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dear relations, &c. Oh! what human voices from the upper heavens of God often echo in our ears, the command, “Come up hither!" Thirdly : I hear this Divine command sounding through the Gospel of Christ. Here I see Christ standing before me with the crown of glory in His hand and saying, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life,” &c. Fourthly : I hear this Divine command sounding in the depths of our higher nature. Reason and conscience unite in urging us to ascend, &c.
The text supplies us with yet another thought :
« Come up
III, THAT SOUL ELEVATION IS DESIRABLE. hither, and I will show thee things come.” First: Man's happiness is greatly dependent upon bright prospects of the future. Secondly : Those bright prospects are secured by soul elevation. “I will,” says God, “ show thee things to come." What a revelation the Infinite will make to those who obey His voice and struggle up the ascending path!
Brother, are you ascending ? There are infallible criteria by which to decide the question. If you are ascending, your power over the world is increasing. The spirit, cares, maxims, pleasures of the world control the worldly. Worldly kings are often real slaves, worldly millionaires are often real paupers. Soul elevation brings the world into a subordinate position. The higher the soul ascends the more paltry its honors, the more vapid its pageantry, the more despicable its pleasures. The higher the soul ascends the more the world dims and dwindles from the view. If you are ascending, your consciousness of inner power is increasing. As you rise morally, trials that once would have crushed you are borne with comparative ease ; temptations that would have overcome you are effectively resisted, duties that would have appeared all but impossible to be discharged are fulfilled with alacrity and delight. The elevated soul, like the eagle in its flight, basks in calm sunshine whilst the dark clouds roll, and the thunders peal beneath it. If you are ascending, your interest in the spiritual world is deepening every day. You feel yourself as
you rise going more and more within its attractions. loses its terrors.
“A man on earth devoted to the skies ;
SUBJECT :- God's Empire in the Soul.
“ The kingdom of God is within you."--Luke xvii. 21.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and forty-sixth.
THREE thoughts are suggested by these significant words. First : That Christianity is a reigning power. It is not a system of mere speculative thought, nor of ritualistic routine. It is a regal moral power. Its right place is the throne, and nowhere else ;—the throne in literature, science, law, commerce, and in everything pertaining to this our mortal life. The words suggest:Secondly: That Christianity is the reigning power of God. It is called “The Kingdom of God." There are many reigning powers on earth. Paganism is a reigning power, Mohammedanism is a reigning power, carnality and selfishness are reigning powers ;—but they are not Divine. They have no right to the sceptre and the throne. Christianity is this and nothing else. All other powers are usurpers. The words suggest :- Thirdly : That Christianity is the reigning power of God in the soul. It is "within you.” God reigns over the material universe by force; over the vast systems of irrational life by instinct; over unfallen intelligences by moral truth; but over the human soul by redemptive love. It is within not without; its throne is neither at Jerusalem nor at Rome, but in the soul. If Christianity is the reigning power of God within, wo may fairly make the following de
AN EMPIRE GREATLY DEPENDING
UPON OUR SUFFRAGE,
MUST EXERCISE CONTROL OVER THE ENTIRE LIFE.
ductions :-I. THAT IT IS
The moral monarch of the soul is always the object supremely loved ; and love is free evermore. Man after all, though a political slave, has a noble franchise. He has a vote, and he freely uses it as to the Monarch that shall rule over the whole sphere of his being. Christ does not force His
way into the soul; He does not coerce it into submission; He stands before the soul in all the charms of His sublime character, knocks at the door and asks for entrance. Another deduction is :-II. THAT IT IS AN EMPIRE WHICH
“Out of the heart are the issues of life.” All our actions and purposes take their rise in the deep fountains of the soul. If then the entire soul is controlled by God, our outward life will be divinely good. The Shekinah within will shed a halo on the life without. Another deduction is :-III. THAT IT IS AN EMPIRE WHICH MUST INSURE SELF-HARMONY. Where God reigns there is order. If He reigns over the soul, all its sympathies and passions will flow smoothly, all its faculties will play in concert. There may be, as in nature, occasional tempests ; but they will be evanescent--the exception not the rule. They will soon subside, and leave the inner realm more bright and peaceful than before. Where the God of love and peace, the “ever-blessed God," reigns, there must be happiness: gloom and misery are foreign to the religion of heaven. There is yet another deduction we may make :-IV. THAT IT IS AN EMPIRE WHICH MUST INSURE BOTH THE SAFETY AND ADVANCEMENT OF THE SUBJECT. The good king with loving assiduity values the lives and rights of his subjects and evermore seeks their elevation. Under God's reign the soul is safe ; the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. Under His reign too its everlasting advancement in power, influence, position, worth, and blessedness, is secured.
