THE HEART OF CHRIST IN HEAVEN
TOWARDS SINNERS ON EARTH
Having set forth our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in all those great and most solemn actions of his—his obedience unto death, his resurrection, ascension into heaven, his sitting at God’s right hand, and intercession for us, which of all the other has been more largely insisted on—I shall now annex (as next in order, and homogeneal thereunto) this discourse that follows, which lays open the heart of Christ, as now he is in heaven, sitting at God’s right hand and interceding for us; how it is affected and graciously disposed towards sinners on earth that do come to him; how willing to receive them; how ready to entertain them; how tender to pity them in all their infirmities, both sins and miseries. The scope and use whereof will be this, to hearten and encourage believers to come more boldly unto the throne of grace, unto such a Saviour and High Priest, when they shall know how sweetly and tenderly his heart, though he is now in his glory, is inclined towards them; and so to
remove that great stone of stumbling which we meet with (and yet lies unseen) in the thoughts of men in the way to faith, that Christ being now absent, and further exalted to so high and infinite a distance of glory, as to “sit at God’s right hand,” they therefore cannot tell how to come to treat with him about their salvation so freely, and with that hopefulness to obtain, as those poor sinners did, who were here on earth with him. Had our lot been, think they, but to have conversed with him in the days of his flesh, as Mary, and Peter, and his other disciples did here below, we could have thought to have been bold with him, and to have had anything at his hands. For they beheld him before them a man like unto themselves, and he was full of meekness and gentleness, he being then himself made sin, and sensible of all sorts of miseries; but now he is gone into a far country, and has put on glory and immortality, and how his heart may be altered thereby we know not. The drift of this
discourse is therefore to ascertain poor souls, that his heart, in respect of pity and compassion, remains the same it was on earth; that he intercedes there with the same heart he did here below; and that he is as meek, as gentle, as easy to be entreated, as tender in his bowels; so that they may deal with him as fairly about the great matter of their salvation, and as hopefully, and upon as easy terms to obtain it of him, as they might if they had been on earth with him, and be as familiar with him in all their needs—than which nothing can be more for the comfort and encouragement of those who have given over all other lives but that of faith, and whose souls pursue after strong and entire communion with their Saviour Christ.
Now the demonstrations that may help our faith in this I reduce to two heads: the first more extrinsic and outward; the second more intrinsic and inward: the one showing the ὅτι of it, that it is so; the other the διότι, the reasons and grounds why it must be so.
I. First, for those extrinsic demonstrations (as I call them), they are taken from several passages and carriages of his, in all those several conditions of his; namely, at his last farewell before his death, his resurrection, ascension, and how he is sitting at God’s right hand. I shall lead you through all the same heads which I have gone over in the former treatise (though to another purpose), and take such observations from his speeches and carriages, in all those states he went through, as shall tend directly to persuade our hearts of the point in hand, namely this, that now he is in heaven, his heart remains as graciously inclined to sinners that come to him, as ever on earth. And for a ground or introduction to these first sort of demonstrations, I shall take this Scripture that follows; as for those other, another Scripture, as proper to that part of this discourse.
When Jesus knew that his hour was come, that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own, he loved them to the end; (or) forever.—John 13:1.
Demonstrations from Christ’s Last Farewell to His Disciples
I. It was long before that Christ did break his mind to his disciples that he was to leave them, and to go away to heaven from them, for, John 16:4, he says, he had forborne “to tell it them from the beginning.” But when he begins to acquaint them with it, he then at once leaves them an abundance of his heart, and that not only how it stood towards them, and what it was at the present, but what it would be when he should be in his glory. Let us, to this end, but briefly peruse his last carriage, and his sermon at his last supper which he did eat with them, as it is on purpose penned and recorded by the evangelist John; and we shall find this to be the drift of those long discourses of Christ’s, from John chapters 13 to 18. I will not make a comment on them, but only briefly take up such short observations as do more specially hold forth this thing in hand.
1. These words which I have prefixed as the text, are the preface unto all of his discourse that follows (namely, unto that washing of his disciples’ feet, and his succeeding sermon), which accordingly do show the argument and sum of all. The preface is this: “Before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come, that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands and that he was come from God and went to God, he then washed his disciples’ feet.” Now this preface was prefixed by the evangelist, on purpose to set open a window into Christ’s heart, to show what it was then at his departure, and so further to give a light into, and put a gloss and interpretation upon all that follows. The scope whereof is to show what his affections would be to them in heaven: he tells us what
Christ’s thoughts were then, and what was his heart amidst those thoughts, both which occasioned all that succeeds.
