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a sudden surprise in the camp, when the guards were drawn off, and the soldiers carousing in the flush of fancied victory. By death be had abolished death-him that had the power of death. By his resurrection he spoiled principalities and powers; and then he went up that he might “make a show of them openly." You can almost follow him as he goes, and as the challenge is 'given as he rises and nears the gates of the celestial city-" Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozra ? This-that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength.” And then comes the answer, “I that speak in righteousness and mighty to save.” “Lift up your heads, O) ye gates; and be ye lift 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, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory sball come in."
"And through the portals wide outspread
The vast procession pours." And on he marches through the shining ranks of the ransomed, until he gets to the throne and points to the captives of his bow and spear and claims his recompense. And “there is silence in heaven;" and there is given unto him “a name that is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." It is finished. Now he rests from his labours, and now he sheaths his sword, and now he wears his crown.
III. Just a word or two upon the victory that he gained. It was complete, it was benevolent, it was unchanging.
The attack which the Saviour made upon the enemy was such as to tear away the very sources and energies of his power. Mark how each fresh oset, whether from earth or hell, has only enhanced his glory and brightened the conqueror's crown. He vanquished in his own person by dying, and in the person of his followers he has continued to manifest that indestructible energy which was always manifest just when it seemed to be overthrown. Why at the commencement of Christianity would not any one have thought that a breath would annihilate it and exterminate the name of its founder for ever? And there they were--Cæsar on the throne, Herod on the bench, Pilate in the jndgment hall, Caiaphas in the temple, priests and soldiers, Jews and Romans, all united together to crush the Galilean, and the Galilean overcame. And so it has been in all ages until now. Persecution has lifted up her head against the truth ; war-wolves have lapped up the blood of God's saints, and for a time silenced the witness of confessors, and the testimony of the faithful has gone upwards amid the crackling of faggots, and the ascending flame has been the chariot of fire in which rising Elijahs have mounted to heaven. And not merely is the completeness of this triumph manifested in the aggregate, but in the individual. Not only is every man brought into a salvable state, but every part of every man is redeemed. The poor body is not forgotten: it is taught to cast off the grave clothes and anticipate an everlasting residence in heaven. The mind crouches no longer : it emancipates itself from its vassallage and stands erect in the liberty wherewith Christ made it free. And the whole man who was a while ago an alien, degraded and desolate, a fitting companion of the beasts in his lair, a worthy follower in the serpent's trail, is now “clothed and in his right mind,” careering along in the enterprises of godliness, a fellow citizen with saints and of the household of God.
And then the triumphs of the Saviour are benevolent too.
Tell me not of human glory, it is a prostituted word. Tell me not of Agincourt, and Cressy, and Waterloo, and of the high places of Moloch worship, where men have been alike both priests and victims. One verse of the poet aptly describes them all :
"Last noon beheld them full of lusty life,
Last eve in beauty's circle proudly gay.
The morning marshalling in arms; the day
Battle's magnificently stern array,
The thunder clouds close o'er it, which, when rent,
Rider and horse, friend and foe, in one rude burial blent." But what is it to be seen in the time of the Lord's victory? Plains covered with traces of recent carnage, and of recent havoc. What is there to be heard in the time of the Lord's victory ? Orphans wailing the dead; widows bemoaning those that have departed ? No, but a voice breathing down a comfortable word to men --" They shall neither hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” The procession of this conqueror consists of saved souls, and eternity shall consecrate the scene.
And then the triumphs of the Saviour are not only complete and benevolent, but unchanging. The things that are now, are very transitory. The sand of the desert is not more unstable; the chaff of the summer threshing floor is not more helpless on the wind; but the Saviour's triumphs brighten with the lapse of time; their lustre time can tarnish not, nor death itself destroy. Oh! think of the multitude that have been already saved! think of the multitude who went up in the early ages of the Church with its enrichments of blessings ; think of those who had been taken off to heaven before they ever had time to sin after the similitude of Adain's transgressions, souls ransomed by the blood of atonement taken from birth under the wing of the quivering cherub right away into the realms of blessedness and rest; think of those from the time of the Saviour's incarnation until now who have passed through death triumphant home; think of the multitudes now upon the earth that are working out their salvation with fear and trembling; think of the still greater multitudes that shall yet press into the Church in the times of its millennial glory, when the gates of it shall not be shut day nor night, because there shall be no chance of shutting them, the people crowd in so fast. Oh! what a jubilee in heaven ! Oh! what a gathering of emancipated spirits! Limit the extent of the atone. ment! Who dares do it? Talk about Christ dying for a few scattered families of the sons of men merely! Why, it is to charge my Saviour with cowardice, and bring a slur upon his conduct in the field. If there be one solitary soul the wide universe through for whom Christ did not die, over that soul death has triumphed—and the conquest of my Saviour is imperfect and incomplete. Oh! be seems to stand in his triumphal chariot, in the very centre of the universe, with exulting heaven before and with tormented hell behind; and there is not an unconquered rebel there, but the glad hallelujahs of the one, and the solemn acquiescences of the other, peal out the universe's anthem, “He is Lord of all."
