John xiii. 31 - xiv. 3
Notes of an Address at the Glasgow Fast-Day Meetings, 5th April, 1877
by Henry Dyer
In this passage there are three things about which I wish to speak to you, viz., the Glory, the Little While, and the New Commandment.
It was immediately upon the going out of Judas that this utterance about the glory burst forth from the lips of the Lord. Five times in two verses do we find this word "glory". It is when outside the world and beneath its reproach that glory fills the heart, and the coming glory shines in at the eyes. Judas represents this world's religion linked with this world's gains. The most slimy serpent-like thing that coils itself about the path of saints is dead religion and love of money. Judas, in spite of all he knew of that blessed face of the Nazarene, and all the precious doctrine he had heard from His lips, and all the grace he had seen in His life, gave himself to the devil. The bond slave of the love of money, he went out to the place of man's religion. The last creeping servile thing of earth had taken itself off, for Judas was not sent away—he voluntarily went out. The feet that had just been washed at the bended knees of Jesus, bent their way to sell the Lord who washed them.
Now they are a little band alone, separate from the world and under its reproach, and glory fills the heart and shines in at the eyes of Jesus. So be it with the saints of God. Gathered apart from man's religion, and from the love and the seeking for money, may the glory rise and shine into our hearts. "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye, for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you." But take care that reproach is for the name of Christ—if so, happy are ye.
There are two glories—a present moral glory in rejection and reproach for Christ, and a future glory connected with this. How short the step between outside the camp and inside the vail. One step from the camp to the cross—one step from the cross to the throne.
The expression "a little while" here used, sometimes refers to the short period between the death and the resurrection of Christ, and sometimes to the time during which we are upon earth bearing the reproach and waiting for His coming. It is ours in this little while to be gathered to Him, to learn the Father's love and the new commandment. Oh! to use it well, as those standing with Him betwixt the cross and the glory. He teaches every moment of the little while. The Jews to whom He had been speaking before could not follow Him, for they were of their father the devil, and whither Jesus went they could not come. But even so He says to His own—"You can't ascend and come yourselves, I must come for you". Children of the bosom, of the love and the begetting, to the bosom you shall go when the time comes to waft you thither in the arms of power and love. He bought us helpless in our guilt, so He will come for us in the helplessness of our mortality, and lift us from our grave or from our chair to Himself in a moment. The wing brought the dove to the ark, but the hand of Noah brought it in. The wing may be wearied here with many a flight, but the hand of omnipotence shall be outstretched to receive us to everlasting rest.
The new commandment is, "That ye love one another". We are called to be hasting unto the coming of the Lord. It is a haste of affection, not the hurry of impatience. Hence there is patient waiting during the "little while" and here is occupation. Haste to see a brother's need. Haste to help him when he stumbles. Do work of love below for loved ones, while Christ is doing work above. Spread through the assembly and among Saints during the little while this new Commandment, love one another. We are to see Christ in every fellow Saint. We love an absent Jesus, but we cannot bestow works of love on Him—hence His instruction, "love the members of My body on earth; show love practically to them". This love is not a mere sentiment. It is a command to love in deed and in truth. Lips, fingers, feet, all we are and have to be consecrated to this service of love. No picking and chosing—loving the nice ones, but love one to another. He didn't love us because He liked us. He didn't love us because we loved Him. You love what your mother gave you, because she gave it to you. What shall be said of the gift between the Father and the Son? That is what we are. "Thine they were and Thou gavest them me." "They are but men, carnal men, erring men, but they are Thy gift." So God has given to me my fellow Saints, I am to take care of every one. Because they are members of Christ, they are my fellow-members. I can't go without my limbs they are parts of myself. Love goes on to the end. It bears through trials and difficulties and misunderstandings. We are witnesses in a guilty world. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples." By what? By the glory? No, by the cross. They trod it under foot, no one knows where Calvary is. The Palestine exploration fund never availed to discover Calvary. Let it be found in us. There, nightly sweat and broken flesh told of love to every member. Alas for Saints, if there be no parallel between the Jesus we wait for and the Saints who wait for Him. Paul said, "Let no man trouble me for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." "What are these wounds in thy hands? A question put to the prophet—"Oh, these are the wounds I got when I was trying to help my friends." "I am no prophet, I am not an ordained man, I am just a husbandman, but I tried to help my friends, and I got these wounds." "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us." Cheering "if!" Searching "if!" If the new commandment be seen in our lives fulfilled, then God whom no man hath seen, is seen in us.