The Superaboundings of Grace over the Aboundings of Sin - Part 2
His reigning unto death carries with it a meaning beyond the mere separation of body and soul; for death in Scripture has three distinct meanings-death temporal, death spiritual, and death eternal. Unto each and all of these three kinds of death hath sin reigned and reigns still, for the sceptre is not yet struck out of his hand, nor the sword wrenched from his grasp.
i. See him, then, first reigning unto death temporal; for "by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that [margin, "in whom"] all have sinned." This was the fulfilment of God s word to Adam: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." What a reign is here; what slaughter, what devastation, what universal sway! Sin as universal as death, and death as universal as sin.
ii. But there is another death which is more fatal even than this. When sin entered into man s heart and set up its throne there, it not only brought about the death of the body, but a worse death, even the death of the soul: that alienation from the life of God, that death in trespasses and sins, that moral and spiritual death which the Scriptures speak of, which has paralysed all man s mental faculties Godward, which has utterly ruined the image of God in him, and cast him into a state of enmity and rebellion, misery and helplessness, out of which there could have been no escape but for the interposition of sovereign grace. I have read of a Spaniard who, when his enemy was in his power, promised he would spare his life if he would blaspheme Christ. The poor wretch obeyed, but no sooner had he spoken the fatal word than the Spaniard thrust his sword into his heart. "Now," he cried, "this is revenge, for I have not only killed his body, but I have killed his soul." So it is with sin; it not only killed man s body, but at the same stroke it killed man s soul.
iii. But there is still another death unto which sin hath reigned, which this cruel executioner inflicts as the last purpose of his wicked mind, the last act of his destructive power, -the second death, eternal death, banishment, eternal banishment, from the presence of God, into those gloomy regions, where hope never comes; where there is for ever weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth; that abyss of woe, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched. View, then, this cruel executioner bringing out his subjects in their long and gloomy files, and inflicting upon them these three kinds of death: death temporal, death spiritual, death eternal.
But what are we? What are we? Merely hearers of these said things? Merely spectators of the execution, witnessing it as if it were a summer holiday? No; we are all bound and chained together in the gloomy file, awaiting, as it were, our time and turn; for as sin hath reigned as our tyrant, so it is or will be our executioner. There is not a person here present within the reach of my voice in whom sin has not, in purpose, done all these three things. The sentence is passed; you are but awaiting its execution. You are all doomed to die; sin will execute upon you the death of your body; it has already brought about the death of your soul; and it will, but for sovereign mercy, bring about the death of body and soul in hell, where the impenitent and the unbelieving will for ever lie under the terrible wrath of the Almighty.
These things, however painfully they may strike our mind or chill our blood, we have to see and feel each one for himself; and this is the reason why I so strongly insist upon them, for I am well persuaded that no one will ever know or truly and really value the deliverance which God has provided from them, until he has seen and felt, and is deeply and inwardly persuaded of their reality. But I shall not leave you in this miserable case. God has not left you there, nor should I, standing up in His name, act consistently with my position or profession as His servant if I were to leave you there either. I shall therefore pass on to our second point, which is,
II. To bring before you grace as counterveiling sin in three respective points. We will now, then, view grace as a superabounding tide; grace as a most benign and clement sovereign; and grace as the sovereign disposer and giver of eternal life.
It is in these glorious triumphs of sovereign grace that the main blessedness of the Gospel consists. Grace meets and vanquishes sin at every point. Is sin a dark, filthy polluting flood? Has it burst through the dyke of man s primitive innocency, utterly defaced the image of God in him, penetrated into every thread and fibre of body and soul, and abounded even to overflowing in every thought, word, and act of heart, lip, and life? Grace shall meet this abounding flood and superabound over it. Does sin reign with despotic sway over the elect of God, subjecting them to his sceptre and lording it over them with iron hand? Grace shall descend from heaven in the Person of the Son of God, shall wrest the sceptre from his grasp, and reign in his stead. Does sin, as a cruel executioner, deal against his hapless victims death and damnation with every blow? Grace shall beat the sword out of his hand and breathe life into his slaughtered victims-a life which shall never die. These points we have now to consider.
