SURREY TABERNACLE PULPIT.

 

WELL WORTH REMEMBERING

 

A SERMON – by MR. JAMES WELLS

 

PREACHED ON SUNDAY Morning, 26th JUNE, 1870

 

VOL. XII. - No. 610.

               

“I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever."—Psalm xlv. 17.

 

THERE is perhaps in the Bible no greater promise to the world than that contained in our text; for it is clear that if the Lord himself did not keep the gospel in the world by his power, and by bringing one and another to know his name, the gospel would soon be lost sight of, and other things put into its place, of which we have plenty of instances; thus the great work of salvation would cease, and the whole world, like the old world, would be left to wend its way down to the regions of everlasting woe. But in our text, here is the promise of God the Father to Christ, — “I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations and we have still a people in the world to whom the Lord has been so gracious in bringing them into an acquaintance with himself that they themselves, I had almost said, cannot forget his name if they would, for the Holy Spirit is their remembrancer, he carries on the work. And so, the testimony we have read this morning is true, — “If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart.” That is, if the child of God, before he is well established in the truth, should unwittingly approve of another gospel, of another way of salvation, and receive another spirit, then the Lord, who knows the secrets of the heart, would search that out, and would show that Christian man that he is going wrong, as was the case with the Galatians; and the Lord would enlighten such again, he would put his hand the second time to the work, and he would touch their vital power again. Like the man of old—when his sight was partially given, he saw men as trees walking, and therefore could not walk with much safety, and would always fear that he was going wrong; but the Lord touched his visual power again, and then he saw every man clearly; then he would walk on in the right and in the straight way.

 

Our text lies before us in a twofold form. First, the promise, — “I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations.” Secondly, the happy consequence, — “therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.”

 

