SPECIAL! Alexander Campbell’s sermon on The Riches of Christ––(Also, coming: a “Karl Jaspers Applied” to the misapplication of Jaspers to the dread and rapture of forces now including vatic “UFO” leaks) 5-19-2008 (Corrected 5-24-08)
Notation: The following was taken from Vol. I of “The Christian Preacher”, published in 1836, and routed to editor D. S. Burnet 12-18-1835 with a letter in which Campbell refers to the article, “The Riches of Christ”, as “my sermon”; he also refers to it as “the third discourse which I have written in twenty-five years”. He preferred public extemporaneous speaking and debating.
I’m posting it on “Karl Jaspers Applied” in part because of recent focusings on those associated in some way with Glasgow University (caught up in the middle of the Reformation and Apostasy phenomenon). Campbell’s piece features the reality of inheritance, as empirical as real estate, and it fits somewhere and somehow historically, and when the occasion hereafter presents itself the relevance can be shown, e.g., I think that Kierkegaard was around 23 when this discourse was prepared. Within the Kierkegaard frame of reference, Jaspers said, “I would imagine this [radical reformation of the biblical faith] on Protestant soil” (PFR 351). Jaspers was, if more than hoping, predicting what was already initiated in the New World; and it is a shame for me to have to draw attention to it as a result of efforts by the big religious establishments to reap Jaspers in their harvesting of forces (which now extends to the recent Vatican leak of approval for the universal acceptance of whatever dread or rapture “UFO” forces might be exploitable).
My intention is that the book should eventually be in a school’s library of my choosing.
I’ve numbered the paragraphs for future possible uses. My main purpose here is to get the sermon posted. And just as Campbell hurried to write the sermon, so I have hurried it for posting.
Routed to my Website manager 5-19-2008—Glenn C. Wood
“THE RICHES OF CHRIST”
“There is one Lord Jesus Christ by whom are all things.” 1 Cor. viii. 6.––“By him were created all things which are in the heavens, and which are upon the earth, things visible, and things invisible;––whether thrones, or lordships, or governments, or powers, all things were created by him, and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. He is the head of the body, even the congregation. He is the beginning, the first born from the dead, that in all respects he might be pre-eminent; for it pleased the Father, that all the fullness should dwell in him.” Col. i. 16,–20––“The Father loveth the son, and has given all things into his hand.” John, iii. 35.––“All things that the Father has are mine.” John, xvi. 15––“All authority in heaven and earth is given to me.” Matt. xxviii. 18––“He has put all things under his feet.” 1 Cor. xv. 27.––“Angels, authorities, principalities, and powers are subjected to him.” 1 Peter, iii. 22.––“God has spoken to us by a Son, whom he has constituted Lord of all things, by whom also he made the universe, who being an effulgence of his glory, and an exact representation of his character, controlling all things by his most powerful word.” Heb. i. 2-3.––“To me was this favor given, that I might publish among the Gentiles the UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST.” Ep. iii. 8
1. The personal dignity, moral excellence, and official glory of the Messiah, are the supreme themes of the Living Oracles. The whole testimony of God, commands the attention of the universe to Jesus of Nazareth, as his Son, and the rightful heir of every created thing. The rich and lofty eloquence of the Hebrew poets, and Christian Apostles, derives its superlative charms, from the grandeur and excellency [sic] of the things revealed by the Spirit of God concerning him. As his person, character, offices, and possessions, open to their view, their eloquence rises, to a sublimity, and a splendor, to which the genius of no Grecian, Roman, or English poet, could exalt him, in the contemplation of mere nature, rich and beautiful as it is. Language indeed, copious and luxuriant though it be, assisted and enriched by the most splendid imagery of nature, is wholly bankrupt, when it presumes to exhibit the peerless majesty, riches and glory of the Savior of the world. If the human heart ever feels a “joy unspeakable, and full of glory,” it is when laboring to give utterance to its conceptions of him, who in its esteem, “is chief among all the ten thousands, and altogether lovely.” That our joy may then be increased, the speaker invites himself and his Christian hearers to spend a few minutes in surveying the unsearchable riches of Christ, regarded simply as the Lord of the Universe.
