Glories

A Meditation on John 17.

W. H. Westcott.
(Also in Scripture Truth, Volume 18, 1926, page 87.)

Enjoying the privilege one evening of a family reading with friends, the seventeenth chapter of John which we briefly considered lingered in my mind on retiring to rest; and FIVE GLORIES OF CHRIST which are named therein opened out with freshness.

In the hope that some readers may share in this meditation, and even follow up the study for themselves, I note them down.

The position of the 17th chapter of John's Gospel is well known.

In the twelfth chapter Jesus closed His public ministry among the Jews, for it says, "He did hide Himself from them" (verse 36); "they believed not on Him" (verse 37). The mass became judicially hardened, as had been prophesied by Isaiah; and although many among the leading men were persuaded of the Divinity of His mission, all their influence on the mass was nullified because (for fear of the Pharisees) they would not confess Him. Christ's words at the end of the chapter state the issue; even if judgment did not fall there and then, the rejection of Him and His words meant judgment at "the last day."

Hence from John 13 He occupies Himself alone with His disciples down to the end of John 16, showing them definitely what His going away meant, and indicating how intimacy with Him in the place He was to reach would be maintained, though they remained on earth; and how they would be supported here in peace, fruitfulness, and testimony during His absence.

This service having been rendered to His beloved followers His prayer to His Father is recorded for us in John 17, and was spoken in their hearing that they might have His joy fulfilled in themselves (verse 13). They were permitted to hear His intercourse with the Father that they might know the place they had in His own, and in His Father's affections, and have the joy that flows from it. Into this intimacy and joy we — even we — are introduced, in verse 20. I commend the examination of these verses to my readers, familiar though they be.

In this prayer we find the five glories referred to. The first and earliest glory in point of time is that mentioned in verse 5. It is clear that this is

DIVINE AND ETERNAL GLORY.

"the glory that I had with Thee before the world was." He addressed the Father in all the calmness of known intimacy, and as having calculated the bearing of His words (for He prayed as being conscious of His listeners, and with a view to their joy); and went back in His prayer to that eternity of companionship with Him in glory, antecedent to the creation of temporal and material things. We are earlier here than Gen. 1:1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. There was an Antecedent to the heavens and the earth; and that Antecedent is Elohim — God. In the third verse of that chapter in Genesis, which commences the written revelation of the Godhead, the Spirit of God is the first of Divine Persons to be separately referred to. But in John 17:5, the Father and the Son are shown to our adoring hearts in the glory proper to Divine Persons, and as antecedent to the world's creation, Themselves uncreate; thus completing our view of the Eternal Triune God.

John 1:1 The Word.

Three great Scriptures suggest themselves in this marvellous revelation of the glory of the Lord Jesus. The first chapter of John is a contrast to Genesis 1 and goes back into an immeasurable eternity. Evidently there is vast difference between "In the beginning God created" and "in the beginning was." The former relates the beginning of that which did begin; the latter refers to Him Who existed and had being when everything else that began did begin. The Word never did begin to be the Word; in Him we see eternity of being, though our finite minds stagger in the contemplation of it. The Word was distinguishable in His own Personality from eternity, for He was with God. He is not the same as the Father, nor is He the same as the Holy Spirit. He was not an emanation from the Father; He did not become the Word by either creation, or evolution, or birth, in some remote point of time in the past eternity; otherwise He Himself would have had beginning which is a contradiction of what is stated in the first three verses. For at the time of the beginning of anything that began, He was. The glory He had with the Father before the world was, was Divine and eternal glory. The Word was God.

But as the Word in the Godhead, He is the One in whom Godhead ever could and did express itself. For illustration we may say with reverence that the Father remains invisible, and the Spirit (though assuming at times emblematical forms as dove or flames, and typified by oil), does not take personal form. But the Son became man, the Word became flesh. In what way the Godhead expressed Itself to Itself when Godhead alone existed and nothing else was, we cannot of course say. No one knows the Son but the Father. It cannot surely grieve us that there are glories deeper and grander in the Son uncreate than we created beings can comprehend. But in whatever way and at whatever time God gave expression to Himself, the eternal Word was that Person in the Godhead in Whom He did it.

