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Reigning Grace


"So that as sin has reigned in death, even so might Grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 5:21.

I shall not pretend to enter into the fullness of this text, but merely select that topic, "Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."

Our Apostle represents man as being subject to two great kings. Sin is the grim tyrant, to whom, in the first place, man has bowed his willing neck. The reign of sin is a reign of terror and delusion; it promises pleasure, but being full of all manner of deceivableness, of unrighteousness, it gives pain even in this world—and in the world to come—eternal death! An awful contemplation is that of the reign of sin. Permitted to come into this world as an usurper—having mounted its throne upon the heart of man by flattering blandishments, and crafty pleasantries, it was not long before it fully developed itself. Its first act was to smite Eden with blast and mildew by its breath; its next act was to slay the second child of man, and that by the hand of the eldest-born. Since then, its reign has been scarlet with blood, black with iniquity, and fraught with everything that can make the heart of man sad and wretched! Oh Sin, you tyrant monster, all the demons that ever sat upon the throne of Rome were never such as you are! And all the men, who, from the wild north, have come forth as the scourges of man, the destroying angels of our race, though they have waded up to their knees in the blood of mortals, have never been so terrible as you are! You have reigned in death and that an eternal death—a death from which there shall be no resurrection—a death which casts souls into an eternal grave—a grave of fire!

Our Apostle now changes the subject, and represents man under the gracious state, as rejoicing in another government, ruled by another king. Just as sin has reigned, and with despotic and irresistible power has ground his subjects in the very dust, and then cast them into the flames, so does Divine Grace with irresistible goodness, compel the chosen multitude to yield obedience, and thus prepares them for eternal bliss. Look, it lifts up the beggar from the dunghill, and makes him to sit among princes! Mark its shining course, and behold it blessing the sons of man wherever it stretches out its silver scepter, chasing away the misery of night, and giving the gladsomeness of Gospel day; sending back the fiends of discord and of cruelty, to the dens from which they once escaped. See its bidding the angels of mercy keep perpetual watch and ward over the sons of Adam who have given themselves up to its sway of the Kingdom of Grace!

My business this morning is not with sin, but with Grace—a pleasing and a glowing theme. May God fill souls, and touch our tongue, that we may speak of those things which we have made touching the King, and may God greatly bless what shall be said to each of our hearts!

I shall invite you, first of all, to see Grace in its reigning acts, and then I shall bid you come with joy and wonder, and behold Grace as it sits upon its throne.

I. First, then, I shall need your attention to a series of pictures, in which you shall see Grace manifesting its REIGNING POWER and reigning, too, in places the most unlikely ever to have yielded to its power. Come with me then, Brothers and Sisters, and I will take you in spirit to the Valley of Vision. See, strewn there among the rugged rocks, the bleached and dried bones of the house of Israel—a skull there, and the arm which once was allied to it, scattered so far apart that human wisdom could not bring them bone to bone, much less could human strength clothe the bones with flesh. Death reigns there—that irresistible all-subduing power, before whom monarchs and all their armies, though they be numberless as the host of Xerxes, must bow themselves. O, Death, we come this day to see you defeated, to see you cast from your throne! But who shall do it? Come forth, you ministers of Christ, and see what you can do. Here are souls spiritually dead—no, dry—as far away from hope as the bones of the morgue are from life! Come, you ministers, attune your eloquence and see what you can do! Behold, Chrysostom speaks, the golden-mouthed John showers forth his marvelous sentences, but the bones stir not. And now Whitefield speaks with seraph voice as though he would move Heaven and earth, but there is not a motion among those crisp particles that once might have lived, but which live no more. Come, Isaiah, and let us hear your thundering appeals, or you, Jeremy, cannot your tears bedew these bones with the circulating drops of life? Come, Ezekiel, with your eagle eyes, and with your soaring wing, or you, Daniel, with your fiery words piercing through the thick clouds of the future and exposing, as with lightning fire, the glory that is to come! I hear them speak, and Seer follows Seer in noble emulation of earnest utterance, but the dry bones move not! They are locked in the fell embrace of death, and life comes not to them even by these living words. Alas, eloquence, and human might and wisdom, and rhetoric and logic—yes, and zeal and earnestness, and God-given passion—cannot wake the soul of the spiritually dead! Though all the men whom God has chosen to be His representatives from the beginning of the reign of Grace even to the end thereof—though all should strive and persuade, and plead with eloquence that might move a rock, yet souls dead in trespasses and sin could not and would not live by power so weak as this!

