Christ Standing for an Ensign of the People
[Editor's Note: Christ Standing for an Ensign of the People was preached by Dr. Benjamin Colman (1673-1747) to the Honorable and Ancient Artillery Company on June 5, 1738, their centennial anniversary, during Governor Jonathan Belcher's administration of the twin colonies of Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire (1730-1741). (The governor was military commander-in-chief of the colonies, as well.) This speech has been abridged and slightly edited for easier readability for the modern reader. -- ED.]
CHRIST STANDING FOR AN ENSIGN OF THE PEOPLE:
A Sermon Preached to the Honorable and Ancient Artillery Company in Boston,
June 5, 1738,
Being the Day of the Finishing Their First Century.
Boston: J. Draper, for J. Edwards and S. Eliot, 1738.
[Title verse:] Exodus 17:15: "The LORD my Banner."
11:10: "And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand
for an ensign to the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest shall
The whole chapter is a most noble and illustrious prophecy of the wise and peaceful, victorious and triumphant reign of the Messiah. It is the person of Jesus, the Son of David, the son of Jesse, in the offices and benefits of our Lord Redeemer, that is here displayed under the similitude of an ensign, standard, and banner, to them that fear Him and because of the truth.
He, the Head of the Church, who also bears on his shoulders the government of the whole world, is the rod from the stem of Jesse (verse 1) and also the root of Jesse, which is the greater dignity born in my text. He is both the "root and offspring of David" (Revelation 22:16): in His Divine nature, the root; in His human, the branch or offspring: Immanuel, God with us, in two distinct natures and one Person forever.
You see then, my fathers and brothers, fellow-soldiers under the one ensign and standard of Christ, whom we Gentiles are to be looking, seeking, and gathering to, that His rest may be glorious in us as a part of His church, and ours in Him, whose "banner over us is love" (Song of Solomon 2:4). You see your King and General, the "Captain of your Salvation," and are now in His presence, to behold His glory, to hear His word of command, and to seek His favor and protection. The armies of Heaven follow Him, and "bless Him all ye his hosts," you ministers of His who do His pleasure, [together] with all His works in all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O our souls!
It is now almost forty years ago that I spoke to your fathers in this place, and on this solemnity, and I then led them to Jesus, to the faith in Him, whereby the heroic saints of old time "subdued kingdoms" (Hebrews 11:33); wrought righteousness, obtained promises, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant to fight, and turned "to flight the armies of the aliens." (See Psalms 71:17-18; 92:14-15.) It is the will of Christ, my brothers, that they without us should not be made perfect, and therefore I would now finish as I began and lead you again to your standing colors: Christ your Ensign (the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, the "first and the last", which is and which was and which is to come, the Almighty!, the "same yesterday, today, and forever"). And I doubt not but you will gladly be led again and again to Him, the glorious object of your saving faith, the Author and the Finisher of it.
It is no empty
flourish you are invited to! It is Jesus in His saving offices and benefits you
are come forth to see! Behold Him, behold Him! "Red in his apparel,"
with "died garments from Bozrah!" Travelling in the "greatness of
His strength!" Speaking in righteousness and "mighty to save"!
Look to Him and be saved, all the ends of the earth! (See Isaiah 63:1-2; 45:22.)
[Christ Is the Banner]
1. He is the Ensign and Standard set up "from everlasting," in the eternal counsel and decree of God, from the "beginning or ever the earth was": the father's everlasting delight and "rejoicing in the habitable parts of the earth"--these parts of it which He then saw and ordained to be inhabited by our fathers. (Proverbs 8:23, 31)
And this Royal Standard of Heaven was "first displayed on Earth," to the confusion of devils and the everlasting wonder and praises of angels and men, in that glorious revelation and promise to our first parents (Genesis 3:15): "A Seed of the woman to break the serpent's head, with his bruised heel.'
Heaven then held out the flag of sovereign grace with these words written on it, this figure drawn on it: A serpent piercing the heel of a Godlike Man, but his [the serpent's] head crushed by it. The Standard bore the image of God's dear Son in our nature, treading the dragon--the devil and Satan--into hell, from off that dust where it had crawled and reared its poisonous head.
