Sermon 560. Christ is Glorious-Let Us Make Him Known
Delivered on Sunday Morning, March 20th, 1864, by the
Rev. C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
"And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide:for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth."-Micah 5:4.
YOU HAVE A VERY VIVID IDEA of the sufferings of Christ. Your faith has seen him sweating great drops of blood in the gardenof Gethsemane. You have looked on with amazement while he gave his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them who pluckedoff the hair, and hid not his face from shame and spitting. With sorrowful sympathy you have followed him through the streetsof Jerusalem, weeping and bewailing him with the women. You have sat down to watch him when he wasfastened to the tree; yon have wept at his hitter complaint-"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" and you haverejoiced in his shout of victory-"It is finished!" With Magdalene and Nicodemus, you have followed his dead body to the tomb,and seen it wrapped about with spices, and left to its lonely sleep. Are your perceptions quite as keen concerning the glorywhich did follow and is following? Can you see him quite as distinctly when on the third morn the Conquerorrises, bursting the bonds of death with which he could not be holden? Can yon as clearly view him ascending up on high,leading captivity captive? Can you hear the ring of angelic clarions, as with dyed garments from Bozrah the Yictor returnsfrom the battle, dragging death and hell at his chariot wheels? Do you plainly perceive him as he takes his seat at the righthand of the Father, henceforth expecting until his enemies be made his footstool? And can you be as clear this morning aboutthereigning Christ as you have been about the suffering Christ? Lo! my brethren, "the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Rootof David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof!" At this hour he goeth forth, riding upon his white horse,conquering and to conquer. Lo! at his girdle swing the keys of heaven, and death, and hell, for "the government shall be uponhis shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, T he everlasting Father,The Prince of Peace." "God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the nameof Jesus every knee should bow." Behold him, my brethren, in his present plenitude of glory, and endeavor to get as cleara perception of it as you have had of his shame. Not only weep at his burial, but rejoice at his resurrection; not only sorrowat his cross, but worship at his throne. Do not merely think of the nails and of the spear, but behold the imperial purplewhichhangs so nobly upon his royal shoulders, and of the divine crown which he wears upon his majestic brow.
I want to conduct you in such a frame of mind through the glories of my text. First, bidding you observe the perpetual reign of Christ: "He shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God;" then I shall beg youto observe that flowing from this is the perpetual continuance of his church: "and they shall abide;" and then proceeding both from his continued reign and from the Church's consequent perpetualexistence comes the greatness of our King: "for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth."
I. At the outset, observe carefully THE PERPETUAL REIGN OF CHRIST. He lives, he reigns, he is king over his people.
Notice first, that his reign is shepherd-like in its nature. The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, but our Master washed his disciples' feet. Earthly monarchs are oftentyrants; their yoke is heavy, and their language domineering; but it is not so with our King; his yoke is easy, and his burdenis light, for he is meek and lowly of heart. He is a shepherd-king. He has supremacy, but it is the superiority of a wiseand tender shepherd over his needyand loving flock; he commands and receives obedience, but it is the willing obedience of the well-cared-for sheep, renderedjoyfully to their beloved Shepherd, whose voice they know so well. He rules by the force of love and the energy of goodness.His power lies not in imperious threatenings, but in imperial lovingkindness. Let the children of Zion he joyful in theirKing, for "men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed." Never people had such a king before. His serviceisperfect freedom; to be his subject is to be a king; to serve him is to reign. Blessed are the people who are the sheepof his pasture; if they follow in his footsteps their road is safe; if they sleep at his feet no lion can disturb their peace;if they are fed from his hand they shall lie down in green pastures, and know no lack; if they abide close to his person theyshall drink of rivers of delight. Righteousness and peace are the stability of his throne, joy and gladness are the ornamentsof his reign. Oh! how happy are we who belong to such a prince. Thou King in Jeshurun, we pay thee homage with loyal hearts;we come into thy presence with thanksgiving, and into thy courts with praise, for thou art our God, and we are the peopleof thy pasture, and the sheep of thy hand.
