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members—the Saviour for the saved—the Chief Shepherd for His flock—the Messiah for His reign—the Bridegroom for His bride. Ah then, what a consummation! We, who are His members, shall sit with Him on His throne, see Him as He is, shall be like Him, and be with Him for ever and ever.
A valuable practical use of this truth is, that it renders us comparatively insensible to everything here. We are not of the earth, that fadeth away. We are not seeking a portion in that from which we may be taken at any moment. We are not anxious to amass wealth ; we may not want it. If the Lord come, with whom would it be left ? We need not be over anxious, even if we have not health or ease.
We have the promise—“I WILL come.” How it separates from the world! You are a saint: that is separate. If you are looking for His coming, and love Him, you would not like to be" in scenes unsuitable to your trust, and contrary to Him.
And let us cherish boldness in this truth. If His coming be my hope, can I so far deny my convictions as to refuse to speak of it, and because some may not receive it ? No; let me speak of it as my joy; and let me love it. Paul says of the crown, “not for me only, but for all them also who love his appearing.”
Brethren, looking for Him is what will take your eye off greed, and sin, and care—out of mere three per cents., bank stock, and consols—out of all the perishing things of earth, its vain show, sordid affections, and questionable praise; that ye may be “like men who wait for their Lord.” And now,
one word to the sinner. I love the sinner, and I love to think that souls may be seeking the Lord here. All this, sinner, is for you, if you will believe it: yes, this very hour, if you will turn and take the words of the twenty-second psalm ; for those words were the words of Jesus, while bearing our sins—“They pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.”
And again, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ? sinner, see Him pierced !-His hands and His feet; pierced on the cross. See Him die the just for the unjust--the sinless for the sinful. Own Him as having died for the sinner—for you, and that now your punishment, which He took, is overpast. Believe it now ; and take up the crown along with the cross !—the hope with the faith !-and whilst He who testifieth these things saith “Surely, I come quickly," let your response be, “ Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus ;” or, as it is more literally, “ Amen! yes, be coming, Lord Jesus.” Rev. xxii. 20.
“ But come, Saviour, come,
And take us all home;
I WANT to commend to your minds, beloved, for your meditation this morning, the conduct of these Greeks. They wanted to see Jesus. You have been saying of « Jesus,"
“Sweetest note in angels' song,
Jesus, Jesús, Jesus."
You have been singing of the time when the preciousness of that name will be fully revealed, and saints and angels will for ever join in " Hallelujahs to the Lamb ;" and what I want for your own soul and mine is, that we may have deeper desires for the Lord Himself, that we may say with these Greeks, “ We would see Jesus.”
There are some here who are in deep desire for Him; they want Him beyond and above everything else. Others of you are longing to have the sense of Him renewed, which you had in past days. Is it not possible to be so occupied with work, or exercised about truth, that you may lose the sense of the Lord Himself, which sense you had in those “former days," as Paul calls them, “in which you were illuminated," when, with brightness, He first manifested Himself to you? Alas! you are saying,
" Where is the blessedness I knew
When first I saw the Lord ?
Of Jesus and His word ?" What you now want is a revival, not of truth, simply —not of doctrine, but of Himself, as in those “ former days " you calmly and brightly saw Him.
We want Him in a three-fold sense. We want Him as He was made known to Paul, who said, “God revealed His Son in me:" according to which, Christ was in him.
And we want Him, not merely as being in us down here, but as one raised and seated in heavenly places. You remember the rest this brought to your mind when
you first saw yourself (the old man, the natural man) slain with Jesus, and buried with Him; and when for the first time you knew your position, raised, seated, and accepted in Him in all His acceptance, and alive with Him in His risen life: we want Him in that sense.
And we want Him, thirdly, not merely as associated with Him where He now is, in heaven, but as Paul knew Him when he said, “But the Lord stood by me."
Alas ! how few know Him as Paul knew Him, or as the early saints knew Him. Retrogression, more or less, has been the history of the Church in all ages : taken collectively, the Church has lost the early sense she had of Him. She has grown dead since then; and, as with the Church collectively, so with its members individually. I feel it, and you feel it; and though all truth is blessed-prophetical truth, doctrinal truth, dispensational truth, all is blessed, for all proceed from Him-still I want, and you want what Paul and the first saints had, this brighter sense not so much of truth,
(in whatever form it may be,) as of Jesus Himself. Such sense of Him is from God. The same with our desires. As rivers are laid by God for the sea, as for their source : so desires for Christ, they are not only from God, but they are for God. He it is, by His Spirit, who gives the power in the soul, causing it to long for Him. Desires for Him never come unsent; they are not of the flesh- they never come from your old carnal self; it is GOD who leads you to say, “I would see Jesus."
And now I want, as the Lord may enable me, to preach to you this morning—"Jesus only.” You have come saying, “Jesus ! - I long for Jesus—I want Jesus.” And surely it would be a poor thing, if asking for bread, I gave you a stone. May the Lord give me wisdom that I may present to you, in all His own loveliness, the very One whom you desire. When I say I will speak of Him to-day, why I am always speaking of Him. I hardly think anything could be said of Him than what has been said, and yet what an inexhaustible fulness is there in Him; it is ever fresh,
I think if that woman had gone on and on to look for the meal, she would have discovered that the barrel had no bottom ! Thus is it with Jesus: the more we want the more there seems to be. Thus, too, when we commend Him to others, if we try to speak of Him, it is an ocean without a shore, a sea which cannot be fathomed; we may reach the surface, but we cannot find the bottom; we may skirt along the shores of His grace and His glory, but no foot can ever fathom their depth. To change the figure : He is an inexhaustible treasure-house, a boundless store; and in Him you will find—what you never will find in the world, even though you gain all its riches, honours, and applause--namely, perfect rest and settled peace for your soul.
Where would you see Him? For is He not every