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What will he do, when memory will be compelled to perform its office at the bar of God, when all past vows will rush upon his mind; all past sins sting his guilty heart; all past joys aggravate his sorrows; all past opportunities of salvation increase his woe.
Son, REMEMBER,” will then be the voice of truth, of conscience, of despair.
Now, then, make memory a friend, ere it be too late. Now secure this wonderful faculty as your helper. Now recall a parent's instruction, a parent's prayers, a parent's tears. Now remember the creeds and catechisms you have been forgetting. Now take up the neglected gospel, and act on memory's voice, however faint ; that you may at length embrace and ever hold fast the blessed truths delivered to you, and obtain everlasting life.
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost : teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you : and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
IN tracing out the general beneficial tendency of Christianity on all the highest interests of mankind, we have considered some of the chief features of our Religion in the mystery of Redemption ;' in the application of that mystery to the human heart;' and in several particulars of its effects on the Christian life and conduct. 3
We now come to THE LAST MAIN DIVISION of our plan, The consummation towards which Christi. anity is, as we humbly trust, advancing,—the conversion of the world.
And in entering upon this, the topic first presented for consideration naturally is, The commission
Sermons I to VI.
3 Sermons VII to XII. 3 Sermons XIII to XVIII.
given by our Savior for the universal propagation of the gospel ; which will lead us to notice, the Authority from which the commission proceeds; the Manner in which it is to be executed ; the Promise of all needful succor given to those engaged in the work.
I. The authority from which the commission proceeds, is no other than the universal dominion of our Lord after his resurrection from the dead. “Jesus came and said unto them, All power is given unto me in heaven and earth.”
This is a point of the last moment. To attempt to propagate a religion without adequate authority from Almighty God, would be presumptuous as well as hopeless. We look around upon the Heathen and Mohammedan world. We see five-sixths of the human family in the bonds of Idolatry and superstition, degraded by an unnatural system of castes, involved in all the laws, usages, civil polity, social state, domestic ties, descent of property, governments, historical traditions of the natives. the number and power of an immensely numerous Heathen and Mohammedan priesthood, whose worldly interests, like those of Demetrius and his craftsmen, are linked with the subsistence of their false religion. We know the depravity of the human heart, and the peculiar tenacity with which it adheres to error and sensuality, and repels any scheme of spiritual and holy doctrine. We call to mind the metaphysical subtilties of Hindooism, its transmigration of souls, its all-pervading pantheism, the impure and corrupting legends of its Deities, the maddening festivals which divide the periods of the year, and excite to frenzy the passions and vices of the enslaved multitude. We turn to the fierce bigotry of the Mohammedan, his intolerable pride and hatred of the Christian name, the vices mixed up inseparably
with his creed, the sword which he is encouraged to unsheath, and the sensual paradise to which he is bidden to aspire.
When we place all these obstacles before us, and connect with them the small number of Christians of every class, scattered as governors, colonists, ministers of religion, missionaries, &c. over the heathen world; the timidity of too many, and the selfishness and indifference of more; the false policy which so often withholds the full protection and aid which Christian governments should render to our peaceful religion; the secret infidelity and open profaneness which sap in numbers the first principles of religious feeling; the small amount of funds raised, and the paucity of laborers sent out for the great undertaking; and the comparatively slight impression which has been made during a number of ages on the mass of the Pagan and Mohammedan popu. lations—we way well pause and ask ourselves, on what grounds we can reasonably continue to cherish the expectations, and lavish the lives and property, involved in the propagation of Christianity in distant and insalubrious lands?
The first part of our reply is found in that branch of the commission given by our Lord, which we are now, considering.
Our Savior, risen from the dead, is exalted to the right hand of the Father with “power and great glory." There he sits “ Head over all things to the Church ;" there he abides in his supreme mediatorial majesty, “angels and principalities and powers being made subject unto him." All power, authority, dominion and majesty in heaven and earth are committed to him. He is “heir of all things.”
In his divine nature, as one with the Father, our Lord had, indeed, possessed from eternity, glory and majesty; all the attributes and dignity of the only. begotten Son. He was "in the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God;" he was “the Word that was with God and was God; he upheld all things by the word of his power.” He was “the brightness of his Father's glory and the express image of his person;" he was, in short, “Jehovah ;" the "mighty God ;” “God over all blessed for ever.”
But "for us men and our salvation,” he had “made himself,” for a time, “of no reputation ;" he had taken upon him “the form of a servant; and being found in fashion as a man, he had humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Here was a voluntary descent from an exalted and glorious previous condition, to one of humiliation and suffering. He was born of a poor virgin. He “endured the contradiction of sinners against himself.” At last, in the garden of Gethsemane, and on the altar of the Cross, he offered himself as a sacrifice for the sins of men.
In consequence of this sacrifice and the reconcili. ation thereby effected, he was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father the third day; and received the Mediatorial kingdom and throne, which he now possesses, for the further accomplishment of the designs of his redemption. He has now all power and authority given to him, as Mediator, to be exercised in furtherance of the purposes of his incarnation and death in our stead. “ The Lord hath declared the decree, Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance and the uttermost part of the earth for thy possession.”
These two kinds of glory and power possessed by our Lord, are to be well noted--the original, which he had as one with the Father before the world was ; the derived, which he received as the reward of his obedience unto death. Both are now united in his person as God and Man, exalted to the throne of Mediatorial dominion and power.