The

CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH.

Part 2 Chapter 6

Section 1óJohn 13:1.

Having loved his own which were in the world he loved them unto the end.


These words are expressive of the unchangeable and everlasting love of Christ to his people; who are his own by choice, by his Father's gift, and his own purchase. Now such shall certainly persevere to the end, and be eternally saved; for who shall separate from the love of Christ?But to this, the following things are objected.

1. That "Christ speaks not of them, whom he had chosen to eternal life, but of them only, whom he had chosen to be his apostles."[1] To which I reply that though Christ speaks of his apostles, yet not of them all; I speak not of you all,says he, I know whom I have chosen:and of whom he does speak, he does not speak of them as chosen to be apostles, but as men chosen to eternal life; which was not the case of them all, nor were they all his own in this special sense; one of them was a devil,and the son of perdition.Nor does he speak only of these. Were none his own but the apostles? Had he no propriety in any but them? Certainly he had: and if he loved his apostles unto the end, why may he not be thought to love all to the end, who are equally his own, and equally loved by him as they were? 2. That Christ's loving them to the end, only signifies "the affection he showed to them, by washing their feet when he was to leave them."[2] To which may be replied, that this was not so much an instance of affection to them, as of humility and meekness; and was designed as an instruction and example to them, how they should behave to each other; and at most was an instance only of his love to them, and what Judas had a share in with the rest of the apostles; and not to be compared with some other instances of his love, and which were nearer the end of his life, as particularly his shedding his blood for them on the cross. Now there is no comparison between washing the feet of his disciples with water, and washing us from our sins in his own blood.

3. That he here speaks "not of his love of them to the end of their lives, but of his own life on earth."[3] Christ's love is not allowed to continue to the end of their lives, for that would prove their final perseverance; but the end of his life, as if his love ended with his life: whereas Christ still expresses his love to his people, by appearing in the presence of God, acting as an advocate, and interceding with the Father, and preparing mansions in his Father's house for them. It is much, that the love of Christ to his own is not confined, by the writers of this cast, to supper time, or to the end of the supper; since it immediately follows, and supper being ended, which would scarce be a more jejune sense of the words than what is given. Why may not te>lov be understood of the end of their lives, as in Matthew 24:13? or of the end of the world? (vv. 6, 14), or of the end of all things, as in 1 Peter 4:7? Besides, eijv te>lov may be rendered continually, asit is in Luke 18:5, or for ever,in which sense it is used by the Septuagint in Psalm 9:6, 18, and Psalm 44:23, where it answers to t[nl, which signifies for ever:and agreeably the words may be read, Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them for ever, as they are rendered by the Ethiopic version. And then the sense of them is, that those who are Christ's, are loved by him with an everlasting love; and therefore shall not perish, but have eternal life.


ENDNOTES:

[1] Whitby, p. 437; ed. 2. 426.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid., and Remonstr. Coll. Hag. Art. V. p. 91.


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