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become dim in presence of that greater luminary, so all humai definitions, however excellent, are eclipsed when God himself reveal himself as a Being who is love. I know then that God must bı love. It cannot but be true that “God is love."
VICTORY OVER THE WORLD.
BY THE REV. JOHN STOCK. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”—1 John v, 4. "WHAT sad mistakes are made with 1 in its cares and sorrows. These regard to the nature of a real moral | must not be allowed to destroy ou victory over the world! Here is a faith in God, nor our submission hard-headed, hard-hearted, and hard to his will. He who can cast hi fisted man of the world, who has care upon God when it is mos! fought his way up to affluence and pressing, and he who can trust his power, in the face of tremendous very sorrows with Jesus, has overdifficulties. He has no love for Christ, come the world. and no reverence for God, and yet I 2. The world in its pernicious et: he boasts of having got the better of ample and maxims. The world the world! Alas! he is deceived. He tempts by its example ; it corrupts is not the victor, but the vanquished. | by its evil principles. The world and The world has overcome him, not he | the Gospel are at issue with each the world; and every fresh success in other in the principles by which they removing the obstacles in the way of are animated. For example, the his temporal advancement has only | world says, Mind the main chance increased the completeness of the which means, regard the acquisition world's victory over his heart and of wealth as the chief end of a man soul. What then constitutes a true being. The Gospel says, “ Seek ve victory over the world?
first the kingdom of God and his I. Let us consider THE ENEMY righteousness, and all these things TO BE OVERCOME—the world. In | shall be added." what respects is the world to be over The man who turns a deaf ear to come?
God's morality, and is ruled by the 1. The world in its cares and corrupt maxims of the world, is oversorrows. The cares of this world come by the world. But he who are the ruin of many. They choke | chooses the yoke of Christ, takes the word, so that it becomes unfruit the Gospel as his guide, and lives ful. They lead the soul away from nobly superior to the example and God, and make it cleave to the dust. | principles of the world around him They monopolize the heart's affec has overcome the world. tions, and leave no room for God or 3. The world in its pleasures and heavenly things.
applauses. The world tempts by its Some are thus prostrated by worldly promised pleasures. It allures, sorrows. Trials and disappointments the honours and flatteries which fill them with rebellion and repining. | bestows upon its votaries. And They are mastered by their crosses. | few resist this destructive fasc
Now the world is to be overcome tion! How many a young man yleid.
to the desire of being called “a good from our eyes. When the threats of fellow" by men to whom the highest the persecutor fail to move us, when form of goodness is utterly strange. we can bear to have our names cast The world loves its own; it pets out as evil, and can defy the world them; it humours them ; it applauds to do its worst, we overcome it. Yes; them. And it is hard to stand up Stephen Was gaining a splendid against the flatterer; to turn away victory over the world when being from his poisonous breath ; and to | crushed and battered by its stones to prefer the smile of Jehovah, and the death. The world slew the martyr's answer of a good conscience. He body ; but the martyr's soul defied who allows himself to be intoxicated and vanquished it to the last. Beby the fames of the world's pleasures hold the enemy then, and the nature and applauses, is overcome by the of the controversy! world. But to dash from our lips II. Let the reader glance at THE the maddening cup of sinful indul. | VICTORY ASCRIBED TO THE CHRISgence, and to turn away from the TIAN. smiles and applauses of corrupt men, He overcomes! There are one or 18 a noble victory over the world. two things to be noticed in this Anman nature loves popularity; its victory. sunshine is pleasant to bask in. The 1. İt is certain. The apostle pro. world's smiles are more destructive claims a general truth. " Whatso. and more to be dreaded than its ever is born of God overcometh the frowns. And it is a glorious triumph world : and this is the victory that when a man can dare to be singular overcometh the world, even our faith. in his love of goodness. He has over Who is he that overcometh the come the world.
