Sermon 368. The March!
A SERMON DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, MARCH 31, 1861, BY THE REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT EXETER HALL, STRAND.
"And it came to pass, when the ark set out, that Moses said, Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let thosewho hate You flee before You." Numbers 10:35.
THE people of God in the wilderness were led instrumentally by the wisdom of Moses and his father-in-law Hobab; but reallytheir guiding star was the visible Presence of God in the pillar of cloud by day, and pillar of fire by night. I suppose thatthe possession of this pillar as a guide did notremove from them the duty and the necessity of using the judgment of Moses and Hobab as to the place where they should encamp.You will remember that Moses expressly said to his relative, "You know how to encamp in the wilderness, and you shall be untous instead of eyes." They hadthe guidance of God, yet they were not to neglect the wisdom which God had given to His servants, and the judgment withwhich He had endowed them. We ought to learn from this, I think, that while we ever seek the guidance of God in Providence,yet we may frequently find directionand guidance in the use of our own common sense, our own discretion with which the Lord has endowed us. As long as the pillarof cloud tarried, the people always waited. However inconvenient the spot might be, if it rested one day, or 20 days, or amonth, or a whole year, they stoodstill. But the moment that the cloud moved, whether the fiery column marched through the darkness of the night, or the cloudypillar mellowed the brightness of the sun and screened them from its torrid heat, they removed at once. However excellentmight be their quarters, they neverdared to delay when once the Presence of God moved from above them. It was His to lead-it was theirs to follow. Yet, beforethey began the march, before the standard of Judah was uplifted, and that tribe began to take up its tents to lead the van,the silver trumpet was alwaysblown in the front. It was heard through the entire encampment- the silver trumpet, which seemed to say, "Arise! Depart!-Thisis not your rest. Your God has removed, and you must follow." Then Moses himself came forward, and stretching out his hands,he cried, "Arise, O Lord!Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You." When this was done, on marched the mighty host,and when they came to their halting place, again, and the trumpet sounded for the rest of eventide, up came the king in Jeshurun,the Prophet of Horeb, andlifting up his hands, again he cried, "Return unto Your rest and unto the many thousands of Israel," and the pillar restedover the top of the great encampment, and gave them a bright and flaming light by night, even as it gave them a glorious coveringand protection by day.
To what use are we to put this prayer of Moses; for no passage of Scripture is of private interpretation. No single text inthe Word relates simply to the occasion on which it is spoken; but whatever things were written aforetime were written forour learning. The Word of God is a living Word-nota Word that had life in it in the day of Moses, and is now dead-but a Word which is as living to us at this hour as whenit first came from the Prophetic lips of the great Lawgiver! I think I shall be warranted in using the text, "Rise up, O Lord!Let Your enemies be scattered,and let those who hate You flee before You" in three ways this morning. We shall use it, first, as the watchword of God'sIsrael in every age. Secondly, we are warranted by the 68th Psalm in referring this text, typically and mystically, to theResurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.And I think, also, the guidance of God's Spirit will warrant us, in the third place, in using this text personally, forourselves as individuals, and as a Church; and we would offer this prayer now that the Ark of God in our midst is about tobe removed, "Rise up, O Lord! Let Yourenemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You."