2. When the personal Dignity of the Messiah comes before us as an object of special consideration and illustration, it is under the inspired names of “Emmanuel,” “the only begotten of the Father,” “the Son of God,” we desire to contemplate it;––when his moral excellence, as the son of Mary, is inquired into, his words and actions, full of grace and truth, recorded by his inspired biographers, the four evangelists, afford us documentary evidence.–When his official glory, as the only Mediator between God and man, is to be opened to our reflections; then we think of all the prophets, the priests, and kings of sacred history, and speak of him as the secretary and counsellor [sic] of Jehovah, as the prophet of all the prophets, the high priest of all the high priests, the king of all the kings, of the patriarchy, the theocracy; but now that we speak primarily of his inheritance, the riches, and the glory of his dominions, we select those passages of Scripture now read, all of which, naturally, lead us to admire the glorious riches of the hereditary possessions of the Savior of the world.
3. Our conceptions of the extent and value of this inheritance must be formed and measured by what is read in the Bible, and what is seen in the material universe. The former, pre-supposing the latter, without it, could communicate no distinct idea; and the latter, being but the exposition, and the illustration of the former, without it, is perfectly unintelligible. And here lies the true philosophy of the intimate union and indissoluble connexion [sic] between the Bible, and science, truly and properly so called; not the science of the creations of human fancy such as that of the Gnostics–the Metaphysicians, and the Theologians, of the order of Saint Origin [sic], Saint Augustine, or Saint Pelagius; but the science, or the knowledge of nature–the creation of God, acquired by the application of our minds to his works, as displayed in the heavens and in the earth, in the land and in the sea, in the length and breadth of the mineral and vegetable, and animal kingdoms of nature. This is the science which interprets the Bible, and therefore, the more profoundly we understand the one, the more highly must we appreciate the other.• (•The entia naturæ and the entia rationis are the titles of the two chapters of human knowledge. The former is all real, the latter all abstract and imaginative.–The one means the creations of God;–the other, the purely mental creations of man. To the latter the ancients gave the name of Philosophy and Science, most unjustly, as Paul teachers–to the former the moderns have rationally enough, chiefly appropriated the term Science; though there are some who yet talk of metaphysics, and moral philosophy as science.–By science, in our acceptations, is meant the knowledge of the works of God in all the facts which Natural History, and Natural Philosophy have opened to our view; all of which go to the demonstration of his existence and perfection.)
4. Religion, having God for its author and its object, in its full range must necessarily comprehend all true knowledge; for in all nature what is there to be seen, or learnt, but the wonderful plans and operations of the infinite and eternal mind! The student of nature is continually feasting upon the infinity of ideas, which from all eternity, were possessed by the Omniscient designer, and Omnipotent architect of the Universe: for all the developments of material nature and of time, are but the execution of models and designs, which lay in the deep thought and counsel of Jehovah from all eternity. The study of nature and religion, ought, therefore, never to be divided; like a fond wedded pair they ought to march hand in hand to the portals of immortality. A few skeptics to the contrary notwithstanding, who cannot reconcile some of the facts of Natural Philosophy, with those recorded in the Bible, we nevertheless do confidently, and constantly affirm the harmony of nature with the developments of supernatural revelation.
5. In illustrating what the Bible teaches us on the present occasion, we shall lay under tribute a small portion of human science; for with us it is no matter who makes a discovery in the realms of nature, the Christian has an indefeasible right to consecrate all to God, our Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord. For this reason, the speaker endeavors to keep pace, in his humble rations of daily reading with the admirable developments of science, for no other purpose than his own enjoyment, and the more useful developments of the principles of religion.
6. We have said that our conceptions of the extent and value of the inheritance of our Redeemer, must be estimated by our knowledge of nature, and of the Bible: in other words, that what God does, best explains what he says: we, therefore, make the works of God the interpreter of his word: and now invite our hearers to a brief survey of our own inheritance, that we may ascend by comparison, and analogy, to some tolerable conception, of the unsearchable riches of Christ. As he who would scale the summit of some lofty mountain, takes a single step at a time; so he that would aspire after some lofty and enlarged conception of the universe, ascends by degrees.
7. The terraqueous [sic] globe, which constitutes our real estate, is ascertained to be about eight thousand miles in diameter, and twenty five thousand miles in circumference. Were its whole surface of land and water surveyed into sections of six hundred and forty acres each, or one square mile, as is the state of Ohio, it would afford almost two hundred millions of square miles. Now that we may feel, how difficult it is to form an idea of such an immense surface it may be observed that if a person were to pass along the one side of every square mile, as to glance over its whole surface, with tolerable accuracy, traveling at the rate of thirty miles per day, it would require more than eighteen thousand years to complete his survey of the superfices [sic] of our own planet. So liberal is the landed patrimony bestowed upon man by his heavenly Father. Allowing three-fourths of the whole estate to be water, and the human family at present to be one thousand millions, then there is a farm of thirty-two acres for every human being.
