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The Father Known, If the Son Be Known.

The Father Known, If the Son Be Known.

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


John xiv. 7-11.
BY JOHN BROWN, D. D.,


John xiv. 7-11.

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Published by: glennpease on May 30, 2013
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07/30/2013

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THE FATHER KOW, IF THE SO BE KOW.BY JOH BROW, D. D.,John xiv. 7-11. — " If ye had known me, yo should have known my Father also ;and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saitli unto him,Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been80 long time with you, and yet liast thou not known me, Philip? he that hathseen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?Believest tliou not that I am in the Fatlier, and tlie Father in me? The wordsthat I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father, that dwelleth in me,he doeth the works. Believe me that 1 am in the Father, and the Father in me:or else believe me for the very works' sake."One reason Avhy so many of oui wants remain unsupplied — so many of oar evils^ unremoved — is ignorance or misapprehen-sion respecting their cause. It is by the cause being removed thatthe effects arc to be got quit of; but while we remain uninformedor misinformed respecting the cause of an evil, we are likel}^,either to use no means, or to use not the right means, for its re-moval. We are often painfully sensible of wants which originatein other wants of which we are not sensible at all, and whichcan never be removed till we become sensible of what may betermed the primary, parent want, and employ the appropriatemeans of having it supplied.It is no uncommon thing for professing, and even real, Chris-tians, to complain of a want of comfort, and, it may be, a want of holiness, while quite, or in a great measure, unconscious of thatwant oi faith in which both these other wants originate. Or, if they admit that they want faith, it is not that faith which consistsin believing the well-understood statements of the word of God.They think thej^ imderstand these very well ; they think they be-lieve these very firmly. The Mth they think they want, is some-thing quite difierent from this. But they are in a mistake. If they did understand and believe the truth as it is in Jesus, therecould not be that want of comfort and holiness Avhich they ac-knowledge, and of which they complain ; and things will neverbe better till they become sensible of their ignorance and misap-prehension, till they discover the primary, parent want, and, in2< Brown Patterson.PART lY.] THE FATHER KOW, IF THE SO BE KOW. 239
 
the stii'lv of truth and its evidence, use the appropriate means of having it supplied.A man complains of a felt want of love to God, and not with-out good reason ; but, it may be, he does not advert to the factthat the cause of this is an inordinate love of the world, of whichhe is not conscious. It is because he does love the world jn adegree he ought not, that he does not love God in the degree heought ; and while he loves the world as he does, he never will, henever can, love God as he ought. A man is conscious of a restlessdissatisfaction, but he is not aware that that restlessness must con-tinue till his mind and heart centre in God, man's only point of rest. We are often conscious of the want of something whichwe cannot have without something else, of our want of which weare not conscious — ay, of which, somehow or other, we have per-suaded ourselves that we are — it may be, that we have long been — possessed.The cause of felt ignorance on a subject which we arc painfullyconscious of not understanding, is often real but unfelt ignoranceon a subject which we have somehow persuaded ourselves thatwe fully understand. If we really understood the subject we think we understand, Ave could not but understand the subject whichwe feel we do not understand. A person, for example, feels thathe does not understand how the atonement of Christ should be sonecessary as Scripture represents it to the salvation of man ; buthe is quite unconscious that he is destitute of true views of thenature of sin, and the character and government of God, withoutwhich the necessity of the atonement cannot be discerned, — withwhich it has all the clearness of a self-evident axiom or a demon-strated proposition. If he had known the truth on the lattersubject, he could not but have known the truth on the former ;and till he know the truth on the latter subject, he never will — he never can — ^know the truth on the former.The portion of our Lord's valedictory discourse, to the illustra-tion of which we now i:)roceed, furnishes us with a striking exem-plification of the important principle just stated. Our Lord's dis-ciples had a painfully -felt want, which originated in another wantof which they were not at all conscious ; and our Lord turns theirattention to this primary, parent want, that, by getting it supplied,they might have the other want supplied also. They were pain-fully sensible of a want of distinct notions respecting his ap-proaching de'iDarture. They knew not whither he was going — how he was going — where Avas his Father's house, to which hesaid he was going, and how and when they were to be brought to
 
him there ; but they were not at all conscious that they wanted justly extended views of the person and official character of theirMaster, of the design of his mission, of the nature of the deliver-ance he had come to accomplish, and of the kingdom which it washis purpose to establish. They thought they knew him, thoughthey felt they did not know the Father. They were in a mistake ;they greatly overrated their knowledge of him, and they did not240 THE VALEDICTORY DISCOURSE. [EXP. XXVIII.at all perceive tliat their ignorance of the Father, which theypainfully felt, was indeed the effect of their ignorance of theirMaster, the Son, of which they were not at all conscious.Our Lord informs them that the true cause of their distressinghaziness of view respecting the Father and the Father's house,and his and their way to them, was a deficiency of right viewsrespecting him, and gives them the joyful intimation that theperiod was just at hand when the attainment of just views of himwould lead them into just and satisfactory views of the Fatheralso. Light Avas about to be shed on a subject which they werenot aware needed it ; and the light shed on that subject wouldilluminate also what at present they painfully felt to be coveredwith obscurity. " If ye had known me, ye should have knownmy Father also ; and from henceforth ye know Him, and haveseen Him."The first part of these words bears a very striking resemblanceto what our Lord on a former occasion had said to the unbeliev-ing Jews. When they tauntingly said to him, "Where is thyFather?" he replied, "Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.'"The general truth is the same in both cases. The true knowl-edge of the Father, cannot be obtained but by the true knowl-edge of the Son ; and if the Son be really known, the Father isknown also. The Father is known just so far as the Son isknown — no farther. The circumstances of the two cases, how-ever, were very different ; and the same words have by no meansthe same meaning when addressed to the disciples, as when ad-dressed to the unbelieving Jews.The Jews recognized in Jesus nothing but a low-born unedu-cated man of azareth, acting the part of a public teacher, forwhich they thought him unqualified, laying claim apparentl}'' tohonors to which, in their apprehension, he had no right, and

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