By John Kershaw
PREACHED AT ZOAR CHAPEL, GREAT ALIE ST., LONDON, ON LORDS DAY EVENING, APRIL 30, 1848.
"The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. " (Psalm 18. 46).
The gracious words of our text set forth the glorious Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, concerning whom the Apostle says, as it can be said of no other, that He is "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever" (Heb. 13. 8.) All things in nature and in providence change. The feelings and exercises of the Christian mind are ever numerous and changing. But whatever takes place in nations, in churches, in families, or in the feelings of our minds, "the LORD liveth; and blessed be our rock," (the Rock of Ages, for He never moves!) "and let the God of my salvation be exalted."
These words have been a great comfort and support to my mind in trials and in bereavements. For whoever stands or falls in a profession of religion; whoever goes or comes, lives or dies, "The Lord liveth"! It has fallen to my lot since I have been a pastor over a Christian church, to commit many of my near, dear, and choice friends, with whom I have walked together in sweet company in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost for many years, to the silent tomb. Such bereavements cannot but be keenly felt, though our loss is the eternal gain of our departed brethren and sisters in the Lord. But when choice friends die to us in this world, these words have soothed and comforted my mind many times - my Lord and Master lives! Yes; bless His name, the Lord lives!
Jesus is the same; He never dies! "What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death?" But, blessed be our Rock; He never dies, He lives for ever!
Our text divides itself into three parts. First, "The LORD liveth." Secondly, "Blessed be my Rock," and Thirdly, the exaltation of the God of our salvation.
I. - In the first place, "The LORD Iiveth. " This is our Lord Jesus Christ, the immortal Word - He who created the heavens and the earth; He who in the Book of The Revelation calls Himself the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last; which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. He who is the maker of all things visible and invisible. He who was made flesh and dwelt among us, and manifested His glory as of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth. He who veiled his Godhead in a clay tabernacle and condescended to be "made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law."
This brings us to what Paul calls "the mystery of godliness." He says, "without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up to glory." ( I Tim. 3. 16.) There was absolute necessity for the Immortal Word to assume our nature without sin in the womb of the Virgin, that in that nature He might bear all our transgressions away, die for our iniquities, and shed His precious blood for the remission of our sins; that sin might be condemned in His flesh; that is, in the holy soul and body of the immaculate Jesus. Paul says, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." (Rom. 8. 3.) "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures." (I Cor. 15. 3)
The awful and solemn death of Jesus, His crucifixion and blood-shedding, is the pillar of the Christian religion, and the grand foundation of the church of God. The sinner who is awakened to see and feel his lost, ruined, and undone state; to behold the inflexible holiness and justice of God, and brought at the same time to feel himself sinking within under the terrors of God in a broken law - that poor guilty, sin- condemned wretch, has nowhere else to look for peace, comfort, or rest, but to the Lord Jesus Christ. He died for our sins. He "was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification."
Now this is the very gospel the apostle Paul preached; therefore he lays such emphasis upon it in that memorable chapter, I Cor. 15. Let me read a few verses of it. He says, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand: by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures: and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." (vv. 1-3) The solemn and awful death of Jesus, the incarnate God: His blood-shedding for the remission of our sins, and His resurrection from the dead, is the foundation upon which God's church is raised for eternity.
But the Lord of glory who was crucified and slain for our sins, now lives! He was "declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead." (Rom. 1. 4.) Or, as Peter says, on the day of Pentecost, "Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death; because it was not possible that he should be holden of it." (Acts. 2. 24.) But why could not death and hell hold the Redeemer fast? For this very blessed and obvious reason. He bore the sin of His church in His own body on the tree. and cast it for ever into the depths of the sea; He endured the tremendous penalty due to transgression, and delivered His church and people by being made a curse for them; He satisfied law and justice; He wrought out and brought in an everlasting righteousness; He spoiled principalities and powers; and conquered death, and him that had the power of it, that is, the Devil! Christ took the sting of death away; and therefore He could not be held fast by it. He triumphed gloriously over Satan's territory in His resurrection from the dead. He was the plague of death, and the destruction of the powers of darkness.
