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The Reward of Overcoming

The Reward of Overcoming

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Published by glennpease

BY SAMUEL WILBERFORCE



REVELATION iii. 1113.
" BEHOLD, I COMB QUICKLY : HOLD THAT FAST WHICH THOU

HAST, THAT NO MAN TAKE THY CROWN. HlM THAT OVER-
COMETH WILL I MAKE A PILLAR IN THE TEMPLE OF MY
GOD, AND HE SHALL GO NO MORE OUT : AND I WILL WRITE
UPON HIM THE NAME OF MY GOD,

BY SAMUEL WILBERFORCE



REVELATION iii. 1113.
" BEHOLD, I COMB QUICKLY : HOLD THAT FAST WHICH THOU

HAST, THAT NO MAN TAKE THY CROWN. HlM THAT OVER-
COMETH WILL I MAKE A PILLAR IN THE TEMPLE OF MY
GOD, AND HE SHALL GO NO MORE OUT : AND I WILL WRITE
UPON HIM THE NAME OF MY GOD,

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 10, 2013
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THE REWARD OF OVERCOMIG
BY SAMUEL WILBERFORCEREVELATIO iii. 1113." BEHOLD, I COMB QUICKLY : HOLD THAT FAST WHICH THOUHAST, THAT O MA TAKE THY CROW. HlM THAT OVER-COMETH WILL I MAKE A PILLAR I THE TEMPLE OF MYGOD, AD HE SHALL GO O MORE OUT : AD I WILL WRITEUPO HIM THE AME OF MY GOD, AD THE AME OF THECITY OF MY GOD, WHICH IS EW JERUSALEM, WHICH COMETHDOW OUT OF HEAVE FROM MY GOD : AD I WILL .WRITEUPO HIM MY EW AME. HE THAT HATH A EAR, LETHIM HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT SAITH UTO THE CHURCHES."T17E are met together here, my brethren, before* God, to a great work upon a great day. Thegreatness, moveover, of the day, and the greatnessof the work, are connected closely with each other.The day is in many respects the crowning feast of the whole Christian year. Advent, Christmas, Easter,even the Ascension Day itself all lead on to this,and centre in it. To-day the Holy Ghost was givenus; to-day was poured forth upon the waiting bandof trembling disciples, that which knit them into theglorious unity of Christ s living Church. So vastwas the gift, then, that it was even expedient that theChrist should go away to send it upon them. "Without to-day s blessing, we were of all men most miserable. Our greater knowledge could only provide fora Consecration of the Hon. and Eev. R. Eden, May, 1847.92 The Reward of Overcoming. [SERM.our deeper guilt : the very coming of the Lord wouldbut ensure our greater condemnation. For withoutthis gift of the Spirit there could be no single saint,no body of the sanctified. The presence of theSpirit is the only means whereby any separatesoul is indeed renewed; His indwelling is theChurch s life.
 
Here, then, we may see the close connexion between the day on which we meet and the work which has brought us together. For that there isa Church of Christ on earth at all, is the fruit of the Spirit s working : it is upon this that all thereality and life of any of her offices depends ; without it her Sacraments were empty mocking rites,her ministry a fond deceitful superfluity. Thatministry of reconciliation is not an empty name,because through it the Spirit works ; therefore ispreaching not in vain, therefore absolution valid,therefore the sacraments real, therefore do we preachthe word, baptize, confirm, administer the Eucharist,and in one and all bear our witness of the resurrectionof the Lord, because the Holy Ghost is given; because He dwells within the Church, and throughthese outward things received in faith, even frominstruments so weak as we are, worketh accordingto His mighty power, who is over all, God blessedfor ever.And we are met on this great anniversary to provide for the continuance of this ministry. Again,to-day, the lot of God takes one of our brethrento bear this great and dangerous charge ; again, to-ix.] The Reward of Overcoming. 93day, "must one be ordained to be a witness withus of Christ s resurrection;" to-day another link isto be looped on to that chain which reaches fromChrist s open tomb even to His throne of glory ;to-day this ancient bishopric is to be filled ; to-daythe line lengthened on; another added to that company, in which some names already are as the starsof God, shining for ever and ever, one put inwho, God grant it, may through His grace standbeside them, and wear a crown like them, in thatcoming day.ow before we engage in this work, my brethren,it seems to me that I cannot do better (insteadof distracting your minds by arguments about whatwe are about to do) than try to lead your thoughts
 
and my own to meditate upon a few of those greatrealities which concern us all, laity alike and clergy.For this community of charge and duty is signallybrought out in these addresses to the seven Churches,from Him who walketh in the midst of the sevengolden candlesticks : they every one begin with anaddress to the angel or bishop of the Church, asthough the message specially belonged to him ; theyall end by a general application to the whole body ;"he that hath an ear let him hear what the Spiritsaith unto the Churches."That therefore, which belongs to the Church atlarge, belongs first and with a specialty of application to him who is set to rule over it. Its dangers,its infirmities, its strength, its end, are his. Theyare gathered up in him : this, as we shall see94 The Eeward of Overcoming. [SEEM.anon, is the heavy burden of the episcopate. But tolead us on to this, let us note well the particularsof this message as it applies to all of us. Clearlythey are these. First, the Person of Christ incarnate, crucified, dead, risen, ascended, returning, is tobe the root of all our life. " Behold /come quickly."Thy faith must be in a person, not in a dogma.To each one this is the message. Time is short;life is ebbing ; Christ is coming ; the Christian islifting that thick blinding curtain of the present ; itis lifted ; He is just before thee ; hear Him speakingto thee ; see Him looking on thee ; remember Hecometh to judge thee. What thou hast, thou hastit from Him, He has given it to thee : thy baptism,thy call, thy drawings unto Him, thy gifts of grace,thy nourishment, all is from Him : thy very life isHis : thy hope, thy crown, all is from Him. Think on Him, and hold it fast. The person of the Christapprehended, believed in, cleaved to, ever-present,this is the very basis of the Christian life in eachone of His.And then see next what is the character of thatlife, of which this is the basis: "Him that over-cometh will I make a pillar in the Temple of My

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