Notice that the reign of Jesus is practical in its character. It is said "he shall stand and feed." The great Head of the Church is actively engaged in providing for his people. He does not sit down upon the throne in emptystate, or hold a scepter without wielding it in government. No, he stands and feeds. The expression "feed," in the originalis like an analogous one in the Greek, which means to shepherdize, to do everything expected of a shepherd: toguide, to watch, to preserve, to tend, as well as to feed. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Head of the Church, is alwaysactively engaged for the Church's good. Through him the Spirit of God constantly descends upon the members of the Church;by him ministers are given in due season, and all Church-officers in their proper place. When he ascended up on high he receivedgifts for men; "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; fortheperfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." Our Lord does not closehis eyes to the state of his Church. Beloved, he is not a listless spectator of our wants. He is this day standing and feedinghis people. They are scattered, I know, wide as the poles asunder, but our mighty Shepherd can see every sheep and lamb ofhis flock, and he gives them all their portion of meat in due season. He it is that like a mighty Breaker, goes forth at thehead of his flock, and they follow where he clears the way, "He shall stand and feed." Oh! blessed carefulness and divineactivity of our gracious King! always fighting against our enemies, and at the same the shedding his benignant influencesupon his friends.
Consider again, for it is in our text, that this active reign is continual in its duration. It is said, "He shall stand and feed;" not " he shall feed now and then, and then leave his position;" not, "he shall one day grant a revival, and thennext day leave his Church to barrenness." Beloved, there is no such pastor as Christ. "I know my sheep," he can say, in avery high and peculiar sense. He knows them through and through; he feels with them; in all theirafflictions he is afflicted; he is one with them eternally. There is no such wakeful watchman as the Lord Jesus. Is itnot written, "I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day." Thoseeyes never slumber, and those hands never rest; that heart never ceases to beat with love, and those shoulders are never wearyof carrying his people's burdens. The Church may go through her dark ages, but Christ is with her in the midnight. She maypassthrough her fiery furnace, but Christ is in the midst of the flame with her. Her whole history through, wherever you findthe Church, there shall you find the Church's Lord. The head is never severed from the body, nor is the watchful care of thisgracious husband towards his spouse suspended for an instant.
I beseech you labor to realize the noble picture. Here are his sheep in these pastures this morning, and here is our greatShepherd with the crown upon his head, standing and feeding us all; nay, not us all alone, but dispensing his tender mercies to all the multitudes of his elect throughout the whole world. He is at thismoment King in Zion, ruling, and overruling, present everywhere, and everywhere showing himself strong in the defense of hissaints. I would thatour Churches could be more influenced by a belief in the abiding power, presence, and pre-eminence of their living andreigning Lord. He is no dead King whose memory we are bidden to embalm, but a living Leader and Commander whose behests wemust obey, whose honor we must defend.