Hence, for example, when the Godhead willed to express Itself in creation, all things were created by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. It may be difficult to utter the meaning of that wonderful verse; but we may glean from it that everything, from highest to lowest and from greatest to the least, came from the hand of the Word, and was intended to be, each thing in its measure, an expression of the glory of the invisible God. (See Rom. 1:19, 20; so also Ps. 19:1.) Not merely that it was created, nor merely that it was created by the agency of the Son (both of which remain true), but that when it was so brought into being it took its form and function as part of a vast creation intended to give expression to the eternal power and Godhead of its Creator. It is thus possible to find in nature — in its laws, its forms, its colours, its minerals, its forces — illustrations without end of divine realities. Material things themselves are not the great ultimate reality, but they serve as vehicles to convey to intelligent creatures the great Reality that lies behind them. And that Reality is God Himself.

Thus also, as in creation, so in providence, in incarnation, in redemption, in resurrection, and in glory, and in the coming days of rule and government, as well as in final and eternal judgment or blessing, Christ is the One in whom God is ever pleased to express Himself.

_______________

A second great Scripture which refers to this glory of Jesus is Hebrews 1.

Hebrews 1. The Son.

The dignity of the Son appears to be the theme of the writer, along with the grandeur of everything He has introduced and established. We have substance in having Christ. Type and shadow, illustration and prophecy, had existed before; partial disclosures of the thoughts and will of God, each suitable for its time and place of utterance. But in the end God has spoken in His Son, who in the fulness of intelligence, power, and dignity has completely revealed Him; and by focusing in Himself the fulfilment of every type and shadow, has rendered all the former system of ritual and law not only unnecessary, but weak and unprofitable (Heb. 7:18).

But all this hinges on the dignity of the Son. He is greater than angels (chaps. 1 and 2), than Moses (Heb. 3), than Joshua (Heb. 4), than Aaron (Heb. 5), than Abraham, or the Melchisedec who blessed Abraham, or the Levitical priests who were in Abraham's loins when the less was blessed of the greater (Heb. 7).

It is not only that God says of the Son, "Let all the angels of God worship Him," or that He contrasts the honour of Moses, who was faithful as a servant in all God's house, with that of Christ, who as Son is over God's house; but in Hebrews 1:2 He reminds us that as Son He was antecedent to all the ages, and that in all the ordering and formation of successive ages He was the Agent by whom God has introduced or will introduce them.* So that in knowing Christ we are in living contact with One whose dignities and glories as Son in the eternal Godhead were before all ages; we are, in fact, carried back to the glory which He had with the Father before the world was.

{*In each aeon following its brother aeon, Some part of the plan of God has been brought into evidence, a foreshadowing of the vast glories which are all fully expressed in the Son. Nor will these unfoldings cease when we are transferred to glory, and enter on the eternal state. For while eternity itself is often spoken of as an aeon, it is described as the age of ages. Eph. 3:21; and often in the Revelation as ages of ages, Rev. 4:9, 10; Rev. 20:10; Rev. 22:5. We gather that there will be eternal unfoldings of God in Christ, each requiring its own age for the redeemed and delighted hosts to take it in, and to be formed by Him in intelligent and affectionate response to God.}

In the epistle to the Hebrews, however, it is not so much the unfolding of the Father's grace and love (which is John's theme) as the establishment of a new system of nearness and approach to God, the very antithesis of that which had gone before in the old tabernacle system of distance and imperfection. The latter was but provisional: that which Christ the Son has brought in is eternal. As Son, He had not beginning any more than as the Word; His Sonship is a glory which He had with the Father before the world was. He was competent in the dignity and glory and greatness of His Person to hold counsel with the Father as to doing His will and bringing about a system of blessing in which God could find eternal pleasure, having His people in happy and holy nearness to Himself. (See Heb. 10)

Colossians 1. Son of the Father's love.

A third Scripture also brings Him before us, connected with His glory with the Father before the world was. It is Colossians 1. Christians are said to be translated into the kingdom of the Son of His love (verse 13). The very thought of "kingdom" brings in the ideas of sway. We are not saved to be lawless, of course; but to come under the sway of the Son. Everything is regulated from the full height of the Sonship glory of Jesus. He it is who is supreme in this realm, and over our lives as the lives of those brought into it. But behind all His authority and dignity is His Father's love; He is the Son of the Father's love.

Greatness of itself might be cold, formal, official. Greatness in this case is connected with warmth, and the sweetest warmth of all — that of holy love. The Father loves the Son and, as fruit of an affection which designs the greatest pleasure and honour for Him, brings us into a realm where He — as Son of that love — can exercise His blissful sway over us, body, soul, and spirit.

