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highly he estimated his friendship, and how fully he was convinced of the sincerity of it. He communicated to him his last earthly wishes, and confided to his care, her, whose affection for him entitled her to his last earthly regards. His mother, about to be bereaved of her son, stood by the cross. In the depth of her affliction she thought not of herself; while he not only did not forget her, but provided a protector for her. He solicited for her the care of his beloved John, and succeeded. “ When Jesus, therefore, saw his mother and the disciple standing by whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son; then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother. And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home!”

Thus have I set before you the greater part of the most prominent instances in which our blessed Lord gave a proof of the sincerity of the words which he addressed to his disciples ; “ Henceforth I call you not servants, but friends.”

1 John xix, 26.

And how deeply and sincerely he loved them, was shewn by his readiness in laying down his life for their sakes. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." And it was for their sakes that he submitted to be crucified; it was to save them that he died, “ the just for the unjust, that he might bring them to God!."

But is not this blessed effect extended beyond his immediate friends ? Will no one derive a benefit from his sacrifice but they who were personally acquainted with him? The whole tenor of Scripture tells the contrary. It says that he made a one oblation of himself, not for the sins of one person only, but “ for the sins of the whole world ? ;" of which they at least may hope to be participators, who seek salvation through him.

And how may we seek this salvation ? By making ourselves his friends. And how may we make ourselves his friends ? By doing his will. “ Ye are my friends,” he says,

! 1 Pet. ii. 18.

2 1 John ii. 2.

“ if ye do whatsoever I command you.” It was this mode of conduct which made Abraham “ the friend of God'," because he believed in his promises, and conducted himself accordingly. And the same belief and the same obedience we may trust will have the same effect with us.

We shall become the friends of our blessed Saviour Christ, and shall be entitled to all the privileges of his friendship.

Let us then thus seek him, by walking in the way which we believe will be acceptable to him, remembering that a Christian is one who leads a Christian life, and is “a doer of the word, and not a hearer only?."

He who has once obtained the hope of calling God his friend, need seek no other friend. He can have none greater, none more affectionate; he will rest secure in all his troubles, and will come safe, eventually, out of every difficulty.

Let it be our endeavour to obtain this ;


2 Chron. xx. 7.

2. James i. 22.

and that we may do so let us pray to him who is able to bestow it, to grant it to us ; that we may receive the protection of his friendship here, and be admitted to his happiness hereafter.

To whom be ascribed all praise and thanksgiving for ever and ever.





St. John xvi. 22.

And ye now, therefore, have sorrow ; but I will see

you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

There is not in history, whether sacred or profane, any thing more interesting or more pathetic, than the whole conduct of our blessed Saviour towards his disciples the evening before he suffered; or any thing more calculated to awaken their feelings or to soothe their distress, than the consolatory discourse which he on that occasion addressed to them, of which our text forms a part. Commencing at the 13th and ending with the 17th

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