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Throne, and unteling and power, be in the Lamb that they str
spite of winds that have blown, and storms that have beat upon it, do we see abundant proof that it is founded upon a rock, and that that rock is “a tried stone, a sure foundation !"
3. In still another sense is it true, that Christ is a tried stone; for thousands and millions who are now in heaven, have tested the stability of that sure foundation, by building all their hopes thereon, and not one of them all has ever been disappointed. O, if we could draw aside the veil that separates us from the multitudes of the redeemed in glory, and inquire of them—what was the foundation upon which they built, the rock on which they trusted, “while travelling in the vale of tears below”--they would reply with one voice—“None but Jesus ! none but Jesus! He, alone, was the foundation laid in Zion; on that foundation all our hopes were based, and we found him to be “a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.” “Do you behold us,” exclaim these glorified ones, “arrayed in white robes ? Those robes were washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb. Do you behold us bearing the palms of triumph, and singing the songs of victory? We overcame through the blood of the Lamb.” And then they strike their lofty notes—“ Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain! Blessing, honor, giory and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever!”
Such, my brethren, would be the testimony of all the hosts of the redeemed. Not a saint in glory that did not build upon Christ as the rock of his hopes, and every one found him to be “a tried stone, a sure foundation.” They found him thus in the hour of temptation and trial, in the hour of sorrow and adversity, and in the hour of danger and of death. Paul was standing-firmly standing on this foundation, when, with death staring him in the face, he said, “I know in whom I have believed ;" and thousands of dying saints on the brink of Jordan have reposed on him with equal confidence. The question was once asked of a dying man of God, the late venerable Dr. Gano--“Do you still hold to the doctrines you have preached, the doctrines of the Deity and the atonement of Christ ?" and what was his reply?_“0," said hem “ do you ask me, if I still hold to these doctrines ? it is these precious truths hold me now, and if they did not, I should sink !” Yes, my brethren, Jesus is indeed a tried stone. This departing saint of God, and thousands, millions more, built all their hopes on him, and they found him, when they most needed a solid rock to rest upon, to be “a tried stone, a sure foundation.” And let me ask, beloved, have not we, too, tested the stability of this rock of all our hopes? Yes, blessed be God! we also have built upon Christ as the foundation; and amid trials, adversity, and sorrow, we have ever found him to be “a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.” Well, therefore, can we sympathize with the conclusion which the Apostle Peter draws, when quoting
this glorious description of Christ the foundation—“Unto you, therefore, which believe, he is precious.'
We have already dwelt more at length upon this significant and beautiful description of Christ the foundation, than we intended when commencing this discourse. It is time, therefore, that we now proceed briefly to consider
II. THE PROMISE WHICH IS MADE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE, AND THUS BUILD UPON THIS FOUNDATION.
To the man who builds upon Christ as the sure foundation, or in other words, who exercises faith in the promised Messiah as the ground of all his hopes, who relies for salvation on his atoning blood and perfect righteousness, it is promised in our text>" he that believeth shall not make haste.” The apostles Paul and Peter, in citing this passage, quote from the Septuagint, and accordingly they render it “ he that believeth shall not be ashamed,” (Rom. ix. 33,) or “confounded,” (1 Pet. ii. 6.) The Hebrew word properly signifies“ to make haste,” and hence, according to one lexicographer, "to hurry hither and thither as persons in confusion.” The appa. rent discrepancy between the text as given by Isaiah, in the Old Testament, and as quoted by the apostles in the New, vanishes at once when we consider the nature of the figure that is here employed. The exact idea of the word in this place seems to be that of a man on whose house the tempest is beating, and who, fearing the foundation is insecure, makes haste to escape therefrom to a place of safety. To illustrate the force of the promise, conceive the situation of a man as described by our blessed Lord in his sermon on the mount, who had “built his house upon the sand." The rains descend, the floods beat upon that house, the foundations begin to give way, the house totters to its fall, and the frightened inmate, terrified and bewildered, “makes haste” to escape from the crumbling ruins, and to fly to a place of safety. Another has built his house upon the rock. Upon this also the rains descend and the floods beat, but its firm foundations remain unmoved, because it is founded upon a rock, and its happy inmate, so far from being obliged to “make haste” to escape-in conscious security, may smile at the fury of the storm. “He that believeth shall not make haste”-“shall not be confounded”-shall not be “ ashamed” of his hope. The man who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ builds on him as the rock of his salvation, the tried and sure foundation ; and when the gathering storms of divine wrath shall burst over a guilty world, then the promise of our text declares, that such an one shall not make haste, shall not be ashamed or confounded.
O it was a terrible day when the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened, and the floods of divine wrath were poured forth upon an apostate world. Thousands of terror-stricken sinners, who had, perhaps, often
mocked and ridiculed Noah while building the ark; then, as they watched the gathering waters, made haste to escape to some rising ground, and as the flood gathered around them even there, cast their anxious gaze to a still more lofty crag, and perished, perhaps, while they were making haste to escape thereto. On the other hand, Noah had believed God, and being “moved with fear,” had "prepared an ark for the saving of his house." He believed, and while a guilty and unbelieving world was drowning, there was no need that he should make haste to escape from the waters of the food. Safe in the ark, for “the Lord had shut him in,” he could smile at the fury of the storm. He believed in God, and he was not ashamed.
