CHRIST THE HUSBA D OF HIS CHURCH REV. J. SHERMA .

For thy Maker is thine husband ; the Lord of Hosts is his name ; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel ; The God of the whole earth shall he be called." — Isaiah, liv. 5.

Both Testaments abound with striking metaphors, which exemplify and sec forth the dear and intimate union which subsists between Christ and those who compose his Church. Sometimes he calls them friends — as individuals to whom he communicates his secrets. Sometimes he calls them children — as partakers of the same inheritance with himself. Sometimes he calls them brethren — as descendants of the same common father, and inheritors of the same birtliright privileges. But no metaphor shows the tender and peculiar regard which Christ has to his Church, equal to the one in my text : " Thy Maker is thine husband." How gracious the condescension, how endearing the appellation ! That Christ, the glory of all worlds, should be united to a sinner, a worm, and declare in Inspired Writ that lie is the Husband, the protector, the guide, the friend, the near-allied associate of that sinner and that worm ! But, methinks, when I announced this passage as the text of the following discourse this morning, some broken spirit in this assembly, oppressed with its own guilt, and alarmed lest at any time it should presume on any portion of Holy Writ, desiring this maybe a day of espousals, when the heart maybe lifted and united to the Lord Jesus — some spirit inquired to-day, as I announced these words, " Ah ! but to whom are these words spoken? To whom are they to be applied? May /venture to lay hold on them ? Does the passage belong to me, and all the interesting details, are they mine?" Bear with me while I answer that question. Unquestionably the primary application of this passage, is to the Jewish Church, whom our Lord had betrothed to himself as his peculiar people, above all nations on the face of the earth. ow the Prophet, in the commencement of this chapter, promises this Church a great enlargement by the addition of the Gentiles, so that she should " stretch forth the curtains of her habitations, lengthen her cords, and strengtlien her stakes." But she said within herself, " I am so desolate ; I am like a captive removing to and fro : I am now in Babylon ; and I see myself so reduced from my former prosperity and honour — how can I hope these promises will be fiilfilled in my experience ?" The Prophet immediately leads her to the grounds on which she might hope that the Gentiles would be united to her, and that her glory would be increased: for, says he, after he promises this, " Thy Maker is thy husband : He that is united to thee, made thee, and therefore can make all things serve thee : He that is united to thee,

is the Lord of Hosts, and therefore all things are subject to his mighty sway : vot.^i. 2 H

466 CHRIST THE HUSBA D OP HIS CHURCH. He thfit loves thee is thy RedeemeF.who brought thee out of Egypt with a high hand and an out-stretched arm, and therefore can again restore thy glory, and bring thee honour : He tliat is united to thee is the Holy One of Israel, and therefore faithful to all his engagements : and He that is united to thee is the God of the whoieearth,and therefore every one must submit to his authority and his control." But that which was applied to the Church collectively, under the Old Testament dispensation, may be applied to individual believers, under the ew: the very same passage of Scripture, which relates to the Church as a collective body, maybe applied to individual believers. Therefore, if there be any broken hearts which are ready to renounce all allegiance with former lords, and shake off all the connexions which they had previously had with sin, with the world, with the law and covenant of works, or with any other thing contrary to their happiness and peace — if they are willing to break off their allegiance this day, and aspire after union and communion with Jesus — oh, my brother, oh, my sister, to you is the word of this salvation sent: " Thy Maker is thine husband ; the Lord of hosts is his name ; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel ; The God of the wliole earth shall he be called." And while 1 am endeavouring to set forth the glories of the Bridegroom, and charm your hearts with his excellences, oh, may the Spirit of God work faith in your hearts, that you may believe him, embrace him as your Saviour and your Friend, and evermore say to all around you, " This is my beloved, and this is my friend ; I love not any other." And, brethren, pray with me — O God of Abraham, I stand at this well of salvation, and the virgin daughters of the people come hither to draw water: oh, this day, while I am endeavouring to represent my Master's Son, win some virgin hearts to him, and give me good speed this day in my work. Amen. First, then, in calling your attention to this passage, let me show you the glorious dignity of the Bridegroom ; in the second ])lace, the nature of the union which is here spoken of; and in the third place, the terms of the espousals. First, let me show you the glorious Dignity op the Bridegroom. If " glorious things" are spoken of Zion — that is, the sjxtuse — how many more " glorious things" may be s|)()kcn of Zion's King, and Zion's Lord, the Bridegroom ! Heaven, with all its hosts, is ransacked, and earth, with all its varieties, is culled, to set forth his glory ami his honour. One might travel from Genesis to the Revelations in order to search them out ; but there are so many in this verse, such clusters of them, that it is unnecessary to go elsewhere.

Observe then, first, they Husband is thy Maker. *' All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." Every blade of grass, every leaf of every tree, every flower, all the beasts that roam in the forest, all the fishes that swim in the sea, all the l)irds that fly in the air, were made by him. If you fix your eye on any object on earth «)r in heaven, the beauties of which attr;ict you by its own loveliness and peculiarity, aiul when you fix on that, as something desirable to be allied to — what then '. Why, all these beauties are but the tints of his pencil ; are but the inrcntiou of his wisdom, are but the gifts of his bounty. Look over the vast continent of mind, and see the grasping power of mighty intellect, over the v;ist «orId in Mhich you live: all these powers were given by him; the most sjilciulid intellect originated nowhere but in himself. Is there any good thing in thy heart — any desire towards heaven or heavenly things ? He made it, he newly created it there : it did not originate

CHRIST THE HUSBA D OP HIS CHURCH. 467 of thine own power, ortliine own love to divine things: He made it, and therefore thine Hnsband is tliy Maker. ow, if it be considered an honour to \>e allied to an individual whose wisdom or ingenuity are apparent, thine Husband is the wisdom of God, " the all-wise God our Saviour."' Again, thy Husband is represented in tlie text as t/ie Lord of Hosts. And who are these " hosts?" In Fsalrn cxlviii. we read, " Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him all his /losfs :" all the myriads of elect angels, great in power and in might. The principalities and t!ie powers of the lieavcnly world go €it his bidding, and are ruled by his word. Him they admire, him they praise, him they serve, in him they glory. Their seven-fold chorus of harping symphonies and thundering halleluj.ahs is this morning sent up to magnify the riches of His grace and glory, and to praise Him who sitteth upon the throne. All the myriads of fallen angels are under his government and control: without our spiritual Joseph, not one of them will dare to lift his hand or his foot. He expels them from the human heart, or confines them to their prison. He limits their operations, he controls their designs, he watches all their machinations against the Church : he does what he pleases in the armies of heaven, and amongst the inhabitants of the earth ; none can stay his hand, or say, what doest thou ? All within our houses, all from whom we may be suffering persecution, all our neighbours, all men, of every clime, every colour, every country, every state, are under the control of our King and of our Head : all power is given to him in heaven and in earth. " As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him." ow if it be an honour to be united to one who is a great general and a mighty conquerer, then such is thine Husband ; he is " the Lord of Hosts." Again. Our text tells us that thy Husband is t/it/ Redeemer. Oh sweet

name! Oh endearing appellation! " Thy Redeemer." Dr. Doddridge tells us that a poor Irishman was once condemned to death. Believing, from the evidence brought forward by him, that the man was innocent, he made great exertions to get him relieved from his sentence, but all his efforts proved unavailing. Yet such was the gratitude of the poor condemned man, that he saiJ, " You are my redeemer." " A poor impotent redeemer indeed," the Doctor reii'arks; but such was the gratitude of this poor man that he said, " I only wan , to ask you one thing — that, as I am going to the place of execution, I may kneel down at your door, and kiss your feet, and thank you for your exertions on m/ behalf." What will you do, then, this morning to your Lord and Master ? He who is your Redeemer, He to whom you are united by faith, not only attempted it, but accomplished it. Thou wast in prison, tied and bound with the chain of thy sins: thou wast a captive, serving divers lusts and pleasures: thou wast a bankrupt, owing ten thousand talents, and having not one farthing to pay. But oh, unutterable, inexpressible, inconceivable love! Thy Jesus became thy Husband ; and in order to become thy Husband, he became thy Redeemer: that is, he first assumed your flesh, in order that he might be j^our Boaz, your near kinsman, that in that nature he might have a right to redeem you. But how did he redeem ? Here I might pause to find words to express the manner in which this redemption was accomplished, if this were not expressed in one short sentence: " He loved me, and gave himself for me." More he could not do. Tlie cur.^e that was due to my head he took upon his own: the burden of guilt I hiid to bear, he took from my shoulder and placed on his own : he broke my cliain, lie 2H2

