Sermon 129. David's Dying Prayer
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, April 26, 1857, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens.
"Let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen."-Psalm 72:10.
THERE was a time when this prayer would have been unnecessary; a period, in fact, when it could not have been offered, seeingthe thing to be asked for was already in being. A time there was when the word rebellion had not been uttered against thegreat magistracy of heaven; a day there was, when the slime of sin had never been left by the trail of the serpent, for noserpent then existed, and no evil spirit. There was a hour, never to be forgotten, when the seraph mighthave flapped his wing for aye, and never have found aught of discord, or aught of rebellion or of anarchy throughout God'suniverse, when the mighty angels assembled in the halls of the Most High, and without exception did reverence to their liegeLord, and paid him homage due; when the vast creation revolved around its center, the great metropolis, the throne of God,and paid its daily and hourly homage unto him, when the harmonies of creation always came to one spot and found their focusnearthe throne of God. There was a time when every star was bright; when all space was filled with loveliness, when holiness,purity, and happiness, were like a robe which mantled the entire creation. This world itself was once fair and lovely-so fairand lovely that we who live in these erring times can scarcely guess its beauty. It was the house of song, and the dwelling-placeof praise. If it had no pre-eminence among its sister spheres, certainly it was inferior to none of them, surrounded withbeauty, girt with gladness, and having in it holy and heavenly inhabitants. It was a house to which the angels themselvesloved to resort, where the holy spirits, the morning stars, delighted to sing together over this beautiful and fair earthof ours. But now how changed! how different! Now it is our duty devoutly to bend our knees and pray that the whole earth mayyet be filled with his glory.
In one sense this prayer is still unnecessary, for in a certain sense the whole earth is filled with God's glory. "All thyworks praise thee, O God," is as true now as it was in paradise. The stars still sing their Maker's praise; no sin hath stoppedtheir voice, no discord hath made a jarring note among the harmonies of the spheres. The earth itself still praiseth its Maker,the exhalations, as they arise with morn, are still a pure offfering, acceptable to their Maker.The lowing of the cattle, the singing of the birds, the leaping of the fishes, and the delights of animal creation, arestill acceptable as votive offerings to the Moat High. The mountains still bring righteousness; on their hoary summits God'sholy feet might tread, for they are yet pure and spotless. Still do the green valleys, laughing with their verdure send uptheir shouts to the Most High. The praise of God is sung by every wind it is howled forth in dread majesty by the voice ofthetempest, the winds resound it, and the waves, with their thousand hands, clap, keeping chorus in the great march of God.The whole earth is still a great orchestra for God's praise, and his creatures still take up various parts in the eternalsong, which, ever swelling and ever increasing, shall by-and-by mount to its climax in the consummation of all things. Inthat sense, therefore, the prayer is still inappropriate. God, who filleth all in all, and filleth earth and heaven, needethnot tohave more glory, as to the essence of his glory; for still he is glorified in the whole earth.
But David intended this prayer in another sense. "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen;" not as Creator,but as a moral Governor, and a Ruler. It is as Governor that we have revolted from God and done dishonor to him; it is asour Master, our Ruler, our Judge, that we have done despite to his glory, and have trampled on his crown. It is, therefore,in this respect that David wished that the whole earth might be filled with God's glory. He desiredthat every idol temple might be cast down-that the name of Jehovah might be sung by every lip, that he in his person mightbe loved by every heart, and be for ever adored as "God over all blessed for ever." A foolish wish, say you, for it nevercan be accomplished. Surely the day will never come when hoary systems of superstition shall die. What! shall colossal systemsof infidelity and of idolatry totter to their fall? They have resisted the battering-ram for many a year; and yet shall theypass away, and shall God's kingdom come, and his will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven? Nay, it is no day dreamof a boy, it is no wish of the enthusiast. Mark who uttered that prayer, and where he was when he uttered it. It was the prayerof a dying king; it was the prayer of a holy man of God, whose eyes were just then lighted up with brightness in view of thecelestial city, as he stood on the mighty Pisgah, "and viewed the landscape o'er "-the prayer of the dying psalmist, whenonthe margin of his life he surveyed the ocean-the prayer of a mighty king, when he saw the scroll of prophecy unfoldedbefore him for the last time and was about to be ushered into the presence of his Maker. He uttered this as his last bestwish and desire; and when he had uttered it he sank back in his bed, and said, "The prayers of David the son of Jesse areended." It was his last prayer: "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen."
