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“THE EARTH IS THE LORD'S, AND THE FULNESS
The worship of God was commenced by singing the following hymn :-
People and realms of every tongue,
Blessings abound where'er He reigns;
Let ev'ry creature rise and bring
A short prayer was then offered up, that the life-giving power of the Holy Ghost might enable the preacher so to speak, and the hearers so to receive, the Word of God, that each might be blessed for the sake of Jesus Christ. Several of the congregation joined in the Lord's prayer; after which the attention of the crowd was directed to
PSALM XXIV. “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
“For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord ? or who shall stand in his holy place ?
“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not listed up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
“He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
“This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. “List up your heads, 0 ye gates; and be ye list up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
" Who is this King of glory ? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
“Lift up your heads, 0 ye gates ; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors ; and the King of glory shall come in.
"Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory."
The first verse of the above Psalm was selected as the text.
" The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein."
It is said by those who have commented upon the Word of God, that this Psalm is supposed to have been written upon the occasion of the ark of the Lord being brought up from the house of Obed Edom unto Mount Zion in Jernsalem, and that it was this which gave occasion for the closing of the Psalm : “Lift up your heads, O ye gates ; and be ye left up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in." And I have taken this text on an occasion of rejoicing, that the ark o the Lord is permitted to be placed upon this spot; that the ark of the Lord is permitted to be opened upon the steps of the Royal Exchange. If you open the ark of the Lord, you will fiod the written Word of God therein; and if you will open that written Word, you will see the words which our forefathers had read and valued, and which they accordingly placed as a motto on this building. "The Earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." It is to this Psalm that I shall now direct your attention, and in so doing I shall speak
I. Of The Message of Creation. “The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." Can we really comprehend that this earth is moving at a speed which we can scarcely grapple with ? when we remember that the earth is moving round that great centre the son; that this world is one of those tiny stars which deck the heavens night by night; one of those bodies over which the sun seems to have an influence; if we can grapple with this idea, we can cordially say, with the Psalmist, “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof."
Man did not make the sun-man did not make the moon-man did not place this wonderful globe to move in space with that rapidity with which it does—and yet, ever since the creation, she has moved onward and onward, interfering with none of the rest of the heavenly bodies, nor they interfering with her. In creation--when this great globe was called out of nothing, it was the Lord's; so in preservation, this planet moving aloug in space was, and is the Lord's; so that we are enabled to declare with the Psalmist, " The earth is the Lord's. Descending from creation, as a whole, and examining the productions of the earth, to whom do they belong? The original persons who placed that motto where it is, knew to whom the objects which are here passing from hand to hand during six days of the week belonged. They knew from whom all those prodnctions came. Where would be the use of our ships if there were no productions given by the Lord, who sends seed time and harvest, summer and winter, spring and autumn 2 What would the use of our freights be, if the giver of all that is freighted never gave any increase? Yes, with the promoters of this great building we will declare, “ The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof." Take our own country, with its coal and iron, and copper and slate, in the bowels of the earth ; look at its ships which are going to and fro transferring the productions of the earth from place to place, aud drawing an immense amount of business to this one great centre of attraction. Yes ! "The earth is the Lord's, and the fnIness thereof." Yes! it is God who causes the sun to shine and the rain to descend upon the just and upou the unjust; man may sow
and man may water, but it is God who gives the increase, so truly is it that “ The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof."
Pass over to America, and who is it that produces those magnificent trees ? is it man? No. Man cannot make even a blade of grass; it is God who makes these mighty trees to grow, and to become in time so useful to mankind. From the north you have oil, from the south you receive the fruits of the earth; the east sends you tea, and the west sends yon sugar ; but all is given by God. So, again, if we look from any point of view, at that which is transferred and trausacted in this busy place six days in the weekwhether they be stocks, fands, or railway shares, or whatever they may be—they are all the gifts of God; for man, of himself, makes nothing, but as the Psalmist affirms, “ The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof."
But then there is a concluding portion of this text. This text is applicable to six days in the week, but God when he made the week gave it seven days, six days for labour, and one day for rest; and therefore, while we accept this motto during the six days in which we transact our business, we must not forget when the seventh day comes, and we congregate here, to open the ark of the Lord, and content ourselves with simply saying, "the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof." We must not stay at the half of the verse, but go on to the end, and bring before you the rest of the verse. While creation cries out, " The Earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof,” I would say
II. The Message of Redemption adds, “the world and they that dwell therein."
We are met here on the Lord's day, and we are thankful to believe that those who are interested in this great establishment during six days of the week are by no means opposed to the Word of the Lord being preached here on the seventh day of the week; and therefore it is that I say, that while this motto would do for the six days, the seventhday portion of the verse, “The world is the Lord's, and they that dwell therein," must not be overlooked. The first portion of the verse refers to the Creator, while the second part alludes more particularly to the Redeemer. Yes! we cannot go into heaven, but we can look at that man who when he was upon earth was found rebuking the winds, and they obeyed bim. We cannot go into heaven, but we can behold that man who walked npon the sea as upon dry land. We cannot go into heaven to see God, but we can behold that man sailing in a ship, comfortable and happy in his sleep, waked up by his friends, wbo exclaimed, “Lord, save us, or we perish." We can listen to Him rebuking the seas and reducing them to “ a great calm.” We cannot go to heaven to understand God, but we can stand by the grave with Mary and Martha and the Jews who surrounded them. We can weep with them avd with Jesus, and wonder, as he cried out, “Lazarus, come forth !” and he came forth. Jesus, when on earth, proved that “the earth was the Lord's, the world, and they that dwell therein."
