banner

Last Updated on : Saturday, October 11, 2014

 

spacer

spacer

Seasons of Comfort (Volume 2 )

Robert Roberts

  spacer
Sunday Number 4

Click here to bypass list Exhortation

spacer
Contents  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
 
 
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
22
23
 
Preface  
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
 
   
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
 
Vol 1  
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
 
   
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
66
67
68
 
   
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
 
   
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
 
   
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99

100

101
 
   
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
   
 
 
 


THE MAN OF SORROWS

The exciting times č they began in his sacrifice č the work of the angels č the great example to believers č the coming return of the Master as judge and king.

WE are called upon this morning to consider Jesus in the particular aspect in which he is presented to us in the emblems spread upon the Table. We are invited to look a very long way back, through the dim distance of 1,800 years, to the time when Jesus was in the flesh č when he was a –man of sorrows and acquainted with grief č learning obedience by the things which he suffered, submitting to humiliation and death, in order that he might lay the foundation of the glorious state of things which we are now permitted in him to hope for. But it seems highly probable it will not be long before we and the world at large, will have to look upon him in a very different aspect indeed. How remarkable that exactly between 1866 and 1868 the Roman question should be the great question of the day č a thing that all who have even given any attention to prophecy have been expecting at this period, for hundreds of years, viz. that things should take such a course as would in the present epoch end off the career of the Papacy.

That is just the thing that is now in everybodyźs mouth č the expectation, prediction of every politician, the prediction of every newspaper editor and correspondent č that the Popeźs dominion can no longer last. Of course, the Pope is of no consequence to us; he is the head of a system to which every son of God, is an object of hate and execration. The Papacy is a mockery, a refuge of lies, the hold of every foul spirit. The great fact that makes its history and destiny interesting to us is that the expiration of the period allotted to its dominion, marks the epoch when we may at any time expect the return of this –man of sorrows.” About that there is no mistake; for in Dan. 7, where the matter is more strikingly presented than perhaps in any other part of the Bible, we find that the little horn of the fourth beast prevailed until the Ancient of Days came; and the period of his domination is measured by what we know to represent a period of 1,260 years. The end of this period is marked by this, that –the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end; and the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High.” This is the thing that makes current events interesting to us, because we see in the present state of Europe the same prognostication of the approach of the time when the prediction of Daniel shall be fulfilled. The particular course that events may take, is not permitted us to know; all that we get in the vision is simply a broad outline. We have the symbols of the four great dominions that have existed on the earth, but there is nothing to represent the details involved in the setting up of one and the casting down of another. You do not, in the vision, see the causes which led to the transitions represented. So in the present, it is enough for us to see the broad course of events. All we do know and expect is that at this time, the Papal supremacy will come to an end, and that afterwards the Ancient of Days will soon be manifested in the person of Jesus.