First, this morning, I shall try to explain the prayer, then I shall labor as God shall enable me, to inflame the hearts of all Christian men to desire the object of this prayer; then offer a word or two of counsel as to the pursuit of the object here spoken of; and conclude by noticing the promise to buoy our hopes up. By-and-by "the earth shall be filled with his glory."
I. First, then, let me EXPLAIN THE PRAYER. It is a large prayer-a massive one. A prayer for a city needs a stretch of faith,ay, there are times when a prayer for one man is enough to stagger our belief; for we can scarcely think that God will hearus for even that one. But how great this prayer is, how comprehensive! "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory, Amen,and Amen." It doth not exempt one single country, however trodden under the foot of superstition; itdoth not leave out one single nation, however abandoned. For the cannibal as well as for the civilised, for the man thatgrasps the tomahawk as well as for the man who bends his knee in supplication, this prayer is uttered, "Let the whole earthbe filled with his glory; Amen and Amen."
Let me just very briefly note what I believe the psalmist meant. He desired that the true religion of God might be sent into every country. Looking from that point of view, as we utter this prayer, what a multitude of thoughts rush into our minds! Lo, yonder wesee the hoary systems of ancient superstition; we behold multitudes bowing down before Budha and Brahma, and paying theiradorations to idols that are no gods: we pray for them, that they may cease to beidolaters, and that God's name may be known amongst them. Yonder we see the crescent, gleaming with a pale and sicklylight, and we pray that the followers of Mahomed may bow themselves before the cross, renounce the scimitar, and return tohim that loved them, casting away all the uncleanness and filthiness of their former religion. We see yonder the scarlet womanon the seven hills, and we include her in our prayer; we pray that God may cast down Rome; that he may overturn her deep,hell-rooted foundations, and may cause her tyranny over the nations to cease, that she may no more be drunk with the bloodof the slain, and no more with her idolatries and witchcrafts lead the nations astray. We include her in our supplications.We look on nations that are almost too debased lo be included in the roll of mankind; we see the Hottentot in his kraal, theBushman and the Bechuana, and we put up our prayer for these: "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen."Let Africa's center, once thought to be barren but now discovered to be glorious in fertility, become fertile also inworks of grace; let the regions whence our black brethren have been driven to slavery become the homes of blessedness, andthe regions of God's praise. We cast our eye to other regions, where the scalp is still at the Indian's girdle, where stillthey wash their hands in blood and delight themselves in murder, or we look to that huge empire of China, and we see the myriadsstilllost in infidelity and a partial idolatry, which is consuming them and destroying them, and we pray, "Let the whole earthbe filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen." Yes, it is a great prayer, but we mean it. We are praying against Juggernaut, andagainst Budha, and against every form and fashion of false religion. We are crying against anti-Christ, and we are prayingthat the day may come when every temple shall be dismantled, when every shrine shall be left poor as poverty, and when thereshall be no temple but the temple of the Lord God of Hosts, and when no song shall be sung but the song of Hallelujah;unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood."
But we mean more than this. We ask not merely the nominal Christianity of any country, but the conversion of every family in every country. "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen." Is that wish too great, too high? Are we too sanguine inour expectations? No; "The knowledge of the Lord" is to "cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea," and that is entirely.We do not wish to see dry places here and there, but as the deep foundations of thedepths are covered with the sea, so we wish that every nation may be covered with God's truth. And so we pray that everyfamily may receive it; yes, we pray that every household may have its morning and its evening prayer; we pray that every familymay be brought up in the fear of the Lord, that every child may, on its mother's knee, say, "Our Father," and that the answermay come to the infant's prayer, "Thy kingdom come." Yes, we ask of God that every house may be like the tents of Judah,consecrated to God; we ask that even the kraal of the Hottentot may become a synagogue for God's praise. Our desire is,that man may become so holy, that every meal may become a eucharist, and every cup a chalice, and every garment a priestlyvestment, and that all their labors may be consecrated to the Lord. We are bound to expect it, for it is said, "Even the bellsupon the horses shall be holiness to the Lord, and even the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar."