468 CHRIST THE HUSBA D OF HIS CHURCH. ransomed the captive: lie introduced me into liberty, life, and joy : he paid the inestimable price of his own most precious blood, that he niigiit unite me for ever to himself. Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it. What was the hard service of Jacob for Rachel? What was the love he bare to her? Seven years of aarJ serv'.^nie 'c a^ unkind uncle were nothing to the love which Christ bare when for mans redemption he gave all he could give. " Oh, for this love let rocks and hills Their lasting silence break ; And all harmonious human tongues, Their Savioui's praises speak." Brethren, if it be, then, a joy to many of you to be united to an affectionate husband on earth, oh what can equal that spiritual Husband? Thy Husband is thy " Redeemer."

Again. The text tells us thine Husband is the Holy One of Israel: not a man that he should lie, or the son of man that he should repent. Beloved, once united to Christ, for ever united. There is nothing that breaks tliis bond: his promises in this union bind liim never to leave you, in weal or in woe, in affliction or in prosperity, in health or in sickness, in adversity or in joy, iu life or in death, in time or in eternity. The Lord God of Israel saitli (O my soul, wonder at the language) — the Lord God of Israel saith that he hateth putting away. It was at his option at first to unite you to himself; but after he has by his own love united you to himself, he binds himself by his own covenant oath never to dissolve the union ; and therefore hearken to his language : " I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in rigliteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me iu faithfulness, and thou shalt know the Lord." I may remark once more — Thy Husband is the God of the whole earth. " The earth is the Lord s and the fulness thereof:" the whole government of this fallen world is iu his hands. But at present the government is disputed: Satan assumes the reins of government, calling himself the Prince of the power of the air, and endeavours to destroy the government of Him who is God of the whole earth. But mark the words : " The God of the whole earth shall he be called." Although some fallen spirits disobey and dishonour him, yet " the God of the whole earth shall he be called:" the heathen shall be given to him for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. Athens shall know the living and the true God; China, with her millions, shall hear of and welcome their Saviour; India, with her millions, shall see a great light; and the people that sit in darkness shall welcome the rising of the Sun of Righteousness ; Ethiopia shall stretch out her hand to God. See how the isles are ready for liis law : see how the north does not keep back, see how the south gives up: see how He rides forth conquering and to conquer. He has victories here, and victories there, bringing men every where to submit to his sway: and very speedily, when a lew more years have rolled over our fallen world, shall an angel set one foot on the sea and the other on the land, and say, with a shout that shall make the arches of heaven ring, and the pillaro of the earth tremble — " The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever. Frequently an individual possessed of vast dominions has, by the property whitli he possps-^cd, engaged the licarts of many on earth. My Saviour pro-