Come, you Apostles and confessors, Paul, and Peter, and John, and all the holy brotherhood of Inspired ambassadors! Come, I say, and spend your strength in vain, for apart from Divine Grace, you cannot charm the dull cold ear of death, or stir the torpor of a spirit dead in sins! And now Moses, you who did smite the first-born of Egypt, the chief of all her strength—come you forth and lift up the fiery tablets of stone, and bid these men live by the works of the Law. But no, he declines the futile task; he knows that he is of no power to deal with souls that are dead! But hearken, the Divine Voice exclaims with trumpet voice, "Almighty Grace, arise and quicken these dead souls," and behold, Grace stands before you, in angel form—no, better, in the form of Man, or rather Incarnate God—and I hear Him say, "Thus says the Lord, You dry bones live!" Listen to the rustling as every bone hastens to its fellow! Look how the skeleton starts upright, and how the flesh grows on the frame! "Come from the four winds, O Breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live!" It is done, and in the place of a morgue, you see an army, and what once seemed to be the rubbish and sweepings of a tomb, now stands before you a great host as the host of God, a host of men full of life and who shall soon be clothed with glory! "Grace reigns unto eternal life."

Ah, do you understand this parable? Has this act ever been performed in you? Oh, there are some of you over whom a mother wept, and for whom a father prayed; and many a time have these eyes wept for you, too! I have longed for your soul's salvation, and sought out goodly words which might move your heart. But you were like the deaf adder, you would not hear nor be charmed—charm we ever so wisely. Ah, but glory be to God, you heard at last! How was it? How was it, I say? Speak! Speak, you who have been brought out from spiritual death, how was it accomplished? By the might of the creature? By the power of the Law? By the energy of Nature? "No," unanimously you cry, "Grace has done it! God's Grace has reigned in us unto eternal life."

Rest awhile now, and come with me and behold another scene. The man is alive; he has been quickened—but no sooner is he quickened than he feels the terrible bondage of sin! See him yonder? I see him now in vision before my very eyes. He is a man who has been a drunkard, a swearer, and all else that is vile. All manner of sins has he committed, but now he feels that this mode of life will surely end in eternal death, and he, therefore, longs to escape. But see how he is bound with a hundred chains and held in bondage by seven fierce and strong devils! See him yonder? The hot sweat is on his brow while he strives to free his right arm of one huge bloated devil, called drunkenness, who seeks to hold him down and rivet the fetters about his wrist. Look how he struggles with foot and hand, for he is a prisoner everywhere, like Laocoon of old, whom the serpents enfolded from head to foot, although he strove to tear away those awful folds, and to escape the jaws which stained his holy fillets with their venom! Shall that man ever be delivered? Can that slave of lust snap fetters so strong, which have for years been about him till they have grown into his very flesh and become part of his nature? Shall those lips be freed from the propensity to swear? Can that heart be delivered from pride? Shall that foot be so turned from all its paths that it shall hate the road of wickedness? And shall those eyes no longer be filled with lust and crime, but shall they flash with purity and joy? Come here, Sirs, you who are wise; you who understand how to reform mankind—come and ply your arts upon him and see what you can do! The man sincerely longs to be delivered, but when he thinks he has pulled off one coil of the old serpent, lo—like a huge constrictor, it has folded itself again! He goes back again, like the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. There seems for him no deliverance. His nature still is vile, and though he longs to be free, yet that nature has the mastery over him. Oh, some of you know what this means! You know how you took the pledge, perhaps a dozen times, but you broke it as often. You know how you promised yourself you would never curse God again, but in a moment of passion you were overpowered, and again the oath came trembling from your tongue! All these things—all your resolutions and your vows were powerless! They could not deliver you; they could not set you free.

But Divine Grace—come here and see what you can do! Grace speaks the word and says, "Get you hence, Satan— away, you fiends—let the man be free!" And free he is, no more to be a slave! Now he hates the things which once he loved; now he abhors the vices in which he once indulged. Now to be holy is not hard for him—it would be far harder to make him live in sin as once he did! His nature is changed! Grace has so entirely created new the man, that he is a new creature in Christ Jesus, and he runs with delight and joy in all the paths of holiness. Grace has done it. Grace reigns unto eternal life!