But, we go further than that. We do not ask merely for household conversion, but for the individual salvation of every being existing. "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen." Should there be one heart that doth not beat in God's praise,or one lip that is dumb in the melody of thanksgiving, then there would be yet a spot left which would not be filled withGod's praise, and that one left unconverted would blot and blur the whole great work offilling the earth with God's glory. A missionary once said, and said truly, that if all the people in the world were convertedexcept one man in Siberia, it would be worth while for all the Christians in England to make a pilgrimage to Siberia, if thatman's salvation could not be accomplished in any other way. And so it would. The salvation of one soul is unutterably precious,and when we offer this prayer we exclude none. We pray that the atheist, the blasphemer, the hardened rebel, theprodigate, may each be filled with God's glory; and then we ask for mercy for the whole earth; we leave not out so muchas one, but so hope and expect the day when all mankind shall bow at the Saviour's feet, when every hand shall bring tribute,every lip a song, and every eye shall speak its gladness and its praise. This I believe to be the psalmist's prayer-that everyman might be converted, and that in fact everywhere, in every heart and conscience, God might reign without a rival, Lordparamount over the great wide world.
II. Well, now, I am going, in the second place, to try to STIR YOU UP, my brethren, to desire this great, this wonderful thingfor which David prayed. Oh! for the rough and burning eloquence of the hermit of old, who stirred the nations of Europe tobattle for the cross! I would to God this morning I could speak as he did when the multitude were gathered together, or, likethat bishop of the church, who followed him, who addressed the mighty multitudes with such burningwords of fiery eloquence, that at last they heaved to and fro with waves of excitement, and every man, starting to hisfeet and grasping his sword cried, "Deus vult," "The Lord wills it," and rushed forward to battle and to victory. In a higher and holier sense I preach the crusade to-day,not as a hermit, but as God's preacher, I come forth to stir you up, men and brethren, to desire and seek after this greatand highest wish of the faithful, that the whole earth might be filled withhis glory. And how shall I stir you up except by leading you to one or two contemplations?
First, I beseech you, contemplate the majesty of God; or rather, since I am unable to help you to do that just now, let me remind you of seasons when you have in some measuregrasped the thought of his divinity. Have you never at night gazed upon the starry orbs, with the thought that God was theMaker of them all until your soul was steeped in reverent adoration, and you bowed your head with wonder and with praise,and said, "Great God! how infinite art thou?" Haveyou never, in looking upon God's pure earth, when you have seen the mountains, and the clouds, and the rivers, and thefloods, said-
"These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
Almighty! Thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair: Thyself how wondrous then?"
Oh! methinks you must have had some glowing bursts of devotion, somewhat like that burst of Coleridge in his hymn from thevalley of Chamounix or, like that of Thompson, when he leads the Seasons out to sing God's praise, or, like that matchlessburst of Milton, when he extolled God, making Adam in the garden praise his Maker. Yes, there have been moments when we couldbow before God, when we felt our own nothingness, and knew that he was all-in-all. Ah! if you can getsuch thoughts as these, my friends, this morning, I know that the next thought akin to this will be-"Let the whole earthbe filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen." You cannot bow before God yourself and adore him, without wishing that all therest of mankind should do the same. Ah! and the thought has gone further; ye have wished that even inanimate objects mightpraise him. Oh! ye mountains, let the shaggy woods upon your crowns wave in adoration ye that with bald heads lift up yourselvesloftier than those minor hills, let the clouds that gird you serve like wings of cherubim to veil your faces. But oh!adore him, adore him, for he is worthy of all adoration; let him ever be extolled. You cannot, I repeat, have great thoughtsof God yourselves, without spontaneously rising up and saying, "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and Amen."
But, my brethren, turn your eyes yonder. What see you there? You see the Son of God stepping from the place of his glory,casting aside the garments of his majesty, and robing himself in garments of clay. Do you see him yonder? He is nailed toa cross. Oh! can ye behold him, as his head hangs meekly on his breast? Can ye catch the accents of his lips, when he says,"Father, forgive them?" Do you see him with the thorn-crown still about his brow, with bleeding head, andhands, and feet? And doth not your soul burst with adoration, when ye see him giving himself for your sins? What! canye look upon this miracle of miracles, the death of the Son of God, without feeling reverence stirred within your bosom-amarvellous adoration that language never can express? No, I am sure you cannot. You bow yourself before that cross, you closeyour eyes that are already filled with tears, and as you bend your head upon the mount of Calvary I hear you say, "Jesus,have mercyupon me." And when you feel the blood applied to your conscience, and know that he has blotted out your sins, you are not a man unless you start from your knees and cry, "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory, Amen, and Amen." What! did he bendhis awful head down to the shades of death? What! did he hang upon a cross and bleed, and shall not earth praise him? O yedumb, sure this might loose your tongues. O ye silent ones, ye might begin to speak; and if ye do not, sure the verystones will speak, and the rocks that rent once at his death will rend again, and open a wide mouth to let their hallelujahsascend to heaven. Ah! the cross makes us praise him. Lovers of Jesus, can you love him without desiring that his kingdom maycome? What! can ye bow before him, and yet not wish to see your Monarch master of the world? Out on ye, men, if ye can pretendto love your Master, and yet not desire to see him the conqueror. I give you not a doit for your piety, unless it leadsyou to wish that the same mercy which has been extended to you might reach to others, and unless it prompts you to praythis prayer, "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory, Amen, and Amen."
But gaze a moment longer. The man that died for sinners sleeps within a grave; a little while he sleeps, until the angel rollsaway the stone and gives him liberty. Do you behold him, as he wakes up from his slumber, and radiant with majesty, and gloriouswith light, affrights his guard, and stands a risen man? Do you see him, as he climbs to heaven, as he ascends to the paradiseof God, sitting at the right hand of his Father till his enemies are made his footstool? Doyou see him, as principalities and powers bow before him, as cherubim and seraphim cast their crowns at his feet? Do youhear him? Do you hear him intercede, and do you hear also the music of the glorified spirits, ever chanting perpetual laysbefore his throne? And do you not wish that we might
"Prepare new honors for his name,
And songs before unknown?"
Oh! it is impossible to see the glorified Christ with the eye of faith, without exclaiming afterwards, "Let the whole earthbe filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen.
But now one other thought. Common humanity urges us to pray this prayer. Did you never walk through a village full of drunkenness and profanity? Did you never see at every ale-house poor wretchedbloated carcases that once were men standing, or rather leaning against the posts staggering with drunkenness! Have you neverlooked into the houses of the people, and beheld them as dens of iniquity, at which your soul did turn aghast? Have you neverwalked through thatvillage and seen the poverty, and degradation, and misery of the inhabitants, and sighed over it? Yes, you have. But wasit ever your privilege to walk through that village in after years, when the gospel has been preached there? It has been mine.Once it was my delight to labor in a village where sin and iniquity had once been rampant, and I can say with joy and happiness,that almost from one end of the village to the other, at the hour of eventide, you would have heard the voice of songcoming from every roof-tree, echoing from every heart. Oh! what a pleasant thing to walk through the village, when drunkennesshath almost ceased, when debauchery is dead, and when men and women go forth to labor with joyful hearts, singing as theygo the praises of the ever-living God, and when at sunset the humble cottager calls his children together, and reads themsome portion from the book of truth, and then together they bend their knees-oh! happy, happy households! Yes, we have seensomesuch places, and when our hearts have been gladdened by the sight, we have said, "tot the