8. Before we notice the miscellaneous riches found in, and upon, our real estate, while we have the size of our planet in our view, affording us some data, and a scale of comparison, by which our feeble powers may form some estimate of the magnificent frame of the universe, we shall glance at that part of the inheritance of Christ called the Solar System.
9. In this system, comprehending the sun and the planets belonging to it, according to the most learned calculations, there is a mass of matter two thousand five hundred times greater than that of the earth. One of the planets, indeed, equals the size of fourteen hundred globes like ours; and another is nine hundred times larger than the earth. The sun himself is more than five hundred times larger than all the planets added together; so that it would take one million three hundred and two thousand, five hundred patrimonies like ours, to make the whole Solar System. Yet this system, immense and overwhelming as it is, is little more than the one hundred millionth part of that universe which the telescopes opens to our view. Visionary as it may seem, this theory is sustained by the most correct mathematical calculations, and astronomical observations.––There are from eighty to one hundred millions of suns, in all probability as large as ours, having their surrounding worlds revolving round them on a scale as magnificent as that of our own system.
10. But what is beyond the most remote sun, which our most improved instruments make dimly visible in the illimitable regions of space! Perhaps in the invisible and unexplored regions beyond these, are other systems, still larger and more numerous, than those which the largest of magnifying glasses bring within our vision. And may it not be, that all the Solar Systems ever seen my mortal eyes, are not in the proportion, of one drop to the ocean, of the vast and incomprehensible creations of the Almighty Father? “Lord, what then is man, that thou art mindful of him; or the son of man that thou shouldst visit him?” Thus we arrive at some idea of the innumerable multitude of worlds which comprise the estate of our Lord Messiah. For all these are his by a right most peculiar: “All were created by him and for him.” “By him, God made the worlds.”–––
11. The space occupied by those innumerable systems, is still more wonderfully overwhelming. To complete the idea of the immensity of the Lord’s possessions, we ought not only to count the suns, and the systems that move round them; but we ought to consider the corresponding spaces, which each sun with its revolving planets, occupies. According to the most approved calculations of the latest Astronomers, the cubical space allowed to our sun, and his system of primary and secondary planets, is not less than three thousand six hundred millions of miles in diameter. And the whole distance from our sun to its nearest neighbor is about forty billions of miles. Now if each of the one hundred millions of suns, which have been estimated to cover these immeasurable fields of space, surveyed by our most powerful glasses, has only as wide a field assigned to it, what shall we say, what shall we think, of the dominions of him, who, when for our sakes he became poor, had not where to lay his head?––
12. But to return to our own patrimony, and to take into view our personal estate––the goods and chattels, and all the appurtenances thereto belonging, we shall find that our mundane riches, in the soil and upon it, greatly transcends the value of the soil itself; if it were possible to separate them.
13. As the vegetable kingdom is more ancient than the animal, and as it affords the food which sustains the animal, it deserves to be first noticed. The professors of botany of the present day, have, by their own labors, superadded to those of their predecessors, formed some sort of acquaintance with about fifty six thousand species of plants. They all agree that as yet, but a very small part of the vegetable kingdom is ascertained:––that there is scarcely a single township, of our miles square, in any latitude, that has not on it a plant, either no where else to be found, or no where to be found in the same perfection.––So rich and so extensive the variety, in the realms of nature are the vegetable creations, that it is almost impossible to classify them. From the microscopic mushroom discovered in the mouldiness [sic] of a crust of bread, up to the cedar of Mount Leabnon [sic], of three hundred feet perpendicular height, or the Banian [sic] tree of India under whose wide spread canopy, ten thousand persons may recline, what a rich profusion of structure, form, color, flowers, leaves, fruits, odors, tastes, virtues!! For, of all the millions of plants which cover the earth, no two can be found precisely alike, even in essential respects.
