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of his joy; may we from the bottom of our hearts say, as he did to our risen Saviour, " My Lord and

my God!

But is there even something yet more?

" Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou hast believed: Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed.” A few hours before Christ had prayed, “not for his present disciples only, but for all those who were to believe on Him through their word.” How graciously is His act in accordance with His prayer. Thomas was fully satisfied; his fellow disciples were satisfied; they had received all that they desired, and thankfully acknowledged it. But Christ remembers those also “ who were to believe on Him through their word.” To them must be given that same satisfaction which his first disciples were then enjoying; the beloved disciple of our Lord who had seen first the empty sepulchre, and who was now rejoicing in the full presence of Him who had been there, but was now risen, he was to convey what he had himself seen to the knowledge of posterity. And he was to convey it hallowed as it were by Christ's especial message; he was to record that on that evening in that one chamber, there were present before the Lord not His eleven disciples only, but all his universal Church to the end of time; to them He shows Himself; to them He addresses Himself; nay, His words to them are

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if possible even more gracious than those to His
earliest disciples : “ Blessed are those who have
not seen, and yet have believed.” We have all
our portion in Christ's look and words of love, we
have our portion in the full conviction then afforded
that He was risen indeed; and besides all this, we
have received besides a peculiar blessing. Christ
Himself gives us the proof of His resurrection, and
blesses us for the joy with which we welcome it.

With this most gracious message from our Lord
Himself to those who should read his Gospel, St.
John may be said to have concluded it. The last
chapter was in all probability added afterwards ;
its character is clearly that of a distinct supple-
ment, added after the original design of the work
itself was completed. And the two last verses of
the twentieth chapter are but a reference to our
other accounts of our Lord's life, lest any should
think that because St. John had omitted so much
of what others had recorded he meant to throw a
suspicion on its truth. * Many other sigus truly
did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which
are not written in this book.” St. John has him-
self related only a few, but he tells us that these
were but a few out of many; it was far from his
purpose to relate all, probably it has not been God's
will that even the other Evangelists should have
related all; it may be, and probably is true, that
many other signs did Jesus in the presence of His

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disciples which are not written in the books of

any of the Evangelists. But what we have were “written, that we might believe that Jesus was the Christ the Son of God, and that believing we might have life through His name.”

Seeing then that St. John's Gospel properly concludes with our Lord's answer to Thomas's confession, it is not surely fancy, if we connect this end of the Gospel with the beginning of it, and observe how St. John brings round his account of our Lord to the very point from which he began it. His Gospel opens with declaring who Christ was from the beginning; the Lord and Maker of all things. He then relates how the Lord of all things became flesh and dwelt among us; or, in the language of St. Paul, how He who was before in the form of God took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man. Whilst He was on earth, His Divine nature was veiled from the eyes of His disciples, but now that He was risen to die no more, it was declared to them fully; and thus we find Thomas, immediately on being convinced that his Lord was truly risen, acknowledging Him to be his Lord and his God. So that St. John ends at that very point where the statement of Christ's nature made at the beginning of his Gospel was justified as it were by the event; he had told how Christ had come forth from His Father and was come into the world;

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and he ends his Gospel with showing how He left
the world and returned to His Father; and how
His true nature was at last manifested and ac-
knowledged.

His true nature manifested and acknowledged!
Yes, in one sense certainly, acknowledged in all
our forms of worship, repeated in our creeds from
one end of the world to the other. But not so
acknowledged as St. John meant, when he said, as
we heard in the Epistle this morning, “Who is he
that overcometh the world, but he that believeth
that Jesus is the Son of God?" If this and this
only be in St. John's sense an acknowledgment of
Christ's true nature, then I fear that He is not yet
acknowledged; not fully acknowledged, but I hope
acknowledged in part, and becoming acknowledged
more and more. I do trust that your faith is not
in vain, that you

do
many

of
you

know what it is
to gain a victory through faith over the world and
over yourselves. I do trust that to many of you
Christ is risen indeed. May He be more perfectly
acknowledged by them and by us all.

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SERMON XXIII.

THE ANCIENT CHURCH.

ان سے سقفظه دسته سه

Acts, ii. 46, 47.

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and

breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people.

It has always seemed to me one of the great advantages of the course of study generally pursued in our English schools, that it draws our minds 80 continually to dwell upon the past.

past. Every day we are engaged in studying the languages, the history, and the thoughts of men who lived nearly or more than two thousand years ago; if we have to inquire about laws or customs, about works of art or science, they are the laws, customs, arts, and sciences, not of existing nations, but of those whose course has been long since ended. And the very difficulty which is often found in realizing the

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