We have been singing about –the Man of sorrows” in the Garden of Gethsemane. There the work began. In that dark and bitter hour, he laid the foundation of the mighty triumph which he is shortly to effect in the earth. –He bowed beneath the sins of men” even to the grave; but he rose again, and went away to heaven, and has been away all this time; so long that men have forgotten him, except as a worthless tradition. But we, thanks to Godźs unmerited favor, have had our attention called back to the truth concerning him, and are waiting in silence, in quietness and patience, for his return from heaven. Are we worthy of this position? Are we quite ready to go and meet him, with the account which every one of us will have to render? James indicates the principle of readiness, in the chapter read, James 1. He says, –Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves; for if any be a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man beholding his natural face in a glass; for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” Now that is very plain and simple, there is no mistaking the meaning of it. The –perfect law of liberty” is to be found in the Bible. Jesus says, –Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free;” that is to say, the unfolding of Godźs mind to us in the various matters made known to us in the Bible constitutes the law of liberty. What we have to do, is to look into it, and not to forget what we read. A great deal depends upon memory, in reference to salvation; in fact, it is true what was once said by Dr. Thomas, –that salvation is very much a matter of good memory.” To –orthodox” ears, this would seem a most irreverent remark; but it is exactly true. Proof of it you will find in ICor. 15:2, and Heb. 3:6. Both these agree with James when he says, that –the man is blessed who is not a forgetful hearer of the Word.” But some may say that some persons have good memories, and some bad ones, by natural constitution. The answer to this is, that everybody has a good memory for what they give their attention to, and what they like. Nobody forgets the house he lives in, no one forgets his friends; no one ever forgets the money that is owing to him. Why? Because these things are continually under cognizance, seen by the eyes or heard by the ears. Now the reason the majority of people are forgetful hearers of the Word is because they are not constant readers of it. They do not –continue” in this law; they allow themselves to be diverted by the ephemeral things of life, from the important business of making themselves familiar with Godźs Word, by reading. They are without excuse. They plead bad memories, but they forget they have the power of making a good one. They have a good memory for what they continually busy themselves about. This is a universal rule. Do you think anybody would have a good memory for Greek or Algebra if they did not apply themselves with diligence? People dive into musty and intricate studies to qualify themselves for a good position in society. In this way they make a memory for learning and gain their object. So it must be with us. We must qualify ourselves for the great future, by studying day and night those disclosures of the divine mind which have been preserved in the record for our benefit. We must be diligent readers of the Bible, and thus we shall gain a good and serviceable memory of all that God would have us to remember, viz., the truth concerning Christ and His will concerning us. In this way we shall stand ready for the summons which may at any time come forth. When Christ sends for us, very likely the message will come by the hands of an angelic visitor. The angels have always been used in times past in the furtherance of divine arrangements. They had much to do with the first advent of Christ, with his birth, his sufferings, and his resurrection. And we know that at his Second Appearing, he will be accompanied by a multitude of them. Now this may happen any day. Suppose you are sitting quietly by the fireside at night, the labors of the day completed, and you think of going to bed, how shall you feel if all of a sudden, a beautiful and dignified visitor presents himself with the intimation –he is come and calleth for thee?” It will all depend upon the disposal you have been making of your time, your money and your strength. What sort of a day have you been spending? You have been exceedingly troubled, and taken up with the business of the hour. You have been in a ferment of discontent. You have been very angry with somebody. You have neglected your reading. You thought something else more important than the meeting. You have not been thinking about Christ at all; have not been doing anything for him č how shall you feel? Very much abashed, very much frightened, paralyzed with consternation.

But let us suppose the case stands the other way. You are depressed with sorrow. You have had a hard fight. You have been harassed in a variety of ways; but you have done your duty. You have snatched your reading in the midst of the pressure of lifeźs duties; you have given your countenance to the work done for Christ. You have preferred his assemblies to private or worldly pleasure. You have done what you could to promote his service in the proclamation of the Truth, the visitation and comfort of the lambs of his flock, and in the relief of his poor... You are grieved at the triumph of Christźs enemies, the faithlessness and unconcern of those who profess his name, and it may be at your own shortcomings hindering you in the race. The pressure of individual circumstances bow you down. Your pocket may be empty, because of what you considered it your duty to do. In tears you pour out your complaint before God, and that messenger comes to you. How shall you feel? You shall feel as no language can express; you will not be filled with ecstasy, because the judgment has to pass before you know your lot; but you will feel a calm relief from the knowledge that there is nothing in the present state worth living for and that your inmost desires and highest aspirations are towards the things that are of God. Joy, mixed with fear, will fill your heart, to know that God has taken the work in hand Himself. You go to the Judgment Seat, and whom do you meet there? Why, the man who, above all others, has been for a lifetime the cherished ideal of your heart č an ideal implanted there by the Truth, and which has been growing sharper in outline, dearer to the affections, more real to the assurance and consciousness as years roll by. You see him after whom your soul longs, in whom you have confided all your hope, and for whom you have risked all your interests. Shall you be afraid now? You will tremble, because a righteous man has a deep sense of the greatness and the holiness of God. You will feel in that presence like Daniel in the presence of the angel. But listen, . man greatly beloved, be strong, and be of good courage.” Who would not labor for such a result? It is not too late for us to mend, to become devoted, to throw our soul into the things that belong to Christ.

 

 


 
spacer spacer spacer