“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” — John 3:14-15.
OUR Father, we wish this morning to come to Thee anew in Christ Jesus.
Many of us can look back to the happy moment when first we saw the law fulfilled in Christ, wrath, appeased, death destroyed, sin forgiven, and our souls saved. Oh it was a happy morning — a blessed time. Never did the sun seem to shine so brightly as then, when we beheld the Sun of Righteousness, and basked in His light. Many days have passed since then with some of us, and every day we have had proofs of the faithfulness of God to the gospel of His Son. We have proved the power of Jesus’ blood for daily cleansing; we have proved the power of His Divine Spirit for daily teaching, guidance, and sanctification; and now we want no other rock to build upon than. that which we have built upon; we desire no other hope, nor even to dream of any other, but that hope which Thou hast set before us in the Gospel, to which hope we have fled for refuge, and which hope we still have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.
But Lord, we would still begin again this morning by locking unto Jesus Christ anew — whatever may be our sin, whatever Thy pure and holy eye can see amiss in us, which we cannot see we desire to come to Jesus as sinners, guilty, lost, ruined by nature, and again to give the faith look, and to behold Him hanging on the cross for us.
Thou knowest with what heartiness, and depths of truthfulness, we can say, “Lord, I believe, help Thou mine unbelief.” We again declare that all our hope is centered in the atoning Sacrifice, and in the risen Savior, who has gone into the glory as the testimony of our justification, and of our acceptance in Him. Oh dear Savior, if in the course of years we have tried to add anything to the one foundation, if unconsciously we are relying now upon our knowledge, our experience, our Christian effort, we desire to clear away all this heap of rags and get down on the foundation again.
None but Jesus! None but Jesus! Our soul rests in none but Jesus; and we hate and loathe, with our inmost nature, the very idea of adding anything to what He has finished, or attempting to complete what is perfect in Him.
Oh this morning let Thy people feel that there is now no condemnation to them. Let them feel the completeness of the washing Christ has given, the blessed fullness of the righteousness which Christ has imputed, the eternal vitality of that life with which Christ has endowed us, the indissoluble character of that union by which we are knit to Christ by ties that never can be broken; and may we to-day rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh; and do Thou write upon our hearts these blessed words, “Filled with all the fullness of God,” and may we know it is so, that we have all that we can hold; and may we be praying to be enlarged, that we may take in even more of Christ than we have as yet received; for He is all ours, altogether ours, and ours world without end.
And now, Lord, we beseech Thee to help all in this house to look to Jesus Christ alone. Peradventure some backsliders here are questioning whether they ever did believe in Jesus. May they heave that question alone and believe in Him now. May they be content to let the past go by the wall, and once for all come, if they never did come, and embrace the Savior whom Thou, great God, hast set forth as all-sufficient to save. Let Peter weep bitterly, but let him come to his Master again. Oh, let the most wandering cry to Thee, and may they look to Thy holy temple; and as they look, let the eternal life stream into them again, by the energy of the Eternal Spirit; and may they feel that whatever may have been the past, they are restored like prodigal children to a feast of love, restored for ever to the Father’s house.
There may be some here. that are so tossed about mentally, that are so dismayed with inward temptation, so out of their wits by the assaults of Satan, that they know not what to do. Lord when they have no wit, give them wit enough to trust Christ; and when they can do nothing else, may they faint away upon the bosom of Eternal Love. The Lord help His servants, when they are in extremity, to feel that now is the time for God to begin; and when they are driven over the very verge of hope, and the precipice of despair is before them, oh grant them grace to fall into the arms of Jesus, and there shall they find life from the dead.
But oh look in great mercy upon the many that may be here, who never have believed in Jesus. O Strong Son of God, Immortal Love, whom, though we have not seen Thy face, we do believe in, and rely upon, ride forth this morning with Thine arrows dipped in Thine own blood, and shoot them out amongst this audience, that the people may fall under them, wounded with the sense of sin, smitten even to self-despair with a consciousness of guilt and oh that they might get healing from the hands that wound them, may they get life from the hand that is their hope. May they look to Thee, anointed of the Lord, ennobled in the highest heaven, who once received the sinner here below in Thine own Person, and who stilt receiveth sinners ok, that they might come to Thee and live. There are many that are now joining us, great God, in this prayer, that we may have many conversions this very morning. We mean to look, and wait, and watch for it. We ask that this very morning, while Jesus Christ is lifted up, many may look unto Him and be cured of the serpent’s bite for ever. Thou hast promised to hear Thy people’s prayer, and this is a prayer that must be according to Thy mind; and it is for the honor of Thy dear Son; and it is put up in faith, put up in faith in Jesus; therefore Thou canst not run back from it, but Thou must keep that word to which in humble, but adoring faith, we hold Thee — “My word shall not return unto me void.” Give us then a great increase to the church by the preaching of the gospel this morning.
The like blessing we ask for all Churches, and for all ministers of the gospel of Jesus. We ask for a revival of true godliness all over the world. We pray Thee to grant that these disastrous times may drive Thy children nearer to Thee; may deliver many of them from a worldly spirit; and may it come to pass that while they grow poor one way they may grow rich in another, by the sanctification of their losses and affections.
God be gracious to this land. Send us, we pray Thee, the Holy Spirit more abundantly than ever; and may there be myriads born to Christ in these latter days. So do Thou with all the nations, till all lands shall bow before Thee, and all generations shall call Thee blessed.
We offer special prayers this morning for the rising generation. The Lord bless our Sabbath Schools. Teach the teachers, bless and superintend the superintendents, and let the schools be more than ever a place where the lambs are cared for and tended, that they may grow up as sheep of the fold of Jesus. Many prayers have been offered already to-day for this end we pray Thee hear them all, and let the richest benisons of heaven rest on those devoted men and women, who deny themselves many privileges that they may have the greater privilege of feeding the lambs of Christ. The Lord hear us and do for us exceeding abundantly above what we ask or even think, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. SERMON: NO. 1500. (October 19, 1879.)\par SCRIPTURE: Numbers 21:4-9. John 3:1-18. HYMNS: 240, 539, 331.
ALONE WITH THEE.
ALONE with Thee, alone with Thee.
Now through my breast There steals a breath, like breath of balm, That healing brings, and holy calm, That soothes like chanted song or psalm, And makes me blest.
Alone with Thee, alone with Thee, In Thy pure light The splendid pomps and shows of time, The tempting steeps that pride would climb, The peaks where glory rests sublime, Pale on my sight.
Alone with Thee, alone with Thee, My softened heart Floats on the flood of love divine, Feels all its wishes drowned in Thine; Content that every good is mine Thou canst impart.
Alone with Thee, alone with Thee, I want no more To make ray earthly bliss complete, Than oft my Lord unseen to meet For “sight” I wait till tread my feet Yon glistening shore.