Our Jesus lives! Though He died, He rose again the third day according to the scriptures. I must quote that chapter again. Paul says, "He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep: after that he was seen of James; then of all the apostles: and last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." (vv. 4-8) The disciples were witnesses of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ; they saw the mighty miracles that accompanied it; they beheld Him laid in the sepulchre; and they were witnesses also of His resurrection from the dead. Jesus appeared likewise to the women after His resurrection in the garden. He made himself known also to the two as they appeared to the disciples again ere they were assembled for fear their hearts while they were and Master. And when He gave as their credentials, commanding them not to depart from Jerusalem but wait for the promise of the Father, while He is speaking to them He is taken up to heaven, and a cloud receives Him out of their sight. (Acts 1. 1- 9.) Having led captivity captive, the everlasting gates are flung, open, and Christ ascends to glory, and takes His seat on high at the right hand of the Majesty above as the great High Priest, Head, and Representative of His people. There, as the exalted Mediator and living Advocate of His redeemed,
He ever lives and reigns in immortal glory in the high court of heaven. He is there as the head of His body the church; and He says to all His members on earth, "Because I live, ye shall live also. As sure as Christ the head is in glory, so sure shall every elect vessel of mercy whom He has raised from a death of sin to a life of faith, rise to live with Him in immortal bliss and blessedness for ever and ever. Yes; bless His precious name, "The Lord lives!" He not only lives as the head and representative of His people in the high court of heaven, but He lives there to manage all their affairs.
Now this was the glorious foundation which the apostle Paul laid in his preaching, and it was his support under all his trials - the blood-shedding, death, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ our great High Priest into heaven. Mark his language; he says, "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?" What a solemn and important question this is! Then he adds, "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." (Rom. 8. 33, 34.) Do you not see what a prominent feature the death of Christ has in this solemn question? He lives and intercedes for His redeemed; He pleads their cause, and manages their affairs. The Apostles soul being fired with these important truths, exclaims in another place, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." (Heb. 7. 25.)
Sometimes when I have heard our people singing the following hymn, it has so lifted up my heart and soul that I have scarcely been able to constrain my feelings:-
Who shall the Lord's elect condemn?
'Tis God that justifies their souls:
And mercy, like a mighty stream.
O'er all their sins divinely rolls.
Who shall adjudge the saints to hell'?
'Tis Christ that suffered in their stead and the salvation to fulfil.
Behold Him rising from the dead.
He lives! he lives! and sits above,
For ever interceding there
Who shall divide us from his love'?
O, what should tempt us to despair'? (Watts)
He ever lives within the veil to plead the cause of His people, and we shall never be disappointed. "The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted." He lives in heaven; He lives and dwells on earth too. But where is it that He lives and dwells in this world of sin and woe?
1. The Lord lives in the heart of every elect vessel of mercy, redeemed by blood, and regenerated by the Spirit. Such a precious soul as this is the palace of the great King, the dwelling-place of the mighty God of Jacob. In the prophecy of Isaiah, we have a beautiful description of the greatness of the exaltation, majesty and glory, and yet at the same time amazing humility and condescension of the Lord of hosts: "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity." Let us pause here for a moment. "That inhabiteth eternity!"
Eternity is His dwelling-place. You and I inhabit our houses in our short span of existence but for a very little time. But our God, the Rock that is to be exalted, inhabits eternity; "Whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place." Heaven is His throne, and the earth is His footstool. He dwells in another place also; "with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones." (Is. 57. 15.) The Lord lives, in the heart of every broken-hearted sinner. He has taken up His abode there; and says, "Here will I dwell for ever, for I have desired it."
Hear the Apostle Paul's heart-cheering testimony in reference to his own case. He says, "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not 1, but Christ liveth in me." You see, Christ lives in the very heart and soul of His people. "And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Gal. 2. 20.) This is doctrine, and good doctrine too. But, as I am speaking these words, and proving them from the Bible, methinks I hear some child of God saying, 'Can ever the Lord Jesus Christ dwell in such a filthy, vile, and evil heart as mine? If he dwells in the heart of His people, I am afraid I never can be one of them. Such a polluted wretch as I am, sure He never can dwell in me." But what this soul says is only a confirmation that the Lord does dwell in His heart. Mark it, then, for your encouragement; it is only such tempted and tried souls as yours that feel their vileness, pollution, helplessness, and weakness. The Lord does not dwell with those who care nothing about sin, who have never had a heart broken on account of their iniquities. O no; the dwelling-place of the Lord Jesus Christ is with the humble, broken, and contrite heart. The haughty looks of man must be brought down, and the Lord of hosts alone exalted in his soul.
