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In reading the Scriptures, we find some things mentioned historically; and some incidentally, as it were. They are truths, but not truths of prime importance; they do not enter into the life of religion. But there are other truths, which recur again and again, and sometimes several times in the same chapter, because they are of primary value: they should never be absent from our minds. Is not this exactly our method with our children ? While we give them many instructions, those things, which are indispensable, we strive to rivet on their hearts, by continual repetition.
Mark the expression in the text. As 'we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him," before whom we must all shortly appear; as we are looking for and hasting to the coming of the Son of God'—the hope of eternal life, and a crown of glory; our Master meets us on the way, and again and again does he speak of the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls.'
Look, for instance, into the second and third chapters. • He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches : To him that OVERCOMETH, will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.' Again : ‘He, that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches : He, that ovERCOMETH, shall not be hurt of the second death. Again: 'He, that hath
' an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches : To him, that OVERCOMETH, will I give to eat of the hidden manna; and I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.' Again : . And he, that OVERCOMETH, and keepeth my words unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron-and I will give him the morning star.' Again : 'He, that OVERCOMETH, the same shall be clothed in white rai
ment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.' Again :. 'Him, that overCOMETH, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name.' 'And again, in the text :
, To him, that oveRCOMETH, will I grant to sit with me,
in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.'
I have shown you how the blessing is marked and repeated; but if you were to ask me the precise meaning of the terms here employed to show the eternal weight of reward which awaits the Christian Soldier, perhaps I should say, No matter! it is enough, that He-the Great Captain of our Salvation-knows the full meaning of them; and that they all imply what he calls his glory: 'Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am,
that they may behold' my GLORY. It is enough that he knows, and that we shall know, although as yet 'eye hathänot seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.' These are all terms, however, inviting him to conquer, whom the King delighteth to honour:' and, therefore, let us conceive never so highly, no idea that we can entertain can ever come near to the glory of the crown which God hath promised.
Brethren! it is by conflict and by conquest, as you see, that a Christian is conformed to his Lord and Head. EVEN AS, says he-EVEN As I overcame, so must you; for a Christian fights for his life. “Tell me not,” will he say, “of the difficulties which may stand in my way! Will God fight for me? Will he
enable me to overcome? Is he faithful ? Is he to be trusted ?. Sin and Satan have held me captive: but they have only sunk me, and would have sunk me to the depths of hell : but my Master--my example stands before me: he went forth through trial and conflict: he fought the good fight of faith, and we, his disciples, are following him."
Brethren! whatever short roads to heaven may be invented by sects and parties, Ancient Christianity, the good old way, is the way of the cross--the way of contest and of conquest.
This is a faithful saying? -some may arise in the Church who will contradict this--but, whatever they say, “ This is a faithful saying: If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him : if we suffer, we shall also reign with him : if we deny him, he also will deny us.'
Should any one say, “Oh, that this was not so true as it is! And yet it seems so plain, that I cannot deny it. I would escape this conflict: I would not weather these trials: I would not pass through the fire and the water, in my way to the kingdom"--I ask, my brother! are not you like the soldier who should say, “Oh, that I might be a soldier, but never fight? Oh, that I might eat the king's bread, and wear his clothes, but never fight his battles ?” Is this a SOLDIER ?
My dear hearers, let us abide by the truth. Nothing else will support us.
bow to the truth, but it will not bow to us: if we stand by it, it will stand by us. And the truth is, that our posts, as Christians, are posts of honour and of danger: and if there had not been something to strive with, the Apostle had not said, “Stand fast! quit you like men ! nor would another have said, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation.'
I say not these things to alarm or to discourage you. Nay, I say, Fear not any consequences, if you are honest and in earnest. Fearfulness, as well as pre
sumption, is a temptation. In that dreadful catalogue, given in the twenty-first chapter, of those who shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone'-terrible as that list is-among them stand the fearful!
Remember, then, that, if we are called to trial, Christ is no unconcerncd spectator. St. Paul prayed to him in his contest, but he said, “My grace is sufficient-my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Fear not a thorn in the flesh. Fear not the buffetings of Satan. This is the way of safety-the consecrated way—the work of Christ's soldiers : and my soldiers shall ever hear my voice, saying, “My grace is sufficient:' but, still, the decree has gone forth; that it is by conflict and conquest, that a Christian is conformed to his Head, and obtains the crown of glory."
"I meet," says the Christian-I am now speaking the language of a faithful soldier of Christ, millions of whom have passed over the stage of life, and have entered the rest which remains for God's soldiers, have fought the fight of faith, finished the course, and received the crown-"I meet,” says
“ such an one, "with many sharp conflicts-hard battles I know, I find that religion will cost me something: but oh how small the cost, in comparison with what I must pay if I do not overcome! If I do not conquer, I must be conquered: and I know the dreadful consequences of being conquered by such an enemy as Satan. Tell me not, therefore, what I have to fight with, and to fight through; for, in the strength of Christ, I shall win the day! When the the battle is over, I shall reign with him! I shall see his face! I shall join the the hundred and forty and four thousand followers of the Lamb! He will say to me, when all is over, Well done! I shall enter into the joy of the Lord! I shall
stand among them, which came out of great tribulation, and washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb !919
God grant that you and I may set our seals to this testimony! and, if we have been mingling with the world in search of our satisfactions, that we may now arise, and trim our lamps, and stand ready to meet the hridegroom! Amen!