« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
usefulness are constantly presenting themselves. Are you heartily desirous, my brethren, of the enlargement of the kingdom of Christ; that kingdom which consists not in “meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost ?” where can you find an instrument better adapted, under God, for accomplishing this most important object ?
When I consider the place in which I stand, I am emboldened to hope that the appeal, which I now make in behalf of the Missionary Society, will be listened to with favour. The beloved pastor* of this congregation-venerable for his hoary head, but still more venerable for his faith, his piety, and his multiplied labours in the vineyard of the Lord, and whose praise is in all the churches for his catholic spirit and his readiness to every good work, was one of the original members of this Society, and has, ever since its formation, been its firm and zealous friend. For the first time during the long period of thirty-seven years, he has been obliged by the infirmities of age to withdraw from its public meetings, which have been so often enlivened and edified by his addresses. On former anniversaries, his congregation have manifested themselves to be of a kindred spirit with their minister. The munificence of their gift, has evinced that they have felt the influence of his instructions, example, and prayers. By their forwardness and zeal in this good work, they have in times past provoked very many; and why should I doubt that they will do so by their liberality on the present occasion also, more particularly, when I call to mind that they will thus solace the heart of their aged pastor, by shewing him that, whether present or absent, their zeal for the cause of Christ—a cause which during a long life has been so dear to him-continues unabated.But I forbear this subject, while I humbly and earnestly ask your aid for this excellent institution, and beseech and entreat all to give cheerfully, and to give liberally, as the Lord has prospered you. I must not forget to add, that I beseech and entreat you to give from Christian principles and motives—from faith in your Saviour, regard to the glory and authority of God, and love to the souls of perishing sinners.
In fine, my brethren, the season in which we shall be called to “strive for the faith of the gospel” is exceedingly precarious—it cannot possibly be long; we know not what we shall be on the morrow,—for what is our life? “it is even a vapour that appeareth for a little while and then vanisheth away." In a matter of such importance, how sinful-how dangerous to procrastinate! While
† The Rev. Rowland Hill.
we delay, thousands of our fellow-men, who need the salvation of God, are daily sinking into the grave; and our opportunity of imparting to them the word of life may be lost, and lost for ever. Whatsoever then our hand finds to do, let us do it promptly, instantly, as well as with all our might. Let us adopt the words, and copy the example of that Saviour whose worthy name we bear, “I must work the works of Him that sent me while it is called today ; the night cometh wherein no man can work.”
ALL THINGS DELIVERED UNTO CHRIST.
Preached before the London MISSIONARY Society, at St. Ann's, Blackfriars,
May 11, 1832.
BY WILLIAM BOLLAND, M.A.
Matt. xi. 27.–All things are delivered unto me of my Father.
When the Lord Jesus undertook the gracious office of Redeemer, to save a lost and ruined world, it was not only necessary that he should suffer and die to atone for sin, make reconciliation for iniquity, and obtain the blessings of salvation for guilty sinners; but in order that these blessings might be secured, and applied, and enjoyed, it was necessary that, in his mediatorial character, he should, after his death, be invested with full power and authority to accomplish this glorious work. For this purpose he not only rose again and burst the barriers of the grave, but he ascended into heaven, and is now seated on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Before his ascension, he told his disciples that all power was given him in heaven and in earth; and he is now exercising that power in behalf and for the benefit of his church and people. In order to pull down the strong-holds of sin and Satan—to overturn and destroy the kingdom of darkness—to deliver the prey from the hand of the mighty--and establish his own kingdom of peace and righteousness throughout the world, it was necessary that all things should be placed in his power and under his control. Hence we are told that “ the Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand”--that even angels and authorities were made subject unto him”—and that “he is head over all principalities and powers.” He is intrusted as mediator, with this power, that he may dispose of all the affairs of the kingdom of providence in such a way as to forward and promote the complete establishment of his kingdom of grace; the same power that supports the world, supports and sustains the church. He now sits as King and Priest upon his throne,"
controlling and regulating all events; and causing every thing to subserve his vast, and gracious, and glorious designs. Hence we are told that “all things are put in subjection under his feet,” and in the text, with a prospective reference to his sufferings and death, he informs us himself, that “all things are delivered unto him of his Father.”
We will therefore endeavour to consider
I. The important declaration here made ;
I. We are to consider the important and cheering declaration here made by the Saviour himself: “ All things are delivered unto me of my Father.
All nations of the earth are delivered to him, to be brought, in due time, under his spiritual reign. This was promised and foretold respecting him, after he had undertaken the great work of man's redemption. Long before he became manifest in the flesh, “the heathen” were promised to him as his inheritance, and the utmost part of the earth as his possession,”—that “ he should have dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.”that “ the whole earth should be full of his glory,”—that “ the isles should wait for his law,"—that “there should be given to him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,—that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him,—that his dominion should be an everlasting dominion, which should not pass away, and his kingdom that which should not be destroyed." Hence, in the figurative language of prophecy, Messiah's kingdom is described as a stone cut out of a mountain, which afterwards became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” Accordingly, we find that after he had accomplished the mighty work he undertook, he was raised from the dead and “set at the right hand of the Father, far above all principalities, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.”
Now if we take a close survey of the history of the world, and the different nations of the world, from the creation to the present day, we shall find that He to whom universal dominion was given, has been sitting at the helm of affairs, guiding, and directing, and regulating all the different changes, and revolutions, and dynasties, and empires, in such a way as to make them subserve his glorious end, and the establishment of his kingdom on the face of the whole earth. Whether we look at the destruction of the old world by the deluge of
waters, or the overthrow of the Egyptian host in the Red Sea; whether we take a view of the establishment of the Babylonian empire and its destruction, or turn our eyes to the Persian and Median dominion; whether we glance at the Grecian or the Roman empire, their establishment or their overthrow, we shall find that either directly or indirectly they were all overruled, not for promoting the selfish and ambitious views of the different conquerors, who succeeded one another, but for preparing for the coming of the Saviour—the promised seed; for preserving that nation and that tribe, of whom he was to come in the fulness of time; or for the spread of the gospel, and the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom. With the light of revelation shining upon the page of history, we see at once that it was not merely to set up one worm of the earth above another, that kingdoms were permitted to rise and fall, flourish and decay; but either to usher in the coming of the Messiah, or to promote his gracious design of evangelizing the world.
"I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, until he come whose right it is, and I will give it him.” As a late eminent prelate* has strikingly observed: “Look round on the shifting scenes of glory which have been exhibited in the theatre of the world, and see the success of mighty conquerors, the policy of states, the destiny of empires, depend on the secret purpose of God in his Son Jesus, before whom all the achievements and imaginations of men must bow down, and to whose honour all the mysterious workings of his providence are now, have hitherto been, and will for ever be directed.” It is per-haps not going too far, to say that there is not a single event or occurrence in the world, whether apparently of greater or less importance, but is made subservient to the gracious and blessed purpose of promoting and establishing the cause of divine truth in the world, by him who is appointed heir of all things, and who upholds and directs all things by the word of his power.
“ All things,” says St. Paul,
sakes.” Indeed the world itself continues to stand merely as the scaffolding for the building of this spiritual temple; and when the last stone thereof shall be brought forth, and the last soul converted and saved, the scaffolding shall be taken down, and “ melt with fervent heat, the earth and all the works that are therein, shall be burned up."
O what a cheering and encouraging thought is this, to those who are engaged in the hallowed enterprise of making " the way of salvation known upon earth, God's saving health among all nations.” They are not embarked in a cause, in which there is a probability, or even a possibility of failure; there is no perhaps or peradventure