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(John xiv.). The names and titles of the Holy Ghost are many. Thus then when we call upon the Name of the Lord, we do not mean simply one Person, but we mean the three Persons in the glorious Godhead. And we will mention the three Persons in Their greatness, and Their power, and Their majesty, and Their grace, and Their glory, when we call
upon the Name of the Lord. “ The Lord passed before Moses, and proclaimed the Name of the Lord. The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and sin (Exodus xxxiv. 6, 7). David said : “I will call upon the Name of the Lord," and St. Paul says: “Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. x. 13). David called upon the Name of the Lord ; and he was saved, and is now in heaven. He has safely landed and is with Christ, where he has fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore (Psa. xvi. 11). And then further on in this same Psalm, the writer speaks after this manner : "I am not ashamed of my religion ; I will go in and out, and I will speak and live the Gospel, both in private and in public.” “I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (verses 14 and 15). They all receive a hearty welcome to heaven and glory. “O Lord, truly I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant, and the son of Thine handmaid : Thou hast loosed my bonds” (verse 16). And, now, “I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the Name of the Lord.” my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people" (verse 18). He was not ashamed of his religion. What a grand thing it is not to be ashamed of one's religion! Why should anybody be ashamed of the religion which saves the soul ? “I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the Lord's house in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord !” This is what I call practical christianity, and the natural outcome of a heart filled with the love of God. “I will take the cup of salvation.” "I will offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and I will call upon the Name of the Lord.” I will magnify and praise the Lord for all His benefits and blessings toward ME. And now, shall we not conclude by singing :
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow ;
" I will pay
AT ST. GEORGE THE MARTYR'S, SOUTHWARK, LONDON,
WEDNESDAY EVENING, JANUARY 3RD, 1876.
The 60th Chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, and at the 1st verse,
you will read these words :
“ ARISE, SHINE; FOR THY LIGHT IS COME, AND THE GLORY OF THE
LORD IS RISEN UPON THEE.
In this chapter we have a prophecy of Gospel times, and of the happy days of the Messiah. In the first verse there is an address to the Church of God. In the first part of the 2nd verse, the state of the outlying world is described : “Behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people ;" “but,” as regards the Church, “the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee."
om the 3rd verse to the end of the 16th you have an acc int of the great accession of converts, both from amongst the Jews, and also from amongst the Gentiles, to the Church of God. In the 3rd verse : Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.". The Jewish converts are spoken of in the 4th verse : “Thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side." The number of converts is compared to a cloud, and for swiftness to doves, in the 8th verse : “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows ?” In the 14th verse : “ The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee: and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee The city of the Lord, the Zion of the Holy One of
And this church shall be made an eternal excellency, and a joy of many generations " (15th verse). Then in the latter part of the chapter you have a description of the happy days of the Church. Whether this shall be fully realized by the Church of God upon the earth I shall not venture to say. I think the whole is rather a description of the future, of that glory, and of that happiness, and of that light which the people of God shall enjoy in the presence of their Lord and Master, as described in the 21st chapter of the Book of Revelation. The prophecy, which begins at the 1st verse of this chapter in Isaiah, is continued to the end of the 62nd chapter ; hence it may be well for us to read the whole three chapters, in order that we may see the complete connection of the prophecy. I shall not read them for you. It will be a profitable occupation for yourselves after leaving this House of Prayer, and after you have heard the remarks which I intend to make upon the words of my text.
We propose to consider the text thus : First—" Thy Light is come.” Secondly—“ The Glory of the Lord is risen upon thee." And thirdly, the call to the Church- “ Arise, and shine."
I have altered the order of the words, or rather the arrangement of our text, as you will perceive. This order will stand as well for consideration the way I have put it before you as it does now in our bext.
In the text as it now stands, the call to the Church comes first, and then a twofold reason is assigned. I have chosen to consider the twofold reason assigned as two statements, and then to treat the call to the Church as the consequence. This way of handling the text will be proper, and also strictly logical.
