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altered and his raiment became white and dazzling." For a moment his homespun Auttered aside and revealed the King; but how, think you, will he appear when we shall see him as he is ? Here is something to dream about. Surely a great surprise awaits us!
How natural it was, and how human, that Jesus should offer this prayer! The disciples had known him in his humiliation; he meant that they should behold him in his glory. They had seen him clothed in homespun; he wanted them to see him arrayed in light and dwelling in glory unapproachable. They had seen him in the workshop, with chips and shavings about his feet and the implements of his trade on the bench before him; he wanted them to see him in the palace where he had dwelt "before the world was." They had seen him on his weary journeys followed by a meager retinue of fishermen; he wanted them to see him with legions of angels and archangels waiting to do his holy will. They were to see him in the Judgment Hall, scourged and spit upon, wearing the cast-off purple of a petty magistrate, with an impotent reed in his hand; he wanted them to see him surrounded by a great multitude that no man can number, ascribing to him, with a voice like the sound of many waters, honor and glory and power and dominion forever and ever. They were to see him lifted up in the mortal anguish of the cross; he wanted them to see him lifted up above all principalities and powers, as King of kings and Lord of lords.
A limited prayer.-One thing more, and here is á matter for serious consideration. This prayer of Jesus was only for those who love and follow him. "I pray not for the world,” he said, "but for those whom thou hast given me.
On other occasions he did pray for the world. His advent was a demonstration of his love toward all the children of men. His life was a long prayer for sinners. His death was a mighty prayer for salvation to the uttermost. It had been written of him, centuries before: "Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."
On the cross, with his pierced hands outstretched, he offered that petition, “Give me the nations for my inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for my possession!” This was a plea for all humanity; which in the fullness of time shall be answered when the nations shall come flocking to him as doves to their windows, and he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied.
Oh, yes; he prayed for the world! He prayed for all non-believers to the end of time when he cried, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" But on this occasion, in the upper room, his prayer was only in behalf of those who loved him.
All may be included. If there be any man, not hitherto a Christian, who would come within the
charmed circle of this intercessory prayer-surely a great privilege—the way is open before him. Yield to the overtures of Christ. Bow under his cross and pass under his yoke. There is no other way of getting into this inner place. He offers salvation to the worst of sinners; but, inasmuch as man was created in the likeness of God and is therefore possessed of a sovereign will, salvation cannot be forced upon him. The unspeakable gifts of the gospel are free as air or water, but a man must take them.
Oh, the blessedness of being included in the intercessory prayer of Christ! It makes us strong and patient and hopeful in suffering and service to know that he ever liveth to make intercession for
Arise, my soul, arise:
Shake off thy guilty fears!
In thy behalf appears;
He ever lives above
For me to intercede;
His precious blood to plead;
Five bleeding wounds he bears,
Received on Calvary;
They pour effectual prayers,
They strongly plead for me.
The Father hears him pray,
His dear anointed One;
of his Son;
All thanks to him who thus remembers us! In our behalf the incense of intercession ever rises from the Golden Altar of heaven. Our Lord stands, as Stephen saw him, with outstretched arms to welcome us. We are kept, we are sanctified, we are brought into the fellowship of saints, and shall be ultimately glorified with Christ, because he ever liveth, thus, to make intercession for us.
HIS GREAT PROMISE
Necessary that Christ should depart.-His bequest.
Personality of the Holy Spirit.—The convicting power of the Spirit.-We need him.
Necessary that Christ should depart.-It is easy to understand the necessity of Christ's coming into this world; for what a dreary, sunless world it would have been without him! It is easy to see, moreover, that it was expedient for him to remain here, in order to teach truth and righteousness and lay the foundations of his Kingdom among men. But how could it be expedient that he should go away? Yet he says plainly in the sixteenth chapter of John: "I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away."
Was it on account of the limitations of the flesh? His purpose was to be a universal Saviour; his gospel was for all the children of men; yet here he was, “cabin'd, cribbed, confined" in the smallest of small parishes in a remote corner of the world. The problem before him was like that of Archimedes, who affirmed that he could lift the world if only he might find a place for the fulcrum of his lever. But obviously the place for the fulcrum of a lever that lifts the world must be outside of it.