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An exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) online

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wliich thou gavest me to do.

It was a hard work he had to do for us ; it is a still
harder work which lie has to do in us. Do you ask what this
is ? It is to get our hearts changed, and filled with the love
of God. And God grant we may be enabled to say for
ourselves, at the hour of death, as he did, " I have finished
the work which thou gavest me to do."

5. And now, O F'atlicr, glorify thou nie with thine own self, with
tlie glory which I liad with thee before the world was.

" Before the world was," is the scripture expression for
eternity. This is said to teach us what Christ is in him-
self, " very God of very God," notwithstanding his humi-
liation ; and we are the basest of creatures, if he is the less
our God for it.



VOL. II. J, T_



514 ST. JOHN. [chap XVII.

SECTION LXIX.

Chap. xvii. ver. 6 — 16.

CHRIST PRAYS FOR THE APOSTLES.

6. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest
me out of the world : thine they were, and thou gavest them me ;
and they liave ke])t thy word.

Christ set forth the name of his Father to the apostles,
that they might be instruments of manifesting it to the
world : " his name," in all the grace and powder of it, speak-
ing peace to the conscience, and turning the heart to God.
" They have kept tliy word :"" knovving certainly that they
would, he speaks of it as already done.

7. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast
given me are of thee.

And not they only have known. O happy man ! who-
soever thou art, who knowest this by thy own faith and
conversion.

8. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me ;
and they have received them, and have known surely that I came
out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

Have we surely, and effectually believed this ? Life, or
death, is in the answer.

9. I pray for them : I pray not for the world, but for them which
thou hast given me ; for they are thine.

" For them," first, and principally ; and in this part of
the prayer for them only, because so very much would de-
pend upon their faith, and fidelity. Though they were
given to Christ by God, and belonged to God, they still
needed his earnest prayers ; as all do need, both his and
their own, in their very best estate, and the better they are,
the more they know the need of prayer.

10. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine ; and I am glo-
rified in them.



VER. G — 10.] ST. JOHN. 515

He, as it were, stands stoutly to his claim of right in the
apostles, equally with the Father. As if he said, The
Father loveth you, and I do no less. You are his, but not
more his than mine. What an opening is here of Christ's
love, in these few plain words ! It would be matter of
great joy to the apostles to hear them ; and if we are
Christians, it will be our joy also. " And I am glorified in
them :" by their belief of me, which furnishes the ability
conferred upon them for my service, and their faithful use
of it. The wonder is, that he should account anything
that man can do, his glory. There is a loud call in the
word.

11. And now I am uo more in the world, but these are in the
world, and I come to thee.

Jesus knew the nature of that world into which he was
about to send them, he had an exact foresight of the diffi-
culties which such innocent and holy men must encounter
from it ; he therefore warns them of the danger, and for-
tifies them particularly against it by prayer.

11. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom
thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

That they may be so joined unto the Lord, as to be one
spirit. 1 Cor. vi. 17. One in design, will, and affection,
with us, and the same in grace, that we are in nature.

12. While I was with them in the world, 1 kept them in thy
name : those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them
is lost, hut the son of perdition ; that the Scripture might be ful-
filled.

13. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in tlie
world, that they might have my joy fuUilled in themselves.

Who can tell with what tenderness, and solicitude, he
watched over them, to keep them to himself I And all for
the sake of a lost world, that we might be brought to him
by their means.

Christ says, I speak these things in their hearing, for
their instruction, comfort, and assurance; that they may

L L 2



51G ST. JOHN. [CIIAP. XVII.

have my joy fulfilled, — the joy of labouring for souls, in
love, joy of the disposition, and of God's approbation.

14. I have given them thy word ; and the world halh hated
Miem, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the
world.

" The world hath hated them," as it always does those
who stand out in the true spirit of the word, which dis-
covers the corruption of the world, and causes them to
turn their backs upon it.

" Because they are not of the world, even as I am not
of the world." Christ was not of the world : the aposths
were not of the world ; if we are, we must not pretend to
take our religion from them.

16. T pray not that tliou shouldest take them out of the world,
but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

They might be apt to suppose from his saying, " They
are not of the world," that they were soon to be taken out
of the world. He prevents their mistake, by signifying to
them, that they were still to be in the world, though not of
it, as it is under the power of the evil one.

16. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Can Christ say this of us ? Are we enslaved to the world,
or have we broken off our allegiance to it ? May the Lord
help us to assure ourselves that we are not of the world.



SECTION LXX.
Chap. xvii. ver. 17— 2o.

HE PRAYS THE FATHER TO GLORIFY ALL BELIEVETJS
WITH HTM.

17. Sanctify them through thy truth ; thy word is truth.

The word of God is nothing else. It is not the word of
man, call it reason, if you please. All is darkness and
error, with respect to our whole state and nature, God and



VER. 17— 2G.] ST. JOHN. 517

the world, life and deatli, till we are in union with the
word, and by it with him who makes it effectual.

18. As tlioii hast sent inc into the world, even so have I also sent
ihein into the workl.

I have sent them well qualified for their office, by bein



Online LibraryThomas AdamAn exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 37 of 39)