is needed, God makes his presence known, and cheers their hearts, as the sun cheers the earth with a genial ray of warmth and comfort which nothing can either exclude or imitate. So that the Christian can sometimes say that the “ bed of languishing” has been dearer to him than the bed of health : the days of privation sweeter than the days of possession ; the season of sorrow more worthy to be remembered than the season of rejoicing ; because he has enjoyed the presence of God in a higher measure and a more perceptible
In the multitude of sorrows which he had in his heart, that comfort has refreshed his soul. As the hiding of God's face, the want of spiritual light can turn the brightest earthly scene to gloom and darkness ; so the manifestation of his Spirit in the soul can enliven the house of mourning, and clothe the distressed heart with the "garment of praise.”
Is this blessing desirable, so that nothing else can be compared with it? See then the
See then the way, the only way, in which it may be obtained, and cherished, and secured. Jesus said, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
THE APOSTLES ARE CONSOLED, IN THE PROS
PECT OF CHRIST'S DEPARTURE, BY THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY GHOST AND INWARD PEACE.
JOHN xiv. 25-31.
25. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you
all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
The apostles are here taught to look for that divine illumination and assistance which they would so greatly need, both in their condition as men, and in their character as messengers of the Gospel. The things which Jesus had spoken unto them, being yet present with them, they could not possibly recall to mind by their own natural powers, so as to proclaim the Gospel revelation through the world. For this he would provide, whose mercy had planned the whole. The Father would send the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, and he should teach them all things, and bring all things to their remembrance. He should teach them to apply to their own hearts the instruction and consola