A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Morning, November 12, 1871, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington. 8/22/2011*8/22/2011
He has set a tabernacle for the sun in them, which is like a bridegroom coming out of his room, and rejoices like a strong man to run a race. His going out is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit to its ends: and there is nothing hidden from its heat. (Psalms 19:4-6)
The Sun of righteousness. (Malachi 4:2)
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1. We should feel quite justified in applying the language of the nineteenth Psalm to our Lord Jesus Christ from the simple fact that he is so frequently compared to the sun; and especially in the passage which we have given you as our second text, in which he is called “the Sun of Righteousness.” But we have a higher justification for such a reading of the passage, for you will remember that, in the tenth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul, slightly altering the words of this psalm, applies them to the gospel and its preachers. “Have they not heard?” he said, “Yes, truly, their sound went into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” So that what was here spoken of as the sun by David, is referred by Paul to the gospel, which is the light streaming from Jesus Christ, “the Sun of Righteousness.” We can never err if we allow the New Testament to interpret the Old: comparing spiritual things with spiritual is a good mental and spiritual exercise for us; and I feel, therefore, that we shall not be guilty of straining the text at all when we take the language of David in relationship to the sun, and use it in reference to our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Do your hearts not often say, “What shall we do, or what shall we say to render honour to our Redeemer?” Have you not often felt confounded concerning what offering you shall bring to him? If you had been possessor of all the worlds, you would have laid them at his feet; if the universe had been your inheritance, you would cheerfully have resigned it to him, and felt happy in stripping yourself of everything, so that he might be rendered the more glorious by your sacrifice. Since you do not have all this wealth, have you not again and again asked of your soul,
Oh what shall I do,
My Saviour to praise?
I would write the best of poems if I could extol him so, but the faculty is not in me; I would sing the sweetest of songs, and compose the most melting music, if I could, and consider art, and wit, and music exalted by being handmaidens to him; but, how shall I adore him, before whom the best music on earth must be only discord; and how shall I magnify him whose very skirts are bright with insufferable light? At such times you have looked through the whole world to find metaphors to heap upon him; you have culled all the fair flowers of nature, and made them into garlands to cast at his feet, and you have gathered all earth’s gems and precious things by which to crown his head, but you have been disappointed with the result, and have cried out with our poet: —
The whole creation can afford
But some faint shadows of my Lord;
Nature, to make his beauties known,
Must mingle colours not her own.
At such times, while ransacking land, and sea, and sky for metaphors, you have probably looked upon the sun, and have said: “This great orb, the lord of light and lamp of day, is like my Saviour; it is the faint image of his excellent glory whose countenance shines as the sun in its strength.” You have done well to seize on such a metaphor. What Milton calls the golden tressed sun is the most glorious object in creation, and the fulness of glory dwells in Jesus; the sun is at the same time the most influential of existences, acting upon the whole world, and truly our Lord is, in the deepest sense, “of this great world both eye and soul”; he “with beneficial ray sheds beauty, life, and joys from above.” The sun is, moreover, the most enduring of creations; and by this it is also a type of him who remains from generation to generation, and is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. The king of day is so vast and so bright that the human eye cannot bear to gaze upon it; we delight in its beams, but we would be blinded should we continue to peer into its face; even yet more brilliant is our Lord by nature, for as God he is a consuming fire, but he condescends to smile upon us with milder beams as our brother and Redeemer. Jesus, like the sun, is the centre and soul of all things, the fulness of all good, the lamp that illuminates us, the fire that warms us, the magnet that guides and controls us; he is the source and fountain of all life, beauty, fruitfulness, and strength; he is the fosterer of tender herbs of penitence, the quickener of the vital sap of grace, the ripener of fruits of holiness, and the life of everything that grows within the garden of the Lord. Whereas to adore the sun would be idolatry; it would be treason not to worship ardently the divine Sun of Righteousness.
3. Jesus Christ is the great, the glorious, the infinitely blessed; even the sun fails to describe him; but, since it is one of the best metaphors we can find, it is ours to use it today. We will think of Jesus as the Sun this morning; first as in the text; secondly, as he is to us; and then, thirdly, for a few minutes, we will bask in his beams.
