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In reply to the confident answer of the two brethren, "We are able," our Lord said nothing in the way of reproof. He knew that it was a hasty, inconsiderate boast, not to be depended upon; but He also knew that they were not then in a state of mind to profit from any check to their profession of zeal-a profession which would soon be belied by their conduct. He proceeded, however, to forewarn them of the sufferings to which they would be called in His service, in order that they might have juster views of what really awaited them; and, that when they should have learnt, from experience, more of their own weakness, they might seek, where it was to be found, strength to endure future trials. "Ye shall indeed," said He, "drink of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with ;-but," he adds, "to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give; but it shall be given to those for whom it is prepared of my Father."

Our Lord still, we observe, declines at all gratifying their wishes, or even their curiosity, respecting the degree of glory which they, or others,

should enjoy in His kingdom; neither does He here directly promise them any distinction at all there. He only promises them a participation in sufferings; in which if they were found faithful, they would inherit the rewards of His followers. The promise was fulfilled to them; not only in their general participation of the afflictions of the Gospel, but also in the particular circumstances of their history for James drank of the bloody cup, first of all the Apostles, being put to death by Herod ; and John, besides other afflictions and persecutions for the Gospel's sake, was banished to the desert island of Patmos, from which is dated the Book of the Revelation.

We observe, that the phrase used by our Lord, "Is not mine to give," (" to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give,") means only, that it was not His pleasure to make any revelation on the subject. This was one of the secret things belonging to the Lord, and not to be pried into by them. There is a similar phrase, where our Lord is speaking of the signs which would precede the end of the world: "But of that day and that

hour knoweth no man; no, not the angels which are in heaven;-neither the SON, but the FATHER," We there understand, not that the Son, who knoweth all things, is ignorant of that day and that hour, but that it was not the will of the Father that it should be revealed by the Son to mankind.

The promise of suffering made by Jesus to these Disciples, who were so forward to express their readiness to endure it, might seem to them, at the time, to be a poor return for their zeal : but they would not so account it, when they understood better, as they afterwards did, the nature of His kingdom. Suffering, sanctified suffering, is often the answer sent by Christ to those who solicit advancement in His kingdom; and it is an answer for which they will bless God to eternity: -for though they may be in heaviness for a season, through manifold temptations, yet the trial of their faith will be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."Unto you it is given," said St. Paul, to the

* Mark xiii. 32.

Philippians," in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake*.' And again (1 Pet. iv. 16): " If any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."-My Christian friends, would you share in the glory of your exalted Head, the Lord Jesus Christ; you should be mainly concerned to be prepared for it by conformity to the mind which was in Christ Jesus, even though a conformity to His humiliation and suffering may be necessary to produce it in you. Suffering is not, indeed, a thing to be coveted for its own sake: : some, who seemed to covet it, have found themselves little able to bear it. I say, what we should aspire to, is conformity to the mind which was in Christ Jesus-to His humility, meekness, self-denial, deadness to the world, spirituality, heavenly-mindedness, and devotedness to the will of His Heavenly Father. And so far as suffering may be seen by Him to be necessary to produce in us this conformity, we should not pray to be exempted from it, but only to be enabled to bear and to profit under it;-and then, such chastening

*Phil. i. 29.

as our Heavenly Father sees fit to send us, though not for the present joyous, but grievous, will yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby ;-nor will it be without present consolation. And where the sufferings of Christ abound in His people, commonly their consolation also aboundeth by Christ: but even were it not so, yet any measure of affliction, by which they should be more entirely purified from the alloy of sin, and fitted for the enjoyment of a higher measure of heavenly glory, would eventually be numbered by them amongst the choicest gifts of God.

From the next verse (the 24th) we learn, that when the other ten Disciples heard the petition addressed to Jesus, "they were moved with indignation against the two brethren ;"—not that they were themselves free from the ambitious spirit which they saw and condemned in them, but rather because they were under the influence of the same : so common is it for men to be angry at those sins in others which they allow and indulge in themselves. "But Jesus called them unto him, and said,

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