Imagini ale paginilor

Him, when He should become the propitiation for the sins of the whole world,76 we find that His soul was so troubled at the prospect, that He was ready to shrink back, and to say, Father, save Me from this hour of the triumph of the powers of darkness. But instead of uttering such a request, He said, Father, glorify Thy name; or, let the end for which I came into the world be accomplished. On which a voice from heaven declared, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again: when our Saviour exultingly said, Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me." Here our blessed Lord spoke of the benefit which mankind would derive from His crucifixion and death, in the destruction of the dominion of Satan; who would be thereby ejected from the exercise of His usurped authority in the hearts of men, and over the world at large. reference to this, He said at another time, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven;78 and then gave His Apostles power to subvert the dominion of the enemy of mankind, and to remove the evils which he had inflicted upon men. On the same subject, the Apostle Paul says, that Christ having spoiled principalities and powers, made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in His cross.79 In


76 1 John ii.2. 77 John xii. 27,28,31,32. 78 Lukex. 18. 79 Col.ii. 15.

like manner, by the ministry of the Spirit, the gospel of Christ was to triumph over all the opposition of the powers of darkness, and an end was to be put to the uncontrouled dominion which Satan exercised over the world before the coming of our ever-blessed Redeemer. This made the Apostle declare when he preached at Athens, with regard to the difference which subsisted between former ages, and those in which the Christian dispensation was promulgated, The times of ignorance God winked at, but now commandeth all men every where to repent; because He hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness, by that Man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead. Here we may observe the connexion which subsists between the judgment primarily spoken of in the passage under consideration, and the judgment to come. The Apostle therefore declared, We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord we persuade men.81 How needful is it that we should be found prepared for the coming of this great day of God. For the same Apostle observes,

So Acts xvii. 30, 31.

81 2 Corinthians v. 10, 11.

As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many: and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation. May we then be found among

His redeemed and saved people.

Our Lord Jesus Christ having set before His Apostles these main topics of Divine revelation, as the subject of their future ministry, to which the Holy Ghost would bear testimony, while they declared these great truths; proceeds to observe to them, I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. They had such imperfect views of the character of their Lord and Master, that their minds were not in a fit state to receive the instruction which He would otherwise have given them. For to the very last they were in expectation of deriving temporal advantages from their connexion with Him; as it appears from their asking Him, just before His ascension into heaven, Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?83 But on the day of Pentecost, and ever afterwards, their views of these things were very different from what they had previously been.

Of the benefits which the descent of the Holy Ghost upon them would confer, it is said, Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will

82 Hebrews ix. 27, 28.

83 Acts i. 6.

Jesus had before said,

guide you into all truth. The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach



you all things. What our Saviour had taught His disciples was the truth. But the Spirit of God was to teach them what they were before ignorant of respecting the person and work of Christ, which is called, the truth as it is in Jesus,& and the truth which came by Jesus Christ.86 This truth the Apostles were not prepared to receive from the mouth of Christ Himself. But when the Spirit had descended upon them, they received it readily. Under His blessed guidance and instruction all the truth of God was opened to their view, so that they embraced it themselves, and communicated it to others. The Spirit of God so instructed the Apostles of Christ that by His holy inspiration they became infallible expositors of Divine truth. It is not in this way that He instructs the people of God by His ordinary operations. That instruction which we are to seek from Him is the application of revealed truth to our hearts and consciences. And this it is needful for us to obtain; for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God: but, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. Without the teaching of the Holy


84 John xiv. 26. 85 Eph. iv. 21. 86 John i. 17. 87 Rom. viii. 9, 14.

Ghost we cannot have a right apprehension of Divine truth. We may, indeed, have some conception of the theory of Christianity; we may understand the grand outline of its doctrines and duties; but our hearts will be unaffected by it, we shall not receive the truth in the love of it. Let us then implore for ourselves this Divine teaching, that we may be made wise unto salvation,

Our Saviour adds, respecting the Holy Spirit, He shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear that shall He speak. He had said of Himself in like manner, I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment what I should say, and what I should speak; and I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak.8 Hence it appears that the object proposed by the teaching of Christ, and by that of the Holy Spirit, was one and the same. Our Saviour had taught His disciples the truth of God, as far as they were then able to bear it. The Holy Spirit would carry on and complete the instruction on the same plan on which it had been begun. Human teachers differ in their statements of Divine truth, and are not to be entirely depended upon, as they all see through

88 John xii. 49, 50.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »