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a Christian to hold communion with his God and Saviour—" truly, our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ;"18 to secure by faith and prayer the mysterious commerce of the divine spirit with his own, and expect thence the gracious communication of it upon the soul.
Neglect not these (for the vine cannot otherwise bear fruit) and with the practice will increase the influence of them. If he be the author of your spiritual life, the root from which you derive the vital principle, seek of him daily supplies to maintain that vitality—“ hold fast still upon him.” Acquaint thyself still more and more with him, and he will teach you to be at peace. “ Abide in him,” and, on our Saviour's word, “ he will abide with you."
The Gospel of St. John has been adduced and ably expounded as bearing testimony to the divinity of our Lord, and almost every chapter doth, in some especial way, bear witness to it. What, even from the present one, must He be, who, though in heaven, is still on earth-ever
19 Vide Bishop of London's Lectures on St. John's Gospel.
present with his own-ever keeping themhearing their prayers—abiding in them--bidding them “ come to him” that he
come to him” that he may ? What such constraining motives for our doing so as these last addresses of his, uttered with all the love and compassion of a Saviour, with all the promises and power of God ?
FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT.
St. JOHN xvi. 33.
THESE THINGS HAVE I SPOKEN UNTO YOU, THAT IN ME YE
Though the divine compassion of our Saviour is evident throughout his ministry, it shines with peculiar lustre in the concluding scenes. Having told his disciples to keep up their intercourse with Him, and promised to abide with them spiritually, when he was no longer present in the body, he continues, in this chapter, to comfort them under the thoughts which the prospect of his leaving them excited ; and having spoken of the trial which he was about to suffer, he proceeds to speak to them concerning theirs. Like a dying father among his children, he foretells
the dangers they would be exposed to when he was gone; instructs by what means they should be enabled to withstand them, and mingles advice with consolation, that when their trial came they might be prepared, and remember that he told them of it. “These things have I spoken unto
ye should not be offended; they shall put you out of the synagogues; yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service; and these things will they do unto you because they have not known the Father or me."
He speaks plainly of his departure, and of the Comforter: “but now I go my way to Him that sent me; and because I say this, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you
I not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; (it is the price of my blood, the seal of my redemption) but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” He denotes what should be the consequence: when he is come he will reprove, i. e. convince, the world of sin, in rejecting me, the
1 Verses 1, 2, 3.
Son of God; of righteousness, when they see how I have“ fulfilled all righteousness,” both as the atonement and mediation of the world, by returning to the Father; and of my having all judgment, because the prince of this world, who thought to have destroyed me, is thus destroyed and judged himself. “I have yet, indeed, many things to say
ye cannot bear them now; these things, however, have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace; in the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
It was a way in which he could well instruct them, for he had walked in it himself; “there hath no temptation befallen you (nor shall) but such as is common to man,” and such as hath already been endured; for I have endured and conquered them before.
It is the distinguishing excellence of the gospel that all its doctrines are gracious adaptations to all our wants and necessities; the Almighty himself is revealed, not only as infinitely holy, just, and wise, but as the Benefactor, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of his rational creatures; as “not