I. First, then, THIS HAS BEEN THE WATCHWORD OF THE CHURCH OF GOD IN ALL AGES. The people of God in the wilderness were thepicture of God's Church upon earth. We are strangers and foreigners upon the earth; we are pilgrims and sojourners as allour fathers were. I was struck last evening, onreading for my own instruction the 33rd Chapter of the Book of Numbers, with the constant occurrence of verses concerningthe removal of the people. "And they removed from Ethan, and turned again unto Pihahiroth." "And they journeyed in the wildernessof Ethan, and pitched in Marah.And they removed from Marah and came unto Elim." They went from the place of bitterness to the place of feasting. "And inElim were twelve fountains of water, and threescore and ten palm trees; and they pitched there. And they removed from Elim,and encamped by the Red Sea. And theyremoved from the Red Sea, and encamped in the wilderness of Sin. And they took their journey out of the wilderness of Sin,and encamped in Dophkah. And they departed from Dophkah and encamped in Alush. And they removed from Alush, and encamped atRephidim." And so the whole Chapteris a succession of removing and encamping, till at last they ceased to dwell in tents, and came to live in their own walledcities in the land of Canaan! Just such has been the history of the Church-it has always been removing from its place, andsuch has been the condition ofeach individual. Here we have no abiding city. "We seek a city which has foundations whose Builder and Maker is God." Herewe have but an earthly house of our tabernacle which is soon to be dissolved, and we are continually men of the weary footwho rest not but journey onward tothe place of rest.
Albeit that they had no habitation except their tents, yet it is true of Israel in the wilderness, that they always had anhabitation. Do you not remember the song of Moses-"Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations." Wherever theywere, God was their dwelling place! As I havesaid before, by day they were covered with His cloud, and they dwelt under the vast canopy like princes in a pavilion. Bynight they were covered with its fiery luster, and they rested under it with a light that never made glad the earth by nightsave only to their eyes. God's wingswere always over them! He carried them all the days of old, and they did really rest and dwell in Him. Today, in our Father'shouse, there are many mansions, and it was true of them yesterday that in their Father's house were many tents; in those tentsthey dwelt; but all of themdwelt in their Father's house. This, too, is true of the entire Church-always wandering, yet never far from home-unhoused,yet always in palaces-sometimes destitute, afflicted, tormented, and yet always clothed, always rich, always feasting to thefull; deserted, yet notalone; forsaken, yet multiplied; left, yet still abiding with Him who fills all in all!
We might carry the parallel out still further, but it is enough for us to remark this morning that in another point, the peopleof God in the wilderness were the picture of the Church of Christ. Wherever they marched, when God went before them, theymarched to victory! Lo, the Red Sea rolls intheir way; the pillar of cloud moves; they follow; the frightened sea divides, and the Red Sea, itself, is astonished! Whatails you, O Sea, that you were driven back, and your waters stood upright as a heap? It was before the Lord, before the Presenceof the mighty God of Jacob!They march onward; the Amalekites attack them-they fall upon the Israelites all of a sudden when they are unaware-but Godfights for them, Moses' hands are upheld until the going down of the sun, and Joshua smites the Amalekites and Jehovah Nissiis all glorious! Then Sihon,king of the Amorites, came out against them, and Og, king of Bashan, and the Moabites attack them, but the Lord is in thefront of them, and they suffer no harm. Their enemies melt before them as the fat of rams; into smoke they are consumed, yesinto smoke they disappear. Even sohas it been with the Church of God in all ages! Her march has been that of one who is fair as the moon, clear as the sun,and terrible as an army with banners. Let but her silvery trumpet sound, and the echo shakes the vaults of Hell; let but herwarriors unsheathe their swords, andtheir enemies fly before them like thin clouds before a Biscay gale! Her path is the pathway of a conqueror-her march hasbeen a procession of triumph. Wherever she has put her foot, the Lord has given her that land to be her heritage forever andever, and as it was in thebeginning, it is now and ever shall be till this world shall end. Amen.
