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The Joint Heirs and Their Divine Portion
Delivered on Sunday Morning, July the 28th, 1861 by the
Rev. C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
“Joint heirs with Christ.”—Romans 8:17.
THE APOSTLE has proceeded through a simple but exceedingly forcible train of reasoning till he gains this glorious point—“Joint heirs with Christ.” He begins thus—“Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” This is a fact which he takes for granted because he has perceived it in the hearts of believers. We do cry, “Abba, Father.” From this he infers that if God has given us the Spirit whereby we call him “Father,” then we are his children, which is plain, fair, and clear reasoning. Then he adds—“If children then heirs”—though this does not hold true in all families, because all children are not heirs, frequently the first-born may take all the estate; but with God so long as they are children they have equal rights. “If children then heirs.” He goes on to say, “Heirs of God;” for if they are heirs they inherit their Father’s property. God is their Father, they are therefore God’s heirs! Well, but God hath another Son, one who is the first-born of every creature. Exactly so, therefore if we be heirs, as Christ Jesus is the heir of all things, we are “joint heirs with Christ.” I think you will see that, like links in a chain, these different truths draw each other on—the spirit of adoption proves the fact of adoption; by the act of adoption we are children; if children then heirs; if heirs, heirs of God; but since there is another heir, we must therefore be joint heirs with Christ Jesus. Blessed is the man to whom this reasoning is not abstract, but experimental. Happy is he who can follow the apostle step by step, and say, “Yes, I have this morning the spirit of a son; I know that my heart loves God, and I look to him as my Father, with trust, with confidence, and with love; then I am surely his son, because I have the Spirit a son; then I am his heir; I am the heir of God; and thus my faith lays hold upon the thrice-precious words of this glorious text—I am joint heir with Christ.”
I would invite you, my brethren in Christ Jesus, this morning, to do three things; first, let us consider the terms of the will—“joint heirs with Christ;” secondly, let us go forth and view the estates—what it is of which we are joint heirs; and when we have done so, let us proceed at once to administer, for God hath made his children administrators as web as heirs.
I. First, then, there is A LEGAL TERM IN THE WILL UPON WHICH THE WHOLE MATTER WILL HINGE. We are called “joint heirs with Christ”—what meaneth this?
1. It means, first of all, that our right to the divine heritage stands or falls with Christ’s right to the same inheritance. We are co-heirs; if he be truly an heir, so are we; and if he be not, neither are we. Our two interests are intertwined and made one, we have neither of us any heirship apart from the other; we are joint heirs, Christ jointly with us; ourselves jointly with Christ. So, then, it follows that if there be any flaw in the will, so that it be not valid, if it be not rightly signed, sealed, and delivered, then it is no more valid for Christ than it is for us. If there be some points in the covenant of grace where wisdom has been deficient, and therefore by error it may miscarry, or by lack of legal right may prove null and void, it is as surely null towards Christ as towards ourselves, for he is jointly concerned therein. If according to law we are only heirs-presumptive, whose rights may be superseded, then our great joint heir, so far as he is co-heir with us, is superseded also. If it be possible that by some decree in heaven’s high court, it should be certified and determined that the inheritance is not rightly ours, because some one part of the covenant was left in a precarious state so that it became void and of no effect, then, thine inheritance, O thou King of kings, has failed thee in the very day when it hath failed us. I trust you will lay hold upon that thought; if Christ as God’s heir has a perfect right to what his Father has bestowed upon him, even so have we, for our rights are nonexistent. If our title be true and just, so is his, and if his rights of heritage be true and just, so are ours. Oh! blessed thought for the believer! Jesus must lose the reward of his agonies before we can lose the fruits of them. Jesus the Mediator must lose the glory which his finished work has procured for him, ere one of his co-heirs can miss of it; he must come down from that glory which he now inhabiteth, and cease to be honored as “the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us unto God by his blood,” if any one of his people shall be deprived of that glory, and be cast into hell. The will, if valid for one, is valid for all.