1. First, then, view grace as a superabounding tide. The Lord does not take the same means of clearing away the flood of sin as human skill devised and human hands achieved in the case of the Norfolk innundation, -by casting it back into the ocean from whence it came. The Norfolk dyke was after a few failures again reared up; the flood-gates again were fixed; the tall chimneys again smoked; the restless pumps again worked; and the sluggish Ouse again received into its patient bosom and bore into the sea the wide waste of waters which had wrought such destructive effects. But sin s dark, polluting tide could not be so thrown back, nor the dyke of man s native innocency be again set up. God takes, then, another way to repair the ruin which sin had wrought as a polluting flood. He brings a superabounding tide of free and sovereign grace which shall rise over sin, hide it from view, and completely bury it from the eyes of infinite Justice. We read therefore in our text, "Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." Sin rushed in upon the soul of man as an abounding flood; but grace comes in upon the soul of man as a superabounding tide-not merely to repair all the mischief which the flood has caused; not merely to remove the deluge and restore the fields to their former verdure; but to cover from view the flood itself by a superabounding tide of blood and love.
The superabounding of grace over the abounding of sin is a most blessed theme, and I may well falter in my tongue to set it forth. But let us endeavour to look at it in the light of revealed truth, and see whether it does not meet all our wants and all our woes.
Look, then, at grace in its sovereignty, as issuing out of the bosom of a three-one God. I showed you how sin issued out of the breast of Satan as the flood in Norfolk issued out of the bosom of the German sea. This is, you will remember, a scriptural, though it might seem to you a strange, figure: "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood." Re 12:15 Now grace issues out of the bosom of a triune Jehovah to superabound over the flood of sin which rushed out of the mouth of Satan.
i. The first rising of this began in Jehovah s sovereign councils, and issued forth in the provisions of the eternal covenant "ordered in all things and sure." God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost-the three Persons of the glorious Godhead-contrived and entered with each other into an eternal covenant, in which every blessing was provided for the elect of God: a Mediator chosen and set up in the Person of God s dear Son; an atonement of sin determined on in His incarnation, sufferings, bloodshedding, and death; a justification devised in His perfect obedience to the law of God; and a salvation provided which should be "without money and without price" on the part of man, but perfectly effectual for every purpose of God. In this everlasting covenant, then, we have the first rising of that superabounding grace which saves a guilty race by abounding over all the floods of sin.
ii. Now come down from heaven to earth. We have seen the fountain: now look at the stream. View the Son of God coming forth from the bosom of His Father, and assuming the flesh and blood of the children into union with His own divine Person. Then by the eye of faith trace Him through His life of obedience and suffering to the garden in which the agony began, and to the cross on which the agony was accomplished, and see in the atoning blood, and dying love of Jesus, the length, and breadth, and depth, and height of superabounding grace. See in the sufferings, the bloodshedding, and the sacrifice of the Holy Lamb of God the rising on earth of that tide of heavenly grace which hides, for ever hides, from the sight of eternal Justice the flood of sin, with all its filth and sludge and ooze, which had ruined the image of God in man, and has swept and is still sweeping myriads into an abyss of endless woe.
iii. But look a little further: come down to the appointed time and hour when the Lord was first pleased to arrest you on the broad road to hell, and see how it was sovereign grace which began that work upon your heart which will never die. This is the first springing up-"Spring up, O well"-this is the first springing up of the life of God in the soul which was given you in Christ Jesus before the world began. What else could have met and arrested the tide of sin which was bearing you along? How superabounding was grace over that dreadful flood of sin which was fast hurling you into destruction!
iv. Now come a little further on to the happy day when grace in its superabounding tide burst in upon your soul in a revelation of Christ, in a manifestation of His dying love, in some application of His atoning blood, or some view of Him as bearing your sins in His own body on the tree. Was not this visitation of mercy all of superabounding grace?