world, but he that believeth that 4. The world in its persecutions. Jesus is the Son of God?” This "Marvel not if the world hate you." passage contains a series of universal The carnal mind is enmity against propositions ; propositions without God, and against his representatives. an exception to the contrary. In In the first family there was a Cain every case the birth of God secures 3 well as an Abel. In Abraham's this victory : faith never fails to family there were both Ishmael and enjoy it; and the great object of this Isaad ; and Isaac was cursed with an overcoming faith is the Son of God. Esau as well as blessed with a Jacob. | This sublime triumph is secured by The enmity may not always show the eternal purpose of the Father, itself in the murders of the Inquisi by the perfect work of Jesus, and tion, and the other savage cruelties by the office and omnipotence of the of bygone days. The sneer, the Holy Spirit. The promise and faithtannt, the slanderous aspersion, have fulness of a covenant-keeping God not been laid aside, and many men guarantee it. would almost rather die than be When two armies come into the laughed at. In various ways the field, the soldiers in the opposing World will seek to drive us from our lines cannot foresee on which side integrity when it cannot allure or the victory will be; but every one aeduce us. These persecutions we who enlists under the banners of have to overcome. Our duty is to Jesus shall be made more than a persevere in our Christian course, in conqueror. different to the censure and the con This certainty of success will not tempt of a blaspheming world; just diminish the activities fof the Chris. As the orb of day continues his career tian warrior ; rather will it tend to of light, unaffected by the clouds and stimulate him in the strife. How storms which sometimes hide him does the general rally his half-beaten
troops, but by raising the spirit- l shall be “more than conquerors," to stirring cry of victory! If the indicate the thoroughness of their soldier could but be sure of triumph, triumph. It will be more than with what energy would he fight! victory ; for it will never need to be If the merchant were certain of suc repeated. The conqueror may have cess in any speculation, would he not to buckle on his armour afresh at his embark his last farthing in it? If country's call ; but the Christian Fü the mariner were gure of a safe re have done with fighting for ever turn, how cheerily would he spread | He will be more than a mere victor his sails to the wind! The hope of for he will be eternally at rest. success is one mainspring of effort. A conqueror overcomes his enemy The certainty of the Christian's but the Christian's foes shall be triumph is a mighty stimulus to the destroyed. Sin, death, and the vigorous wielding of the weapons of world, shall be cast into hell for ever his spiritual welfare.
Who can conceive of the splendour 2. It is the result of Divine grace. I of the crown which shall deck the Our separation from the world by brow of every victorious believer: effectual calling, our preservation | It is a crown of glory, of righteous, from going back into the world, and ness, of life, and one that fadeth pot our triumphs over the persecutions | away. The crown worn by toe and temptations of the world, are all mightiest earthly monarch Boom the result of the Holy Spirit's grace.
waxes dim by time. Death robe It is the birth from above, the being him of his splendour, strips him of born of God, that secures the triumph. his purple, and clothes him with the Formalists who never underwent winding-sheet of the tomb ; but this birth may perish ; but saints that glory and that crown are im. persevere to the end.
mortal and incorruptible. Time shall The armour which we wear, the never dim, and death never wither weapons which we wield, and the their brightness. strength with which we fight, are III. Let thought next dwell on all from Heaven. Do we wear the THE MEANS OF TRIUMPH. This helmet of the hope of salvation? is said to be " our faith," or, as it is That hope is “a fruit of the Spirit.” | defined in the next verse, “believing Do we carry the shield of faith, that Jesus is the Son of God." But wherewith we quench every fiery how does faith in the Son of God dart? That faith is the gift of God. operate in securing this victory? Do we wield the sword of the Spirit ? | "1. It connects us with the grace That sword is the word of God. Is and fulness of Christ Jesus. The our strength renewed from day to secret of the power of faith is, that day? It is Christ who says, "My it opens to us the fulness of strength grace is sufficient for thee.” God | and grace which is treasured up 13 gives all who enlist in his service | Christ Jesus. It is the key which un: weapons to use, and power and skill locks to us the fulness of 'Immanuel. to use them. He teaches their hands It has no power apart for its object, to war, and their fingers to fight. but it unites us to Him who is They are strong in the strength of almighty to save; hence its wondroua the Lord, and in the power of his
strength. It allies us with the might. They can do all things omnipotence of Jesus; it makes through Christ who strengtheneth every promise our own; it approthem.
priates each blessing of the New 3. It shall be complete and decisive. Covenant. The unsearchable riches By all saints the world shall be per of Christ are for every true-hearted fectly and eternally overcome. They I believer. “ It hath pleased to
Father that in Him should all fulness, the sorrows of the second death. dwell." "In Him dwelleth all the All the pleasures of this life, when fulness of the Godhead bodily." compared with an eternity of woe, " And out of His fulness we all re are but as an atom to an Alp, or a ceive, and grace for grace," that is, dew-drop to the fathomless ocean. "continual accessions of grace ; new Faith appraises things temporal and grace coming upon and superseding things eternal at their proper value. the former" (Dean Alford).
