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May we not, then, when thus assembled in this hallowed sanctuary, say,
« The Master is come ?” Assuredly we may. And does he not call to each of us? Who can doubt the fact ? His voice in providence; His voice in his word; His voice by his ministers, are as much notices to us, as his visit to Bethany was to Mary. I would therefore use the words in this enlarged view, and would, in the spirit of kindness and affection with which Martha spoke to her sister, say to you,
“ The Master is come, and calleth for thee.” Jesus the Saviour is repeating his visit to this house of prayer, and is come to you. To you he says, You must be mine to-day : I must have your heart. To-day you must confess, with Martha, “ I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, that should come into the world.” Oh that the Holy Spirit of God might so impress this grace upon every heart, that, like Mary, leaving all behind, we might "arise quickly, and come unto him.'
First, then, let us notice the character in
which Martha mentions our blessed Lord« THE Master."
Here we may be reminded that the idea some entertain of independence is visionary. Man in his fallen state cannot be his own master. He has not sufficient resources in himself for his own happiness. This is true as much of the highest as it is of the lowest station. Even in the ordinary affairs of life all are dependent. Is not the candidate dependent upon his electors ? Is not a king dependent upon his ministers ? Even an absolute monarch is dependent upon his army. There is no man strong enough to hold up himself: he must be indebted to another. In this weak and frail state the world, or rather Satan by the world, obtains the mastery over many.
It is a fact known to us all, that multitudes are the slaves of the world : they must bend to the spirit of the age: they dare hold no other creed, follow no other course, express no other sentiments, than those the world permits them. Oh how many there
are who feel the galling chain of the world's slavery, and yet still continue
year to drag its heavy yoke; calling the world master; till the toil of nominal pleasure, or laying up gold, or striving after fame, or some equally vain pursuit, shall be exchanged for that dreadful place in which “ the worm dieth not, neither is the fire extinguished.”
“ the Prince of this world,” as he is called, is but an usurper. Satan, who through the world has raised a false glare “ to blind the eyes of them who believe not,” is only a fallen spirit. He has been cast down from heaven for his pride, but he is still a dependent creature. Neither he nor his fallen host, nor the world over which he rules, have the least power but that which they receive from God. So that they who make the world their master, place themselves under the tyranny of one who has no real power. Say if the power of the world can make one hair white or black ? Say if all the combined powers of darkness can detain the stroke of death a single moment ? When God speaks the word, all must obey. The rich man must part with his wealth; the monarch
must resign his sceptre; and Satan himself go to the place “prepared for him and for his angels.”
Oh how unbecoming then it is for a creature like man, originally made in the image of God, to bow down to the world, or to yield up himself to the suggestions of Satan! “ But the Master is come!” for the Lord Jesus well merits that name.
He is the Master. For as the Eternal Word, by whom all things were made, He is the Creator of all. He is the Master also, as he is the Preserver, of all. For it is written, “ He upholdeth all things by the word of his power.” He is the Master also, not only in his original character of Creator and Preserver, but as having, as Mediator, “ all power in heaven and earth given unto him." As he said to St. John, " I am the first and the last ; I am he that am alive and was dead; and behold I live for evermore, and have the keys of death and of Hades.”
It is animating, my Christian brethren, to take this view of your Divine Lord; to see him seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high ; angels, and powers, and authorities
being made subject unto him. Still it is by a nearer and dearer right that this is his
Ye call me Master and Lord, and ye do well; for so I am.” your Master. But wherefore ? Because he has bought us with his blood. Oh, those words should be ever on our mind, “Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price : therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.” If therefore a Christian be asked why he calls the Lord Jesus Master? he directs the inquirer to Calvary. Behold, he says, his pierced side :
“ See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingling down:
This was the way in which He acquired his right to this name.
A very different mode, alas! from which some, called Christians, formerly obtained their slaves—by theft, and rapine, and murder, and bloodshed. The only blood that Jesus permits to