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111("" -----------------------"JESUS…

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111("" "JESUS CHRIST'S HOLD ON THE WORLD." A SERMOX PREACHED BY THE REV W. I. MORRIS, SARDIS, PONTYPRIDD. {From the "Pontypridd and Bhondda Valleys Chronicle.") John vi. 68, 69, "Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life, and we have believed and know that thou are the Holy One of God." We are not infrequently told by a certain citt"i of people that Christianity has seen its day, that, having passed its meridian, it is r,ow on its wane, and is rapidly losing its hold 0' the hearts of men. Not only it will make f.O more advances, achieve no more victories, but its power is almost gone. It fails to move fie human heart as in ages gone by. It has 111" command over the human intellect as in times past The fact is, they say, the world has out- grown it; society has become too advanced for it. It demands something greater, higher, more modern than Christianity for its religion. Christianity was very well for the past, but it will not do for this advanced age, and the l l' more advanced ages that are to come." Now, is that true? Is not the state of things quite the reverse? Has Christianity lost ita power? Is it something that was adapted for 811 men, in all countries, throughout all the res, to the end of time? And have we not sure and many evidences this day of its undiminished living power, and of its influence over the intel- Irl, the hearts, and lives of men? Never at arv time since the great Founder Himself was on earth did the Christian religion appear more giorious, and wield a greater power than at the present day. It is still marching on to vic- tory in one country after the other. We are not afraid that Christianity wiU lose its hold on the world. Christ Himself lives and gov- erns it in the interest of His Kingdom. In the words of our text we have an instance of the hold Christ has upon the human heart, and a rtason given for the same. The great multi- tude ot His disciples having turned their backs upon Him, because He would not feed them as on the previous day, He asked the twielve,"Will ye also go away?" Peter instantly answered loth for himself and the eleven, "To whom glall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life." Jesus only has the qualities fliat will satisfy the human heart. In Him only we find the great want of the world, namely, light and 1-fe, the revelation of the Father, and our re- conciliation to Him. In Him we find saving love and power. To whom, therefore, shall we go? He only has the power to draw us unto Himself, and ever to retain our affections, for we believe and know that He is the Holy One of God. This creed Christ accepted, and this is the creed of every true Christian. Having this correct view of Christ, we are not in the least afraid that He will ever lose His hold on the human heart. Our subject is: The power of Jesus of Nazareth to possess, and retain His hold on the world. He has already taken pos- session of a very large portion of the world. He is still advancing, notwithstanding statements to the contrary. His messengers are in every f.2.rt of the globe. He takes possession of new territories, and willing hearts in large num- ber3 are added continually to the millions of f(i1; loyal subjects, whose affections He shall rever fail to retain. Great Britain failed to re- Wn its hold on the United States of America. France failed to keep possession of Alsace and Lorraine, but Jesus of Nazareth will ever re- fain His hold on His people, and that for the following reasons.- I The Infallibility of His Teaching, or His "Power, as a Prophet. He taught as no man ever taught, although He received no educa- tional advantages. He had no Socrates or Gamaliel as His instructor, yet He taught not only His own age, but all the ages, not only His own hearers, but posterity. The truths which he taught have never been superseded by JI any others. They were truths adapted to all men m all ages, to the end of time. Many great teachers preceded and followed Him, but He stands high above all, like the sun among the stars, the only infallible Teacher of man- kind. Since His time, discoveries have been n;ade; science has advanced, knowledge has increased, universities (have been established in many countries, yet the world has not got beyond His teaching. Science in its highest, developed state, can never supply its place. The teaching of Christ ha3 a sphere of its own, a sphere which secular knowledge hardly touches n embraces the heart as well as the intellect, altd the heart chiefly. However advanced in- tellectually, therefore, man may ever become, he will never reach a point when he shall have gene beyond the teachings of the Prophet of Nazareth. Take one instance of His teaching, "Love the Lord thy God and thy neighbour as thyself." What teaching can ever