Do not fail to discern that the empire of Christ in his Church is effectually powerful in its action; "He shall feed in the strength of Jehovah." Wherever Christ is, there is God; and whatever Christ does is the act of theMost High. Oh! it is a joyful truth to consider that he who redeemed us was none other than God himself, he who led oar captivitycaptive was Jehovah-Jesus; he who stands to-day representing the interests of his people is very God of very God, hewho has sworn that every one of his people whom he hath redeemed by blood shall be brought safe to his Father's righthand, is himself essential Deity. O my brethren, we rest upon a sure foundation when we build upon the Incarnate God; andO ye saints of God, the interests of each one of you, and of the one great Church, must be safe, because our champion is God;Jehovah is our Judge, Jehovah is our Lawgiver, Jehovah is our King, he will save us. How can he fail or be discouraged? Whenhemaketh bare his arm, who shall stand against him? Let us rehearse the mighty deeds of the Lord and tell of his wondersof old. Remember how he got him victory upon Pharaoh and the pride of Egypt! Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord, that I shouldobey his voice to let Israel go?" Ten plagues of terrible majesty taught the boaster that the Lord was not to be despised,and the humbled tyrant bade the people go their way. With a high hand and an outstretched arm did the Lord bring forth hispeople fromthe house of bondage. When the proud high stomach of Egypt's king again rose against the Most High, the Lord knew howto lay his adversary lower than the dust. Methinks I see the hosts of Mizraim, with their horses and their chariots, hurryingafter the Lord's fugitives. Their mouths are foaming with rage. "The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will dividethe spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them." See how they ride in all their pompous glory, swallowing the earth in theirfury. O Israel, where shall be thy defense? How shalt thou escape from thy tyrannic master? Be still, O ye seed of Jacob;ye sons of Abraham, rest ye patiently, for these Egyptians whom ye see to-day, ye shall see no more for ever. With their horsesand their chariots the fierce foemen descended into the depths of the sea, but the Lord looked upon them, and troubled them."Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters." The depths have covered them;they sank into the bottom like a stone. "Let us sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and hisrider hath he thrown into the sea." Surely it shall be so at the last with Jesus our King, and all his saints; we also shallsing "the song of Moses, the servant of God, and of the Lamb," in that day when the arch-enemy shall be overthrown, and thehosts of evil shall be consumed, and they who hate the Lord shall become as the fat of rams, into smoke shall they consume,yea,into smoke shall they consume away.
One other word remains; our Lord's kingdom is most majestic in its aspect. You will observe it is written by the prophet-"He shall feed in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God." Jesus Christis greatly to be reverenced; the familiarity with which we approach him is always to be tempered with the deepest and mostreverent adoration. He is our brother, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, but still he counteth it not robbery to beequal with God. I knowhe made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and he calleth himself to-day our husband,and maketh us to be members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones; but yet we must never forget that it is written,"Let all the angels of God worship him," and "At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things inearth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God theFather."Yes, Christ is majestic in his Church. I would, brethren, we always thought of this. There is a glory and a majesty aboutall the laws of Christ, and all his commands, so that whether we baptize at his command, or break bread in remembrance ofhim, or lift up his cross in ministry-in whatever we do, in his name, which is in fact, what he does through us, there isan attendant majesty which should make our minds feel perpetually reverent before him. O that the world could see the gloryofChrist in the Church! O that the world did but know who it is that is in the midst of the few, the feeble, the weak, thefoolish as they call them. O Philistia! if thou didst but know who is our champion, thy Goliath of Gath would soon hide hisdiminished head. O Assyria, if thou didst but know that the ancient might of him who smote Sennacherib, still abideth withus, thy hosts would turn their backs and yield us an easy victory. There is a true and mysterious presence of Christ withhispeople, according to the promise "Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world;" it is because the world ignoresthis that she despises and sneers at the Church of God. Therein is our comfort and our glory. We have a majesty about us ifwe be the people of God, which is not to be gainsayed; angels see it and wonder-a majesty of indwelling Godhead, for the Lordis in the midst of us for a glory and around us for a defense.
II. We will now occupy one or two minutes with THE CONSEQUENT PERPETUITY OF THE CHURCH. Because of the unseen but most certainpresence of Christ as King in the midst of his people, his Church ABIDES-so says the text. Here reflect first that a Churchexists. What a wonder this! It is perhaps, the greatest miracle of all ages that God has a Church in the world. You who are conversantwith human history will hear me out when I say that the whole history of theChurch is a series of miracles, a long stream of wonders! A little spark kindled in the midst of oceans, and yet all herboisterous waves cannot quench it! Here is the great wonder which John saw in vision, and which history reveals in solemn,sober fact. A woman, "being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared anotherwonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon . . . stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devourherchild as soon as it was born." The man-child who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron, was brought forth and caughtup to God and to his throne. As for the woman, the Church, she fled as on eagles' wings to her wilderness-shelter preparedof God, until, in great wrath, the dragon pursued and persecuted her. Apt enough is that metaphor, "The serpent cast out ofhis mouth water as a flood after the woman that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood . . . And the dragon waswrothwith the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimonyof Jesus Christ." Yet, my brethren, as surely as that glorious man-child, the Lord Jesus, lives and sits upon the throne,so surely shall the woman, the poor afflicted Church, live on until the dragon's time is over, and the King shall reign uponthe earth.
