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"Ye are the branches" — John 15:5.

For whatever He is, they have a relation corresponding with it. Thus, if he is the king, they are the subjects. If he is the shepherd, they are the sheep. If he is the head, they are the members. Therefore, having said to his disciples, I am the vine, he adds, Ye are the branches.

This reminds us of their union with him. The vine and the branches are connected. The latter are even parts of the former; and it would be absurd for a person to say, I did not hurt the vine, I only injured the branches. Why persecutest thou me? said the Saviour to Saul, who was only persecuting his followers. He that touches them, touches the apple of his eye. And as he is sensible of their wrongs, so he feels every kindness shown them, and says, "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren,ye did it unto me."

This gives them a character of likeness. The branches are the very same kind of wood as the vine, and the very same sap pervades them both. And they that are joined to the Lord are of one spirit. The same mind is in them which was also in Christ Jesus.

This shows their dependence. "The righteous shall flourish as a branch;" but the branch does not bear the tree, but the tree the branch. Whatever likeness there may be, in all things he has the pre-eminence. He is our life and strength. "Abide," says he, "in me: as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me; for without me ye can do nothing."

This proclaims their usefulness. The branches are the beauty and excellency of the vine; and by these, its vigour and fertility are displayed. He is glorified in his people. He makes them to blossom and yield fruit. He diffuses his goodness through their prayers and lives. In him is their fruit found, as to its source and support; but they bear it — they are the branches — they are filled with all the fruits of righteousness, which are, by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Let me learn one thing from all this. Let me accustom myself to derive spiritual reflections from all the material objects around me. A taste for natural scenery is pleasing and good in itself. But let me not approach it as a creature, only to enjoy; or a philosopher, only to admire; but as a Christian also, to improve. Let sense be a handmaid to faith. Let that which is seen and temporal, raise me to that which is unseen and eternal.

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

 
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