Now, having just touched upon the parallel, let me show how this war cry has really been heard of God, and has been fulfilledto all His people. Turn to this Book, this Book of the wars of the Lord. Wherever His Church has gone, and He has risen up,have not His enemies been scattered? Though theywere the hundred Kings of Canaan, were they not hanged upon trees, or speedily put to death with the edge of the sword?Though it were Agag, king of the Amalekites, was he not hewn in pieces? Though it should be the mighty princes of the Philistines-didnot their champions losetheir heads, and their princes fly apace? Though it should be the embattled ranks of Syria-did not God smite them in thevalleys, and chase them on the hills? Though it were Sennacherib-did not God rise up, and did not His enemies at once diebefore His Presence? Did they notfall like the leaves of the forest "when autumn has blown"? Though it were the hosts of Egypt in later times, or the mightyranks of Babylon, or Media, or Persia-can we not say concerning them all-"Your right hand, O Lord, Your right hand, O Lord,has dashed in pieces the enemy.Your right hand, O Lord, has done wonderful things, this is known of all the earth"? But when we have read the Bible storythrough, the Book of God's triumph has only begun! Look to the later battles of the Church. You remember the story of OliverCromwell and his men at the battleof Dunbar-when before the battle they, all of them, knelt on the heather and asked the Lord their God to be with them, andthen springing up they chanted this old Psalm-
"Let God arise, and scattered let all His enemies be, And let all those who hate Him, before His Presence flee. As the smoke is driven, so drive You them. As fire melts wax away, Before God's face let wicked men, so perish and decay." And then, home went their swords, and their enemies fled down thehill, and a speedy victory was given. I quote not this except as a picture and illustration of the history of the entire Church. I think, in a spiritual sense,when Luther first bowed his knee, the Church began to chant, "Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered." When Knox inScotland upheld the Glory of Jesus' name, was it not, once again, "O God arise! Let those who hate You, flee before You"?When Whitefield and Wesley, seraphic Evangelists of Jesus Christ, went through this land, was not this the very song of Israel,"Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered"? And shall it not be ours today? Let God but go forth with our arms; letHim but speak through our ministers; let Him but dwell in our elders; let Him but make the bodies of our Church members Histemples, and His enemies will be scattered, and they will consume away! I can well conceive, my Brothers and Sisters, thatsuch a prayer as this would well befit the tongue of a minister who lands as the first herald of the Cross in some barbarianland! My Brother, a solitary missionary in some populous city in China, might bow his knee, when first he attempts to preach,and say, "Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You." A Williams landingupon Erromanga might say, even though his blood stained the wave, "Rise up, O Lord, and let Your enemies be scattered." Livingstoneand Moffat, toiling in the midst of the thick dense ignorance of central Africa, might frequently say from their innermostsouls, "Rise up, O Lord, and let Your enemies be scattered." Those brave men who risk all for Christ, not counting their livesdear unto them, that they might finish their course with joy-I think when they, as pioneers for Christ, bear the Ark in themidst of the wilderness, they could not breath a better prayer for themselves, and you and I cannot do better than put itup for them now, "Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You."
Brothers and Sisters, this ought to be our prayer today, in anticipation of the Millennial splendor. When it is to come, Ido not know. Dr. Cumming may; but I am not as wise as he. This I know, Scripture says He is to come, but I thinkit says, "Heshall come in such an hour as you think not"-Hecomes as a thief in the night. Whether He shall come in the year 1866, I do not know. I hope He may, but I had rather thatHe should come in the year 1861. I should not like to postpone my watchfulness till 1866, but be always looking for Him. WhetherHe shall come in the morning orat cockcrow, in mid-day or midnight, blessed is that servant who when his Lord comes shall be found watching! Cast youreyes mentally over the world, and look at what a state it is in today. What wonderful changes have taken place, and yet howfirm are the roots of evil! How tightlybound around the very granite of earth's nature are the roots of the great upas tree of iniquity! Who can hope to tear itup by the roots, or cut down this towering cedar? See in one land where liberty was blustered, the lash still dripping withgouts of gore; see in another landwhere there is much advancement in many things, the people priest-ridden, and borne down beneath the yoke! Look at the myriadswho have never seen the great Light of God-who sit in darkness, and in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Where is the arm,where is the arm that can putback the world upon its proper pivot? Where is the almighty power that can turn once again the pole so that earth shallstand no more oblique, but in uprightness roll before the Throne of God? Where is the arm that can roll up the clouds as amantle, and the mists as rags? There isbut one! And our business is to cry today, "Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You fleebefore You." Come quickly, come quickly-come, Lord Jesus! Then shall the world be rid of her tyrants; then shall slavery ceaseto be; then shall Yourunsuffering Kingdom come! Then the Great Shepherd shall reign, and everywhere shall He be extolled-"to Him shall be givenof the gold of Sheba; prayer also shall be made for Him continually, and daily shall He be praised."