Behold the child which was born in Bethlehem. Follow the star which was seen in the East, and which directed the Magi to the place where the young child was. Follow the young child, and behold Him at the age of twelve putting questions to the doctors and listening to their answers, and then declaring to His father and His mother, “ Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business. Follow Him when He became a man, and had not where to lay His head—“He came to His own, and His own received Him not;" behold that man and mark His silence before His accusers. See Him agonizing in the garden, as He cries ont to His Father, “ If it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not my will but thine be done." See the perspiration (as it were great drops of blood) running from His body; yet He had power to raise the dead, He had power to turn five loaves into snfficient food for five thousand men, besides women and children. Behold Him agonizing in Gethsemane with the weight of sin resting upon Him. God tells us in Isaiah, that He "laid upon Him the iniquities of us all.” "Alī!” Yes ! God be praised ! “By his stripes we are healed.” God tells us that He shall pour out His soul even anto death; and Jesus, the holy, the just, and the good-Jesus, against whom. no man could bring a charge--Jesus whom no man could convince of sin, came to pour his soul out unto death. He died for man-to redeem bim; and as He approached that death, anticipation was worse than reality. From Gethsemane He goes forth confi
dently, yet silently, before Pilate. Pilate "inds no fault in Hiin at all;" but He is taken and crucified between two thieves--a holy and a kind man! If that were now done in this vast city-is the Queen herself had commanded an innocent man to be destroyed in this manner, the whole heart of the nation would rise as one man and protest against it; but the Lord had laid His hands upon one that is mighty to save. The Jews cried out, “Let Him be crucified;" and Jesus silently reechoed the cry, “Let Him be crucified.” The redeemed of the earth would cry out, “Let Him be crucified;” and He was crucified. “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof,” as the great Creator; “ The world and they that dwell therein,” are the Lord's as the great Redeemer. Yes, my friends, a more noble, a more Christ-like, a more erangelical text, could not have been chosen, than that which is placed on the front of this building; for it begins one of the most glorious, most redeeming, as well as most spiritual Psalms in the whole collection.
This, then, is the Lord's day, and the Lord's day portion of the text, and now we must pass on to consider that, as Jesus was crucified and died, it is necessary for us to ask why he died? It was the purchase price, pot with silver, nor with gold, nor with things corruptible, but as we are created by the great God; so are we redeemed without price; the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ was paid as the price, and were I not to declare this glorious truth, the dead walls themselves declare it-"The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: the world, and they that dwell therein.”
So the revealed Word of God tells you, and it directs you to Him. “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price"-the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. And let this truth be fixed on your minds and hearts, that ye are redeemed as well as created ; and that if created and redeen.ed, whose are you? If created, ye are created by God, and are His; and if redeemed, ye are redeemed by Jesus, and are His.
Then let me refer to another portion of the Psalm, and ask the question : “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord ?"
As (1) creation utters its voice, and as (2) redemption utters its voice, so,
III. Salvation has a Message to deliver. We are told that those who ascend the hill of the Lord, aud stand in His holy place, must have clean hands and a pure heart. This is the message of salvation. A man with a renewed heart and holy life is a member of the Church invisible, be is a child of God, he is a member of the body of Christ, and this is the message made known in the Psalm, " They that have clean hands”- this implies repentance aud holy living. A complete change of conduct may be seen in a man, but that is not salvation; it is not the simple abandonment-it is not the man who is not seen to steal, it is the man who does not wish to steal ; it is not the outward appearance, which may be as a "whitened sepulchre, which is inwardly full of dead men's bones”—There must be clean hands and a pure heart; this is the message of salvation. “Marvel not that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.”
Those who are redeemed, those who are thus saved, and have received the blessing of the Lord, and righteousness from the God of their salvation, should remember, however, that their salvation is no more of themselves than their creation and redemption are of themselves. The Psalmist says, “ This is the generation of them that seek thy face, O God of Jacob."
Now let us come to the conclusion or application of the whole : “ Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in." Those without the ark of God, the Lord the Creator stands and asks you to accept it and what it contains. You cannot go to God, but God asks to come to yon. He tells you that ye are not your own ; Jesus tells you that ye are not your own; and as ye are not
"Lift up your heads to Him, O ye gates, and the King of Glory shall come in.” Come in ! Yes; open the door of your heart, and the King of Glory shall come in! Is it a question of doubt ? Do you say, How can I open my heart? I am not able to do so.--You say, “Salvation is of the Lord.” What! have you so little hope in God, and are you so far from Him that you cannot cry out, “God be merciful to me a sinner ?” Remember the secret prayer of Saul is thus recorded in Heaven, " Behold be