But perhaps there may be a suit in law made against the will; some antagonist may set up a counter claim; an enemy to the entire family may proceed at once to attack the will with venom and with malice; he may take it into the Heavenly Court of Chancery, and there, before the great Judge, the question may be tried as to whether the inheritance be legally and lawfully ours. Very well, be it so; but then it is Christ’s interest that is at stake as well as mine; he will be co-respondent in the suit. When Satan stood forth to accuse Joshua, the high priest, he did in effect accuse Christ as well as that chosen disciple, and the Lord was not slow to put in his rejoinder to the objection: “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? “If Satan bring an accusation before God against any of the Lord’s redeemed, that accusation is made against the Redeemer himself, for God’s people are so one with Christ, that you must first bring the charge against Christ himself ere you dare to lay it against any of his elect. Do not say you: can charge the members with sin; you may do so in the inferior courts of earth, but the bill will be ignored in the supreme court of heaven, since before that bar the accepted substitute appears to answer an demands. You must enter your suit against the Head if you would attack the members, for verily the action at law which can be pleaded against the member of the body must be pleaded against the Head itself, for no court can allow a distinction between the body and the head in an notion at law. If it be possible that the malice and the graft of hell could invent some scheme by which the covenant could he put out of court, and the promise of grace could be made to fail, then Christ fails with his people, and the heir of all things loses his inheritance as soon as one single one of the other heirs shall have his right to the inheritance disproved. Our rights are joint rights, and most be either jointly acknowledged or jointly denied. “We are joint heirs with Christ.”
Yet, further, to illustrate the full meaning of the joint heirship—suppose, after the via had been proved and acknowledged to be right, it shall be found in winding up the affairs of the testator, that nothing is left to distribute—suppose, after all this boast and talk about being heirs, the property should be nil, or there should even be found a debt against the estate—what then? Why, my brethren, if we get nothing, Christ gets nothing; if there should for us, there is no heaven for Christ. If there should be no thrones for us, there would be no throne for him; if the promise should utterly fail of fulfillment to the least of the joint heritors, it must also fail of accomplishment to our Lord Jesus Christ himself. Be the property much or little, we are co-heirs; if there be infinite treasures, Christ hath them, and we have them; but if there be no treasure whatever, and faith should end in disappointment, and hope in despair, the calamity which impoverishes us must also impoverish our great co-heir. When we are poor, and in eternity have no shelter; when we in the next world shall find no heaven and no bliss,—then, wandering as outcast orphans, we shall see our Elder Brother an outcast orphan too; if we be portionless and penniless, the Firstborn among many brethren must be portionless and penniless also, for with him we stand or we fall.
And then suppose that, in winding up the estates, it should be found that, though there be something left, yet it be a mere trifle, scarcely worth an acknowledgment: enough to excite appetite but not sufficient to satisfy it—what if it should come out at last, that heaven is not the infinite joy we have been taught to expect; suppose its bliss should be but inferior joy, such as might be found even in this world below—suppose that the harps have no melody, the crowns but little glory, and heaven’s streets but slight magnificence—what then? What they are to us they are to our co-heir. Saints with little glory, then Christ with little glory; believers with a narrow heaven, then Christ with a narrow heaven. If they drink but little from the river of pleasure, his draughts must be shallow too, for their joy is his joy, and his glory he has given them. He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied, and ye who long for his appearing shall be satisfied also when ye wake up in his likeness.