4. I. First, then, we will contemplate JESUS AS THE SUN IN THE TEXT.
5. Notice how the passage begins: “He has set a tabernacle for the sun in them.” Kings were accustomed in their pompous parades through their dominions to have canopies of splendour borne aloft over them, so that marching in the midst of their glittering soldiery they were themselves the main attraction of the gorgeous pageant. Our Lord Jesus Christ in his church is, as it were, traversing the heavens in a majestic tabernacle, and, like the sun, scattering his beams among men. The Redeemer is canopied by the adoration of his saints, for he “inhabits the praises of Israel.” He is from day to day advancing in his glorious marchings through the universe, conquering and to conquer, and he will journey onward until the age shall terminate, and the gospel era shall be closed by his second advent. When the text says that there is a tabernacle set for the sun in the firmament, we are reminded of Christ as dwelling in the highest heavens. He is not only the Christ of ancient history, but he is the Christ of today. Do not think always of him as the lowly man despised and rejected, as nailed to the cross, or buried in the tomb; he is not here, for he is risen, but he still exists, not as a dream or phantom, but as the real Christ. Do not doubt it, for up there, in the seventh heaven, the Lord has set a tabernacle for the Sun of Righteousness. There Jesus resides in inconceivable splendour, the joy and glory of all those blessed spirits who, having believed in him on the earth, have come to see him in the heavens.
Bright, like a sun, the Saviour sits,
And spreads eternal noon;
No evenings there, nor gloomy nights,
To want the feeble moon.
6. That Jesus lives is a deep well of consolation for the saints, and if we always remembered it our hearts would not be troubled. If we always remembered that Jesus both lives and reigns; our joys would never wither. We worship him, it is true, as one who was slain and has redeemed us to God by his blood; but we also extol him as one who is “alive for evermore, and has the keys of death and of hell.”
7. Let your faith today see Jesus sitting at the right hand of God, even the Father. He sits there because his atoning work is done, and he is receiving the infinite reward which his Father promised him. He is exalted as a king upon his throne, waiting until his enemies are made his footstool. He lives within his tabernacle of praise, adored and admired by angels and glorified spirits. He sits there, not as a weary one, feeble and exhausted, but with the keys of universal monarchy at his belt, for “the government is upon his shoulder, and his name is called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God.” I want you to fully grasp the thought of the living Saviour, — of the Sun in his tabernacle in the highest heavens, for this must be the fulcrum upon which we shall work this morning. We shall get our leverage here: the living Saviour, the mighty Saviour, the reigning Saviour; he is the church’s joy and hope in the present and for all years to come.
8. The text proceeds to speak of Jesus as the sun, and describes him first as a bridegroom coming out of his room. A beautiful description indeed of the sun when it rises in the early morning. It comes out from the vast obscure darkness, as from within a secret room. It pulls back the veil of night, and floods the earth with fluid gold. From curtains of purple and vermilion, it looks out, and scatters orient pearl around it. Clad with a blaze of glory, it begins the race of day. So our Lord Jesus Christ when he rose from the dead, was as the sun unveiling itself. He came out from the sepulchre as a bridegroom from his room. Observe that dear name of bridegroom. The Lord of heaven and earth and between him and us there was an infinite distance, has condescended to take our humanity into union with himself of the most intimate kind. Among men, there is no more sure mode of making peace between two contending parties, than for a marriage to be established between them. It has often been done, and so wars have been ended, and alliances have been established. The Prince of Peace on heaven’s side condescends to be married to our nature, that henceforth heaven and earth may be as one. Our Lord came as the bridegroom of his church out of his room, when he was born by the virgin and was revealed to the shepherds and the wise men of the east; yet, in a certain sense, he still continued in his room as a bridegroom all his life, for he was hidden and veiled, the Jewish world did not know their king; though he spoke openly in their streets and did not conceal himself, yet he was unknown, they did not recognise him; and in some respects he did not desire to be recognised then, for he often asked his disciples to tell no man what was done. That was the time when the bridegroom was in his room, being made perfect through suffering and perfectly conformed to his church, bearing her sicknesses and her sorrows, suffering her needs, enduring her shame, and thus completing the marriage union between the two. To this end, he actually descended by dark steps of anguish into the silent inner room of the grave, and there he slept in his room, perfectly wedded to his church. Come and look at him, you who admire the lover of your souls; he stooped to death and the sepulchre, because manhood had fallen under their yoke; his church was subject to death, and he must die. She deserved to suffer the penally due to God’s insulted law, and, therefore, Jesus bowed his head to the stroke.