whole earth be filled with hisglory; Amen and Amen." It has been our delight sometimes to tabernacle amongst the lowly for a little season. We have hadour seat given us in the chimney corner for awhile, and by-and-by as the time to retire drew nigh, the good man of the househas said to the prophet's servant, "Now, sir, will you read for us to-night, as you are here?" And we have noticed the facesof thelittle group around us, as we have read some portion like this-"Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of aclean heart." And then we have said, "No, we will not pray to-night, you must be priest in your own house, and pray yourself."And then the good man has prayed for his children, and when we have seen them rise up and kiss their parent for the nightwe have thought, "Well, if this is the kind of family that religion makes, let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Fortheblessedness and for the happiness of man, let God's kingdom come, and let his will be done." Contrast that, my brethren,with the murderous rites of the Hindoo; contrast it with the savagery and barbarism of heathen lands. If I could bring somebarbarian to stand before you this morning, he might himself be a better preacher than I can be, as with his almost unintelligibleutterances and clicks he would begin to tell you the few ideas he had, which ideas began and ended with himself, and withthe miserable prey on which he lived. You would say, "What!-there such a miserable race as this?" Let us at once kneeldown and utter this prayer, and then rise up and labor to fulfill it-"Let the whole earth be filled with his glory." I feelthat I cannot stir you this morning as I wished. (If I were a Welshman I think I could move your hearts they have such a knackof waking persons up by what they say.) Oh! my soul longs for that day, it sigheth for that blessed period. Would God thatallsighed and longed for it too, and were prepared to work and labor, watch and pray, until we should indeed sing with truth,
"Hallelujah! Christ the Lord
God Omnipotent shall reign;
Hallelujah! Christ in God,
God in Christ is all-in-all."
May such a day come, as it certainly will!
III. And now I am to give you A FEW COUNSELS IN THE PURSUIT OF THIS OBJECT.
First, you cannot pray this prayer unless you seek in your own life to remove every impediment to the spread of Christ's kingdom.You cannot pray it, sir; you cannot say, "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen,"-you who cursed God yesterday.How can the same lip that cursed God say, "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen." You cannot say it,sir,-you who break his commandments, and violate his laws, and run riot againsthis government. If you said it you would be a vile hypocrite. Is there anything in our character and conduct which hasa tendency to prevent the spread of the gospel? Oh! we say it with pain, there are many members of the churches everywherewhose characters are such that if they remain what they are, Christ's gospel never can fill the whole earth, for it cannotfill their hearts. You know the men. They call themselves God's dear people, and they would be dear if they were given away;certainlynobody would buy them at the lowest price in the world. They say that they are his precious ones, and they must be veryprecious, or else he never would have any thoughts of mercy towards such a set as they are. And they will sometimes say, "Ah!we are the Lord's elect," and they live in sin. They say there are very few of their sort, and we reply, "What a mercy!" Ifthere were we should need many of our public buildings to be turned at once into gaols, to lock up such people. No, we donotbelieve in the characters of men who make a profession of religion and yet do not live up to it. Do not tell us aboutsuch profession, just be quiet altogether. Do not call yourselves religious, and yet act as others do. I do prefer a man thatis a right down blustering sinner when he is at it. Do not let him go into sin, and then mask and cover it all up. There isno use in it. The man is not honest. I do think there is some hope of a man who is a down-right, thorough-bred sinner, thatgoes atit and is not ashamed of it, but a rascally, canting hypocrite, that comes crawling into our church, and yet lives insin all the while-such a man-God Almighty may save him, but it is very seldom that he does save such people. He lets themgo on, and reap the fruit of their own ways; he lets them find out, after all, that hypocrisy is a sure road to hell, andnever can lead to heaven. We must look well to ourselves, by God's Spirit, or else we must not pray this prayer: "Let thewhole earth befilled with his glory; Amen, and Amen."
