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Ver. 21.--Thou hast heard me.
IMPORTUNITY prevails with God. He that will not be satisfied without the blessing, shall be satisfied with it. Ask, and you shall have ; seek, and you shall find; knock, and
shall gain admittance. Christ“spake a parable to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” He here proves the truth of his own teaching. During this whole morning of persecution, his mind was stayed on God. Throughout the period of desertion, his soul earnestly sought the comforting presence of his
Father. In the heaviest gloom of the darkness, he yielded not, but still pressed forward in spirit to the light. Now the light is come—the true light of a Father's lovema Father's countenance of gracious approbation. God withstands his pleadings no longer. Though he does not grant it to him because he is a friend—a son—yet because of his importunity, he giveth him whatever he needeth. All that the holy Christ needs, or desires, is centred in God himself, “ Thou art my life, my light, my peace, my bliss, my all; thy smile is my sunshine ; thy approbation my prosperity; thy love my reward ; thy glory my crown; without thee I am poor; and with thee rich, take what thou wilt away.” Now all this is come. The tide of eternal love flows in full current into the heart of Christ. The stream of
his love had never ceased; as a river to the sea, it had still sent its waters to their source.
Christ had come forth from the bosom of the Father; throughout life he enjoyed uninterrupted communion with him-conscious possession of a home in his heart. On the cross, however, nothing but a dark thick cloud could be discerned. His affections rose up as before, but there was no return as formerly—no response. The arrow of prayer seemed to be lost in the depths of that cloud, yet he believed that his own Father lived beyond ; he still felt persuaded that Father loved him; he still believed that the door of his Father's house would not be always shut against him. Now his faith is victorious. God, as it were, addresses him, as he himself did the Syrophenician woman, “O
Son, great is thy faith, be it unto thee even as thou wilt." Christ's importunity had said, as it were, “I will have light;" and the Hearer of prayer answered, “Thou shalt have light." Christ's strong love could not, and would not, bear putting away; it intimated, “I will never rest till I enjoy communion with thee again.” The Father replied, “ Thou shalt be admitted to the fulness of joy in my presence.” And here the suppliant Saviour exclaims with gratitude and exultation of heart, « Thou hast heard me."
What a relieving view does this present of the dark hour of the crucifixion ! It removes the painful doubt; it shows us that the Son of God departed not out of this life under the hidings of his Father's countenance. Disquietude and anguish of spirit were dispelled; every troubled feeling was hushed to repose; the louring clouds of evening were dissipated, and the Sun of Righteousness set in the calm effulgence of pure and glorious light.
What an example of the power of fervent, persevering prayer, is here set before us! The Advocate had urged every plea, had addressed God by every name and character, had set forth the necessities of his case in the most urgent manner, had returned again and again with complaint, and appeal, and argument, and entreaty, and at last had set himself as an importunate suitor that would take no further denial. This prevails. God grants his request to the very utmost. “ The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force,” Matt. xi. 12. Like Jacob of