Verse 26. "But when the Comforter is come" - See on chap. xiv. 16.
"Verses 26-27. He shall testify and ye also shall bear witness" - He shall bear his testimony in your souls, and ye shall bear this testimony to the world. And so they did, by their miracles, their preaching, their writings, their lives, and by their deaths. Our Lord appears to reason thus: In every respect the unbelief of the Jews is inexcusable. They believe not my doctrine, notwithstanding its purity and holiness. They believe not in the Father who sent me, notwithstanding I have confirmed my mission by the most astonishing miracles. One thing only remains now to be done, i.e. to send them the Holy Spirit, to convince them of sin, righteousness, and judgment; and this he shall do, not only by his influence upon their hearts, but also by your words: and when they shall have resisted this Spirit, then the cup of their iniquity shall be filled up, and wrath shall come upon them to the uttermost.
BUT in what sense can it be said that Christ wrought more miracles than any other had done, ver. 24?-for Elijah and Elisha raised the dead; cured diseases; and made fire to come down from heaven. Did Christ do greater miracles than Moses did in Egypt-at the Red Sea-at the rock of Horeb, and at the rock of Kadesh? Did Christ do greater miracles than Joshua did, in the destruction of Jericho-in the passage of Jordan- in causing the sun and moon to stand still? To all this it may be answered, Christ's miracles were greater:
1. As to their number. 2. As to their utility-they were wrought to comfort the distressed, and to save the lost.
3. Christ wrought all his miracles by his own power alone; and they wrought theirs through his power only. 4. Christ wrought his numerous miracles in the space of three or four years, and in the presence of the same people; and the others mere wrought from time to time in different centuries.
Some critics have confined the whole of this chapter to the apostles of our Lord, and the work of propagating Christianity to which they had been called. The whole comment of Rosenmuller on this chapter proceeds on this plan; and at once shows how nugatory it is. What learned labour has there been in the world, to banish the spirit of Christianity from the earth, while the letter was professed to be scrupulously regarded! 1. The spiritual union spoken of by Christ is not merely necessary for his primitive disciples, but also for all who would be Christians on earth, and beatified spirits in heaven. 2. The brotherly love here inculcated is the duty and interest of every Christian soul on the face of the earth. 3. The necessity of adorning the Christian profession, by bringing forth corresponding fruits, is the duty of all who name the name of the Lord Jesus. 4. The appointment to, and preparation for, the work of the sacred ministry, must ever be primarily with Christ: for those who have no higher authority than that which they derive from man are never likely to be useful in Christianizing the world. 5. The persecution to which the apostles were exposed has been the common lot of Christians from the foundation of Christianity. 6. The consolations and influences of Christ's Spirit have not been the exclusive privileges of the apostles; they are the birthright of all the sons and daughters of God.