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Christ the Way, The Truth, And the Life.

Christ the Way, The Truth, And the Life.

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



JonN XIV. 4-6. — "And -whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas
saith iinto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest ; and how can we know
the way ? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life : no
man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
BY JOHN BROWN, D. D.,



JonN XIV. 4-6. — "And -whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas
saith iinto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest ; and how can we know
the way ? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life : no
man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 30, 2013
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08/16/2013

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CHRIST THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AD THE LIFE.BY JOH BROW, D. D.,Jon XIV. 4-6. — "And -whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomassaith iinto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest ; and how can we knowthe way ? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life : noman cometh unto the Father, but by me."The power of prejudice over men is indeed wonderful. Theimportance of pre-occupancy, with regard to property, has passedinto a proverb ; and no possessors seem more indisposed to be ex-pelled from the tenement they have secured, than the occupantsof that little world, the mind of man. When an opinion, or feel-ing, however originating, has obtained a place there, and kept itfor a long series of years, it is no easy matter to unsettle and dis-lodge it. We are very unwilling to be convinced, that what wehave long counted true is false, especially in cases where, in con-sequence of our interests and passions being involved, a convic-tion of the falsity of an opinion long held, is connected with therelinquishment of expectations long and fondly cherished. Onthe one hand, evidence which seems to every other person per-fectl}'' conclusive, seems to the prejudiced person destitute of allforce, when directed against his favorite opinion ; and, on theother hand, arguments which appear to indifferent persons ob-viously altogether irrelevant, sophistical, and inconclusive, haveon his mind the effect of j^owerful confirmations and most satis-factory proofs.ever, perhaps, -Ivas the power of prejudice more strikingly dis-played than in the rejection, by the great body of the Jewish peo-ple, of the claims of Jesus Christ to be the Messiah promised totheir fathers. The idea of the temporal Messiah — the notion, thatthe promised deliverer was to be a secular prince, and his king-dom a worldly empire — ^had taken early possession of, and hadfor ages held all but universal dominion over, the national mind.This notion was mixed up with all feelings of national pride, andall their ideas of national interests. The foundation of it was butlittle proportioned to the wide extent and tenacious power of itsprevalence over the Jewish mind. It rested solely on some OldTestament predictions, clothed in figurative language, mistaking-ly, because literally, interpreted. It was indeed nothing morethan a prejudice. Yet, in the mind of the great majority of theJews, no evidence could remove, or even shake, this prejudice.Our Lord's innumerable, unco ntro verted miracles, abundantly at-
 
tested, and the fulfilment of many j)rophetic declarations in hischaracter, and doctrines, and history, seemed to them to have noforce as evidence of his Messiahship, merely because he was not atemporal prince. Had he been so, these would have been feltand acknowledged as irrefragable demonstration. They found iteasier to resist truth, founded on abundance of appropriate evi-PART III.] CHRIST "THE WAY, THE TRUTH, THE LIFE." 227deuce, than to renounce a prejudice founded ou no satisfactoryevidence whatever.The power of this prejudice was scarcely less strikingly mani-fested, though in a somewhat different way, in the case of thoseJews who received, than in the case of those who rejected, theMessiahship of our Lord. If it prevented the latter from perceiv-ing the evidence of his mission, it greatly obstructed the formerin apprehending the meaning of his doctrines. The humble rank,the destitute circumstances, of their Master, — the comparativepoorness and insignificance, in a worldly point of view, of hisadherents, — the general cast, both of his doctrine and his charac-ter, so unearthly and' spiritual, — the plain statements he made of the design of his mission, and of the nature of his kingdom, — theintimation he gave them of his approaching sufferings, and shame-ful, as well as painful, death on the cross, were all incapable of quenching the hope that he was one day to become the temporaldeliverer of his country — the breaker of her yoke — the assertorof her independence — the vindicator of her supremacy. To thevery last they seem to have cherished the conviction, that all inhis declarations that appeared to speak of coming disaster anddeath, must have some mystical meaning not inconsistent withwhat they held as undoubted truth — his establishment of a world-ly kingdom, — to which, as a matter of course, they applied what-ever he said of coming triumph and dominion. ever, probably,were these hopes higher, than a few days before his crucifixion ;and even after the rcsui-rection, previously to the giving of theSpirit, whose enlightening influences dispelled all these delusionsfor ever, we find them asking, "Lord, wilt thou at this time re-store again the kingdom to Israel?'"' This prejudice made thesehonest believers " slow of heart to understand the many thingswhich the prophets had spoken "° of their Master — many thingsAvhich their Master had spoken of himself. It greatly tried hispatience, and greatly .obstructed their improvement.Of its influence in both ways, we have a striking exemplifica-
 
tion in the passage which is now to be the subject of our consid-eration. Perceiving how deeply his announcement of his speedyand solitary departure from them had filled his disciples withanxiety and sorrow, our Lord, with a tenderly wise compassion,calls on them to moderate their excessive trouble of heart ; and,to secure this end, bids them believe in God and in him, — believewhat God had said, and what in Scripture had been said aboutGod, — ^believe what he himself had said to them, and was to sayto them, and what in Scrij^ture had been said about him. Espe-cially, he calls on them to believe the declaration which he was just about to make to them, a declaration well fitted to relievetheir anxieties, both with regard to him, and with regard tothemselves. With regard to him, he was indeed going away,but he was going to the magnificent well-furnished dwelling-placeof his Father, to dwell with him, and with those who were' Acts i. 6. ^ Luke xxiv. 15-228 THE VALEDICTORY DISCOURSE. [EXP. XXVIII,already dwellers in its many mansions. "With regard to them,he was going to his Father's house for the purpose of making thearrangements necessary to their being admitted to a place there,and that, when these were made, it was his purpose to return andtake them to himself, that where he was and was permanently toreside, they might be, and permanently reside also.He concludes his consolatory advice with saying, "Andwhither I go ye know, and the way ye know." The meaningand reference of these words arc to us perfectly plain. They donot seem capable of two meanings. We wonder how any onecould misapprehend them. But they were misapprehended.We have no reason to doubt that Thomas, when he uttered thewords, "Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can"we know the way?" expressed a difficulty all his brethren felt, — a difficulty arising out of the prejudice that tlie temporal king-dom must be set up, and that his going must have a reference tohis going to do this ; but to do it, they neither knew where norhow. Our Lord removes the misapprehension by saying, " I amthe way, and the truth, and the liie ; no man cometh unto theFather but by me."There are three topics which the subject of discourse bringsbefore our minds for consideration. First, Our Lord's saying,misapprehended by the discii)les ; secondly. Their misapprehen-sion of his saying ; and, thirdly. His correction of their misap-

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