First, the promise, — “I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations—his name first as a Savior; secondly, his name as a prosperous and a happy king; and thirdly, his name as the life and light of worlds. First, then, his name as a Savior. And there is not one within the sound of my voice who can say that this name is of no importance; it is of essential, infinite, and universal importance, for it is written that “there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” But I am very anxious to show how he is a Savior, and how he hath saved. Before I enter into definition I may safely remind you that he took some trouble to save us, that he underwent some labor to save us, that he toiled all day, that he toiled all night, that he was never off his guard; and if we ourselves had only a tithe of the concern for our salvation that he himself had for us, we should then be more spiritually minded than we are; but thanks to the Lord for what little we do know. The Savior took, I may say, an infinity of trouble, and came under cares and sorrows such as we can never describe, in order to save us. And as this is apprehended, it endears the Holy Three, —the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. But let us come to clear definitions, as presented to us in this Psalm. First, then, he saves by his purity; for it said in this Psalm, “Thou art fairer than the children of men.” He was the only sinless child ever born into this world, and he remained sinless, lived sinlessly, and died sinlessly, and remained in the grave sinless, and rose sinless. He knew no sin, he did no sin, and he was to be by his purity the purity of the people. It is by his purity, as well of course as by the dignity of his person and the completeness of his sufferings, that his blood cleanses from all sin. Let us ever remember, when we are called upon to give thanks at the remembrance of God’s holiness, that the Lord Jesus Christ is God’s holiness—that is, as relates to us; so that to give thanks at the remembrance of God’s holiness simply amounts to this, —to give thanks to God that Jesus Christ is our sanctification. May the sweet testimony increasingly sink down into our hearts, that by him, by faith in him, every sin is forgiven, forgotten, and blotted out; and the people to whom he is sanctification, you know in what a lovely way they are spoken of through the Holy Scriptures. This is one step, then, essential to our salvation that he himself must have no sin, no guile, that he must be entirely free from sin. I know not any truth in which the Christian more rejoices than this—free from sin by oneness with the Lord Jesus Christ. I never seem weary of quoting the beautiful words, “You hath he now reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” Well might the Psalmist say, “Thou art fairer than the children of men.” Here, then, is our hope, and this is the way the Lord appears for us, and makes Jesus name to be remembered throughout all generations. You all recollect that this is the very first name with which the New Testament opens up: — “Thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.” But he saves us not only by his purity, but by receiving into his heart and mind the covenant of grace. That is a remarkable thing. As we could not be saved without his purity, unless he himself became the fountain opened, the end of sin, so we could not be saved unless he himself received on our behalf the covenant of grace. It here said, “Grace is poured into thy lips.”  and does not the grace there mean gracious truths? Hence you read, “he grew in grace and in stature, and in favor with God and with man.” “Grace is poured into thy lips.” The Lord said, “My covenant of life and peace,”—mark that; so that he received the covenant of life, and in receiving that covenant of life he stood engaged to abolish death. It was a covenant of peace, and in receiving that covenant of peace he stood engaged to turn enemies into friends; he stood engaged to reconcile sinners to God, to make peace between God and man. And if we are favored to enter into peace with God, it matters but little who may be at war with us; if God be for ns, who then can be against us? So, he saves us not only by his purity, but by his receiving and carrying out the covenant of life and peace. “My covenant of life and peace was with him; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.” No one ever feared God in such perfection as did the Lord Jesus Christ. Here then also he is a Savior. “He walked with me in peace and equity;” this is what you have never done literally, nor I either, nor any other person under the heavens. Jesus Christ walked with God in peace through every one of his troubles; he never murmured at any one of his troubles; he never murmured at all our sins being laid upon him. He was made sin, but he murmured not thereat; the Lord laid upon him the iniquities of us all, but he did not murmur thereat; “he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” “He walked with, me in peace and equity so that he was equal in his obedience to all the demands of the perfections of God, and to all the necessities of a poor lost sinner. By these successive steps he becomes a Savior; and thus, it is “he did turn many away from iniquity.” He alone can do this; he alone can bring about an entire, vital, and lasting, severing between us and sin, between us and what we are in the first Adam, between us and what we are as under God’s law. He came “to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge.” How remarkably the Savior exemplified this; —his lips kept knowledge. We are sometimes at a loss how to answer an adversary; but you never find him at a loss how to do so; he was always ready, always quick; his lips kept knowledge. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips. “They should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” Now we will suppose for a moment—it is an irreverent thought so to think, but we must so speak, for the sake of explaining ourselves—we will suppose for a moment the possibility of the Savior, refusing to receive this covenant; —in refusing to receive this covenant he would have refused to receive God’s will; whereas, so far from his refusing to receive this covenant, and abolish death, and bring about reconciliation, and establish the peace that is there described—so far from his refusing to do so, he delighted to do God’s will, he delighted to carry out this matter, he rejoiced as a strong man to run a race. I am aware this is a matter thought but little of in our, day; but it is essential, if God be true, to our welfare; for if we are saved it must be by this very purity, by this very covenant, by this very way. Therefore, he said, “This is my blood in the new testament,” that is, the new covenant. Here, then, “I will make thy name to be remembered.” Let us look at the two items of his name. His purity—can we forget it? We cannot; it is what we daily think of. We contrast our own vile and fallen nature with the purity of Christ, and rejoice that he is our sanctification; and we contrast what we are by nature with what we are by faith in him by this everlasting covenant which he has received and established. So, he saves us by his purity, and by carrying out practically and eternally all the purposes of the covenant ordered in all things and sure. Then, thirdly, he saves us also by his humiliation and by his power. By his humiliation; —he rides forth prosperously because of truth, and meekness, and