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Guidance of the Spirit and natural observation. 275

evidence than in those matchless words; nowhere more than here is it sensibly divine.

Undoubtedly it is a fact that in these chapters our Lord does promise to His apostles the supernatural aid of the Holy Spirit. It is true that the Spirit was to testify of Christz and to glorify Christ a, and to guide the disciples into all truth b. But how? He shall take of Mine and shall shew it unto youc;' 'He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you d' The Holy Spirit was to bring the words and works and character of Jesus before the illuminated intelligence of the Apostles. The school of the Spirit was to be the school of reflection. But it was not to be the school of legendary invention. Acts, which, at the time of their being witnessed, might have appeared trivial or commonplace, would be seen, under the guidance of the Spirit, to have had a deeper interest. Words, to which a transient or local value had been assigned at first, would now be felt to invite a world-wide and eternal meaning. These things understood not His disciples at the first,' is true of much else besides the entry into Jerusalem. Moral, spiritual, physical powers which, though unexplained, could never have passed for the product of purely human activity, would in time be referred by the Invisible Teacher to their true source; they would be regarded with awe as the very rays of Deity.

Thus the work of the Spirit would but complete, systematize, digest the results of previous natural observation. Certainly it was always impossible that any man could say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost f.' The inward teaching of the Holy Ghost alone could make the Godhead of Jesus a certainty of faith as well as a conclusion of the intellect. But the intellectual conditions of belief were at first inseparable from natural contact with the living Human Form of Jesus during the years of His earthly life. Our Lord implies this in saying, Ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning. The Apostles lived with One Who combined an exercise of the highest miraculous powers with a faultless human character, and Who asserted Himself, by implication and expressly, to be personally God. The Spirit strengthened and formalized that earlier and more vague belief which was created by His language; but the language which had fallen on the natural ears of the Apostles was His; and it was the germinal principle of their riper faith in His Divinity.

* St. John XV. 26: εκείνος μαρτυρήσει περί εμού.
• Ιbid. xvi. 14: εκείνος έμε δοξάσει.
• Ιbid. ver. 13: οδηγήσει υμάς εις πάσαν την αλήθειαν.
• Ιbid. vers. I4, 15: έκ τού εμού λήψεται, και αναγγελεί υμίν.

d Ibid. κίν. 26: εκείνος υμάς διδάξει πάντα, και υπομνήσει υμάς πάντα και Eltrov úuiv. • St. John xii. 14-16.

1 Cor. xii. 3: ουδείς δύναται είπείν Κύριον Ιησούν, ει μη εν Πνεύματι Αγίω.

The unbelief of our day is naturally anxious to evade the startling fact that the most intimate of the companions of Jesus is also the most strenuous assertor of His Godhead. There is a proverb to the effect that no man's life should be written by his private servant. That proverb expresses the general conviction of mankind that, as a rule, like some mountain scenery or ruined castles, moral greatness in men is more picturesque when it is viewed from a distance. The proverb bids you not to scrutinize even a good man too narrowly, lest perchance you should discover flaws in his character which will somewhat rudely shake your conviction of his goodness. It is hinted that some unobtrusive weaknesses which escape public observation will be obvious to a man's everyday companion, and will be fatal to the higher estimate which, but for such close scrutiny, might have been formed respecting him. But in the case of Jesus Christ the moral of this cynical proverb is altogether at fault. Jesus Christ chooses one disciple to be the privileged sharer of a nearer intimacy than any other. The son of Zebedee lies upon His bosom at supper; he is 'the disciple whom Jesus loved.' Along with St. Peter and St. James, this disciple is taken to the holy mount, that he may witness the glory of his Transfigured Lord. He enters the empty tomb on the morning of the Resurrection. He is in the upper chamber when the risen Jesus blessed the ten and the eleven. He is on the mount of the Ascension when the Conqueror moves up visibly into heaven. But he also is summoned to the garden where Jesus kneels in agony beneath the olive trees; and alone of the twelve he faces the fierce multitude on the road to Calvary, and stands with Mary beneath the cross, and sees Jesus die. He sees more of the Divine Master than any other, more of His glory, more too of His humiliation. His witness is proportioned to his nearer and closer observation. Whether he is writing Epistles of encouragement and warning, or narrating heavenly visions touching the future of the Church, or recording the experiences of those years when he enjoyed that intimate, unmatched companionship,-St. John, beyond any other of the sacred writers, is the persistent herald and teacher of our Lord’s Divinity.

on the Christology of his writings.