I have been dwelling upon the black side in order to bring the bright one out by contrast. We are joint heirs. So you see if there be any flaw, if there be any action to set aside the will, or if there be found no effects, or if the effects be slender, the loss falleth upon the co-heirs; not on one alone, nor on the other alone, but on the two, since they are jointly designated heirs in the will, and they are only heirs as they stand in relationship with one another. But oh! my brethren, let us revel with delight for a moment in the contrast which I might present to you. There is no flaw in God’s will with regard to Christ. The heathen may rage, and the kings of the earth take counsel together, but God saith, “I will declare the decree, yet have I set my Son upon any holy hill of Zion.” There is no fear whatever that, by any accident or by mistake, Christ should miss the honor to which his Father hath ordained him, he must be with his Father where he is. Just as little fear is there for you and for me if we be heirs of God. Thus runs the decree, and thus shall the fulfillment follow—“I will that they whom thou hast given me be with me where I am.” No suit in law can stand against Christ; it were idle to dream it for a moment He has satisfied God’s law, magnified it and made it honorable; he has discharged all the debts which as surety he took upon himself. Who shall accuse the Redeemer? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of him who rose again from the dead? Nor can any creature accuse his saints, nor can heaven, or earth, or hell disprove our rights or infringe upon our title so long as his title stands undisputed and indisputable. We shall see his face; the devils in hell cannot hinder it; we shall possess the promised rest, still the fiends that are beneath shall not rob us of the heirloom. And, believer, there is no fear that Christ shall be the possessor of nothing or heir of little things. He is the Son of God the infinitely rich, and God will not give to his Son a petty dowry or a trifling portion. “Ask of me,” saith he, and he gives him unlimited permission to ask, not as Herod who would give only the half of his kingdom, but as one who would give everything to his Son whom he hath appointed heir of all things, and by whom he make the worlds. And O my soul, thy portion cannot be slender nor thy dowry narrow, since it is the same inheritance which Christ has from his Father’s hands. Weigh the riches of Christ in scales and his treasures in balances and then think to count the treasures which belong to the saints. Reach the bottom of Christ’s sea of joy, and then hope to understand the bliss which God hath prepared for them that love him. Overleap the boundaries of Christ’s possession if you can, and then dream of ending a limit to the possessions of the elect of God. “All things are yours, for ye are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.”
2. There is another point under the first head which I must not omit. Then it appears if we are called joint heirs with Christ, we legally and strictly have no inheritance apart from him. Soul, this suggests to thee a solemn enquiry, “Art thou in Christ or not?” Think not that thou canst ever be a partaker of the fullness of God Unless thou art in Christ—with him vitally and personally, one. One of two joint heirs has no right apart from the other. The signature of the one will not avail to alienate the estate, nor can he sell it by his own right, nor have it all at his own separate disposal, or in his own sole possession or holding. He has, in fact, no right at all, except as he is taken in connection with his co-heir. Consider this, believer. You have no right to heaven in yourself; your right lieth in Christ. If you be pardoned, it is through his blood; if you be justified, it is through his righteousness; if you be sanctified, it is because he is made of God unto you sanctification; if you be taught in the ways of God, it is because he becomes your wisdom; if you shall be kept from falling it will be because you are preserved in Christ Jesus; and if you are perfected, it is because you are complete in him, and if you be glorified at the last, it will be because God the Father hath glorified his Son Jesus. The promises are yea and amen to thee, but only in Christ Jesus, in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh at things after the counsel of his own will. Make thou thyself assured, then, that thou art in union with Christ, for out of him thou hast no rights whatever.
3. The title of joint heir contains another mystery which I cannot withhold, although it must be judiciously handled—Christ, as coheir, has (of his own free grace) so identified himself with what his rights as co-heir are not to be separated or viewed apart from ours. As God, by his own right, the Lord Jesus is possessor of all things, since he made and supports all things; but as Jesus, the mediator, the federal head of the covenant of grace, he hath no rights apart from his people. See, brethren, he enters into glory, but not for himself alone, for it is written, “Whither the forerunner is for us entered.” Hebrews 6:20. Does he stand in the presence of God—he appears in the presence of God for us; Hebrews 9:24. Adam’s death was not simply his own private loss, for in Adam all died, and Christ’s life and all the consequences of his obedience are not merely his own, but the joint riches of all who are in him, of whom he is the federal head, and on whose behalf he accomplished the divine will. When Christ gave himself for us, he gave us all the rights and privileges which went with himself, so that now he has, as our Brother, no heritage apart from us, although, as Eternal God, he hath essential rights to which no creature may venture to pretend.