So also, was it a fearful day when showers of burning sulphur descended upon guilty Sodom and Gomorrah, filling all hearts with terror and dismay, and involving men, women, and children in one general and awful destruction. Contemplate, for a moment, that terrible scene! Who are those young men, pressing their hands over their mouths to shut out the burning, suffocating atmosphere, casting their inflamed eyes to yonder neighboring mountain, and making huste, if it were now possible, to escape to a place of safety? They are the sons-in-law of Lot. Alas! it is now too late. They had heard the solemn warning from their father-in-law, but Lot had “seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-law,” (Gen. xix. 14.) Lot and his daughters were now in safety, for they had heeded the angels' warning—"Escape to the mountain !” They had believed God, and were not ashamed. As for these wicked young men, they had treated with contempt the admonition of Lot. They had refused to believe, and were now ashamed and confounded. They made haste, if it were possible, to escape from the suffocating flames, but they made haste in vain. The sentence had gone forth“Behold! ye despisers, and wonder and perish!” and repentance came, now, too late. And thus, my hearers, shall it be in the day of judgment. Then those who trusted in falsehood shall find to their dismay, that "the hail shall sweep away their refuges of lies.” They have built upon the sand, and they shall feel their foundation give way, and in that day shall their hopes perish. See! that terror-smitten company as they come forth from their graves, roused by that voice which shall awake the dead. Alas! alas! they feel that the hour of their judgment is come, and conscious guilt tells them that “righteous Judge” is now their enemy. Hark! that cry of agony—“Rocks fall on us! mountains, cover us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb!” but rocks and mountains are deaf to their cry. See ! how they make haste to hide themselves, if it were possible, from the lightning of his eye. But they make haste in vain. They would not believe, and now the day of mercy is past; their dismay and confusion is complete!
But (), how different the portion of the righteous! Rising from
Christ', reply to the gen he has a Savibudge, the beli
the grave, they feel that the hour of their complete redemption has at length arrived. The promise is at length fulfilled—“I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be thy death! O grave, I will be thy destruction !” (Hosea xiii. 14, Welsh translation.) As they burst the fetters of the grave, they look upward, and behold the coming, the expected Saviour, and break forth in the joyful acclamation, “Lo! this is our God, we have waited for him, we will rejoice and be glad in him!” They believed on Jesus Christ, and now they are not ashamed. They built upon the rock of ages, and now, indeed, as ever before, they find him to be a tried stone, a sure foundation. Standing before the tribunal of the Judge, the believer in Jesus feels that in that Judge he has a Saviour, an Advocate, a Friend ; and in reply to the demands of a violated law, he can point to Christ as his Redeemer from the curse, and as the Lord his Righteousness. In the beautiful words of Cowper, describing the scenes of the Judgment
“ All joy to the believer! he can speak,
That never failed, nor shall it fail me now." O glorious and blessed promise! " he that believeth shall not make haste"_“shall not be ashamed or confounded world without end." May this promise, beloved brethren, be yours and mine! may we build all our hopes on Christ as the rock of ages, and thus find him to be a tried stone, a sure foundation! And then, in temptation and sorrow, in sickness and at death, at the judgment and in eternity, will he be our never-failing friend, and our portion forever!
OUR OWN SALVATION—THE WORK AND THE ENCOUR
BY REV. M. W. JACOBUS,
“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."-Phil. ii. 12, 13.
A man who has undertaken to be saved, has entered upon the greatest possible work—a work which, as it looks for its consummation at the end of life, so is to engage all the energies of his life. time. There never was a more grievous deception of Satan, than that which satisfies the convert with his initial experiences, and settles him down upon them as the substance of salvation. All the crude ideas of getting religion by a few given exercises, and a certain short process of excitements and reliefs, so that soon it shall be all done and over, have come of that arch-deceiver, who ruins as completely by false hopes, as by infidelity. This urgency of the Apostle is therefore of most momentous import. The Christian course is called a race. And he exhorts the man who has entered the lists, to run on. The crown is not at this end, nor anywhere along the course; but at the other end-at the goal. Here is a WORK, only undertaken now, and only begun. All the undertaking and the beginning infer a vigorous and continuous prosecution. It is a thing to be elaborated, carried out, completed. And because it is a man's own salvation, it is very plain that it must be a work demanding high personal endeavors, which are never to be remitted unto the end.
Our own salvation, therefore, he sets before us, as a plan to be executed—as a design to be fulfilled—as an edifice to be carried up to the top-stone. And as this salvation is not really accomplished, on our part, until life ceases, so the working out of this majestic plan is the grand business of one's lifetime ; and the laborious workman puts the last stroke of the hammer to the building, with his last and dying breath.
But here it is to be understood, that this prosecution of the work also supposes the work really commenced." The language is susceptible of misapplication. The address is here, in the text, not to