How and by what successive steps it was that the full truth embodied in his Gospel respecting the Person of his Lord made its way into and mastered the soul of the beloved disciple, who indeed shall presume to say ? Who of us can determine the exact and varied observations whereby we learn to measure and to revere the component elements even of a great human character? The absorbing interest of such a process is generally fatal to an accurate analysis of its stages. We penetrate deeper and deeper, we mount higher and higher, as we follow the complex system of motives, capacities, dispositions, which, one ufter another, open upon us. We cannot, on looking back, say when this or that feature became distinctly clear to us. know not now by what additions and developments the general impression which we have received took its shape and outline. St. John would doubtless have learnt portions of the mighty truth from definite statements and at specified times. The real sense of prophecy , the explicit confessions of disciplesh, the assertions by which our Lord replied to the malice or to the ignorance of His opponents i, were doubtless distinct elements of the Apostle's training in the school of truth. St. John must have learned something of Christ's Divine power when, at His word, the putrid corpse of Lazarus, bound with its grave-clothes, moved forward into air and life. St. John must have learned yet more of his Master's condescension when, girded with a towel, Jesus bent Himself to the earth, that He might wash the feet of the traitor Judas. Each miracle, each discourse supplied a distinct ray of light; but the total impression must have been formed, strengthened, deepened by the incidents of daily intercourse, by the effects of hourly, momentary observation. For every human soul, encased in its earthly prison-house, seeks and finds publicity through countless outlets. The immaterial spirit traces its history with an almost invisible delicacy upon the coarse hard matter which is its servant and its organ. The unconscious, involuntary movements of manner and countenance, the unstudied phrases of daily or of casual conversation, the emphasis of silence not less than the emphasis of speech, help in various ways to complete that self-revelation which every individual character makes to all around, and which is studied by

* St. John xii. 41: ταύτα είπεν Ησαΐας, ότε είδε την δόξαν αυτού, και ελάλησε περί αυτού. Isa. vi. 9. b St. John i. 49.

After our Lord's words implying His omnipresence, Nathanael says, Ραββί, συ ει ο Υιός του Θεού.

i St. John viii. 58, &c.

all in each. Not otherwise did the Incarnate Word reveal Himself to the purest and keenest love which He found and chose from among

the sons of men. One flaw or fault of temper, one symptom of moral impotence or of moral perversion, one hasty word, one ill-considered act, would have shattered the ideal for ever. But, in fact, to St. John the Life of Jesus was as the light of heaven ; it was as one constant unfailing outflow of beauty, ever varying its illuminating powers as it falls upon the leaves of the forest oak or upon the countless ripples of the ocean. In the eyes of St. John the Eternal Person of Jesus shone forth through His Humanity with translucent splendour, and wove and folded around Itself, as the days and weeks passed on, a moral history of faultless grandeur. It was not the disciple who idealized the Master; it was the Master Who revealed Himself in His majestic glory to the illumined eye and to the entranced touch of the disciple. No treachery of memory, no ardour of temperament, no sustained reflectiveness of soul, could have compassed the transformation of a human friend into the Almighty and Everlasting Being. Nor was there room for serious error of judgment after a companionship so intimate, so heart-searching, so true, as had been that of Jesus with St. John. And thus to the beloved disciple the Divinity of his Lord was not a scholastic formula, nor a pious conjecture, nor a controversial thesis, nor the adaptation of a popular superstition to meet the demands of a strong enthusiasm, nor a mystic reverie. It was nothing less than a fact of personal experience. That Which was from the beginning, Which we have heard, Which we have seen with our eyes, Which we have looked upon and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life; (for the Life was manifested, and we have seen It, and bear witness, and shew unto you that Eternal Life, Which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That Which we have seen and heard declare we unto you.'




And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived

the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.—GAL. ii. 9.

The meditative temper of thought and phrase, which is so observable in St. John, may be thought to bear in two different manners upon the question before us in these lectures. On the one hand, such a temper, regarded from a point of view entirely naturalistic, must be admitted to be a guarantee against the presumption that St. John, in his enthusiastic devotion to Jesus, committed himself to hasty beliefs and assertions respecting the Person of his Friend and Master. An over-eager and undiscriminating admiration would not naturally express itself in metaphysical terminology of a reflective and mystical character. But on the other hand, it may be asked whether too much stress has not been laid by the argument of the last lecture upon the witness of St. John? Can the conclusions of a mind of highstrung and contemplative temper be held to furnish reasons on which the Church may build a cardinal point of belief in the religion of mankind ? May not such a belief be inextricably linked to the moral and intellectual idiosyncrasies of a single man? The belief may indeed be the honest and adequate result of that particular measure and kind of observation and reflection which one saintly mind has achieved; and as such it may

be a worthy object of philosophical interest and respect. But is not this respect and interest due to it on the precise ground that it is the true native product of a group of conditions, which coexist nowhere else save in the particular mind which generated it? Will a faith, of such origin, bear transplantation into the

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