Indeed, our Savior
is the Ensign lifted up through the whole written Word, and displayed from
Sunday to Sunday in the preached Gospel. He is lifted up on high by Moses and
the Prophets and by the inspired Apostles of the New Testament, and after them,
all the ministers of Christ in all His churches through the whole earth and to
the end of time are standard-bearers, to bear His name and truth, His law and
covenant, His promises and threats [judgments], to all people. We preach Christ
crucified, buried, risen, ascended, and reigning at the Father's right hand and
coming again in the clouds of Heaven. He was lifted up as an ensign on the
cross, and from the grave in His resurrection, and yet more in His exaltation to
the right hand of power. Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God and the
righteousness of God for us.
[Rally to the Flag of Christ]
2. An ensign is a conspicuous thing, to be looked at, seen, beheld, and considered: and such is Christ.
This is the gracious evangelical phrase, "Looking to Jesus!" (See Hebrews 12:2; Isaiah 65; Zechariah 12:10.) The gracious Gospel precept: "behold me, behold me!" and the gracious constraining promise: "they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced."
Strong is the eye of faith and the hand of prayer, to reach the highest Heaven and bring down salvation from the exalted Jesus. We must look and admire, look and love, look and ascend to Him on the wings of strong desire and unfailing faith. He has said (John 12:32): "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me." Amen, glorious Lord!
From Heaven we also look for Him again in power and great glory. The angels of Jesus bid the disciples do so in the hour of His ascension (Acts 1:11): "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into Heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up into Heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven."
great is his "mystery of godliness," the "visions of the Son of
Man" as in the "glories of the Only-begotten of the Father." (See
1 Timothy 3:16): "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit,
seen of angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up
[Enlist Under His Colors]
3. The Standard is set up and the Ensign displayed for People to gather to, and such is Christ. To Him shall the Gentiles seek, says my text, and after it the prophet goes on: "He shall set up an Ensign to the nations, and gather the dispersed of Judah, and assemble the outcasts of Israel."
This was the ancient and famous promise in the prophecy concerning Judah, and the blessing with which His Father blessed Him! Genesis 49: "The Scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come, and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be."
This is the first meaning and use of the standard: for summoning and inviting persons to enlist themselves, and for the assembling of the enlisted. The tribes of Israel, in their encampments and marches through the wilderness, had each their own standard, and they pitched about their own ensign. Numbers 2:2: "Every one by his own standard, with the ensign of their fathers' house." This made their camp look beautiful and yet terrifying in their order and array!
The Spirit of prophecy in later times speaks of this use of the ensign: to call the nations from afar, and to [call] to them from the ends of the earth to come with speed swiftly with their "loins girt"! And thus runs the burden of Babylon: Lift ye up the Banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice to them, and shake the hand to go up to her gates; "I have commanded my sanctified ones;" "I have called my mighty ones", etc. (See Isaiah 5:26-27; 13:1-3.)
The Gospel is
preached to the nations for this very end: to enter them in a war against sin
and Satan and for the defense and support of the kingdom of Christ, His truth
and ways, people, and worship. We gather to Him as our Ensign by our profession
of faith in His name, by our assembling to worship from one Lord's Day to
another, in His appointed ways. Of Him the whole family in Heaven and Earth are
named. To His one altar the tribes go up to give thanks to His name, to worship
the Lord in the "beauties of holiness." So the tabernacle of the Lord
stood in the midst of the encamped tribes and marched in the midst of them. The
cloud, the glory and Shechinah was their standard; when that went they did, and
when that stood they rested round about it. Christ was there with His shining
hosts of angels, their guard and conductors. There were their holy convocations;
there was the holy Law deposited in the sacred ark, and there stood the altars
of burnt offering and incense. There stood the golden table and the shew-bread,
and there hung the golden candlestick with the burning lights. All was but a
figure [symbol] of Christ in the flesh, enlightening the multitudes on the Mount
with His heavenly doctrine, feeding them with the bread of life, and then
offering Himself as a sacrifice on the tree. The Day of Pentecost was the famous
time of the in-gathering of Jews and Gentiles together: Christ was the Ensign
lifted up in the rushing wind and eleven tongues and the thousands of converts;
the tongues were for gathering in the nations to Him. Acts 2:32: "This
Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are witnesses! Therefore being by the right
hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the gift of the Holy
Ghost, he hath shed abroad this which ye see and hear: As it is written by
David, 'The Lord said unto my Lord, sit Thou at my right hand until I make thy
foes thy footstool: Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that
God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified both Lord and
Christ." This pricked them [in the] heart and made them come in: "Men
and brethren, what shall we do?" In all Christ was the Ensign, to gather in
souls to Himself.
