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lieve in God, believe also in Me.21 He closes it with a similar exhortation, Have peace in Me. Here He pointed out to them where they might look for peace at all times, and be assured of finding it. They were to look up to Him, after He had left them, as their Friend and Advocate on high; through whom God was their Father, and the Spirit of truth their Comforter. In Him they were to seek peace on all occasions. If they looked for it elsewhere, He warned them that they would meet with disappointment. He told them what treatment they would receive from the children of this world: In the world ye
shall have tribulation. He knew that Satan would stir up those who were under his dominion to oppose them to the utmost. But He intimated that the blessedness, which they should enjoy in Him, would so far counterbalance all outward distressing circumstances, that, in the midst of their tribulation, they might be of good cheer, they might take courage; for although the world opposed and troubled them, it should not triumph over them; for even if they should be put to death, they should obtain victory in death through Him who loved them, and gave Himself for them. This was enough to inspire them with courage, to bear them up in the midst of their tribulations. But further, what He called on them to do was only to follow His own example. I have overcome the world.
21 John xiv. 1.
And as He had done this, He would supply them with strength to do the same.
These things are left on record in the holy Scriptures for our instruction also. What our Saviour said to His disciples, was also intended to apply to all who should believe on Him through their word. If we believe in the Divine power of the Lord Jesus Christ, we may derive continual consolation from relying upon it. If we receive Him as our Saviour ; if we regard Him as having come forth from God, and become man that He might be the propitiation for our sins," here we may find joy and peace in believing:23 He was left alone to endure the wrath of God due to our offences, that we, believing in Him, might not be forsaken of God. He was made a curse for us,24 that we might be freed from the wrath to come.
He made peace through the blood of His cross, 25 that, trusting in Him, we might have a peace of mind which nothing in this world can take away. The believer in Christ must however, expect in the world to have tribulation of one kind or another. It is appointed to wean his affections from the world, on which all are naturally disposed to look with too great favour;
22 | John ii. 2. 23 Rom. xv. 13. 24 Galatians iii. 13. 25 Coloss.i. 20.
and to lead him to live the life which he lives in the flesh by the faith of the Son of God, who hath loved him, and given Himself for him.26
Let the afflicted children of God then take courage. Let them be of good cheer. He, who has overcome the world, will not suffer them to be tempted or tried above what they are able to bear; but will cause all things to work together for their good, and for His own glory. Christ Himself obtained the victory ; and His believing people shall, in His strength, obtain it also. Let them seek peace in Him; and look up to the God of heaven as their reconciled Father,
with them through His beloved Son, their Redeemer and Mediator. And thus they may be confident that every trial with which they are afflicted in this life will prove to be a blessing; and when it has answered the purpose designed by it, will in His due time come to an end. Our heavenly Father doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men,28 but chastens His children for their profit, that they may be partakers of His holiness.29 Let every trouble that we meet with here below send us to the throne of grace, to humble ourselves before God, and to seek help and strength from Him; and then we shall have reason to say, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,
26 Gal. ii. 10. 27 1 Corinth. x. 13. 28 Lament.ij.33. 29 Heb. xii. 10. 30 Psalın xlvi. 1.
therefore will we not fear :30 and we may add, This God is our God for ever and ever, He will be our guide even unto death ,31 and beyond death our exceeding great reward. He will be the strength of our heart, and our portion for ever.
Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, Three Persons in One Jehovah, be ascribed, as is most justly due, glory and majesty, dominion and praise, for evermore. Amen.
31 Psalm xlviii. 14.
32 Psalm lxxiii. 26.
ASCENSION DAY, OR HOLY THURSDAY.
THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST INTO HEAVEN.
Mark xvi. 19.
So THEN AFTER THE LORD HAD SPOKEN UNTO
THEM, HE WAS RECEIVED UP INTO HEAVEN,
In the Gospel appointed for this day, an account is given of the fifth or last appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ to His Apostles, on the day that He rose from the dead; when they had met together at supper time, to converse respecting the events which had taken place. On this occasion, one witness after another bore testimony to the fact of His resurrection. The account of Mary Magdalene and the other women was first related; then the testimony of Peter and John was given, as to the state in which they had found the sepulchre, after they had heard the report