But now come with me to another scene. There in the prison of conviction, bound in affliction and iron—there sits a miserable wretch. The walls of his dungeon are of solid granite, and the door is of brass, with many bolts most fast and firm. The captive sits both day and night with tangled hair, weeping, weeping, weeping! Ask him why, and his answer is, "I have sinned—I have sinned and I cannot look up. Beneath me there is the yawning gulf of death, and deeper still a devouring Hell! Above me there is an angry God and a judgment seat blazing with vengeance; within me there is an accusing conscience, the foretaste of the wrath to come!" "But is there not hope for you?" "No," he says, "none. I am righteously bound, and it is only long-suffering mercy which spares me yet a little while, for if I had my due deserts, I would be taken out to execution and that at once." Oh, come here, you sons of mirth, and see what you can do for this poor prisoner. Can your music and your dancing open yonder gates, or shake those granite walls? Come here, you who are masters of the art of consolation, see what you can do! But as one who sings songs to a sad heart, and as vinegar upon niter, so are you. In vain even the minister, himself, who knowing the blessings of the Gospel, sets before that man the Grace of Christ, and the riches of His love! All that the minister can say, though sent of God, seems but to plunge him deeper in the mire! "Ah," groans the mourner, "Christ is merciful, but I have no part in Him. Yes, I know He is able to save the chief of sinners, but not such an one as I am. My heart is too hard, too vile." He puts from him the way of salvation, and goes back to his cold stony state, weeping, weeping, weeping, both by night and day! Grace, come and see if You can reign even here. I see Him come, and bearing in His hand the Cross, He speaks to the prisoner and cries, "Look here, look here," and oh, let us wonder to tell it, when the prisoner lifts his eyes, he sees a Savior bleeding on the tree, and in a momenta smile takes the place of his sorrow! He receives the oil ofjoy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. "Rise, rise," says Grace, "you are free, you are free! Shake yourself from the dust; pluck off your sackcloth, and put on your beautiful garments. Lo," He says, "see what I have done." And He breaks the gates of brass, and cuts the bars of iron in pieces. As the walls of Jericho fell down before the blast of the trumpet, so fall the walls of the dungeon, and the man finds himself rejoicing and glad and free—an heir of Heaven, a child of God, his feet are set upon the Rock and his goings are established! Oh, Grace Divine, what have You done? You are indeed triumphant, O reigning Grace, where despair itself had triumphed!

Thus have I painted you three pictures. O that I had the hands of those mighty masters who could depict these things until they stood out visibly before your eyes! I shall need your patience this morning—I know I shall have your attention as I take you from place to place and show you how God's Grace reigns. And now, the sinner set free both from the chains of his old lusts and of his old despairing, says within himself—

"I'll to the gracious King approach, Whose scepter mercy gives; Perhaps He may command my touch, And then the suppliant lives."

I see him journeying towards a palace exceedingly fair and beautiful to look upon. As he enters the gate, he hears a whisper in his heart which is, "This is the Palace of Justice, you will be driven forth with shame from these walls, for you are too vile to have an audience here." Ah, but says he—

"I can but perish if I go, I am resolved to try! For if I stay away I know
I must forever die."

He traverses the passages of the house with beating heart, until at last he comes to the audience chamber and there, enthroned on light, he beholds a glorious King. The sinner dares not so much as look up, for he knows not whether he shall feel devouring fire, or whether Mercy shall speak to him with her silver voice. He trembles; he all but faints. When lo, reigning Grace who sits smiling upon a throne of love, stretches out its scepter and says, "Live, live." At that sound, the sinner revives; he looks up, and before he has fully seen the wondrous vision, he hears another Voice—"Your sins which are many are all forgiven you. I have blotted out like a cloud your iniquities, and like a thick cloud your sins. I have chosen you and not cast you away," And now, the sinner bowing low before the Throne of Jesus, begins to kiss His feet with rapture and delight, and He cries, "Rise, rise, My beloved one! I have put a fair jewel upon your neck. I have clothed you with ornaments—I have decked you with pearls and precious stones as a bridegroom decks out his bride. Go, then, and rejoice, for you are My son who was lost, but are found, who was dead, but is alive again." Never, perhaps, does Grace seem more glorious than when, with the silver scepter in her hand, she touches the despairing, fainting sinner and cries, "Live." My soul remembers that glad hour. I speak from out of the fullness of my heart. Oh, you golden moment, you shall never be forgotten, when Mercy said, "Son, be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you."