[Band of Brothers]
4. The Standard and Ensign is for union, for the gathered people to unite under--to unite in affection and to join their strength--and such is Christ to His church.
There is one Lord and one body, one faith and one baptism. All Christians declare themselves to be as one and bind themselves to be so. They enlist in one cause and engage in one design, which [is] Christ's. John 11:52: "That he should gather together in one the children of God which are scattered abroad." They gather to Him as their common Lord and General--to His colors, or, if you will, into His fold, for there is one fold and one Shepherd. One is the Head: Christ, and the many members are one Body, animated by one Spirit, and having the same care one for another. Christ is the "center of unity" to His people; the faith and love in Him is the bond and means of it. What He asked of the Father for His chosen--that His apostle declares to be granted and true in fact: He prayed for them, "That they may be one, one in Us, as Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee." This the Apostle affirms of true believers: "Ye are all one in Christ Jesus." As we read of the multitude of the first believers, that "they were of one heart and of one soul" (Acts 4:32). So soldiers are one, an army is one, and their unity like the form of a phalanx in their force and strength to bear down all before them. (See Ephesians 4:5 and 1:10; 1 Corinthians 12:13 and 10:17; Galatians 3:28; John 10:16; Colossians 1:18; 1 Corinthians 12:15, and John 17:21.)
5. The Standard,
Ensign, and Flag of the King of State is for the "protection of the
subject," and such is Christ to His Church: its Almighty Protector and
Defense. We repair [turn] to Him for salvation, and nothing less; we flee to Him
and are safe. He is our King and shall save us. His name is Jehovah-nissi, the
"Lord our Banner"! The "Lord our Righteousness". Write this
on our one altar and sacrifice. This name of our God and Savior defend us! Send
us help from His sanctuary and strengthen us out of sin! We will rejoice in His
salvation and set up our banners! Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but
we will remember "the name of the Lord our God"! Save, Lord; let the
King hear us when we call! Be Thou exalted, Lord, in Your own strength; so will
we "sing and praise thy power" (Psalm 20 and 21).
[Declaration of War Against Evil]
6. And lastly, the standard and ensign are more especially for a declaration of war, a defiance of enemies, the conquest of them and triumph over them.
Christ has His enemies, and souls have theirs. His enemies are ours, and the enemies of our souls are His. Against these the Spirit of the Lord prepared and raised a victorious Standard in the body of Jesus, our atoning sacrifice. (See Psalm 40:6; Hebrews 10:5; Colossians 2:15; Luke 10:18.) He triumphed over them on His cross, spoiling principalities and powers and making a show of them openly. Satan, like lightning, fell from Heaven; the "prince of this world" was cast out.
We are all enlisted in this spiritual warfare and must be good soldiers, fighting the good fight and resisting unto blood, in striving against sin. (See 1 Timothy 1:18; 2 [Timothy] 2:3-4; 1 [Timothy] 6:12; 1 Corinthians 9:26; 2 Corinthians 10:4; Hebrews 12:4, and Ephesians 6:12.)
We had need be "strong in the Lord" and in the power of "his might", and put on the "whole armor of God," that we may be able to stand against the "wiles of the devil." For we "wrestle" not only against "flesh and blood," but against "principalities," against "powers," against the "rulers of the darkness" of this world, against "spiritual wickedness in high places." Strength, armor, and courage is provided for us to put on, prove [test], wear, and use. "Wherefore," as the Holy Spirit says, "take to you the armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day." Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace, above all taking the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and "praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." Good armor, truly, for our own day of rebuke and blasphemy from the infidelity of the enemies of Christianity, who like Rabshakey, reproach the Living God. Enough to make us cry out with the mourning prophet: "My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my heart! Because thou hast heard, O my soul, this alarm of war."