And there is my friend Mr. Save-all. I am sure he cannot pray this prayer, at least I think I hear him in his soul say, "OLord, let the whole earth be filled with thy glory." A contribution is requested to assist the cause in so doing. Oh! no notat all. Like the old negro woman we have all heard of, who sang, "Fly abroad, thou mighty gospel," and put her eye up in sucha devout frame, that her brother negro who was passing the plate that day could not get her to pay anyattention to him, till he jogged her elbow, and said, "Yes, sissy, it is well enough to sing, 'Fly abroad, thou mightygospel;' if you would give it wings then it might, but you are just singing this and doing nothing at all." Now, what is thegood of a man singing, "Fly abroad, thou mighty gospel," and praying this prayer, "Let the whole earth be filled with hisglory," if he has got six thousand a year coming in for doing nothing at all? It is no use for a man to put on a pair of lawnsleevesand say, "Oh, it is my devout desire that the whole earth may be filled with his glory," and then leave the world to stareat him and consider what good he is. It is no use for a man simply to have a curacy or something of that sort, buy his manuscriptscheap, come up and read off two sermons twenty minutes long, go home with a good conscience that he has done duty twice, andthen say, "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory." Why, my friends, there is no chance of it if that is the wayit is to be done, not the slightest in the world; to cry, "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory," and then standstill and do nothing at all; or merely do some nominal well-paid work, and feel it is all over. We want something in the ministrya little different before even ministers can pray this prayer in sincerity. I am not finding fault with any of my brethren,but I would recommend them to preach thirteen times a week, and then they can pray this prayer a little better. Three timesa week would not do for me. It would hurt my constitution; preaching thirteen times a week is good healthy exercise. Butyou shut yourself up in your study, or what is ten times worse, you do nothing at all, but just take it easy all the weektill the Sunday comes, and then borrow a sermon out of an old magazine, or buy one of the helps for ministers, or take downone of Charles Simeon's skeletons and preach it. My good man, you cannot pray in that fashion. The poorest Sabbath-schoolteacherhas a better right to pray that prayer than you have. You go to a fire that is raging vehemently, and say, "Oh, let itbe put out!" and stand with your hands in your pockets, while a little boy that is standing there and passing the bucket maypray that prayer sincerely, but you cannot. No, my brethren, you must be up and doing for your blaster, or else you cannotpray this prayer. You say, "I am doing my duty;" but my friend, that is not much use, you must do a little more than that,doingyour duty, as you think, is often doing but a very small part of your duty. What is a man's duty? "Why, as much as heis paid for, Sir." Oh, no, I think not; a man's duty is to do whatsoever his hand findeth to do, with all his might; and untilhe does that he cannot with any sincerity offer this prayer, "Let the whole world be filled with his glory "Amen, and Amen."Ah, there are some here that I could mention, who by their unparalleled philanthropy, by their unique and unrivalled loveoftheir fellow-creatures, have done much to fill the earth with God's glory; for they have let the world see what Christianmen and Christian women are able to do when God's love has touched their hearts. There are to be found some who by devotingthemselves to the service of their Master, and spending and being spent for him, have done much to heighten the opinion ofthe world towards Christianity, and make them think better of the Christian church than they would have done if it had notbeenfor these few rare, mighty heroes in the midst of us. "Let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen."But it cannot be, speaking after the manner of men, unless we each of us labor and endeavor as God shall help us, to extendthe kingdom of our Master.
And now, my friends, have I been urging you to an impossible toil Have I been telling Christian men to pray for that whichnever can be granted? Ah! no, blessed be God, we are taught to pray for nothing but that which God has been pleased to give.He has told us to pray that his kingdom may come, and his kingdom will come, and come most assuredly, too. Hark! hark! hark!I hear mustering for the battle; yonder in the dim distance I see the armies gathering; yes, I can dimlysee their ensign, and behold the flag that waves before them! Who are these that come? Who are these? These are noblerand better men than we! These are warriors of Christ, as yet, perhaps, unborn. These are the mighty men, the rear-guard, theseare the imperial guard of heaven, who have been fighting long. The enemy hath sometimes fled, but hitherto we have achievedbut little, the phalanx of the foe standeth still fast and firm, and we have blunted our blades against the shields of themighty. As yet the victory is not complete; the Master standeth on the hill with his reserve. Lo! I see them-they arecoming, they are coming. Some of us shall live to see them-men those tongues are made of fire, whose hearts are full of flame,who speak like angels and preach like cherubim! The men are coming, and happy shall the man be that marks the triumph; eachtramp of theirs shall be the tramp of victory, each blast of theirs shall level walls of spiritual Jerichos, each blow oftheirhorn shall clear an acre of valiant foemen, each stroke from their sword shall cleave a dragon, and every blow from their arm shall be mighty to overturn thrones andscepters and kings! They come, they come; and till they come what shall we do?-Why fight on and hold our posts. But lo! theycome. Let us be cheered with the thought that victory is certain. The hour cometh when this mighty band of heroes shall sweepthe earth with the banner of victory. And when in years to come, you and Ishall look upon the plain of battle, we shall see there an idol broken, there a colossal system of wickedness dashed inpieces, there a false prophet slain, there a deluder cast away. Oh! glorious shall be that day when victory shall be complete;when the horse and the rider shall be overthrown; when the battle that is without blood and without smoke, without rollingof garments of warriors, shall be completed by the shout of victory through him that hath loved us.