Brother, who reigns over thee?_"The Prince of darkness," or the God of light”? It must be one or the other. There are but two moral empires in the universe ;—the evil and the good. Art thou the subject of hell or heaven?
SUBJECT :-A Photogram of Spiritual Indolence.
“I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw and considered it well : I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty' come as one that travelleth ; and thy want as an armed man.”-Prov. xxiv. 30–34.
Inalysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Forty-sebenth.
We have here indolence portrayed by the hand of a master; and as it stands before us on the canvass, certain facts strike us concerning it—namely, that it is foolish, procrastinating, and ruinous.-I. IT IS FOOLISH. Solomon characterizes this indolent man as one
“void of understanding.” Wherein do you see this man's folly? In the flagrant neglect of his own interests. Unlike the condition of millions who have not one yard of green sod, which they can call their own, this man held a little estate in his possession. He had a “field” and a "vineyard,” and upon the cultivation of this depended his bread. But he neglected it, and it was grown over with thorns. Morally this vineyard may signifiy our spiritual natures, with all their faculties and potential powers, and which it is both our manifest interest and bounden duty to cultivate. There is one noticeable point of distinction between material and spiritual cultivation. You may cultivate your field by proxy, but you can only cultivate your soul yourself.-II. IT IS PROCRASTINATING. Solomon observed that indolence in this man led to constant procrastination. " I saw and considered it well, I looked upon it and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep."
To the indolent man duty is always for the morrow. The idea of working is not given up, but postponed from day to day; and the longer it is postponed the more indisposed the mind grows for its performance. It is always "a little more," or always looking to a “more convenient season.” III. IT IS RUINOUS. First; Consider the wretched con
dition to which his estate was reduced. “Lo, it was all grown over with thorns," &c. It might have waved in golden grain, -it might have been a scene of loveliness and plenty; but it is an unsightly wilderness, unprotected, open to the foot of every intruder. It is noteworthy that, ruin comes not by cultivation but by neglect. Your garden will soon become a wilderness if you neglect it. Heaven's kind arrangement this, to stimulate labor. It is so with the soul. You need not strive to ruin yourselves :-do nothing, and you will be damned. Secondly : Consider the utter destitution to which it must inevitably conduct. By this indolence, “thy poverty shall come as one that travelleth,” &c. Two things are suggested by the words :-(1) That the ruin is gradual in its approach. Thy poverty shall come.” It does not burst on you at once, like a thunder storm. The punishment of the indolent farmer takes all the months from spring-time to harvest to approach him. Full and adequate retribution does not come at once. “ There is a treasuring up."
It is coming now “as one that travelleth,"—it is on the road. (2) The ruin is terrible in its consummation. “ As an armed man.' It will seize you as with the grasp of an indignant warrior. Indolence brings ruin.*
Brother, thou hast a momentous work to do, thou hast to cultivate the wilderness of thy nature, thou hast to repair the moral fences of thy soul. In other words, thou hast to rebuild the ruined temple of thy being. Thou hast no time to lose. Thou hast slept already too long. "Resolve and do” at once.
Lay firmly every stone ; long years may be,
And stormy winds may rend, ere all be done ;
* See Homilist, Vol. v. p. 117.