Psalm 72:17


If it may be said of the twenty-second psalm that it lets us see Christ on the cross, it may be said of this that it shows us Christ on the throne. Instead of humiliation, there is exaltation; instead of the mockery of "the purple robe," there is the homage of angels; instead of the wicked cries of envious priests and a deluded people, "Crucify him!" there is the joyful song of the redeemed, "Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth!" The saints on earth, as well as the saints in heaven, are partakers of this joy; they know whom they have believed, and they have had experience of his benign and righteous rule. We learn here -

I. THAT WHERE CHRIST REIGNS THERE IS LIFE. He is the Source and the Giver of life. Where the waters that Ezekiel saw came, there was life; and so where the gospel of Christ comes, there is life. The mind that before was dark has the life of truth; the conscience that before was dormant has the life of righteousness; the heart that before was dead in sins is quickened to the new life of love and holiness. Christ's rule ever tends to the well being of his people.

II. THAT WHERE THERE IS LIFE THERE WILL BE PRAYER. The first sign of infant life is breathing; and the first sign of the soul's life is the breathing of prayer to God. The life within expresses itself in accordance with its nature and needs. The mind that has light cries for more light; the conscience, awakened to a sense of sin, seeks deliverance; the heart that has been touched with the love of God yearns for more love and nearer fellowship. So it was with Paul. "Behold, he prayeth!" and so onward, through all the toils and struggles of his noble life, he continued instant in prayer.

III. THAT WHERE THERE IS PRAYER THE SUPREME DESIRE WILL BE THE GLORY OF CHRIST. Self will be lost in love. Concern about ourselves will be merged in concern for the glory of Christ our Lord. "Prayer shall be made for him."

1. For his cause. What interests him will interest us; what lies nearest his heart will be nearest ours. There is unity of life.

2. For his people. He identifies himself with them. He regards what is done to them as done to himself. When "prayer was made of the Church" for Peter, they were, in a sense, making prayer for Christ. Our sympathies should be as broad as the sympathies of Christ.

3. For his second coming. His first coming was the hope of Israel; his second coming is the hope of the Church of the gospel (Revelation 22:20; Titus 2:13). "Prayer for Christ" increases our love to him, binds us in closer union with the brethren, and enables us to transmit the blessed hope to future generations. Think of the prayers made every Lord's day! What cause for thankfulness and joy! Yea, "daily" prayer shall be made till prayer is consummated in praise. - W.F.









His name shall endure for ever: His name shall be continued as long as the sun.
I. THE SAVIOUR'S RENOWN. For by "His name" we understand His renown.

1. The source from whence this renown is derived. It is from His proper and essential divinity; from His condescending and efficacious sufferings; from His exaltation and mediatorial glory. What is all other renown compared to His?

2. The permanence with which it is invested. We have seen much of the essential perpetuity of our Saviour's renown, from what has already transpired in the history and annals of the world. It has endured the attack of heathenism when made under the elements of classic Greece or the power of inferior Rome. It has endured the attack of modern infidelity, which uttered its hell-cry from philosopher to king, and back again from king to philosopher, "Crush the wretch, crush the wretch!" — by that wretch meaning the Redeemer, whose Cause and whose glory we plead.

II. THE REDEEMER'S INFLUENCE.

1. Its method. It is secured through His Spirit, His Word, His Church.

2. Its character — it is one of blessing and grace. The religion of Christ alone is the source alike of national, of domestic, and of individual felicity.

3. Its extent — "All nations shall call Him blessed."

(James Parsons.)

Homilist.
We apply these words to Christ, although their literal reference may point to another. What reason have we to believe that Christ's name will endure for ever?

I. HE IS THE AUTHOR OF AN IMMORTAL BOOK. Men's names come down through the centuries by reason of the books they have written, although the time comes when the most enduring of these become obsolete and pass away. Now, the Bible is Christ's book. He is at once its Author and its substance. But, unlike other books, it has imperishable elements.

1. Its doctrines are true to the immortal intellect.

2. Its precepts are true to the undying conscience.

3. Its provisions are true to the unquenchable aspirations.

II. HE IS THE FOUNDER OF ENDURING INSTITUTIONS. Men's names come down in institutions they have founded. Christ has instituted the Lord's Supper. And the Sunday commemorates Him.

III. HE IS THE LIVING HEAD OF AN UNDYING FAMILY. Conclusion. Trust this name.

(Homilist.)