v. And now next take another view of this deep, rich, and heavenly tide, and see how grace is daily superabounding over all the aboundings of your sin, and guilt, and filth, and folly; how it heals backslidings, pardons iniquities, covers the naked soul with a robe of righteousness, washes out the most damning spots, and brings the vanquished rebel to the feet of Christ, to admire and adore the mysteries of His dying love. Can we speak too highly of superabounding grace? I will say for myself there is not in the whole book of God a text I seem to love more than, or so much as this; nor is there a day scarcely in my soul s experience when I have not reason to make mention of it before the Lord, confessing the abounding of my sin and looking to Him for the superabounding of His grace. It is a passage of Scripture very dear to my heart, for it so unfolds two things which I have had so long to learn in daily experience: the abounding of sin in my carnal mind, and the superabounding of grace in the Person and work of the Son of God, in which alone I can have any well grounded hope.
But let us bear in mind that grace has to superabound over the aboundings of sin, not only in covering it from the eyes of God as with an overwhelming tide of love and blood, but also as a subduing, restraining stream. There is a most gracious promise in the word of truth, which should be as dear to us as any of those promises which speak of pardoned sin. "He will subdue our iniquities;" and observe the connection between the pardon of sin and the subduing of it, for it adds, "And Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Mic 7:19 It is not the law but the gospel to which is attached the blessing of sin restrained as well as of sin pardoned. "Sin shall not have dominion over you." Why not? "For ye are not under the law but under grace." Ro 6:14 I showed you before that the law only stirred up sin, as a dam thrown across a flood makes it rise the higher. "Without the law," says the apostle, "sin was dead;" and again, "For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death." Ro 7:5 But the glory of grace is that whilst it pardons sin, it also subdues it, and, swelling over its restless tide, holds it down in its bed as by an overwhelming wave.
2. But grace is also represented in our text as a most benign and clement monarch. "Sin hath reigned unto death." Shall grace then leave the sceptre in the hand of sin? Shall grace let sin reign over the people of God as it has reigned before, and maintain its usurped dominion? What hereditary right has sin to reign over the family of God? No more right than Pharaoh had to reign over the children of Israel. Are they not redeemed by the blood of the Lamb? Is sin therefore ever to hold them fast in its iron chain? No; grace shall come in all the majesty wherewith God has clothed her princely form, shall wrest the sceptre out of the cruel tyrant s hands, break it asunder, dethrone him, and take her seat upon the heart over which sin has ruled with such daring and despotic sway. O how cruelly has sin reigned in the heart of man! Hurrying him on to every, vile abomination, plunging him into every depth of misery and crime, and then hurling him impenitent and unbelieving into an abyss of endless misery!
But sin is not easily dethroned. It will struggle for power to its latest gasp; will seek every opportunity to recover its authority, and will not let the prisoner go until again and again it has made the iron enter into his very soul, and plunged him sometimes almost into the depths of despair. But God s promises are sure; they are all "Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus." Grace shall reign through righteousness unto eternal life; and those in whom grace reigns shall themselves reign also: "For if by one man s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Christ Jesus." Ro 5:17 Is not Christ stronger than Satan? Is not His righteousness greater and of more aveil than all man s disobedience? Is not "the grace of God and the gift of grace" beyond the offence of Adam and all its consequences? As the apostle argues, "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification." Ro 5:15,16 Blessed conclusion to which he brings us! "Therefore as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Ro 5:18,19
This opens a way for the reign of sovereign grace. The removal of sin by the blood of the Lamb and the gift of righteousness by the obedience of the Son of God, lay open a royal road in which grace as a victorious sovereign comes in the fullness of her triumph. As she thus comes, she sweetly guides, softly controls, and reigns and rules in the bosom, not by law but by gospel, not by threats and terrors, but by the greatest and best of all authority, the authority of love. Grace by her gentle sway, constrains the thoughts, enlarges and ennobles the affections, makes obedience sweet, and thus endears the precept as well as the promise. Grace reigns by bringing about submission to God s will under all trying dispensations, by planting the fear of God deep in the heart, making the conscience alive and tender; by producing brokenness and contrition of spirit; by showing the exceeding sinfullness of sin; and by raising up earnest desires and prayers that it may never be permitted to reign in us and over us as it has reigned before. This is the reign of grace which you must feel and know for yourself as well as its superabounding tide of pardoning love. Has not sin reigned over you? Have you not eagerly, greedily, in times past followed all its behests, given way to every vile lust and base inclination, and been led captive by it at its will? If, then, the reigning yoke of sin is to be shaken off, and you are to be the loyal subject of sovereign grace, in a similar way, you will have to listen to its inward admonitions, to yield to its subduing restraints, and to be as plainly and evidently under the dominion of grace as you have been under the dominion of sin.
