“He bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” — Isaiah 53:12.
GRACIOUS GOD, we praise Thee with our whole hearts for the wondrous revelation of Thy love in Christ Jesus our Lord. We think every day of His passion, for all our hope lies in His death but as often as we think upon it, we are still filled with astonishment that Thou shouldst so love the world as to give Thine only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life; that heaven’s eternal darling should come to earth to be made a man, and in manhood’s form to be despised and rejected of the very men whom He came to bless; and then should be made to bear the sin of many and to be numbered with the transgressors, and being found in that number to die a transgressor’s death, a felon’s death upon the gibbet of the cross. Oh this surpasses all belief if it had not indeed been actually so and if the sure word of prophecy had not of old declared it, we could not have imagined it. It would have seemed blasphemy to have suggested such a thought, yet Thou hast done it. Thy grace has almost out-graced itself, Thy love has reached its height love to rebels; so to love that even Thy Son could not be spared. O God, we are afflicted in our hearts to think we do not love Thee more after such love as this. Oh, were there not a stone in our hearts we should melt in love to Thee, we should account that there was no thought fit to occupy the mind but this one stupendous thought of God’s love to us, and henceforth this would be the master-key to our hearts, that should unlock or lock them at Thy will — the great love wherewith Thou hast loved us. We lie in the very dust before Thee in utter shame, to think that we have sometimes heard this story without emotion and even told it without tenderness. The theme truly has never become stale to us. We can say in Thy presence that the story of Christ’s death still brings joy and makes our hearts to leap. But yet Lord, it never has affected us as we could have expected it would. Give us more tenderness of heart, give us to feel the wounds of Jesus till they wound our sins to death. Give us to have a heart pierced even as His was, with deep sympathy for His griefs, and an all-consuming love for His blessed person.
We adore Thee, O Father, for Thy great love in the gift of Jesus we equally adore Thee most blessed Jesus, for resigning Thy life for our sakes and then we adore the Blessed Spirit who has led us to know this mystery and to put our trust in Jesus. Unto the one God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, do we pay our reverent homage this morning; only we see Him yet more clearly than the patriarchs of old did, for God in the time of Jesus Christ is seen in the clearest light that mortal eye can bear.
And now we have a prayer to put up to Thee, Great God, and it is this, that in us Thy dear Son may see some portion of the travail of His soul.
Lord, let Him see a reward for His sufferings in all of us being repentant for sin, and trusting in God, and confessing His name. We fear there are among us this morning some who still indulge in the sins which brought Christ to death, some that still are trusting in their own righteousness and so are despising His, because if their’s will suffice then His were superfluous. O God, we beseech Thee bring men away from all their false trusts to rest in the great sacrifice of Thy dear Son. Let not one person here be so callous to the merit of Christ as not to love Him, or so indifferent to the efficacy of His blood as not to desire to be cleansed in it.
Oh bring every one of us now to believe in Jesus Christ with our whole heart unto eternal life, that so the thousands in this Tabernacle may belong to Jesus, that He may have a portion with the great. But even those who have believed in Christ have need to put up the same prayer. Our Lord and Master, Redeemer and Savior, come and take entire possession of us. We own Thy right, but Thou must take by force what Thou hast purchased, or Thou wilt never have it. By force of arms, the arms must be those of love, wilt Thou capture our willful, wayward spirit. Come and divide the spoil with the strong in us we pray Thee. Take every faculty and use it, overpower and sanctify it. Every moment of our time help us to employ for Thee, every breath may we breathe out to Thine honor. We feel that there is unconquered territory in our nature yet. Subdue, Lord, we beseech Thee our corruptions, cast them out, and in our spirit rule and conquer. There set up thine eternal throne — “Wean our heart from every creature Thee to love and Thee alone.” We do pray this with our whole hearts; and assist us we pray Thee most blessed Redeemer, to show forth Thy praises in our lives. Sanctify us in our households. May we go in and out before Thee shewing the name and nature of Christ. Help us in our business, that in all we do among our fellow men we may act as Christ would have us act. Strengthen us in secret; there may we be mighty in prayer. Guard us in public, that neither in act nor word we may slip away from Thee. Above all, cast cords of love around our hearts. Oh hold us Savior, never let us go. Suffer no professed Christian here ever to violate the loyalty of his obedience to his King. May those dear wounds of His have more sway over us than ever silver scepter had over the subjects of earthly princes. May we feel that if He drank for us the vinegar and gall, whatever cup He sets before us we will cheerfully drink. Rule us, Savior, rule us, we beseech Thee. And let no believer here violate the chastity of his heart to the Beloved of his soul. O Jesus, let us love Thee so intensely, that whatever else there may be of loving relationship, still this may cover all and swallow up all. Oh to be wholly Christ’s! We do mourn that we cannot reach to this — that in the secret of our hearts every devil should be cast out, every demon driven to its deep, every sin made hateful, every thought of sin made loathsome to us, until only pure desires and inward longings after perfect holiness shall predominate in our nature. O God, let the scourge still be used to drive out the buyers and sellers: we would not ask to have them spared, but let the temple be the Lord’s, seeing he hath built it and hath cleansed it with His blood. Bless at this time very graciously the church to which we belong.
Let us in this place know the power of prayer to-day and to-morrow: especially pour out upon the members of this church an intense spirit of supplication. May we agonize to-morrow for the glory of God, and to-day also, and let it not depart from us so long as we live Send us, Lord, a mighty ground-swell of intense desire for the glory of God, and may these Thy servants banded together in church fellowship recognize their sweet obligations to their dying Lord, and determine that the prayers of the church shall go up before Him like sweet perfume.
Lord, convert our friends that still remain unsaved. Oh mighty power of God, let none come into this house even accidentally and casually without receiving some devout impression. May the Spirit of God work mightily by our ministry and the ministration of all His servants now present, whether in the Sabbath School, or in the streets, or in the lodging houses, or from door to door, or when they privately speak to individuals. Oh, glorify Thyself in us. Dear Savior, we pray Thee come and mark us all distinctly with the blood mark as being wholly Thine, and henceforth may we say with Paul, “Let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” As we have been buried with Thee by baptism into death, so would we be dead to all the world and only live for Christ. God grant it may be so, and we will glorify Thee in life and death and for ever.
As Thou hast bidden us pray for all men, so do we now especially pray for our beloved country. May every blessing rest upon this favored isle. Upon the Queen let Thy mercies always descend. Keep this land in peace we beseech Thee, and as for all other lands may peace yet reign. May oppression in every place be broken to shivers, and may truth and righteousness win the day. Break in pieces the power of Antichrist we pray Thee, and of the false prophet, and let the idols fall from their thrones, and may the Lord God Omnipotent yet reign, even Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords. We ask it all in His name. Amen. SERMON: NO. 1385 (November 18, 1877.)\par SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 53HYMNS: 327, 412, 329.