The Sunday Within The Octave Of The Ascension GOSPEL St. John 15:26-27 & 16:1-4 The Monday Meditation: A Plaine Path-Way To Heaven By Fr.Thomas Hill 1634
St. John 15:26-27 and 16:1-4
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: When the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me: and you shall give testimony, because you are with Me from the beginning. These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalized. They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doth a service to God. And these things will they do to you, because they have not known the Father, nor Me. But these things I have told you, that, when the hour shall come, you may remember that I told you of them.
The disciples being in exceeding great heaviness for the departure of Christ by his Ascension, and of the extreme afflictions he foretold them they were to sustain for his sake, and namely amongest the rest, that the Jews should expel them out of their Synagogues, and that they should so hate them, that they should think they dd God good service when they did persecute or kill them; Christ here comforts them with these words; When the Paraclete shall some whom I will send unto you, the spirit of truth which procedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me, to wit, that you have not received & followed me in vain, that is to say, that is to say, that you have not followed a mere mortal man, but one that is God and man, one that is able to render you, for your service the inheritance of the Kingdom of heaven. For none can give such gifts to men as you shall have at Pentecost, but only he, that descended from heaven and ascendeth into heaven again, leading captivity captive, and giving gifts unto men, that is to say, such gifts as none can give but God, to wit, the holy Ghost, in the form of fiery tongues, with all the graces, miracles, and effects thereof, which were the cause and means of the conversion of the world to the faith of Christ, notwithstanding it was so absurd and abject a thing, as was accounted of the Jews a scandal, and of the Gentiles a great Foolery or folly.
Here we my learn in all our distress, if we be the disciples of Christ, to fly unto the holy Ghost for aid and comfort, with whom Christ comforted his disciples, in their greatest distress, in whose holy aid, and comfort he being by name and office a Comforter, as Jesus Christ is a Saviour, let us confide and trust to be comforted, as the disciples were,if we also be the disciples and followers of Christ.
In these few words also of Christ (Paraclete, or holy Ghost whom I will send) is contained the proof,and confirmation of the most profound mystery of the holy Trinity; for in these words Christ plainly teacheth us that the holy Ghost proceedeth not only from his Father,but also from him, against the error of the Greecians.
And further in these words (I will send him from my Father) Christ telleth us, he is of the same substance with his Father, and Him, having both one and the self same spirit, against the impious Arians, for that which proceedeth from God, is God; creatures proceed not from God, but are made by God of nothing.
And that Christ is all one in identity of substance and essence with his Father, besides that he sayeth elsewhere he and his Father are all one, Io.10.v.30. it may be proved out of the words aforesaid (whom I will send from my Father) for no man hath so much power with God the Father, as to say,he shall send God the holy Ghost, but he that is God, equal with him Power.
Likewise in the same words (whom I will send from my Father) he telleth us, he is a distinct person from the Father, against Sabellius. This firm foundation of our faith, hath Christ here laid in these words; which being so few, so pithy, and of such a matter, and from such a mouth,ought to be no small comfort unto us,especially if the holy Ghost,which is here called the spirit of truth, induce us unto this fundamental truth.
For I bring not these arguments to prove and convince what I say, for that must be the authority and testimony of the Church, guided by the spirit of truth, but a little to quiet our understanding, and comply with it, that it be not so stiff and inflexible, but that our will inclined by the grace of the holy Ghost,which grace Devines do call (a pious affection to believe the Church) may captivate our understanding, as St. Paul termeth it, 2.Cor.10.v.5. and bring it under the obedience of faith: and the like is to be said of all other arguments in matter of faith whatsoever, because Faith, though it be not against, yet is it above all arguments of Reason.