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dispositions of the soul which no powers of participated in their sorrow. As the loss, which
and to supply you with abundant consolation,
soever ye shall ask the Father, in my name, he What charm can the world possess after we will give it you. Hitherto ye have asked nohave had the infelicity of surviving certain per- thing in my name: ask and ye shall receive, sons who were dear to us? No, neither the that your joy may be full,” chap. xvi. 23, 24. mourning of Joseph, when he accompanied | This ought to be adopted as a new form of with tears to “the threshing floor of Atad” the prayer in the Christian world. Scarcely do we coffin of Jacob his father, Gen. i. 10; no, nor find any trace of it in the devotions of the faiththe loud lamentation of David, when he ex- ful of ancient times. They indeed sometimes claimed, in an agony of wo, “O my son Absa- introduce the names of Abraham, of Isaac, and lom; my son, my son Absalom, would God I of Jacob; but nowhere, except in the prophecy had died for thee: O Absalom, my son, my son!” of Daniel, do we find a prayer put up in the 2 Sam. xviii. 33; no, nor the anguish of Rachel name of the Messiah. This at least is the sense “weeping for her children, and refusing to be which may be assigned to those words of that comforted because they are not,” Matt. ii. 18. prophet: “Now, therefore, O our God, hear the
o No, nothing is capable of conveying an idea of prayer of thy servant, and his supplication, and the condition to which the disciples were going cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary, that to be reduced on beholding their Master expire. is desolate, for the Lord's sake,” Dan. ix. 17. One must have survived Jesus Christ in order But this unexampled form, or of which there to be sensible what it is to survive Jesus Christ. is at most so few examples in the ancient This fatal stroke was to become to them an in- church, was to be henceforward adopted by all exhaustible fountain of tears. This death ap- Christians: it is the first source of consolation peared to them the utter annihilation of all which Christ opened to his disciples, and it is things: it seemed as if the whole universe were likewise the first which we, after him, would dying together with him. “Now I go my way propose to you. Perhaps there may be many to him that sent me; and none of you asketh among us to whom Jesus might still say, as me, Whither goest thou? but because I have formerly to his disciples, “hitherto have ye said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled asked nothing in my name.” To pray, and to your hearts," chap. xvi. 5, 6. “A little while pray in the name of Christ, is the Christian's and ye shall not see me,” ver. 16. “Verily, grand resource. Resort to it in all your tribuverily, I say unto you, Ye shall weep and la- lations. Have you reason to apprehend that ment, but the world shall rejoice; and ye shall some stroke from the hand of God is going to be sorrowful,” ver. 20.
fall heavy upon you? Do you believe yourself There can be no room to doubt that Jesus on the eve of hearing some melancholy tidings? Christ, who himself loves with so much delicacy Are you called to undergo some painful and of affection, and who was animated with such dangerous operation on your person? And, to a predilection in behalf of his disciples, tenderly say every thing in one word, are you threatened
with the loss of the most valuable, the most | and should render those persons inexcusable generous, the most tender friend that Heaven who presumed to call it in question. could bestow? Have recourse to prayer: God Again," he shall reprove them of righteousstill subsists when all things else have become ness, because I go to my Father,” ver. 10, that dead to thee. God continues to hear thee, is, the miraculous gifts communicated to the when death has reduced to a state of insensi- first heralds of the gospel should demonstrate, bility all that was dear to thee. Retire to thy in a sensible manner, that Jesus Christ was in closet; prostrate thyself at the footstool of the heaven, and should, from that very circumthrone of the Father of mercies. Pour out your stance, evince that he was perfectly righteous, heart into his bosom: say to him, “O Lord, my although he had been condemned as an imstrength, teach my hands to war, and my fin- postor, seeing God had thus exalted him to the gers to fight,” Ps. cxliv. 1. Lord, take pity on highest pinnacle of glory. thy creature; Lord, proportion my trials to the Once more," he shall reprove them of judge strength thou shalt be pleased to administer to ment, because the prince of this world is judg. sustain them; “O my God, hear the prayer of ed,” ver. 11; in other words, that the triumphs thy servant; cause thy face to shine upon me, which the Christian religion was about to obfor the Lord's sake,” Dan. ix. 17. This exer- tain, through the miraculous endowments of its cise, my friend, will render thee invulnerable: ministers, were to be an awful forerunner of the this exercise will communicate strength on judgments which should overtake those who which thou mayest, with confidence, rely, far persisted in their unbelief. All this is peculiar beyond what thou durst have expected: it will to the apostles; all this relates to the circumplace thee under the shadow of the Almighty, stances of the primitive church. and will establish thee “as Mount Zion, which But this promise, my beloved brethren, has a cannot be removed, but abideth for ever,” Ps. reference to us also; and let it be our support in cxxv. 1.