How strongly does the apostle urge this, "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." Ro 6:12,13 To be made free from sin in its reigning power and alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord, is the distinguishing mark of the people of God. We cannot serve sin and God too. "His servants we are to whom we obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness." "To be made free from sin and to become servants to God," will here give us "fruit unto holiness," and hereafter "the end everlasting life." Ro 6:22 The reign of grace must be as conspicuous as the reign of sin, or it may well be asked, "Whose servants are ye?"
But this is the mercy for mourning saints who are sighing and groaning under a body of sin and death, that God has decreed that grace not only may reign, but that it must reign. Were it left to us, we could no more rescue ourselves from the dominion of sin than the children of Israel could deliver themselves from the house of Egyptian bondage. But they sighed and groaned by reason of the bondage, and their cry came up unto God. He had respect unto His covenant, and looked upon them and delivered them. Ex 2:23,25 So God has determined on behalf of His people that sin shall not be their eternal ruin; that it shall not plunge them into crime after crime until it casts them at last into the gulf of endless woe, but that grace "shall reign through righteousness unto eternal life."
But it must reign here as well as hereafter, for by its reign here its eternal triumph is secured. It must then subdue our proud hearts, and never cease to sway its peaceful sceptre over them until it has secured in them absolute and unconditional victory. Now this is what every sincere child of God most earnestly longs to feel and realise. He longs to embrace Jesus and be embraced by Him in the arms of love and affection. As the hymn says,
Yet now, subdued by sovereign grace,
My spirit longs for Thy embrace.
He hates sin, though it daily, hourly, momently works in him, and is ever seeking to regain its former mastery; he abhors that cruel tyrant who set him to do his vilest drudgery, deceived and deluded him by a thousand lying promises, dragged him again and again into captivity, and but for sovereign grace would have sealed his eternal destruction. Subdued by the sceptre of mercy, he longs for the dominion of grace over every faculty of his soul and every member of his body. "O," he says, "let grace reign and rule in my breast; let it not suffer any sin to have dominion over me; let it tame every unruly desire, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." Thus, he who truly fears God looks to grace, and to grace only, not merely to save but to sanctify; not only to pardon sin but to subdue it; not only to secure him an inheritance among the saints in light, but to make him meet for it.
3. But there is one feature more in the character of sovereign, distinguishing grace brought before us in our text which I have still to explain, as counterveiling the mighty power of sin. From the words, reigning "unto death," I took occasion to describe sin as a cruel executioner, whom nothing could satisfy but the death of his victims. In that description we saw how sin, in establishing its reign to the utmost over fallen man, carried out its unrelenting cruelty in sentencing him to three kinds of death, -death temporal, death spiritual, and death eternal. Now grace must thoroughly repeal this three-fold sentence, and perfectly undo all that sin has done, or it would not be all-reigning, all-conquering grace. Let us see whether its triumphs extend thus far.
i. Does it, for instance, undo what sin has done by abolishing death temporal? Who can say so as long as we have such melancholy proof of the contrary in the sound of every passing bell, in the sight of every yawning grave, every widow s wail, and every orphan s tears? Yet, in spite of all these sounds and sighs of woe, these daily spectacles of mortality, grace does triumph in abolishing death as regards the people of God. Is not this the testimony of the Scripture? Do we not read that the grace which was "given us in Christ Jesus before the world began," is now "made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel?" 2Ti 1:9,10 But how can it have abolished death if death still reign? We may thus explain it. Death remains, but its name and nature are changed, for though the saint dies, it is not death to him-it is but sleep.