Yea, said the Son, with her I’ll go
Through all the depths of sin and woe;
And on the cross will even dare
The bitter pains of death to bear.
And he did bear them, and in the dark enclosure of the tomb, he proved how true a bridegroom he was to his church. Before his great race began, of which we are soon to speak, it behoved our mighty champion to descend into the lowest parts of the earth, and sleep among the dead. Before every day there is a night when darkness seems to triumph. It behoved Christ to suffer, and then to rise again. His descent was necessary for his ascent; his sojourn in the room to his race and victory.
9. Thus I have introduced to you the prelude to the race, the bridegroom in his room. Now observe its coming out. The sun comes out, at the appointed hour, from the gates of day, and begins to gladden the earth; even so on the third day, early in the morning, Jesus, our Lord, arose from his sleep, and there was a great earthquake, for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven and rolled back the stone from the door of the sepulchre. Then the Sun of Righteousness arose. Then the great Bridegroom came out from his room, and began his joyful race. It must have been a ravishing sight to have beheld the risen Saviour; well might the disciples hold him by the feet and worship him. I think, if ever angels sang more sweetly at one time than another, it must have been on that first Easter morning, when they saw the divine champion break his bonds of death asunder, and rise into the glorious resurrection life. Then he was revealed to the sons of men; and, no longer hidden: he began to tell his disciples the meaning of those enigmas which had been dark to them; things which they had not understood, which seemed inexplicable, were all opened up by him, for now was his time to come out of his room. His words, though plain enough, had previously hidden him even from those who loved him; but now he speaks no more in proverbs, but shows them openly concerning himself and the Father. He has laid aside the incognito in which he traversed the earth as a stranger, and he is now divinely familiar with his friends, inviting them even to touch his hands and his side. In his death the veil was torn, and in his resurrection the High Priest came out in his robes of glory and beauty. For a little while he was gone away, but he returned from the secret rooms of the ivory palaces, and showed himself to his disciples. Blessed were the eyes that saw him in that day.
10. Although during the forty days in which our Lord remained among his followers upon earth we may truly say that he had come out of his room, we perceive that he more fully did so when, after the forty days had been accomplished, he took his disciples to the top of Olivet, and there ascended into heaven, out of their sight. Then the sun had indeed ascended above the horizon to make his glories stream along the heavens. Do you not see the angelic bands poising themselves upon the wing in midair, waiting until he shall return all glowing with the victory won in long and deadly fight? Notice well that matchless spectacle as he is “seen by angels.”
The helmed cherubim
And sworded seraphim
Are seen in glittering ranks, with wings displayed.
They have hurried to meet the Prince of Glory, and attend him to his ancient patrimony. All the heavenly band are very glad to welcome back the Captain of the Lord’s host, and, therefore, they harp in loud and solemn choir to Heaven’s triumphant Heir. As for the glorified of the mortal race, redeemed of old by his blood which in the fulness of time was shed, they hail him with most joyous hymn, and lift up their sweetest symphonies to extol him who finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness. Then the bridegroom came out of his room with appropriate marriage music: his beauties hidden for awhile in the room, where he was regarded as without form or comeliness, blazed forth with renewed splendour, such as confounded both sun and moon.