"The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted." He lives, then, in the souls of His people. He lives in their prayers, He lives in their praises, He lives in their hearing; yes, He lives in them as their all in all. There is no spiritual life but what is in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are said to be dead, and our "life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Col. 3. 3, 4.) So the Lord lives in the hearts of his people
2. The Lord lives in the assemblies of His saints. Wherever His twos and threes are gathered together in His name, there He lives and there he dwells. He says, "In all places where I
record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee." (Ex. 20. 24.) How amazingly the omniscience of the God-head shines forth in this blessed passage of scripture! In this great city, there are now at this present time many gospel churches assembled, through the length and breadth of the land, where the name of the Lord is recorded, where the silver trumpet is being blown, and where the shout of a king is heard in their midst. The Lord comes and lives and dwells in these assemblies. He alone must be exalted in the pulpit, and in the souls of His living people. And as the Lord lives in them, so they live in Him by virtue of their union to Him, and shall never be brought into condemnation. As sure as the Lord now lives in heaven for His people, so shall they live and reign with him in blessedness for ever when time is no more.
II.- I come to the second point of our subject, "Blessed be our rock." Now who is this Rock? It can be none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. He is in scripture set forth by the character of a rock. But why is this? Because there is nothing so firm and imperishable as a rock. He is exalted by this metaphor to show His immovability and durability.
Let us make a few observations to show wherein the Lord Jesus Christ is a Rock.
1. As a Rock He is a foundation to build upon; and the man made wise unto salvation builds his house upon it. This is that glorious Rock spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah, "Behold," says God, "I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation." (Is. 28. 16.) The Apostle Paul taking up the same subject, says, "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." (I Cor. 3. 11.) The foundation which our God has laid in Zion, and which every Christian minister should lay in his preaching, is the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ in His covenant engagements; Christ in the complexity of His character as God and man; Christ in His pure and holy humanity; Christ in His atoning sacrifice; Christ in His perfect obedience to the divine law; Christ as the living Advocate before the throne - are the themes upon which the minister should dwell. Jesus Christ is the foundation upon which God builds His church for time and for eternity. "On this rock," He says, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matt. 16. 18.) Christ is a rock; and as Rock He is the foundation of the church.
But the text says, "Blessed be our rock." Now a word or two in reference to the blessedness of this Rock. When David was sinking in his feelings in the mud and mire of the slough of despondency he was afraid his feet were not upon this Rock. Bunyan says, 'There are many persons who make a bridge over this slough' But that is not the right way. The Lord's people are brought to feel their sin, their guilt, their burden; they are made to sigh and to cry and to wait patiently till the Lord inclines His ear unto them; and then at last they will say as the Psalmist did, "He brought me up out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings." (Ps. 40. 1, 2.) David could not say by his own wisdom and strength, 'Here is a rock, a firm rock; I will stand upon it for life.' He could not put himself on the rock; he was sinking in the horrible pit, and his feet sticking fast in the mud. But when by the Holy Spirit's witness in his heart, he could feelingly say the Lord had brought him up out of the horrible pit, had set his feet upon the rock, and established his goings that he was standing for eternity on the incarnate God, on the finished salvation of Christ - that his sins were put away, and he was delivered from the curse of a broken law - that justice was satisfied and heaven opened up through the new and living way; - then feeling the firmness and blessedness of the Rock, he has a song of praise and thanksgiving put into his mouth and his heart. Isaiah says, "Let the inhabitants of the rock sing, let them shout from the top of the mountains." (Is. 42. 11.) The child of God sings and shouts when he sees and feels the blessedness and security of his salvation. If we are built upon this Rock, we shall be found safe in life, safe in death, and safe in the judgment day. There is no safety anywhere else. "The LORD liveth, and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted."
2. But again. "Blessed be my Rock." The Lord Jesus Christ is not only a foundation; He is also the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. The Prophet Isaiah says, "A man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." (Isa. 32. 2.)
We are in the wilderness, in a waste howling desert; this world to a heaven-born soul is a weary land. We sometimes sing,
"Lord what a wretched land is this,
That yields us no supply:
No cheering fruits, nor wholesome trees,
Nor streams of living joy."
But there is something more weary than the land we live in. If we look into our hearts, we shall find more weariness there than in all things else around US. Weary Of sin, weary of self where is the poor soul to go? where is he to flee? He can go nowhere but to the Rock of Ages!