To what trials, my brethren, has not the Church of God been subjected? What new invention can Satan bring forth? The fire,the rack, imprisonment, banishment, confiscation, slander, all these have been tried, and in them all the Church has beenmore than conqueror through him who loved her. False doctrine without, heresy and schism with in, hypocrisy, formalism, fanaticism,pretences of high spirituality, worldliness, these have all (lone their worst. I marvel at thewondrous ingenuity of the great enemy of the Church, but methinks his devices must nearly have come to an end. Can heinvent anything further? We have been astounded in these ages by the prodigy of an infidel bishop; we have been struck dumbwith sorrow and amazement at a decree which declares that a Church professing to be a Church of Christ must permit men tobe her ministers who deny the inspiration of Holy Scripture. This is a new thing under the sun. Popery and infidelity areto be bothlegalized and fostered in a Church professing to be Christian and Protestant. What next? and what next? Bat what of allthis? The Church, I mean the company of the Lord's called and faithful and chosen still exists; the Lord has his elect people who stillhold forth the Word of truth, and in the most reprobate Church still he may say, "I hay e a few names even in Sardis whichhave not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white; for they are worthy."
Observe, the text says, "she abides," which means, not that she exists now and then by starts and spasms, but she exists always. This is wonderful! Always a Church! When the full force of the Pagan Emperors came like a thundering avalanche upon her,she shook off the stupendous load as a man shaketh the flakes of snow from his garment, and she lived on uninjured. When papalRome vented its malice yet more furiously and ingeniously; when cruel murderers hunted thesaints among the Alps, or worried them in the low country; when Albigenses and Waldenses poured out their blood in rivers,and dyed the snow with crimson, she lived still, and never was in a healthier state than when she was immersed in her owngore. When after a partial reformation in this country, the pretenders to religion determined that the truly spiritual shouldbe harried out of the land, God's Church did not sleep or suspend her career of life or service. Let the covenant signed inblood witness to the vigor of the persecuted saints. Hearken to her psalm amidst the brown heath-clad hills of Scotland,and her prayer in the secret conventicles of England. Hear ye the voice of Cargil and Cameron thundering among the mountainsagainst a false king and an apostate people; hear ye the testimony of Bunyan and his compeers who would sooner rot in dungeonsthan bow the knee to Baal. Ask me "Where is the Church?" and I can find her at any and every period from the day when firstinthe upper room the Holy Ghost came down even until now. In. one unbroken line our apostolic succession runs; not throughthe Church of Rome; not from the superstitious hands of priest-made popes, or king-created bishops, (what a varnished lieis the apostolic succession of those who boast so proudly of it!) but through the blood of good men and true, who never forsookthe testimony of Jesus; through the loins of true pastors, laborious evangelists, faithful martyrs, and honorable men of God,wetrace our pedigree up to the fishermen of Galilee and glory that we perpetuate by God's grace that true and faithful Churchof the living God, in whom Christ did abide and will abide until the world's crash.
Observe, dear friends, that in the use of the term "Abide," we have not only existence, and continued existence, but the idea of quiet, calm, uninjured duration. It does not say she lingers, hunted, tempted, worried, but she abides. Ohm! the calmness of the Church of God under the attacksof her most malicious foes. Thou crue1 adversary, the virgin daughter of Zion hath shaken her head at thee and laughed theeto scorn! She abides in peace when the worldrages against her. It is most noteworthy how in most instances the Church of God still keeps her foothold where she hasbeen most savagely persecuted. In modern times we find in Madagascar, after years of exterminating persecution, the Churchof God rises from her ashes, like the phoenix from the flames. The chief wonder is that she abides perfect. Not one of Cod'select has gone back; not one of the blood-bought has denied the faith. Not one single soul which ever was effectually calledcallbe made to dolly Christ, even though his flesh should be pulled from his bones by hot pincers, or his tormented body flungto the jaws of wild beasts. All that the enemy has done has been of no avail against the Church. The old rock has been washed,and washed, and washed again by stormy waves, and submerged a thousand times in the floods of tempest, hut even her anglesand corners abide unaltered and unalterable. We may say of the Lord's tabernacle, not one of he stakes thereof has beenremoved, nor one of her cords boom broken. The house of he Lord from foundation to pinnacle is perfect still: "The raindescended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house and it fell not;" nay, nor a single stone ofit "for it was founded upon a rock."
