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senting the bride to himself? Is not that the office of the father, or of some other relative? The expression is perhaps intended to suggest, at least it does naturally suggest, a remarkable peculiarity in the history of the Redeemer's spouse. She had no parent to present her; for she was originally an orphan cast out to perish in the open field. Her deliverer is at once her father, her husband, and more than all human relations can represent; and there is, therefore, not only no incongruity, but the greatest beauty and propriety in the description of the text.
Try now, my brethren, to elevate your conceptions to the magnificent scene, and the joyous day here referred to. On that day" will be heard the voice of a great multitude, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready."* And on that day, too, the voice of the Lamb himself, that majestic and omnipotent voice which is to awake the dead, will be heard saying to his church, Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away." And with what ineffable transport will she arise at his call, and "put on her beautiful garments, and shake herself from the dust?" Other brides adorn themselves with external and material decorations, with gold and pearls, and costly array; at the consummation of all things, the church will appear "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." Her external lustre will darken all terrestrial splendour; and, what is incomparably more important, she will be clothed in the "garments of salvation, in the robes of praise"
*Rev. xix. 6, 7.
in that "fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness of saints." They who are now arrayed in splendid apparel have often little inward excellence and loveliness, and the fairest form may contain an hateful spirit; but "the king's daughter is all glorious within ;"" the bride, the Lamb's wife," is adorned with the beauties of holiness. Her affections are completely purified from the adhesions of the world, and the pollutions of sin; and she is consecrated wholly to her husband and Saviour. When first he fixed his regards on her, she was polluted and unlovely; but now she is worthy of his love; in that qualified sense in which the scripture uses the term when it says, "they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy." Now, she is the legitimate and appropriate object of delight and complacency; and now, as "the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride," so will "her God rejoice over her.”
If such will be the external grandeur and the spiritual glory of the church in that day, what will be the glory of her husband? It was an august spectacle which the daughters of Zion were invited to witness, when they were invited to "go forth and behold King Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart." But what is the magnificence of "Solomon in all his glory," to that of Jesus the Son of God when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and "to be admired in all them that believe." He shall come in the "glory of his Father, and all the holy angels with him; and on his head will be many crowns."
The event referred to in the figurative language of the text is usually celebrated with feasting and rejoicing; and it will be with "gladness and rejoicing that
the church is brought into the King's palace." The joy of her nuptials will resound through the universe; and a new heaven and a new earth will be created for her dwelling.
What a wonderful demonstration of her husband's love will the presentation of the church furnish! Let me remind you, my friends, that there was a previous scene in which his love was yet more wonderfully manifested; but for which she could never have been presented without spot. It was that scene when he gave himself for her died on the accursed tree for her redemption; and to commemorate that scene is the design of our present meeting.
Let us ask ourselves, in conclusion, are we qualified for that service? The King will certainly come in to see the guests, and should there be at the table " a man not having on a wedding garment," the question may perhaps be put to that man now by the monitor within, and hereafter it will undoubtedly be put by the King himself, publicly and audibly, "Friend, how camest thou in hither?" and when interrogated, the intruder "will be speechless."
Let us ask ourselves, then, are we qualified for that holy service? Often, my friends, I have attempted to espouse you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. I ask, then, have you cordially received Jesus Christ as your Prince and Saviour? Can you say as in the presence of him "to whom all things are naked and open," that, though "other lords beside him have had the dominion over you, yet now by him only do you make mention of his name;" and that now "the desire of your souls is to him, and to the remembrance of his name?" if so, it is surely neither improper nor presumptuous that you profess your attachment to him in that service. If you
have been "drawn to him with the cords of a man, with bands of love," and brought within the bond of the covenant; hesitate not to cement the alliance, and to confirm your attachment by partaking of the signs and seals of the covenant.
"Blessed are they who shall be admitted hereafter unto the marriage-supper of the Lamb" Blessed, too, are they who are invited now by the Lamb himself to partake of the symbols of his sacrifice in the sacrament of the Supper. Endeavour, my friends, to perform the service, and to improve the privilege aright. You are to commemorate the dying love of him "who loved you, and gave himself for you;" who is "the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely." Pray then that the Divine Spirit would irradiate your darkened minds, and impart to you a clear and enlarged perception of the Saviour's excellence. Pray that that heavenly agent would melt your cold and frozen hearts, and cause them to flow forth to the Lord Jesus in emotions of admiration and rapture, of gratitude and joy. Pray that, when the Redeemer brings you into the banquetting house, his "banner over you may be love." Pray that this day may prove to you a day much to be remembered; a day, the recollection of which will accompany you through all the chequered vicissitudes of time; and on which, after millions of the years of eternity have elapsed, you will look back with a vivid and grateful remembrance. "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
IN reliance on divine aid I shall now, as a concluding exhortation, proceed to direct your attention to some additional lessons of a practical kind suggested by the text, on which we discoursed before observing the Lord's Supper.
1. And the first lesson of this description to which I would invite your consideration, is this, that the death of Christ deserves to be remembered by us every day.
It has often been remarked that Christ is the central object towards which all the grand lines of divine revelation converge; that to him all the types and prophecies, all the doctrines and precepts of scripture directly or indirectly refer. What has been remarked respecting Jesus Christ, in reference to the system of divine revelation generally, may be applied to the death of Christ viewed reference to the other events of his history. It is the most momentous and interesting of them all, and one with which all others are more or less intimately connected: and hence the preaching of his death, or his cross, is represented as tantamount to preaching the whole system of christianity. "We preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness." "I determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and him crucified." "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ." The reasons which render the death of Christ so transcendently important are plainly suggested by the text, and must be obvious to all who are acquainted with the first principles of the gospel. It is by his death that Jesus Christ procured both the blessings which constitute the two fundamental parts of our salvation,