Philippians 4:1
Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you must stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
Sermons
A Tender ExhortationAlexander MaclarenPhilippians 4:1
Farewell WordsAlexander MaclarenPhilippians 4:1
How to Obey an Impossible InjunctionAlexander MaclarenPhilippians 4:1
SteadfastnessW.F. Adeney Philippians 4:1
The Duty of SteadfastnessT. Croskery Philippians 4:1
Christian LoveJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
Christian LoveJames Hamilton, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
Christian StabilityC. Hodge, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
Christian SteadfastnessWeekly PulpitPhilippians 4:1-3
Dearly Beloved and Longed ForJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
Love the Gauge of ManhoodH. W. Beecher.Philippians 4:1-3
Ministerial QualificationsJ. Hall, D. D., A. Maclaren, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
Paul an Example of Ministerial Solicitude and AffectionR. P. Buddicom, M. A.Philippians 4:1-3
Stand FastC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 4:1-3
Stand FastC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 4:1-3
Steadfastness in the LordR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 4:1-3
The Bright Side of a Minister's LifeT. De Witt Talmage, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
The Minister's Joy and CrownR. Johnstone, LL. B.Philippians 4:1-3
The Pastor's Joy and CrownJ. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
The Professional MinisterT. Guthrie, D. D.Philippians 4:1-3
The Secret of SteadfastnessS. S. ChroniclePhilippians 4:1-3
The Watchword for Today, Stand FastC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 4:1-3
Unity of Service At PhilippiH. Quick.Philippians 4:1-3
Genuine ChurchismD. Thomas Philippians 4:1-6
Various ExhortationsR. Finlayson Philippians 4:1-7
The Life of Joy and PeaceR.M. Edgar Philippians 4:1-9
The apostle grounds this duty upon the heavenly citizenship and the hope of the coming Savior. Mark -

I. HIS ENDEARING ADDRESS. "My brethren beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast, beloved." The accumulation of epithets marks the intense affection and delight of the apostle in converts so worthy of his concern for their good. The twofold repetition of the term "beloved" in a single sentence marks love as the dominant feeling; the other terms indicate either his anxiety to see them, the joy which their Christian kindliness carried to his heart, or the triumph of Divine grace in their conversion which redounded so signally to his own final victory.

II. THE ABIDING ATTITUDE OF ALL TRUE BELIEVERS. "So stand fast in the Lord." It implies:

1. That they are exposed to influences calculated to mar the integrity of their walk. There is a threefold hostility always at work against a believer - the world, the flesh, and the devil (Ephesians 6:12), tending to shake heart or mind. Probably the apostle thought of the spiritual risks that threatened from the side of Judaistic zealotry.

2. The true spring of Christian steadfastness is in the Lord, as the element of the spiritual life. We are said to stand in faith (2 Corinthians 1:24) and to stand in grace (Romans 5:2), but these phrases only represent the methods in which the believer finds his weakness linked with the omnipotence of Divine grace. The counsel of the apostle is needful in every age. The caprice of opinion was never more marked than in our time. There is a lifting of anchors that bodes no good, with a drifting any whither, but usually toward intellectual darkness. Therefore believers must, in the imbroglio of strange beliefs, "stand fast in the Lord." - T.C.







Therefore
I. LOVE. "Beloved and longed for" is not a mere hurried phrase, or a gush of exuberant feeling that quickly dries up. There are rivers which dip down and flow underground, and then come out again into the light. So Paul's love, always flowing though some times unseen here sparkles in the sunshine. This love was grounded —

1. In a common discipleship of the same Master. To love the same Saviour opens a new fountain of love in our hearts. As men are drawn to Christ, they are drawn closer to each other.

2. In the fact that they were the fruit of his ministry. They were the "joy" of his soul travail and the "crown" of his labour. Of all bonds this is the closest. Are ye not wise enough to win souls and be a joy and a crown to one another?

II. STEADFASTNESS. To do the right thing is good, but to stand fast in it is better.

1. Men get hindered and move away from the hope of the gospel.

2. It is a grand thing to stand fast to what is good and true in this changeful world (John 8:31; Matthew 10:22).

3. Some stand fast in their Churchmanship, Presbyterianism, Methodism, Independency; but we may stand fast in these out side things without being "in the Lord." That is the only standing fast worth anything. Stand fast in Him, and He will stand fast by you.