And now wbich side are you? Pardon the abruptness of the question, but answer it to your consciences and to your God notwithstanding. Which side are you? There is no neutrality in this war, or if there be one here that in. tends to preserve a dastardly neutrality, he will get the hottest of the battle, and be exposed to the cross-fire of both sides. Which side are you? Do you belong to the Lord, or to the Lord's enemies? Ask yourselves that question in the sight of God. I never knew, until I looked upon it in this aspect, the force and power of a certain question which the Saviour presented in the days of his flesh. I have admired the capacities of the human soul, that it has a memory that can recall the past, imagination that can penetrate the future; that it has a will that no man can tame, that it has immortality as its heritage. But I see all heaven in earnest there, and all hell in earnest yonder, and the prize of the conflict is one poor human soul; and then I see, as I never saw before, what an intensity of empbasis there is in the awful inquiry, "What shall it profit aman if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?” Brethren, how shall it be with you ?
“ Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world, is the enemy of God;" and the doom of the enemies of God is brought before us in the Bible; “Bring hither those mine enemies that would not I should reign over them, and slay them before me." On which side are you? There is one passage that I should just like to bring before you which has always appeared to me to be one of the most fearful in the whole compass of the book of God; “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man"— mark it, it does not say when he is driven out, it does not say when he is dispossessed by superior powers, but the awful idea, almost too awful to be entertained, is that there are some people in this world of ours of whom Satan is so sure, that he can leave them for a while, perfectly certain that they will sweep and garnish his house in his absence, and prepare it for seven other spirits more inveterate and cruel :"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return unto my house." Oh! mockery of that quiet empire! "To my house.” The tenancy has not changed; he knows full well there is too much love of the master's service in the heart of the man for that. “I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there ; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Oh! horrible ! horrible! Not merely to have Satan as a guest, but to sweep and garnish the house that he may come in, and that he may bring with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself. And are you doing that? Is there one in the presence of God to-night to whom this awful passage will apply? Oh! I thank God that I can preach to you a present salvation in the name of Jesus. Be delivered from that bondage of yours, for Christ has come down on purpose that he may deliver, and that be may rescue, and he goeth forth conquering and to conquer. “Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” There is salvation for you from the power of death, and from the thraldom and ascendancy of besetting sin, and from the grasp of the destroyer. There is salvation for you in Christ Jesus the Lord. Wherefore he is able to save to the uttermost of human guilt, to the uttermost of human life, to the uttermost of human time. May God help you, for Christ's sake.
The following Nos. of THE PENNY PULPIT contain
SERMONS BY THE REV. W. M. PUNSHON :
No. 2,874-6. "The Christian's Death, Life, Prospects, and Duty."
"An Apostle's Grounds of Trust." No. 2,963 “The Effects of Piety on a Nation.”
THE MISSION OF THE SON OF MAN.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."-Luke xix. 10.
How fond our Master was of the sweet title, the “Son of Man!" If he had chosen, he might always have spoken of himself as the Son of God, the Everlasting Father, the Wonderful, the Counseller, the Prince of Peace. He hath a thousand gorgeous titles, resplendent as the throne of heaven; but he careth not to use them: to express his humility and let us see the lowliness of him whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light. He calls not himself the Son of God, but he speaks of himself evermore as the Son of Man who came down from heaven. Let us learn a lesson of humility from our Saviour; let us never court great titles nor proud degrees. What are they, after all, but beggarly distinctions whereby one worm is known from another? He that hath the most of them is a worm still, and is in nature no greater than his fellows. If Jesus called himself the Son of Man, when he had far greater names, let us learn to humble ourselves unto men of low estate, knowing that he that humbleth himself shall in due time be exalted. Methinks, however, there is a sweeter thought than this in that name, Son of Man. It seems to me that Christ loved manhood so much, that he always desired to honour it; and since it is a high honour, and indeed the greatest dignity of manhood, that Jesus Christ was the Son of Man, he is wont to display this name, that he may as it were put rich stars upon the breast of manhood, and put a crown upon its head. Son of Man--whenever he said that word he seemed to put a halo round the head of Adam's children. Yet there is perhaps a more lovely thought still. Jesus Christ called himself the Son of Man, because he loved to be a man. It was a great stoop for him to come from heaven and to be incarnate. It was a mighty stoop of condescension when he left the harps of angels and the songs of cherubims to mingle with the vulgar herd of his own creatures. But condescension though it was, he loved it. You will remember that when he became incarnate he did not become so in the dark. When he bringeth forth the only begotten into the world, he saith, “Let all the angels of God worship him.” It was told in heaven; it was not done as a dark secret which Jesus Christ would do in the night that none might know it; but all the angels of God were brought to witness the advent of a Saviour a span long, sleeping upon a Virgin's breast, and lying in a manger. And ever afterwards, and even now, he never blushed to confess that he was man; never looked back upon his incarnation with the slightest regret; but always regarded it with a joyous recollection, thinking himself thrice happy that he had ever become the Son of Man. All hail, thou blessed Jesus! we know how much thou lovest our race; we can well understand the greatness of thy mercy towards thy chosen ones, inasmuch as thou art evermore using the sweet name which acknowledges that they are bone of thy bone and flesh of thy flesh, and thou art one of them, a brother and a near kinsman.