It is the name of Jesus Christ. Text true of —

I. THE RELIGION SANCTIONED BY HIS NAME.

1. There was never a time when it did not exist here on earth.

2. If it were destroyed no other religion would take its place.

3. If another could, by what means would you crush this?

4. And if it could be crushed, what would become of the world then: would life be worth living?

II. THE HONOUR OF HIS NAME. As long as a redeemed sinner is to be found, so long will the honour of Christ's name endure. And so of —

III. THE POWER OF HIS NAME. For it alone gives peace, purity, triumph in death. Let all other names perish, as they will: but this never.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

The language of this psalm cannot be confined to Solomon: it speaks of him only as he was in office or character the type of Christ. The full meaning of the psalm belongs to Christ alone. By the name of Christ, His chief greatness or excellency, His peculiar honour and glory, is meant. Now, such glory has been given to Christ —

I. BY GOD THE FATHER.

1. In the eternal counsels.

2. At His baptism.

3. On the Mount Of Transfiguration.

4. By the Resurrection.

II. FROM THE ANGELS OF GOD. Their knowledge, their security, have been furthered by Christ in His redeeming work.

III. FROM THE REDEEMED AMONG MEN. Through their justification and sanctification they become witnesses to the glory and greatness of the Redeemer.

(J. Bannerman, D. D.)

By the name of Christ is signified His renown. Now, this prediction was uttered more than a thousand years before the birth of Christ, and when deep obscurity rested upon all that pertained to Him. And when He was born and had entered on His ministry, there was scarcely anything in His condition or circumstances to justify the anticipation of His endless renown. He died ignominiously forsaken of all His friends. But after His death their love revived, and they went forth to preach His name. But still there seemed little probability that the name of their Master should endure for ever. Yet so it has been. The triumphs of Christianity are all known. Time rolled on, and the fame of Christ widened and spread. And His fame and renown are entirely different from that which belongs to all others. For —

I. WHERE ONCE CHRIST'S NAME HAS BEEN KNOWN IT HAS NEVER BEEN ENTIRELY ROOTED OUT. Even in the place where the seven Churches of Asia withered under the curse of heaven, His name is not lost. But other names, however great, are.

II. THE KNOWLEDGE WHICH MEN HAVE OF HIM IS MORE INTIMATE AND PARTICULAR THAN THAT WHICH THEY HAVE OF ANY OF THE GREAT MEN OF THE PAST. How little we know of these ." how much we know of Him.

III. And the knowledge of Him is POSSESSED BY ALL CLASSES. Not the rich and educated alone, but the poor and the common people know Him.

IV. And HOW DIFFERENT THE FEELINGS WHICH WE ASSOCIATE WITH HIM FROM THOSE WHICH WE HAVE FOR OTHERS. It is not mere admiration or respect, but we give Him our hearts. Every mention of His name touches our deepest affections. What wonder that He should receive the homage of a world! But what is He to us? That is the all-important question. Has such a friend, such a Saviour, no beauty in our eyes? God forbid that we should refuse Him that love which He asks for, and so richly merits from us.

(J. W. Adams, D. D.)

I. WHY MAY THE INFLUENCE OF CHRIST'S NAME BE EXPECTED TO ENDURE FOR EVER?

1. Because He is the greatest benefactor the world has ever seen.

2. Because He is a mighty conqueror. He achieved victory, notwithstanding fearful odds. Look at two periods in the history of the Church. Look at the first three centuries. Emperors and rulers combined to exterminate this new sect. The most determined means were adopted. Religious teachers were put to death or cast into prison. Bibles were gathered together in response to several edicts and burned in different squares and market places. Did these succeed? The very means adopted to destroy the new faith were the means blessed of God for perpetuating it. Religious teachers were scattered over the then known world. To their amazement, I can well believe, they found that God had been preparing the world for their coming. Magnificent roads had been made, so that they could pass easily from town to town. The Greek language was spoken so that they could address the people in their own tongue. Verily it was only in the "fulness of time" that God "sent forth His Son." If you wish to see triumph in connection with the preaching of the Gospel, study the first three centuries of the Gospel history. Look at the last century of the history of the Church. In that century you see the history and the triumph of missions.