We must heartily
offer and engage on the side of truth and holiness. The Lord has sworn that He
will have war with Amalec forever. Our lusts and their confederates, the world
and the devil, are this Amalec. The war is for life, and the Lord will fight for
us. More are with us than with them. We go forth in the name of the Lord of
hosts, whom they defy. His Ensign is displayed against error and vice,
profaneness and impiety, our own and others' sins. Jeremiah 51:5: "Behold,
I am against thee, O thou that destroyest the Earth! Set ye up the Standard,
blow the trumpet, prepare the nations, and Babylon shall be a desolation."
[Our Flag Inspires Courage]
The ensign inspires courage and animates the host to battle. The flying colors put life into the soldier and lead him on intrepidly. It speaks to the hosts and says, as our Lord does to us, "Look on me and do likewise! Come on without fear! Have I not commanded thee! Be strong and of good courage: Be not afraid or dismayed, for the Lord thy God is with thee" (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9; Judges 7:17).
Christ can inspire fortitude and strength to endure hardness, to resist unto blood, to be steadfast and immoveable and not draw the hand back that stretches out the spear. Jesus can make Joshuas and strengthen [them] with all might in the inner man; yes, out of weakness He makes [men] strong. Luke 10:19: "Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy." Accordingly read the confidence and defiance of faith in Him, Romans 8:37-38: "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us: for I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord."
Here then is victory
and triumph in the highest, to the utmost, under our conqueroring Ensign, CHRIST
1. Victory. We have a Standard that can never fall. Heaven and earth shall pass awaty, but not a tittle of His Word. "The everlasting God fainteth not, neither is weary." A Sampson may faint for thirst, and one of the "three mighty men with David" smote the Philistines till his hand was weary and cleaved to his sword, benumbed with holding it so long and fast, but they that war under Christ "shall renew their strength." It is He who "brings forth judgment unto victory." He came and overcame, and in His strength we conquer ourselves, the world, and [the] devil. The victory that overcomes them all is our faith. "The God of grace," says the Apostle, shall "bruise Satan" under your feet shortly. The enemy may sometimes roar in the midst of the congregation and set up his ensign in assurance of victory; he may prevail over a Peter in an assault, but not in the war; no, Jesus has prayed for him [Peter], that "his faith fail not," and he returns to his colors. Keep to your Ensign and you fright away the enemy; "resist the devil" and he shall flee before you. Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. What says the Spirit to the churches through the second and third chapters of the Revelation of Jesus Christ? He speaks of all the saints as overcomers and [victors]: "To him that overcometh will I grant"--every high honor and glory that our immortal souls can possibly aspire after or receive. (See Clarke on 2 Samuel 23:10; Isaiah 40:28; 1 John 5:4; Romans 16:20; Psalm 74:4; James 4:7, and 1 John 4:4.)
On victory follows triumph: triumph for every one who overcomes. There is an eternal triumph before every good soldier of Jesus Christ. He is triumphing at the right hand of the Father, and all His enemies are made His footstool. He wills that they, also, whom the Father has given Him be with Him where He is, "to behold His glory." He has promised them a share in it: Revelation 3:21: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame and am set down with my Father on his throne."
Thus the standard of war and the banner of love are in the end, one. Our Savior subdues us to Himself and captivates us by His grace, [so] that we may triumph in His love, over all His and our enemies. And thus it has been from the "beginning of revenges on the enemy." Jeremiah 1:2: "Declare ye among the nations and publish, and set up a standard; Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded."
And thus have we
seen, in many respects, our glorious Savior standing for an Ensign of the
Imagine, if you please, my brothers, your own ensign today bearing before you your "professed devotion to the Lamb" in the midst of the throne as [if] it had been slain. Or, if you please, to the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah." They are both One, and alike reverend and holy to you; alike formidable to sinners and pleasurable to saints.