Before I pass from this head, quietly, for the edification of each individual Christian, let me remark that this prayer willsuit your personal difficulties. Have you been in conflict lately? Has old Apollyon put you to your wits end? Has he thrownhis fiery darts at you thick as hailstones whenthey fell on Egypt? Have you been crushed beneath his foot? Can you not deliver yourself? Pray, "Rise up, O Lord, and letYour enemies be scattered." Do your doubts prevail? Has your faith suffered an eclipse? Has a darkness that might be feltbrooded over you? Say, "Rise up, OLord." All that is needed in the darkest night to clear it away is for the sun to rise. Battle not with your doubts yourself;wrestle not with your own fears. Pray, "Rise up, O Lord; these doubts of mine are enemies to Your honor-enemies to Your promise-enemies to Your Truth!Rise up, O Lord, and let them flee before You." You shall soon find peace and quietness, and in assurance and confidence,your souls shall rest. Are you beset today by men who hate you? As a child of God have you acted with such simplicity andintegrity that men, not understandingyou, have imputed to you wrong motives? Have you been slandered and abused? "Avenge not yourself, but rather give placeunto wrath. Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord." Let your prayer be, "Rise up, O Lord, and let Your enemies bescattered." Are you serving God in someparticular work where many are seeking to undo all that you can accomplish? Are you a City Missionary, and do you laborin the midst of a den of iniquity? Does it seem that what you do in one day is undone in one hour by others? Take it to theThrone of Grace! Say, "Rise up, O Lord,and let Your enemies be scattered." Have you a great purpose conceived within your soul and does Providence seem to standin the way of its accomplishment? Has the Lord commanded you to some special work, and do friends discourage, and enemiesabuse? This prayer may suit you-"Riseup, O Lord!" It needs but that God should make bare His arm-His rising up is enough! As Luther said when opposing the Churchof Rome-"They are not strong; God can overthrow them with His little finger." And so say you! All the foes of the Church withall their battlements behindwhich they are entrenched, are nothing. They but seem to be. They are shadows, emptiness, nothing! Do you in confidencecry to your God-"Lord, do but rise; do but stand up; do but manifest Your power in any way whatever, and Your enemies arescattered at once, and those who hateYou must flee before You forev-ermore"-
"When He makes bare His arm, what shall withstand His work? When He, His people's cause defends, who, who shall stay His hand?Let us, in life and death, boldly Your Truth declare And publish, with our last breath, Your love and guardian care."
II. We shall now take the text IN ITS REFERENCE-TO CHRIST. Scripture is the best defender of Scripture. The diamond is notto be cut except with a diamond. We shall not understand one passage in the Word without another to explain it. That Bookhas keys in its own self for all its own locks. The68th Psalm informs us that the moving of the Ark from the lower place of the City of David was typical of the ascendingof Christ into Heaven. Ah, I think, my dear Brothers and Sisters, the sorrowing Church, when they beheld their Lord draggedby cruel men to judgment, when theyheard Him accused and slandered, when they saw Him mocked and spit upon, must have considered the battle to be a defeat.The tears must have stood in their eyes when they saw that He who was to be the Deliverer of Israel could not deliver Himself!How dense must have been the gloomover the fearing hearts of the Church when they saw their King, their Head, dragged away and nailed ignominiously to theCross! And how dead must all their hopes have been when at last He bowed His head and gave up the ghost, and the sword piercedHim to the heart, and out therecame the blood and water! Was it not the day of Hell's triumph, the hour of earth's despair, the moment of Heaven's defeat?No. It was the reverse of all this! That moment when Christ died, He gave the deathblow to all His enemies! That hour whenthey thought they were treading onHim, He was crushing them and bruising the serpent's head! Even when the Master was laid in the tomb, and had to sleep thereHis three days, as Jonah in the whale's belly-if the Church had had faith, they might have come early on the dawn of the firstday of the week, and standingoutside the tomb, they might have begun to sing, "Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hateYou flee before You."