But why all this, dear friends, why is it that we have seen the Church endure to this day? How is it that we are confidentthat even should worse times arrive, the Church would weather the storm and abide till moons shall cease to wax and wane?Why this security? Only because Christ is in the midst of her. You do not believe, I hope, in the preservation of orthodoxyby legal instruments and trust deeds. This is what too many Dissenters have relied upon. We certainly cannotdepend upon creeds; they arc good enough in their way, as trust deeds are too, but they are as broken reeds if we relyupon them. We cannot depend upon parliament, nor kings, nor queens. We may draw up the most express and distinct form of doctrine,but we shall find that the next generation will depart from the truth unless God shall be pleased to give it renewed gracefrom on high. You cannot, by Presbytery, or Independency, or Episcopacy, secure the life of the Church-I find the Church ofGod has existed under an Episcopacy-a form of government not without its virtues and its faults. I find the Church ofGod flourish under a Presbytery, and decay under it too. I know it can be successful under an Independent form of Church governmentand can decline into Arianism quite as easily. The fact is that forms of government have very little to do with the vitalprinciple of the Church. The reason why the Church of God exists is not her ecclesiastical regulations, 11cr organization,her formularies, her ministers, or her creeds, but the presence of the Lord in the midst of her; and while Christ lives,and Christ reigns, and stands and feeds his Church, she is safe; but if he were once gone, it would be with her as it is withyou and with me when the Spirit of God has departed from us, we are weak as other men, and she would be quite as powerless.
III. But now, thirdly, flowing from both these, from the perpetual presence of Christ and from the continued existence ofhis Church, is THE GREATNESS OF OUR KING. "Now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth." Christ is great in his Church. Oh! how great in our hearts where he reigns supreme! My heart, it doth leap at the sound ofhis name-
"Jesus, the very thought of thee,
With rapture fills may breast."
O for crowns! for golden crowns! Let us crown him King in Zion! O for a well-tuned harp, and for David's feet, to dance beforethe ark at the very mention of Jesus' name! Now shall he be great indeed in our hearts! But he is to be great to the endsof the earth. That is a promise, of which we will say it is accomplished in a measure even now. Christ is made great ill the conversion of every sinner. When he suppliant penitent cries, "God be merciful to me a sinner,"and the peace-speaking blood comes dropping upon the troubled conscience, and the soul bows meekly to accept he finishedrighteousness, then is Christ great. And he is great in the consecration of every one of his bloodbought saints; when theylive for him; when in their prayers they make mention of him; when they give him their heart's music, their life's light,and their hips' testimony; when they feel that tribulation is joyous if endured for him, and the sternest toil a dear delightwhenundertaken for his sake-then Christ is great. Think, my brethren, this morning, how many ships are now furrowing the bluesea in which there are hearts which love the name of Jesus. Hark! across the waves of the Atlantic and the Pacific I hearthe sound of prayer and praise from many a vessel bearing the British flag. From many an islet of the sea the song is borneupon the breeze. And there across the waters in the land of our American brethren, now so sadly chastened with war, multitudesofhearts beat as high as ours at the mention of the Savior's name. Here across you narrow Channel, in Holland, in Sweden,in Germany, in Switzerland, and even in France and Italy, how many own his name and praise him this day! We speak of our Queen'sdominions and say that the sun never sets upon them. We may in truth say this of our Lord Jesus; men of all colors trust inhis blood; they who look upward to the southern cross and they who follow the Polar star, alike worship his dear name; andwhen England ceases her strain of joy, in the hush of night, Australia takes up the song, and so from land to land, andfrom shore to shore, a sacrifice of a pure offering is brought to his shrine. It is accomplished, in some degree, but oh!how small the degree when we think of the thick darkness which covers the multitude of the people.