CHRIST THE HUSBA D OF HIS CHURCH. 469 poses himself to this congregation to-day, and states his vast dominions, that the earth is his, that his name shall be called Wonderful, that this name shall endure as long as the sun, that men shall be blessed in him, and that all men

shall call him blessed. Why, then, beloved, if any one has reason to rejoice in a husband that has wealth, in a husband that has estates, in a husband that has honours heaped upon him — " thy Maker is thme Husband ; the Lord of Hosts is his name." And although there may be much scandal and scorn put upon thee by the men of the world, see thy dignity ; that thou art united to Him whom angels admire and whom saints adore. I pass on to the second branch of my subject, which is to show the ature OF THIS Union. There are a few qualifications connected with this which I beg you will observe. In the first place, it is an union which springs entirely from free grace. What else can it be on His part? Be astonished, oh heavens, at this. One infinitely rich has united himself to a beggar! The heir of heaven uniting himself to the heir of hell! The beauty of Paradise associating itself with the deformed egro ! The Holy One of Israel uniting himself to the loathsome leper ! How ravishing his beauty, how charming his voice, how fragrant his garments, how stately his goings, how wondrous his glory ! And what can charm him, then, to unite himself to thee? Was it thy parentage? Canst thou boast of that? o; thy father was a Hittite, and thy mother an Amorite, doomed to the curse and to everlasting degradation. Well, if it was not thy parentage, perhaps there was something else ; it might be there were some virtues existing in thee. o; "the carnal mind is enmity against God;" its language is, " We will not have this man to reign over us." Perhaps, if it were not thy parentage, nor thy virtues, it might be thy riches^ o : thou wast a bankrupt, deep in debt, without one fartliing in the pound to pay of all thou hadst contracted, the inheritance entirely and for ever lost. If it were not thy parentage, nor thy virtues, nor thy riches, perhaps it might be some amiable qualities. o: cast out like a base-born child into the open field " to the loathing of thy person," is the description given of thee in the Word of everlasting life. Well, but if it be not thy parentage, or thy virtues, or thy riches, or some amiable qualities, it might be that thou wast free, dissociated from all other lovers, and disengaged from all other charms. o : thou saidst, " I have loved strangers, and after them will I go." But where can words be found to extol the riches of free grace? What are its heights, what are its depths, what are its lengths, what are its breadths? Oh, its extents are beyond all language. A stately emperor uniting himself with a loathsome beggar, or a glorious angel uniting himself to a worm of the earth, would not be such a degradation as for the Prince of Life to unite himself to a wretched and polluted sinner. Here I see the Maker joining himself with the work of his own hands, the Creator with the creature, the Infinite with the finite: and heaven wonders, and earth wonders at the union. The foundation of its spring, hen, is in free grace alone. Tiiere had not been such a marvel shown to the heavens, nor such a marvel to the earth, if he had united himself to angels, who are great in power and might — or if he had associated himself with human nature in its virgin and pristine beauty. But here we see him associating himself with sinners : and wliy is this ? That " where sin hath abounded, grace

might much more abound."

470 CHRIST THE HUSBA D OF HIS CHURCH. Secondly, it is not only an union which springs from free grace, but it is an union ucconqdished by Almighty power. One would suppose that it were quite enough for the Lord of all to present himself to any heart, for that heart immediately to open, and to say, " O Lord, dost thou condescend to ask my affection ? Dost thou, the Lord of glory, condescend to become my bridegroom ?" Yet, strange to tell, the moment these propositions are made, the human heart is barred against all enjoyments of the kind; it will not receive this heavenly lover. Who could, methinks, resist such a suitor? Wlio could, methinks, turn away from such a friend? And yet, what is the fact? AVhat is the fact with this large audience this morning? How oft has lie knocked without obtaining admission! How oft has he stood by the door of the heart, till, as he says, " his head was filled with the dew, and his locks with the drops of the night !" and yet he has not gained admittance. But in some favoured happy day he passes by, and the time is a time of love : he speaks, and the heart opens ; jie thunders, and Ihey see the dreadful consequences of being united to Mount Sinai, where they have long endeavoured to gain peace. He draws, and they run ; he exhibits his glory, and, lo, they see him to be what they never saw him before. Once, " a root out of a dry ground," they saw " neither form nor comeliness in him that they should desire him ;" now, " the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely:" and the individual, under such circumstances, says, " Other lords beside thee have had dominion over me ; but by thee only will I make mention of thy name. I feel it is better to be united to thee tlian to others." What, my brethren, can break the hard heart, and melt it, but divine love itself? O you who are united to him by precious faith, humbie yourselves this morning under the recollection of infinite love. What have you that you have not received ? Even the reception of the Son of God himself did not spring from any love in your heart to him, but froui his love to you. Then I may also add, that this union so represented is a spiritual nnion. " This is a great mystery," the Apostle says, " but I speak concerning Christ and his Church." " He that is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit" one spirit lives, and moves, and breathes in the Head, and the same spirit lives, and moves, and breathes in the members. Christ loves them, and they love Christ. Christ serves them, and they serve Christ : Christ honours them, and they honour Christ : they are identified from that moment with the Son of God ; his interests are their interests, his service is their service, his honour is tlieir honour, and all that relates to his honour and glory may be identified with it : united to him by faith, Christ formed in them the hope of glory, and they dwelling in him. It is a spiritual union, then ; it is that union which commences the moment the soul embraces the Saviour as a refuge, and rejoices in him as her