I think it will be no fantastic imagination if we conceive that the angels did in that hallowed day come down from Heavenbefore the sun had risen, knowing the appointed time, and while one of them rolled away the stone, the rest stood waitingon the wing and chanted, "Rise up, O Lord! Let Yourenemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee before You." I think I see the Champion awake! He unbinds the napkinfrom His head, He sees again the light-He rolls off the cerements of the tomb, rolls them up and places them by themselves.He has risen! The stone has beenrolled away. He comes forth into mid air. O Hell, how did you shake! O Death, how were you plagued! O Earth, your Sun hadindeed risen that day! Heaven, surely you did rejoice, and the song rolled mightily along your streets! He rises and in thatmo- ment sin dies! The resurrectionof Christ was God's acceptance of Christ's Sacrifices. It was all that was needed. The handwriting of ordinances had oncebeen nailed to the Cross-they are now forever blotted out! Once had He borne the burden, but now the burden is removed fromHis neck. God accepts Christ asbeing justified, and therefore He rises from the dead, and by that act all His people are justified! "He rose again forour justification." The last hope of sin was crushed-its last pretense to any claim upon the people of God was hushed forever-itslast arrogant claim to anyright to their souls, or to their bodies, was quashed in Heaven's High Court when Christ, the Risen, came forth in purewhite robes to demand the spotlessness of His people in Him because of His Resurrection f?rthem!
Nor was sin alone that day scattered. Did not all the hosts of Hell fall before Him? How glad they had been! All the demonshad exalted themselves with the hope that their reign would now begin; loosed would be the iron chain; broken would be thebolts at the Pit's mouth! Now might they come forthand revel, for the King who was to destroy them had been destroyed Himself! But when He rose, blank despair sat on the faceof every fiend. How could they hope to kill His people? "Because He lives, they shall live also." How could they hope to condemnHis people? "Who shall layanything to the charge of God's elect? It is Christ who died, yes rather, that is risen again." Their hopes were gone! Theywere scattered, indeed! As the wax melts before the fire, so did their hopes melt away. Where was that day the boast of death?Had Christ remained in the jawsof death-had the Holy One seen corruption?-then had the redeemed remained the bond slaves of death, too. But He lives! Hehas broken the gates of brass, and cut the bars of iron in sunder. Blessed are they who sleep, for they shall rise, too; Hehas led the way; the Breaker hasgone up before them; the King at the head of them. He has cleared the gap! They have but to follow and enter into the Resurrectionand the Life. That day I think all the gods of the heathen fell down! It is a tradition that at that hour when the veil ofthe Temple was torn in two,all the gods tottered on their thrones-they did so spiritually-if they did not literally. That day slavery began to relaxits grasp of its whip; that day the tyrant's throne began to shake; that day Heaven shone with greater splendor, and Hellwas more murky and dull than it hadbeen before; that day Evil heard its own death knell sound in the air, while Good heard the marriage-peal of rejoicing saints,while angels shouted over a rising Savior!