Again, it is a promise which is guaranteed as to its fulfillment in the fullest sense. Courage! brethren, courage! the night is not for ever, the morning cometh! Watchman, what sayest thou? Are there not streaksreddening the east? Hath not the God of day, the Lord Jesus, began to shoot his divine arrows of light upwards into the thickdarkness? It is even so. As I think of the signs of the times, I would fondly hope that we shall live to see brighter andbetterdays. "Now," says the text, "shall he be great unto the ends of the earth." Prophet, I would that thy "now" were truethis day. Now, even mow, let him reign! why doth he tarry? Why are his chariots so long in coming? Will it be, my brethren,that Christ will come before the world is converted? If so, welcome Jesus. Or will the world be converted first? If so, thricewelcome the mercy. But whether or no, this we do know, he shall have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river even untotheends of the earth. They who dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him, and his enemies shall lick the dust. The dayshall come when the fifth great monarchy shall be co-extensive with the world's bounds, and everywhere the Great Shepherdshall reign.
But remember, dear friends, that while this promise is thus guaranteed as to its fulfillment, it is to be prayed for as to its accomplishment. "I will yet for this be enquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them." The mountain of the Lord shall be in thelatter days, but mark you, though there be no sound of trowel or a hammer, there will be heard be sound of prayer and praise,as upward the mountain of Cod's house shall ascend. You know the picture. Theprophet had seen the Lord's house standing, as it were, in a valley, and as he looked upon it, presently it became a littlehill; the ground began to heave; by-and-by it had swollen from a little hill into a lofty mountain, and up it rose, and grewmore great before his eyes, till Alps were dwarfed and Himalayas were stunted, and up it still went, not the house only, butthe mountain too, till infinitely higher than the projected tower of Babel, which man meant to be the world's center, thishouse stood out clear and sharp above the clouds, having pinnacles high up in God's heaven, and yet deep foundations inman's earth, and all nations began to flow to it as to the great center. What a dream! What a vision! Yet such shall it be.The Church is as it were, in a plain just now, she begins to misc. Oh! stupendous movement! she begins to rise, her mountainsswell and grow; she attracts observers; she cannot he held down. Who can attempt to restrain the swelling mass? Who shallpreventthe gigantic birth? Up rises the mountain, as though swollen by some inward fire, anti up it swells, and swells, and swells,till earth touches heaven, and God communes with men. Then shah be heard the great hallelujah, "The tabernacle of God is withmen, and he will dwell with them."
But then, and this is the conclusion, and I hope God may help me to press it on your hearts. All this is to be labored for as well as prayed after. My soul pants and pines to see Christ glorious in the eyes of men. Lives there a Christian herewith soul so dead that he does not desire the extension of his Master's kingdom? Sirs, is there one among you who counts itlittle to see Jesus Christ lifted up in men's hearts? I know I speak to a people-and the Lordknoweth it to many of whom Christ is he dearest of all which is beloved, the fairest among ten thousand, and the altogetherlovely. Now, if Christ is to be glorified, he must be glorified by you; if his kingdom is to come, it must come through you.God works, but God works by means. He worketh in you "to will and to do of his own good pleasure." Souls are to be saved,but they are not saved without instruments. The feast is to be furnished with guests, but you are to go into the highwaysandhedges, and compel them to come in. I know my Master is to have many crowns, but they are to be crowns for which you grace,and which you have fought, which you have won through his you place at his feet, that he may honor you by wearing them uponhis brow. Now we, as a people, have been greatly blessed and helped of God, and I believe the Master has a very high claimupon us. We, above all the Churches in the world are indebted to the grace and mercy of God, and we ought to be doing somethingfor the extension of the Savior's kingdom. We cannot boast of wealth; we cannot profess to build all over London a multitudeof Churches as the Bishop hopes to do. Any scheme of raising three millions of money by us, must be looked upon as being entirelya dream; we cannot attempt such a. thing; if London is to be converted by money we must give up the task. We have no mitredbishops, no queens to subscribe, and no nobles and dukes, and the like to add their thousands and their tens ofthousands of pounds. We are a feeble folk; what then can we do for Cod? Why, do as much as the strong! What call we dofor God? Do as munch as the mighty! Nay, my brethren, our very weakness and want of power shah be our adaptation to Cod'swork; and he who often putteth by the sword of Saul, and the armor of the son of Kish, will use David, and his sling and hisstone, and smite Goliath's brow therewith.