The word death, therefore, is not often made use of in the New Testament as expressing the decease of the saints. Of Stephen we read, for instance, "And when he had said this, he fell asleep." Ac 7:60 The Holy Ghost would not allow that Stephen died; He therefore changed the word death into sleep. So we are bidden "not to sorrow for them which are asleep even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." 1Th 4:14 "We shall not all sleep," that is, die, says the apostle, "but we shall all be changed." 1Co 15:51 In this way death itself to the saint of God is turned into sleep. It has not only lost its sting and is robbed of its victory, but has lost also its name and its nature; so that when the saint, after a life of faith and suffering, is at last laid down in his grave, it is but as the laying of a babe in the cradle by its watchful mother, that it may rest in sleep till the time of its waking. The resurrection morn will come, the trumpet will sound, "the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first." 1Th 4:16 Then the sleeping dust will be raised-not as it was deposited in the tomb in corruption, in dishonour, and weakness, but in incorruption, in glory, and power, meet companion for an immortal soul, and designed to dwell for ever with Christ in indissoluble union in mansions of bliss. Does not grace triumph even here, and take the axe of death out of the hand of the executioner?
ii. But now view the triumph of grace over death spiritual. Has not grace reigned over it already in quickening the soul dead in sin? Does not grace give in regeneration a spiritual life, restore the image of God in man so marred and defaced, make the saint of God a new creature in Christ, and thus thoroughly undo that death in sin, that alienation from the life of God which sin executed upon us in the fall? Indeed, without the communication of spiritual life, no other gift of God would be of any aveil; for without it there could be no union with Christ, for "he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit;" and without it there could be no life eternal, for this consists in the spiritual knowledge of the only true God and of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.
iii. But now view death eternal, the awful separation from the presence of God, everlasting banishment into the blackness of darkness for ever. Has not grace met and defeated sin in this field also? There is no second death for the saint of God; for him there is no worm that dieth not, and fire that is not quenched. When he dies he only rises to take possession of that "eternal life" unto which grace must reign.
Our text declares, blessed be God, that grace must "reign unto eternal life;" so that unless grace bring the saint of God through all his troubles and sorrows into the enjoyment of eternal life, it would not be reigning grace, triumphant grace, all-conquering grace, but would fail just where and when it was most needed. This is its chief beauty, this its grand and glorious blessedness, this its distinguishing feature, that it reigns unto "eternal life."
Can we then think too well, can I speak too highly, can I set forth too unreservedly grace like this? Sin, as a destructive tide, stemmed back; sin, as a despotic tyrant, dethroned; sin, as a cruel executioner, met front to front on the battle field by the Captain of our salvation, defeated at every point, his sword wrung from his grasp, and triumphed over unto life eternal!
III. But I must now just drop a few words upon our last point, on which I shall be brief. All these blessings of sovereign grace are "through righteousness," and "by Christ Jesus our Lord." Both these points I must speak unto, and I wish that time allowed me to enter into them more fully, for they are full of grace and glory.
The reign of grace is "through righteousness," and this in several senses.
1. First, all that grace is, has, and does, ever is and ever must be in perfect harmony with the righteousness of God, viewed as being of purer eyes than to behold evil, and as One who cannot look upon iniquity. If any one of God s attributes were to suffer any diminution or infringement, He would cease to be unchanging, unchangeable in all His glorious perfections. We must ever, therefore, bear in mind that in all that God does, He is scrupulously just. The Judge of the whole earth must do right. Grace, therefore, must be in perfect harmony with His eternal and infinite justice. But how can this be? Must not the justice of God suffer if the sinner be unpunished? No. Why? Because the Son of God has obeyed the law which we have broken-obeyed it as we never could have done, and has thus preserved and guarded God s righteousness from suffering the least infringement, nay, rather, has invested His very justice with a new, brighter, and more blessed character. Thus by the obedience of His dear Son, God can now be "just and yet the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Ro 3:26. "For as by one man s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Ro 5:19 In this sense, grace reigns, "through righteousness," riding as it were in the very chariot of God s justice, and casting rays of divine glory upon that eternal righteousness in which He shines forth with such resplendent majesty and holiness.
