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An exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) online

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Christ, in faith, prayer, and waiting. All others are
blinded, and either think doing to be needless, or take a
false measure of themselves, and their work. This one
text well applied, is sufficient to bring all men to Christ.

0. If a nuui abide not in nie, lie is cast forth as a braiicli, and
is withered ; and men gather them, and cast tliem into the fire,
and they are burned.

This is appealing to our sense and practice for the jus-
tice and equity of God's proceedings with us. He knows
what a useless, dead branch is fit for, and what to do
with it, as well as you. If you would escape this sentence,
you must knit with tlie stock.

7. If ye abide in nic, and my words abide in you, yc shall ask
what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

If this is the case with us, then we shall ask, and ask
nothing but what we ought, and we shall have whatever
we ask. Let us think of a hap))ier condition, if we can
imagine any such. Prayer is indeed one fruit of our
union with Christ, and without it we can have no other.

8. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear nuicli Auit ; so
shall ye be my disciples.

By bearing much fruit, we answer the design of God in
our creation ; which, speaking after the manner of men, is
his glory. And let us take notice, that God is not glorified
with the pi-aises of the tongue, without fruit, and much
fruit, in the life, from union with Christ.

" So shall ye be my disciples :" not in name only, but
in deed, and in truth. He will never alter these words ;
it is impossible that we should become his disciples in any
other way ; and therefore we had need to bethink ourselves
whether it is our ffrcat aim to be fruitful under him.



K K li



500 ST. JOHN- [CIIAP. XV.

SECTION LXIII.

Chap. XV. ver. 9 — 19.

THE LOVE BETWEEN CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES.

9. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: con-
tinue ye in my love.

I have loved you with the greatest possible love. (The
Father is infinite in his love to the Son, and the Son is
infinite in his love to his disciples to the end of the world.
— Edit.) " Continue ye in my love. Let the sense of it
be always warm upon your minds. This is knocking
loudly at the door of our hearts. Wliat stubborn things
they are, if they can be unmoved with such love as his !

10. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love ;
oven as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his
hive.

Then verily we can keep them ; we can know what they
are, study them, bend our wills to them, and take delight
in them, with the help that is afforded us; and without
this proof of our love to him, we can have no other; hence
if this be wanting, the words of Christ plainly imply, that
we do not belong to him.

11. These things have I spoken unto you, thai my joy might
remain in you, and that youv joy miglit be full.

Christ's joy was the joy of love and obedience to the
Fatlier from a root of love to God, and compassion to men.
Our's is the joy of remission com])leted by obedience; and
if they are separated will dwell with neither. He came to
put us in possession of it; and if he had known of any other
kind of true joy, or any other way of attaining to the
fulness of it, he would have told us so.

12. This is my commandment. That ye love one another, as I
have loved you.



vi;r. 9_I0.] ST. JOHN-. 501

This one commandment comprisetli all ; for love breaks
none, but is all regularity in the life, as well as great joy
and sweetness in the heart. Nothing is wanted but un-
feigned, imiversal love, to make us a blessing to ourselves,
and to all about us.

13. Gieater love hath no man dian this, that a man lay down
his life for his friends.

14. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Here are two things distinctly mentioned, and carefully
to be observed.

1. Though Christ died for all, none can have the benefit
of his death, but those whom he vouchsafes to call his
friends.

2. None are his friends, but those who keep his com-
mandments. He has rich mercy in store for all; but the
generality choose rather to go without it, than to be
Christ's friends in his appointed way.

15. Hencefovlhl call you not servants ; for the servant knoweth
not wliat his lord doeth : but 1 have called } ou friends ; for all
things that I have heard of my Father I have made know n unto
you.

Jesus does not call us servants, he has delivered to us
all the will of God, and opened his whole heart of love to
us, as one friend does to another, for our present peace and
everlasting hap[)iness. But if we would reaj) all the fruits
of a blessed friendship, let us not be less his servants on
that account.

16. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and or-
dained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your
fruit should remain : that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Fatlicr in
my name, he may give it you.

Christ chose them to the apostleship ; not to salvation,
except by their faith, and choice of him. They were to
brino- forth fruit in the conversion of sinners. The fruit
which the apostles brought forth does remain ; and they
are still bringing forth fruit, and will do so to the end of



502 ST. JOHN. [chap. XV.

the world. St. John is now delivering Christ's words to
us, and we may be his fruit, if we please. On the warrant
of Christ's promise, they would ask for souls, and plead
hard for them, in Christ's name.

17. These tilings T command you, that ye love one another.

Let the repetition of this commandment convince us of its
great excellency, and the necessity of it. It is God's image
again in us ; we were created in it, and for it, and without
it we can neither be happy on earth, nor received into
heaven.

18. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated uie before it
hated you.

As if he had said, the world hateth me, and will hate
you ; but do not therefore abate of your love, any more on
that account. Observe, that is no true love which cannot
maintain itself against opposition and hatred. This is a
hard lesson ; but I had rather learn it of Christ, than be
the most esteemed person upon earth.

19. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own : hut
because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the
world, therefore the world hateth you.

The disciples of Christ, if they know what they are,
must not be of the world, any more than the apostles, but
forsake it, in will and affection ; and bear their testimony
a



Online LibraryThomas AdamAn exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 36 of 39)