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those things which were about to come upon him, began by degrees to warn his disciples that it was not long before he should be taken from them, and to give them such instructions as they then would need. “ Little children,"l2 said he, (and in the tenderness and turn of his address we see the same benignity) “little children,” the purposes and will of God are about to be executed—those purposes are large and vast, and more than at present ye might be able to understand—“yet a little while and I am with you,” but “ shortly ye shall see me no more”-a few hours more will part us, and, as I said upon another occasion unto the Jews, 13 " whither I go, ye cannot at present come; so now


you, Ye cannot follow me now, but ye shall follow me hereafter;" but one last, one parting charge I give you, “ that ye love one another,”-this is a world in which you will have need of it, and it must be the badge of your profession; ye cannot otherwise be my disciples, nor hope ever, here or hereafter, to be entitled to the blessings of my covenant. I enjoin you, therefore, as I have loved

say unto

12 Verse 33.


you, (and ye will find increasing proofs of it when
ye shall know all that I have done) “ as I have


also love one another.'
Could an earthly parent give such instructions
to his children around him, whose minds had not
as yet been enlightened with divine truths or
blessed with the doctrine of a future life, how
earnest would some one be to ask him, and how
naturally come in that anxious question of St.
Peter, whither goest thou ?"15 and that pas-
sionate exclamation of eager and tender af-
fection, “Lord, why cannot I follow thee now ?
neither difficulties nor dangers shall deter me
from it, and if these are the only bar to it, “ I
will lay down my life for thy sake"16_he thought
so, but Jesus knew otherwise, and with one look
of mild reproof thus checked the vain conceit and
tempered his ill-founded zeal with, “ wilt thou
lay down thy life for my sake ?--verily, verily, I
say unto thee the cock shall not crow till thou hast
denied me thrice"? Sad proof of the weakness as
well as the deceitfulness of the human heart-of
that confidence in our own strength, which leads

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us to rely upon a broken reed--of the insufficiency “ of ourselves to help ourselves,” and of the truth of that saying that “ignorance of ourselves is the beginning of all sin, and ignorance of God the height of all evil;” in the moment of transient devotion he was ready to dedicate himself to his Redeemer, but“ in the time of temptation he fell away”—he neglected to keep up his intercourse with God, and God, to “shew him to himself,” suffered him to fall into ingratitude to his master, and infidelity to his Maker. And instances of such sort are recorded in the scriptures as if to warn of that innate weakness and sinfulness, against which it is the Christian's duty continually to guard, to shew the real state of human nature when unaided from above; to enforce continued supplication to the fountain of grace; and to make us think on and “remember the

words of the Lord Jesus.”

His word will be our best rule and comforter, and to the reading and meditation of it we are most wisely directed. There is a charm and influence in it which none other can reach, for it is like himself, “full of grace and truth ;"

and the more it is contemplated, the more lovely it appears.

The subsequent chapters will shew this still more, but there are three considerations which the present one may have suggested, namely, the humility and love of our Saviour, with our obligation to practice the same—the danger to which we are exposed the moment we withdraw ourselves from his protection-and the need we have of seeking his assistance to succour and support us, to comfort us in all our dangers and carry us through all temptations.

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WITH these words our Saviour continued to comfort his disciples against that trouble which possessed their minds upon the thought of his departure from them; he bids them not to be distressed at it, but to have the same faith in Him which they had in God.

And, in order to confirm them in this faith evermore, he suggests to them those subjects, to which also he still directs all who believe in him, and who are really Christians. He tells them of heaven, and of the way to it; he professeth himself to be “the way, the truth, and


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