the midst of tribulation. Jesus Christ has pro2. In all your distresses call to remembrance mised to us also, the Comforter. His Spirit is the promise of the Comforter, which Jesus within us: “Greater is he that is in us, than he Christ gave to his disciples: "I will pray the that is in the world," 1 John iv. 4. Let us Father, and he shall give you another Com- yield ourselves to the guidance of this Spirit: forter; that he may abide with you for ever,"
,” he will not grant us to exercise authority over chap. xiv. 16. This promise contained some- insensible beings, to control the powers of nathing peculiar, relatively to the apostles, and ture, and to rule the elements; but he will exalt to the then state of the infant church. It de- us to a glorious superiority over flesh and blood; noted the economy of miracles, which was not he will support us under every pressure of cato commence till Jesus Christ had reascended lamity, and make us more than conquerors” into heaven; and this is precisely the meaning over every foe. of these words: “If I go not away, the Com- 3. In all your distresses, call to remembrance forter will not come unto you," chap. xvi. 7; it the place to which Jesus Christ is gone. “ If is likewise the meaning to be assigned to that ye love me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I passage, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that go unto the Father,” chap. xiv. 28. It is the believeth on me, the works that I do shall he desire of Jesus Christ, that his disciples, on bedo also; and greater works than these shall he ing separated from him, should not confine their do; because I go unto my Father," chap. xiv. thoughts to their own interest merely. It is his By the works which the apostles were to do, we wish, that the glory to which he was about to are to understand miracles. Those works were be exalted, should sweeten to them the bitterto be greater than the works of Jesus Christ, ness of separation. Jesus Christ teaches us with respect to their duration, and with respect how to love. We frequently imagine, that we to the number of witnesses in whose presence are inspired with love to a person excruciated they were to be performed.
with agonizing pains, whereas it is only selfThis is, farther, the idea which we are to love in disguise. When death has removed a affix to those other words of our Saviour: “I person, who was justly dear to us, we dwell have yet many things to say unto you, but you only on the loss which we have sustained, but cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when he, make no account of what our friend has gained. the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you Whence proceed those tears which stream from into all truth,” chap. xvi. 12, 13. This refers your eyes? Whence these sighs and sobbings? to those extraordinary gifts which the Holy What dreadful event can thus have rent your Spirit was to pour down upon the apostles, the heart, and excited those piercing shrieks which aid of inspiration, and the grace of infallibility, rend the air? You have just beheld one who which were going to be communicated to them. was the object of your tenderest affection depart It is likewise of these peculiar circumstances, out of this valley of tears; he has breathed out that we must explain the effects which Jesus his soul into the hands of his Creator, and the Christ ascribes to that Spirit whom he promises blessed “angels, who rejoice over a sinner that to send to his disciples: “And when he the repenteth,” Luke xv. 10, experience new transComforter is come, he will reprove the world ports of delight, when a believer who had been or sin, because they believe not on me,” chap. combating under the banner of the cross of xvi. <, 9; or, as it might have been translated, Christ, comes to be admitted to a participation "he shall convince them of their criminality in in his triumph: and can you consider this as a refusing to believe on me:" in other words, that ground of affiction to you? Do you call this the mission of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus love! No, you know not how to love. Christ had promised to his disciples, should be Ah! if the departed could see what is passing a new proof of the divinity of his own mission, I below the sun! if the supreme order of the Al
mighty would permit those who are in heaven I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give to maintain a communication with their sur- I unto you," chap. xiv. 7. 9. 27. viving friends on the earth! the person, whose My soul, if these are mere empty ideas with loss you so bitterly deplore, would reproach you respect to thee, to thyself alone is the evil to with that excess of grief. He would address be imputed. Thou hast corrupted thy taste: you in the words of the Saviour to his disciples: thou art plunging thyself in the world; dis“If you loved me, ye would rejoice, because I tracting thyself with its projects: eagerly huntsaid, I go unto the Father, for the Father is ing after its pleasures: thou art suffering thygreater than I.” Would you tear me from the self to be fascinated with its charms: thou art bosom of that Father? Would you recall me devoting no portion of thy immortal capacity to this scene of tribulation and distress! Do to the perception of that delight which the you wish to see me again struggling with the regenerated man enjoys, when he can say to calamities which are inseparable from the life himself, “ I know the Father;" he is such as I of wretched mortals