III. UNITY. Euodias and Syntyche had disagreed, and were exhorted to be of the same "mind."

1. Not of the same opinion, Paul knew too much of human nature to expect that.

2. The word has reference to the disposition rather than to the intellect. There is a way of holding truth in love to those who differ from us, and in the midst of differing creeds to be of the "same mind." The apostle appeals to both in the same way, so as to leave no suspicion of favouritism. O that all the wrangling Euodiases and contentious Syntyches would hear this admonition. High Church Euodias and Low Church Syntyche, Conforming Syntyche and Nonconforming Euodias say to one another as Abraham did to Lot, "Let there be no strife between me and thee."

3. The centre and circumference of this unity is "in the Lord." There is no real unity in creeds or formularies, in uniformity of discipline and worship. Every true Christian is united to Christ, and through Him each to the other. The world waits to believe until the disciples of Jesus are one. How long shall we keep them waiting?

IV. MUTUAL SERVICE. Ver. 3 is full of work and workers.

1. There was the "true yokefellow." A yoke signifies hard work. Oxen are yoked together for work, and this person must have worked shoulder to shoulder with Paul.

2. There were the women who laboured with him in the gospel. These women had their "rights," glorious rights to labour in the gospel. Would there were more candidates for these honours.

3. Clement was no fine gentleman sitting at ease in Zion, doing nothing himself and finding fault with those who did work. That Church at Philippi was a hive of bees. No wonder they were so exemplary. They were too busy to be mischievous. Depend upon it God helped them all.

4. Think of the honour Paul assigned them — "Whose names are in the book of life." As the Jews of old kept a register of the living in their tribes and families from which the dead were blotted out, so God keeps a book of His living ones who will never die. Paul knew their names were there because of their character. They were living ones, and were giving the best possible proof of life, viz., work. Dead people do not work. Love and help one another. Are our names in the book of life? If not read Revelation 20:15.

5. It is the Lamb's book of life. The matter can only be dealt with at the Cross of Jesus.

(H. Quick.)

I. ITS SOURCE.

1. One brotherhood.

2. One hope.

II. ITS INTENSITY —

1. Of affection.

2. Of desire.

3. Of esteem.

III. ITS EXPRESSION.

1. Sincere in word and deed.

2. It seeks to promote —

(1)Steadfastness.

(2)Unity.

(3)Mutual consideration.

(4)Help.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

Observe —

I. HOW CHRISTIANS LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

1. With sincere affection.

2. They delight in each other's company.

3. They rejoice in each other's happiness.

4. They promote each other's welfare.

II. WHY THEY LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

1. They are brethren.

2. In the Lord.

3. They anticipate His blessing.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

"If any man be in Christ he is a new creature." How singularly is this illustrated by the writer of these words, who only a few years before was "breathing out threatenings and slaughters against the Christians."

I. THE PURPORT OF THESE ENDEARING TERMS.

1. Brethren, not kinsmen after the flesh, but spiritual relations.(1) In one sense he was their parent, as having begotten them in the gospel; but here in the spirit of unity and love he regards them as brethren. The appropriateness of the term is seen in the fact that believers are children of one heavenly Father, born of one Spirit, are made members of Christ of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, are heirs of the same inheritance.(2) Among these many brethren their Saviour is the firstborn, and while we are brought together as brethren in Him we are amply provided for; chastisement for error, counsel for guidance, comfort in sorrow, supply for every need.(3) Are the children of the Most High members of one another? Then there ought to be a sympathy for each other's concerns, an interest in each other's welfare, a holy zeal and rivalry in their Father's service.

2. Dearly beloved.(1) Love of the brethren is a distinguishing mark of those who have passed from death unto life.(2) A renewed soul who loves a brother because he is a brother will love all the brethren.(3) The more truly we love the Saviour the more truly shall we love one another; just as rays approach nearer themselves as they draw near their common centre.

3. Longed for. If we love Jesus we shall long for the spiritual welfare of His brethren, and yearn for communion with them.

4. My joy. Paul had many sources of happiness within: the Philippians were external sources of gladness. He had been the means of their conversion. They were rejoicing, and should he not share their joy? They were trophies of a Saviour's love, and that Saviour was dear to him.

5. My crown; and with good reason — "Thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of my God." He trusted that they would own Him as their spiritual father when he and they should have the crown of righteousness. Every rescued soul is an ornament and honour to its rescuer.

II. THE ADVICE WAS EQUAL IN IMPORTANCE TO THE TENDERNESS WITH WHICH IT WAS OFFERED — to "stand fast."

1. It implies that they had been admitted to that faith, hope, holiness, and blessedness in which they were to stand fast.

