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All-sufficiency of Christ.

All-sufficiency of Christ.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. A. L. STONE, D. D.,


FAREWELL SERMON DELIVERED IN PARK STREET CHURCH,
FEBRUARY 4, 1866.

. . . BUILT UPON THE FOUNDATION OF THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF BEING THE CHIEF CORNER-STONE. — Eph. U. 20.
BY REV. A. L. STONE, D. D.,


FAREWELL SERMON DELIVERED IN PARK STREET CHURCH,
FEBRUARY 4, 1866.

. . . BUILT UPON THE FOUNDATION OF THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF BEING THE CHIEF CORNER-STONE. — Eph. U. 20.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 08, 2014
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ALL-SUFFICIECY OF CHRIST. BY REV. A. L. STOE, D. D., FAREWELL SERMO DELIVERED I PARK STREET CHURCH, FEBRUARY 4, 1866. . . . BUILT UPO THE FOUDATIO OF THE APOSTLES AD PROPHETS, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF BEIG THE CHIEF CORER-STOE. — Eph. U. 20. THE firmness and security of a building depend not so much upon what we can see of the structure as upon the parts which are mainly hidden and unseen. As we approach from a distance, the pile may look fair and stately, with broad front and lofty walls and crowning turret and tower, and we may be ready to pronounce it massive and strong. But we cannot know whether it be so in truth until we have come nearer, and have examined that lowlier and less visible part upon which the super- structure rests. The strength of the edifice is not in lofty wall or decorated porch or crowning dome, but in the foundation. When all the materials are piled aloft, when the tempest rocks it and the earthquake heaves, it stands only if the foundation be solid and unyielding. And the foundation, too, is distinguished into parts, both for its honor and its security, its glory and crown. The corner-stones take the chief burden of the super- incumbent mass. To them the foundation lines are 280 ALL-SUFFICIECY OF CHRIST. clamped and joined. In their steadiness the whole is un- shaken. Among these, one is "Chief," the Head Stone of the corner, the Key of that compacted strength, of cost-
 
liest material and most careful workmanship, to whose setting in its place is gathered whatsoever can do it grace and reverence, to whose keeping are confided the treasured memorials which are to be preserved unto coming ages and generations. The scriptural Church as- a whole, and so with each particular church, both as a vital part and as a represen- tative of the whole, is described as a building, a living temple fitly framed together, resting on a certain definite foundation with one chief corner-stone. That foundation is nothing laid by the hand of man, or found within the compass of man's nature and capacity. It is what God revealed to prophets and apostles, w^hat he gave them to know and to build upon, the truth and the life which they experience and to which they bear witness, themselves as witnesses to the words and works of their Lord. And the Head of the corner is that Stone elect and precious, which the pride of the builders rejected, but on which God has built his Church so firm that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." That rock is Christ. In him the foundations meet in unity and strength. In him the whole building is compacted. o forces of nature, not all the powers on earth or beneath, can overturn a structure so founded. We have, then, from our Scripture this cheering and comforting truth, — the all-sufficiency of Christ for his Church. ALL-SUFFICIECY OF CHRIST. 281 There will be in our communion at this time so much that belongs simply to the occasion, to be said, that we must pass briefly and rapidly over points that were worthily dwelt upon with largest treatment.
 
And I remark, in the first place, that we find enough in Christ for the doctrine of the Church. The Church must have a doctrine. It will live only as it holds living truth. Its conquests are victories over minds. It gains and holds its subjects not by the terrors and constraints of power, the sword in one hand, the ke3's of destiny here and here- after in the other. It has to persuade men, to secure the convictions of their souls, to show them something to be- lieve, on which the longing and inquiring heart can rest. And it brings forth this grand compendium of its teach- ing, — " God manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." Here are height and length and breadth and depth. "It is a broad land of wealth unknown." There is no narrowness here to disap- point and fret the exploring mind. There are background and forcOTound to this truth. Touch it at whatever point, come upon it in whatever aspect, and you are led off either way into the Infinite. It is not a little round of human working, or of earthly moralities in Avhich the preacher of this doctrine treads. He need not be com- passionated of the reformers and the philosophers because he is shut up to the doctrine of Christ. If he determine not to know anything, as a religious teacher, but Jesus Christ and him crucified, he is no captive in a cell that denies him range of feet and thought. The universe of 24* 282 ALL-SUFFICIECY OF CHRIST. God's nature, God's government, and God's providence, the eternity of God's purposes, the everlasting principles of justice and right compacted in law, the wonders of re- demptive mercy and vicarious love, the marshalling of human histories in all their annals of blood and crime and heroic achievement, their dark shades and their light shades, their progressive civilizations, their painful experi- ments, their sciences and philosophies and acts as tributary

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