But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
(on removing to another place of worship): — Let us apply these words.
I. TO THE SON OF GOD IN THE SOLEMN MOMENT WHEN THEY WERE UTTERED. He was going to the garden, to that great and awful conflict in which the prophecy was to be fulfilled, that He should present His soul an offering for sin, and bear the burden of the world's atonement. This was the last night of the Redeemer's life. He had been eating the passover with His disciples. He could use these words with ideas and anticipations, of which they knew nothing. The traitor had gone, and made his arrangements; and our Lord saw this: yet there was nothing, either like fainting under the prospect, or rashness, or precipitancy, or passion: but all was calm and tranquil.
II. TO SEVERAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF PROVIDENCE AS THEY OCCUR TO OURSELVES.
1. To local removals of place and of habitation, when the voice of Providence and of God calls us from scenes and situations where we have been surrounded by kindred and congenial society; from our father's house, from a particular habitation which we may have long occupied, where we may have felt and experienced much of the blessing of God; where we may have passed through many afflictions; and we feel we must say to ourselves, "Let us go hence," there are many emotions which come upon the heart; and I should never envy that man his feelings, who had never experienced such emotions.
2. To moral circumstances, when we may be called to depart from circumstances of enjoyment, comfort, and tranquillity, and to enter upon scenes of adversity and misfortune, when we are called to experience what is painful and distressing to our mind and heart.
3. To what is spiritual. I cannot help thinking of the resolutions which have often been made, when these words have been carried home to the heart of a man by the Spirit of God; when he has determined to arise and go to his Father.
4. To the matter of death. That word "departure" conveys a grand truth: it is not extinction, but the going, the passing from one place to another; the continuance of consciousness, of every capacity, faculty, and feeling; and the passing of the intelligent spirit into another place, and another state.
III. TO OUR OWN PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES. If we are permitted to see another Sabbath, we hope to be worshipping in another sanctuary, rendered necessary by the Providence of God. We are going from a place interesting to our minds, hallowed to our remembrances —
1. By the purposes to which it has been devoted.
2. By events which have transpired within it. Here souls have been born to God. Over this scene angels have rejoiced over sinners that have repented.
3. By relative recollections of interest and importance. Here many of you have the recollection of a pious ancestry; here you have been led by them; here perhaps you were dedicated in baptism; and here your parents have borne you upon their hearts.
4. By personal recollection. You rejoice, and give God thanks, that you were led here to hearken to the voice of the man of God, in exhibiting that truth by which you trust you were saved and sanctified. And many of you have peculiar recollections of seasons, in which the truth hath been peculiarly appropriate to your personal circumstances.
5. Painful recollections. You have to look back upon services neglected, and Sabbaths misimproved; when you have heard with indolence, or a critical and improper feeling; when you have conversed on what you have heard with flippancy, instead of retiring with it to pray.
Parallel VersesKJV: But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.