11. In another respect, Christ came out of his room at his ascension, because, when he ascended on high, leading captives captive, he received and gave gifts for men. The gifts were intended for the revelation of himself. His church, which is his body, was by his own command still sitting in the room, waiting until power was given. But, suddenly, the bridegroom’s power was felt, for there was heard the sound as of a rushing mighty wind, which filled all the place, and then descending upon each favoured head came the cloven tongue, and, immediately, you could see that the bridegroom had come out of his room, for the multitude in the street began to hear his voice. It was Peter who spoke, we say, but far rather it was Christ, the bridegroom, who spoke through Peter. It was the sun, from the room of the east, bursting through the clouds, and beginning to shine on Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the inhabitants in Mesopotamia, and Rome, and Egypt, and making the multitudes in far off lands to see the day which prophets and kings had waited for, but which had never visited their eyes. Do you hear the joyful motion among the people, the joy mingled with the sorrows of repentance? This is the singing of birds, and these the dewdrops which hail the rising sun. The people cry, “What must we do to be saved?” — the shadows are fleeing. They believe in Jesus, and are baptized into his name, — the true light is shining. Three thousand souls are added in one day to the church, for truly the bridegroom is awakened as one out of sleep, and like a mighty man who shouts by reason of wine. (Psalms 78:65) Then was the gospel race started with a glorious burst of strength, such as only our champion could have displayed. Meditate at your leisure upon this first general revelation of our Lord to the general multitude. He had not gone out of Israel before. “I am not sent,” he said, “except to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” Palestine was his room: he went to its windows, and looked out on Tyre and Sidon wistfully; but he had not come out of his room until that day, when the gospel began to be preached to the Gentiles also, and in fulfilment of the gift of Pentecost, when the Spirit was poured out upon all flesh, the apostles went everywhere preaching the word. When even we, the inhabitants in the far off northern isles, received the gospel, then, indeed, the bridegroom had come out of his room.
12. But enough of this, or time will fail me. After the coming out, we have to consider in the text his course. The course of Jesus has been as that of the sun, or like that of a mighty champion girded for running.
13. Notice, under this point, his continuance. Our Lord’s gospel has been no meteor that flashed for a while and then passed away, but it has remained as the sun in the heavens. What systems of philosophy have come and gone since the Christ of God was lifted up on Calvary! What speculations, what lo-heres and lo-theres have shone forth, have dazzled fools, and have been quenched in night, since he left the room of his marriage! Yet he still continues the same; nor, brethren, are there any marks of decrepitude either in him or in his gospel. They tell us that the idolatry of Hindustan is evidently crumbling: it does not fall yet, but it is worm eaten through and through. It is equally sure that the false prophet holds only a feeble sway among his followers, and we can all see that although popery makes desperate efforts, and its extremities are vigorous, yet it is paralysed at its heart, and the Vatican is made to feel that its time of power is short.
14. As for the gospel, it wears the dew of its youth after almost two millennia of struggles; and it predominates most in those young nations which evidently have a future before them. The old systems are now most favoured by those nations which are left behind in the race of civilisation, but the peoples whom God has made quick by nature are those to whom he has given to be receptive of his grace. There are grand days coming for the church of God. Voltaire said that he lived in the twilight of Christianity; and so he did, but it was the twilight of the morning, not the twilight of the evening. Glory be to God, the little cloud the size of a man’s hand is spreading; it begins to cover the heavens, and the day is not far distant when the sound of abundance of rain shall be heard. Christ was not a strong man, who bounded out at a leap, and then exerted no more strength, but he rejoiced to continue his work, and to run his race. He was not a shooting star that sparkles for a moment, but a sun that shall shine throughout the livelong day.
15. Notice next in this metaphor the unity of our Lord’s course, for it is clear in the text: “Rejoicing like a strong man to run the race.” A race is one thing; there is the one goal, and the man gathers up his strength to reach it. He has nothing else to think about. They may throw the golden apples in his road, but he does not heed them; they may sound harp and sackbut to the right, and breathe the lute or sweeter instruments of music to the left, but he is deaf to all; he has a race to run, and he throws his whole strength into it. This is a fitting image of our Lord; he has never turned aside, he has never been compelled to retrace his steps, to revise his doctrine, to amend his system, or change his tactics. On, on, on has the course of Jesus been, shining more and more to the perfect day.
16. A certain people nowadays who still dare to call themselves Christians, are always hankering after something new, pining for novelties, and boasting about their new discoveries, though, truly, their new things are only fragments of broken images of heresies, which our fathers dashed to pieces centuries ago. The great thinkers of the present day are nothing more than mere translators — you know the London meaning of that word — buyers of old shoes who patch them up, and send them out again as if they were something new. Old shoes and clouted are common enough among those Gibeonites who would deceive Israel, and whose boast is that they have come from afar, and bring us treasures of wisdom from remote regions. Sirs, we do not need your new things, for our Lord’s race is the same as of old, and just as he continues in one course so also will we. To spread righteousness and, in so doing, to save sinners and to glorify God, this is the one purpose of Christ; he will never cease from it, and nothing shall ever tempt him from its pursuit. Look, I urge you, with pleasure and see how our Lord, from his first coming out of his room until now, has still continued in the gospel to shine out with rays of glory, without variableness or a shadow of turning. Though we do not believe, he remains faithful, he cannot deny himself; he does not change in work or way. For Zion’s sake he works so far, and the pleasure of the Lord prospers in his hand.