But we must pass on. The man has now become a forgiven one—a saint—but Grace has not ceased to reign, nor has he ceased to need its reign. It is after sin is forgiven that the battle begins! If we had only Grace enough to transform us from sinners into saints, it were not worth having, because saints would soon return to their sins—unless Grace were constantly bestowed. And now let me show you a saint after he has been renewed by Grace. There he stands, Sir, and did you ever see a man in such a position as that! You have heard of battles, and you have sometimes read the story of some valiant hero around whom the battle made fearful center. He had to fight, with horses slain beneath him, standing on heaps of bodies which he had slain; behold his ardor, his courage, his burning valor, as he finds that he is the target for all arrows; that all the battle-axes and the spears are dashed and thrust against his person—that every son of wrath is thirsting for his blood! See now, he hurls about him a hail of iron blows. Right, left, and all around, his sword sweeps in awful circle. Now such is the true Christian—such and yet more solemn is his position. There has never such a fight been seen on earth as that man must wage who hopes to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, for no sooner are we converted than at once Hell is alive against us, and earth is on fire with anger—and we have both earth and Hell to dispute our salvation! Young Christian do you tremble? Let me do with you as Elias did with his servant of old. Young man, you see horses and chariots that are innumerable—come with me and I will pray for you and touch yours eyes. What see you now? "Oh," he says, "I see the mountain full of horses of fire, and chariots of fire that are round about Elijah!" Blessed be His name, it is no vision—it is the very Truth of God—"More are they who are for us, than all they who are against us." And if the fray thickens, angels shall rush to the valley with their good swords to drive back the foe and the standard-bearer shall not fall, though fall full well he may! The soldier of Christ shall stand, for underneath him are the everlasting arms! He shall tread upon his enemies, and shall destroy them, in the words of Deborah of old, "Oh my soul, you have trod down strength." So then, Grace reigns in the thick battle of temptation, and makes those who are the subjects of its Kingdom more than conquerors through Him who has loved them!

To push still further. The man, being kept in temptation, has a work to do for his Lord. I have often felt that there is no case where Grace reigns more powerfully than in the use which God makes of such poor, infirm, feeble, decrepit creatures as His servants are. Let me show you a picture of Grace reigning. Do you see Peter there in Pilate's Hall, afraid of a little maid? He denies his Master, and with oaths and curses, he says, "I know not the Man." Wait awhile. Some six or seven weeks have passed, and there is a great crowd in the streets. There is a multitude gathered from all countries— Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia. Who is to preach to them—who shall be the minister? Grace—to your honor let it be told—you did not select John who stood at the foot of the Cross, nor he who was surnamed Zelotes, because of his zealousness—no, Peter, who denied his Master, must come forth to acknowledge Him afresh! And here he comes. I think I see him. Perhaps as he ascends the place where he is to speak, his heart whispers to him, "Simon, son of Jonas, what are you doing here?" The cock crows, Simon, and it reminds you that you denied your Lord; what are you doing here?" And then conscience seemed to say, "Are you the man to be a preacher—you? Give place. Can you hope to do any good, or to save immortal souls, such a feeble head-strong, presumptuous worm as you are?" But Grace is with him! Grace has touched his lips, and the cloven tongue is like a sword of fire within his mouth!

He comes forward—and he begins to speak. Soon the heavenly fire descends from Him, upon the multitude, and that day, 3,000 Baptisms tell what God can do, and how Grace can reign in the feeblest instrumentality! I am the living witness that God can make use of the weakest means to accomplish the mightiest results! In that day when you shall review the sling of David, and the ox-goad of Shamgar; when you shall have to look back upon Jael's nail, and these little things which have done great exploits, then shall I beg you to write down my name as that of one by whom many souls have been saved, but who, himself, has wondered more than you all, whenever God has blessed him, and whenever a soul has been saved by such an unworthy one! Grace, Grace, you can prevail! You have done it; You can make use of the meanest instruments to produce the grandest effects and to increase Your Glory among men!

