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the very entrance, beginning with what thus lay uppermost in his heart ;_" Father, the hour is come: glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee."
In which he prays that he might be carried through that his last severe suffering and conflict, and supported in establishing thereby the truth of his gospel for the salvation of mankind; and he considers this as not only an honour and happiness to himself, but doing credit to the heavenly Father, from whose benevolence and goodness the whole plan proceeded, and on whom its success depended : “ Glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee.”
He then immediately after, which was very natural, and shows his great earnestness in it, repeats the same request, using nearly the same terms;
(Ver. 4, 5.) “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thoú gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had designed for me with thee before the world was.” As it is plain that the glory meant here by
him was the success of his gospel, and the happiness resulting from it, he could not speak of any thing that had been actually possessed by him, but only decreed and intended for him in the councils of God; and therefore I have supplied this elliptical way of speaking, and put it, not The glory which I had with thee, but The glory which I had designed for the with thee, &c.
And it is a very customary way of speaking with the sacred writers, to mention such things as Almighty God hath decreed to be effected, or to bestow, as though they were already come to pass and obtained. Thus all sincere christians, even those who are not yet born, are said to have the favour of the gospel bestowed upon them before this world was. —“God” (saith St. Paul, 2 Tim. i. 9.) “hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, according to his own purpose and favour, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
You will also further be sensible, that the glory which our Saviour here asks for, and says that he had with the Father before the world was, was not any thing that had ever
been actually enjoyed, but only graciously intended for him, from his words, a little after, which are prefixed to my discourse, where he says ;
“ And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given them.”
Not that he had yet possessed it himself, or actually given it to them: but as it was a thing most certainly promised by Almighty God, he speaks of it as having already taken place, in the known Hebrew idiom; because, where God is the sponsor and undertaker for any thing, nothing can defeat his purpose, it will surely come to pass, and that which is future is perceived by his all-seeing eye as present, and therefore may be so con. sidered by his creatures.
Our Lord, then, here tells his disciples that his glory, which in the beginning of his prayer he besought the Almighty Father to bestow upon him, was not any thing peculiar to himself, but something in common betwixt hiinself and them and others his followers, which his heart was set upon now he was leaving the world, and concerning which he comforts himself and them with the assurance that it would actually be granted to them. And what could this be but the propagation
of that gospel with effect in all countries, for which he himself had been sent into the world, and for which, as he declares in this prayer, they were now to be sent into the world?
He, the great Teacher, the first Sower of the word : they, and all others in time to come, teachers under him, and labourers after him by whom the whole human race was to be brought to the knowledge of the only true God, to virtue, and an eternal felicity.
This will be further and usefully illustrated, by observing, that this which our Lord calls his glory to be given to him by the heavenly Father, he in other places calls his kingdom, to which he was to be advanced : a kingdom, however, the nature of which was as much mistaken by many of his unhappy countrymen, as the glory he here speaks of has been misunderstood by many of his followers since: a kingdom, as he himself speaks, (John xviii. 36.) “not of this world,” not like those here below, upheld by outward force and power, and where men scramble and contend for the first places for the sake of worldly splendour, and ease, and selfish enjoyment: but a kingdom, where the most honourable cha
racters would be those who laboured most to be useful to others, especially in contributing to make them virtuous and good :
Of which kingdom he was the founder and king under God; appointed by him to prescribe the laws by which it was to be governed and administered, and the reformation of mankind to be effected :
A kingdom also, in which his apostles and followers were to reign with him, in like manner as he here tells them they were to be sharers in his future glory.
For in one place he says (Luke xxii. 29.) “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me.”
And in another we are told that (Rev. i. 6.) “he hath made us kings and priests to God, even his Father.”
His apostles, instructed and appointed by him, were to publish with authority the laws which he delivered from God, and to be under him kings and lawgivers in his church ; an honour which they have enjoyed from the tiine that he left the world, and will continue to enjoy to the end of it.
And each private christian has the honour of being a king and priest unto God in their