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The Valedictory Discourse.

The Valedictory Discourse.

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Published by glennpease
BY JOHN BROWN, D. D.,


John xiv., xv., xvl
BY JOHN BROWN, D. D.,


John xiv., xv., xvl

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Published by: glennpease on May 30, 2013
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08/20/2013

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THE VALEDICTORY DISCOURSE.BY JOH BROW, D. D.,John xiv., xv., xvlITRODUCTIO."He shall be great,'" said the angel Gabriel, to that "highly-favored" and most blessed of Avomen, Mary, the espoused wifeof Joseph the ISTazarene carpenter, when unfolding to her thecharacter and destinies of that wonderful child of whom, throughthe miraculous operation of the Holy Ghost, she was soon to be-come the virgin mother. The angelic prediction has been ampljverified ; and the evangelical histories furnish us with most satis-factory evidence of its fulfilment.In reference to his original nature, the Son of the virgin waspossessed of infinite grandeur. He was " God's own Son." Hewas " Emmanuel, God with us." " God manifest in flesh." " TheGreat God, our Saviour."^In reference to his official character and work, he possessed akind and a degree of greatness, Avhich exalts him far above allmen, far above all angels. What character so exalted as theMediator between God and man — the Eevealer of God — theSaviour of the world — the Prophet like unto, but far superior to,Moses — the Priest for ever "after the order of Melchizedck" — ¦the " King who sits at Jehovah's right hand" ?' What work cancompare in greatness, with the expiation of guilt — the finishingof transgression — the making an end of sin — ^the judgment of theworld — the abolition of death — the destruction of him who hasthe power of death ?* How great must he be, in whom it pleasesthe Fa! her that all fulness should dwell — to whom He has givento hold all life in himself, that he may quicken whom he wills — to whom He has " given power over all flesh" — into whose handsHe has delivered " all things in heaven and earth " — " underwhose feet He has so put all things, as that nothing is excepted,but Him who did put them under him " — and to whom He hassaid, "Sit at my right hand," "reign along with me," "till allthine enemies are made thy footstool."*2 Luke i. 32. 2 Matt. i. 23. 1 Tim. iii. 16. Tit. ii. 13.3 1 Tim. ii. 5. John i. 18 ; iv. 42. Acts iii. 22. Psal. ex. 1, 4.* Dan. ix. 24. John xii. 31. 2 Tim. i. 10. Heb. ii. 14.
 
5 Co!, i. 19. John v. 26 ; xvii. 2. Matt. xi. 27 ; xxviii. 18. 1 Cor. xv. 27.EXP. XXVIII.] ITKODUCTIO. • 201In reference, too, to his assumed nature, our Lord had all thegreatness, intellectual and moral, of which that nature was capable.With the intellectual endowments of an understanding wide inits range, and clear in its perceptions — distinctly apprehendingall beings and events as they really are — a judgment whichnothing could bias — a determination which nothing could shake — a caution which nothing could surprise — conjoined to the moralqualities of supreme love and veneration of the divine Father,manifesting themselves in entire resignation to his will, and devo-tion to his glor}^, and a most disinterested and self-sacrificing re-gard for the true happiness of mankind — he was always equal to,generally far above, tlie requisitions of his circumstances, strangeand trying as thej^ often were. o event ever found him unpre-pared for it, or unprovided for doing, or saying, or suffering,whatever the exigency might demand ; and all this without anyapproach to ostentatious display. His movements were calmlymajestic, like those of the celestial bodies, however troubled maybe the state of the lower heavens.There are few more touching displays of the moral grandeurof the man Christ Jesus, than that which is exhibited in. thesevaledictory instructions and consolations, on the consideration of which we are about to enter. These addresses to his disciples^in the immediate view of his last passion, afford a manifestationof him which has been beautifully compared to, the "gloriousradiance of the setting sun, surrounded with daj-k clouds, andabout to plunge into darker, which, fraught, with lightning,thunder, and tempest, wait on the horizon to receive him."* Aman of even superior strength of mind and kindliness of heart,placed, so liar as he could be placed in our Lord's circumstances,would have had his mind thrown into a state of uncontrollableagitation, and most certainly would have been too entirely occu-pied with his own sufferings and anxieties, to have any power ordisposition to enter into, and to soothe, the sorrows of others.But though pertectly aware of, perfectly awake to, all the tre-mendous responsibilities of his situation, — though feeling theweight of the load laid on him — the bitterness of the cup he wascalled to drink — and though anticipating as certain and just athand, a heavier pressure and a bitterer draught, he retained self-possession ; and though words failed him to express the intensity
 
of his anguish, and he did not know what to say, — he showed no-hesitation as to what he was to do. The path, with all its ob-structions and diffi,culties, lay plain before him ; and with a move-ment steady as the sun in its orbit, he pressed onwards.' And6 Brown Patterson.7 " The valor and fortitude of the ever-blessed Captain of our salvation has noparallel, but is transeendently above whatever can be named. For what com-parison is there betwixt that courage which is inspired from the pomp of war orsingle combat, from the heat and height of the natural spirits, from the rage andhatred against an enemy, or from the love of a friend; and such a fortitude as,being destitute of all, the advantages of the animal life, nay, clogged with thedisadvantages thereof, as. with a deep sense of death, fear, agonj^, and horror.202 • THE VALEDICTORY DISCOURSE, [EXP. XXVIII.be took as deep an interest in the anxieties and perplexities, inthe fears and sorrows, of the disciples, as if he himself had notbeen a sufferer. And then, how deeply wise, how tenderlycompassionate, how divinely calm, are these wonderful dis-courses !In attempting to explain them, it is of importance that we keepconstantly in view the peculiar circumstances of those to whomthey were originally addressed, and for whose guidance and com-fort they were primarily designed. In no other way can we arriveat a satisfactory conclusion as to their meaning. But we are neverto forget that they involve great principles, everlastingly true, andextensively apphcable ; and that in speaking to the chosen eleven — for the traitor had now left them — our Lord, in effect, speaks" to all who have obtained like precious faith" with them, and fur-nishes his disciples in all ages with instruction and consolationduring their absence from him, while the heavens which havereceived, must retain him. Whatsoever he says, he says not onlyfor their sakes, but for ours also, who have believed on him,through their word : and we, as well as they, through the faithhis words are fitted to strengthen, and the comfort they are cal-culated to impart, may have hope. " There are statements con-tained in them, which refer to what was peculiar to their characterand circumstances as apostles, but by far the greater part of themrefer to them, not in their official, but in their personal, character — not as apostles, but as Christians — and therefore are equallyapplicable to all, in every country and age, who believe in andlove the unseen Saviour, who feel his absence, and long for his

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