14. The animal kingdom, for which exists the vegetable, is no less rich, in the numbers and variety of its species, and individuals, than the vegetable. Naturalists have already discovered more than fifty thousand distinct species of animals. When we reflect that extensive regions of the earth are yet unexplored,––that the depths of the ocean are yet unfathomed, that the realms which the microscope opens to the scientific eye are yet unsurveyed––and that in all these, there are not only animalculæ invisible to the unaided eye, but birds, beasts, and fishes; innumerable species on which the eye of the naturalist has never gazed, may we not conclude that the animal kingdom, not only equals, but even excels the vegetable in the number, and variety of the genera, species, and individuals of its inhabitants!––
15. Of the mineral kingdom we cannot now speak particularly. The earthy, saline, inflammable and metallic [sic] substances hid in the bowels of the earth, or scattered over its surface, with all the various elements of which they are comprised, and the uses to which they are subservient, constituting their great value in the comforts and conveniences of human existence are too remotely related to our object. But could we speak of its mines, and metals, such as iron, copper, lead, tin, zine [sic], gold, silver, platina [sic], bismuth, &c. &c. and of all its precious stones, such as the ruby, the amethyst, the beryl, the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald and diamond &c. &c. and of all the riches of the sea, and of the land, the mineral kingdom, would, we presume, exhibit as great a variety and number of objects of admiration and entertainment, as either the animal or vegetable kingdom.
16. From the most general and particular survey which can be taken of our patrimony, we must conclude that its miscellaneous riches,––mineral, vegetable, and animal, are proportioned to its amplitude. Reasoning then analogically from our earth, to the planets of our Solar System, and thence to all the systems of astronomy as far as human science extends, what conceptions can we form of the stupendous magnificence of the material universe? Are we not constrained to say that an inventory of the immense and variegated wealth of our own Solar System,––to say nothing of one thousand, or one million such, is to our finite and feeble understandings, as impossible to comprehend as for us to create such a universe? But so far as we can grasp these data, we are prepared to admire the unsearchable riches of our Redeemer, who is now the Lord, proprietor, and possessor of all these countless worlds, with all their inconceivable wealth, and innumerable inhabitants. All this, however, is but the basement story of the magnificent temple of intellectual and moral existence, sanctified and consecrated to the worship of the self-existent and unoriginated Jehovah.
17. Beside, these material dominions, and mundane riches of the son of God, we must, in the second place, take a survey of his immense treasures of intellectual and moral wealth, found in our own planet, and in the angelic hierarchies of upper worlds.
18. The two generic terms of man and angel, like matter and mind, comprehend an almost infinite and endless variety of riches, for which we have no certain standard of valuation. There is not within the compass of thought a problem of more difficult solution, than that which would attempt to ascertain the value of such a man as Adam, or of some of his sanctified offspring, such as Paul. The only data we have to fix his value is that which the Creator has set upon him; first, in creating him after his own model, and in his own likeness: then, on his apostacy [sic], in sending his only begotten son to procure his redemption: and finally in the ultimate and eternal destiny prepared for him, in the incorruptible and unfading mansions of immortal bliss and glory. But of none of these can we form a correct conception; and, therefore it is impossible for man, in this mortal state even to know his own value.
19. In all the creations of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms of our own patrimony, we see nothing of our own patrimony, we see nothing but a preparation for the comforts and conveniences of man, during the very short period of his earthly pilgrimage. In all the immense expenditure of the kingdom of grace, we see nothing but a profusion of bounty, in a splendid moral economy, to redeem, and purify, and elevate to a meetness for the very palace of this magnificent universe. So that all the data of things visible only lead to the conclusion, that man is not valued by all created and sublunary things. Indeed all the legible parts of the volumes of Creation, Providence, and Redemption, are but the demonstration of a very singular and overwhelming proposition, viz. that none but God can own a man!
20. The variety and extent of capacity for action, and for enjoyment vouchsafed to man in his physical, moral, and intellectual organization, and the immeasurable elasticity of his nature, aspiring after higher and higher enjoyments, shew his Divine origin and glorious destiny. There is no summit within his present prospects, nor any revealed in the prospective horizon of eternity, on which he seems destined to rest forever. His acquisitions and triumphs over difficulties only inflame his ardor for new trophies, and stimulate his exertions to greater enterprises.––There seems to be no goal to human ambition, and no limits to the enlargement of his human mind.
21. The Redeemer’s wealth, vested in his ransomed people, is wholly inappreciable. One immortalized man, crowned with glory and honor, in the New Heavens meet to stand before the King eternal, to receive and reciprocate everlasting bliss, is worth more than all the mineral wealth of the Solar System: for all the precious stones and golden mines in the four quarters of the globe, would have been a price by far too small for his redemption. The wealth of the Lord Jesus in the church, is, therefore far greater than his wealth in all material nature. The price paid for man’s redemption is the best proof of the value set on him by his Redeemer.