Our text announces as a declaration of our Saviour, that he, the Son of Man, is come to seek and to save that which was lost. In addressing you this morning, I shall simply divide my discourse thus:-First, I shall lay it down as a selfevident truth, that whatever was the intention of Christ in his coming into the world, that intention most certainly shall never be frustrated. We shall then, in the second No. 204,
Penny Pulpit, No. 2,967.
place, look into the intention of Christ, as announced in the text, viz., " to seek and to save that which was lost." Then, in concluding, we shall derive a word of confort, and perhaps one of warning, from the intention of our Saviour in coming into the world " to seek and to save that which was lost."
I. You are aware that there has been a very great discussion amongst all Christians about the redemption of our Lord Jesus Christ. There is one class of men who believe in what is called general redemption, affirming it to be an undoubted truth that Jesus Christ hath shed his blood for every man, and that the intention of Christ in his death was the salvation of men considered as a whole; they have, however, to overlook the fact that in this case Christ's intention would be frustrated in a measure. There are others of us who hold what is called the doctrine of particular redemption. We conceive that the blood of Christ was of an infinite value, but that the intention of the death of Christ, never was the salvation of all men; for if Christ had designed the salvation of all men, we hold that all men would have been saved. We believe that the intention of Christ's death is just equal to its effects; and therefore I start this morning by announcing what I regard to be a self-evident truth, that whatever was the intention of Jesus Christ in coming into the world, that intention most certainly shall be fulfilled.
But I shall make use of a few arguments to strengthen this doctrine, although I believe that on the very first announcment it commends itself to every thinking mind,
In the first place, it seems to be inconsistent with the very idea of God that he should ever intend anything which should not be accomplished. When I look at man I see him to be a creature so distracted with folly and so devoid of power, that I do not wonder that he often begins to build and is not able to finish; I do not marrel that full often he stops short because he hath not counted the cost: I wonder not, when I think how much there is that is above man's control, that he should sometimes propose but that God should dispose far differently from his proposition. I see man to be the insect of a day, a mere ephemera upon the bay-leaf of existence; and when I see him as a mere drop in the great sea of creation, I do not wonder that when he is ambitious he sometimes fashions in himself great designs which he is unable to accomplish, because the wheels of providence and destiny will often run quite contrary to all the frolic of his will, But when I think of God whose name is, “ I am that I am," the self-existent one, in whom we live and move and have our being, who is from everlasting to everlasting, the Almighty God; when I think of him as filling immensity, having all power and strength, knowing all things, having a fullness of wisdom, I cannot associate with such an idea of God the supposition of his ever failing in any of his intentions. It would seem to me that a God who could intend a thing and fail in his intention would be no God, but be a thing like ourselves, perhaps superior in strength, but certainly not entitled to worship. I cannot anyhow think of God of a true and real God like Jehovah, except as a being who wills and it is accomplished, who speaks and it is done, who commands and it stands fast, for ever, settled in heaven. I cannot therefore imagine, since Jesus Christ was the Son of God, that in his atonement and redemption, his real intention and desire can in any way be frustrated. If I were a Socinian and believed Jesus Christ to be a mere man, I could of course imagine, that the result of his redemption would be uncertain; but believing that Jesus Christ was very God of very God, equal and co-eternal with the Father, I dare not, lest I should be guilty of presumption and blasphemy, associate with that name of Jehovah Jesus any suspicion that the design of his death shall remain unaccomplished.
But again, we have before us the fact, that hitherto, all the works of God hare accomplished their purpose. Whenever God has uttered, by the lips of his servants, a prophecy, it has surely come to pass. The instruments of accomplishing that purpose have often been the most factious and rebellious of men: they had no intention whatever of serving God; they have run contrary to his laws; but you will observe that when they have cashed wildly along, his bit has been still in their mouth and his bridle in their jaws. A great monarch has acted like leviathan in the sea; he hath moved himself wherever he pleased; he hath seemed mighty among the sons of men; all the rest of mankind were as minnow3, while he was a huge leviathan: but we discover that God has been overruling his thought, that he has been in his council chamber, that the wildest speculations of his ambition have, after all, been but the fulfilling of Jehovah's stern decrees. Look ye abroad