(1.) He premises what was in Christ’s thoughts and his meditation. He began deeply to consider, both that he was to depart out of this world, “Jesus knew,” says the text (that is, was then thinking of it), “that he should depart unto the Father,” and how that then he should shortly be installed into that glory which was due unto him; so it follows, John 13:3, “Jesus knowing” (that is, was then actually taking into his mind) “that the Father had given all things into his hands,” that is, that all power in heaven and earth was his, so soon as he should set footing in heaven; then in the midst of these thoughts he tells us, he went and washed his disciples’ feet, after he had first considered where he was to go, and there what he was to be.
(2.) But, secondly, what was Christ’s heart most upon, in the midst of all these elevated meditations? Not upon his own glory so much, though it is told us that he considered that, thereby the more to set out his love unto us, but upon these thoughts his heart ran out in love towards, and was set upon, “his own:” “having loved his own,” says John 13:1, τόυς ἰδίους, his own, a word denoting the greatest nearness, dearness, and intimateness founded upon propriety.1 The elect are Christ’s own, a piece of himself, not τά ἲδια, as goods, John 1:11: “he came unto his own, and his own received him not;” τά ἲδια, the word shows that he reckons
them his own, but as goods, not as persons, but he calls these here τòυς ἰδίους, his own by a nearer propriety, that is, his own children, his own members, his own wife, his own flesh; and he considers, that though he was to go out of the world, yet they were to be in the world, and therefore it is on purpose added, “which were in the world,” that is, to remain in this world. He had others of his own who were in that world unto which he was going, even “the spirits of just men made perfect” (Hebrews 12:23), whom as yet he had never seen. One would think, that when he was meditating upon his going out of this world, his heart should be all upon Abraham, his Isaacs, and his Jacobs, whom he was going to; no, he takes more care for his own, who were to remain here in this world, a world wherein there is much evil (as himself says, John 17:15), both of sin and misery, and with which themselves, while in it, could not but be defiled and vexed. This is it which draws out his bowels towards them, even at that time when his heart was full of the thoughts of his own glory: “having loved his own, he loved them unto the end.” Which is spoken to show the constancy of his love, and what it would be when Christ should be in his glory. “To the end,” that is, to the perfection of it, εἰς τελείωσιν, says Chrysostom; having begun to love them, he will perfect and consummate his love to them. And “to the end,” that is, forever. So in the Greek, εἰς τέλος is sometimes used, and so by the evangelist the phrase is here used in a suitableness to the Scripture phrase, Psalm 103:9,
“He will not always chide, nor reserve anger forever,” so we translate it; but in the original, “He reserves not anger unto the end.” So that the scope of this speech is to show how Christ’s heart and love would be towards them even forever, when he should be gone unto his Father, as well as it was to show how it had been here on earth, they being his own; and he having loved them, he alters, he changes not, and therefore will love them forever.
1 That is, “property,” or “ownership.”-ED.
(3.) And then thirdly, to testify thus much by a real testimony, what his love would be, when in heaven, to them, the evangelist shows, that when he was in the midst of all those great thoughts of his approaching glory, and of the sovereign estate which he was to be in, he then took water and a towel, and washed his disciples’ feet. This to have been his scope will appear, if you observe but the coherence in the second verse, it is said, that “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands,” then (John 13:4) “he riseth from supper, and lays aside his garments, and took a towel and girded himself;” (John 13:5) after that, “he poured water into a basin, and began to wash his disciples’ feet,” where it is evident that the evangelist’s scope is to hold forth this unto us, that then when Christ’s
thoughts were full of his glory, and when he took in the consideration of it unto the utmost, even then, and upon that occasion, and in the midst of those thoughts, he washed his disciples’ feet. And what was Christ’s meaning in this, but that, whereas when he should be in heaven, he could not make such outward visible demonstrations of his heart, by doing such mean services for them; therefore by doing this in the midst of such thoughts of his glory, he would show what he could be content (as it were) to do for them, when he should be in full possession of it? So great is his love unto them. There is another expression of Christ’s like unto this, in Luke 12:36-37, which confirms this to be his meaning here, and to be his very heart in heaven. At Luke 12:36, he compares himself to a bridegroom, who is to go to heaven unto a wedding-feast; who has
servants on earth that stand all that while here below, as without, waiting for him; at which, because they wait so long, they may think much, Christ adds, “Verily I say unto you, that when the bridegroom returns” (refreshed with wine and gladness) “he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” The meaning is not as if that Christ served at the latter day, or now in heaven, those that sit down there; but only it is an abundant expression in words, as here in a real instance, to set forth the overflowing love that is in his heart, and the transcendent happiness that we shall then enjoy, even beyond what can be expected by us; he utters himself therefore by an unwonted thing not heard of, that the Lord should serve his servants, and wait on them that waited for him. And it is to show his heart to them, and what he could be contented to do for them. So that you see what his heart was before he went to heaven, even amidst
the thoughts of all his glory; and you see what it is after he has been in heaven, and greatened with all his glory, even content to wash poor sinners’ feet, and to serve them that come to him and wait for him.