Nor was that all. After Christ had thus risen, you will remember that He rose again. He rose from the grave to earth-He nextrose from earth to Heaven. I think we may again conjecture that the angelic spirits came to meet the Master, and they said,"Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered,and let those who hate You flee before You." Up He went, dragging sin, death and Hell at His chariot wheels, scattering,as He rode along, those gifts which He had received for men. He went up with sound of trumpet, and with shouts of archangels!They near the gates-they sing,"Lift up your heads, O you gates, and be you lift up, you everlasting door, that the King of Glory may come in." The angelicspirits on the other side chant, "Who is the King of Glory?" And once again, in waves of melody, they dash open the pearlygate singing again, "Lift up yourheads, O you gates, and be you lift up, you everlasting doors, that the King of Glory may come in." On, on He rides; havingscattered forever all His enemies-having put all things under His feet, and being crowned King of kings and Lord of lords;The Wonderful; The Counselor; TheMighty God; The Everlasting Father; The Prince of Peace! Glory be unto Your name, Jesus; my soul warms with Your fire! Glorybe unto You! These hands would put the crown upon Your head-this voice would sing instead of preach Your praise! Blessed beYou, God over all, blessedforever! You have ascended up on high; You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts for men. Rise up, Lord-riseup from the Throne of Your majesty! Come and take the purchased possession! Come to claim Your own, and these hands shallwelcome You with joyful applause,and this tongue shall welcome You with joyous songs. Yes, even these very feet shall dance like David before the Ark, ifYou will but arise, for Your enemies shall be scattered and they who hate You shall flee before You!
III. But thirdly, WHAT MESSAGE HAS THIS TEXT FOR US, AND HOW MAY WE USE IT?
In the Providence of God we, as a Church and people, have often had to wander. This is our third sojourn within these walls.It is now about to close. We have had at all times and seasons a compulsion for moving; sometimes a compulsion of conscience;at other times a compulsion of pleasure as onthis occasion. I am sure that when we first went to the Surrey Music Hall, God went with us. Satan went too. That frightfulcalamity, the impression of which can never be erased from my mind, turned out, in the Providence of God, to be one of themost wonderful means of turningpublic attention to special services. And I do not doubt that it-fearful catastrophe though it was-has been the mother ofmultitudes of blessings! The Christian world noted the example; they saw its success; they followed it and to this day, inthe theater and in the cathedral,the Word of God is preached where it was never preached before! Never could it be more manifestly seen than in that place,that the Word of God, when preached simply and earnestly, is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes! Ineach of our relocations, we have hadreason to see the hand of God, and here particularly, for there are very many residents in the West end who have in thisplace come to listen to the Word, who probably might not have taken a journey beyond the river; and here God's Grace has brokenthe hard heart; here have soulsbeen renewed, and wanderers been reclaimed! Give unto the Lord, O you mighty; give unto the Lord glory and strength; giveunto the Lord the glory that is due unto His name! And now we journey to the house which God has in so special a manner givento us! I stand before you now asMoses stood before the people of Israel, and with faith like his, though not with such power and might as belonged to thathonored servant of God, I would pray, "Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You flee beforeYou."
"But what enemies do we have?" you ask. We have multitudes. We shall have to do battle in our new Tabernacle more nearly withthat old enemy of the Church, the Scarlet Beast-Rome has built one of its batteries hard by our place, and there is one whostyles himself, "Archbishop of Southwark."Well, we shall have to do battle against him, and woe to you, Babylon! Woe to you, Babylon! Let but Christ be preached,and where is Anti-Christ? Let the Cross be lifted up, and away with your crucifixes! Let the Truth of God be declared, andwhere are your lies? This one Book, asthe old Reformers used to say-this Book against all the popes and cardinals and priests and all the devils in Hell! Youhave seen the picture, I dare say, of a pair of scales, in one of which there is a Bible, very heavy, touching the very ground;and in the other, there is a popewith his tiara on, and a cardinal with his scarlet cap, and a whole host of priests and Virgin Marys and idols all piledup! There is another learned doctor just hooking on to the chains, and trying to pull down, if he can-but all their combinedweight cannot reach anything likethe weight of this one blessed Book! Why, a farthing candle of Divine Truth can set on fire a whole prairie of popish error!It needs no great power in the preacher-he needs but to preach Christ's Truth as he finds it in the Word of God, and he shallfind it to be a blast from thenostrils of God to wither up the beauty of this towering cedar! What matters it to me whether it is a cedar or a fir? Inthe name of God, I feel my axe this morning! It is sharp and keen, and shall be laid to the roots of this tree, and if wecannot avail, yet other hands and otherarms should wield that same axe so sharp and keen, and you, towering cedar, whose top is in the stars, but whose roots arein Hell-you shall yet come down and the nations of the earth shall rejoice because of your fall!
