1 Peter 1:24-25
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass wither, and the flower thereof falls away:…
I. THE TRANSITORY NATURE OF ALL THE THINGS WHICH APPERTAIN TO THIS OUR EARTHLY STATE. "All flesh is grass," etc.
1. How affectingly is this sentiment verified in the personal endowments of man, beauty and strength! Survey that animal structure, once so lovely, when it is wrinkled by the hand of time; when it is withered by the action of disease; when it is blasted by the stroke of death. Survey these melancholy changes which await the sons and daughters of Adam, and you will feel the propriety of the sentiment in the text.
2. The wisdom of man, no less than his beauty and strength, serves as an example of the sentiment in the text. In the present age we are accustomed to denounce the systems of former generations as fanciful or crude, and to smile when we hear them dignified by the names of philosophy and science; boasting at the same time that the perfection of philosophy and the arts have been reserved for our own age. Alas! for us, generations will arise that will look back on the nineteenth century, and in their turn laugh at the rudeness of our inventions, the infancy of our science, and the blunders of our philosophy. The fact is, that all knowledge merely human is destined to pass away (1 Corinthians 13:8).
3. We may also adduce as an example of the truth in the text the passing away of all those things which constitute the elegancies and decorations of civilised life; all that is designed to gratify the taste and imagination. Whatever the pencil of the painter has portrayed; whatever the chisel of the sculptor has wrought out; whatever the skill of the architect has raised; whatever the imagination has devised of rare and ornamental in furniture, dress, or manners — all must serve in its turn to show that the goodliness of man is as the flower of the field.
4. I must not omit to bring forward riches as furnishing a verification equally strong of the sentiment of the text.
5. These remarks apply with equal propriety to that idol of many hearts — fame. The historian's pen, the poet's muse, the tablet of marble and brass, all the means which have been employed to perpetuate a name, have only served as a comment on the text.
6. Power and dominion, desired by some and envied by others as the most abiding of human things, are only exemplifications on a larger scale of the truth affirmed in the text. Empires rise and fall; sceptres change hands, thrones are overturned, and one dynasty succeeds another.
7. One other illustration of the affecting sentiment of the text yet remains. The great globe itself, the habitation of fallen man, is destined to pass away!
II. THE DURABILITY OF THAT DISPENSATION OF TRUTH WITH WHICH JEHOVAH HAS BLESSED THE WORLD. By the Word of our God I understand Messiah's dispensation, the gospel of the Son of God, with all the fulness of its grace and truth.
1. It is proved that this Word of our God shall stand forever, in spite of all that can be effected to the contrary by persecution. Evangelical truth has outlived the memory of her once mighty foes; has overturned the monuments reared to commemorate her own destruction; and, clothed in celestial radiance and power, has gone on from conquering to conquer!
2. The course of events has shown that the Word of our God shall stand forever, notwithstanding the hostility of infidel men. The religion of Christ Jesus may be compared to an exceeding strong citadel, erected on the summit of an everlasting rock. They alone tremble for its security who are ignorant of its impregnable strength.
3. As a confirmation of the position in the text, that the Word of our God shall stand forever, we may with holy exultation advert to that spread of the Christian religion which has taken place in our day.
4. I may mention as a further proof that the Word of our God shall stand forever, that holy energy with which it is still accompanied.
Parallel VersesKJV: For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: