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or caravansaries, where were many mansions, in which they might lie on carpets, or couches, and provide and * prepare their own victuals. When a number of persons • travelled, there was a præcursor, one of their own com“pany, who “ went before to prepare a place for them, and • then came back again, and received them,” ord conducted • them to the mansions he had prepared for them.'

Our Lord then may be understood to say to his disciples : • You need not be só excessively grieved and concerned, as

you appear to be, on account of my departure from you, • and the difficulties you may afterwards meet with. For • it is a certain truth, that in my Father's house are many * mansions, and plentiful accommodations. And though Í • leave you for the present, you will throughout your whole • life have protection and needful supplies in all dangers 6 and difficulties. I before

you now: but

you

shall fol • low me hereafter, and may be assured of a kind reception • into the mansions I prepare for you.?

“ If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you: and if I go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” And, after his resurrection : " I ascend to my Father and your Father: and to my God, and your God." John xx. 17. That is the first thing in the words.

II. The other thing observable is an argument or consideration, by which the truth and certainty of that declaration is impressed upon them.

The argument is friendly and familiar, suited to persons who are treated with intimacy, as the disciples had been by our Lord, and were not unacquainted with the doctrine he had taught; but knew, that this point of another life, and recompenses therein, had been much insisted on by him. Though therefore the argument be familiar, it is very forcible, and must have come with great weight upon their minds.

“ If it were not so, I would have told you.” The sum of this argument is : le would not deceive you. If you • take me for a person of sincerity, as certainly you must,

c Similitudo sumta ab uno comitum, qui in itinere prægressus ad diversorium ibi ceteris cubicula assignat, et efficit, ut venientibus parata sint. Grot. ib.

d Continuatur similitudo. Nam solent qui primi in diversorium venerunt ceteris jam adventantibus obviam procedere, et eos introducere, &c. Grot. in v. 3.

e Si locus non esset vobis, aperte hoc dixissem vobis, ut mos meus est: ademissem vobis spem inanem. Grot. in loc.

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* you will rely upon the truth of what I say concerning this matter.'

The argument seems to comprise in it these several thoughts and considerations; most of which might arise in the disciples' minds, and do now readily present themselves to us.

1. “You know, that I have professed to act with divine • authority, and that I have in the most solemn manner

promised everlasting life and happiness to them that be• lieve in me, and obey my precepts. You must therefore • rely upon the truth of this declaration, and the doctrine I • now remind you of, and should take the comfort of it. If

you would not cast upon me the reflection of being a deceiver,

you must receive this proposition, as most true and 6 certain.' You have often heard me speak to this

purpose: down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will, that of all which he has given me, I should lose nothing, but should

at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day,”. John vi. 39, 40. Moreover

you

have received and owned me as a teacher come from God, yea as the Christ, and “having the words of eternal life,” John. vi. 68, 69.

After this you cannot but be persuaded, that I am true and sincere: I must know what is the truth: it is impossible I should be ignorant, whether there is another life after this, or not: and you cannot but think, that what I have said is agreeable to the truth of things.

So John Baptist said in his last testimony to Jesus: “ And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifies. He that receiveth his testimony hath set to his seal, that God is true," John. iii. 32.

2. • Consider, how upon the ground of the expectation of recompenses in a future state, I have taught and required * men, in the whole of their life here, not to seek principally the things of this present world, but of another.

I have taught men, in all acts of worship performed to God, and of goodness to one another, not to aim at present and earthly, but future and heavenly recompenses. And I have directed them not to “ lay up to themselves treasures on earth,” liable to wasting and corruption : but rather " to lay up to themselves treasures in heaven,” which are secure above all accidents; “ where neither moth nor rust doth

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corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal," Matt. vi, 19, 20. I have also directed you 66 not to do

your alms to be seen of men,” but as privately as possible, that “ your Father, which seeth in secret, may reward you openly,” in the day of judgment and general retribution, Matt. vi. 1-4.

Yea I have not only taught moderation of affection for worldly riches and reputation; but I have also encouraged men to endure neglect, contempt, reproach, pain, and all kinds of sufferings in the way of truth and righteousness, if need be, with assurances of a reward that shall be exceeding great. I have pronounced them blessed who suffer upon that account, saying, “ Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil of you falsely for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven,” Matt. v. 10, 11.

Certainly I, who have continually taught you and others in this manner, must be sincere in what I declare, and be fully persuaded that there is another world, where all good and righteous men, persevering to the end, shall be very happy, and be gloriously rewarded.