Then we shall have another enemy. We have hard by us, almost as a next-door neighbor, Infidelity. There has been one of itsspecial places for display. Well, well, Infidelity is but a very puny adversary comparatively; it is not half so cunning asPopery, and has nothing like its might. There issomething in Romanism that can seize the human mind, but Infidelity is bare, bald, naked, filthy. There are very few whowill be overturned by that in an age when men are compelled to come more and more closely to God in the discoveries of Natureand the wondrous findings out ofscience. We are not afraid of you, O Infidelity! Come forth Goliath-it is but David who meets you-the ministers of Christare but little compared with your stalking greatness and gigantic might; but the sling and stone of Christ, preached simplyand preached affectionately,shall reach the forehead of your wisdom, and find you out and bring you down!
But we have worse enemies than this! We shall have to deal with the indifference of the masses round about us, and with theircarelessness concerning Gospel Truth; we shall have to deal with prevailing sin and corruption-sin which at nightfall, fromthe very steps of that edifice, may be seen inall the colors of its harlotry. And how will we deal with it? Will we bring in some Socialist system? Shall we preach upsome new method of political economy? No! The Cross, the old Cross is enough! This is the true Jerusalem blade, like thatrazor of old, with which the Tarquin cutthe whetstone. We will but preach Christ as the sinner's Savior, the Spirit of God as applying Christ's Truth to the soul,and God the Father in His Infinite Sovereignty saving whom He will, and in the bounty of His mercy willing to receive thevilest of the vile! And there is noindifference so callous, no ignorance so blind, no iniquity so base-there is no conscience so seared as not to be made toyield when God wills it before the might of Hsstrength! "Rise up, O Lord! Rise up, O Lord! Let these Your enemies be scattered,and let those who hate You fleebefore You."
But what is to be our prayer? Does it say, "Rise up, O preacher-occupy your pulpit"? True we may say, "Awake, Barak, awakeand lead your captivity captive, you son of Abinoam." But that is after the battle is fought, not before! "Rise up, O Lord!O God the Father, rise up! Pluck Your right handout of Your bosom, and let Your purposes be accomplished! O God the Son, rise up! Show Your wounds and plead before YourFather's face, and let Your blood- bought ones be saved! Rise up, O God the Holy Spirit!With solemn awe, we do invoke You!Let those who have resisted You giveway! Come, melt the ice! Dissolve the granite! Let the hardest heart give way. Rise up, Lord, Father, Son and Spirit, wecan do nothing without You!But if You arise, Your enemies shall be scattered, and they who hate You shall flee before You."
Will you and I go home and pray this prayer by ourselves, fervently laying hold upon the horns of God's altar? I charge you,my Brothers and Sisters in Christ, do not neglect this private duty! Go, each one of you, to your chambers. Shut your doorsand cry to Him who hears in secret, and let thisbe the burden of your cry-"Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered." And at your altars tonight, when your familiesare gathered together, still let the same cry ring up to Heaven! And then tomorrow and all the days of the week, and as oftenas we shall meet together tohear His Word and to break bread, cry, "Rise up, O Lord! Let Your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate You fleebefore You." Pray for your children, your neighbors, your families and your friends, and let your prayer be-"Rise up, O Lord.Rise up, O Lord." Pray for thisneighborhood. Pray for the dense darkness of Southwark and Walworth, and Lambeth. And oh, if you cannot pray for othersbecause your own needs come so strongly before your mind, remember, Sinner, all you need is but faith to look to Christ, andthen you may say, "Rise up, O Lord!Scatter my doubts-kill my unbelief-drown my sins in Your blood. Let these, Your enemies, be scattered; let those who hateYou flee before You." Amen. Amen!