David says, "When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I." 'Lead me to Christ - the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Let me sit down beneath His shade, and enjoy sweet peace, rest, and comfort to my soul.' Ah, this Rock shades us from the fiery flames of Mount Sinai; it shades us from the buffetings of Satan; and oftentimes it shades us in the storms and tempests of life. Sometimes the child of God in this weary land is enabled to sit down by faith sheltered beneath the shadow of this great Rock, and enjoy sweet peace, rest, and communion with the Lord. O how sweet and happy are his feelings then! "The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock, and let the God of my salvation be exalted."
3. We observe again, in reference to this blessed Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ is not only the shadow of a great Rock in a weary land; but there flows a stream of water from this rock to satiate the thirst of His dear people in this barren land. This was beautifully typified by the rock smitten at Horeb. The Apostle says, "The Rock was Christ."
There flowed from it a stream which followed the children of Israel in all their wanderings through the wilderness to nourish and refresh them. And so the fountain of precious blood and water that flowed from Immanuel's side follows the church of God through this weary land for the taking away of sin and uncleanness, and for giving sweet comfort and rest to the weary soul. Whenever, by the bedewing influences of the Spirit of God, it enters into their heart and conscience, it fills them with all joy and peace in believing. "Blessed be our Rock," then, for His atoning blood and His justifying righteousness to His beloved church and people. Well may they say, "The LORD liveth; and blessed be our rock; and let the God of our salvation be exalted."
4. "Blessed be our rock." There is a cleft in this rock; and God puts His people in "the cleft of the rock. "Moses besought the Lord to show him His glory. But the Lord answered him, "Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me, and live." But He said, "Behold there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock." 'Here is a Rock by me, one brought up with me; on this Rock thou shalt stand and see my glory.' "And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I
will put thee in a cliff of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by; and I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back parts; but my face shalt not be seen." (Ex. 33. 20-23). The Lord put Moses in the cleft of the rock while He passed by, and displayed His glory and majesty; and He covered him with His hand of mercy and compassion while He proclaimed His great and glorious name, as The Lord God, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth. Moses was put into the cleft of the rock for safety and security; and so the Lord's living family are sheltered in the cleft of the Rock, the glorious Person of the dear Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. Here is their safety and security; here they are safe in life, safe in the swellings of Jordan, and safe at the judgment of the great day. What a sweet frame of mind A. M. Toplady was in, when he penned that solemn and beautiful hymn:-
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee!
Let the water and the blood,
From thy river side which flow'd.
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and pow'r.
This is God's religion. When this is felt in the soul of a sinner it is the power of God unto salvation. But how blessedly Toplady speaks of death. I should like, if it were the Lord's will, that they might be my last words;
Whilst I draw this fleeting breath,
When my eye-strings break in death;
When I soar through tracts unknown,
See Thee on thy judgment-throne;
ROCK of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in THEE.
O what a blessed shelter! what a hiding-place! what a refuge from the storm! what a strong tower into which the righteous run and are safe for ever! Well might David say, "The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted."
III.- We notice, in the third and last place, the exaltation of the God of salvation. "And let the God of my salvation be exalted." The exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ is a most blessed and precious branch of divine truth, and especially when the child of God is under the same feelings as David was when he penned his beautiful Psalm. The great aim of the apostle Paul, both in preaching and writing was to lay the sinner low in the dust and on the dunghill of self-abasement, and to lift up the Lord Jesus Christ on high - to exalt the sin atoning Lamb, and to crown him Lord of all! I cannot enter into the exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ more beautifully and strikingly than in the Apostle's language, when he prays for the Ephesian believers that they might know "what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name which is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." Behold the exaltation of Christ! Here is that very Jesus of Nazareth, who said, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head." Here is that same Jesus whom they spat upon, mocked, derided, crowned with a crown of thorns, and at last crucified saying, "it is not fit that he should live." Here is that same Jesus exalted by God the Father, "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all things under his feet, and given him to be head over all things to the church which is his body the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Eph. 1. 21-23.) Here is exaltation. He is "King of kings, and Lord of lords!" "The Lord God Omnipotent!"' Zion's King, who lives and triumphs evermore!
The Apostle speaks more extensively on the exaltation of Christ, and in order that His exaltation might shine brighter, he contrasts it with His humiliation in this beautiful manner: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
Then comes the exaltation; "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2. 5-1 1.) The Lord Jesus Christ is exalted far above angels, above the redeemed in glory, and above crowned heads and potentates in the world. He is exalted in nature. He is "King of kings, and Lord of lords;" and as Zion's King he has the preeminence over all things. The Holy Spirit exalts Him in the Bible, where His declarative glory and beauty shines forth in immortal grandeur. "The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted."