The greatest influence in the world is not that of matter, nor even of mind; it is that of love, the love of God. The Son is that wondrous Being in Whom the Father's love doth rest; He is in every way competent to be the object of it, Whose dignity and moral loveliness mark Him off beyond every other in the Father's eyes. He is, moreover, the One in Whom responsive love delights God's heart, Who loves His Father as His Father loves Him, and Who is competent and resourceful for God's will as He is worthy for God's affection.

It is He Who is God's accredited Representative, Who adequately presents Him to all the vast creation. Invisible as God must be in His infinite and essential Godhead, we are no losers thereby, for all that God is, is brought into vision in Christ. He is God's image. (To make an image of Christ is, of course, ridiculous: we do not require the image of an image.) The living Christ, alive as He is in Resurrection to-day, is the veritable image of God. He is representative of Him in moral glory and fulness; and also in the way of direction and authority. Other authorities and powers there are, but all are derivative from and subordinate to Him; they have a place in the ordering of creation, but only as created by Him and for Him; they only subsist as subsidiary to Him, having their spheres appointed at His will, and all their character of rule and resources of supply being in Him.

The created "all things" in the which they serve, and the form and character of their service and authority, and the measure of their power, are all amenable to His law; He is supreme among them all, Firstborn of all creation, because He created all. He is the Former of all things; however far back they may be dated in time, be it perhaps millions of years, He is before them all; and in Him they all hang together. We are carried back before the times of all authorities and powers, lordships, and principalities, and find one great Figure, outstanding and glorious, the Son of the Father's love. We admit that disorder and even enmity has come into the time scene; but He it is who is entrusted by the Godhead to bring about deliverance from Satan's power, and to reconcile things to Itself. But before the disorder came in, whether in the visible or invisible world, He it was Who, in Godhead glory, was Subject of His Father's eternal affection. He it was Who, being designated Head of all things in manhood, created all the spheres of authority in which His supreme sway and infinite Godhead fulness might be (and in the redeemed creation will be) fully realized. He will impart His own character to the whole creation, and bring everything into subjection to, and accord with, God, in heaven and in earth.

But the reason of it all is, the greatness of His Person before any of these things existed at all. In Him all the fulness was pleased to dwell: every element in Godhead fulness and majesty, all of authority and power, all of character and activity, all of wisdom and knowledge, all of God's very nature of love, is set forth and made available for man.

When the disciples were relieved in the storm by the stilling of wind and wave, they were impelled to exclaim, "What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the waves do obey Him?" The more we ponder His words, "the glory which I had with Thee before the world was," the more our hearts must be subdued in worship and praise before Him.

He is the Word in Whom God is ever expressed: He is the Son eternal, Whose dignity is greater than that of any created being, and who according to Divine counsel was to become Man and bring many sons in nearness and relationship to glory; He is the Former of all things, who, being eternal Object of His Father's love, and God's Representative, could be Creator and Upholder and then Reconciler of all things and all authorities to God.

The second glory in order in John 17 we must describe as MORAL GLORY.

It is found in verse 4, "I have glorified Thee on the earth." This does not mean a physical or material display of glory or splendour such as would affect the human senses. There are qualities of character which draw the heart and affect the mind more than the pomp of outward display. A Nero may command the display of colour and the pageantry compatible with the might of Rome, while the heart that has sense of moral worth may feel the utmost contempt and repugnance for the very Caesar who is the centre of it all. To find moral perfection, to become intimate with some One who is everything that can be desired by the most perfect and happy beings, to know a Person in whom rectitude and affection, mercy and happiness, are fully realized, and not only are made available for others, but are reproductive of their own kind in those who are attached to Him, — this is far beyond outward show.

Seen in His life.

In the Lord Jesus as Man here was expressed all the moral character of God. Everything that can rightly be connected with the thought of God is found in its perfection in Jesus. Do we speak of holiness? He was holy in His very conception and birth, and holy in life and ways. Do we speak of mercy? When did the appeal for mercy fall unheeded or unanswered on His ears? Of truth? Of righteousness? Of tenderness? Of humility? Of obedience? Of faithfulness? Of confidence in God? Of authority? Of power? Of wisdom? Of love? All these things are seen in Jesus. Not some goodness or obedience, not some mercy or humility, but these very things themselves in their essence, in their essential perfection.