I have been musing all this week upon that celebrated scene in ancient history, which seems to me to be so much like the stateof our Church just now; the story of Gideon, the son of Joash, threshing wheat in the winepress, because he was afraid tobe seen; the Midianites having spoiled the land. Now we, as Baptists, have generally been too much afraid to be seen; we havethreshed our corn somewhere away in the winepress-up a back court-down a narrow street; any dirtyhole would do to build a chapel in; so long as people could not find it tine site was thought advantageous; and if nobodycould ever see it that was the place for our fathers, and for some who still linger among us. It was threshing wheat in thewinepress, to hide it from the enemy. Well now, I think the time has come that we should not be afraid of these Midianitesany longer. Long has he Church of God been oppressed and kept back; she has been content to let the world devour liner increase.There have been few additions to the Churches; they remain very much what they were twenty or thirty years ago; but, mybrethren, some of us think that we have seen our fleece wet with dew, while all around was dry; and we believe the Lord hassaid to us, "The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor." We think we have had the Lord's commission, "Go in this thystrength." We do not expect all of you to go with us, for the people are too many. We expect that there are many of the tremblingand faint-hearted who will step back from the battle; men who are look ill for their families, mind must provide for them;men who are saving up money, and grudge their sovereigns, and so on-these of course will stand back, and let them; such menencumber our march. We fear that you are not all men who lap; but we have a few who care ery little for the ease and reposeof life, but who snatch a hasty draught as they run, and with heat, and zeal, and passionate earnestness run to meet theadversary. Now, these we expect to go with us to the fray. In the name of the Lord, I proclaim a new crusade against thesin and vice of this huge city. What are we to do? The hosts of Midian are to be counted by millions. Here in this great citywe have three millions of people, and what if I were to say, two-and-half millions of them do not know their right hand fromtheir left in matters of religion, I believe I should speak too charitably; for if I could believe there were half a millionoftrue believers in London, I should have vastly greater hopes of it than I have now. But, alas! that is not the case. Millions,millions are gathered in he valley of indecision who are not upon the Lord's side. What can you and I do? We can do nothingof ourselves, but we can do everything by he help of our God. Where Christ is there is might and where God is there is strength;let us therefore in God's name determine to plant new Churches wherever openings occur. Like Gideon's men let us rallyunder our Church-officers, and follow where a warm heart leads the way. Gideon took his men, and bade them do two things;covering up a torch in an earthen pitcher, he bade them, at an appointed signal, break tine pitcher and let the light shine,and then sound with their trumpets, crying, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon! the sword of he Lord and of Gideon!" Thisis just what all Christians must do. First, you must shine; break the pitcher which conceals you; throw aside the bushelwhich has been hiding your candle, and shine. Let your light shine before men; let your good works be such, that whenthey look upon you, they shall know that you have been with Jesus. There is much good done by the shining. Then there must be the sound, the blowing of the trumpet. O dear friends, the great mass of London will never hear r the gospel, unless you go and blowthe trumpet in their ears. Many who are members of this Church never heard a gospel sermon, until they heard someof you preaching in the street. "Why," said one "I never went to a place of worship; but I went down a street, and therestood a young man at the corner; I listened to him, and God was pleased to send tine arrow to my conscience, and I came intothe house of God afterwards." Take the gospel to them; carry it to their door; put it in their way; do not suffer them toescape it; blow the trumpet right against their ears. In the name of God, I pray you do this. Remember that the true war cryof theChurch is Gideon's war-cry, "The sword of the Lord!" God must do it, it is God's work. But we are not to be idle; instrumentality is to be