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The Message of Peace

The Message of Peace

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

GEORGE HOWARD WILKINSON, D.D.

" He is ready to receive us."


GEORGE HOWARD WILKINSON, D.D.

" He is ready to receive us."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Mar 09, 2013
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03/09/2013

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THE MESSAGE OF PEACE
GEORGE HOWARD WILKINSON, D.D." He is ready to receive us."Whatever be the instrumentality by which AlmightyGOD thus manifests Himself whether it be throughthe Sacraments of the Church, or the clergy, or theHoly Scriptures, or the ordinary events of our life,the Eternal FATHER does not force upon us the recognition of this eternal and invisible kingdom. Themode of the " revelation " is such that the ordinarysuperficial observer may see nothing of that eternalglory which GOD is manifesting to His saints. Hemay see nothing beyond the outward and visiblesurroundings of that invisible glory ; nothing beyondwhat is commonplace, ordinary, unattractive, or evenrepulsive.To-day, I wish to illustrate this truth, recognizingthe difficulty of the subject ; feeling how, by one ill-chosen word, the preacher may seem an irreverentmessenger of the Most High ; yet believing that itis of vital importance in the present day that thetruth should be simply and clearly set forth. Depending, therefore, upon the Blessed Spirit s enlighteningand restraining grace praying that whatever is saidamiss may be overruled by His almighty powerI desire this morning to show you how this principleis illustrated in that great " revelation " of GOD whichhas been given to us, once and for ever, in the Personof JESUS CHRIST." GOD, Who at sundry times and in divers mannersspake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,hath in these last days spoken unto us by His SON.""Goo was manifest in the flesh." (Heb. i. i, 2 ; iTim. iii. 16.)Observe the point with which we are concerned.It is not the thought of the wondrous condescensionof GOD the marvel that GOD was ever " manifest inthe flesh " that man was ever permitted to seeWHOM YE J^NOW 3(OT 5his Creator, veiled in a creature-form. It is not inthat aspect that I am considering the Incarnation of our LORD JESUS CHRIST to-day. The truth which Iwish to help you to consider is this : that when theLORD GOD did thus assume the creature form whenGOD was thus manifest in the flesh the outwardappearance was so ordinary, the outward words wereso simple, the outward acts so commonplace, that Hecould stand in the midst of the Church of that day
 
unrecognized !It is perfectly true that, whenever it was necessary,He asserted the fact that He and His FATHER wereone. It is perfectly true that, whenever it was necessary, He said words like these : " For this end I wasborn, and for this cause came I into the world, thatI should bear witness unto the truth": "Hereafter yeshall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of GOD " : " Thou sayest that I am a King " : " Verily,verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."Whenever it was necessary, the LORD JESUS CHRISTasserted that He was very GOD. And it is also truethat there was something in Him there were flashesof light breaking forth continually from behind the cloudof the humanity which gradually enabled those whowere with Him to rise up to the conception of HisDivinity ; to say, " Thou art the SON of GOD " : " MyLORD and my GOD." Those who had ears to hear,heard ; those who had their eyes opened to see, saw.But the mass of the people of Israel saw in Him nobeauty that they should desire Him. They put Himaside. It was so commonplace ! If He had beenreared in the courts of a Pharaoh, if He had only wornraiment of camel s hair, like John the Baptist, andstood alone in the wilderness, then crowds wouldprobably have been attracted, and would have con-6 THE MSSS^GE OF TEACEsidered Him to be the Messiah. It was the ordinarycommonplace exterior which made those proud Israelites,those self-satisfied teachers, those worldly-minded people,entirely lose sight of the fact that they had in the midstof them One Who was very GOD, GOD of GOD,Light of Light.Now, my brethren, we are very ready to condemnthe Jews in this matter. May I ask you for a fewmoments to try to realize the condition of Israel whenJESUS CHRIST appeared in their midst ?If any of you have ever travelled in Palestine, bringit back to your mind this morning ; or, by the help of any book of travels, try to make up for your absence inbody by going in thought to that sacred spot. Try torealize the actual facts as to the outward appearance of such a man as JESUS CHRIST was when He was uponearth ; try to throw yourselves into the condition of thepersons among whom JESUS CHRIST was living ; andthen transfer those surroundings, in imagination, to thisnineteenth century.Let us try to picture it. Let us go away from thisLondon to our country home, and in the village closeby a village with nothing remarkable about it except
 
that the character of the people is so bad that it is aproverb in the country, "Nothing good comes out of that Nazareth " there is a carpenter and his wife ; good,honest people, living quiet lives, regular at church,working at the big house of the village from time totime ; bringing, as years roll on, a little child withthem ; training him gradually so that he becomes knownin the neighbourhood as " the carpenter," or the " carpenter s son," working with his father. We becomeinterested in the boy as he increases in wisdom andstature. He is growing. He is cleverer than otherboys. When he went to the country town, to a publicWHOM YEcatechizing of all the children in the Sunday schools,the teachers were quite surprised at the answers thathe gave ; they were astonished at his understandingand his answers. He has now come home again ;years are rolling on. He is " a remarkable child,"nothing more. So, silently and quietly, that boy growsup, in that poor home, in that wicked village, for thirtyyears.Now, dear brethren, try to realize all that I havebeen sketching. Follow the line of thought fill inthe sketch for yourselves. See Him sitting there bythe well-side, very tired, waiting for some of His friendswho have gone into yonder village to buy Him food ;hear Him asking for a drop of water from a poorwoman who has come to draw water from the well.Follow Him thus, all through, to the end.And then, in some measure realizing it all by thinkingof our own home and village, and the village carpenter of the nineteenth century, I ask you to consider how verytrying it would have been to us if He had come into themidst of England to-day, and said, " The entire politicsof England are wrong ! " Or, suppose He had comeinto this church to me, the preacher, and said, "Thewhole doctrine that you are giving out in the Nameof GOD is false ; you are binding burdens on othersthat you are not carrying yourself ; you are teachingthat which you have devised out of your own mind,and not by the revelation of heaven." Suppose thisvillage boy, this carpenter whom we have seen ineveryday life, coming to do the work of the house,this man who had never known "letters," though" the common people heard Him gladly," who waswithout any of the right to rule, which is the hereditaryprivilege of the great and the noble ; this man whohad never been at college, with no university education,8 THE MESSAGE OF TEACE

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