husband. Shall I also add tliat it is a very blessed union ? The day of many unions on earth is haih'd as a very delightful and blessed day, and many have cause all their days to rejoice in the first e.irtlily union tliey formed, liut, brethren, human language (juite fails here; 1 find it utterly impossible to express all the blessings wiiich result from this union with Christ. If I speak of tlie dignity of those who are thus united to him, what arc they I " Heirs of God and jointheirs with Christ." If I speak of tlieir name, what is their name? " This is his name whereby he shall be c;Uled, The Lord our Righteousness ;" and, if that dignity were not too much to put upon a mere worm, the same prophet,

eHRIST THE HUSBA D OP HIS CHURCH. 471 m anotlier chapter, says, "Tliis is the name wherewith she shall be called, The Lord our Rigliteousness." So that the honours of the Bridegroom are put upon the bride. Is he Christ ? Then they are Christians. If I speak of the inheritance of the people, they have mansions " not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." If I speak of their prospects, what .are they, but to be united with Christ for ever, in holiness, purity, light, life,and love, world without end, when the angel shall come from heaven, and announce to all the inhabitants of the earth, saying, " The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." If I confine myself to their present privileges, what shall I Say of them 1 What sweet communion exists between the Church and Christ ! What secrets can a broken heart deposit in his breast that can never be told to any creature ! What choice communion is formed between Christ and that soul ! " The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, and he will shew them his covenant." What a heart has Christ for brotherhood ; what sympathy is there in his hand for the necessities of his saints ! Many a spirit which entrusts its secrets to others, though it be to the husband of their joys, has sometimes found that they have betrayed them : but here is a heart which never betrayed the trust reposed in it, and which finds consolation for all. Another privilege connected with it, is support. All fulness dwells in him : grace for grace is communicated — not like tlie husband on earth, who from poverty sometimes, or from covetousness, disdains the application of the wife for more, and more, and more : his riches will not hold out, and therefore economy, if not covetousness, necessitates him to restrain the applicant. But here, the more they ask, the more they have. It is traced over the j)ortals of his door, " Ask and ye shall receive ; seek and ye shall find ; knock and it shall be opened unto you." And the only reproach that ever he cast on his bride, is because she does not believe the largeness of his heart, to give infinitely more than she can ask or think He says to her, " Open thy mouth

wide, and I will fill it." Another end is protection. That is a very beautiful phrase which was used by Boaz to Ruth, but still more emphatically applied to those who come to unite themselves to Christ : " A full reward," said Boaz, " be given thee of the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust." So here it is said, " He shall cover thee with his feathers." How tender and beautiful ! " He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust ; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." Another privilege is instruction " If any wish to be instructed," the Apostle says, " let them ask their husbands at home, and they shall teach them." But here is a husband, who, the more petitions are presented to him for instruction, the more instruction he gives, and willingly, to the most ignorant and the most foolish amongst those that are willing. " Happy art thou, O Israel ; who is like unto thee, O people, favoured of the Lord." I will not extend these remarks further, though they might easily be extended, but press on to consider the Terms of the Union. I mention two, in order that they may be more readily fixed on your memories. The first of the terms of union with Christ, is a total divorce from all other lords. You know, brethren, " that the law hath dominion over a man so long as he liveth ; for the woman who hath a husband, is bound by the law to her

