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sinner also ? " Come thou to Jesus.” “Lord, in my view let both united be," let us say with Doddridge about another matter.

There is a certain amount of knowledge of the Gospel which I shall take for granted. You know who He is to whom you are now invited. I am not speaking to those who never heard His name. I am speaking to those who have heard of Him for years. Most of us knew His name before we knew our own; and therefore, I say, I shall take for granted a large amount of knowledge of what is the very sum and substance of Revelation, namely, that God so loved the world, that He sent His only begotten Son into it —that is Jesus Christ, whom I am preaching to-night—that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. We stand on that common platform of head knowledge of Christ, of sin, of salvation. I have simply to do this in the help and energy of the Holy Spirit

-urge, plead, appeal to men and women to come to Christ —to come across all intervening distance of thought, and of want of decision between you and Him, and to let your heart come into living contact with His heart as it goes out to you in this Gospel appeal--from His own mind and mouth, shall I say?_“The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

The setting of the text about which I am always anxious—the context- seems to be this. The Bible is coming to an end. This last writer seems to know that he is finishing the record of Revelation, and not unlike ourselves when we have been writing to some friend, and have written at considerable length and with considerable circumstance and detail, we suddenly "shorten” our style. We grip the pen more firmly, and hurry along the pages more rapidly, saying, “But what needs many words? I will not take further time to give details, because I am so soon to see you." So this last writer in the Bible seems to end up by saying, " What is the use of longer writing? What is the use of more length ? The Lord will soon be here"; and the very style of the chapter gets a little broken, more short, and sharp, and pithy, and sententious, just like the style of one who is hurrying his sentences down to the end because there is not much use of writing any more. He says, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he who is filthy, let him wallow a little longer in his filth. And he that is righteous, let him hold on like grim death to righteousness still; he that is holy, let him be holy still! For it is but a little while, and then the Lord will be here : the dispensation will be wound up. The holy shall go to the mansions of bliss, and the unholy, the unbelievers, and the neglecters, and rejecters, and despisers of the day of grace, and of the grace itself, shall go to the place which they chose.” So he gets sharp and abrupt; and when he comes to our text, he writes it as though he were writing the last Gospei invitation, and knew that it was to be the last, and once for all he puts it as simply and clearly as possible. He rings the changes on it, knowing that this is the last ring of the Gospel bell, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come.” And then he changes the figure, for even the Holy Ghost can make it no plainer along that line, and He says,

" Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

Now, let us all believe these things. This is the last

utterance; this is the last word. The Gospel record is just about to close, and there is a short while, a little time, in which to say anything. Ah! have you ever thought of that? Have you ever thought of the lesson that comes out, not simply of what is written down from Genesis to the end of Revelation ; but have you ever thought of the lesson that comes to us out of the silence of all these nineteen hundred years? That is the last scratching of God's pen which we have read to-night. It is His very last utterance, wound up virtually by this :-“There is no use in saying any more, for behold, I am coming quickly." Then there has set in that long silence. Never since the world began was silence held so long. Never was the world so long without a voice from heaven as since these utterances were penned. It should tell upon us in this way. You remember last summer one afternoon when there came a darkness and a stillness—the stillness that precedes a storm on a sultry July or August afternoon. You know how it tells upon you—how it gets tense and intense, and man, beast, and bird alike feel it, and the fish clap down to the bottom of the sea. There is a desperate, dense, intense silence, and you know that soon there will be a flash, and a roar of thunder. I believe that God wants us to feel that in connection with the silence since this word was uttered. The longer time goes on,

the more our ears should be almost ready to crack with the pain of this intense stillness, which will be broken soon by the pealing cry, “ Behold, I come !

Nothing can exaggerate or over-emphasize the solemnity of our text, with all the added solemnity that comes from the deep, solemn silence ever since. It will be broken. It may

be
very near.

I have no theories whatever about the second coming. It is coming. It is a legitimate thing to preach, and a legitimate influence to bring to bear upon the hearts of men ; anything at all that will urge you to Christ, my brother, my sister; any motive, earthly or heavenly, that will make you yield and come to Christ—anything that will do that—is God's, and not mine.

“ The Spirit and the bride say, Come.”—I wish you first of all, dear friends, to notice the name that stands at the head of this invitation. Learn that this name stands at the head of all Gospel texts, and that this name is emblazoned over the heads of all Gospel preachers. We are not simply using our own words, and speaking in our own name, when we say, “Quit the world, and quit self, and quit sin, and come to Jesus Christ who died on the Cross, and lives again, and invites you. We speak in a name of great authority. “ The Spirit says, Come.”

This morning, as you will bear me out, I tried to do my best with one great central truth of the Gospel, Christ on the Cross the counterpart of the passover Lamb in yon chapter in Exodus. I wish now to bring before you another Person of the Trinity, and His place and part in this great scheme of redemption work, the Third Person, the blessed Spirit of God. He is greatly forgotten; and be sure of this, that if we forget Him in our preaching there will not be any work done of the real kind-souls coming to Jesus. The great function of the Holy Spirit is to lift up Christ. His work is to save men by human speech, by human arguments, by all that is truly human in me, or in any other servant and ambassador of the Cross. Still, this is His crowning glory, and He will not give it to another. The Spirit says, “Come.” My Christless friend, my vacillating friend, my undecided friend, understand, please, once for all, that when the Gospel is preached to you, more than man is at work on you. There are two of us at work on thee, O Christless soul: I, here; and He, the blessed Spirit, working where I cannot go, with His Divine fingers trying all the locks, and springs, and strings of that complex mechanism— the mind, and heart, and imagination, and conscience of a man. The Spirit is sounding in the ear of your soul while my voice resounds along the outer lobbies, so to speak. He is saying, “Come, come to Jesus." The Spirit says, “Come."

• Come.” When you are invited to some great banquet, you very likely look down the card of invitation in order to see whose name is at the foot of it; and if the name is a powerful name, you very likely try and go. If it is not—if the name at the foot is an obscure name, you very likely put the thing into the waste-paper basket. Now, this invitation is served upon us to-night in all winsomeness and in all gentleness. Still, never forget that it is served on us under very powerful and influential auspices. The Spirit says, “ Come," and it is equal to a command. If you, my friend, are kindly and courteously asked by a letter which has the signature of her Majesty at the foot, no matter how kind, and gentle, and courteous the tones of that letter may be—if it asks you to go and dine at Windsor, please understand that all royal askings are commands, and you had better go. So with this Gospel. You had better put off all other invitations, and all other engagements, and no matter how gently and winsomely, and almost apologetically, this invitation comes, as if it simply wanted to take its place among the others, and there were no hurry, never forget that there is a voice of royal, imperial, imperious urgency and authority behind it. The Gospel comes certainly to plead, certainly to beseech, but always and all the time it commands men everywhere, as

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