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Jesus the Son of God? Is Christianity true? And you know Jesus to be both Lord and Christ; and His grace and truth a living reality. And you, like the Thessalonians, turned from your idols to serve the living God --not a myth, not an imaginary deity, as were the gods of the heathen, but a living God. Then it is all true;
“God is your Father.” You can say of the Lord who sits on the throne, “ He is my Redeemer." You can look away among the “sweet fields of Eden," and will soon claim the “ inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away." You can say, “In my Father's house are many mansions ;” and that although I know not now what I shall be, yet when “ He who is my life shall appear, I also shall appear with him.” You can speak confidently of a harp for your hand, and a crown for your head. You can sing of “a land of pure delight;" and your song in the night, like that of the nightingale, sounds the sweetest towards day-break; for that bird of sweet strain reserves his best melody for sunrise. Said Paul, “I am ready to be offered;" and again, “I have a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better;" and again, “ Not that I would be unclothed, [not that I would die,] but be clothed upon,” as I shall be, in resurrection, “with my house from heaven." Oh, may the Lord give us to understand the tenderly touching deductions we may draw from the reality of the things we have received! We are like those who are running certain of a prize, let us comfort ourselves as such ; so that the angels and devils, and our fellowmen who are looking on, like the spectators in the amphitheatre of old, may know certainly that we are in for a prize-that it is all a reality; and, oh, what a reality! God has treated us as He has treated no other created beings. God never gave His Son to live thirty years as a carpenter's son, and
on a common gallows to die as a malefactor, for the salvation of angels. Ah, no, beloved, but He gave Him for us; have we believed ?-draw your deductions; but remember, you may die to night! “ This night thy soul may be required of thee.”
And now adds the Apostle, “We have not followed cunningly devised fables when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ;" and says Peter, we have reason for believing it to be true, for “ we were eye-witnesses of his majesty." He took Peter, James, and John into a high mountain, and was transfigured before them. I like to think of these three. They are chief witnesses; they were eye-witnesses, for they had actually seen! In a com
a mon court, if three witnesses agree, the evidence is undoubted. If a man be accused, and three eyewitnesses of the act appear against him, believe me he is on the road to doom; or if three witnesses can prove his innocency, why the charge against him fails; and as in human jurisprudence, so with the law of Moses, " that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be established.” Now, see these three:
” John, who writes of Him not as the babe in Bethlehem, but of His high, primal rank as Son, who oftimes at supper leaned on His bosom, and drank in the living words from the loving lips of the Master Himself; Peter -dear, brave, impulsive Peter— I feel if all saints were to be as John, many would go doubting into heaven; and you, perhaps, would have cut off Peter for de nying His Lord. I love the Lord for giving us Peter! not because of his sin, but for the grace that was shown him, and for the power it gave that he could charge the Jerusalem sinners, “ Ye have denied the Holy One and the Just."- Ah, dear Peter! “ Though thy
— sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool.” But oh! mark- that servant maid-it is often a small thing that issues in the most mischief. If a traveller see a storm coming he prepares, but if only a mist, he may,
to his cost, go unprepared; so the maid, insignificant in herself, was used by Satan for Peter's overthrow; but the Lord had prayed for him, and brought him into the presence and under the strong power of His grace. The third witness was James, who was in Gethsemene's garden with Jesus, and was afterwards honoured to be a first martyr. I could stake my salvation on their words. Why? Because the age in which they lived could never disprove their testimony. The Roman Guard could not say, Jesus remained in his grave, for that he did not ; and they would not say that He rose from the dead, because that would be acknowledging the truth of what He had taught, but they said, “ The disciples came and stole him away while we slept.” Did forty men sleep? Forty men! every one under sentence of death, if he slept at his post ! Such a myth! but scarcely well devised. Says Peter, “We have not followed a cunningly devised fable;" but we can affirm Jesus to be true and the Resurrection ; for we saw Him alive from the dead; moreover we were eye-witnesses of His majesty. If all the devils in hell were sitting here, we could laugh them to scorn; I would confound the devils with God's truth. No! It is no myth-a myth indeed! Says Peter, We saw
a Him. And the eleven together saw Him-He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; and Paul who was as one born out of due time, saw Him. a Jew, a Pharisee, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, persecuting the Church of God: but the living Lord appeared to him and said, “ Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” He must have given up his reason, his very eyesight, if he had refused to accredit á reality! Christianity a myth indeed! Its very longevity proves it to be no myth
be no myth — the railing of
the heathen, and the scoffing of the Jew, the long Roman persecutions, Pagan and Papal, have failed to overthrow it; and as to its present witnesses, there is
scarce a city or town, in the whole earth, where there is not to be found a simple believer in a crucified Christ-a murdered, living, risen Jesus.
“ We were eye-witnesses of his majesty,” of his glory -the glory in which He will appear in the latter day, “For some are here,” said He, “who shall not taste of death [shall not die] until they see the Son of man coming in his glory." Six days after He gives this sample of that glory," when," says Peter, " we were with Him on the holy mount,”—and what glory! no longer His sorrowing visage, or marred face; but
“Forms too pure for human sight,
Grew visible amidst His light.”. Do you remark how they knew one another in the holy mount? I do believe this is a distinct assurance that we shall know one another in glory. Dear brothers and sisters, my companions in this work of the Lord Jesus, when the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised, and we who may have slept in Jesus, or are alive and remain at His coming—who have been associates in sorrow and in joy—we shall stand together, in that glory, with each other and the Lord, on that coming Tabor; we shall know each other. Moses and Elias were a type of the glory. Peter, James, and John, of the kingdom. I cannot enter on that now; but you might write over this scene, on the Holy
; Mount_" THE KINGDOM AND THE GLORY.” what we declared unto you," said the Apostle, “ was the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ;" the kingdom over which He shall reign, and the glory in which we are to be associated with Him; which kingdom and glory may be soon! Oh, come the day!
Now, so far, in our subject, I have endeavoured to show you
how what Peter, James, and John, as eyewitnesses, saw in the Holy Mount, is one of the buttresses of our faith.
But touching the other buttress of our faith, the Apostle adds, “ We have a more sure word of prophecy." You say, “Could anything be more sure than seeing ?” Well, it is possible that the eye might be deceived, but it is not possible that a whole volume of evidence could be false. God's Word stands good, according to admitted rules in human jurisprudence. “ In the mouth of two witnesses let every word be established.” We have the witnesses; but we have also so
a more sure word of prophecy.” We can search the writings, we can examine the testimony, we can compare the evidence, and find it all of God. Knowing this first that no Scripture is of private interpretation. Do you know what this means ?
peak now to those who understand the Olympic games.) Suppose two posts, and a bar which extended from one to the other; this bar in the games was used as a starting bar; the men stood inside the bar, surrounded by a great crowd of witnesses; the withdrawing of the bar was to determine their start-without a fair start the wreath would not be fairly won. Now one end of the bar rests on this pillar and the other on that, and no runner could have a private start; the bar was to be drawn by no one of or for himself; it was to be by no private actbut by the judge who was to determine the start; the very moment the bar is drawn they start. Now, no prophecy, not an atom of it, is of any private starting, neither from heaven or hell, neither from man, or angel, or devil; but it takes its start from the mind of God, by the Spirit of God. Holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” The “ word" of our salvation is all from God-God. Ah! dear believers, these are two sure buttresses ; we see, not follow a cunningly devised myth; for, besides what the apostles saw, our faith rests on the word of the living God, who cannot lie. Knowing that what we believe is true, silences every doubt. Does He promise eternal