And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.
I. THE CHIEF WORK AND TRUEST DIGNITY OF THE CHURCH LIES IN HER REGENERATION AND SAVING ENERGY. In imitation of the example of her Lord, she has reached, and is reaching now, those whom philosophers and poets, statesmen and even philanthropists, had designated "the lapsed and incorrigible classes." Where schools of philosophy and codes of law have utterly and ignominiously failed to kill the virus of some moral epidemic, the religion of Christ has succeeded, the Gospel of Christ has proved an unfailing remedy.
II. THE CONVERSION OF MEN SHOULD BE THE FIRST AIM OF THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY.
III. THIS SHOULD BE THE GREAT AIM OF ALL RELIGIOUS EFFORT. We need more of the spirit of the sainted Alleine, who said "he was insatiably greedy for the salvation of souls"; or of Matthew Henry, who said "he would deem it a greater happiness to gain one soul to Christ than thousands of gold and silver."
IV. THE DIGNITY AND WORK OF THE CHURCH LIES WITH ITS INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS — "THIS AND THAT MAN." The Church of every age can boast of names whose loss would be a loss to mankind. Time would fail to tell of Paul, the eloquent apostle of the Gentiles; , the faithful disciple of John; , the great defender of the faith; , Luther, Wycliffe, Knox, Wesley and Whitefield, and a host of others, of whom we say with pride, "this and that man," etc.
V. THE TRUE INSPIRATION IN THE CHURCH IS SPIRITUAL AND SUPERNATURAL, I have seen an unfilled balloon lying limp and useless on the ground. I have seen the same material expanded and floating gracefully far away above the toil and sin of earth. So have I seen the Church lying limp and lifeless, an object of loathing to some and pity to others. I have seen the same Church filled by the breath of God warm and full, no longer pitied, but admired as the centre of life and hope for a weary world.
(Z. T. Dowen, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.