22. But to complete our views of the wealth of the Redeemer, we must add to the material universe, and to man at the head of it, the ten thousand times ten thousand, and the thousands of thousands of angelic, cherubic, and seraphic spirits, which officiate, not only in the holiest of all, but execute the most sublime missions, and perform the most august services, in all the high places of this vast universe. The intellectual and moral excellence of these spirits cannot be estimated by mortal man. One of them would, perhaps, without exaggeration, out-value a thousand Solar Systems like ours, were man not taken into the account.
23. When the student of numbers advances from unites to tens, from tens to hundreds, from hundreds to thousands, and so on to billions––or to millions of billions, it is not to be imagined that his mind grasps all the units in one million of billions, while his tongue with much flippany [sic] utters the prodigious sum. No more are we to suppose, after we have risen from our earth to the largest planet, and from that planet to the sun, and from the sun to the Solar System, from that system to the system of systems which compose that awful and overwhelming something we call the universe; and then imagine all the intelligences of every rank and order, from man up to the flaming cherubim and seraphim, that, even then, we have formed an idea of the wealth of the Christian’s Lord. Imperfect as it is, it is indeed our best effort to attain to an understanding of what the scriptures mean when they say, “He is appointed heir of all things; “angels, authorities, principalities, and powers,” “thrones” and “dominions” are subjected to him.––“He is head over all”––“by whom and for whom are all things.” Truly may we say with the myriads of myriads, and the thousands of thousands that now surround his throne, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and might, and honor, and glory, and blessing”––“To the Lamb be blessing and honor, and glory, and strength, for ever and ever, Amen!”
24. From the premises now before us we would earnestly solicit the attention of our audience to the following inferences.––Inferences indeed from the views now offered, but more than inferences if we open other portions of these Divine Oracles. Our hearers will remember that in our efforts to ascertain the value of the personal estate of the Son of God we were naturally led to regard man as a creation of more value, incomparably more valued than the planet which he now inhabits, or even the Solar System to which it belongs. To the Christian logician then, this part of our subject will suggest an inference of much practical importance,––viz. How noble the enterprise of the Christian preacher, who devotes his life to the salvation of men! And is not this the true intent and meaning of that good work which is called the preaching of the gospel? Jesus died, not only as a martyr to attest the truth which he spoke, but as a sacrifice to expiate our sins, and to justify God in justifying man; “to magnify the law of God and make it honorable.” And to open a way, “new and living” by which a penitent sinner might return to God, and find acceptance. But it is not enough that Jesus died and rose again––that the original witnesses once published these glad tidings and confirmed their testimony by their blood; nor, that we have all this in writing––it must be read to others, and their attention must be called to it, and its evidences, and arguments, and exhibitions, must be laid before mankind in order to their acceptance of this great salvation. Now he that does these things is called a Christian Preacher, and is engaged in the very enterprise which brought the Messiah into the world, to the cross, to the grave, to the skies, to the throne of the universe.
25. In this light Paul regarded himself, and taught other preachers to regard themselves. Of himself he said, I become all things to all men that “by all means I may save some”––and to Timothy he said, in taking heed to your doctrine, “you shall both save yourself and them that hear you.” The thing is possible, and therefore it is written, “they that turn many to righteousness shall be as the stars forever shine:” and “he that converts a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins.”• (•Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians, 6th chap. Verse 1st, presents himself and his associates in the ministry of reconciliation as “fellow laborers with God in beseeching sinners to be reconciled. His words are, “We then as fellow laborers, ALSO beseech you”––The also has respect to v. 20, c.5––which represents God as beseeching sinners by the apostles, “We also beseech you not to receive the favor of God in vain.”)
26. Among all the sons of men the Christian Preacher has the most God-like calling. He is necessarily of all human benefactors chief. His motives are the most benevolent, his object and aim the most celestial, and his enterprise, taken altogether, the most sublime within the horizon of human aspiration. In the pure and holy struggles of his labors of love he has the plea sure to reflect, that, however he may be disparaged on earth, however despised, or rejected by men, however his good may be evilly spoken of by an ungrateful world; still he has all in heaven on his side.––The spirits of the illustrious dead––the mighty martyrs, the holy angels, the king of saints, and the Father of all, look down upon him with smiles of approbation and bid him hold on his way.