17. But now, observe next, the notable idea of strength which the text conveys to us. “Rejoicing like a strong man to run his race.” It is no drudgery the ascended Lord to carry on his cause;
The baffled prince of hell
In vain new efforts tries,
Truth’s empire to repel
By cruelty and lies;
Th’ infernal gates shall rage in vain
Conquest awaits the Lamb once slain.
There is a race to be run but Jesus is strong enough for it; he does not come panting up to the starting line, and then go creeping on, but like a strong man he surveys the course. He knows that he is equal to it, and, therefore, he delights in it. When he began his race he was opposed, but the opposition only made him triumph all the more readily, for “those who were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word.” When our Lord arose like the sun, the clouds were thick and heavy, but he painted their fleecy skirts with gold; persecution hung over the eastern horizon, but he turned it into the imperial purple of his sovereignty. As he pursued his course the ice of centuries melted, the dense gloom of ages disappeared. No chains could bind him, and no bonds could hold him. He dashed on with undiminished energy, and the gates of hell could not prevail.
18. Just as no cloud has ever stopped the sun since he has “whirled his chariot along the ethereal plain,” so no difficulties impeded the onward course of the gospel in the days of its dawning. To the first days of the church Thomson’s lines to the sun are fully applicable —
Now, flaming up the heavens, the potent sun
Melts into limpid air the high raised clouds,
And morning fogs, that hover’d round the hills,
In party coloured bands; till wide, unveil’d,
The face of nature shines, from where earth seems
Far stretch’d around, to meet the bending sphere.
The gospel soon shed its light in every land, and all nations felt its benign power. Men ceased to persecute, and bowed before the cross.
19. Immediately fresh clouds arose, and the church passed through them. Errors and heresies multiplied, filthy dreamers led away a huge apostasy, Rome became the mother of prostitutes and abominations, but the true church, and the true Christ within her, went right on. The church was no less triumphant in her second trial than in her first. Rome Papal was overcome as, surely as Rome Pagan. Popes were no more her conquerors than bloody emperors had been of yore. To the thoughtful eye the sun of Christ is no less bright over the valleys of Piedmont than over the waves of the sea which bore Paul and his fellow apostles. The champion’s race was as eager and as triumphant as before.
20. Since then, dense banks of spiritual deadness and false teaching have barred the visible heavens, and have appeared to mortal sight an ebony wall impenetrable as steel, but the Lord reigns. He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord has them in derision. His right hand is strong, and his enemies shall be broken. On goes the Sun of Righteousness, nothing impedes him, his tabernacle is above them all, he rides on the heavens, yes, he rides on the wings of the wind. Trust in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah there is everlasting strength. Christ has failed in nothing, the decrees have been executed, the eternal purposes have been fulfilled, the elect have been saved, his kingdom is established, and shall continue as long as the sun. Who shall restrain his hand? Who shall resist his will?
21. Observe, therefore, how the force is coupled with joy. Weakness brings sorrow, but strength fosters joy. Christ is always glad, and he would have his people rejoice, for his cause goes right on and he shall not fail nor be discouraged. He rejoices as he divides the spoil with the strong. When a man has a task to do which is easy for him, and which he can readily perform, he sings at his work; and so today Christ rejoices over his church with joy, and triumphs over her with singing. His cause goes on in spite of foes, and his strength is so great, that even the battle fills him with delight. I remember to have heard a Welsh preacher make use of the following simile. He was speaking of the joy of Christ in heaven, and he said, “You tell me that the church is sorrowful on earth and I tell you that Christ is joyous in heaven; and then you ask me how can this be? You see that mother with her babe, and she is washing the child; his face is filthy and she desires to see it shine with brightness, she would see it white as the marble mingled with the redness of the rose. Therefore she washes it; but the child cries, he is fretful and does not know what is good for him, so he whines and struggles; the mother does not cry, or share his sorrow, she keeps on singing because she knows that all is right, and that her darling will smile like a cherub when it is all over; she sees the good results coming, while the babe only feels the present discomfort, so she sings her song and never stops, let the child cry as he may.” And so the Lord Jesus has pleasure in his work; he is purifying his church, and making her fit to be presented to himself, and though she winces and laments, it is the flesh that makes her do so. The Lord still joyously sings because he sees the end from the beginning! Earth may be swathed in mist, but the sun is never so, it always shines gloriously.