47*2 CHRIST THE HUSBA D OF HIS CHURCH. husband so long as he liveth." So that if you are wedded to sin, or wedded to the world, or wedded to the law, until that husband be dead, until you are divorced from him, there is no union to Christ. Therefore lay this down as the first of these terms. If the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law to her husband. ow observe, that since our fall in Adam, we are all naturally wedded to the law as the covenant of works. Every man is striving, by union with that law, to obtain salvation without submission to the rigiiteousness of Christ, without embracing Christ as a Saviour. He is willing to be saved, but he does not like the pleasing terms of free grace ; he scorns the idea of the merit of another being put on him ; he will have some make-weight in the scale ; he must have his works there ; he must have something to do to get into heaven. But are you, O virgins, still ready to renounce your allegiance to the law? Are you ready to break the bonds with your former husband ? Are you, O young man, in this assembly, ready to break your allegiance to the world, and its fascinating charms, and to give up your former allegiance with sin, and to I break the bonds which bind you to it? If so, then, on these terms you may come to Christ. Christ is willing to receive you. " Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ ; that ye should be

married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God." This, then, is one term ; but there is another term, and that is, the nmtnal consent of both parties. There must be, before this union, the mutual consent of both parties. Persons are not usually married against their will. There is a pre-engagement, a mutual consent on both sides. ow, my beloved, I ask you, in the presence of the Lord Christ, who is in this house this morning, Are you willing? I again ask solemnly the question. Are you ready to be united to Christ ? " Ah," says one, " willing, sir ? O yes ; but is he willing to receive me ?" That matter is for ever settled ; that question is for ever decided. The question is not with you, nor ever shall be with you, " Is he willing?" That is decided. Go see him in these elements which are spread before you this morning, and ask again, " Is he willing?" Why, did he give himself to die for your emancipation from other lords, and do you ask, " Is he willing?" What are all these invitations in his word ? What are all those strong appeals that are presented by him, but to engage the sinner to himself? Are not those proofs of his willingness? That matter is decided ; all that is required is this, that you should be willing. ow are you willing to strike hands, as it were, with the Son of God, and to pledge him your troth? Are you this day willing to become so united to him, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creatures, shall be able to separate you from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus your Lord? Then I hail the day; then I give my Master praise that he has won your heart to-day ; then I rejoice with gladsome joy, that another pilgrim is brought in, and another associated with the friends and lovers of the Son of God. Oh, may he make you all willing, and this be the day of his power ! Brethren, in concluding my subject this morning, will you allow me to congratulate such as are already united to him. Oh, what a blessed people are you! You sorrowing! that should never be. You dejected! that should never be. You nuirmuring! that should never be. You fearing lest the enemy should devour, the lion fall upon you, and carry you away ! What when thv hu.sband

CHRIST THE HUSBA D OP HIS CHURCH. 473 is thy Maker, when thy husband is thy Redeemer, when thou art under the protection of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the whole earth ? If tears of blood could be wept, we ought this morning to weep tears of blood at this table, that you dare so dishonour him, that you so distress him, that you do not give yourselves from this very moment to the Saviour, and say, " O Lord, I am thine, what shall I fear? lam thine; bought with thy blood, united by the bonds which are indissoluble, and thy grace shall watch over me." Brethren, I congratulate you if this be so.