(4.) Now, fourthly, what was the mystery of this his washing their feet? It was, as to give them an example of mutual love and humility, so to signify his washing away their sins; thus, John 13:8, 10, himself interprets it. It is true indeed, that, now he is in heaven, he cannot come to wash the feet of their bodies, but he would signify thus much thereby, that those sinners that will come to him when in his glory, he will wash away all their sins; “He loved his church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle,” etc., Ephesians 5:25-27.
2. This specimen or declaration of his mind, we have from this his carriage, at this his last farewell. Let us next take a survey of the drift of that long sermon which he made at that his farewell, and we shall find the main scope of it to be further to assure his disciples of what his heart would be unto them; and that will make a second demonstration.
It was too long a work to insist upon each particular. But certainly, no loving husband ever endeavored more to satisfy the heart of his spouse during his absence, than Christ does his disciples’ hearts, and in them all believers. For take that along, once for all, that what Christ said unto them, he says unto us, as in John 17:20 that speech implies, “I pray not for them only, but for those also that shall believe through their word.” And as what he prayed for them was for all believers also, so, what he then spoke was unto them.
(1.) First, he lets them see what his heart would be unto them, and how mindful of them when in heaven, by that business which he professed he went there to perform for them; concerning which, observe first, that he lovingly acquaints them with it beforehand what it is, which argued care and tenderness, as from a husband unto a wife it does. And also, how plain-heartedly does he speak, as one that would not hide anything from them! “I tell you the truth of it” (says he), “it is expedient for you that I go away,” John 16:7. And secondly, he tells them, it is wholly for them and their happiness, “I go to send you a comforter,” while you are in this world, and “to prepare a place for you,” John 14:2, when you shall go out of this world. “There are many mansions in my Father’s house,” and I go to take them up for
you, and to keep your places for you till you come. And there again, how openly and candidly does he speak to them! “If it had been otherwise,” says he, “I would have told you.” You may believe me; I would not deceive you for all the glory in that place to which I am going. Whom would not this openness and nakedness of heart persuade? But then, thirdly, the business itself being such as is so much for us and our happiness, how much more does that argue it. And indeed, Christ himself does fetch from there an argument of the continuance of his love to them. So John 14:3, “If I go to prepare a place for you,”—if that be my errand, then doubt not of my love when I am there, all the glory of the place shall never make me forget my business. When he was on earth, he forgot none of the business for which he came into the world; “Shall I not do my Father’s business?” said he when
he was a child; Luke 2:49; yes, and he did it to the utmost, by fulfilling all righteousness. Surely therefore he will not forget any of that business which he is to do in heaven, it being the more pleasant work by far. And (as I showed in the former discourse, out of Hebrews 6:20) “He is entered as a forerunner,” a harbinger, to take up places there for us; and if he could forget us, yet our names are all written in heaven round about him, and are continually before his eyes written there, not only by God’s election, so Hebrews 12:22-24 “Ye are come to mount Zion, and to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the church of the firstborn which are written in heaven, and to Jesus, and to the blood of sprinkling,” etc., but Christ himself scores them up anew with his blood, over every mansion
there, which he takes up for any. Yes, he carries their names written in his heart, as the high priest did the names of the ten2 tribes on his breast, when he entered into the holy of holies. He sits in heaven to see to it, that none other should take their rooms over their heads, as we say. And therefore, 1 Peter 1:4, salvation is said to be “reserved in heaven for them,” that is, kept on purpose for them by Jesus Christ. The evil angels had places there once, but they were disposed of unto others over their heads, as the land of Canaan was from the Canaanites; the reason of which was, because they had not a Christ there to intercede for them as we have.
