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by giving him an equal and eternal divinity. All these things are now preached and believed, but they are still seen through a glass darkly, and do not shine forth in all their splendour. Therefore, they are diligently to be declared and set forth by the Word, (as Christ himself had hitherto done,) until the veil be taken away, and we behold them openly, and face to face.
O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee.
This is a very necessary appendix, and a word most worthy of notice, wherein he turns his eyes to the world, and with an ardent concern says, 'Alas! my most beloved Father, with what obstinacy does the world reject all admonition and preaching, and disdain to hear my words!' But, why does he here for the first time only begin to praise the Father, by addressing him in this appellation, O righteous Father? and does not rather say, O kind and merciful Father? or, as he did before, O holy Father? Or, what is the importance of this matter of which he is speaking, and upon which he spends such words? Who did not know this before? I answer: Christ in the same hour, in which he spoke these words, burned in his heart, and looked back upon the world, which would not by any means endure the Word; but raged the more against it, the more it was preached. Whereas, it ought to have been willing to run to the ends of the world to obtain such a Word; or rather, to have sought it earnestly with bended knees; and not to have despised it ungratefully, when thus gratuitously offered; nor to have returned its preachers every injury as their reward, and thereby procured unto themselves the desert of divine indignation and eternal punishment. For they will not receive the word when freely offered and give thanks for it, but persecute it with the utmost hatred, most maliciously blaspheme it, and most insultingly lacerate it: so that Christ is compelled to say, thou art indeed a righteous God, and doest righteously and justly in making that distinction between the world and those whom thou hast given me: that is, in separating these and bringing them unto me, that
they may be with me where I am; and in cutting away those as they deserve, and leaving them to rush headlong to destruction as being such whom no counsel or help can profit.
The same glorying we also are to have against the world, when we offer unto them the gospel clearly and fully; and especially, when we have diligently performed all things that pertain unto the declaring of it, and have omitted nothing either in preaching, admonishing, exhorting, loving, serving, bearing, alarming, and threatening; and moreover, by suffering and pardoning all things, and by praying for them; and, in a word, by trying all those things which we considered to be useful unto their conversion. We leave I say no stone unturned, we spare no pains and labour, we pay no regard to expenses or perils, and yet have met with no other reward than ingratitude, contempt, ignominy and persecution of the known and confessed truth. What then can any one say, but that it is righteous, and our desert, if God severely reward and punish such horrible and determinate obstinacy and blasphemy, by pestilence, war, Turkish fury, by the devil, and by unceasing afflictions of every kind; when all grace and benefits are wholly lost upon us, and no goodness can find reception. Indeed, our tempting of God and ingratitude exceed all bounds, which he can no longer overlook; seeing that, he has poured forth himself with a full hand, (as they say) in that his most precious treasure which is offered unto us; and yet he is, on that account, utterly despised, rejected, and spit upon by the world, and his Word indignantly trodden under foot.
Therefore, Christ here concludes and says, dearest Father," the world hath not known thee," nor does it wish to know thee, even though thy gospel is preached to them so plainly, and declared to them with that clearness, that they cannot turn away from it and deny it to be truth. I tell and deliver to them all things that pertain to the true knowledge of God: namely, that nothing avails nor can avail with thee, but a sole and
simple trust in thy grace and goodness as freely given and moreover, that they may have all things in me. But they will neither patiently hear me, nor my Word; asserting, that what is declared by me is nothing at all. They will have their own only, their own wisdom, righteousness, and works to be available, and will approve themselves unto thee by trusting in these. Therefore, thou doest justly, O righteous Father, in leaving them thus hardened in their blindness to go over to their father the devil by whole multitudes together, and never to know or see any thing whatever, either of my glory, my Word, or the knowledge of faith, by any view, either in this world or in that which is to come.
But I have known thee, and these have known, &c.
That is, I am fully assured that I teach thy Word, and concerning thee only as the one true God, as thou wouldst be honoured and believed on; and that men may laud and praise thee for thy grace and goodness; which, however, the world do not receive, but impiously condemn and deliver to the devil. My Christians, however, whom thou hast given me, receive that grace and goodness, and know thee: namely thus-that thou hast sent me in which, as has been maintained throughout the chapter, the whole knowledge of the Father consists.
And I have declared unto them thy name, &c.
I have given them thy Word, by which they have become acquainted with thy name-how thou art named, what thou art, and how thou wilt be worshipped and honoured. Even as we have already abundantly shown, that, to know the Father, is not only to know, how he formed the heaven and the earth, how he helps the good, how he punishes the wicked; but, that he sent his Son into the world and gave him unto us; and that he has taken away death, and has procured for us reconciliation with the Father.-This is the true name of God, which opens to us his mind and will, and discovers to us his paternal affection, and leaves none of his thoughts concerning us to remain hidden. He that
knoweth not the Father thus, knoweth not the Father afight, nor does he know how he is to be worshipped. For even the Heathens, the Jews, and the Turks believe that there is one God, the creator of heaven and earth; nay, they boast that they worship the only true God; yet they believe not, neither do they know, that the true mind and will and good-pleasure of God, is, that we know Christ as sent by him and given for our redemption. Yet, neither the Pope nor any of his sects can be persuaded of this; and hence it is, that we have unceasingly to contend, war, and fight with them in support of this principal article and sum of our faith and salvation.
But observe-Christ does not only say "I have declared unto them thy name," but adds, " and will declare it." That is, I will not be content with having begun to manifest thy name, but will go on to make it more manifest, and will urge the same unceasingly both by the Word and by the Spirit, that my Christians may not seek after any thing else, or any thing more great, but may be occupied in this one thing, that thy name may become the more illustrious, and that they may the more firmly retain it in their minds. And it is in this that the whole force of the matter rests-that we rightly know the Father by faith, that our hearts, being filled with all assurance and hope, may stand before him, and have no fear of wrath or anger. And, according to my judgment, there is not a more difficult point to arrive at in all heaven and earth. Therefore, let no one fall into the thought that it is a trifling matter, which can be attained unto in a short time without any great trouble, and may be understood as soon as heard; which is the way in which our unexperienced, frothy praters are wont to talk.
That the love wherewith thou hast loved me, &c.
This is that which, (as I have said before,) I consider to be the main thing to be attained unto-that we might know the will and heart of the Father; here, by the Word preached unto us; but hereafter, in the life
to come, by open vision: whereby we shall behold how -he loved us, and will love us for ever, but through his Son Jesus Christ only. When we attain unto this, then shall we be in possession of the whole treasure of our consolation and salvation. Then shall we dwell in him and he in us, so that we shall remain for ever united in one; (of which we have treated before in its order.) May Christ our Lord preserve and confirm us in this pure knowledge of his Father, and in the unity of faith, until the day of his appearing in glory. To whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit be honour, praise and glory, for ever and ever, Amen!