3. Consider farther, the precepts delivered by me are such, that obedience to them cannot have its reward in the present world, but in another only.' I have declared them blessed who are

pure

in heart," Matt. v. 6, and have recommended undissembled, unaffected humility and condescension. I have prescribed the regulation of thoughts and affections, as well as outward actions : and have directed men to pray to God in secret, and to do other good works out of the notice and observation of men: all which virtue and goodness can have a reward in another, and yet invisible world only. A truly virtuous and excellent disposition of mind' will, as there is opportunity, produce a laudable behaviour: but it is not in the power of men to reward all good conduct, supposing they were well disposed to it. Much less can men reward secret piety, or the virtue of the mind, which is known to God only. Nor does God always interpose for the security, prosperity, and honour of his most faithful servants; but permits virtue to undergo, for the present, the severest trials: and many

will be persecuted for righteousness' sake.

As the precepts delivered by me are of this kind, I must know, that there is another state, where they who do the things I say, shall receive a full reward.

4. Consider the methods and arguments which I have made use of to induce men to believe in me, and become my disciples.

Have I'therein shown any improper regard to my own honour and interest in this world? Have I made use of any specious and artful methods to increase the number of my followers? Have I invited any into my service by promises or intimations of worldly ease and grandeur ? Have you at any time observed me to encourage the hopes of any advantages, but such as flow from true religion, real virtue and righteousness, and from the favour, approbation, and blessing of God in this world, and another? Have I not often, and openly declared : “ He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me?" Matt. x. 38. And,“ Whosoever he be of you, that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple ?” Luke xiv. 33. When some have expressed a ready disposition to bear me company, and join themselves to my train, have I not immediately told them, without reserve or disguise, how slight the accommodations are with which I am provided ? and that the Son of man has not here one quiet and settled habitation of his own ? When the rich man, who was also a ruler, came to me, saying, “ Good master, what good thing shall I do, that I may inherit eternal life ?” Luke xviii, 18, did I pitch upon some easy precept, the better to bring in such an one, either for my own, or your present advantage? did I not remind him of the commandments of God? And when he answered, that he had kept them, did I not say unto him: “Go, and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor; and thou shalt have treasure in heaven, and come, follow me ?” Whereupon he went away sorrowful.

This my plainness and openness in treating men, may fully satisfy you of my integrity, and that I act sincerely, when I assure you, that there is another world beside the present,

5. Recollect, what has been my behaviour toward persons of influence and authority in the world.' Have you observed me to seek

my own, or your honour and interest, by gratifying and pleasing men in power? No, you know very well, that I have openly denounced the displeasure of God against the scribes and pharisees, upon account of their doctrine and conduct, derogatory to the honour of God, and the interest of religion. Insomuch that even the worst, and most inveterate of my enemies have afforded me the character of an impartial teacher of truth, VOL. IX.

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without undue respects to the persons of any men, Matt. xxii. 16.

6. Especially you may perceive by my behaviour to• ward yourselves, whether I am sincere, and may be relied upon, in what I now say.'

When I called you to attend me, I did not invite and draw you by worldly offers. You are sensible, that when you obeyed my call, “ you left all and followed me,” Matt. . xix. 27; Mark x. 28.

The doctrine of the cross, the practice of self-denial, I have inculcated upon all, especially upon you. I have indeed declared to you, that "the labourer is worthy of his bire,” Luke x. 7; and that in discharging your office you will meet with kind and courteous entertainment from worthy persons. But I have as plainly told , others will treat you with a spirit of the bitterest enmity and displeasure : that they “ will persecute you from city to city," and that “ you will be brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake:" directing you however “ to possess your souls in patience,” Luke xxi. 19, and assuring you, that “ he who endureth to the end shall be saved," Matt. x. 22. I have likewise intimated to you, that

you

cannot expect better treatment than I have had, if you keep close to my doctrine and example, as you ought: for “ the disciple is not above his master: nor the servant above his lord,” Matt.

“ And because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world,” many therein, “ will hate you,” John xv. 19.

You must likewise be sensible, that as I have with much care and tenderness cherished and encouraged every good principle; so I have also freely warned and admonished you, as there has been occasion.

I have plainly told you, that you are happy, and my disciples indeed, if you do the things that I have commanded : and that not calling me Lord, Lord; nor even working miracles in my name, but only doing " the will of my Father which is in heaven,” will entitle you to the rewards of the kingdom which I have so often spoken of: and that all others will be rejected by me at the last, though they had been familiar friends and acquaintance, “and had eaten and drunk in my presence,” Luke xiii. 26.

Whatever has been amiss in you I have reproved and condemned, even the weakness of your faith, and the slowness of your understandings, owing to prevailing prejudices :

x. 28.

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