know the Son to be, full of love, full of chaBut there is something farther which chal- rity, full of goodness and long-suffering. Jesus lenges our attention. All that our blessed Christ has “left me his peace;" I bear within Lord has done for himself, has an intimate re- me the testimony of "a conscience void of lation to us. All the glory which rests on our offence:" I give myself up to the joy of reillustrious head extends its influence to each of flecting that my salvation is secure.” Thou its members. All the parts of the economy renderest thyself insensible to these sublime atinto which he has enter for our salvation, tractions: and then, when the world betrays have a direct reference to our salvation. “He thee; when thy “gods are taken away from was delivered for our offences, and was raised thee," Judg. xviii. 24; when thou art bent on again for our justification: He is even at the every side with a "great sight of affliction," right hand of God,
where he also maketh in- thou findest thyself destitute of every resource. tercession for us,” Rom. iv. 25; viii. 34. In Reform thy depraved taste. Call down paraall your distresses, reflect not only on the place dise to reside within thee; anticipate that gloto which Christ is gone, but likewise on what rious period, when thou “shalt see God as he he has thither gone to do, on your behalf. “In is,” 1 John iii. 2. Call to remembrance these my Father's house are many mansions: if it words of thy Saviour: “From henceforth ye were not so I would have told you. I go to know the father, and have seen him: he that prepare a place for you,” chap. xiv. 2. God hath seen me hath seen the father: peace I no longer dwells in " light which no man can leave with you; my peace I give unto you; approach unto,” 1 Tim. vi. 16. Direct your not as the world giveth, give I unto you. eyes to heaven. There are no longer “cheru- Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be bim, and a flaming sword,” Gen. iii. 24, to ob- afraid.” struct your passage.
“Whither I go ye know, 5. There is a fifth source of consolation and the way ye know:" Jesus Christ which Jesus Christ disclosed to his disciples, is the way, and the truth, and the life," chap: and which we, after him, disclose unto you: xiv. 4.6. Keep but yourselves closely united it is the assurance of his spiritual presence, to the Redeemer in the hour of tribulation; and of the presence of his heavenly Father in place continually before your eyes this model the midst of you. “I will not leave you comof patient suffering, and he will himself con- fortless," or, as it might have been rendered, I duct you to those mansions of glory.
will not leave you orphans. 4. But an impenetrable veil conceals from man love me, he will keep my words; and my our eyes those mansions in our Father's house: father will love him, and we will come unto but there is an infinite distance between this him, and make our abode with him:" chap. xiv. little corner of the world, into which God has 18. 23. In all your distresses call to remembeen pleased to send us, as into a state of brance that God is with you of a truth. With exile, and the place which Christ is preparing for what fortitude did this reflection inspire those us. God is still, with respect to us, " a strong holy men whom the Scriptures have proposed God, who hideth himself," Isa. xlv. 15. Well, to us as models! you must learn to look through that veil. With what fortitude was Moses animated by You must learn to fill up the mighty void it! “Wherein shall it be known here,” said which is between heaven and earth, and to see of old time that eminent servant of God, "that this God who still conceals himself from our I and thy people have found grace in thy eyes.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us for, and the evidence of things not seen," So shall we be separated, I and thy people, Heb. xi. 1. The Christian is instructed to from all the people that are upon the face of unite the present to futurity. The Christian is the earth:” Ex. xxiii. 16. With what fortiinstructed to anticipate periods the most re- tude did it animate the prophet, when he said, mote. The Christian is a man already“ quick- “When my father and my mother forsake me, ened together with Christ; already glorified; then the Lord will take me up!" Ps. xxxvii. 10. already seated in heavenly places with Christ With what fortitude did it inspire Jesus Christ Jesus, Eph. ii. 5. How so? By the fore- himself, under that universal desertion which tastes of those blessings which are the object he experienced at the hour of death? of his expectations. This is the fourth source hold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that of the consolation which our Lord opens to his ye shall be scattered every man to his own, disciples, and which we, after him, open to you. and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not “From henceforth ye know the father, and alone, because the Father is with me," chap. have seen him: he that hath seen me hath seen xvi. 32. the Father: peace I leave with you; my peace Let us never lose sight of God in the day of
adversity. Let us ever dwell with complacen- of the fulness of joy. Till that blessed period, cy and joy on that expression of the Redeemer, church of Jesus Christ, “thou afflicted, tossed "I will not leave you orphans." Let us ap- with tempest, and not comforted,” Isa. liv. 2, ply to ourselves what God said of his ancient a fearful night must involve thee in thick darkpeople: “Surely they are my people, children ness. Till that blessed period, weep; weep, ihat will not lie: so he was their Saviour. In dejected Christian, disciple of the crucified Jeall their affliction he was afflicted, and the an-sus, weep and lament, and let “the world regel of his presence saved them,” Isa. Ixiii. 8, 9; joice because ye are sorrowful,” but ere long, and let us exult in the fulness of a Christian * your sorrow shall be turned into joy. confidence: "I have set the Lord always be- I will see you again, and your heart shall refore me: because he is at my right hand, I joice, and your joy no man taketh from you." shall not be moved,” Ps. xvi. 8.