2 Qu. “twelve”?-ED.
(2.) Then, secondly, to manifest his mindfulness of them, and of all other believers, when he would be in his glory, he tells them that when he has dispatched that business for them, and made heaven ready for them, and all the elect that are to come, that then he means to come again to them. So John 14:3, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again,” which is a mere expression of love, for he if he had pleased, he might have ordered it to have sent for them to him; but he means to come for them himself, and this when he is warm (as we speak) and in the height and midst of his glory in heaven; yet he will for a time leave it to come again unto his spouse. And what is it for? [1.] To see her, “I will see you again,” and your heart shall rejoice. [2.] To fetch her, so John 14:3, “I will come again and receive you to myself.” He
condescends to the very laws of bridegrooms, for notwithstanding all his greatness, no lover shall put him down in any expression of true love. It is the manner of bridegrooms, when they have made all ready in their father’s house, then to come themselves and fetch their brides, and not to send for them by others, because it is a time of love. Love descends better than ascends, and so does the love of Christ, who indeed is love itself, and therefore comes down to us himself; “I will come again and receive you unto myself” (says Christ), “that so where I am, you may be also.” That last part of his speech gives the reason of it, and also divulges his entire affection. It is as if he had said, ‘The truth is, I cannot live without you, I shall never be quiet until I have you where I am, that so we may never part again; that is the reason of it. Heaven shall not hold me, nor my Father’s company, if I have not you with me, my heart is so set upon you;
and if I have any glory, you shall have part of it.’ So John 14:19, “Because I live, you shall live also.” It is a reason, and it is half an oath besides, As I live is God’s oath; Because I live, says Christ. He pawns his life upon it, and desires to live upon no other terms, “He shall live to see his seed,” Isaiah 53:10. And yet farther, the more to express the workings and longings of his heart after them all that while, he tells them it shall not be long neither before he does come again to them. So John 16:16, “A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me” says he. Not seeing him does not refer to that small space of absence while dead and in the grave, but of that after his last ascending, forty days
after his resurrection, when he should go away, not to be seen on earth again until the day of judgment; and yet from that ascension but “a little while,” says he, “and you shall see me again,” namely, at the day of judgment. It is said, Hebrews 10:37, “Yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” The words in the Greek are ἔτι γὰρ μικρὸν ὅσον ὅσον ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἥξει, “As little as little may be.” Though long for the time in itself, yet as little while as may be in respect of his desire, without the least delaying to come. He will stay not a moment longer, than till he has dispatched all our business there for us. And then the doubling of the phrase, ὁ
ἐρχόμενος ἥξει veniens veniet, “Coming he will come,” implies vehemency of desire to come, and that his mind is always upon it, he is still coming, he can hardly be kept away. Thus the Hebrew phrase likewise signifies an urgency, vehemency, and intenseness of some act, as “expecting I have expected,” “desiring I have desired,” so coming he will come. And as not content with these expressions of desire, he adds over and above all these, “and will not tarry;” and all to signify the infinite ardency of his mind towards his elect below, and to have all his elect in heaven about him. He will not stay a minute longer than necessary, he tarries only until he has throughout all ages by his intercession prepared every room for each saint, that he may entertain them all at once together, and have them all about him.