II. HOW IS CHRIST'S NAME TO BE PERPETUATED?

1. In the hearts of His people. Take Christ and His teaching out of song. Take Christ and His Cross out of poetry, and you take away their very heart and soul and life. No teacher has ever received such tribute as Christ has done. The fact that you have the best geniuses in song, and poetry, and painting, laying their offerings at His feet is one of the most convincing arguments in favour of my text — "His name shall endure for ever."

2. By the character of His people. This is one thing that scepticism can never explain away. The maxims and the example of the world can never produce a holy life. It takes Christianity to do that. A holy life is therefore one of the best means by which the influence of Christ's name can be perpetuated in this world.

3. By the ordinances of the Church.

(W. S. Goodall, M. A.)

I. THE NAME OF JESUS OUR SAVIOUR IS FITTED TO ENDURE.

1. By virtue of the law which connects memory with greatness. The great are remembered — great kings, great heroes, great sages, great saints — while the crowd must be forgotten. Jesus does not refuse to be commemorated according to this standard. He does not struggle indeed for fame, but for usefulness; but when He says, "Come unto Me," "Follow Me," He presupposes transcendent greatness. Even on the human side the greatness of Jesus is unexampled, the greatness of knowledge, of wisdom, of purity, of benevolence, of devotion — such greatness as amounts to absolute perfection.

2. By virtue of the law which connects memory with service.

3. By virtue of the law which connects memory with suffering. Even destroyers and conquerors are better remembered by disaster than by victory — as Alexander by his premature death, Caesar by his assassination, and Napoleon by his exile. How much more have the great benefactors of our race had their memories embalmed by suffering; so that they are cherished as their works and endurances have cost them dear. But how imperfect is every such image of the connection between the Saviour's sufferings and the enduring of His name! All others were born to suffer, if not in that form in some other; they were sinners, and could not escape even by labour and service to mankind. But Jesus was above this doom, and stooped to meet it — stooped from a height beyond all parallel. "Though He was rich," etc. "The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto,." etc.

II. IT IS DESTINED TO ENDURE.

1. The name of Jesus is identified with the existence of the Church. Take it away, and the Church falls. Christianity is obliterated, or sinks in fragmental Take it away, and there is no pardon, no sanctification, no fellowship with God, according to His own word, "No man cometh unto the Father but by Me."

2. The name of Jesus Christ is hound up with the history and prospects of mankind. This name is a key to the history of the world. It is not without reason that history is divided into two great periods, before Christ and after Christ.

3. The Saviour's name is destined to endure, because it is committed to the watchful care of the Godhead. God the Father sees here the brightest manifestation of Himself, for He thus reveals the fulness of power, the depth of wisdom, the beauty of holiness, the tender radiance of mercy, all shining in the face of Jesus Christ. The continued display of this glory to men and angels is the last end of redemption, the fulfilment by the Father of the prayer of the Son, "Glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee." Shall this last prayer, then, be defeated? Shall these supreme manifestations of God, which, pent up from everlasting days, have at last broken forth upon the universe, be recalled? And shall the word of promise that has gone out of His mouth be made void" I will make Thy name to be remembered in all generations"?

(John Cairns, D. D.)

Buddha is reported to have said that he did not expect his religion to last more than 5,000 years.

(W. J. Dawson.)Voltaire said he lived in the twilight of Christianity. He meant a lie; he spoke the truth. He did live in its twilight; but it was the twilight before the morning; not the twilight of the evening, as he meant to say; for the morning comes, when the light of the sun shall break upon us in its truest glory. The scorners have said that we should soon forget to honour Christ, and that one day no man should acknowledge Him. "His name shall endure for ever."

(Footsteps of Truth.)

And men shall be blessed in Him
I. THE MORAL AND SOCIAL BENEFIT. We need to take the simplest, plainest facts that lie upon the surface of history, to see what a revelation was implied in the entrance of Christian ideas into such a world as this. It brought, for one thing, a totally new idea of man himself, as a being of infinite dignity and immortal worth; it taught that every man's soul, even the humblest, poorest, and the most defiled, was made in God's image, is capable of eternal life, and has an infinite value — a value that made worth while God's own Son's dying to redeem it. It brought back to men's minds the sense of responsibility to God — an idea that had never been possessed, or had been altogether or almost altogether lost. It brought into the world a new spirit of love and charity, something wonderful in the eyes of those heathen as they saw institutions spring up round about them that they had never thought or heard of in heathenism before. It flashed into men's souls a new moral ideal, and set up a standard of truth, and integrity, and purity, which has acted as an elevating force on moral conception in the world till this hour. It restored woman to her rightful place by man's side as his spiritual helpmate and equal, and created that best of God's blessings on earth, the Christian home, where children are reared in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It taught the slave his spiritual freedom as a member of the Kingdom of God, gave him a place there in Christ's kingdom as an equal with his own master, and struck at the foundations of slavery by its doctrine of the natural brotherhood and the dignity of man. It created self-respect, a sense of duty in the use of one's powers for self-support and for the benefit of others. It urged to honest labour. "Let him that stole steal no more," etc. And in a myriad ways, by direct teaching, by the protest of holy lives, by its gentle spirit, it struck at the evils and the corruptions and the malpractices and the cruelties of the time.

