“Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” — Zechariah 6:13.
GLORIOUS God, it is the flower of our being to worship Thee. This is the crown and glory of life, to adore and worship the Life-giver from whom all good things come. Worship hath often been to us as a bath in heavenly pleasure, and we have come out of it refreshed and comforted, blessed, and filled with heavenly delight. Oh for the Holy Spirit’s power to help us in worship now! Breathe upon us, Oh Divine Spirit, and let that breath cause us to forget the world, but bring us into the fullest life in the contemplation of God and heaven.
Blessed God, Father, Son, and Spirit, our whole spirit would reverence Thee, yet would we have such knowledge of Thy goodness that we might not be overawed with Thy greatness; such a sense of Thy nearness in the person of Jesus Christ, the Man, the Branch, that we might not be driven away with terror, but may be drawn near with filial love and holy boldness.
Lord, there was once a great gulf between us, but Thou hast bridged that gulf, for now the Lord Jesus Christ is brother to our souls, yet is He Son of the Highest; truly man, yet truly God, He is the Interpreter, one of a thousand, the Daysman, who doth this day lay His hand upon us both. Oh how we joy in Christ, and Thou dost joy in Him too. We long to glorify Him, and Thou dost delight to glorify Thy Son. We would set Him on high, and Thou hast set Him “far above all principalities and powers, and every name that is named.”
Now this day we pray Thee, “behold our Shield and look upon the face of Thine Anointed;” and while we shelter behind Him as a shield, let Him stand for us, and let the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ be seen, that Thou mayest be precious to us unworthy ones.
But, O Lord, we worship with all our heart and adore the Father, the Sort, and the Holy Ghost; and Oh most blessed Lamb of God, with all the saints before the throne, we pay Thee reverence — casting all that we have before Thee. Crowns we have none, not even of silver and gold, but such as Thou hast graciously given, we would willingly lay at Thy feet, content to feel that everything is ours when it is Thine, and the more ours when we have yielded it up to Thee. We wish we could live for Jesus wholly, that there were no distractions, no secondary channels into) which the stream of life could flow, but that as He is all to us, so all of us might be unto Him alone.
And now we present ourselves before the Throne of God, in the name of Jesus Christ our great High Priest. And first, we ask for pardon through the blessed blood.
Some of us Thou hast already pardoned give us a new sense of it. Continue to pardon us; let us feel as if we came every day to the “fountain filled with blood,” and as if the washing were every day new. But, oh, have pity upon some that have never been pardoned. Hear the cry of sinners as they seek Thy face, and wherever there is a penitent spirit be pleased speedily to send it relief, and let forgiveness of sin be felt wherever the burden of sin weighs down the spirit.
Next would we ask Thee to subdue our iniquities. Lord, conquer the power of sin in all of us. Grant us power to live above it; let not the passions of the flesh, nor the lustings of the mind, bring the spirit into subjection; but may our spirit rule over mind and body; and may Christ rule over our spirit, and so may we know the “liberty wherewith Christ makes us free.”
Next we ask for perfect consecration, that everything we are and have may be the Lord’s, not in name, but in deed and in truth.
And then we ask for fruitfulness. Oh, help us to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit to the glory of God. May our character get more beautiful every day.
If there are any traces of Christ’s artistic work upon us, may He go on with that Divine pencil until He shall have produced in us a perfect character, and we shall be among Men copies of the perfectness of our Master.
O Lord, we do ask Thee to make us fit for heaven. We hope it is not long before we shall be there. We have sometimes had glimpses between the gates of pearl; we have had such foretastes of the “place prepared,” that sometimes we are in haste to be gone; the flavor of the grapes of Eschol is in our mouths, and we long to be where all the clusters grow. But we are conscious of unfitness for that state as yet. Oh, go on, most blessed Spirit, with Thy patient work, until Thou shalt have made us heavenly, and then we shall be caught up to the “heavenly places,” to see the face of our Beloved.
Yet let not all Thy saints be gone as yet. Spare us some, we pray Thee, to build up Thy church below; for that they should abide with us is expedient for our weakness — that they may help us, that they may be to us instead of eyes, for they know where to encamp in the wilderness. Thou hast taught them experimentally Thy word, and filled them with an unction from the Holy One, and, therefore, for our sakes let not Thy saints be hastened home for a while. We breathe this prayer with bated breath, because there is One who prays against us, whose prayer must always have the first reply; it is even He, the Well Beloved, whom our ears can hear saying at this moment “Father, I will that they whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am.” O Lord Jesus, take us whensoever Thou wilt!
Now, standing thus before the throne of God without fear, we would humbly ask Thee to bless our country. Oh that Thou wouldst look upon this nation which has sorely sinned, which has turned away from the path of peace to seek the ways of glory and of blood. O Lord, be pleased to turn its course aright again. We beseech Thee bring us out of the disasters which we have been made to suffer, and let the nation lie penitent at the feet of God. Oh that the Christian party in this realm might prevail — that the Church of God might have a little influence over the worldly mass. Oh that the time were come when the salt shall more completely savor all the masses, and the glorious leaven shall work until all the measures of meal are leavened.
We do ask Thee Lord to give power to truth, to righteousness, to godliness, to peace, and to every other principle which is favored of the Lord of heaven; and let this land be delivered from the curse of the Papacy, from all the incoming both of rationalism and ritualism; and let the truth as it is in Jesus prevail, not only here but everywhere, till the whole “earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.”
Bless other nations also, we pray Thee, and the church of God in every land. For the saints of every tongue we pray, especially for those of our own kith and kin, scattered across the ocean hither and thither.
Make the whole of Thy people to be full of life and vigor, and may the day come when the missionary spirit shall be more fully caught by the church at home, and they that have gone forth shall bring tens of thousands to be built into the temple of God.
O Lord we wait upon Thee now, and ask the overshadowing of Thy presence! Jesus of Nazareth, pass by just now! Divine Spirit, rest upon us now! Holy Father, look upon Thy children now, and make this place to be glorious at this good hour! We ask it in the name of the Well Beloved.
Amen. SERMON: No. 1495. (September 21, 1879.)\par SCRIPTURE: Psalm 110.ZECHARIAH 6:9-15.EPHESIANS 2:11-22. HYMNS: 154, 419, 395.