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gard face and heavy heart, waiting the death to which the law has doomed him ; seldom, perhaps, in fancy, does that pallid wretch intrude himself where all wear smiles, or send a hollow groan from his cell to move one thought of pity, or disturb the sparkling flow of royal pleasures. But Jesus does not forget the wretchedness of the lost amid the happiness of the saved. Their miseries are before him ; and amid the high hallelujahs of the upper sanctuary, he hearkens to the groans of the prisoner and the cry of the perishing. And, like a mother, whose loving heart is not so much with the children housed at home, as with the fallen, beguiled, and lost one, who is the most in her thoughts, and oftenest mentioned in her prayers, Jesus is thinking now of every poor careless sinner with his lost soul, and the sentence of death hanging over his guilty head. He pities you from his heart. He would save you, would you consent to be saved. And you, who were never honored with an invitation to a palace on earth, you who are never likely to be so honored, you, by whom this world's pettiest monarch would haughtily sweep, nor deem you worthy of the smallest notice, Jesus, bending from his throne, invites to share his glory, and become with him kings and priests unto God.
III. Let us inquire in what character Jesus holds this kingdom.
It is not as God, nor as man, he holds it ; but as both God and man, Mediator of the New Covenant, the monarch of a new kingdom. What he was on earth he is still in heaven—God and man for ever.
Our Lord appeared in both these characters by the grave of Lazarus. “Jesus wept.” Brief but blessed record 1 These were precious tears. The passing air kissed them from his cheek, or they were drunk up of the earth, or they glistened but for a little, like dewdrops on some lowly flower; yet assuring us of his sympathy in our hours of sorrow, their memory has been healing balm to many a bleeding heart. Weeping, his bosom rent with groans, he stands revealed— bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh—a brother born for adversity, for the bitter hour of household deaths, to impart strength to the arms that lay the dead in the coffin, or slowly lower them into the tomb. Yet mark how, by the same grave, he stands revealed in another character, with his divine majesty plainly unveiled. To weep for the dead may be weakness, but to raise the dead is power. Like the clear shining after rain, when every tree seems hung with quivering leaves of light, and the heath of the moor sparkles, and gleams, and burns with the changing hues of countless diamonds, see how, after that shower of tears, the sun of Christ's Godhead bursts forth on the scene, and he appears the brightness of his Father's glory. Men have wept with him ; but there, where he stands face to face with grim death, let both men and angels worship him. Death cowers before his eye. He puts off the man, and stands out the God ; and the wonder of the dead brought to life is lost in the higher wonder of one who could weep as a man, and yet work as a God. On the Sea of Galilee also, our Lord appears in both characters. The son of Mary sleeps. His nights have been spent in prayer, and his days in preaching, healing, incessant works of benevolence—he has been teaching us how we also should go about doing good—he has been practically rebuking those whose days are wasted in ease and idleness, or whose evenings, not calm like nature's, but passed amid the whirl of excitement, or in guilty pleasures, sweet slumbers refuse to bless. Now wearied out with labor, the son of Mary sleeps. There is no sleeping draught, no potion of the apothecary that can impart such deep refreshing slumbers as a good conscience and a busy day's good work. Proof of that, stretched on his bare, hard couch, Jesus sleeps—amid the howling of the wind the dash and roar of stormy billows, sleeps as soundly as he ever slept a babe in his mother's arms. He lay down a weary man ; but see how he rises at the call of his disciples to do the work of a God. On awaking, he found the elements in the wildest uproar, the waves were chasing each other over the deep, the heavens were sounding their loudest thunders, the lightnings were playing among the clouds, and the winds, let loose, were holding free revelry in the racked tormented air. As I have seen a master, speaking with low and gentle voice, hush the riotous school into instant silence, so Jesus spake. Raising his hand, and addressing the rude storm, he said, “Peace, be still.” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. No sooner, amid the loudest din, does nature catch the well-known sound of her master's voice, than the tumult subsides ; in an instant all is quiet; and, with a heave as gentle as an infant's bosom, and all heaven's starry glory mirrored in its crystal depths, the sea of Galilee lies around that boat—a beautiful picture of the happy bosom into which heaven and its peace have descended. “Justified by faith,” purchased by the blood of Christ, and blessed with his presence, “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now those two natures which our Lord thus revealed on earth, he retains in heaven. And as both God and man, he occupies the throne of grace, and the throne of providence—holding under his dominion all worlds, and principalities, and powers; for, in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and he has been made Head over all things to the church. This must be so. He got the kingdom ; and, simply as God, there could be no addition made to his possessions. Simply as God, he could get nothing, because all things were already his. You cannot add to the length of eternity; nor extend the measure of infinity; nor make absolute perfection more perfect; nor add one drop to a cup, nor even to an ocean, already full. And as, on the one hand, our Lord did not get this kingdom simply as God, neither, on the other hand, did he receive it simply as man. To suppose so, were to entertain an idea more absurd, more improbable, more impossible, than the fable of Atlas, who, according to wild heathen legends, bore the world on his giant shoulders. How could an arm that once hung around a mother's neck sustain even this world 2 But he, who lay in the feebleness of infancy on Mary's bosom, and rested a wayworn and weary man on Jacob's well, and, faint with loss of blood, sank in the streets of Jerusalem beneath the burden of a cross, now sustains the weight of this and of a thousand worlds besides. It is told as an extraordinary thing of the first and greatest of all the Caesars, that such were his capacious mind, his mighty faculties, and his marvellous command of them, that he could at once keep six pens running to his dictation on as many different subjects. That may, or may not be true ; but were Jesus Christ a mere man, in the name even of reason, how could he guard the interests, and manage the affairs of a people, scattered far and wide over the face of the habitable globe 2 What heart were large enough to embrace them all ; what eyes could see them all ; what ears could hear them all ? Think of the ten thousand prayers pronounced in a hundred different tongues that go up at once, and altogether, to his ear ! Yet there is no confusion ; none are lost; none missed in the crowd. Nor are they heard by him as, standing on yonder lofty crag, we hear the din of the city that lies stretched out far beneath us, with all its separate sounds of cries, and rumbling wheels, and human voices, mixed up into one deep, confused, hollow roar—like the boom of the sea's distant breakers. No ; every believer may feel as if he were alone with God—enjoying a private audience of the king in his presence-chamber. Be of good cheer. Every groan of thy wounded heart, thy every sigh, and cry, and prayer, falls as distinctly on Jesus' ear as if you stood beside the throne, or, nearer still, lay with John in his bosom, and felt the beating of his heart against your own. Jesus Christ, God and man for ever, what a grand and glorious truth ! How full of encouragement and comfort to those, like us, who have sins to confess, sorrows to tell him, and many a heavy care to cast upon his sympathy and kindness. Since Mary kissed his blessed feet, since Lazarus' tomb moved his ready tears, since Peter's cry brought him quick to the rescue, since John's head lay pillowed on his gentle bosom, since a mother's Sorrows were felt and cared for amid the bitter agonies of his dying hour, he has changed his place, but not his heart. True man and Almighty God—God and man for ever—believer, let him sustain thy cares. Thy case cannot be too difficult, nor thy