Yet one more remark before we leave this point. While dwelling upon this joint heirship, let us remark what an honor is conferred upon us. To have anything to do with a great man is thought by some persons to be a distinguished mark of honor; to be set down in a will as co-heir with some great prince or noble would be considered indeed a great thing; but what honor is conferred on thee, believer, to be joint heir with the King of kings, the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace! Thou camest here to-day from thy toil, and thy bones have scarce forgotten yesterday’s weariness; but thou art coheir with him who rules all heaven; thou art come here in poverty and thou wilt go home to a scant meal in a narrow room, but thou art co-heir with him who made the worlds, by whom: all thinks consist; you have come here weak and feeble, doubting, distrustful, and cast down, but I tell thee, weak though thou be, and in thine own judgment less than the least of all yet the same hand that wrote Christ heir of all things wrote thy name with his, and till a hand can be found that can blot out thy Redeemer’s name thine shall stand and abide fair ever and ever. Come, lift up thine head; envy no man his dukedom; think no man’s princeship worth thy coveting; thou art greater than the greatest, for thou art joint heir with Christ; in dignified relationship thou hast no superior upon earth; and except those who are joint heirs with thee, thou hast not an equal, since thou art joint heir with Christ. And wilt thou think, yet again, what cause there is that thou shouldest realize to-day thy union with Christ, since thou art joint heir with him. Soul, thou art linked with Christ in the Eternal business of the Eternal Father. When he decreed Christ to be blessed above all the blessed, he decreed thee to be a partaker with him. Christ was always considered as having you in him, and you were always considered by God as being in Christ. I pray you consider yourself as being in Christ. Look to-day upon thine own being, not as a stray spark, but as a portion of Christ’s fire, not as a solitary drop, but as a part of that deep sea of love which we can Christ Jesus. Think of thyself now, not as a man or separate individual, but as a member of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. These are blessed subjects, though I cannot speak upon them as I would. I always find when I have to deal with these “fat things full of marrow,” that words fail us; and perhaps it is well, for then the excellency of the power is proved to be not by words of man but in the weight, and fullness, and richness of gospel matter. Joint heirs with Christ Jesus! I defy you to exhaust that topic, though you should think about it all the days of the next week, nay, though you should muse upon it till eternity commences with your soul.
II. IN VIEWING THE ESTATES we must remark that to our present apprehension they are divided into two parts, the first part of the inheritance is one which flesh and blood would fain do without—it is the inheritance of suffering. When Christ was God’s heir, and was here on earth, he was heir of the cross, heir of shame, and spitting, and cruel mockings, and scourgings. If we are joint heirs with him, we, too, must partake of the same. Come with me, believer, to your estates, and behold, just on the edge of your Father’s great inheritance, lies the swamp and morass of affliction. Now this is yours. If this be not yours, neither are the rest, for they are in the same indenture, and they are beg seethed to you in the same will. The same legacy that left peace with you, also left tribulation with you, while you are in this world. Come now, though this be an exceedingly noisome spot, though it be a piece of ground which thou wouldst fain leave out and give to thine enemies, yet there is a possibility of getting great treasure and great riches out of it; therefore do not scorn it. But if thou scorn it, remember, thou scornest the rest of the inheritance, for they are all one and indivisible in your Father’s will. Christ’s cross is entailed on all heirs of God. Will you take the cross? What! do thy shoulders forbid, and refuse themselves the pain of bearing it? Then, remember, thy head must deny itself the pleasure of wearing the crown. No cross no crown. If you are joint heir and would claim one part of the estate, you must take the rest. Are you ready to throw up your own claim, and say, “I will not be heir of anything?” Be it so, then; but until you are, you must be ready to suffer in this world the afflictions of the chosen eons, for they are a part of the inheritance. But, remember, Christ is coheir with you in this. “In all their afflictions he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them.” Added to this you must also be the heir of persecution. Christ had to be persecuted and so must you. If you, for fear of shame, and out of the love of the flesh, will not follow Christ through an evil generation, neither shall you follow him when he marches through the streets of heaven in triumph, amidst the acclamations of angels. You must endure persecution; but then, remember, he will be joint heir with you. “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” “He had not persecuted Christ,” you say, “it was only some poor men and women that he had haled to prison, or scourged in the synagogue, to compel them to blaspheme.” Ay, but Christ was co-heir with theirs, and when Saul persecuted the poor servants of Jesus, he pet the Master too. Will you be sharers with him? Will you be scoffed at for his sake? Will you be willing to endure the revilings of slanderous tongues?—for if not, inasmuch as you reject one part of the inheritance you reject the rest. There is a third black portion, too, namely, temptation. You must be tempted of Satan, you must be tried by the world, the flesh, of the devil. Do you shrink from it? Do you say, “I would not be a Christian, if I must always be on my guard, and always fighting against temptation from without and from within?” Remember, in this, too, Christ is your co-heir. “He was tempted in all points like as we are.” “We have not an High Priest that cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities.” Do you shrink from being tempted? Would you take Job’s jewels, but not his dung-hill? Would you have David’s crown, but not his caves of Adullam, and rocks of the wild goats? Would you have your Master’s throne, but not his temptation in the wilderness? Then, remember, it cannot be; when you refuse the one, you relinquish all claim to the other. The co-heir is heir to the entire estate; and if he says, “No, not to that portion,” then he is not heir to any; and if he makes exemption anywhere, he makes exemption to the whole. The joint heirship reaches from the gloomy patina of deep affliction up to the bright ineffable splendor of the throne of bliss, nor can any man reverse the record. “If so be that we suffer with him, we shall also be glorified together.”
Now, let us march with joyful footsteps onward to the other part of the inheritance. As this is a legal question, and as in matters of wills everything should be proven and sworn to, let us have, concerning our inheritance, the evidence of God: that cannot lie. Now, first, brethren, as co-heirs with Christ, we are heirs of God—so the text tells us. Oh! who can tell what God is? The finite cannot grasp the infinite. We who are but babes cannot hold the great ocean of Godhead in our infantile palms. We know not what God is, nor the measure of his attributes. But, remember, the text tells us that all God is, is ours. Is he omnipotent? Thine omnipotence is ours, O God, to be our defense. Is he omniscient? Thine infinite wisdom, O God, is mine to guide me. Is he eternal? Thine eternity, O God, is mine to keep me in existence, that I may ever be preserved. Is he full of love and grace? Then all thy love, as though there were not another to be loved, is mine, O God, and all thy grace, as though there were never another sinner to partake of it, is mine. “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup.”—Psalm 16:5. “God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”—Psalm 63:26. Take another passage. Turn to Romans, the 4:chapter, 13th verse and you will find that there the promise that was made to the seed was that he should be heir of the world. “Ask of me,” said his rather, “and I will give thee the heathen for thy inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” “This world is ours,” says the apostle in another place, and ours because it is Christ’s by right of inheritance. There is nothing here below which does not belong to a believer. If he hath wealth, let him use it in his Master’s service, for it is his. If he hath poverty, it is better for him, for poverty is his to help him, to be sanctified, and to long for heaven. Whatever happens to him—sickness or health, adversity or prosperity, everything is his here below. You may walk the broad acres of this round globe, and never look upon a single spot that is not yours. You may cast your eye to the remotest star, or send your thoughts beyond into the untraversed leagues of space, but look where you will, as all is Christ’s, so all is yours. You have not come of age, so you do not possess it yet, but the day shall come when Christ shall come to this earth, and take possession of it, and then his saints shall reign with him. “The meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves with the abundance of peace.” In Hebrews 1:2., we are told that God has appointed Christ heir of all things. Then we are heirs of all things—heaven and earth, time and eternity, anything that you can conceive of the things that can be named and cannot be named, things conceivable and inconceivable, finite and infinite, human and divine. Christ’s property extends to all, and we are co-heirs. Therefore, our rights and our property extend to all things whatsoever they may be. “For all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” Then in James 2:5., we are spoken of as being heirs of the kingdom. Christ hath a kingdom that shall never be moved. He ruleth over all. Doth he call himself a King? he hath made us kings. Is Christ a priest? We are priests unto our God. Dries he sit upon a throne? We shall overcome and sit down with him upon his throne. Will he judge the nations? Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world! Will he be received with triumph by his Father? So shall we when his Father shall say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Will he be ruler over many things? So shall we be when he shall say unto us, “Enter ye into the joy of your Lord.” Hath he joy? We shall have joy too, for we shall have his joy. Is he glorious? So must we be, for we shall be made like him. Is he everlasting? So shall we be, for because he lives, we shall live also. Brethren, I pray you, if your thoughts now can bring themselves to the matter, gather up all the honors, glories, treasures, riches, that your thought have ever conceived as belonging to Christ, and while the hymn is ringing in your ear—“Crown him, crown him, crown him, Lord of all;” remember that you are co-heirs with him. Oh! it is a glorious truth. Oratory may stand back, and eloquence may hold her tongue. The doctrine must be stated in its naked truth. She is, “when unadorned, adorned the most.” This glorious truth is most sweet when earth’s honeyed words are taken away, and most lustrous when we no longer attempt to illuminate her with human language. We are heirs with Christ. All that he has, all that he is, therefore, belongeth to us.
III. Now, thirdly, and this is the practical part of the discourse, let us proceed to ADMINISTER TO THE EFFECTS. How can we do that, say you? Well, in the first place, there is one part of the property which we may enjoy at once. Behold, I present to you the fair cross of your once crucified Elder Brother. When you came here this morning you were troubled, and as you came in you were envying your neighbor. You were saying of such-and-such an ungodly person, “Everything seems to go well with him, but as for me, all the day long am I plagued, and chastened every morning.” You were murmuring at the dispensations of God. Now, you have heard your Father’s will read, and you find that you are joint heirs with Christ. You discover that Christ had his cross, and you are asked to administer to the will. Come, take your cross up and bear it with joy. You will have to carry it. Whether you take it up or not, your murmuring will not lighten your afflictions. You can make your wooden cross into an iron one, if you choose, by being of a fretful disposition. Resignation to God’s will takes the weight out of the cross, but a proud spirit that will not bow to God’s will change a wooden cross into an iron one. Now which shall it be! You must be chastened, you must feel the goad; will you kick against the pricks and so wound yourself more than you would have been by the goad itself? Why will you inflict more sorrow on yourself than God indicts? Be patient, and you only feel the rod as it is in God’s hands, but when you are impatient and clutch at the rod, you briny it down with the weight of God’s hand and your own hand too. Now be quiet. Not only be quiet, but be glad. Say, “I count it to be my joy to be permitted to be a partaker of the sufferings of Christ. I will count it to be my highest glory if I may be made a knight of the cross, and may carry that cross upon my shoulder: to the world a badge of dishonor, but to me the ensign of glory, the escutcheon of honor. I cannot of course picture what your precise trouble is. Some of you have a trouble perhaps, in her who is dearest to you. Others of you have affliction in your children, many of you are tried in your business, and some of you in your bodies with chronic or acute diseases. I know you have an a cross, or if you have not, I hope you will soon have one, for where there is no cross there is no Christ. The cross and Christ are nailed together by four nails, and they will never be disassociated in the experience of any Christian. All the sheep of the Great Shepherd are marked with the cross, and this not only in the fleece, but in the flesh. “If ye be without chastisement whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons. “Now, I say begin at once to administer, by shouldering the cross and bearing your troubles and your persecutions with patience and with joy.