righteousness; these three are the reasons of his prosperity. Just look at those three—truth, meekness, and righteousness. Truth, as yon are aware, means his receiving that covenant of which we have spoken. The Lord Jesus Christ hath confirmed all the predictions of the Old Testament, the promises made to the fathers, for the sworn promises given to fathers were by Jesus Christ. Those promises were not yet, in the testamentary sense, confirmed, but Jesus Christ comes as the testator and as the mediator, and by his death these promises are confirmed, made yea and amen. Therefore, by this confirmation of truth he goes forth. So that having thus made the truth yea and amen, the consequence is that the Lord’s word shall not return void, but shall accomplish that which he pleases, and prosper in the thing whereunto he does send it. I ought to say a word or two more upon this—that Jesus Christ goes forth prosperously because of the truth; and if you and I would spiritually prosper it must be by the truth of God. We may prosper numerically more by error than by truth; and we may prosper more in the eyes of the world by error than by truth. Hence error has always been more or less successful, universally and well received; while, when the dear Savior came, who was the embodiment of truth itself, there were none to receive him but those whose eyes the Lord opened to show unto them who and what he was. Therefore, he prospers by the truth; and may you and I seek no prosperity contrary to God’s truth. We as a cause have prospered wonderfully now for pretty well half a century simply by the truth of the blessed God; and I believe we shall continue to do so to the end. But, then, there is meekness; not only by truth, but by meekness. That meekness of course refers to his humiliation. So, he must not only have the truth, but he must, as the apostle said, humble himself, and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. And that humiliation is another item in this prosperity. Is Jesus Christ prosperous in saving us in the respects we have stated? Just so with us; the more we are brought down to the feet of Jesus, to submit to his righteousness, and the more we can glory in him, the more we have of that Spirit expressed by the Psalmist when he said, “I will go” through all my troubles, I will go through life, I will go through death, I will go through all I have to go through, “in the strength of the Lord; I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.” So, then, because of meekness and of righteousness the Savior prospers. He comes in his truth, and establishes it; he comes by his humiliation work; and his people possess this spirit of truth and of submission to God. And then righteousness; he has brought in everlasting righteousness; and so, he prospers. But then I may just state there is also power. It is here said that his sword is girded upon his thigh; that sword of course you must take figuratively to mean simply the word of God. And then he is represented here, as in other scriptures, with a bow and arrows— “Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.” Let us stop here for a moment; there is no salvation without this part, any more than without the other. “Thine arrows are sharp” what are these arrows? Why, they are the words of the Lord. Oh, when some scripture comes to a sinner dead in sin, and enters into his conscience, “Prepare to meet thy God;” and that scripture becomes fastened there, it makes the man unhappy. “Every idle word that man shall speak, he shall give account thereof in the day of judgment;” when the Lord plants an arrow of this kind in the conscience, it makes the man unhappy. “Cursed is the man that continneth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them;” "he that offendeth in one point is guilty of the whole;” when these arrows come into a sinner’s conscience, they bring him down; he falls down then with “God be merciful to me a sinner;” he falls down then with “What shall I do to be saved?” And in God’s own time there is revealed to that man the purity of Christ; Christ as his sanctification heals the man’s wounds, and then he understands the meaning of the Lord’s word, where the Lord said, “I wound, and I heal,” he then understands the meaning of that scripture, “The Lord hath smitten, and he will bind us up; the Lord hath torn, and he will heal; after two days will he revive us, and the third day, by oneness with the resurrection of Christ, “will he raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” Now just glance at these items again, and see how infinitely important every item must be unto us. First, what could we do without the purity of Christ? We can get rid of our sin and guilt nowhere else. Secondly, what could we do without that covenant which he received, and which his people shall receive and understand? Without that covenant we could have no security. And then, again, what could we do without his humiliation? If he had not humbled himself, and become obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, and borne our sins, we must have been-lost forever. And then, again, though he did all this, yet if he did not go forth with power, what should we do? He goes forth in his majesty and in his glory; he goes forth with power. The apostle presents this in a very beautiful form, — “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God through faith unto salvation.” And it is my prayer, and I am sure yours as well, that we ourselves may enter more and more into the spirit of these things—that we may rejoice in the purity we have in Christ, rejoice in the sure and confirmed covenant we have in Christ, and rejoice in what the Savior achieved by his humiliation, and rejoice that he goes forth with power, and that he doth wound one and wound another, convince one and another. Here is the great secret of real religion. The man into whose soul the lightning of conviction has never entered, the man into whose soul a sight and sense of his vile, lost, and ruined condition has never entered, that man cannot prize the purity of Christ, because the man is not made sensible of his own impurity; that man cannot prize the new and everlasting covenant, the grace which the Savior received in and by that covenant for poor sinners; because that man does not feel his need of that covenant; and such an one cannot prize the humiliation of Christ, for he does not understand it; and such an one cannot prize the power of Christ, for his power is not only to bring down, but also to bring up; such an one cannot prize his power; for the Lord is pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. “The weakness of God is stronger than men and that which men call weakness proves to be strength; for Christ is the power and wisdom of God. If a man has not this experience, he remains outside; he is utterly ignorant of these things. He cannot remember the name of the Lord as a Savior, because he does not know his need; he cannot prize his purity, nor any of these things; whereas those that are brought to know their need of this cleave to it with all their hearts. In the preceding Psalm, which we read this morning, it is said, “We have not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant” The people of God did not say this by way of creature boast, but said it to the honor and glory of God, just as the apostle did when he said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give unto me at that day; and not to me only but unto all them that love his appearing.”