The renewed mind never reaches to the end of His perfection as though it had a limit; far as we may travel in our thought along the line of any one grace, there yet appear depths unfathomed and heights unclimbed; the story may ever be told, but never be fully told.

His language is simple, the incidents in His life story are but few in number as recorded, a hundred and twenty pages or thereabouts are all that divine wisdom has deemed necessary for the four-times-told gospel by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; yet apostles and prophets, saints and servants have been digging in those mines for nigh two thousand years; and the marvel with all is that, though we know enough to fill our hearts with unfeigned and adoring worship, there remains enough to fill them for all eternity.

It is not only that the greatest apostle to the Gentiles almost plaintively, certainly yearningly, cries, "That I may KNOW Him" (Phil. 3:10), but the greatest apostle to the Jews voices the same interminable and illimitable delight: Whom having not seen ye LOVE; in whom, though now ye see Him not, yet believing ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, full of glory." Knowing and loving — these sum up the twofold testimony to the matchless worth of the Lord Jesus Christ. To know Him is to love Him; to love Him is to want to know Him more. We would like to be in His company for His own sake. Such was the spell that acted in the fishermen and others who followed Him in days of old; such is the attraction that draws us still.

Seen in His death.

But what shall we say when we come on to the close of His life here? What of His cross and shame? What of His suffering and death? What of His obedience to God's will, and His devotion to God's good pleasure? What of His love?

How can we speak of His bearing God's judgment upon sin? Of His being made sin on the cross? Of his facing death as our penalty, and as the awful limit of Satan's power?

For in all these ways have His perfections been tested and proved. It is not only that in Jesus we reach One who is perfect, but One who has been tested in circumstances whose character had never been experienced before. The best of other men break down somewhere, Jesus nowhere. The heart in its craving for a perfect object reaches finality and enjoys unchanging rest in the Son of God, while the conscience has its abiding rest in His atoning work.

Here, indeed, God is glorified; glorified not only in the exhibition of every moral beauty in perfection's highest height, but in respect to all His holy claims as to sin and the sinner. For this word of the Lord Jesus, "I have glorified Thee on the earth, I have finished the work Thou gavest Me to do," must surely have been uttered anticipatively in view of His death. It covered all His life down to the moment He uttered it: this we know. But the whole of the section, John 13-17, anticipates His going out of the world to the Father, and speaks of the conditions which would obtain when He had thus gone. At the close of John 16, as a summary of His own pathway, and looking over to its assured close, He says, "I have overcome the world." As surely as this includes the final hours of testing, so surely does "I have glorified Thee on the earth" look on to and include His death where His journey on the earth was ended.

The Father Glorified.

But after all the point in our Lord's words which we are considering is "I have Glorified THEE." It is tantamount to saying. "I have made Thee glorious." In this Gospel in particular we have the Lord bringing to light in His own life and testimony who and what His Father is. So that while we behold the Son in His own unique perfection and glory, and are necessarily drawn to Him, we are to convey our thought and affection likewise to the Father. Christ remains, but the Father is so identical with Him in character, in grace, in love, that he that hath seen Him hath seen the Father. Such is His own word to Philip in John 14.

Is Jesus superlatively attractive and admirable in our eyes as enlightened by grace? Such also is the Father who sent Him. Though the Father be separately invisible, yet we know Him, know Him lovingly, know Him reverently, know Him adoringly. He has been fully revealed in Christ, and every feature in His character, every attribute of His Being, every depth in His nature, awakens responsive affection and worship in our hearts. Every ray in this glory speaks its own wonderfully blessed language to us; we are thankful that ever we were created to know such a God. The grace that recovered us from our sin has brought us so near that the Father's house has become the home of our hearts, the Father's love the delight of our spirits. What we have said of the Son we must say of Him also; to know the Father is to love Him; to love Him is to want to know Him more. To be morally like Him becomes the hope, as one day it will be the realized portion, of every soul that has learned the Father in the Son.

The third glory in John 17 is DIVINE GLORY IN RESURRECTION.