2. They were to stand fast not by themselves but in His might whose grace is made perfect in weakness.

(1)By the indwelling of His grace.

(2)By faith in His perfect work

(3)In love to Him who loved them.

3. This steadfastness is necessary to the very existence of ministerial comfort. "Now we live if ye stand fast in the Lord."

4. The honour of the Lord in a low and latitudinarian age demands it.

5. It is needful for the encouragement of weaker and younger brethren.

(R. P. Buddicom, M. A.)

A minister has many discouragements, disappointments and pains, as had Paul, but taking his work as a whole there is no profession that will bear comparison with it in bringing peace and joy. There is —

I. THE JOY OF INTERESTING WORK.

1. His studies are interesting — his books and the literature of human life.

2. So is his practical work. His heart and hand are ever appealed to for sympathy and help. There are the bereaved to be comforted, fallen to be uplifted, young to be counselled, and a thousand charities to be practised in the name of Christ. A man entering the ministry with the right spirit will find perpetual exhilaration in the work. To enter the harvest field where the grain is ripe, and the sheaves are coming towards the garner — that is life for the body, inspiration for the mind, rapture for the soul; and if there is an occupation that yields such mighty satisfaction in all the world I have never heard of it.

II. THE JOY OF ELEVATED ASSOCIATIONS. If a man be tolerably acceptable in his work, the refinements of society open before him. He is invited into the conclave of poets anal artists; he is surrounded by kindly influences; society breathes upon him its most elevating advantages. Men in other occupations must depend on their wealth and achievements to obtain such position. By reason of the respect of men for the Christian minister, all these spheres open before him. In addition to that, and more than that, his constant associates are the princes of God and the heirs of heaven.

III. THE JOY OF SEEING SOULS CONVERTED. To go from the house of God some Sabbath and feel that the sermon has fallen dead, and to be told the next day by some man, "That sermon was the redemption of my soul." I went home one Sabbath almost resolved never to preach again; the gospel seemed to have no effect; but before one week had passed I found that five souls, through the instrumentality of that poor sermon, had pressed into the kingdom of God. It is a joy like that of the angels of God over a repentant sinner to see men turning their backs on the world to follow Christ.

IV. THE JOY OF COMFORT BEARING. To see the wounds healing; to see Christ come to the prow of the vessel and silence the Euroelydon; to see a soul rise up strengthened and comforted; to look over an audience, one-half of them in the habiliments of mourning, and yet feel that there is power in that gospel to silence every grief and soothe every wound of the soul — ah! to tell the broken hearted people of the congregation that God pities, that God feels, that God loves, that God sympathizes — that is the joy of the Christian ministry!

V. THE JOY OF THE CHURCH'S SYMPATHY. If the minister of Christ has been at all faithful in his work, he knows that there are those who are willing to sympathize in his every sorrow and in every success. He knows that he has their prayers and good wishes. If he be sick, he knows they are praying for his recovery. If dark shadows hover over his household, he knows there are those who are praying that those shadows may be lifted.

(T. De Witt Talmage, D. D.)

I. THE PASTOR'S JOY. His people's conversion — proficiency — unity — zeal.

II. HIS CROWN. Because the fruit of his labour — the proof of his ministry — the pledge of his reward.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

He reminds me of the death of that British hero, Wolfe, who on the heights of Quebec received a mortal wound. It was just at the moment when the enemy fled, and when he knew that they were running, a smile was on his face, and he cried, "Hold me up. Let not my brave soldiers see me drop. The day is ours. Oh, do keep it!" His sole anxiety was to make the victory sure. Thus warriors die, and thus Paul lived. His very soul seems to cry, "We have won the day. Oh, do keep it!" O my beloved hearers, I believe that many of you are "in the Lord," but I entreat you to "stand fast in the Lord."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

S. S. Chronicle.
Readers of Darwin will recall the description he gives of a marine plant which rises from a depth of one hundred and fifty to two hundred feet, and floats on the surface of the water in the midst of the great breakers of the Western Ocean. The stem of this plant is less than an inch through; yet it grows and thrives and holds its own against the fierce smitings and pressures of breakers which no masses of rock, however hard, could long withstand. What is the secret of this marvellous resistance and endurance? How can this little slender plant face the fury of the elements so successfully, and, in spite of storms and tempests, keep its hold, and perpetuate itself from century to century? The answer has leaped to every lip; it reaches down into the still depths, where it fixes its grasp, after the fashion of the instinct that has been put into it, to the naked rocks; and no commotion of the upper waters can shake it loose.

