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vcrf.26. of this ch.
Advocate : and therefore for Sureness fake So also in they put in both the Words; the one in 26. and
John 15. the Text, and the other in the Margin of 16.7. and our Bibles.
But undoubtedly waçáranla here hath the Signification of an Advocate, and not of a Comforter, as I shall shew by and by : And therefore I shall all along follow the latter Translation.
The Words are part of the last Sermon that our Saviour made to his Disciples, immediately before his Passion. And indeed a very comfortable Sermon it was, and very seasonable to his Apostles, who at that Time stood in great need of Comfort. They now saw their dear Lord and Master was to be taken from them, and to be delivered into the Hands of wicked Men, and Mat.26.2. to be crucified. Upon this, Sorrow (as there was great Reason) filled their Hearts, John 16.6. and they could not but look upon themselves in a most deplorable and desolate Condition. Our merciful Saviour was not wanting to them upon this sad Occasion; but as he had always treated them with the greatest Kindness and Tenderness in the World, so now he more especially sets himself to ease their troubled Minds, and to fortify them against the approaching Disasters. Many excellent Considerations he proposeth to this Purpose : But three Things especially he insists on in this Chapter ; which, if they were well consi
dered, would afford them unspeakable Consolation, by letting them fee that it was much better for them that he should leave them, than that he should stay any longer with them. The first Thing was, that he did not mean to leave them with a Design of returning no more to them, but he only went as an Harbinger before them, to prepare them Places in his heavenly Kingdom. And he would in due Time come again and fetch them, and bring them thither,
where they should for ever enjoy him, withV. 1, 2, 3.out Fear of parting any more. * It is the faith he, your Hearts be troubled ; * believe
in God, believe also in me. In reading.
Father's House are many Mansions : If it were not so,
I would have told you. I go to prepare à t, iar no place for you: And of having gone and preter 1 mall pared a place for you, I will come again, have gone, and receive you to myself, that where I am, donc. See
there you may be also. Secondly, This further eminent Advantage they should receive from his going to his Father, that thereby they should be secure of a Friend and a Patron in the Court of Heaven. Hereby he should be put into a Capacity of doing every Thing for them that they desired: For so great from henceforward should his Authority be with his father, and so powerful his Intercession, that they should ask nothing in his Name, ( if it was
for the Interest of the Church) but it should V.12, 13, be granted. Because I go unto my Father,
says he, whatsoever ye small ask in my Name, that will I do; that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my Name, I will do it. These Things considered, they had no Reason to be troubled at his Departure ; but rather to rejoice. If ye loved me, says he, ye would John 14 rejoice, because I go to the Father. Efpecially when he assured them in the third Place, that tho' he left them for the present, yet as soon as he was ascended to the Father, he would send down another, to supply his Place with them : One that should take care of their Concerns ; should manage all their Affairs; should be their great Patron and Advocate in the World; and he should never leave them, but abide with them and their Successors, and with all Believers to the End of the World: And this should be no other than the Spirit of Truth. This is the Sense of my Text: I will pray the Father, and be shall give you another Advocate, that he may abide with you for ever ; even the Spirit of Truth; as it follows in the next Verse, whom tbe v.17. World cannot receive; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and Mall be in you. Now upon
this Account his Stay among them was so far from being desireable, that he tells them in the sixteenth Chapter, that v. 7 it was expedient for them that he should go away ; for if he did not go away (if he did pot ascend to the Father) the Advocate would
bim unto you.
not come unto them: But if he departed, he would send him to them. The coming of the Advocate, then, was to be the Effect of his Ascension into Heaven, and of his powerful Intercession with God. And that is the Reason why he says in the Text, I will pray the Father, and he shall give
And that is the Reason why eh.7.v.39. St. Johnsays in another Place, that the
Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
There are three Foints which the Text leads me to inquire into: All of them very useful, because very conducing to a right understanding of the christian Dispensation, and that Method which God set on foot for the bringing Men to Salvation by Jesus Christ.
1. And first of all; Whereas our Saviour here and in other Places speaks of the Holy Ghoft under the Notion of a Paraclete, which our Translators commonly express a Comforter, but I think might more properly be render'd an Advocate ; — 1 shall inquire into the Importance of that Term, and give an Account of the true Notion of it, that so we may all know what we mean when we call the Holy Ghost a Paraclete, or Advocate, or Comforter.
2. Secondly; Whereas our Saviour here saith that he will pray the Father, and he shall give them another Advocate; by which it is implied that the Holy Ghost is not the
only Advocate, but that our Saviour is one Advocate, and the Holy Ghost another; I shall therefore inquire into the Difference between our Saviour's Advocateship, and that of the Holy Ghoft; or, in what respect Jesus Chrift is our Advocate, and in what respect the Holy Ghost is.
3. Thirdly, Whereas our Saviour tells his Disciples that this Advocate whom he should fend, even the Spirit of Truth, should abide with them for ever; and yet it is plain Matter of Fact that he doth not now abide in the Church in the same Manner that he did with the Apostles; I shall therefore in the last Place inquire into the several Acts, or Instances, or Expressions of this Advocatesnip of the Holy Ghost, and shew, which of them were peculiar to the Times of the Apostles, and the primitive Chriftians; and which of them were common to all the Times and Ages of Christianity.
I. I begin with the Notion or Signification of the Term Paraclete, which is here and in other Places used by St. John to express the Office of the Holy Ghost, and which accordingly hath ever since been by the Church in a manner appropriated to him. Thus in the Te Deum, Also the Holy Ghost the Paraclete : for that is the Word in the Original. It is used but five times in the whole new Testament: Four times in this