Again, wherever the Lord places any of His ambassadors on Zion's wall to blow the silver trumpet of the everlasting gospel, and give it a certain sound, it is the highest ambition of every sent minister of God to exalt Christ in the pulpit - to lift Him high on the pole of the everlasting gospel. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must a precious Christ be lifted up and exalted in the hearts and consciences of His own people. And while the preacher is raising up Jesus, there is a feeling of delight kindled in the mind of the believing hearer for he knows the ambassadors of truth can never too much exalt Christ in the glory of His Person, in His covenant engagements, in His atoning blood, and in His law-fulfilling righteousness. The child of God loves to hear Christ lifted up in His finished work, in His resurrection from the dead, in His headship over His church, and in His living advocacy before the throne. He delights to crown Him Lord of all, and that immortal honours should rest on His sacred brow for the great things He has done for his soul. So he says, "The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted."
My friends, do you love to hear Christ lifted up and exalted as your all and in all? If you do you are willing to be made less than nothing and vanity in yourselves. Professors of religion, generally, do not like to be thus humbled; they love to have something to do, in whole or in part, to recommend themselves to God. But the Lord's salvation is not a mixture of grace and works. It is of free and sovereign grace, and received by faith alone, which is the gift of God. It is "not of works, lest any man should boast." The Lord alone be exalted as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, the first and the last in the salvation of His people.
Once more with regard to the exaltation of Christ. "And let the God of my salvation be exalted." The Lord Jesus Christ is and must be "the God of salvation," in spite of sin and Satan, death and hell. He must be exalted by the Holy Spirit in the soul of every elect vessel of mercy. An exalted Christ in the Bible without an exalted Christ in the pulpit will not do for the sensible sinner. Christ must be exalted as the all in all in the salvation of His church and people. As sure as the Holy Spirit brings down high and haughty looks; as sure as He abases the proud and lofty, humbles them, and lays them low in the dust of self-abasement, by making them sick of self, stripping them of all their fancied good, and giving them to feel their lost, ruined, and undone state - so sure will this blessed Spirit glorify Jesus by taking of the things of Christ, and shewing them to the heirs of salvation by exalting and lifting Him high in the affections of His people. When the Holy Ghost sheds abroad the Saviour's love in the soul, that soul exalts the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whenever He speaks peace, pardon, joy, and salvation to the conscience, the eternal Spirit has taken of the things of Christ, and shewn them to that conscience. Such a vessel of mercy loves to have Christ exalted in His feelings, and says, "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee." "My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand. " Christ must be exalted in the hearts and affections of His church and people. These happy moments they have; and the more the Person of Christ is exalted, the more are their feelings melted into gratitude and praise to the God of their salvation. Now David was in this case when he said, "And let the God of my salvation be exalted."
Finally, the God of salvation will be exalted in the morning of the resurrection at the judgment of the great day, when the Lord Jesus Christ will come the second time without sin unto salvation. No longer will He be in the character and capacity of a servant, but in the character and capacity of the Judge of quick and dead. He will come with great power and glory upon the clouds of heaven, with myriads of holy and blessed angels swelling the triumphs of His train. Every eye shall see Him; the trumpet shall sound and the dead be raised; He shall be seated on His great white throne of judgment in solemn majesty and awful power. Assembled worlds shall be arrayed before Him, and ungodly sinners will come forth and stand before that Lord whose name they scorned and whose children they hated and abhorred while upon earth; and they shall hear His awful voice pronouncing to them, "Depart, ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
The Lord Jesus Christ will be exalted at the judgment of the great day! He will be the wonder of angels, the terror of devils, and the joy and salvation of His redeemed. He will be exalted far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion; and at His right hand, in glory and blessedness, will His saints be exalted in eternal honour. "Know ye not, that we shall judge angels?" O with what wonder, glory, and exaltation will the Lord Jesus Christ then appear, surrounded with His saints in glory! "The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted."
God grant, that when the Lord Jesus Christ comes, we may be found among His redeemed, washed from our sins in His precious blood, and clothed in His righteousness! God grant that we may be found sheltered and secure in a precious Christ, the Rock of Ages, the God of our salvation!