by Venerable John Henry Newman
Let us weigh carefully our Lord's solemn announcements uttered shortly before His crucifixion, and, though addressed primarily to His Apostles, yet, surely, in their degree belonging to all who "believe on Him through their word." We shall find that consistent obedience, mature, habitual, lifelong holiness, is therein made the condition of His intimate favour, and of power in Intercession. "If ye abide in Me," he says, "and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples. As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you; abide ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard of My Father, I have made known unto you." [John xv. 7-15.] From this solemn grant of the peculiarly Gospel privilege of being the "friends" of Christ, it is certain, that as the prayer of repentance gains for us sinners Baptism and justification, so our higher gift of having power with Him and prevailing, depends on our "adding to our faith virtue."