22. The text mentions one other fact connected with Jesus as the sun, — “There is nothing hidden from its heat;” by which is meant, nothing is able to escape the powerful influence of Christ Jesus. His own chosen people must, in due season, feel his power to save. They may wander as they do, and sin as they may, but when the appointed time comes, they shall be redeemed out of the land of the enemy. The sun’s power is felt in the darkest and deepest mines; that there is a sun still shining might be discoverable even in the bowels of the earth! and so, in the darkest haunts of sin, God’s elect shall be made to feel the sovereign power and omnipotent grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. When you and I shall die, and when we shall be buried in the grave, we shall not be hidden there from the heat of this Sun of Righteousness, by and by he shall kindle life within our bones again; he shall create a soul within the ribs of death, and we shall spring upward as the grass, and as the willows by the watercourses, when the sun renews the year. Our dry bones shall live, and in our flesh we shall see God. Meanwhile, while the gracious operations of Christ so fall on all his elect, and there is nothing hidden from its heat, other operations are at work on all the sons of men. He rules in providence over all people, whether they believe in him or not, and if men do not accept the gospel, they are still affected by it in some way or other. Even the darkest parts of the world feel something of the presence of the Christ of God. Responsibility is heaped on those who hear about him and reject him; he becomes a savour of death to death where he is not a savour of life to life. There is nothing hidden from its heat. Oh, how this ought to encourage you Christian people to work! The Lord has gone before you; there is nothing hidden from the heat of his presence. Jesus is King of the darkest settlements of the heathen, and he reigns in the lowest haunts of London’s vice. Go there, for you are not intruders; you have a right to go anywhere in your Master’s dominions; and the earth is the Lord’s, and its fulness. Do not be afraid to face the vilest blasphemer, or the most foul mouthed infidel, for Christ is Master, and if you bring the gospel before his enemy, he will be made to feel its power, either to yield to it a willing submission, or else to be condemned by it. In either case, you shall have done your part, and uttered your testimony, and freed your head of his blood.
23. In these thoughts combined, we see Christ Jesus, the risen Saviour, pursuing his ever glorious course until he shall descend again the second time to take his people to himself to reign with him.
24. II. Very briefly indeed in the second place, let us think for a moment of JESUS AS A SUN TO US.
25. Worship and bless our Saviour, it is always fitting and proper to do so. Let him be extolled and be very high. Some would give him a secondary place, let it never be so with us. Just as the sun is the centre, so is Christ; just as the sun is the great motor, the first source of motive power, so is Christ to his people; just as the sun is the fountain from which light, life, and heat perpetually flow, so is the Saviour; just as the sun is the fructifier by which fruits multiply and ripen, so is Christ: and just as the sun is the regulator and rules the day, and marks the seasons, even so is Jesus acknowledged as Lord to the glory of God the Father.
26. Think these thoughts over in the following respects. When you take the Bible remember that Christ is the centre of the Scriptures. Do not put election in the centre; some do, and they make a one sided system. Do not put man in the centre, — some do, and they fall into grievous errors. Christ is the centre of the entire system of the gospel, and all will be seen to move with regularity when you perceive that he is the primary fixed point; you cannot be right in the rest unless you think rightly of him. He is the centre and King of all truth.
27. He is the centre of the Church too. Not the pastor, not the church itself, not any rule or government, no bishop, no priest, and no Pope can be our centre, Christ alone is our central sun. We follow as planets where he leads the way: around him we revolve, but we acknowledge no other Lord.
28. Let it be so in the world. Believe that even there Christ governs and is the centre of all history. You will understand history better when you know this, for this is the key of the world’s history, the reason for the rise and fall of empires. You shall understand all things when you know Emmanuel, God with us.
29. And let him have this place in your hearts. Enthrone him there! Establish him as the central sun, and let him rule your entire being, enlightening your understanding, warming your hearts, filling all your powers, passions, and faculties with the fulness of his presence. To have Christ in us, the hope of glory — oh, what blessedness! But let us take care that it is so, for we do not know Christ properly unless we give him such a place in our hearts as the sun occupies in God’s world.
