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shall see me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. now therefore have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from
The allusion throughout this passage is evidently to the season between the Ascension of Christ, and his coming again in the clouds of heaven and the glory of the Father. It cannot refer to "the little while" that he was removed from them before his resurrection, and to his appearing to them after that event; because our Lord adds, after announcing the fact of his going away and coming again, “because I go to the Father,"—evidently alluding to what he had before stated, “in my Father's house are many mansions; I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself.” And besides, he could hardly with propriety be said to have gone to the Father before his resurrection, seeing that his body remained in the grave.
The disciples did not understand his allusion, and therefore our Lord graciously proceeds to speak more fully on the subject; though it is probable that they did not receive a full impression of the truth he delivered, until after he was risen from the dead. He points out in the most significant terms the toil and the sorrow which awaited them as his soldiers and servants, and forewarns them of this aggravation of their trials, that just as they mourned and wept, the world would rejoice over them. The state of his suffering people he compares in the 21st verse to the agony and pain of a woman in travail; while at the same time he holds out to them the joyful hope and prospect of deliverance. And observe the contrast which he evidently draws in the 20th verse between the Church and the world;the Church shall be in sorrow, the world shall rejoice; the sorrow of the Church shall be turned into joy, while the joy of the world shall be turned into bitterness of sorrow.
And the cause of returning joy to the people of God will be their returning Lord. “I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice.” It is then that the Church shall arise and shake herself from the dust, and “ascend her lofty throne.” It is then that she shall lay aside her garments of widowhood, and come up from the wilderness of trial, “leaning on the arm of her beloved," and adorned as the bride of the Lamb; when he who is “her husband” shall “gird his sword upon his thigh,” and “ride gloriously” as King of kings and Lord of lords. And then
sorrow and sighing” shall flee away for ever—“ Your joy no man taketh from you "_" Everlasting joy shall be upon your heads."
Believer, “ Yet a little while” and you shall not see him, who is all your "salvation and desire ;" and this season must be one of sorrow and tribulation-it must be one in which you shall go forth, weeping, while you sow precious seed; it must be one in which “sorrow shall often fill your hearts." But behold the streak of light along the horizon, which tells you of the coming day, “I will see you again.” Soon, very soon, shall you see Jesus as he is, and be like him, not only in holiness but in joy. “ Your heart shall rejoice”-it will not be the vain, empty out
ward, false joy of the world, like the crackling of thorns, but the deep and abiding gladness of the soul, the rejoicing of the inmost affections of the spirit, the fulness of the heart's joy, ever flowing, never failing. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus."
JOHN XVI. 23–33.
And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it yos. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name : ask, and ye shall receire, that your joy may be full. These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs : but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you is proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Pather. At that day ye shall ask in my name : and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you : for the Father himself loveth you, because ye hare lord me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world : again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now are we sure that thou knouest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee : by this se believe that thou camest forth from God. Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe ? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye skall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone : and ye I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things have I spokën unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation : but be of good cheer ; I have overcome the world.
“ In that day ye shall ask me nothing." What day is this to which the Saviour here alludes? Doubtless he referred to the “little while” when they should not see him ; to the brief period of sorrow and difficulty which was to be overpassed, before they saw him again who was
the joy of their hearts ; to the day of outward calamity and sharp proving, which was to be their portion previous to their final and complete deliverance out of earthly toil, and their entrance into heavenly rest."
“In that day” then, he says, “ye shall ask me nothing." At first sight this seems strange, as we naturally conclude that the people of God, during their day of trouble, require every aid from their Master. Why then should he speak of their not asking him any thing ?
A little consideration will however suffice to open the true signification of this passage to us, while at the same time it will tend to shew how vain the assertions of those persons are, who from this passage would endeavour to prove that Christ ought not to be addressed in the language of prayer at all. It is necessary then to observe that the word “ask ” which is twice used in the 23rd verse, is the translation of two different Greek words; the one signifying to interrogate, or ask a question ; and the other being constantly used in the New Testament, to denote asking in prayer. When therefore our Lord said, “ In that day, ye shall ask me nothing,” he by no means intended to intimate to them, that when he ascended into heaven they were never to pray to him; but he makes a direct reference to the questions, which they had just been discussing among themselves, the word used in the former part of the 23rd verse, “ Ye shall ask me nothing," being the same word which is found in the 19th verse, “Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him.” The intention of our Lord seems then to be this: in the day of trial which was awaiting his followers, they should no longer have him present with them, personally to resolve their doubts, personally to teach, instruct and enlighten their minds; in that day they should not have