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and render them one compact and firm body, in which you can perceive no rent or schifm, but closely knit together in all its parts, and edifying itself in love.
But we have now feen, according to the beft account that I am able to give of it, from the scriptures of truth, what it is that Jefus Chrift here afks in behalf of those who should believe on his name, when he prays, "That "they all may be one, as thou, Father, art "in me, and I in thee; that they alfo may "be one in us." How far this prayer has been hitherto answered in fact, it may not become us to fay, though it must be owned, that appearances in the world at this day, and for many ages paft, are very much against it. But one thing we may fay, that if it had been anfwered in a much lefs degree than it has been, this would be no juft argument, either against the propriety of the prayer in itself, or against the efficacy of our Lord's interceffion with his Father. For it is with the anfwer of this prayer in us, my brethren, as with all the other bleflings which the gofpel propofeth to us: God has not made our at tainment of them to depend only upon himfelf, or the mediation of his Son; were that the cafe, we would have nothing to fear, and needed not give ourselves any trouble about them but he has made it to depend alfo, and effentially, upon us; infomuch that without the concurrence of our defires, our prayers, and efforts for obtaining them, and. making
making them ours, we can reap no benefit from them; and they are as vain with regard to us as if they had never existed, except only that they will increase the severity of our condemnation.
The Subject continued.
JOHN Xvii. 20. 21.
Neither pray I for thefe alone, but for them alfo which fhall believe on me through their word: that they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they alfo may be one in us that the world may believe that thou haft fent me.
HAT ought powerfully to excite our endeavours in the prefent cafe, is the confideration of the importance and neceffity of this union which our Saviour prays for among his profeffed followers, in order to engage the unbelieving world to receive the faith of his divine miflion, or to embrace his religion:- "That the world may believe that thou haft fent me." This was,
II. The fecond point that I propofed to confider. I fhall fatisfy myfelf with a brief and general illuftration of this: "That the "world may believe that thou haft fent me." It is our Lord that fays fo, my brethren; and what Chriftian, what lover of Jefus, but must be affected with this motive? Bleff. ed Jefus and is it fo indeed? is there danger
ger that the world will not believe that God hath fent thee? that after all the glorious atteftations that have been given to thy innocence and dignity, both from heaven and on earth, they will ftill hold thee for a falfe and wicked impoftor? that they will approve of the council which condemned thee as a blafphemer, and blefs the wicked hands that nail. ed thee to the cross? that they will crucify thee afresh, and put thee to open fhame? A. bove all, canft thou be liable to fuch treatment on account of any thing in the character and conduct of thy profeffed difciples ? What shall I do, O my Lord, to vindicate thy honour to refcue thy worthy name, in which I muft for ever glory, from the unjuft reproaches of infidels? How fhall I take away from them every pretext to justify their unbelief, and caufe thee to be thought of, whereever thy name is heard, with that respect and veneration which is due to thee as the faithful "Meffenger of the Most High, and the Anointed Lord and King of his people?" You know the answer, my brethren, that Jefus Chrift would give to fuch pious inquirers. The text has already informed you of it. Would it not be to this purpofe?"Be careful, my dear "friends, to live as becomes my disciples; "and let the diftinguishing mark or charac"teriftic of my difciples prevail, and be con"fpicuous in you;-ftudy to be one, -as "the Father is in me, and I in him,
-to be one in us;-endeavour,-ftrive, exhort;