« ZurückWeiter »
"? 33. Little children, yet a little while "I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and " as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go " ye cannot come; fo now I say unto
The Son of man was to be glorified, by suffering for, and redeeming, mankind; by arising from the dead, and afcending into Heaven. From the time, therefore, that Judas, conquering every remaining check of conscience, determined to desives up his master to destruction, the act of me. diation may be said to have been completed; and, consequently, that the Sco of man was then 'glorified; that, by this trying act of his obedience, God was also *glorified in him ;' and that God glorified him, by giving into his hands all power and dominion over that world which he had redeemed.
Our blessed Lord now, addresung his disciples by the endearing appellation of
little children,' endeavors, with all the tender care and solicitude of a fond father,
to prepare them for the loss they must shortly fuftait; and to comfort them under the afflicting confideration, that they could not accompany him as his bufiness on earth would be then accomplished--their's only beginning. He might also mean, by this térm; to point out to them how much they stood in need of his constant fupport and affistance ; without which they would be as unable to act for them: felves; as an infant would be, deserted by
“ 34. A new commandment I give unto " you, That ye love one another: as I “ have loved you; that ye also love onê " another.
" 35. By this shall all men know that "ye are my difciples, if ye have love one “ to another."
The absolute state of dependance of all human beings upon each other, proves that the Almighty, from the beginning, intended that mutual love and goodNnn 2
will should fubfift among them. The Jews, in many parts of holy Scripture, are commanded to love one another. It is expressly enjoined them, in Leviticus, (chap. xix. ver. 18.): “ Thou shalt not “ avenge, nor bear any grudge against the “ children of thy people, but thou shalt “ love thy neighbour as thyself.” Now although this was an ancient law, yet the love here enjoined by our Lord might truly be called a new commandment ;' since both the extent and motive of it were different : the love and charity here recommended, was not to be confined to this or that particular country, or description of people; but to embrace the whole race of mankind, without distinction; as composing one great family, under God, their common Father.
It teaches us to be kind and affectionate to all our brethren ; and ever ready to assist them in their wants and distresses, of whatever nature they may be : for our Lord tells us, in another place, That every act of kindness shewn to the least
of his brethren, he shall consider as' done to himself. But what exalts this com- . mandment above whatever was before enjoined to the world, and which forms the great distinguishing mark of Chriftianity, is, that it extends even to our enemies : we are to bless them that curse us, and to pray for them that despitefully use us and persecute us. So sublime an idea could never have entered into the conception of mere man, but could only have proceeded from that glorious Being, who facrificed his own life to save his bitterest enemies from merited punishment.
Our motive to the performance of this duty, ought to be gratitude to our blessed Saviour, for the inestimable favors he has conferred upon us, and to shew to all the world that we are his disciples, in faith and truth, and not in name only. True Christianity cannot fail to enlarge the mind, and root out all narrowness of heart, and that self-love which hardens us against distress; it produces in us a disposition of mind which qualifies us to become the
humble instruments, in the hands of the Almighiy; of converting the house of mourning and repining “ of want and wretchedness, into that of joy and gratitude-of plenty and comfort: a dispofition which is not more a blessing to others, than to ourselves.
“ 36. Simon-Peter said unto him, Lord, “ whither goeft thou ? Jesus anfwered “ him, Whither I go thou canft not follow “ me now; but thou shalt follow me "afterwards.
“ 37. Peter said unto him, Lord, why “ cannot I follow theė now? I will lay “ đówń my life for thy fake:
* 38. Jefus answered him, Wilt thou “ lay down thy life for my fake? Verily, “ vérily, I say unto thee, The cock thall “ not crow till thou hast denied me thrice."
Peter, who had heard with great unéàfiness that his master was going away, and that they should not be permitted to follow him, now puts the question to