27. Could any mortal aspire to a better employment than to devote his life to the work for which the Messiah was born, lived, and died––to a greater happiness than that of being instrumental in bringing many sons to glory––to a greater honor, than to be enrolled amongst the saviors of the world!
28. The thought of seeing even one sinner saved from his sins, and attired in the splendors of immortality, walking in the streets of the New Jerusalem––of listening to the enraptured song of adoration and thanksgiving to the Lamb that was slain, rising from his heaven-inspired lips, while the Christian preacher reflects that it was by his humble instrumentality, by his earthly toils and privations in proclaiming the word, that the glorified saint was translated from the dominions of satan to those realms of infinite delight,––I say, the thought of such an instrumentality, of such a holy co-operation with the grace of God, will immeasurably counterbalance all the sacrifices which a preacher of righteousness could make in an earthly pilgrimage twice as long as that of Methuselah. With such heavenly anticipations in view, and in reference to those saved by his means, well did Paul say, “You are our hope, our joy, and our crown of rejoicing in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming.” Those, then, who shall have turned many to righteousness, as stars of the first magnitude, will shine with increasing splendor through all the countless successions of future ages. That preacher of Christ who cannot be roused to greater zeal and diligence in the service of his master from such reflections as these is not capable of lofty sentiments, nor of high and holy aspirations.
29. Some Christian moralist has said, amongst objects of moral grandeur, there is none more sublime than that of a good man struggling with adversity. Methinks we have found one still more sublime, a good man struggling, not merely with circumstances adverse to his own happiness, but struggling against the forwardness and unkindness of those whom he is laboring to bless;––saying with Paul, “I most gladly will spend and be spent for the sake of your souls, although the more abundantly I love you the less I be loved.” This is a spectacle admired by God, by angels, and by all good men.
30. Christian Preachers! See to it, that you never become weary in well doing, for in due season you shall reap if you faint not. “He that winneth souls is wise;” though in scattering the good seed you should sow it with many tears, yet in gathering the ripe sheaves, you shall rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
31. A second inference still more logically flowing from the premises, though not more in accordance with all that is written concerning Jesus, than that just now mentioned, is––that according to the genius and true interpretation of the last will and testament of Jesus Christ, all Christians being constituted “joint heirs with him,” it follows that every individual Christian is richer than all the Kings of the earth, than all the conquerors of the world. In giving an inventory of his effects, Paul or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life or death, or things present or things to come, all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s”––No matter then how poor in this world––the Christian is rich in faith and hope; being not only and heir of God, but also a joint heir with the heir of the universe.
32. The Christian, conscious of his vast and unbounded riches, is, therefore, admonished to keep at the utmost distance from every thing that is mean or ignoble. He will never hang his head nor feel dejected in the presence of any of the sons of pride, or of earthly mammon, although he himself be ever so poor and penniless. Allied to Jesus by the heavenly calling and adoption of grace––one of the children of God, and consequently an heir of the inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading, having his affections on things above, and not on things on the earth; he will not stoop to any things unbecoming his high destiny and rich anticipations. He will often be encouraged to resist temptations from reflections how his master overcame, when he too passed through an unfriendly world, and had not where to repose his head. He will look down with the greatest contempt upon the cupidity and avarice of those, who content with the mere goods of time and sense, neglect the great and true riches,––and feasting upon animal pleasures have no relish for the pure and exalted, and heavenly enjoyments of the expectants of immortality.
33. A greater inducement to contentment, to resignation amid the ills of this life; to honesty, integrity, and self-denial, cannot be deduced from any premises, than from the fact, that every Christian is pre-destined to inherit all things through his Redeemer. And in full accordance with the views now offered concerning the amplitude and riches of the estate or our immortal king––and as a stimulus and consolation to the minds of his original disciples previous to his departure, the Lord assures his followers that in his “father’s house there were many mansions,” that he went “to prepare a place for them”––that he would again return to our planet, and take them home with him to the mansion of eternal bliss.