go beyond that? Christ will ever remain the infallible Teacher of the highest developed human intel- lects. We see a Paul, a Wyckliffe, a Zwinglins, and a Calvin humbly receiving instruction at His feet. We see a Newton, a Locke, a New- Suan. and a Gladstone humble pupils in His eehocl. He is a contemporary of all ages, and yet in advance of every age. His teaching can- not be improved. Nothing can be added to it, or taken from it. It is not subject to any change. It is complete. It is perfect, and in- fallibly adapted to all men. Christ Himself never changed His opinion respecting anything He taught. He never corrected Himself. He never discovered anything superior to what he had always been teaching. It is by changing their opinions that men became the benefactors of the race. Saul of Tarsus changed his opin- ion and became the great apostle of the Gen- tiit"S. Ma.rtin Luther changed his opinion, and became the great Protestant Reformer. Sir Robert Peel changed his opinion and brought about the great Reform Bill. Mr Gladstone cLanged his opinion and thereby became one cf the great reformers of his age. But Christ remains the great infallible Reformer of a lost world without the slightest change in His views and teachings; and the great and glor- ious scheme which He propounded is now ad- vaLcicg, reforming society in all directions. ¡ Any modification of His scheme by human in- tervention weakens its power, and retards its progress. The truth as taught by Jesus will reform the world, will change the human heart and bring it into harmony with God's will. Christ is the only Teacher that will be received by the world as infallible. He addresses Him- 8" to the heart, captivates it, and will never Ice His hold on it, for He teaches as One hav- i.ig authority.- H. The Influence of His Death or His Power at a Priest. Christ attached supreme import- ant" to His death. He spoke of His death more frequently than any other event in His history. Through his death He would exercise the greatest influence over the world. "I, if I be liftnd I1, will draw all men unto me." Where He seemed weakest, there He was strongest. His c; ?ath was His lever to move the world. Ic was the life of the world. Such power would go forth from His cross that would ulti- mately move the whole world Godwards. In a sense His cross was His throne. From here lie wields the greatest power. From here He IT lea the hearts of men, He bends their obsti- nate will, and draws their affections towards Himself. The cross is the highest expression of divine love. In the light of the cross, John W83 enabled to declare "God is love," and love is the greatest and highest power. God's al- mightly power will never bend the sinner's will. His love will. The power of the Cross is the power of love. Christ in His death is more peverful than Christ in His life. Christ on the Cross is greater than Christ on His throne, be- cause the Cross is the highest possible expres- sion of His love. The miracles which he per- formed were expressions of His love, but the people regarded them as expressi4 -is of power, but on the Cross we see love outshining everything. Christ died for us in order to re- concile to God, the just for the unjust. This is love indeed. The power of his love is not weakened by time and space. More than eighteen centuries have elapsed since our Saviour died on the cross but the great event is as new to-day in its in- fluence on the human heart, as it was in the days of the Apostles, and quite as powerful. There are thousands of miles of sea and con- tinents between our own and other continents, and the ever memorable spot called Calvary, but the name is as full of charm to every true Christian to-day in the most distant lands, as -t was to Paul and the first Christians,and it will continue to be so till the end of he world, yea, beyond the boundaries of time, in the re- gions of the heavenly land; for there we find tLnt the song of the redeemed multitude will be "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to re- ceive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing." The great event of Calvary is the light and life of Heaven, and its influence will never fail to hold the hearts of the redeemed in heaven- ly rapture, being that it is the most glorious expression of divine love. There is no power that can go between the love of Christ and His people, for I am persuaded" said Paul, 'that neither death ,nor life, nor Angels, nor prin- cipalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor power, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. viii 38, 39. M. The power and extent of His Govern- ment, or His power as a King. Christ is not dead. He lives. He reached His throne through His death. He obtained His crown through His cross. He governs the affairs of the world in the interest of His Kingdom, in tpite of the most determined opposition, ia its most formidable