II. THE RELIGIOUS DEBT TO JESUS. It was Christianity that overthrew the reign of those gods and goddesses of Greece and Rome, and swept them so completely from the path of history that no one, even in his wildest imagination, now dreams of the possibility of their revival. It was Christianity that, still maintaining something of its youthful energy, laid hold of these rough barbarian people in the Middle Ages and trained them to some kind of civilization and moral life. It was Christianity that in England and Scotland lighted the light that by and by spread its radiance through every part of the country. It is Christianity that to-day is teaching the nations to burn their idols, to cease their horrid practices, to take on them the obligations of moral and civilized existence. Whatever blessings or hopes we trace to our religion, whatever light it imparts to our minds or cheer to cur hearts, whatever power there is in it to sustain holiness or conquer sin, all that we owe to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

III. THE ETERNAL BENEFITS. "Jesus hath abolished death," we read, "and hath brought life and immortality to light through His Gospel." And what was better, He not only taught men the way of life, but stood there Himself, the great medium of return to God. He stood there not only teaching men what the way of life was, but He Himself was there to place their feet in its paths. He not only taught us about God, but showed us how to be at peace with Him — brought us back to God, from whom we had wandered, and reconciled us with God. He not only warned us of the dangers and the evils of the life of sin, of the ruin, the destruction which sin brought with it, of the alienation, the estrangement from the life of God that was in sin; but He united Himself there with us, with His infinite mercy in our lone, and lost, and condemned condition, took upon Himself there, on His own soul, that burden we could not for ourselves bear, and through His cross and passion opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

(James Orr, D. D.)

I. THE BENEFITS WHICH CHRISTIANITY CONVEYS TO THE COMMUNITIES AMONG WHOM IT IS PREACHED.

1. It has diffused among all classes of men the knowledge of God. "Nothing," says the son of Sirach, "is so much worth as a mind well instructed"; but there is no knowledge like that which respects the character of God, our obligations to Him, and expectations from Him. It is the only effectual source of right conduct, and of true comfort, in every state and condition of human life.

2. Christianity has greatly purified and reformed the manners of men. Some of those vices which marked and disgraced the character of heathen nations are scarcely known but by their name; and others, which were openly practised in the face of day, are now hid in obscurity and darkness. On the other hand, some virtues, of the obligation of which the heathens had no apprehension, are not only to be found in the character of real Christians, but have risen into such general credit and esteem as to influence the conduct of many who, in other respects, feel but little of the power of religion.

3. Christianity has promoted among men a spirit of humanity and benevolence, unknown to the heathen world.

4. Christianity has contributed essentially to the safety and prosperity of society.

II. THE BENEFITS WHICH IT CONVEYS TO THE INDIVIDUALS WHO BELIEVE AND EMBRACE IT.

1. It effectuates their conversion to God, and to the obedience of His will.

2. The effects of Christianity upon the Christian's state of mind are not less important and happy than its influence upon his character; it restores him to peace with God, and to hope in Him.

(A. Duncan.)

I. A SINGULAR CONDITION.

1. By nature, men are not blessed. The trail of the old serpent is everywhere.

2. The text promises that men shall be delivered from the curse, that they shall be uplifted from their natural unhappiness, that they shall be rescued from their doubtful or their hopeful questioning, and shall even come to be blessed. God shall pronounce them blessed. He shall set upon them the bread seal of Divine approbation; and with that seal there shall come streaming into their hearts the sweetness of intense delight, which shall give them experimentally a blessing to their own conscious enjoyment.

3. Let me tell you what Christ does for a man who is really in Him, and then you will see how He is blessed.

(1)The man who comes to Christ by faith, and truly trusts Christ, has all the past rectified.

