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WHITHER CHRIST WAS GOING— AND WHY

WHITHER CHRIST WAS GOING— AND WHY

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY JOHN BROWN, D. D.,


John xiv. 2, 3. — " In my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so,
I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and pre-
pare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where
lam, there ye may be also."'
BY JOHN BROWN, D. D.,


John xiv. 2, 3. — " In my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so,
I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and pre-
pare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where
lam, there ye may be also."'

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 30, 2013
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WHITHER CHRIST WAS GOIG— AD WHY?BY JOH BROW, D. D.,John xiv. 2, 3. — " In my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so,I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and pre-pare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that wherelam, there ye may be also."'The trouble of heart which, at the time our Lord's discoursewas delivered, so painfully agitated his disciples, and which it washis purpose to soothe and assuage, had originated in the intimationhe had given them, that he was about to leave them. He hadsaid to them, "ow I go to Him tliat sent me;" and because hehad said this, " sorrow had filled their hearts." There are twothings which chiefly make us unwilling to part with our friends, — ^the thought that it may not be so well with them where they' I delivered a discourse on these words some years ago, on occasion of thedeath of a truly venerable minister of Christ (the Rev. Dr. Peddie), which wassubsequently published as a merited tribute of respect to his memory. My ob- ject in that discourse was to fix the attention on those views of heaven which thetext opens to the mind — as a house, — the house of God, — the house of Christ'sFather, — a house of many mansions, — a house into which he is gone to prepare aplace for his people, — a house to which he is ultimately to conduct all his people,and in which they are to dwell with him for ever. My intention, in the remarksthat follow, is to look at the passage in its connection, and to consider it as apart of that statement of truth by our Lord, which he calls on his disconsolatedisciples to believe, in order that they might be delivered from those painfulemotions of anxiety, and fear, and sorrow, which were now in so distressing adegree agitating their minds and troubling their hearts. In prosecuting thisdesign, many of the truths stated in that discourse will necessarily be broughtagain before the mind ; but, viewed from a different stand-point, they Avill — mostof them — be presented in a new light. It is a subject which well deserves to belooked at in all its aspects, and if a spiritual householder has his treasure moder-ately well furnished — however frequently he resort to it — he will bring forthfrom his store things new as well as old.PART II.] WHITHER CHRIST WAS GOIG — AD WHY, 215go — and the thought that it may not be so well with us whenthey arc gone. And nothing is so well fitted to reconcile us tothe parting, and soothe the painful feelings such a i)rospcct naturallyawakens, as the assurance, that neither party is to lose — still more,
 
that both parties are to gain — by the separation.The disciples were troubled at what they anticipated as aboutto take place in reference to their Lord. He was to leave them,to leave them by dying, and by dying in very painful circum-stances. They were troubled, too, at what they anticipated asabout to take place with regard to themselves — disapi)ointed hope — ^disgrace — persecution, and an endless train of ill-defined, butnot on that account less dreadful or less dreaded, evils. To relievethem, our Lord, in these words, shows them that there was nosufficient ground for such extreme trouble of heart at the thoughtof his leaving them, either on his account or on their own ; forthat ultimately- his departure would j^rove productive of far higheradvantages to both, than could have resulted from his continuancewith them on the earth. Whatever temporar}- sacrifices and suf-fering the parting might occasion, it was the necessary means of his return to his Father, and his Father's house, with vrhom andin which he was to enjoy a state of happiness and dignity, strik-ingly contrasted with that state of degradation and suffering inwhich he was now placed, infinitely superior to any situation,however blissful and exalted, to which he could be raised onearth ; and it was equally the necessary means of their being ulti-mately made partakers of his joys and glories, by his conductingthem to the mansions which he went to prepare for them, in thehouse of his Father, and their Father; his God, and their God.This is the substance of the statement contained in the wordsbefore us ; and surely if the disciples believed on him who madethat statement, their troubled hearts could not but be re-assuredand comforted. Let us then turn our attention for a little some-what more particularly to the result of our Lord's going away,first to himself, and then to his disciples, as these are exhibited inthe text, and show how the consideration of these was fitted tocomfort their hearts, and reconcile them to what, at first sight,seemed so fraught with discouragement and sorrow. "In myFather's house are many mansions : if it were not so, I wouldhave told you, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I goand prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive youunto myself ; that where I am, there ye may be also."§ 1. The results of Christ s going away to himself.Let us first, then, attend to the results, in reference to himself,of our Lord's going away, as thej^ are represented in these words.His going away, so far as he was concerned, was to terminate inhis arrival at the house of his Father, and his dwelling there inholy, happy fellowship with Him, and with the blessed inhabitants
 
of the many mansions which are to be found there. There caji216 THE VALEDICTOEY DISCOURSE. [EXP. XXVIII.be little doubt that, by the house of our Lord's Father, we are tounderstand heaven ; that portion of the created universe wherethe Divinity has made the fullest manifestation of his excellences,and which he has appointed as the proper residence of unMlenand restored intelligent creatures — of his holy angels, and re-deemed men.Heaven is sometimes spoken of in Scripture, as a world, — acountry, — a city,^ Here it is termed a house, the house of Christ's Father. The image brought before the mind is that of a magnificent palace, which the Great King of the universe,"wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working," has "builtfor the house of his kingdom, by the might of his power, and forthe honor of his majesty." I need scarcely say, the languageis figurative ; He Avho fills heaven and earth with his presence," who is a God at hand, and a God afar off," can have no specialdwelling-place ; but the meaning of the figure is not difficult tobe discovered. The universe is God's house, — for there is noplace in it where He is not in all the fulness of his infinite per-fections, — no place in which these perfections are not more orJess clearly disi^laycd. The temple, under the Jewish economy,was God's house, for there was the symbol of his presence, andthere had He commanded those religious ordinances to be observedwhich are the means of communion Avith Him. And heaven ishis house, for there the most glorious revelation is made of hischaracter, and there holy intelligences are admitted to most inti-mate and uninterrupted fellowship with Him.Heaven is his house also, for He is its builder. This househas not been " made by hands" — it is not the work of thewisdom, and power — of men or of angels. Its "builder andmaker is God.'" " The Lord made the heavens." " Theheavens are the work of his hand."* And, finally, it is his housetoo, for He is its inhabitant. " The Lord is in his holy temple ;"" in heaven is his throne ;" " the Lord has prepared his thronein the heavens."^ It is there that He is to be seen, as He is.What is seen of Him elsewhere, is only his shadow. It is therethat He is to be known ; 'it is there that He is to be communedAvith.Our Lord was the Son — the only begotten Son — the well-be-

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