It is conveyed in the Lord's request in verse 5; "glorify Thou Me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." May we humbly seek out the meaning of this wonderful demand. For it was uttered by a lowly Man, by One often referred to as Jesus of Nazareth. It was said

Then to all intents and purposes He was scornfully rejected by all that stood as having religious authority, and despised by such as stood high in the world's social scale. He was ere long to be the sport of soldiery, the jest of passers by, the Object of mockery to chief priests and elders, the deserted Leader of His most intimate disciples. He was about to be condemned as a blasphemer and a malefactor by the Jew, and executed as a rebel by the Gentile. Above all He was about to become the Victim for sin, the Target for all God's infinite judgment upon it, a Curse under the Law which His people had broken. He was to touch that awful thing which His spirit revolted from, to have contact with that sin of man which necessitated banishment and wrath. He was shortly to taste death, to be buried in His grave.

Yet placing Himself anticipatively on the other side of it all, in view of a work finished and His God glorified on earth, He — He, the Despised and Rejected of men — looks up into His Father's heaven, its blue purity taking its character from the purer blue of His own Divine and heavenly glory, and says — as Man — "Glorify Thou Me with the glory I had with Thee before the world was." Quickening out of death, and resurrection were implied; for in departing out of the world and going to the Father, He went by way of death; and to glorify a Person who has died, in any real way, He must be raised from the dead. But these words of Jesus are not a mere request for honours; He demands now as a Man that glory which eternally belonged to Him as the Son with the Father. If Jesus were not eternally Divine, never was blasphemy or falsehood so awful; if He be the eternal Son, never was truth so splendid, or glory so grand.
Come from above,
The Son of God who dwelt in light
Unreached by mortal eye,
Came forth as Man the foe to fight
And won the victory.

As Man, and for men, He died; as Man He arose. A hundred insistent voices on the pages of inspired Scripture proclaim it. The Corinthians questioned the reality of His resurrection only to be countered by the mighty phalanx of witnesses marshalled in 1 Cor. 15. The Jews bribed the Roman soldiers to hush up this tremendous reversal of their rejection of their Messiah; but the real personal resurrection of Jesus was the irrepressible testimony of all the apostles of the Lord. The Lord Himself showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs, and in His own inimitable way chided those hearts who thought the facts were too good to be true. He says in Rev. 1:18, "I am the Living One; and I became dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore."

He it is of Whom it is written, "by Man came the resurrection from the dead." He is the Son of Man to Whom and not to angels, not to spirits, is put in subjection the world to come whereof we speak. It is because He is "of one" with His brethren and they with Him, that He can be Captain of our salvation and High Priest of His people. Not less true is His Manhood to-day than His Deity from eternity.

But let us examine the bearing of this unparalleled demand of the Lord. There is a verse in John 13 which throws light upon it. When Judas had left the company in the supper chamber, "Jesus said, 'Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in Him. If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him.'"

Thus we have three things:-
1. God glorified in the Son of Man.
2. The Son of Man glorified in God.
3. The Son of Man straightway glorified.

The first we have been considering. The second is what we are considering now. The third shows us that the glory with which God would respond to the work of the Son of Man would be immediate, not delayed.

Man Glorified in God.

We find it more easy to understand the thought of God glorified in Man, because it comes down to us-ward; it brings the glory of God within our view as fully represented and expressed in a Man among men, though it require opened eyes see it. But — Man glorified in God — a Man — Son from all eternity indeed, yet as Man — passing from circumstances of lowliness, humiliation, desertion, weakness, death, in this world, up to the Godhead glory and the Father's throne — this is marvel among marvels where all is marvellous. It is always wondrous that God, infinite and eternal, Love, Light, and Spirit, should be able to express Himself absolutely and adequately within the compass of Manhood; it is — dare we say it? — almost more wondrous still that a Man, this unique Man, should require Godhead position and glory to adequately express Himself. The fact is there. If any reader should ask the writer to explain himself further, he would have to reverently stand and own, "No one knows the Son but the Father."

Yet at least we may study what is revealed. Jesus is not only crowned with honour, but crowned with glory, and that, too, in the presence of God. He is not only advanced above everything and beyond every created being that possesses a derived and God-given name (Phil. 2), but to Him as Man will that homage be rendered which God has sworn shall be rendered to Himself; for "in the Name of Jesus shall every knee bow," while "every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." To Him as Man has been accorded that place which belongs exclusively to Deity, for He is seated at the right hand of God. He has overcome, and is seated in His Father's throne. No one else will ever sit there. Marvellous advantages accrue to us, but the position is His alone, He is unique.