(2)He has present favour.

(3)His future is guaranteed.

II. A WIDE STATEMENT.

1. To make this wide statement true requires breadth of number. The text says, "Men shall be blessed in Him," that is to say, the most of men, innumerable myriads of men shall get the blessing that Jesus purchased by His death on the cross.

2. It implies great width of variety. "Men" — not merely kings or noblemen, but "Men shall be blessed in Him." Men — not working men, or thinking men, or fighting men, or this sort of men, or the other sort of men, but men of all sorts — "Men shall be blessed in Him." It is a delightful thought that Christ is as much fitted to one rank and one class of persons as to another.

3. Our text indicates length of period: "Men shall be blessed in Him." Men have been blessed in Him; these many centuries, Christ has shone with all the radiance of omnipotent love upon this poor fallen world, but His light is as full as ever; and, however long this dispensation shall last, "Men shall be blessed in Him."

4. The text suggests fulness of sufficiency concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a wonderful depth of meaning in this passage when it says, "Men shall be blessed in Him." "Oh!" says one, "Men shall be blessed by philosophy, or by Christ and philosophy." Not at all; it is, "Men shall be blessed in Him." "But they shall be blessed in Him through trade and commerce and the like." Not so; "Men shall be blessed in Him." Have not we, who are half a century old, heard a great number of theories about how the millennium is to be brought about? I remember that, at one time, free trade was to bring it, but it did not; and nothing will over make men blessed unless they get into Christ: "Men shall be blessed in Him."

III. THE FULL ASSURANCE expressed in the text. It is a grand thing to get a sentence like this with a "shall" in it: "Men shall be blessed in Him." It is not "perhaps they may be,"but, "Men shall be blessed in Him." Not, "perchance they may be blessed under certain conditions"; but, "Men shall be blessed in Him."

1. They shall not try Him and fail.

2. They shall not desire Him and be denied.

3. They shall come to Christ and get the blessing.

IV. Now, with all your hearts, think of my text with a PERSONAL APPROPRIATION: "Men shall be blessed in Him." Are you blessed in Christ? Will you personally answer the question? Do not pass it round, and say to yourself, "No doubt there are many who think that they are blessed, and who are not." Never mind about them; for the present moment, ask this question of yourself, "Am I blessed in Christ?"

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. WE OURSELVES ARE LIVING WITNESSES THAT MEN ARE BLESSED IN CHRIST. You and I do not pretend to be great sages, famous philosophers, or learned divines; but we feel when a pin pricks us, or when a dog bites us. We have sense enough to know when a thing tastes well or ill in the eating. We know chalk from cheese, as the proverb hath it. We know somewhat about our own wants; and we also know when we get those wants supplied. We bear witness that we have been blessed in Him. How much, how deeply, how long, and in how many ways we have been blessed in Him, I will not undertake to say; but this I will say most emphatically, for many of you now present, we have in verity, beyond all question, been blessed in Jesus to the highest degree, and of this we are sure. We believe — and faith grasps the first blessing — that we have received a great blessing in Christ by the removal of a curse which otherwise must have rested upon us. If He had accomplished nothing but the bearing away of our sin into the wilderness — as the scapegoat of old bore away the iniquity of Israel — He would have done enough to set our tongues for ever praising Him. He has lifted from the world the weight of the eternal curses; therefore, let all the bells of our cities ring out His honour, and all the voices of the village sing forth His praise. The negative being removed, we have had a positive actual experience of blessing, for God has blessed us in Christ Jesus, and we know that none are more blest than we are. We are now not at all the men that we used to be as to our inward feelings.

II. WE HAVE SEEN OTHER MEN BLESSED IN CHRIST.

1. What social changes we have seen in those who have believed in Him! He has blessed some men and some women at such a rate that the devil himself would not have the impudence to say it was not a blessing. Liar as Satan is, he could not deny that godliness has brought sunshine where there was none: the blessing has been too distinct and manifest for any to deny it.

2. What a moral change have we seen in some! They could not speak without an oath, but the habit of profane swearing ended in a minute, and they have never been tempted to it since. Rash, bad-tempered men, who would break up the furniture of the house in their passion, have become as gentle as lambs. Such furies usually become quiet, peaceable, and long-suffering: grace has a marvellous influence upon the temper.

