Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

Christians. The Platomists and Pythagorians derived their names from their masters Plato and Pythagoras, because they attended their teaching and believed their doctrine. For the same reason the disciples were called Christians. This name was not given to them by their enemies, nor adopted by themselves of their own choice. They were not left to their own wisdom in this important matter; but it was given to them by Divine appointment. Ages before, God had said to His people: "Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name." Isa. 62: 2. This was fulfilled at Antioch. "The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Acts, 11: 26. The Greek signifies to appoint, warn, or nominate, by Divine direction. Dr. Doddridge has translated it thus: "The disciples were by Divine appointment first named Christians at Antioch." Before this they were called by the Jews Nazarenes, or Gallileans, and by each other disciples, believers, brethren, or saints.

Christian is the only Divinely authorized name for the bride of Christ. She has no right to any other. The wife has no right to assume any other name but the name of her husband. This is her's justly, and by it alone she should be known. Thus the Church as "the Lamb's wife" has a right to the name of her husband, and it is wrong for her to assume any other. Would it not show a want of reverence and affection on the part of the wife for her husband, for her to assume a different name from his? Should she not be satisfied with it, and consider it as an honor to her? Thus the church should be satisfied with the name of Christ, and not take to herself other names. Is there a more honorable name than his? Are there more beautiful and expressive names, around which clustre

dearer interests. There are many honored names in history, the mention of which thrill the soul with strong emotions; but there are none so honored, so dear to the Christian as the Saviour's; none that awaken such thrilling emotions in the believer's soul as His. All other names, Luther, Wesley, Calvin, Knox, Channing and Chalmers, grow pale before the Superior lustre of His, as the stars fade away before the light of the sun. It is suggestive of all that belongs to Christianity. It points to Christ as the Son of God, the infallible guide and Saviour of man; it speaks of faith, purity, hope and love. Ideas of God. Christ, salvation, heaven, immortality, gather around this sacred name, giving it life and power. The bride should be satisfied with the name of her Lord. The bride should live worthy of the name of her husband, and not bring disgrace upon it. This is sometimes done. Thus the church should live worthy of the name of her Master. A man was brought before Alexander the Great, who had shown himself to be deficient in courage. The King enquired his name. "Alexander," he answered. "Alexander! and a coward. Change your name, or change your conduct," was the brave General's answer. Thus every soldier in the army of Christ should live worthy of the illustrious name of his Leader.

4th. Christ acknowledges His wife as His wife before the universe.

This is a glorious honor. Instances have occurred in which great men have married women in humble circumstances in life; but would not acknowledge their union before the world. They were too proud to do this. Peter the Great, after he had married Catharine, would not at first own her as his wife publicly. Not

so with Christ. He owns His people however humble their circumstances may be. He bestows upon them His name, and all the immunities of His kingdom. Christ said: "Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God." Luke, 12: 8. He will own them before the assembled universe, in the great day of eternity.

IV. The love of the Bride for the Bridegroom.

This is seen in her willingness to give up all for him. Instances have occurred in which the bride has forsaken parents, and a home of wealth for poverty and toil, from her love for her husband. This evinced her love for him. Thus the Christian is ready to give up all for Christ, parents, home and wealth. During the horrors of the bloody proscription under the second triumvirate of Rome, Acilius being betrayed by one of his slaves, and apprehended, was afterwards redeemed by his wife, who cheerfully parted with all her jewels and valuable effects to purchase his liberty. Such is the love of the true wife for her husband, and the Christian willingly parts with every thing for the Redeemer. He desires no riches but Christ. Phocion was forty times elected General of the Athenians, and every time when he was absent from home, and without any solicitation on his part. His wife was sensible how much this was to his glory. One day when an Ionian lady of rank, who lodged in her house, showed her with an air of ostentation and pleasure, her ornaments of gold, with a variety of jewels, and bracelets; she answered her with modesty: "For my part, I have no ornament but Phocion, who for these twenty years has been always elected General of the Athenians." Thus the bride of Christ rejoices only in

her Bridegroom. Paul says: "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." Gals. 6: 14. "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." Phil. 3: 8. As the light of the stars grows pale and fades away before the light of the sun, so all the glory of earthly grandeur fades away before the peerless glory of Christ to the mind of the Christian. When the Prince of Armenia and his beautiful bride were taken prisoners by Cyrus, King of Persia, the devoted husband offered to die for the redemption of his wife. Cyrus, struck with the devotion of the Prince to his wife, set them both at liberty. After they had regained their freedom, the Prince asked his wife, what she thought of Cyrus? "I did not observe him," said the Princess. "Not observe him! Upon what was your attention fixed?" "Upon that dear and generous man, who declared, that he would purchase my liberty at the expense of his own life." The grandeur of Cyrus' court had no charms to her. She saw only her devoted husband who was ready to die for her redemption. Thus it is with the Christian. There is no music so sweet to his soul as the Saviour's love; no charms so captivating as His.

The bride is now being prepared and the nuptial Vows will be celebrated at the second coming of Christ. Among the Jews and other eastern nations the bride was espoused to the husband sometimes for years before the union was consummated, she became his wife. Between the parties thus espoused there was an agreement of affection, and a desire for perpet

ual union. Thus it is with God's people now. They love the Saviour, and desire an everlasting union with Him in heaven. This union will be consummated when Christ shall gather His people all home to heav-. en. He is now preparing His bride, and, by and by He will present her before His Father's throne.

That will be a time of rejoicing in the triumph of the truth. The enemies of the Church will then be destroyed, and the bride saved. It will be a time of rejoicing in the union of friends. All the separated members of God's great family will then be gathered home. Now they are scattered up and down the walks of life. Many have gone to the spirit world and left us weeping on the shore. Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Will all meet in the morning! Blessed thought. A dying child was lying on his couch, waiting for the angel of death to finish his work. The mother had gone on before over the mystic river. The father was weeping by the bedside. bright rays of the setting sun streamed on him through the casement. He felt that he was going, and turning to the father said, in a voice of cheerfulness: "Good bye, papa, good bye! mamma has come for me to-night; don't cry, papa! we'll all meet again in the morning!" It was the voice of an angel to the father's soul, and he rejoiced in the thought "we'll all meet again in the morning!" This thought is cheerful and inspiring to those in trouble. It rouses up the fainting soul like a trumpet blast, and frightens away forever the dark shades thronging the pure avenues of life.

The

« PředchozíPokračovat »