Four times over in Hebrews is this position affirmed. "When He had by Himself purged our sins, [He] sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb. 1:3). "[He] is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens" (Heb. 8:1). "He sat down on the right hand of God" (Heb. 10:12). [He] is set down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12. 2). Shall we for a moment consider the first of these four passages? The height — dizzy height for our minds — to which the Son laid claim and which He re-took at the end of His service here, is obviously that of Divine, Godhead glory. It is that of which He had said "glorify Thou Me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was." There are assuredly thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, in the earth, or in the intervening heavens, which are quite enough to make our head dizzy by their height or grandeur; but this Person has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God. He is above and beyond them all, and they are all made subject to Him. They were created, each to represent God in the way of authority in the limited spheres of His appointment, whether in the heavens or the earth, He, Who is indeed their Creator, yet become Man, has passed as Man to the height supreme from which He descended; Man in resurrection glorified in God.

The language of Heb. 1 is extraordinary, especially if we read it in English as it is stated in the Greek. "When He had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become by so much better than the angels as He hath inherited a more excellent name than they." This latter clause "He hath inherited a more excellent name than they," is gloriously explained in verses 2 and 3, and covers His eternal Deity; while the first clause "Having become by so much [or "Taking a place by so much"] better than the angels," shows the resumption by Him as Man of His position in Godhead glory, after the accomplishment of that work which He wrought as Man when He made purification for sins. Never did He cease to be Son even here; never will He cease to be Man there; but the Son is the Man, Christ Jesus, and He has carried Manhood into Godhead. That part of His glory is incommunicable, it is His alone. Yet its light and influence thrill our hearts, for this is the One who bore our sins and made purification for them.

Where, then, are the sins? Gone. Gone for ever. Whose sins are gone? Mine, and those of every believer, thank God. The presence of Jesus there in the unstainable purity of the throne, and in the unsullied splendour of the Divine glory is proof enough that our sin, our sins, are gone from God's sight, gone by His atonement and death for them.

The fourth glory in John 17 is REDEMPTION GLORY.

A glory in which we share.

"The glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them." This is different from the preceding. It is not this time such glory resumed as He had with the Father before the world was, in which others could have no part. Yet all that His love could share with us He imparts; and He deliberately speaks of this to the Father in the hearing of His disciples that they might have His joy fulfilled in themselves. The things of which He speaks were a joy to Him.

"That love that gives not as the world, but shares
All it possesses with its loved co-heirs";

found its pleasure in this largesse of grace. He could not leave them ignorant of this grand destiny of bliss. Though He had drawn them around Him as those given to Him of the Father, and would love them to the end, yet their dowry of blessing was to be won for them by His sweat and passion, by His conflict and death. It was to be shared by them when He was past the cross and in resurrection; for again let us remember that this prayer places Him in spirit on the further side of His death.

Until He died He abode alone; alone, of His own order; grand in moral glory, but alone. To have others, His like, He must as the Corn of Wheat go into the ground and die. He must first suffer, and then enter into His glory if that glory were to be shared by them. First the walk and work in humiliation alone; then the resurrection answer with His loved ones brought on to the same platform of triumph and blessing with Himself. First the cross, and then the crown; first the shame, and then the splendour. First the Son in Manhood meeting all the claim of God in respect of sinful men, abandoned, in loneliness, working out redemption, His life taken, His blood shed; then the Son in resurrection, alive as Man to die no more, Head of a new race, Pattern of a new order, able to speak to His brethren of His place and relationship as theirs too now (John 20).

For though Deity is incommunicable, yet Christ became Man that through death and resurrection He might share all that can be shared by Man with believing men. He assured them of their place with Him in the same favour before His God and theirs, and of their part in the same relationship as Son in manhood before His Father and theirs. He as the risen One, the last Adam, breathed on His disciples, thus imparting life of His new order, life characterized as Holy Spirit (See John 20:17 and 22). Relationship, favour, and life — these are given to His loved ones, these are given to us.

That these things are all to be displayed in glory is true, blessedly true. But these things are true now, and are to be enjoyed by us in the power of the Holy Spirit. They come out in the way of character even here. The world knows us not because it knew Him not. Now are we children of God. Yet we are "incognito" here, and what we shall be is not yet manifested. The people of the world see us and do not know who we are. When He shall be manifested publicly, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is. And they shall see too, and the world will know that the Father sent the Son, and has loved us as He loved Jesus.