(S. S. Chronicle.)

is enforced by —

I. THE UNION BETWEEN CHRIST AND HIS PEOPLE.

1. Legal. By His Father's appointment and His own love Jesus was so identified with those He came to save as to be treated not according to His own deserts but theirs, whilst they are so identified with Him as to be treated not according to their own deserts but His. This legal union is the fundamental blessing of the Christian salvation, all the others rest upon it.

2. Spiritual. This is the community of spiritual life — of thought, feeling, and enjoyment — existing between Christ and believers. This is produced by the Holy Spirit through that faith by which we enter the legal relation, or are justified — "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit."

3. Manifest. The life of Christ will reveal itself in the graces which characterized Christ. Stand fast, then "in the Lord," because you are in the Lord.

II. Christian steadfastness is further enforced by one CHRISTIAN'S RESPONSIBILITY. "Therefore," "so," point back to the previous statements.

1. The Christian is responsible for his privilege. He is a citizen of heaven and must maintain the dignity of his citizenship, and stand fast in it against temptation and in trial.

2. The Christian is responsible for his hope. He expects a Saviour who will change the body of his humiliation. This expectation should give a deep sense of responsibility for our treatment of our body as an instrument of our moral nature. Dare we use the lips, which are to sing Christ's praises day and night, and the limbs which are to render unceasing service, as instruments of frivolity or vice? "Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself as He is pure." Holiness is the proper fruit of Christian hope, therefore stand fast.

III. This injunction is enforced by THE MOST ENDEARING EPITHETS.

1. Brotherhood in Christ.

2. Ardent love.

3. Joy and glorying in previous steadfastness.

4. The hope of rejoicing in it in the days of Christ.

(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)

Weekly Pulpit.
With a heavenly birthright in possession and a glorious resurrection in prospect, the apostle naturally follows with this exhortation.

1. The highest relationship, "brethren";

2. In the highest degree, "beloved";

3. Exciting the purest emotion, "longed for";

4. Resulting in the most glorious issues, "my joy and crown," are the motives by which the exhortation is enforced.

I. OUR POSITION AS CHRISTIANS IS ONE OF POSSIBLE DANGER.

1. From the sceptical tendency of the age.

2. From the habits of society. The tradesman thinks he must do as others to get a living. The follies of fashion are followed to avoid singularity.

3. From indifference to the public ordinances of religion. The same rule applies to the Christian profession as to any other. Men do not prosper who neglect their calling.

4. From want of close attention to cultivation of personal piety.

II. THE ONLY POSITION OF ABSOLUTE SAFETY IS UNION WITH CHRIST.

1. This condition is one of perfect alliance between the human and the Divine. Every string of the heart is in accord with the life of Jesus. Whether we think of the wisdom which is our light, the comfort which is our solace, the will which is our guide, or the purity which is our sanctification, its source is "in the Lord."

2. Those who stand on this spiritual eminence occupy an unshaken position among men. We stand fast with His power to defend us, His Spirit to uphold us, His character to guide us.

III. A STATE OF WATCHFULNESS IS NOT INCONSISTENT WITH HAPPINESS. The ocean is large enough for the biggest ships, but it is skirted with rocks. The lighthouse though itself a warning is the mariner's friend.

(Weekly Pulpit.)

The exhortation, "stand fast," occurs six times; and still more frequently the duty is enjoined in equivalent terms.

1. The duty, therefore, is of primary importance.

2. There are two requisites — a foundation and strength. A man may have his foot upon a rock, yet if he be weak he cannot stand; and no matter how strong he may be, if his feet are on quicksand he cannot stand.

I. THE GROUND TO STAND UPON.

1. The stable foundations are —

(1)Truth.

(2)Right principles.Truth is permanent, error is changeable, and therefore in every department, unless a man's views are correct, there is no security for his stability. But as our subject is Christian stability, the truth demanded is religious truth, the truth of the Bible.

2. The unstable foundations.(1) Traditions. Those of the Pharisees have passed away; those of the Church change from age to age.(2) Speculation results in philosophy, than which nothing is more unstable: e.g., the different schools of Greek philosophy, of the Middle Ages, of our own day, as Rationalism, Pantheism, Materialism, Atheism, and now Pessimism.(3) Feeling. Many believe in God: they believe in His mercy, but not in His justice, not in salvation by blood, not in depravity, etc.