What powers of thought are equal to a 6. Finally, the last source of consolation happy termination of this subject of meditawhich Jesus Christ disclosed to his disciples, tion! What pencil is capable of depicting the and which we, after his example, would dis- joys of the sons of God, in that eventful day, close unto you, is the nearness of his return: in which they shall behold again, in which “ Ye now have sorrow: but I will see you they shall embrace, a father, a friend, a child, again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your from whom death had once separated them! joy no man taketh from you," chap. xvi. 22. Let imagination soar to the highest object In all your distresses call to remembrance, that which the mind is capable of contemplating. if Jesus Christ be not now sensibly present in Let nothing divide the love which we entirely the midst of you, the time is at hand when he owe to our adorable Redeemer, or damp the will certainly be so. Call to remembrance delight which we derive from the exalted hope what the angels said unto the apostles, when of seeing him return to us in the clouds of healost in astonishment at beholding a cloud re- ven, with his "angels that excel in strength.” ceive him out of their sight; “Ye men of Ga- Who is capable of representing the transport lilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? which the return of this Jesus shall kindle in this same Jesus which is taken up from you the bosoms of the faithful! There he is, that into heaven, shall so come, in like manner as Jesus in whom we believed: this is he, that Jeye have seen him go into heaven," Acts i. 11. sus whom we loved, and to whom we were Call to remembrance that Jesus Christ will "faithful even unto death.” Come, Redeemer quickly reappear; " Yet a little while, and he of our souls, come and wipe away the tears who shall come, will come, and will not tarry,” which thy departure drew from our eyes: come, Heb. x. 37.
and compensate to us the heaviness of so long No, this economy is not made for eternity. a separation from thee; come and receive the The world is waxing old; our years are hasten- effusions of our gratitude and joy: suffer us, ing to fill up their measure: we are advancing suffer us to yield to the transports of that love with rapid strides towards the tomb. The de- which absorbs every faculty, which constrains corations of the universe are speedily to be us, which exalts us to seraphic ardour. changed with respect to us. The universe it- This is the last source of consolation which self is about to undergo a real change. The Jesus Christ disclosed to his disciples; this is state of the world, that now is, presents a state that “consolation which flows out in copious of violence, which cannot be of long duration. streams towards you, Christian, confounded, The last trumpet must ere long utter its voice: overwhelmed with wave upon wave, in all thy yet a little while, and those thunders must be fears, thy sorrows, thy sufferings. O religion heard which shall shake the pillars of the of the blessed Jesus, how powerful are thy atcarth: “arise ye dead,” and leave your tombs. tractions! What charms dost thou
for Yet a little while, and we shall see again those a wretched creature who feels the whole earth whose death hath cost us so many tears, and a cheerless void: let this religion, my beloved we shall be reunited to them. Yet a little brethren, be the object of our most ardent afwhile, and “the sign of the Son of man shall fection. Let us go on unto perfection: let us appear in heaven,” Matt. xxiv. 30. Yet a little transmit it to our children, as the goodliest porwhile, and this Son of man shall himself ap- tion, as the fairest inheritance: let us live with pear in his own, and in his “ Father's glory, Jesus Christ: let us die with Jesus Christ. with all his holy angels.”