2. But look now at the words "through righteousness," as admitting another and equally scriptural sense. There is a righteousness which the Scripture calls "the righteousness of God," meaning thereby, not the intrinsic righteousness and eternal justice of God as infinitely pure and holy, but his way of saving a sinner through the obedience of His dear Son. In this sense, the apostle uses the expression, "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference." In this passage "the righteousness of God" means the way which God takes of saving sinners through Christ s righteousness, as is evident from what follows, that "there is no difference" between one saved sinner and another, either as regards sin or justification from sin, "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," so that there is no difference there; and all "are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:" so that there is no difference there. Through this righteousness, then, grace superabounds over the aboundings of sin, and reigns, gloriously and triumphantly reigns, unto eternal life. Grace, therefore, flows, not as a wild waste of waters over the world, without any banks to restrain and guide its course, but it flows "through righteousness." Thus it flows in perfect harmony with every righteous attribute of God; one bank is His eternal holiness, the other is His infinite justice; the channel between them, so to speak, is the perfect obedience of His righteous Son. Through this channel, then, the superabounding tide of grace flows; and thus not only the mercy of God is declared, but also His righteousness, as the apostle speaks, "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Ro 3:21,22,26
3. "Through righteousness" also does grace reign as regards its administration, for Christ s sceptre is a righteous sceptre. So God Himself calls it when He addressed him in ancient prophecy, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre." Ps 45:6 Thus, also, we read, "Behold a king shall reign in righteousness" Isa 32:1; and of Him it is declared that "he shall judge thy people with righteousness and thy poor with judgment." Ps 72:2
4. But there is still another sense in which we may take the words. If grace superabound over sin and wrest the sceptre out of its hand, it is to bring forth those "fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God." Php 1:11 Grace never leads to sin, but to holiness. The superabounding tide of grace fertilises the soil wherever it comes; for like the river Nile, it carries fertility in its very waters, and manifests itself by the crops of every good word and work which it produces. Its reign is one of beneficence, of doing good to the bodies and souls of men; and thus as it sits enthroned in the believing heart, it manifests its authority by constraining its happy subject to live to the honour and glory of God.
But now a few words upon that expression which seems so fully and blessedly to crown the whole, "by Jesus Christ our Lord." It is all by Jesus Christ. All grace, first and last, is in Him and by Him; for "it hath pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell;" therefore a fullness of grace, for "of His fullness have we all received, and grace for grace." No human merit, no creature works, no natural righteousness have place here. It is a pure temple of grace. No sound therefore "of hammer or axe or any tool of iron is to be heard" in this temple while it is in building. 1Ki 6:7 Like the pure river of water of life which John saw proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, it is "clear as crystal"-unsullied, unmuddied, unpolluted by human merit or demerit.
And as it is "by Jesus Christ," so it is by Him as "our Lord." Is He not worthy of the name? Has he not a right to all we are and have? Is He not "our Lord," to whom we owe our heart s best obedience? "Our Lord," before whose footstool we reverently bow; "our Lord," at whose feet we humbly lie; "our Lord," to whom we look to reign in us and over us by His sovereign grace; "our Lord," of whom and to whom we may well say, "O Lord our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name." Isa 26:13
I leave what I have said to your consideration. Be assured it is well worthy of your deepest thought and most careful meditation. But as "power belongeth wholly unto God," I will now only add, may the Lord, the Spirit, if it be His will, seal what I have spoken this morning with His own unction upon your heart and conscience!