used-"The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!" Mark you, if we only cry, "The sword of the Lord!" we shall be guilty of an idle presumption, and shall be tempting God todepart from his fixed rule of procedure. This is the cry of every, lazy lie-n-bed. What good ever comes of saying, "The Lordwill do his own work, let us sit still?" Nor must itbe "The sword of Gideon" alone, for that were idolatrous reliance on an arm of flesh; we can do nothing of ourselves.Not "The sword of the Lord" only, that were idleness; but the two together, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon." O my brethren,God help you to learn this lesson well, and then you will go forth shining and sounding, living and teaching, testifying andliving out the truth? Ye shall most assuredly make the kingdom of Christ to come, and his name shall be honored if you willdothis. It seems to me that now is a glorious opportunity. There is a spirit of hearing upon the people. Almost anyone mayget a hearing who is willing to preach Christ. Now or never! Sons of Jacob! Ye are to be like a lion among the flock of sheep,and will ye lie down and slumber? Up and every man to the prey! Sons of Jacob! ye are to be as dew upon the grass, and willye tarry for men and wait for the sons of men? No. In God's name, go forward, and let something be done for God, and for hisChrist, for a perishing age, for a dark world, for heaven's glory, and for hell's defeat. Up! ye who know the Lord; yeswordsmen of our Israel, up and at them, and God give you a great victory and deliverance!
I want you to make some practical point of these things to-day. God has been pleased to put a sword into my hand, and to giveme my lamp and my pitcher; my College of young men is now become in the Lord's hands a marvellous power for good. A blessinggreater than I could have expected rests on this work. We are continually sending them out, and God owns them in the conversionof souls. I have never seen any agency more blessed to the conversion of souls, than the agency ofour College. Without saying anything to depreciate other efforts, I do believe God has conferred on our Institution acrowning and special blessing, and will continue to do so yet more and more. I want you all, both hearers and readers of mysermons, to feel that this is your work, and to help me in it while I continue to cry, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!God works, and therefore we work; God is with us, and therefore we are with God, and stand on his side. Inasmuch as many ofthesemen raise Churches, we want you to help to build the places where the new congregations can be accommodated afterwards;and to that end we have striven to raise a fund of five thousand pounds, to be lent out to these new Churches on loan to berepaid by installments without interest. It is but a small sum, but it is as much as I think we can do, and frugal care willturn it to good account. Some three thousand pounds have been promised by our seven shepherds and principal men; but therearemany who have not promised anything yet, and we shall be glad if they will come forward, for otherwise this useful fundcannot be raised. When this is done with, once for all, we will go on and do something else for Jesus. Do break this pitcher;get this done, and let tine light of this thing shine. We must be doing something for God. I speak to you now upon the practicalpoint, and come to it at once. If you are content to live without serving God, I am not; and if you arewilling to let these hours roll by without doing something to extend the kingdom of Jesus, let me be gone from you; letme be gone from you to those of warmer spirits and of holier aspirations, for I must fight for God! there must be victorieswon for him! We must extend the range of the gospel; we must find places where souls can be brought to hear the Word. Hellshall not for ever laugh at our inactivity, and heaven shall not eternally weep at our sloth! Let us be up and doing, andlet thisthing be done by the mainly, the few have already done their parts. Promises reaching over five years are asked of you,you can all do something. And then, every one of you, when you have done your share in this, go out personally and serve withyour flaming torch of holy example, and with your trumpet tones of earnest declaration and testimony serve your Lord, andGod shall be with you, and Midian shall be put to confusion, and the Lord of hosts shall reign for ever and ever. "He thatbelieveth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Hear ye that note, O dead souls,and live.