We are made participants in the love which the Father has for the risen Son, and in the glory which is the fruit of His work for men. Life eternal, victory over death, deliverance out of the world of Satan's power, the heavenly calling and inheritance, relationship with the Father, association with Christ as His brethren, the Father's name and heart made known, and His counsels revealed to us — all this has been opened out and set forth to us in Christ in resurrection it is glory that has been given to Him as Man (Who is Son) in resurrection, and He has given it to us.

And He has given, too, the Holy Ghost that all these things may become consciously and intelligently ours. We are not, as paupers, begging our way from door to door of this world's charity, nor asking its smiles and favours or applause; we crave not its company nor its pursuits; we are sons of God, to walk with satisfied hearts in dignity and intelligence here, with power and wisdom unknown to men, holy dispensers of heaven's rich bounty to the need around. He has given largely, freely; we, too, freely give. Such were the disciples, such are we who through their word believe on Him.

We have access to the Father, we are in the light of what He is doing in the midst of this world's confusion, we have the key to its present miseries, we know the solution to its problems. The rejection of Christ has postponed its deliverance; its peace awaits His return. The whole creation will only be delivered from its bondage at the time of the manifestation of the sons of God (Rom. 8:19). But when He does appear in glory these will appear with Him as sharers of it all. We co-suffer; we shall be co-glorified. For the glory the Father has given Him, He has given us. We do not want glory while He is absent; we shall have it, share it with Him, when He comes. Only even now we have the Spirit of the Glory (1 Peter 4:14).

The fifth glory in John 17 is GLORY OF PRE-EMINENCE.

"Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory which Thou hast given Me." This glory is referred to in the same terms as the preceding. That is, it is the glory that is given Him. It is not in this case "the glory which I had with Thee before the foundation of the world." It is glory given to Him as Man subsequent to His path and service on earth, and hence is expressive of the Father's satisfaction and pleasure in all that HE was and did here.

Given, yet to be beheld.

As to the position won in resurrection we share it as we have seen; as to the glories which will be displayed as the fruit of His redemptive work, we participate in these by His own deed of gift. But He Who gives is greater than His gift; and in His personal greatness will always be the Object of wonder and adoration even among those who partake of His favours and love. All the New Testament bears witness to this.

As to relationship, favour, and life, these are shared by the risen Jesus with His believing people. Yet even in stating it He says, "My Father and your Father." He is distinct in His personal greatness even in passing on this relationship to them. He says again, "My God and your God." It is favour conferred in Association with Himself; yet our hearts gladly accord to Him the homage of His leadership and His distinctive desert of that favour. For we are recipients; He shares it with us truly, but it is He Who is the Giver.

He says, "Receive ye Holy Spirit," and thus communicates of His risen life to His beloved ones; but it is He Who is the last Adam, and not they.

We if asleep through Jesus shall be raised from the dead as Scripture abundantly proves; but He was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father — a distinction indeed which it is our privilege to regard and appreciate.

We shall be like Him, for God has predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son; yet even so He will be the firstborn among many brethren.

He is the Lord and the Christ, and not we.

He has made us priests, but He is the High Priest.

He has made us kings, but He is the King of kings.

We are God's house, He is Son over God's house.

He brings us into gladness beyond all telling; yet He is anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows.

Among all dignities and authorities He shall have the pre-eminence.

He is given to be Head over all things to the church, though grace unites the church to Him in that glorious position.

God will head up all things in the Christ, both which are in heaven and in earth.

The angels, ten thousands times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, with elders and living creatures, will say with loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing."

These are glories we shall behold; and we shall be placed near enough to Him, even where He is, to be able to see them. Wondrously as we are loved, blessedly as we are favoured, we shall every one of us own that, even in regard of those positions in which we are nearest to Him, He has a superlative excellence all His own.

The Father's love which had no beginning will secure this transcendent glory for Jesus, even amidst glories which are bestowed upon Him as resultant from His suffering and rejection here. And that same love will secure us to be intelligent spectators of this glory of pre-eminence. We — the many sons brought to glory — shall own Him the Captain of our salvation; even as He will say, "Behold, I, and the children Thou hast given Me." Who is there that does not here appreciate the grace that associates us with Him, yet the unique glory which is His alone for us to contemplate it?

"Lord of glory, we adore Thee,
Christ of God ascended high;
Heart and soul, we bow before Thee,
Glorious now beyond the sky."

May the reader and writer learn to love and praise Him more!
W. H. Westcott.