It realizes the inherent inferiority of Thus too, we share in all the the material to the spiritual, of the victories of our Great Captain. He temporal to the eternal... says to us : "In the world ye shall Thus it overcomes the world by bare tribulation : but be of good “ looking, not merely at the things cheer." And why ? Mark the which are seen and which are answer: "For I have overcome the temporal, but at the things which world." The triumphs of Jesus are not seen and which are eternal.” secure ours : they shall be repeated It purifies the heart: it sublimates in our experience. Because he over the affections: it works by love. It came, we shall overcome too. So sees through the tinsel and glitter of close is the union between the Lord this world's pleasures, and despises and his disciples, that He himself the vanity which lies beneath. “The has taught us the sublime argument, | spiritual" man discerneth all things, "Because I live, ye shall live also.” though he himself is discerned of When by faith we lay hold of the no man." He has tried both the skirt of the God-Man, who was a Jew, world and Christ; both the devil a virtue goes forth from him to us and God; both irreligion and by which we become “ new creatures religion ; but the man of this world in Christ Jesus; old things pass | has only tried one side. The world away; and all things become new.” is no mystery to the Christian, for The force of this mighty moral at | he knows it to be a cheat : but the traction secures our eternal interest Christian is a mystery to the world. in all that the Christ is, has, or has ling, for the latter has never experidone. “Neither shall any pluck enced the hopes and joys of the divine them out of my hands." "That life. Faith overcomes the world by where I am there ye may be also." enabling us to see through its shams. This is the secret of the power of 3. It assists us to keep in vier the faith in overcoming the world.
glorious reward which awaits the 2. It estimates aright the compara- | victor. “ Faith is the substance of tive value of things earthly and things hoped for, the evidence of heavenly. What empowers the be. things not seen." It sees the issue hever to rise superior to the plea of the struggle ; it beholds the sures and allurements of the world! | glorious crown which Jesus holds in By faith he is enabled to see the his hands ready to place upon the emptiness of earthly things, and the heads of his victorious disciples transcendent glory and importance The sight of the crown held up by the of eternity. Faith has a subjective | judge who sat on an elevated seat at. as well as an objective power. It is the end of the course, fired the Olympic influential as a state of mind. Let | racer with redoubled ardour: and it the world scorn and revile; its is “ looking to Jesus" that enables us breath will soon be taken from it: to run with patience the race that is let it persecute ; it will soon be set before us. With such a crown Emitten by the rod of Immanuel's l of glory for our reward, we may power : let it drink in its maddening brace ourselves with alacrity to the pleasures; it will have to endure conflict; with such a haven in
prospect, we may smile at the passing Faith" ! My God, let not my race storm ; with such a resting place, we sink into a herd of mere money. may cheerfully bear the toils of our getting, money-hoarding sinners, but pilgrimage. A few more troubles purge its eye of spiritual vision, and battles, and then-heaven, and that it may clearly see and prac. Jesus, and God!
tically recognise that this is not our And it is the faith which enables rest! us to see that glory, and to realize 2. We are furnished with a test by the stimulus which it affords, that which we may know whether we are aids us to overcome the world. “It in the faith or not. has respect unto the recompence of If every one truly born of God the reward :” “it endures as seeing overcometh the world, then I mav Him who is invisible :” and thus it easily tell whether I am born of God “ chooses rather to suffer affliction or not. Which is the victor, myself, with the people of God, than to or the world ? True faith over. enjoy the pleasures of sin for a comes the world in every man ; then season ; esteeming even reproach for if I am " in the faith,” I have over. Christ greater riches than the trea come, and am overcoming, and shall sures of Egypt.” This then is the overcome, the world. He who victory which overcometh the world, suffers the world imperiously to even our faith ; and thus it wins the | rule him, is not “ born of God," is crown.
not “ in the faith.” Ministers, From the subject discussed in this deacons, members of our churches, paper we learn many practical and of all churches ; let us try ourlessons. Let two suflice here.
selves by this decisive test! It is 1. We learn the importance of not enough to have our names rekeeping the eye of faith clear and corded in some Church Book. Many bright. The victory is by faith. Let, whose names are to be found there this sceptical age ponder that truth. are among the greatest worshippers As we lose our faith we shall cease of mammon, and are held in the to overcome the world. Infidelity strongest chains of earthliness. God and earthliness are inseparable in says, “ If any man love the world, the nature of things : just as strong the love of the Father is not in enlightened faith and spirituality him :" " The friendship of the are twin graces. The scepticism of world is enmity with God; whosoour time has much to do with its ever therefore will be a friend of the mammon worship. “ If this be the
world is the enemy of God." Either only certain world, why then let us we must come out of the world, and enjoy it while we have it! Why | be separate from it, and overcome sacrifice the certain for the un. | it, or it will destroy us for ever, and certain ?" If this age knew itself, we shall perish in the overthrow of it would go down upon its knees, and the wicked. utter one prayer of agony and importunity, “ Lord, increase our | Devonport.