Let Christ be great and good and glorious in your eyes: the "chiefest of ten thousand and altogether lovely." Be you as "the valiant of Israel about his bed"; they all "hold swords" and are "expert in war"; every man has his sword upon his thigh because of fear in the night. You watch for Christ's church, its preservation and safety; He wakes for it and you. Let faih make your necks like the "tower of David," built for an armory, whereon there hang a "thousand bucklers," all "shields of mighty men" (Song of Solomon 3:7-8). Such you will become by faith in your Savior and obedience to Him, and he that is feeble shall be as David, and "the house of David as the angel of God."
See, my brothers,
your need of Christ and "your God, your glory." See [the] danger of
distancing [yourselves] from Him and [bearing] enmity against Him. Mourn all
your desertions from Him and rebellions against Him. Never [let it] be said of
any one here present, "This my enemy that would not have me to reign over
him!" Ever may the Lord be able to say of us, as the centurion did to Him
of the soldiers under him, "I say unto one, Go, and he goeth, and to
another, Come, and he cometh." Take the sacrament of fidelity to your
General and King (for the word meant at first the "oath of soldiers"
to their general). You know who has said and sworn by Himself, "Unto Me
every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear! Surely shall one say, in the
Lord have I righteousness and strength! To Him shall men come, and all that are
incensed against Him shall be ashamed; in the Lord shall all the seed of Israel
be justified and shall glory" (Isaiah 45:23-25).
[A Word to Soldiers: Be a Soldier in Christ's Army]
In this address to you, my fellow-soldiers in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ (meaning the whole assembly and not the Company in arms only), I am persuaded you will think I act as becomes my age (my 65th year). What else were worthy of your souls and mine! Or were any of our deceased fathers to return and speak to you today, what else would they think worth saying to you! They who have finished the war and see the face of the Lamb and know the "price of souls" and of His blood!
Gentlemen in arms, let this be your first character: That you are of this blessed company and number.
Christ has called you to be His soldiers, like the "trained family of Abraham," whose blessing is come upon you by faith, who also "saw Christ's day and was glad." The heroic patriarch at the head of his small victorious host paid his grateful tithes to this :"King of Glory, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle," the "King and Priest of the Most High God," and He blessed Abraham in that high Name. The King of Salem, the Prince of Peace, brought forth bread and wine to the valiant father of the faithful and blessed the Most High God who had delivered his enemies into his hand. Just so, the Lord your Banner displays Himself, His grace and benefits, to you and to all of us, in His Gospel feast, to whom you have there "lift up your hands" with your hearts, that "the King of Glory might come in." If you, my brothers, in your places and under your colors, are faithful to Christ, [and] your king and country, you also shall be blessed of the Most High God.
Your earthly Captain-General (Governor Belcher) is here present to go before you. And I doubt not but he will gladly lead you toward a better world. I am persuaded he has chosen the Lord, to serve Him in the way of these churches, and that many of you also have given your hearts with your names, in Christ. May you all be found chosen and called and faithful. Such are they that truly war under the LAMB, "who is the Lord of Lords, and King of kings" (Revelation 17:14).
[The Faith of Our Founding Fathers]
Your fathers had the honor to be "enrolled soldiers on the Lord's side." (The completion of your century led me into this consideration of the piety and fortitude of our fathers.) They had a "sure prospect" of enduring hardship for His truth and ways. Like Peter, they walked with Him on the sea, and their feet did not sink. To perils by water succeeded new dangers and fatigues on shore. A wild desert and many barbarous savages were to be subdued by their arms. Their zeal for Christ, whose cause they had at heart, animated them for the labor and encounter. After the manner of Christian men, they fought here with beasts, in hopes of a better world: the heavenly. (See 2 Timothy 2:3; Matthew 14:30; 2 Corinthians 11:26; 1 Corinthians 15:32; Mark 10:18, 29; Psalm 61:5; 119:111; Romans 14:27, and Psalm 111:5-7.)
