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the dying Man: 'I have declared Thy name and will declare iti
And that was said within eight and forty hours of the Cross, which, if He had been a simple human teacher and martyr, would have ended all His activity in the world. But here He is not merely summing up His life, and laying it aside, writing the last sentence, as it were, which gathers up the whole of the completed book, but He is closing the first volume, and in the act of doing so He stretches out His hand to open the second. I will declare it.' When? How? Did not earthly life, then, put a stop to this Teacher's activity ? Was there still prophetic function to be done after death had sealed His lips ? Certainly.
That anticipation, which at once differentiates Him from all the brood of merely human teachers and prophets, even the highest, does indeed include as future, at the moment when He speaks, the swiftly coming and close Cross; but it goes beyond it. How much of Christendom's knowledge of God depended upon the Passion, on the threshold of which Christ was standing ? He, hanging on the Cross in weakness, and dying there amidst the darkness that overspread the land, is a strange Revealer of the omnipotent, infinite, ever-blessed God. But Oh! if we strike Gethsemane and Calvary out of Christ's manifestation of the Father, how infinitely poorer are we and the world! 'God commendeth,' (rather establisheth,') ·His love toward us in that whilst we were yet sinners Christ died for us.' And so as we turn ourselves to the little knoll outside the gate, where the Nazarene carpenter hangs faint and dying, we-wonder of wonders, and yet certainty of certainties !-have to say, 'Lo! this is our God; we have waited for Him.'
But that future revelation extends beyond the Cross, and includes resurrection, ascension, Pentecost, and the whole history of the Church right onwards through the ages. The difference between the two volumes of revelation- that which includes the work of Christ upon earth, and that which includes His revelation from the heavens-is this, that the first volume contains all the facts, and the second volume contains His interpretation and application of the facts in the understandings and hearts of His people. We have no more facts from which to construe God than these which belong to the earthly life of Jesus Christ, and we never shall have, here at all events. But whilst the first volume to the bottom of the last page is finished and tolerates and needs no additions, day by day, moment by moment, epoch by epoch Christ is bringing His people to a fuller understanding of the significance of the first volume, and writing the second more and more upon their hearts.
So we have an ever-living Christ, still the active Teacher of His Church. Times of unsettlement and revolutionary change and the 'shaking of the things that are made,' like the times in which we live, are but times in which the great Teacher is setting some new lesson from the old Book to His slow scholars. There is always a little confusion in the schoolroom when the classes are being rearranged and new books are being put into old hands. The tributary stream, as it rushes in, makes broken water for a moment. Do not let us be afraid when the things that can be shaken' shake, but let us see in the shaking the attendant of a new curriculum on which the great Teacher is launching His scholars, and let us learn the new lessons of the old Gospel which He is then teaching,
III. Thirdly, note the participation in the Father's love which is the issue of the knowledge of the Father's
Christ says that His end, an end which is surely attained in the declaration of the divine name, is that 'the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them.' We are here touching upon heights too dizzy for free and safe walking, on glories too bright for close and steady gaze. But where Christ has spoken we may reverently follow. Mark, then, that marvellous thought of the identity between the love which was His and the love which is ours. From everlasting' that divine love lay on the Eternal Word which in the hoary beginning, before the beginning of creatures, was with God, and was God.' The deepest conception that we can form of the divine nature is of a Being who in Himself carries the Subject and the Object of an eternal love, which we speak of in the deep emblem of the Word,' and the God with whom He eternally 'was.' That love lay upon Christ, without limitation, without reservation, without interruption, finding nothing there from which it recoiled, and nothing there which did not respond to it. No mist, no thunderstorm, ever broke that sunshine, no tempest ever swept across that calm. Continuous, full, perfect was the love that knit the Father to the Son, and continuous, full, and perfect was the consciousness of abiding in that love, which lay like light upon the spirit of Him that said 'I delight to do Thy will.' The Father hath not left Me alone.'
And all that love Christ gives to us as deep, as continuous, as unreserved. Our consciousness of God's love is meant by Christ to be like His own. Alas! alas! is that our experience, Christian people? The
sun always shines on the rainless land of Egypt, except for a month or two in the year. The contrast between the unclouded blue and continuous light and heat there, and our murky skies and humid atmosphere, is like the contrast between our broken and feeble consciousness of the shining of the divine love and the uninterrupted glory of light and joy of communion which poured on Christ's heart. But it is possible for us indefinitely to approximate to such an experience; and the way by which we reach it is that plain and simple one of accepting Christ's declaration of the Father's name.
IV. And so, lastly, notice the indwelling Christ who makes our participation in the divine love possible: And I in them.' One тау well
say, How can it be that love should be transferred? How can it be that the love of God to me shall be identical with the love of God to Christ?' There is only one answer. If Christ dwells in me, then God's love to Him falls upon me by no transference, but by my incorporation into Him. And I would urge that this great truth of the actual indwelling of Christ in the soul is no mere piece of rhetorical exaggeration, nor a wild and enthusiastic way of putting the fact that the influence of His teaching and the beauty of His example can sway us; but it is a plain and absolute truth that the divine Christ can come into and abide in the narrow room of our poor hearts. And if He does this, then he that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit'; and the Christ in me receives the sunshine of the divine love. That does not destroy, but heightens, my individuality. I am more and not less myself because • I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.'
So, dear brethren! it all comes to this-we may each
of us, if we will, have Jesus Christ for Guest and Inhabitant in our hearts. If we have, then, since God loves Him, He must love me who have Him within me, and as long as God loves Christ He cannot cease to love me, nor can I cease to be conscious of His love to me, and whatsoever gifts His love bestows upon Jesus, pass over in measure, and partially, to myself. Thus immortality, heaven, glory, all blessedness in heaven and earth, are the fruit and crystallisation, so to speak, of that oneness with Christ which is possible for us. And the conditions are simply that we shall with joyful trust accept His declaration of the Father's name, and see God manifest in Him; and welcome in our inmost hearts that great Gospel. Then His prayer, and the travail of His soul, will reach their end even in me, and the love wherewith the Father loved the Son shall be in me,' and the Son Himself shall dwell in my heart.
CHRIST AND HIS CAPTORS
*As soon then as He had said unto them, I am He, they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked He them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am He: if therefore ye seek Me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which He spake, Of them which Thou gavest Me have I lost none.'-JOHN xviii. 6-9.
This remarkable incident is narrated by John only. It fits in with the purpose which he himself tells us governed his selection of the incidents which he records. • These things are written,' says he, near the end of the Gospel, ‘that ye might believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that, believing, ye might have life in His name.' The whole of the peculiarities of the substance of John's Gospel are to be explained on the two grounds that he was writing a supplement to, and not a sub