30. III. But time fails me, and we must now pass on to the last point, and let us for a minute or two BASK IN HIS BEAMS. How shall we do it?
31. First, we must realise that he is. Sinner, saint, Christ lives: he who trod the wave of Galilee lives on. He who was marked with the nails rules on. Oh, sinner, does that not comfort you? The Saviour lives, the redeemer lives; he who forgives sins still lives. Saint, does this not comfort you? The man of the tender heart still lives, with a bosom still to be leaned upon, and with lips still ready to speak endearing words. There is a tabernacle for the sun; he is not extinct; he still shines, he still blesses. Bask in his beams, then, by realising that he is.
32. Then come and lay your souls beneath his divine influence. Oh my soul, if you are guilty come and rest in his atonement, if you are unrighteous come and take his righteousness. If you are feeble lay hold upon his strength. If you cannot pray accept him as yours intercessor. If you are in yourself nothing, take him to be your all in all. Some creatures delight to warm themselves in the sun, but oh, what a pleasure it is to sun ones self in the presence of Christ. Never mind how little I am, how nothing I am, how vile I am, how foul I am; all I am he has taken to himself, and all he has belongs to me. I sin, but he has taken all my sin: he is righteous and all his righteousness is mine. I am feeble, he is mighty; his mightiness is mine, I wrap myself in his omnipotence. Christ is all and Christ is mine. Why, I utterly fail when trying to talk about such things as these; talking is only stuttering on such a theme. Faith must enjoy rather than express her delight. Come, all of you plunge into this sea of sweetness, dive deep into this abyss of happiness — Christ Jesus is yours for ever and ever. The sun is very great but it is all for me, and Christ is very bright and glorious, but he is all my own.
33. Then next, if you wish to sun yourself in his beams, imbibe the joy of his strength. He is like a bridegroom rejoicing to run his race. Now, brothers and sisters, I am often afraid lest in serving God, we should grow dispirited and downcast, and think that things are not going on as they should. The joy of the Lord is your strength. If you begin to say, “Our cause is very feeble, the gospel will not prevail among us, you will slacken your efforts.” Do not so, but remember that Jesus Christ does not fret or grieve himself about his kingdom. He runs on full of strength and rejoices as he runs; and I ask you in the power of the Holy Spirit, to do the same. Cast away your doubts and fears, the kingdom is the Lord’s, and he will deliver his adversaries, into your hands. I fret and worry myself sometimes about these inventors of new doctrines, and those ritualists who bring up the old rags and stale tallow of the past ages. Let us fret no more, but think that these are only like the clouds to the great sun; the gospel will still proceed in its career. Let us laugh the enemies of God to scorn and defy them to their faces. They defy the Lord God of Israel as did the Philistines of old, but God himself is mightier than they, and the victory is sure to the true church and to the gospel of his Son. Be very courageous! Do not be alarmed with sudden fear! Trust in Jehovah, for the Lord will surely give to his own servants the victory in the day of battle.
34. And brethren, if you wish to sun yourselves in Christ’s beams, let me ask you to reflect his light whenever you receive it. He is the sun, and you are the planet, but every planet shines, shines with borrowed light. It conceals no light, but sends back to other worlds what the sun has given to it. Reflect back on men the light which Jesus gives you. Triumph in Christ’s circuit, that it is so broad as to comprehend the world, and encompass all time. Enlarge your own hearts, and let your light shine far and wide, believing that the power of God which gives you light will go with the light which you reflect. Comfort your hearts! “Be steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” Who shall stop the Christ of God in his race? Let him first go pull down the sun from its sphere. Who shall stop the champion of God who has girt himself for his race? Whoever comes in his way woe to him, for if Samson struck a thousand men hip and thigh, what shall our immortal Samson do? Let all the armies of pope and devil come against him, he will utterly defy them, and drive them like chaff before the wind.
35. Sing to his name, for he has triumphed gloriously! Begin the everlasting song, for he is the Lord and God, and he shall reign to the uttermost ages; yes, he is Priest and King for ever and ever.
36. May God bless you, for Christ’s sake. Amen.
[Portion Of Scripture Read Before Sermon — Psalms 19]
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