(3.) Thirdly, what his heart would be towards them in his absence he expresses by the careful provision he makes, and the order he takes for their comfort in his absence, John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans” (so the word is), I will not leave you like fatherless and friendless children, at sixes and sevens. My Father and I have but only one friend, who lies in the bosom of us both, and proceeds from us both, the Holy Ghost, and in the meantime I will send him to you, doing herein as a loving husband used to do in his absence, even commit his wife to the dearest friend he has; so does Christ, John 14:16, “I will pray the Father,” says he, “and he shall give you another Comforter.” And John 16:7, he says, “I will send him to you.” Who:
First, shall be a better Comforter unto you than I am to be in this kind of dispensation, which while I am on earth I am bound up towards you in. So in that John 16:7 he intimates, “It is expedient,” says he, “that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come,” who, by reason of his office, will comfort you better than I should do with my bodily presence. And this Spirit, as he is the “earnest of heaven,” as the apostle speaks, so he is the greatest token and pledge of Christ’s love that ever was, and such a one as “the world cannot receive.” And yet,
Secondly, all the comfort he shall speak to you all that while will be but from the expression of my heart towards you; for as he comes not of himself, but I must send him, John 16:7, so “he will speak nothing of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak,” John 16:13. And John 16:14 he says, “He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” ‘Him, therefore, I shall send on purpose to be in my room and to execute my place to you, my bride, spouse, and he shall tell you, if you will listen to him, and not grieve him, nothing but stories of my love. So it is there, “He shall glorify me,” namely, to you; for I am in myself already glorified in heaven. All his speech in your hearts will be to advance me, and to increase my worth and love
unto you, and it will be his delight to do it. And he can come from heaven in an instant when he will, and bring you fresh tidings of my mind, and tell you the thoughts I last had of you, even at that very minute when I am thinking of them, what they are at the very time wherein he tells you them.’ And therefore in that 1 Corinthians 2:12 by “having the Spirit,” we are said to “have the mind of Christ,” 1 Corinthians 2:16; for he dwells in Christ’s heart, and also ours, and lifts up from one hand to the other what Christ’s thoughts are to us, and what our prayers and faith are to Christ.
‘So that you shall have my heart as surely and as speedily as if I were with you; and he will continually be breaking your hearts, either with my love to you, or yours to me, or both; and if either, you may be sure of my love thereby. And whereas, says he, ‘you have the Spirit now in your hearts’, so, John 14:17 “he now dwells in you;” yet after my ascension “he shall be,” in a further measure, “in you,” (as it follows there.) And at that day, John 14:20, “you shall know” (namely, by his dictate) “that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” He will tell you, when I am in heaven, that there is as true a conjunction between me and you, and as true a dearness of affection in me towards you, as is between my Father and me, and that it is as impossible to break this knot, and to
take off my heart from you, as my Father’s from me, or mine from my Father.’ And then,
Thirdly, you shall be sure that what he says of my love to you is true, for “he is the Spirit of truth,” John 16:13, as also John 14:16-17, which Christ speaks of him as he is a Comforter. And as you believe me when I tell you of my Father, because I come from him, so you may believe him in all that he says of me and of my love to you, for he comes from me.
Aye, but might they say, Will not he also leave us for a time, as you have done? ‘No,’ says Christ, John 14:16, “The Father shall give you another Comforter, and he shall abide with you forever.” Christ speaks it in opposition to himself. He himself had been a comforter unto them, but he was now to be absent; but not so the Spirit. “He shall be with you forever;” and as he is now “with you,” so he “shall be in you,” John 14:17.
In the fourth place, if this be not enough to assure them how his heart would be affected towards them, he assures them he will give them daily experience of it. Do but try me, says he, when I am gone, and that by sending me word upon all occasions what you would have me to do for you, and I have left my Spirit to be your secretary and the inditer of all your petitions. “Hitherto you have asked nothing (that is, little) in my name”—he blames them that they have asked him no more to do for them—“but now ask, and you shall receive.” And if otherwise you will not believe, yet you shall believe your own eyes; ask, and you shall see yourselves answered presently. Believe, and so believe me, says he, “for the works’ sake,” John 14:11. He speaks it of the works he would do for them in answer to their prayers when he was gone, which should be as so
many epistles of his heart returned in answer unto theirs; for it follows, John 14:12, “He that believeth on me shall do greater works than I, because I go to my Father,” so that it is evident he speaks of the works done after his ascension. And how were they to get and procure them to be done? By prayer; so it follows, John 14:13, “And whatsoever you shall ask in my name, that will I do.” He speaks it of the time when he is gone. And again he says in John 14:14, “If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Let me but hear from you, be it every week, every day, every hour, you shall be sure of an answer. “Open your mouths wide, and I will fill them.” (Psalm 81:10) And those your
prayers shall be as continual tokens both of your hearts towards me, and my answers shall be the like of mine to you. And because Christ bids them direct (their letters) their prayers, to the Father, only to send them in his name, as John 16:23, and so they might perhaps not so clearly know and discern that his heart was in the answer to them, but his Father’s hand only, therefore he adds twice in John 14, “I will do it, I will do it.” He speaks like one as forward to do for them, as his Father is, or should be, and as desirous to have them know and take notice of his hand in it. And it is as if he had said, Though you ask the Father in my name, yet all comes through my hands, and I will do it;—there must be my hand to the warrant for everything that is done, and my heart shall not be wanting.
