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The Personal Dominion of Christ.

The Personal Dominion of Christ.

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Published by glennpease

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever. —
Hebrews xiii. 8,

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever. —
Hebrews xiii. 8,

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Published by: glennpease on May 09, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE PERSOAL DOMIIO OF CHRIST. by THOMAS WHITTAKER. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever. — Hebrews xiii. 8, Eighteen hundred years ago St. Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians '*the fashion of this world passeth away," and all human history is an illustration of and a commentary upon the truth of his words. Change and decay are the order of human life, and things which are appar- ently immovable are not able to stand "'gainst the tooth of time and razure of oblivion." There are certain periods, however, in the his- tory of mankind, when the changes in society are exceptionally rapid and radical. Such a period was the fourth century of the Christian era, was the century of the Schoolmen, was the century of the Crusaders, was the century of the Reformation, and such a period seems to be this nineteenth century also, which has witnessed both more numerous and rapid if not more radi- cal changes, in certain directions at least, than any other period of equal duration in the whole previous history of mankind . 14 THE PERSOAL DOMIIO OF CHRIST. 15 aturally, therefore, at such a time as this, when so many and great changes are taking place in society, in the Church and in the State, when no change seems to surprise us any more, and we are only surprised if after the lapse of a
little while no great change occurs— naturally, I say, at such a time as this we are disposed to inquire what is there that will not change ; to which we can, in the midst of things that are passing away, with a feeling of security cling, and upon which we may with a proper con- fidence rest. It is in response to this line of inquiry that I will ask you this morning to con- sider, first, the fact itself, and then the signifi- cance of it, that, despite all the changes that have taken place in the past, that are taking place in the present, or that will take place in the future, Jesus Christ has been, is, and in my  judgment always will be, yesterday, to-day, and forever, the one abiding factor in the ever chang- ing economy of our human life. I do not mean to say, of course, that the speculative beliefs of man concerning Jesus Christ have been subject to no variation, or that there have been no changes in what is commonly called the world of reli- gious opinion, for in the face of facts that are patent to every intelligent observer, how could I 16 THE PERSOT^-AL DOMITTIOl^ OF CHRIST. or anyone trutlifiilly say that? Bii6 what I mean is this : The personal dominion of Christ over the hearts and consciences, over the lives of men, by all the changes that have taken place, has not been in the slightest measure disturbed, but has, on the contrary, strengthened and increased, and has widened more and more "with the process of the suns." This, I maintain, is a histori- cal fact. We do not need to prove it ; it is before our eyes ; we can see it ; in our immediate audience, we can hear its voice ; and with our
hands we can touch and handle and come into contact with it. The first disciples of Jesus had to walk by faith in him. His claim to a perjDetual dominion they had to take on trust, for he had not yet been lifted up in the sight of the world. His attract- ive power had not been widely felt ; it had not yet been proved. But to-day, it is not so neces- sary to walk by faith in Christ. And with the manifestations of his power throughout all civili- zation and around us on every hand, pervading our best political institutions, permeating our best social economy, leavening our literature, glorifying our art, inspiring our philanthropies, influencing more or less the whole broad move- THE PERSOAL DOMIIO OF CHRIST. 17 ment of our modern conduct, and emanating from a character wliicb, even after the lajDse of nearly nineteen centuries, is still regarded as the ideal life of the world, to-day we can walk by sight ; and the personal dominion of Jesus Christ, unexhausted by time, unweakened by social changes, unimpaired by political revo- lutions or ecclesiastical perversions, is before our eyes as an iinimpeachable fact. But then, it may be said, this after all is not an exceptional fact, for there are other religions in the world besides the Christian religion, older, some of them, and having more disciples. And that is true, but the influence exerted by those other religions is not the personal influence of their founders. They would, in fact, survive without their founders.

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