3. The only stable foundation is the Bible; the firm conviction that it is God's Word and that what it teaches is infallibly true. The only ground of this faith, which is stable, is the witness of the Spirit. True experimental religion is the only security against error, and the only security for stability.

4. Right principles are necessary; not expediency, self-interest, or the interest of parties, but what is right.

II. THE STRENGTH BY WHICH TO STAND. There is much difference naturally among men, but the strength needed is not our own. It is of the Lord. It is His and His gift. If we trust in ourselves we must fall.

(C. Hodge, D. D.)

(Text in connection with chap. Philippians 3:20, 21): — Every doctrine has its practical bearing. Hence you find Paul full of "therefores" — conclusions drawn from statements of Divine truth. The Lord is coming to glorify His people; let us therefore keep our posts until the coming of the great Captain shall release the sentinels.

I. Paul joyfully perceived that HIS BELOVED CONVERTS WERE IN THEIR RIGHT PLACE. It is important that we should begin well. The start is not everything, but it is a great deal. "Well begun is half done." We must enter the strait gate, and begin at the right point. Many slips and falls are due to not being right at first, a flaw in the foundation will make a crack in the superstructure.

1. The only position in which we can begin aright is "in the Lord." It is a very good thing to be in the Church, but if you are not in the Lord first you are out of place What is it to be "in the Lord"?(1) When we fly to Him by repentance and faith and make Him our refuge and hiding place. Are you in Him? You can have no better hiding place; in fact, there is no other.(2) When we are in Christ as to our daily life; whatever we eat or drink, doing all in His Name.(3) By a real vital, union. In Him and in Him only is our spiritual life sustained, just as it can only be received from Him.(4) Christ has become our element, vital and all-surrounding. We are in Christ as birds are in the air which buoys them up and enables them to fly; as fish are in the sea.

2. Because they were in Christ, therefore —(1) They were Paul's brethren. Many of them were Gentiles whom Paul would once have regarded as dogs. But now as Christ was not ashamed to call them brethren, neither was Paul.(2) They were his dearly beloved, the repetition of which makes it mean "My doubly dear ones."(3) His longed for — his most desired ones. He first desired to see them converted, then baptized, then exhibiting all the graces. He desired their company because they were in Christ.(4) His joy and crown. Paul had been the means of their salvation. The minister's highest joy is that the brands snatched by him from the burning are now living to the praise of the Lord Jesus.

II. PAUL LONGED THAT THEY SHOULD KEEP THEIR PLACE. The beginning of religion is not the whole of it. Precious are the feelings which attend conversion, but dream not that repentance, faith, etc., are for a season and then all is done with. In conversion you have started in the race, and you must run to the, end. In your confession of Christ you have carried your tools into the vineyard, but the day's work now begins. "He that endureth to the end shall be saved." The difference between the spurious and the real Christian is this staying power.

1. Stand fast doctrinally. In this age all the ships are pulling up their anchors, drifting with the tide, driven about with every wind. It is your wisdom to put down these anchors. We will hearken to no teaching but that of the Lord Jesus.

2. Practically stand fast. The barriers are broken down; they would amalgamate Church and world: yes, even Church and stage, and combine God and devil in one service. "Come out from among them," etc. Strive together to maintain the purity of Christ's disciples.

3. Stand fast experimentally. Pray that your inward experience may be close adhesion to your Master.

4. Stand fast in the Lord without wishing for another trust. What way of salvation do we seek but that of grace? what security but the precious blood?

5. Stand fast without wavering. Permit no doubt to worry you.

6. Stand fast without wandering. Keep close to the example and spirit of your Master, and having done all to stand.

7. Stand fast without wearying. You are tired; take a little rest and brush up again. You cry, I cannot see results. Wait for them. Practice perseverance.

8. Stand fast without warping. Timber, when it is rather green, is apt to go this way or that. The spiritual weather is very bad just now for green wood: it is one day damp with superstition, and another parched with scepticism.

III. PAUL URGED THE BEST MOTIVES FOR THEIR STANDING FAST.

1. Because of your citizenship (Philippians 3:20). Men ought to behave themselves according to their citizenship, and not dishonour their city.

2. Because of their outlook. Jesus is coming not as judge or destroyer, but as Saviour. Now if we look for Him we must stand fast. There must be no going into sin, no forsaking the fellowship of the Church, leaving the truth, playing fast and loose with godliness, running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. Let us so stand fast that when Jesus comes we may be able to say "Welcome."