In the fifth place, yet further to evidence his love, he not only bids them thus pray to him and in his name upon all occasions, but he assures them that he himself will pray for them. And observe the manner of his telling them this; it is in the most insinuating, persuasive expressions to convey his heart unto them that men use to utter when they would intimate the deepest care and purpose to do a thing. John 16:26, “At that day (namely, after his ascension) ye shall ask,” says he, “and I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you;” no, not I. I mentioned it before; I will but add this illustration to it. It is such a speech as men use when they would express the greatest reason that another has to rest confident and assured of their love, “I do not love you, no, not I.” It is expressing a thing by its contrary, by which it is most emphasized. As when we say of
a man that has the greatest good turn done him that can be, you are shrewdly hurt. It is such an expression as Paul used to the Corinthians,I converted your souls when you thought not of it; “I caught you with guile; forgive me this wrong.” (2 Corinthians 12:16). So, says Christ here, “I say not that I will pray for you,” when the truth is, that it is the chiefest work that he does in heaven. “He lives ever to intercede;” Hebrews 7:25—as he ever lives, so to intercede ever, and never to hold his peace till sinners are saved. But the work of Christ in heaven is a subject which deserves, and will take up, a distinct and large discourse; I will therefore speak no more of it now, neither will I mention any more particulars out of this his sermon. Read over those three chapters (John 14, 15, 16), for in them you have the longest sermon of his that is recorded; and he stood the longest upon this theme of any other, because, indeed, his heart was more in it than in any point that he ever preached on.
Only, if any object and say, He spoke all this to his disciples to quiet and pacify them, and so, more in respect to their trouble, than otherwise he would have spoken.
In the sixth place, read but the next chapter (John 17), and you shall see that he presently goes apart and alone to his Father, and speaks over all again unto him that which he had said unto them. He says as much behind their backs of them as he had said before their faces to them. Read it, and you will find that he was the same absent as when present with them. He was, therefore, not only hearty in what he had said, but his heart was full of it. That chapter, you know, contains a prayer put up just before his suffering, and there he makes his will and his last request, for in such a style it runs, “Father, I will,” John 17:24, which will he is gone to see executed in heaven. And Arminius said true in that, this prayer is left us by Christ as a summary of his intercession for us in heaven. He spoke as he meant to do in heaven, and
as one that had done his work, and was now come to demand his wages; “I have finished thy work,” says he, John 17:4. And whereas he speaks a word or two for himself (in the first five verses), he speaks five times as many for them, for all the rest of the chapter is a prayer for them. He uses all kind of arguments to move his Father for his children. “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do,” says he, and to save them is thy work, which remains to be done for me by thee; and “they are thine, and thou gavest them me,” and I commend to thee but thine own. “And all mine are thine, and thine are mine.” He insinuates that he of himself had not added a man, but uses all his interest only for those that the Father had given him. And what a motive is this? And he professes he will not open his mouth for a man more: “I pray not for the world,” says
he, I will not open my lips for any one son of perdition; but I employ all my blood, my prayers, and my whole interest with thee but for those thyself hast given me. And, says he, though thou hast given me a personal glory, which I had before the world was, yet there is another glory which I account of almost as much, and that is, in their being saved. “I am glorified in them,” says he, (John 17:10) “and they are my joy,” (John 17:13) and therefore I must have them “with me wherever I am,”’ (John 17:24). ‘Thou hast set my heart upon them, and hast loved them thyself as thou hast loved me, and thou hast ordained them to be one in us, even as we are one, and therefore I cannot live long asunder from them; I have thy company, but I must have
theirs too; “I will that they be where I am,” (John 17:24). If I have any glory, they must have part of it. So it follows in the forenamed verse, “That they may behold the glory which thou hast given me.” He speaks all this as if he had been then in heaven, and in possession of all that glory; and, therefore, it is an expression of his heart in heaven, which you have very good ground to build upon.