 

Thus, then, there is a secret in religion which the Lord alone can let people into. And we see this in the world. We see when worldly men, however learned, talented, and well-disposed, undertake to criticize us, what a dreadful bungle they make of it. They quote an expression here, and another there, and they do not know what to say. And sometimes they are very defective also in information. They look at the congregation, and draw their own inferences, without any evil intention, but they do make such a bungle of it that it really makes one’s heart ache for the honor of their learning, the honor of their intellect, and the honor of their attempting to criticize that to which they are as blind as bats. Of course, none of us would think for one moment of being offended or put out at their criticizing us; for, poor things, they do not know what they are talking about. Instead of being offended, we ought to say as Elisha did, when the young man was puzzled; —seeing so many people round him he did not know what to make of it; —Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of the young man and when the young man’s eyes were opened, he could see as well as Elisha then. And so, it is that the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God. The other day, when reading concerning ourselves (of course everything was said rather perhaps to lower us, but never mind that) —I thought within myself, Well, now, all the answer we want to this is just to read the sermon of that morning, taken by our own reporter; the sermon he reported that morning is the best and most effectual answer to that article in the newspaper (Telegraphy June 23, 1870), and would put everything right. Though I will say this—that the writer himself did very well; still he made a terrible mistake—he ruined, as some bad counsellors do, his own case; for, after representing me as a terribly nonsensical rambler, and making disconnected remarks, with neither rhyme, nor reason, nor sense, not anything else, he then gives an extract from one of our published sermons, wherein the clauses rise one above the other, until it comes to a legitimate, grammatical, logical, and rhetorical climax. He gave that at the end; and I thought, What an entire refutation this is of the preceding nonsense! I am not angry, because of course no harm was intended; he did the best he could; but dreadfully defective in information said he thought a part of the congregation were of the lower orders. Now we have none of the lower orders here that I know of. There were some few of you of the-lower order, but since the Lord has taken you in hand you have belonged to the higher orders; —God has raised you up in providence and grace, and you can stand by the side now of any one; and unless you are like me—tell it, no one would know what you once were. When they do come to criticize us, they ought to get at any rate a little information first. I thought I would make these two or three remarks, just to show you that it is not important enough for me to feel at all put out about it. You know very well that public men must not be thin-skinned; and I have been knocked about now for nearly half a hundred years, and I am so used to it that it has not much effect. I can bless God for a knowledge of his blessed name; and the further we go on the more we prove the truth of that solemn scripture, “The things of the Spirit are foolishness to the natural man.” Anything had better be foolishness in our eyes than God’s truth, and God’s Spirit, and Christian experience, and the blessings of the everlasting covenant. Whatever else may be foolishness in our eyes, God grant that the things of the Spirit may ever be wisdom in our eyes, may ever be heaven in our eyes; but that we may see that real foolishness lies not in the things of God, but with men themselves. “The world by wisdom knows not God.” Therefore, let us not for one moment forget that if we differ, and know better, it is grace that hath made us to differ. Bless the Lord, we know in whom we have believed, and we know how we are saved, and we delight to dwell from time to time upon that salvation.