But next: why cannot we administer also to the blessed part of the glorious testament! Brethren, faith can do wonders. While sense is grovelling down below, faith with eagle wing cuts through the cloud and mounts to heaven. If you have faith enough brethren, you may this mourning be raised up to sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. Come, faith, and help me now to lay my fingers among the strings of the golden harp. Yea, that harp is mine, and my soul by faith would make every string resound with melody. Glory be unto thee, O God, glory be unto thee; my soul is in heaven, I with the cherubim and seraphim would bow, and sing, and rejoice with them I veil my face in this most joyful moment wiping every tear from my poor eyes, I bid them look upon thy glory in Christ. My soul would even now take her seat upon the throne; where my treasure is, there shall my heart be also.
“Even now I will adore him,
With the glorious hosts above,
Who for ever bow before him,
And unceasing sing his love.
I will begin the music here.
And so my soul shall rise;
Oh! for some heavenly note to, bear
My passions to the skies.
E’en now by faith I join my hands
With those that went before.
All hail! ye blood-besprinkled bands
Upon the eternal shore.”
Oh! holy Immanuel, exalted as thou art, thy co-heirs here below begin by faith to partake of thy glory. Methinks my head wears the crown; the white robe is girt about me, and my feet tread no more the battle fields, but the streets of peaceful bliss. Jerusalem, my spirit is come to thee, and unto thy glorious assembly. O ye first-born whose names are written in heaven, I take my seat with you and join your rapturous adoration. O God, thou Judge of all, my spirit meets thee robed in my Saviour’s righteousness, and salutes thee as my Father and my all. O eternity, eternity eternity!—time is gone, and change is over, and I am floating on thy pacific waves where winds can never howl and tempests never lower. My soul hath made me like the chariots of Aminadib, and I have gotten me away to the hills of myrrh and the mountains of frankincense.
Last of all, I have another practical point. God has given Christ the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost ends of the earth for his possession, and we are co-heirs with him. Brethren, let us advance to take the property. But how! Why some of you can do so by preaching the gospel to poor sinners in the streets. Others, this afternoon, by teaching your children in the class. You can say, “God has given these souls to Christ, I am going to take them in Christ’s name.” Others of you who can do little yourselves, can this day assist by sending forth men of God to preach the gospel of Christ. Germany belongs not to the cloudy philosopher, but to Christ. Holland, Belgium, Russia, and Poland, belong not to their kings and czars, Christ is the King of kings, these lands belong to us. Go up; take them. Say not, “There are giants in the land,” ye are strong enough to smite them. Say not, “Lutheranism and Popery are mighty.” So they are, but he that is with you is mightier far. As Jonathan of old, with his armor, climbed up the steep place in the cleft of the rock and began to mow down his enemies, so, believer, alone or with your friend, as God has called you, climb up, for verily the possession is yours, and you may take it. All that the Church wants to-day is courage and devotion. Let but the Church know her rights and claim them, let her cease to assimilate herself to the sons of earth, let her cease from her accursed fornication with the state, and she shall become the pure, chaste bride of Christ. Let her, then, as Christ’s queen, claim the earth as hers, and send her heralds forth from sea to sea to bid all men bow before him, and confess him to be their King. God’s power will be with her heralds, God’s might shall be with her armies, and the earth shall soon submit, and Christ shall reign for ever and ever. “Say to the North, give up, and to the South, keep not back; bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth.” Say it, Christians, say it this morning; say it by your prayer, your deeds, your constant energy, say it by your benefactions, demand the earth for Christ, demand it for yourselves, for ye are “joint heirs with Christ.” I pray you take the possession now.
Poor prodigal sinner, may our Father bring thee home, for there is an inheritance even for thee. “Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shalt be saved.”
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