Behold, now is the accepted time, behold, now is the day of salvation.” — 2 Corinthians 6:2.
OGOD, Thou art our exceeding joy. The very singing of Thy praises lifts our heart upward when we can join in the solemn psalm or the sacred hymn, our heart doth leap within us. And when Thy name is glorified, when we see sinners glorifying the name of Jesus, when we look forward to the brighter days when myriads shall flock to the Crucified above all, when we contemplate His final triumph, then is our heart very restful and our spirit rejoiceth in God our Savior. What a fountain of delight Thou art, and how richly hast Thou promised to bless the men that delight themselves in God. Thou hast said,” Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give thee the desire of thine heart.” Dost Thou reward us for being delighted? Oh pleasant duty, which hath appended to it so divine a promise. Shall we have the desire of our heart when our heart finds all its desire in Thee? Oh blessed Lord, Thou dost indeed meet them that work righteousness and that rejoice in Thy ways; and Thou fillest Thy people with good things, so that their youth is renewed like the eagles’. We pray Thee help us who know Thee, to glorify Thee. We have known Thee from our youth, some of us, and hitherto have we declared Thy wondrous works. Oh may there never be in our heart, and above all may there never come from our lips, or in our life, anything that might dishonor Thee. Oh let us die a thousand deaths sooner than ever dishonor Thy hallowed name.
This is dearer to us than the apple of our eye. We have loved the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thine honor dwelleth. Gather not our soul with sinners, nor our lives with cruel men; but let us be helped, even to the end, to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth, even if it be to Gethsemane and Calvary. Oh to be perfect in heart towards the Lord! Our lives are faulty; we see much to grieve over; but we would have our whole heart towards Thy statutes; and we bless Thee that so it is, for our heart is in Thy ways, and we are willing to spend and to be spent for Thee.
Reservation would we not make to the very slightest, but lay ourselves out for Thine honor only, for by us and in us, Father glorify Thy name.
Look down upon the great assemblies of this morning all over the world, and let Thine eye of tenderness rest here. Thou seest here many that love Thee — may we love Thee more! Thou seest many that live by the life of God — oh life of God live in us to the full! Thou seest also, we fear, some that are declining from Thy ways, in whom grace is but a flickering light.
Lord, trim the lamps, bring back the wanderers, for there is no joy but in God. And perhaps, nay we fear it must be so, that Thou seest in this throng, ungodly ones, careless and indifferent. Oh sword of the Lord, pierce them through, that carelessness may be slain, that their souls may live. Oh Thou who art as a polished shaft hidden in the quiver of the eternal, go forth to-day to smite to the heart the proud, the self-righteous, and those that will not stoop to ask mercy at Thy hands but as for the humble and the contrite, look upon them; the broken-hearted and the heavy-laden do Thou relieve, and such as have no helper do Thou succor.
Bring up the sinner from the prison house, let the lawful captive be delivered. Let the mighty God of Jacob lead forth His elect, as once He did out of Pharaoh’s bondage. The Red Sea is already divided that they may march through it. The Lord save multitudes — He knoweth them that are His. Accomplish their number and let Jesus so be rewarded, though Israel be not gathered.
Oh Lord, we ask ourselves for strength to bear and to do. Some of us would ask, if it were Thy will, restoration to health; but Thy will be done.
Others would ask deliverance out of trouble — again, Thy will be done.
Some would come before Thee with conscious guilt, and ask for a new application of the precious blood. We had better all ask it, let us all have it.
O God bless this church and people more and more. How richly thou hast blessed them! When we look back upon past years, what hath God wrought! Shalt thou be without our song? Even when we are not as we would be, shall our voice, if it be cracked and broken, still be silent? No, if every harp-string shall be broken but one, that one shall still resound the love of Jesus, and the glory of God. Long as we live we will bless Thy name, our King, our God of love; for there is none like Thee. “Whom have we in heaven but Thee, and there is none upon earth that we desire beside Thee.” Our soul is clean divorced from all earth’s good, and married to the Christ of God for ever. By bonds that never can be snapped we are one with Him, and who shall separate us from His Love?
The Lord be pleased to reveal Himself to His servants. Oh for the uplifting of the veil, for the drawing near of the people that are made glad by’ the blood, for the speaking of God unto the soul, and the speaking of our soul unto God. Oh for converse with the Eternal, for such fellowship as they may have who are raised up together with Christ, and made to sit in the heavenlies with Him. Oh Savior, grant us a glimpse of Thy great love. One flash of Thine eye is brighter than the noonday. One word from Thy lips will be sweeter to us and more full of music, ‘than the harps of angels.
Grant it to every one of Thy children all over the world, both to the sick and to the dying. Oh how gloriously will they die!
And now Lord, we ask Thee to bless our country at this time, and by Thy great and infinite mercy preserve us we beseech Thee from war. Oh that peace may reign yet all over the world, but let not this nation intermeddle and be as one that taketh a dog by the ear, but may there be wisdom given where we fear folly, and strength given where wisdom reigns. The Lord grant that wars may utterly cease unto the ends of the earth. Oh make a way we pray Thee, for the progress of Christianity, of civilization, of liberty, of everything that is honest and of good repute. May Thy kingdom come, and Thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven, for Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. SERMON: No. 1394. (January 13, 1878.)\par SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 49.HYMNS: 241, 239, 406.
CHRIST IS ALL.
OH, the bitter shame and sorrow, That a time could ever be When I let the Savior’s pity Plead in vain, and proudly answered, “All of self, and none of Thee.”
Yet He found me. I beheld Him Bleeding on the accursed tree, Heard Him pray, “Forgive them, Father!”
And my wistful heart said faintly, “Some of self, and some of Thee.”
Day by day His tender mercy, Healing, helping, full and free, Sweet and strong, and ah! so patient, Brought me lower, while I whispered, “Less of self, and more of Thee!”
Higher than the highest heavens, Deeper than the deepest sea, Lord, Tiny love at last hath conquered; Grant me now my soul’s desire, — “None of self, and all of Thee!