34. Another remark on the Christian’s estate flowing through his relation to the Heir of all things, and we proceed to another inference. In the partition of all earthly estates, the more numerous the heirs, the less the portion of each. This a peculiarity that only attaches to things of time and sense. In the realms of future and eternal bliss the contrary rule obtains. The more numerious [sic] the heirs, the larger the inheritance of each. A million of saints enjoying a scene in heaven or participating in a draught of bliss from the pure and perennial streams of the water of life, will feel an ecstacy [sic] proportioned to the number of the participants, and consequently greater than if only a few united in the fruition. ––And who dare say, that this may not be one of the means of eternally augmenting the joys of heaven, in the ratio of the increase of capacity, by continually introducing new guests from the countless realms of infinite space: or from the new creation of endless series of ages! One thing however is certain, that all pure and spiritual, and holy joys, increase in the ratio of the number of guests that commune together. So all the scriptures teach; hence in all the transports of the celestial climaxes of bliss, incalculable multitudes are introduced as swelling the chorus of perpetual felicity.
35. Another, and last inference from our premises remains to be stated, and we leave the subject to the reflections of our attentive hearers. This inference, indeed concerns not the Christian so much as those who live in this world, without God, without Christ, and without his cheering hope. Need I be more plain, and say unequivocally,––that to those out of Christ there is nothing but eternal poverty, and the inheritance of everlasting shame and wretchedness. It is indeed most obvious that the Lord Jesus is the heir of all things and only shares his inheritance with the children of God. No alien, or apostate, “can then have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” And was it not a consideration of this last that, Jesus said to the Laodiceans who boasted of their wealth, “you know not, that you are wretched and misreable [sic], and poor, and blind and naked?”
36. The unjust and unmerciful Dives who consumes on his lusts the bounties of God, and lays up no treasures in heaven, when he leaves the coasts of time, and enters the future world, becomes an eternal pauper. The Rothchildes, those immense bankers of Europe, are, we learn, making very considerable investments in American stocks. Fearing that the European governments may fall, and engulph [sic] their European riches, they deem it prudent to lay up some treasure in America, that, should such a catastrophe occur, they may be cordially received into American mansions. But were they not now, to be thus provident, in such an event, it is obvious they would be paupers both at home and abroad. So will it be with every one that lays up treasures for himself and is not rich towards God. Those out of Christ are out of heaven, and out of earthly treasures, so soon as they pass the Jordan of time. They have no property in heaven, earth, or hades. Their title to Adam’s estate is but a life lease; that expired, and they have not where to lay their heads in God’s universe.
37. Would it not then, appear to be the immediate duty of this unfortunate and unhappy class of society to seek an interest in him, whose are the heavens, and the earth, and who alone can bestow on the sons of men a right to the heavenly inheritance?
38. There is nothing which Jesus has to bestow, which it is not lawful for us to obtain, He has the true riches. We ought then to seek them with our whole heart. We may earnestly covet the possessions presented through the second Adam, for, such “avarice is a virtue most divine.” Every thing promised is to be sought. Eternal riches are freely offered through Jesus Christ; all men therefore may lawfully desire incorruptible and unfading wealth, and labor to obtain it.
39. Are we indeed asked how such an interesting Christ is to be obtained: we answer in one sentence. By surrendering ourselves, body, soul, and spirit to his absolute guidance and control. “He that shall believe” said Jesus, “and be baptized, shall be saved.”––To the same effect the Apostle Peter said to his inquiring hearers, “Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
40. But this only is the first fruit, the mere salvation of the soul which ensues upon our putting ourselves under the guidance of Jesus, by a penitent immersion into his death. Our eternal fortune is yet to be made. This is secured by a persevering continuance in all the work of faith, the labor of love, and the patience of hope, according to the word of the Lord.
41. He that would be rich not only in faith, but ultimately in fact, must daily dig in the mines of the true riches, must serve the Lord diligently, by keeping his commandments, “doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with his God.”
42. Your choice then, O man, whoever you are, is between the Messiah and Satan––Heaven and Hell, the Universe and nothing––universal and eternal riches are yours, if you are Christ’s;––absolute and eternal poverty, if you are not.
43. If you hesitate longer, on these mortal coasts where all is death and ruin, you may never have another opportunity. Your sun of mercy may unexpectedly set, then the heavens will be shrouded in darkness, the seas will roar, the earth will tremble, the mountains will fall, and in the universal earthquake and general catastrophe of a polluted world you will be engulphed [sic] in utter and eternal destruction.
44. `Tis yet high tide, the wind is fair, the vessel in which you are bid to sail is sound, the sea is inviting, the pilot is infalible [sic]––the way to the golden coast is marked by the most brilliant constellations in the skies. Embark now, and you may yet reach the desired haven, and the city, whose walls are jaspers, whose gates are pearls, whose streets are gold, and all whose citizens are kings.