 

Let me, then, before I leave this part, just again remind you of the several beautiful representations in this Psalm of the way in which we are saved; —by the purity of Christ, —that is a dear truth to us and by grace being poured into his lips, his receiving the covenant of grace, and carrying it out; for he alone could be the Mediator of such a covenant; he alone could stand up under the weight of the responsibilities of such a covenant; for the responsibilities of that covenant included the responsibility for our sins, and the responsibility for the final presentation of all the people included in that covenant at the last great day. This is another step in our salvation. And then his confirming the truth, his humiliation, his bringing in everlasting righteousness; then his going forth with power, bringing sinners down to his feet; and it is in this way we are saved. Some think religion is a very simple sort of thing, can be learnt in a few minutes; it is only to avoid the wrong and follow the right. Well, that is good, but that is only morality. There are in true religion unfathomable mysteries. And what, think you, means the Savior when he said, “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven”? And the purity of Christ is one of those mysteries; the covenant that he has received and confirmed is another of those mysteries; his humiliation and what he has achieved in that humiliation is another of those mysteries; and his going forth with mighty power to smite the sinner and bring him down, as he brought Saul of Tarsus down, is another of those mysteries; —it is true he does not bring us down bodily, as he did Saul of Tarsus, but he does spiritually by the same power bring us into submission to the same scepter, to receive the same truth, and to be saved in the same way. This is the way in which the Lord makes his name to be remembered. I hope when I die I shall leave some good remembrances of the Lord’s name. “I will endeavor,” said the apostle Peter, “that ye may have these things in remembrance after my decease.” And I should hope, if I could look up, which I could not of course, from the grave after a few years, that the Lord’s name as a Savior will still be remembered, loved, worshipped, adored, enjoyed, and realized within these walls, even yet for many generations to come. I like the language of our text very much; — “I will make thy name to be remembered;” and he does it by sending the arrows of conviction into our consciences, making us feel our lost condition, and discovering to us the great truth that if we ever get to heaven it must be by the free, sovereign, all-sufficient grace of the blessed God.

 

