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24. THE DYING PARENT AND THE LITTLE ONES493493Our readers will find at the end of chapter xxvi. of this work an analysis of the contents of the farewell discourse and intercessory prayer recorded in John xiii. 31-38, xiv.-xvii, which though placed at the end of our exposition, may perhaps profitably be consulted here. We have been led to prepare this table partly on account of the length of the exposition, which is apt to divert attention from the natural divisions of the subject, and prevent the impression of appropriateness to the situation, which it has been our aim to produce in connection with this part of John’s record, from being as strong as we should wish. Partly also, however, from observing how much of the criticism on this composition, seems to arise out of defective insight into its import. We have had occasion to notice this even in writers who admit Johannine authorship, and recognize logia of our Lord as the germs of all John’s free expansion; as, e.g. Dr. Sanday in his thoughtful work on the Authorship and Historical Character of the Fourth Gospel. Admitting the legitimacy of the view taken by this writer of the Johannine discourses in the abstract, we maintain that he has failed to see into the discourses, and very specially into the farewell discourse, has looked too much at the surface, and so has made criticisms which he would not have made had he looked more below the surface. It appears to us intrinsically credible that Jesus spoke words of comfort to His disciples such as are considered in Section I. of this chapter; words of exhortation, warning, and encouragement respecting their work as apostles, such as we find in John xv., xvi.; and the words of prayer for men on whom so such depended. The children’s questions, considered in Section II. of this chapter, seem to rise naturally out of the previously spoken words of Jesus, and the answers to them ought to be kept apart from what Jesus meant to say, irrespective of interruptions.


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