3. Then, as to mental blessing. What have we seen? This have I seen: here is one case out of many. A young man, who had fallen into sin, came to me in deep despair of mind. He was so desponding that his very face bore witness to his misery. I had tried to set the Gospel clearly before him on the previous Sabbath, but he told me that he could not grasp it, for that by his sin he had reduced his mind to such a state that he felt himself to be little better than an idiot. He was not speaking nonsense either, for there are vices which destroy the intellect. I told him that Jesus Christ could save idiots — that even if his mind was in measure impaired as the result of sin, yet there was quite enough mind left to be made glad with a sense of pardon, seeing there was more than enough to make him heavy with a sense of guilt. I cheered that brother as best I could, but I could effect nothing by my own efforts. Soon the Lord Jesus Christ came to him, and he is now a happy, earnest, joyful Christian.

III. This whole matter is to extend till THE ENTIRE WORLD SHALL BE BLESSED IN CHRIST. Even at this moment the whom world is the better for Christ. But where He is best known and loved, there is He the greatest blessing. What snatched many an island of the southern sea from barbarism and cannibalism? What but Jesus Christ preached among them? Men have been blessed in Him in Europe, America, Asia, and everywhere. Africa, and other lands still plunged in barbarism, shall receive light from no other source but that from which our fathers received it centuries ago — from the great Sun of Righteousness.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. THE PERPETUITY OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM. extending from age to age throughout all generations; for it is in connection with it that "His name shall endure for ever, and be continued as long as the sun." Where are the mighty monarchies of the ancient world — the Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian — that seemed to have taken deep root in the earth, and, matured by ages of vigour, to bid fair for perpetuity? Even the more modern States of Greece and Rome have undergone a complete change, and their ancient characters are sought in vain in the regions they once emblazoned with glory. Nor has the higher and less vulgar authority of wisdom and legislation been more stable. The schools of ancient philosophy have passed away, and the tenets of their sages have solved for us none of the hard questions suggested by reason and conscience: one great name after another dies from the memory of fleeting generations, as the stars fade with the rising morn.

II. THE FELICITY OF THIS KINGDOM: "Men shall be blessed in Him." Whatever blessings have descended on the human race since the fall, have been communicated through the mediation of Christ; for thus only, we are taught, can a holy God have friendly intercourse with man. But the blessings that specially mark His kingdom are of a spiritual nature, and can be rightly estimated only by a spiritual mind.

III. THE DESTINED UNIVERSAL EXTENSION OF THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST: "all nations shall call Him blessed." And why, asks the infidel, was not this kingdom, and the revelation that makes it known, universal from the beginning? Why did the God of the whole earth confine His favour for many ages to the descendants of Abraham, and, leaving other nations in darkness, restrict the light of heaven to the little province of Judaea? Is it to be believed that, overlooking and despising the great, populous, enlightened empires of the ancient world, He expended all His treasures on a people remarkable only for a bigoted and exclusive superstition? Is this system of favouritism worthy the Sovereign of the universe, the Father of mankind? But not to insist on arguments which, it may be said, are fitted to silence rather than satisfy, it is an important fact, never to be forgotten, that Divine revelation was originally universal, without limitation or selection, commensurate with the necessity that called it forth; none of the progeny of Adam being exempted from the promise of a Redeemer who should bruise the serpent's head, given to our first parents as a sacred trust for the benefit of mankind. The truths embodied in these facts were designed to regulate the faith, worship, and hopes of all mankind; and, had they been faithfully preserved, the blessings of the true religion would have been in every man's possession. It was the careless forgetfulness of these things, and the wilful preference of darkness to light, that introduced idolatry and wickedness into the world. If Divine revelation was not universal in ancient times, those who incurred the loss must bear the blame. For though the promise declared that "all nations should be blessed in Him," though the Saviour's parting command enjoined that His "Gospel should be preached to all the world and to every creature," have His disciples as yet acquitted themselves of the charge assigned to them in the realization of this purpose? If the Gospel be not universal, who, we ask, are answerable for this loss? where falls the blame of this delinquency? The commission given to them is continued with us — the promises that supported them are those we rest upon — the purposes of God wait on us still for their accomplishment; and those to whom He commits the fulfilment of His will, are no other than the reclaimed sinners who, like us, have passed from death into life, who stand obedient to His call, who are ready to start to any service in which His interests demand their activity.

(H. Grey, D. D.)

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