But, secondly, his name as a King. His throne is forever. “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the scepter of thy kingdom is a right scepter. Thou lovest righteousness and hatest wickedness.” What a comfort it is, friends, that Jesus Christ hated sin for us with a perfect hatred! Our hatred to it is only partial, because our conviction of it is only partial; but his hatred to it was complete, and his love to righteousness was complete; and that wonderful doing is imputed unto the people, so that they are held as doing what he hath done, because his work is imputed unto them. But upon this I will not enlarge any further than to notice the words, “Therefore God hath blessed thee forever.” Shall I give you one item of the blessing in consequence of what Christ has done? He is blessed forever, and if he be blessed forever, then the people are blessed forever, because they are one with him, and with whatever blessing he is blessed they are blessed, and it cannot be reversed. Let me give you one item of the blessing; it is this, —that he is so blessed that he dies no more, death hath no more dominion over him. And now look at its relative hearing upon us: — “Because I live, ye shall live also.” Oh, may we more and more enter into the blessedness of this name, for hereby it is our God defends us, hereby it is he abides by us; hereby it is he shows his love, his care, his mercy, his goodness, and his grace to us. But he is also a happy King. Now there are but very few kings happy, and very few public men happy; for speaking after the manner of men, if a man wished to bid good-bye to all natural and earthly happiness, let him become a public man; he must make up his mind to be mauled about, and shot at, and all sorts of things said of him. But while others are shooting at him, he must not shoot at others; while he is reviled, he must not revile again; while he is cursed, he must bless others. Now, then, Jesus Christ, see what he went through while on earth; but now he is a happy king, out of the reach of his enemies; and being happy himself he ministers that happiness to others. Let us have just a word here upon his attractions, upon his kindness. He said to the Church, looking at her in all the respects and in more than those I have stated, “Hearken, O daughter, and consider and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people,” which taken figuratively and mystically will mean, of course, fallen creatures, to whom we by nature belong;— “and thy father’s house,” the old Adam house to which you belonged; “so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty; for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him;” here is Christ in his royalty, “Forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house.” What is the idea there? It is this; —if your soul lingers and longs after the world, and you begin to think whether you would not rather be one with them than one with the people of God, that is a bad sign. Therefore, he teachs his people in that way that they shall have no desire to go back to their old people, any more than Ruth had to go back to Moab and her gods. They seek a better country; though they have opportunity to return they shall not return; they shall not accept deliverance, but endure anything and everything rather than leave him. “The king’s daughter is all glorious within;” meaning that her heart is right with the king, her heart is right with Christ, with God. It says in Proverbs xxxi., “She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life.” It is that which constitutes the soul all glorious within, when the heart is right with God. What do you say this morning? Can you say when you look to Jesus Christ that you do love him? Can you say you make no feigned or hypocritical profession, —that what you do profess arises from the love you have to his blessed name. Here, then, is the Holy Spirit in the heart, in the soul, life and love in the soul, and everything which the Savior admires. This is what I understand by being all glorious within. “So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty;” and if this be a part of the beauty, which it is, how easy it is to prove that he desires this beauty! He desires her affection, her confidence, her prayers, her praises. “So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty;” —-mark the language. What infinite condescension for the Lord to desire our affection, and our prayers and praises, saying, “Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me.” “My son, give me thine heart,” said the Lord; and said David, “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face, my heart said, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” This is what the king, desires, this is what the Lord desires. I cannot find language to describe what a comfort this has been to me in my pilgrimage, —that the Lord knows my heart; and many times I am able to say, and I trust you are also, “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.” Here, then, is the beauty which we have by Christ Jesus, and which he desires, and by which he reigns. I am speaking of him as a king; he reigns in this way, he reigns by his attractions. “Draw me, we will run after thee. Tell me, thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest.” He does not reign despotically—that is to say, he does not reign by force; he reigns by attraction—reigns as a shepherd, pastorally; as a husband reigns— kindly. “So shall thy desire be to thy husband;” but then it must be the rule of kindness, or else the desire cannot be kept up. And so, the Lord rules his people kindly; it is a reign of grace—grace reigning, Christ reigning, his grace reigning through his righteousness unto eternal life. That, then, is the beauty. And I was going to say, he might well desire our souls and hearts, he might well desire our affection, for we have his; he may well desire our prayers, for we have his intersessions for us; and he may well desire our praises, for we have his praises for us, for he speaks well of us; he may well desire our humble services, for we have his service, his great and saving service, set to our account. Then it is said, “Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir;” and again, of the king’s daughter, “Her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework.” I will not enter into anything curious, but if you go to Revelation xix., you will get an explanation of what is meant by the queen appearing in gold of Ophir, and the raiment of needlework. There you read, “To her,” the Church, “was granted that she should be arrayed in fine-linen, clean and white,”—the margin reads it “clean and bright;” — “for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints;” and we all, that know the Lord, know that Christ’s righteousness is the righteousness of saints; his righteousness imputed unto them.

 

But, thirdly, the Lord Jesus Christ also saves by being the life and light of worlds. First, he was the life and light of the Jewish world. He came into the Jewish world, and the Jewish world knew him not; but nevertheless, so far as men were saved in the Jewish world, Christ was their life and their light. He was the life and light of the Jewish world, and after becoming the life and light of the Jewish world, and gathering out of it a great number, he then, secondly, became the life, and light of the Gentile world. Hence, in the preceding verse, “Instead of thy fathers’’—that is, the prophets, “shall be thy children’’—that is, the apostles, “whom thou mayest make princes: in all the earth,” which the dear Savior did; not literal princes, but princes in an infinitely better sense than that—in the divine and spiritual sense. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Then, thirdly, he is the life and light of time. The time you and I have to live, where will be the liveliness of it? In Christ, —possessing and enjoying, him. And he is also the life and light of eternity. “The city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.”

 

Just a word upon the last point, —the happy consequence; — “therefor shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.” First, the truth of these words, — “therefore shall the people praise thee.” Did you ever know—I never did yet, and believe I never shall, —a sinner convinced of his state, as was Saul of Tarsus, and the publican, and thousands of others, and saved by Jesus Christ, and yet speak against Jesus Christ after that? No; “There is no man which shall do a miracle in my name.” —and it is a miracle to believe in him, —a miracle of grace and love— “that can lightly speak evil of me.” No; if the Christian were to say a word against Christ, in some mysterious sort of rebellion, he would never forget it; it would be a bitter in is cup all his days. Oh, how hallowed this ground is to the Christian, how sacred!