There are two things which sometimes we are called in the prophets to look at : the first is to see Israel sitting in the dust ; the second is to see Babylon sitting as a queen. And it may be so with you : you are perhaps in the dust ; you are now perhaps in dejection: you are now perhaps in temptation and great distress, sitting in the dust. But bye and bye a voice shall come to these personages to exchange places; and we shall hear a voice thundering from heaven, " Come down and sit in the dust, O Babylon ;" and then we shall see Israel rise. So shall it be probably, nay certainly, with you. The time of your residence on earth may be a time in which little of the glories of the bride shall be set forth ; but there is a day coming, when all the temptation and the scorn shall fly away. Can any thing be like that day which is so beautifully and majestically described by the prophet? They shall " come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads : they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing," like two black birds of prey — " shall flee away," and never more be seen : chased by the glory of the light which pours itself on them, they shall fly away to their own region of darkness, and never more be seen. And Christ is coming to crown thee, and to take thee to heaven, to lodge thee with hiuiself for ever. Wherefore be glad, and sing for joy, that, though now at present there may be troubles and difficulties, yet there is a happy heaven into which we are about to enter. The realization of these facts, my brethren, will bring great joy and peace to the soul. I was going to say, let me press on you the duties of your allegiance, but 1 shall reserve this to the time when I shall hope, for a few moments, to address you at the ordinance of the Lord's Supper; when the element of his blood shall speak louder than my voice ; when what is then presented shall have greater weight than any thing I can say, to press on you your duties to your husband and your Lord. But I will add, finally, to all who are here present (for let me endeavour to unite all who are here in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ) — I would say, as the Word of God represents, that if such are the vast benefits and blessings connected with union with Christ, it would be wrong if I were to depart from this house this morning, without endeavouring to press on all the blessedness of this union. How then should I weep over those who are not united to Christ! Brethren, if not united to Christ, you are united to the law ; and do you hear what your husband says? " Cursed is every one that continueth not in all thiugs that are written in the book of the law to do tiiem :" " By the deeds of the law shall no flesh living be justified." Are you willing to risk union with such a husband? If you are not united to Christ you are united to the world: did that ever prove satisfactory, in its very best estate ? Do not your consciences, beloved, unite with the Prophet in saying, " Vanity of vanities ; all is vanity, saith the preacher?" Is it not a lying, deceitful, and an evil world? If not united to Christ you are united to sin, and you obey sin. Why, the

474 CHRIST THE HL'SBA D OP HIS CHURCH. poor slaves that are working in the g.illeys, might just as well rejoice that they were united to their chains, as you rejoice in being united to your beloved lusts. Oh, what masters, what husbands, what awful associates, are these ! Yet how often arc some ready to welcome them in the most awful manner. But what is to be done? Who am 1 this morning to undertake to talk of pleading the necessity of being united to Christ? Who and what am I that I speak of my Master, or utter his praise ? When Abraham's servant went to find a wife for Isaac, he first began to speak of his master's riches ; he opened the jewels which his master had given him ; he took a bracelet, and he put it upon the wrist of the damsel ; and then he began to tell her, that his master sent him to gain her heart ; and he proposed the question, and asked her, "Wilt thou go with this man?" And she said, when she had heard of his riches, and of his dominions, and of his excellence, " I will go." That is all I want you to do now. I have been setting forth my Master's dignity, and speaking of my Master's dominions, and speaking of my Master's glory, and now in his presence I say. Wilt thou go with this man? Wilt thou from this day be united to this man? Wilt thou associate with the Son of God from this time? What is the purpose of thine heart? Oh, as to purposes, many a time, young man, many a time, young woman, you know that you have solemnly purposed to unite yourselves to Christ, and you have taken a pen in hand, and were just about to subscribe with your hand unto the Lord, and say, " I am the Lord's;" and lo, there was some temptation just come in the way ; you dropped the pen, kept up your former union with your former lies, and to this day Christ has been entirely forgotten by you. Shall it be so for ever? You know what will be the consequence ; I need not tell you, but still it is my duty to tell you, that if you die as you are, wedded to sin and to Satan, the union shall last for ever. " Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting burnings, prepared for the devil and his angels." Yet let the words of my Redeemer be the last, and the words of encouragement, too, "Hearken, O daughter, and consider; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house ; so shall the king greatly desire thy beauty, for he is thy Lord, and worship thou him." Amen ; be it so, O Lord ; and let all the people say, Amen

1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books

2. ALL WRITI GS http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=970

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