They trusted in God, and from time to time had the evidences of His presence with them. "They got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their arm save them; but thy right hand and thy arm," O Lord, "and the light of thy countenance, because Thou hadst a favor unto them." What got they in temporal [things] for themselves? Or rather, what "loss for Christ's sake" did they not suffer? Leaving all to follow Him! But for spiritual and eternal gains.
What have they not left to us, their children? A most "pleasant and goodly heritage" on temporal accounts, as we must acknowledge who have seen other (and the better) parts of the world. But above all, they fought for us and have bequeathed to us "the heritage of those who fear God's name"! Purity of worship and liberty of conscience: a valuable portion, for the purchase whereof they counted no travel or expense too much [for] that kingdom of God which is not "meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost."
God gave them valor and conduct, for "wisdom and strength are His." He said, and spoke effectually to them, as He had done to Joshua when he was entering Canaan, "Only be thou strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all my Law" (Joshua 1:7). They were inspired accordingly to act a brave and Christian part for the Law of their God and the saving good of their posterity.
Religion and learning, churches and schools were their first care, and for these they laid a wise and strong foundation, while they might seem but weak and feeble for it, to propagate a well-instructed and a "godly seed." They proposed nobly and great, and projected wisely the surest means, beginning humbly and creeping alone in their infant-state.
Only in respect of arms, they commenced [to act like] men at once: fought [for] their own and the natives' peace; did all they could to teach and win and save them; but when hatred was returned for their love, and enmity for their offered friendship, they resolutely defended themselves and pursued their invaders. God sent His fear before them, and one, as it were, chased a thousand. The plague also had made room for them and set them in a large place. This settlement on religious principles and motives prospered, while others on worldly motives failed. Our founders died in faith, and [being] dead, call us to prudence, meekness, devotion, courage, and love.
They prayed and wrought and fought, plowed and built, with their guns and swords by their side, like Nehemiah and the remnant in his day. How ardent were they on their Sabbaths; how diligent and frugal all the week long. Only their training days and days for electing their civil rulers were those of their show and pride. Then they took state upon them and made an appearance to express their thankfulness to God their trust, and to inspire their sons with reverence of God and government and with a zeal to maintain and preserve what they had so worthily acquired for them, by the blessing of God. Just as Moses and Joshua did, for their learning, in the minority of Israel.
ORDER was their aim.
This was sacred to them, as it is throughout the creation of God. A just rule
and liberty they sought in state, in church, in families and schools. They put
great honor on their officers, who were ambitious to deserve their titles and
command respect. A corporal looked as great as a captain now, and set more
[store] by his office. This was not vanity but true wisdom, for by them looking
great and acting so, we soon grew great among the provinces [American colonies].
[To Every Generation]
The residue of the Spirit is with God, and down to our days He takes of the Spirit that was in Moses and puts it on rulers here and there--and also Joshua's Spirit on commanders-in-chief and subordinates. God has many a David in store for His church, in times long to come, to serve their own generation after His own heart, in integrity and uprightness. And then how easy is it for them to "fall asleep and be gathered to their fathers?" (Acts 13:36)
But let us "recover our arms": Christ our King and Captain lives! Of Him it is testified that "He liveth." He can humble and reform us, respirit, revive, and restore us. Of His fulness we may receive, and "grace for grace." Whatever we ask of the Father in His name, He will do it. One day is with Him as "a thousand years," and a thousand years as "one day." Our centuries pass quickly, and how sovereign is the rise and fall of families, cities, provinces, and kingdoms in every century almost! But "Thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail" (Hebrews 1:12).
One "generation goes" and "another comes," but the "Word of the Lord endureth forever"-- the same to every generation. This Word which by the Gospel is preached to us, was also [preached] to our fathers and received by them with love, fear, and reverence. The Lord has commanded it "to a thousand generations." We will not hide it from our children, but show to the generations to come the praises of the Lord and His strength.
If Christ in the
"cloud of glory" will cover our camp and dwell in our churches, we
shall yet be safe and flourishing. But else in vain is salvation hoped for from
the hills and mountains. Worthy is the LAMB to receive power and riches, and
wisdom and strength, and honor and glory and blessing!
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