aspect. In His reoiurre<>v:)n He conquered death and the grave, not simply for Himself but also for His followers through- out the ages. Death to the Christians is only a sleep, the grave is only a resting place. One day he shall be in a position to utter the triumphant words "0 death, where is thy stii\<r, 0 grave, where is thy victory." The wonderful progress of the Church, aud its present flourishing condition, is a glorious monument of the life of Christ in Heaven, fond His government of the world. Nothing can satisfactorily explain the power and influence of the Christian Church, except its union wit Christ as its living head. His governing power is seen in frustrating the action of His enemies, as in the case of the destruction of the Spanish Armada, but also in over-ruling their opposition in such a manner as to make it contribute to the success of His kingdom. Was not this the case when Paul and Silas were imprisoned at Philippi, when the gaoler and his family, and we do not know how many more, were converted? Was not this the case when Paul's imprisonment in Rome was the means of converting some of the members of Caesar's household? Was not this the case when the selling of indigencies by Tedzel aroused the indignation of the young Itoonk Martin Luther, against such blasphemy to such an extent that he became the great Protestant reformer ? And was not this the case when John Bunyan was incarcerated for 14 years at Bedford, during which time he wrote that remarkable book, the "Pilgrim's Progress." which has proved the means of conversion of many a sinner, and a source of consolation to many a saint? "Who hardened himself against Him, and hath propspered?" But Christ's government is universal. It extends at all times to all lands, and to all things, and is equally powerful under all circumstances. It embraces the most insignificant events, as well as the most important. Hear His words, as he was about ascending to His throne of glory, "All power is given unto me, in heaven and in earth, go ye therefore, and teach all nations baptising aU nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have com- manded you, and lo I am with you alway even unto the end of the world." (Matthew xxviii 18-20.) Here is all power without any reserve; and he will reign, until the kingdom of this world shall have become His kingdom. This iq a source of the greatest joy to all His follow- ers. After He had reached His throne, He addressed them, through His servant Join; "Fear not, I am the,First and the La-t. I IIID He that liveth, and was dead, and behold I < m alive for evermore, and have the tens rf bpI! and of death." We are safe 11 U:s hands, whether in life or in death. <\11 tli tigs shall wo:k together for our good.ears hgo I well remember to have been at the Ponty- pridd Railway Station. I noticed that every. thing was in a standing still condition, a con- dition not frequently observed at that busy station. All the railway men looked in one direction. There was anxiety in every fac, Traffic had been completely suspended at that spot for the time, and deathly stillness reigned over the place. This state of things was to me a mystery, but it was soon cleared up. An engine with a carriage attached to it was seen cun:ing from the Rhondda Valley; it passed the station with greater speed than ordinary, if the direction of Cardiff. The secret of all this was that one of the servants of the Rail- way Company had met with a sad accident. His life was in danger, and everything had to give way for the time to that special express train, in order, if possible, to save the life of 1,3 poor sufferer. It occurred to me then that if a public company could, and would, suspend their ordinary laws and regulations, in order to save the life of one of their servants, what would our Almighty Saviour and King do in the interest of His faithful ones in their great out the ages. Death to the rhristian is only a afflictions. We know that the great Governor lor the Universe has. ere now, suspended the or- dinarv laws of nature in order to save and support His faithful servants in their day ot trouble. He caused the sun and the moon to stand still in order to protect His servant on the field of battle. He made a highway I through the sea. He made the rock a fountain 0* flowing waters. He made the Jordan to flow backwards and the fire to yield its con- suming power in order to defend and save His children; and should it be necessary this day, id the interest of His people, He would suspend the most inflexible laws of nature, for He is the Almighty and Infallible Governor of the world. Blessed, then, are they who trust in Him. He i6 a never-failing Friend. Down with all oppo- sition to Him, for no counsel can prevail against Him. Open your hearts to receive Him as your Saviour, and He will never fail to re- tain your affections.

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