First then :-“ Thy Light is come.” "THY-LIGHT-IS COME." Here are three terms. Now to whom or to what does this word “Thy" refer? There is no word going before in this verse which will help us, but we shall have to gather from the chapter, and from the prophecy generally, verses which will explain its application. It seems to me to refer to Zion, or to the Church, called the City of our God. I will now refer you to several verses In the 14th verse of this chapter, we read : “ They shall call thee, 'The City of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.' And in the 61st chapter, and at the 3rd verse : “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion." The 62nd chapter, and the 1st verse : “For Zion's sake will I not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” This is Zion, the Church and City of the Lord. You read in the 11th and 12th verses of the 62nd chapter : “Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, 'Say ye to the daughter of Zion, behold, thy salvation cometh ; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.'” We know from the New Testament Scriptures how this verse applies. “And they shall call them the holy people,” the sanctified people, a people set apart for and by God Himself,—“The redeemed of the Lord.” Here is redemption; the people purchased with the precious blood of the Lainb, "and they shall be called sought out." Who sought them out? The Spirit of the living God. They have received an especial call by the Word, and by the Spirit, and are a people separated from the rest of mankind. And they shall never be forsaken, neither by God their Father, nor by the Lord Jesus Christ their Redeemer, nor by the Holy Spirit their Quickener, their Teacher, their Guide, and their Comforter. This is what I understand by the word “thy” in its application, and the persons to whom reference is here made. The Church in her relationship to Christ, her true light, is evidently brought before us in our text.
Now, for the second word “light,”—“thy light!” Well, what about this light of which my text speaks ? Christ the true light is brought before us frequently in the Old Testament Scriptures. He is prophesied of in the 49th chapter and also in the 42nd chapter of this book, "I will give Him for a light to the Gentiles, and He shall be my salvation unto the end of the earth.” And again, “ The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and thy God shall be thy glory” (verse 19 of 60th chapter). “ The Lord is my light.” I pass over into the New Testament, and I find there that the saints of God were waiting for this light. Hence, when the Lord Jesus Christ came, He said, “I am the light of the world” (John xii. 46). It is declared that in Galillee of the Gentiles that whilst the people were sitting in darkness light sprang up. people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up” (Mat. iv. 16). John the Baptist said of the Saviour, " This is the True Light, wbich lighteth every man, that cometh into the world” (John i. 9). This passage is often quoted by persons to serve their own unmeaning purposes and ignorant designs. Christ is indeed the creator of all light in the natural world, and also of all light in the spiritual world. “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made.” Good old Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Ghost revealed to him that he should not die until he had seen the Lord's Christ. And when this was fulfilled, he said, “ Lord now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word : for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people: A Light,” what for? “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of Thy people Israel” (Luke ii. 29–32). Who then is this Light? Is it not the Lord Jesus Christ? He is the Light. The Day-Spring from on high hath visited us.
Speaking still further upon this subject, we know that light discovers
- The darkness. Light reveals unto us all things in the natural world. And St. Paul tells us that this Light discovers, or reveals unto us all things in the spiritual world. “ All things that are reproved or discovered are made manifest by the light : for whatsoever maketh manifest is light " (Ephesians v. 13). Upon these words the Apostle bases his exhortation to the Church, and says: “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light" (14th verse). “If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost ; in whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine into them " (II Cor. iv. 3, 4). Christ is the only Light which discovers all darkness in the spiritual world. It is only as His Light comes into the understanding that we are able to see how dark we are. Some
think that they have light, and that they have a deal of light; the light of reason, and the light of nature. We are not of those who would speak slightingly of natural light, and of sound reason, but we do say, “ Away with your rushlights, if you wish to put them in the place of the light of Revelation as we have it in the glorious Gospel of Christ.” The entrance of God's Gospel gives light, it gives understanding to the simple.
Again allow me to remark that light is an emblem of purity. Light, you can neither pollute nor defile. And so it is with regard to Christ Jesus the Lord as the pure Light. When He comes into the dark heart as Light, our defilement cannot defile Him. There is no impurity in Him, and He cannot be made impure. This Light remains pure and glorious in spite of all that man, or men, or creatures, or devils, can do. Jesus abides for ever the same pure, beautiful, and glorious Light.
This Light, of which I am speaking, has a quickening, reviving, and healing influence. It is so in the natural world. Death would reign everywhere were it not for light. There is not a single thing in the vegetable kingdom, nor yet in the animal kingdom ; there is not a bird that flies in the heavens, nor a creature that moves on the earth, nor a fish that swims in the depths, which does not depend upon the light of
A rare exception would prove the general truth of my assertion. And there is not a creature that lives in the spiritual kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ which has not received life and light from Him. And which does not depend entirely and continually upon Him for quickening, reviving, and healing influences. “ Unto them that fear my name—
—the name of Jehovah--shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings, and they shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall ” (Mal. iv. 2). The fountain and source of all life and light in the natural world is
In the spiritual world Jehovah is the fountain of life and of light. It is said of Jesus, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John i. 4). We read the same in the 36th Psalm and the 9th verse,
“ For with Thee is the fountain of life : in Thy light shall we see light.” Bear in mind this one fact, that Jesus Christ being the Fountain of light, He is the great illuminator of the body,—the Church,—and that he gives light, but borrows none. The Church is naturally a dark body