Beloved, we will wait awhile. We will still continue on this side with our Master; for though we are fighters now, we shallbe winners by-and-by. Yes, man, woman, ye who are unknown, unnoted, but are striving for your Master, by prayer, and praise,and labor, the day is coming when everyone of you shall have a crown of victory! The hour is coming when your heart shallbeat high, for you shall share the conquest, those men who are coming, without whom we cannot be madeperfect, shall not have all the honor. We who have borne the brunt of the fight shall have a share of the glory; the victorsshall divide the spoil, and we shall divide the spoil with them. Thou, tried, afflicted, forgotten and unknown, thou shaltsoon have the palm-branch in thy hand, and thou shalt ride in triumph through the streets of earth and heaven, when thy Mastershall make show of principalities and powers openly, in the day of his victory! Only still continue, only wrestle on, andthou shalt be crowned.
But I have got one word to say, and then Amen. You know, in Roman warfare there were special rewards given for special works.There was the mural crown for the man that first scaled the rampart and stood upon the wall. I am looking on this great congregationwith a thought in my mind which agitates my spirit. Young men! young men! is there not one among you that can win a muralcrown? Have I not one true Christian heart here that is set for work and labor? Have not I oneman that will devote himself for God and for his truth? Henry Martyn! thou art dead; and is thy mantle buried with thee?Brainerd, thou sleepest with thy fathers; and is thy spirit dead too, and shall there never be another Brainerd? Knibb, thouhast ascended to thy God; and is there nowhere another Knibb? Williams, thy martyred blood still crieth from the ground; andis there nowhere another Williams? What! not among this dense mass of young and burning spirits? Is there not one that cansayin his heart, "Here am I, send me?" "Lo, this hour, by God's grace being saved, I give myself up to him, to go whereverhe shall please to send me, to testify his gospel in foreign lands?" What! are there no Pauls now? Have we none who will beapostles for the Lord of hosts? I think I see one who, putting his lips together, makes this silent resolve-"By God's graceI this day devote myself to him; through trouble and through trial I will be his, if he will help me; for missionary workor foraught else I give up my all to God, and if I may die as Williams did, and wear the blood-red crown of martyrdom, I willbe proud; and if I may live to serve my Master, like a Brainerd, and die at last worn out here I am, do but have me, Master,give me the honor of leading the forlorn hope of leading the vanguard of Christianity; here I am, send me." O Lord, acceptthat young man! Lo, I consecrate him this day in thy name for that service, these outstretched hands this morning give abenediction to you, young hero of the cross! Your brother's heart beats with you; go, and go to victory; and if it mustbe mine to stay here to labor in a more easy and pleasant part of the vineyard, which I dare not leave, still I will envyyou, that you have the honor of going to far distant lands, and I will pray for you, that your success may be great, and thatthrough you the kingdoms of this world may be brought to Christ, and the knowledge of the Lord cover the earth. But we willallpray this prayer in our houses alone-"Let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen."
You that are enemies to God, beware, beware, beware! It will be a hard thing to be found on the side of the enemy in the greatbattle of right.