May God grant us this supreme felicity. To Ah! my brethren, till that blessed period ar- him be honour and glory for ever and ever. rive, we dare not promise you the possession | Amnen.
hath not known thee: but I have known thee,
and these have known that thou hast sent me.
will declare it; that the love wherewith thou CHRIST'S SACERDOTAL PRAYER. hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
The words of dying persons usually sink deep into the listening ear, and touch the in
most soul. Ah! why are not the impressions JOHN xvii.
which they produce as lasting as they are lively! These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to The words of a dying pastor, more especially,
heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glo- seem calculated to produce an extraordinary rify thy Son, that thy Son may also glorify thee: effect.
As thou hust given him power over all flesh, that At these last solemn moments of life, every he should give eternal life to as many as thou motive of self-interest, or of vain-glory, by hast given him. And this is life eternal, that which he might have been actuated through they might know thee the only true God, and the course of his ministry, vanishes away. Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. I have glo- Then it is that a faithful minister derives from rified thee on the earth: I have finished the work the bosom of that religion which he has taught which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Fa- to others, the means of fortifying himself. ther, glorify thou me with thine own self, with against the idea of a futurity all gloom, if a the glory which I had with thee before the world man has mere human reason for his only guide,
I have manifested thy name unto the men but all light and joy to him who follows the which thou gavest me out of the world: thine spirit of revelation. Then it that he feels a they were, and thou gavest them me; and they more particular concern and tenderness for the have kept thy word. Now they have known, church, and that now, himself lifted up, he that all things, whatsoever thou hast given me, would draw all men after him. are of thee: For I have given unto them the When it is a pastor of the ordinary rate that words which thou gavest me; and they have re- expires, no other consequence can be deduced ceived them, and have known surely that I came from his perseverance to the last but this, that out from thee, and they have believed that thou he had preached what he believed to be the didst send me. I pray for them; I pray not for truth, not what was so in fact. And it is posthe world, but for them which thou hast given me; sible he may deceive himself when he is dying, for they are thine. And all mine are thine and as he pretended not to infallibility while he thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. lived. But the death of those extraordinary And now I am no more in the world, but these men, who have established, by their testimony, are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy the facts on which all religion rests, is the Father, keep through thine own name those touchstone of the doctrines which they taught. whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, As it was impossible they should have been de
While I was wilh them in the ceived in the points which they attest, there world, I kept them in thy name; those that thou can remain no other suspicion to affect their gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, testimony, but this, that it was their intention but the son of perdition; that the Scripture to impose upon others: and this suspicion falls might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; to the ground, when we behold them, without and these things I speak in the world, that they deviation, persisting to the end in the faith might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I which they professed, attesting it by new aphave given them my word: and the world hath peals to heaven, calling God to witness their hated them, because they are not of the world, sincerity, and their innocence. even as I am not of the world. I pray not that All these different considerations unite in the thou shoulılst take them out of the world, but that person of Jesus Christ: all these motives to at. thou shouldst keep them from the evil. They tention, and in an order infinitely superior, fix are not of the world, even as I am not of the our meditation on the words which have been world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy read. Come and behold the sentiments of your word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the Saviour unfolded, without disguise: come and world, even so have I also sent them into the behold the most lofty display of the human soul world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that ever was exhibited: come and behold whethat they also might be sanctified through the ther he, for one moment, doubted, whether he truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for shrunk back: above all, come and behold the
I them also which shall believe on me through charity by which he was animated. Charity their word; that they all may be one; as thou, formed the plan of the sacrifice which he should Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also offer, and charity is hastening to accomplish it. may be one in us; that the world may believe Every thought of this dying Jesus is employthat thou hast sent me. And the glory which ed on his disciples: is employed about you, my thou gavest me I have given them; that they beloved brethren. “Thine they were, and may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou gavest them me. I pray for them. I thou in me, that they may be made perfect in pray for those whom thou hast given me: keep one; and that the world may know that thou them through thine own name. Neither pray hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast I for these alone, but for them also which shall loved me.
Father, I will that they also whom believe on me through their word.” thou hast given me be with me where I am; that Such are the objects, my friends, which I they may behold my glory, which thou hast given would this day present to your contemplation. me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation I put aside all the theological controversies of the world. O righteous Father, the world | which have taken their rise from the passage
as we are.