3. Because of their expectation of being transformed into the likeness of Christ's glorious body.

4. Because of our resources. "According to the power," etc.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

When a rosebud is formed, if the soil is soft, and the sky is genial, it is not long before it bursts, for the life within is so abundant that it can no longer contain it all, but in blossomed brightness and swimming fragrance it must needs let forth its joy, and gladden all the air. And if, when thus ripe, it refused to expand, it would quickly rot at heart and die. And Christian love is just piety with its petals fully spread, developing itself and making it a happier world. The religion which fancies that it loves God, when it never evinces love for its brother, is not piety, but a poor mildewed theology, a dogma with a worm at the heart.

(James Hamilton, D. D.)

I do not distinguish men merely by the difference of their thought power, still less by the difference of their executive power, still less by their external differences, as when one is high, another low; one rich, another poor; one wise, another unwise. The point where true manhood resides is in the neighbourhood of love. In the copiousness, the variety, the endlessness, the sweetness, and the purity of the element of love, you shall find the measure that God applies, discriminating between one another.

(H. W. Beecher.)

The man who has adopted the Church as a profession as other men adopt the army, the navy, or the law, and goes through the routine of its duties with the coldness of a mere official — filled by him the pulpit seems filled by the ghostly form of a skeleton, that in its cold and bony fingers holds an unlit lamp.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

The minister is to be a live man, a real man, a true man, a simple man, great in his love, great in his life, great in his work, great in his simplicity, great in his gentleness.

(J. Hall, D. D.)Learn in Christ how possible it is to be strong and mild to blend in fullest harmony the perfection of all that is noble, lofty, generous in the soldier's ardour of heroic devotion; and of all that is calm, still, compassionate, tender in the priest waiting before God and mediation among men.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

The "crown" here is not the diadem of royalty, but the garland of victory. He has in his mind, as so often, the famous public athletic games of the Greeks — which the diligent training, and the strenuous and persevering exertion, needed to gain the "corruptible crown" of laurel, and the intensity of joy felt by the victors, rendered an admirable illustration of the Christian life, whether as regards the spiritual progress of the believer himself or his work for the salvation of others. The apostle believed that he would be enabled to "rejoice in the day of Christ, that he had not run in vain," as a minister of Christ. In Nero's prison, aged, worn with trouble, manacled, uncertain whether he might not soon be led forth to death by the executioner, he knew himself to be yet in truth, as a successful minister of Christ, a conqueror wreathed with amaranth. The emperor in his palace was, in heart, weary and wretched. The prisoner was restful and happy. The glitter of the emperor's power and grandeur would very soon pass away and be as a dream. His prisoner was already invested with a glory which, recognized in this world only by those whose eyes had been opened to discern spiritual things, should yet be manifested before the universe — for "they that be wise shall shine," etc.

(R. Johnstone, LL. B.)

Stand fast, like the British squares in the olden times. When fierce assaults were made upon them every man seemed transformed to rock. We might have wandered from the ranks a little in more peaceful times, to look after the fascinating flowers which grow on every side of our march; but, now we know that the enemy surrounds us, we keep strictly to the line of march, and tolerate no roaming. The watchword of the host of God just now is — "Stand fast!" Hold you to the faith once delivered to the saints. I like that spirit of Bayard, that knight without fear and without reproach. In his last battle his spine was broken, and he said to those around him, "Place me up against a tree so that I may sit up and die with my face to the enemy." Yes, if our backs were broken, if we could no more bear the shield or use the sword, it would be incumbent upon us as citizens of the New Jerusalem, to die with our faces towards the enemy. I like that speech of Wellington, who was so calm amid the roar of Waterloo, when an officer sent word, "Tell the Commander-in-Chief that he must move me; I cannot hold my position any longer, my numbers are so thinned." "Tell him," said the great general, "he must hold his place. Every Englishman today must die where he stands, or else win the victory." The officer read the command to stand, and he did stand till the trumpet sounded victory. And so it is now. My brethren, we must die where we are rather than yield to the enemy. If Jesus tarries we must not desert our posts. Wellington knew that the heads of the Prussian columns would soon be visible, coming in to ensure the victory; and so by faith we can perceive the legions of our Lord approaching: in serried ranks His angels fly through the opening heaven. The air is teeming with them. I hear their silver trumpets. Behold, He cometh with clouds! When He cometh He will abundantly recompense all who stood fast amid the rage of battle.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

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