I must still trespass upon you while I take you to another spot, to show you how Grace can reign where you little think it would ever live at all. The sea is agitated with a great storm, and a man has just been thrown into the sea; it is Jonah. A fish has swallowed him. That fish dives into unfathomable depths, till the ocean has covered up both fish and Prophet. The earth with her bars is about him forever; the weeds are wrapped about his head. As the creature sucks in mouthful after mouthful of its food, there lies this man and yet he lives! Divine Grace is there preserving his life! Grace was there, even when the fish was led to swallow him, but can that man ever find deliverance? Is he not in trouble too great, and cast out from the very Presence of God? Listen! He groans out of the darkness of that living prison; he begins to cry towards the Temple of God. Grace, Grace, come forth—He divides the sea—He speaks to Leviathan—he comes up upon the dry land; he vomits forth the Prophet and he lives! Have you ever seen the like of that in your own case? Have you ever been in a strait and a trouble so difficult that you imagined there was no deliverance? If you ever have, I turn you to your own history as an illustration of how Grace can reign in redeeming you out of the most terrible trials! I tell you Brothers and Sisters, if all the troubles that ever came from Heaven; all the persecutions that ever came from earth; and all the afflictions that ever arose from Hell could meet on your poor devoted head, the reigning Grace of God would make you master of them all! You have never need to fear! Storms are the triumph of His art and Grace can steer the ship the better for tempestuous waves! Trust in the Lord, and do good; rest on His Grace, and hope in His mercy. When the water is very deep, He will put His hand beneath your chin, so that you shall not lose your breath. Or if you shall sink, He will sink with you; and if you should go to the very bottom, He will be at the very bottom with you! Wherever you go, He will be your Companion, saying to you, "Fear not, I will help you. I will be with you. When you go through the waters, you shall not be drowned, and when you go through the fire, you shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon you."

I have thus shown you Grace reigning in the midst of spiritual death, spiritual bondage, spiritual despair—Grace reigning in the effort of judgment, Grace in the battle of temptation, Grace in the quagmires of infirmity, and Grace triumphant in the midst of our direst afflictions! I need to give you but one other picture—Grace reigning in the hour of death—and triumphing in the moment of our entrance into Heaven! Last Friday evening, as I lay upon my bed having been much tossed about, and tempted and tried, it pleased God to visit His servant and cheer him somewhat. And among many sweet thoughts which gladdened my mind, I fell into a half-sleeping, and half-waking state, and I thought I saw an angel who came from the upper skies, and who had in his hand a crown. He said to me, "You have fought the good fight, behold your reward." And I waved my hand and said, "No, no, I cannot receive it! I am not worthy of it; I cannot take it." He said, "Heaven lies before you—enter." And I said, "No, I cannot. I deserve it not. I have no claim to any reward, no right to any rest, though it will be given to the children of God." And he looked at me, and he said, "It is of Grace and not of merit." Then I thought I would take the crown, but lo, I awoke and the dream was over! Yes, and I mused on that a long, long while, and I thought, if Heaven were by merit, it would never be Heaven to me, for if I were even in it, I would say, "I am sure I am here by mistake; I am sure this not my place; it is not my Heaven. I have no claim to it." I would walk among the redeemed, with their golden harps, and say, "No, no, you have what you have fought for, and have won, but I am an intruder here." I would be afraid of losing an inheritance to which I had no title, and of being cast out, at last, from a portion which I had no right to have obtained. But if it is of God's Grace and not of works—why, then, we may walk into Heaven with boldness! We may receive the crown with gladness, and sit down with the redeemed with joy and confidence! I proclaim I never could enter Heaven, even if I might, if it were not of Divine Grace! I dare not in common honesty enter. Neither you nor I could claim a reward, or could ever dare to take it as a merited recompense. It must be given simply of God's free Love and Covenant faithfulness, or else, indeed, when given we should seem like robbers who had taken to ourselves what was not ours, and should always feel that the possession was not safe, because the title was not sound. It is of Grace, then.

And so, Beloved, when you come to die, Grace shall bear you up in the midst of Jordan and you shall say, "I feel the bottom and it is good." When the cold waters shall chill your blood, Grace shall warm your heart! When the eyes gather the death-glaze, and the light of earth is being shut out from you forever, Grace shall lift the curtains of Heaven and give you visions of eternity! And when at last the spirit leaps from time into eternal space, then Grace shall be with you to conduct you to your Father's house! And when the Judgment Throne is set, Grace shall put you on the right hand; Grace shall robe you about with Jesus' Righteousness; Grace shall make you bold to stand where sinners tremble, and Grace shall say to you, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."—

"It lays in Heaven the topmost stone.
And well deserves the praise."

And now I have conducted you into the many scenes, or rather into a few of them, where Grace reigns. I want you now, if you can, before we close, to take by faith a view of GRACE SITTING ON ITS THRONE.

Begone vain thoughts; far removed be every worldly imagination! We are about to come into an awful Presence, and well may we cry, "Take off your shoes, for the place whereon you stand is holy ground." I think I see the Throne of Grace! It is but through a glass darkly, but these eyes behold it. The Throne is placed upon the eternal hills of God's Immutable Purpose and Decree. Deep settled in unfailing wisdom, and unswerving love, these mountains never move. There they stand. While Nature changes, they move not, and though the sun may rise and set, they abide forever and forevermore the same! The Throne, itself, standing upon those lofty hills, has for its pedestal, Divine Fidelity, Divine Faithfulness, and the Eternal Will of God. Did you ever see such a Throne as that? The thrones of monarchs rock and reel, but this is settled, and abides forever in God's faithfulness and truth! It is true that the throne of many a dynasty has been cemented by blood and so is this, indeed, but not with the blood of murdered men, or of soldiers slain in battle. To make this Throne secure, it is cemented with the precious blood of the Son of God, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot. No, as if this did not suffice, this Throne is settled by the eternal oath! God swears by Himself because He can swear by no greater, that by two Immutable things wherein it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to Christ Jesus our Lord! Oh, Grace—I see Your Throne, I mark its solid base! A faithful and unchanging God lays the foundation of this Throne in oaths, and promises, and blood. And now look upward. Do you see the shining steps? The Throne is of pure white alabaster, and every step is of solid light. The steps are the Divine openings of Providence as He gradually develops His mighty scheme. And see on either side—as on the Throne of Solomon there were lions that did lie upon the steps—so on either side of the steps of the Throne of Grace I see two lions ready to guard and protect it. And who are these? Their names are Justice and Holiness! Let any attempt to assail that Throne, and Justice will devour them, and Holiness, with its fiery eyes, will utterly consume them! Oh, glorious thought, Christian! That very Justice which once seemed to stand in the way of Grace, is one of the lions which guard the Throne; and that very Holiness which seemed once to put a barrier between your soul and bliss, now stands there as a mighty one to guard the seat and Throne of Sovereign Grace!

Now look upward, if your eyes can bear the light. You cannot see the full form and visage of the Lord of Grace—the King; but if you can dimly discern it—I see upon that Throne, One who—

"Looks like a Lamb who has been slain, And wears His priesthood still." Yes, though you cannot see Him, yet He sees us, and that Divine Image is scattering mercies upon us even now! The eyes of Grace are the suns of the spiritual universe! The hands of Grace scatter lavish bounties throughout all the Church of the first-born, and those lips of Grace are uttering continually those once unspoken decrees which speak when they are fulfilled, and carried out in gracious Providences. But come here and look upward. Bow yourself in that Presence before which the angels cry, "Holy, holy, holy," and veil their faces with their wings! See above the Throne, and above the Image and likeness of Him who sits thereon—above that Throne of Grace, behold, behold, THE CROWN! Was ever such a crown? No, it is not one, it is many—there are many crowns, and many jewels in each of the many crowns. And from where came these crowns of Grace? Oh, they are crowns that have been won in fields of fight; they are crowns, too, that have been given by grateful hearts. And there, as I gaze, I think I see many a soul that was once black with sin, made bright and sparkling, and there it is in the crown of Grace, glittering like a diamond and, my Soul, shall you be there? Shall you be one of those ever-glittering, undimmed jewels? Shall you be in that crown? Oh, glorious day, when shall you come, when I shall be a real jewel in the crown of Jesus? But are you not there now, Brothers and Sisters? Have you not crowned Jesus Christ already, some of you? Have not you in your songs, and in your fires, felt that you must crown Him? And often, as we have sung that hymn, could you not sing it again?—

"All hail the power of Jesus' name,
Let angels prostrate fall!
Bring forth the royal diadem,
And crown Him Lord of All!" Jesus, we crown You! We crown You. All hail! All hail! You King of kings—You God of Love. Behold Your Church bows herself before You—
"With vials full of odor sweet,
And harps of sweeter sound."

The elders chant before Your Presence and we, even we, adore You! Though silver of angelic praise, and gold of perfect melody we cannot boast—yet such as we have, we give You! Unto Him who sits upon the Throne—unto Him who lives and was dead—unto Grace, in the Person of the Lord Jesus, be glory and honor and majesty and power and dominion and might, forever and ever! Amen.

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