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The Good Shepherd.

The Good Shepherd.

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Published by glennpease
BY James DeKoven

{Preached at an Ordination in 1863.)

"I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life
for the sheep." — St. John x. 11.
BY James DeKoven

{Preached at an Ordination in 1863.)

"I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life
for the sheep." — St. John x. 11.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 09, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE GOOD SHEPHERD.BY James DeKoven{Preached at an Ordination in 1863.)"I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His lifefor the sheep." — St. John x. 11.Blessed and full of comfort is the contemplation of our dear Lord in all the aspects in which He presentsHimself to our adoring gaze. There is no one, however,which seems to have such power to cheer and to sustainas the thought of Him as the Good Shepherd.We think of the quiet fold shielded from storm andfrom harm, where no foes assail, no ravening beasts canenter, where His watchful eye never sleeps, His protectinglove ever defends. We see the flock passing forth in thesunshine of the early morning. He goes before, and theyfollow. Each tone of His voice they know and heed.By His hand He leads the sorrowing, in His bosom Hebears the lambs. Still are the waters, green are the pas-tures, peaceful the pathway.There is another vision: who has not seen it? Thepoor wandering sheep who leaves the fold behind, whocares not for the pleasant pastures, and goes forth aloneDigitized byGoogle20 SERMOS.and unfriended into the weary waste beyond. Darknessand night and storm overtake him. Amid rocks andcrags and the gloom of the mountains he stumbles andfalls. The shadow of death is over him. But lo! theShepherd is seeking him. He has left the ninety and nine
in the wilderness, that He may find the one that has goneastray. Darkness nor storm nor the gloom of the moun-tains impedes Him. Tenderly He bends over him, gentlyHe lifts him, lovingly He bears him from the howlingwaste, from the dreary night, on His shoulders, rejoicing,into the fold again, while the angels sing alleluias.Loving as all this is, the text reveals to us the GoodShepherd as still more gracious and merciful. He laysdown His life for the sheep. And here the analogy failsus ; no comparison can adequately express this marvelouslove. Before us rises the wondrous reality. We see theuplifted cross, we behold a bleeding and dying Saviour — the thorn-crowned brow, the pierced hands ; the words of mercy sound in our ears. And on that vision, from everyland and every clime, from every age and every genera-tion, sin-stricken, heart-broken, penitent souls are gazing,and as they gaze are healed.The revelation of our Blessed Lord as the Good Shep-herd is the revelation of Him as the perfect Priest.Whatsoever the Good Shepherd does for the sheep in thefold or out of it, as He lovingly protects them or morelovingly seeks them, is only the type of what our BlessedLord does, as the great High Priest of our profession, forthe flock of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Letus, then, briefly dwell upon the priestly life of our Lord onearth and in heaven.Consider, first of all, how long was the preparation forDigitized byGoogleTHE GOOD SHEPHERD. 21a ministry which, when counted as mortals reckon time,was so brief. Thirty years of preparation for three yearsof ministerial work. Perfect God as well as perfect man,with all the consciousness of what He was, with the fore-
knowledge of all that was to come, patiently and meeklyII 3 could yet dwell in that humble home at azareth andwait for the appointed time. Consider, too, regarded hu-manly, the character of the preparation. It was life-long.From that hour when angels sang their carols, from thattime when aged Simeon uttered his unc dimittis, throughboyhood and youth unbroken save by that mystical abid-ing in the Temple when His father and mother soughtHim sorrowing. He increased in wisdom and stature,6ver advancing onward to the hour that was to come.And surely we may reverently conclude that this must bethe example of the best preparation forthejpiiestly life.Marvelous is the power of God's grace. It is confined byno mortal bounds. It overleaps oftentimes even its ap-pointed channels. From every walk in life and everyprofession, from every age and period of existence, fromthe very depth of godlessness, from sin and shame, by itstransforming and converting power, it may summon thosewho are bidden to do the work of God. It can changeSaul the persecutor into Paul, first of penitents and chief of Apostles. It can transform Augustine the sinner intoAugustine the saint. It can make even the thief uponthe cross become a preacher of repentance to the dyingsoul of his impenitent brother. But, true as this is, suchcases are the exception ; they became what they becamenot because of what they were, but through the miraculouspower of grace in spite of it. It is a narrow and unspir-itual theory which believes that worldly employment, andDigitized byGoogle22 SERMOXaworldly cares, and a life more or less given up to things of earth, with the species of knowledge of men so obtained,are the best preparation for the ministerial life. Wis-dom is a gift of God. Counsel, ghostly strength andknowledge, are graces of the Blessed Spirit. They mustbe given, in all their fullness and in all their power, to the

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