Then another remark, to finish up with, shall be, we have a divine service to perform; and as I want you all, this morning, to turn this chapel into one great altar—as I want to make you all working priests, and this the temple for sacrifice—hook earnestly at your service. You are all priests, because you love his dear name and have a great sacrifice to perform; not a propitiation for your sins, for that has been once offered, but a sacrifice this day of holy thanksgiving. Oh! how sweet in God’s ear is the prayer of his people! That is the sacrifice that he accepts; and when their holy hymn swells upwards towards the sky, how pleasant it is in his ears; because then he can say, “My hosts of priests are sacrificing praise.” And do you know, beloved, there is one point in which most of us fail in our oblations before God? We offer our prayer, we present our praise; but how little do we sacrifice of our substance unto the Lord! I had thought this morning, seeing I desire to make you amazingly liberal, to have made this my text, “Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine;” and I had thought of showing that our substance was the Lord’s, that we were bound to devote no small portion of it to him, and that if we did do so we might expect prosperity even in worldly business, for he would make our barns full and our presses burst with new wine. However, I conceive it to be needless to preach a collection sermon—I thought I would rather tell your about your honor and dignity, and then you shall just give what you like, for the only free-will I like, is a free-will offering. Suffer, ye beloved, a few words. God has said in his Word that you are to honor him with your substance. As a priest of the Lord, will you not sacrifice something to the Lord this day? Here we have a great object before us; we want more room for the crowds who come to hear the gospel. It seems important, when such a throng is gathered, that none should go away. Ought we not to bless God that they come? There was a time you were few indeed, and the cry was,” Who hath believed our report?” But God has given us great success, the ministry here has been blessed to the conversion of not a few souls; I have many cases, now in this chapel, of broken hearts and contrite spirits; doubtless, there are many more than I know of, and I believe the blessed Spirit will bring them out in due time. Oh! do you not grieve that any should have to turn away from the voice of the ministry—that any who come here should have to go away, perhaps to spend the Sabbath in sin. You know not where they have to go, when they cannot get within these walls. The thing is, we have come to the resolution that this chapel should be enlarged, so that there should be accommodation for a larger number. Now, ye priests, sacrifice to the Lord. Let the priests build the house of Lord; let those who worship in the sanctuary take up the trowel today; let the mortar and the brick be laid, and let this house be once more filled with the glory of the Lord, and an abundant congregation.
III. Now, I have to close up with THE WORLD’S FUTURE. “We shall reign on the earth.” I have not much time for this, and I dare say it is expected that I shall tell you about the millennium and the personal reign of Christ. I shall not at all, because I don’t know anything about it. I have heard a great many people talk of it; and, if anybody shows me a book on the millennium, I say, “I cannot read it just yet.” A good man has lately written a book on it, and a gentleman recommended it to me so strongly, that I could not but buy it out of courtesy; but I elevated it to the aristocratic region of library, in the higher ranks, and there it rests in quiet repose. I do not think myself capable of threading the labyrinths of the subject, and I do not believe the very respectable author can do it. It is a subject so dark, and I have read so many different views upon it, that it is all a phantasmagoria with me. I believe all the Bible says of a glorious future, but I cannot pretend to be a maker of charts for all time. Only this I gather as a positive fact, that the saints will one day reign on the earth. This truth appears to me clear enough, whatever may be the different views on the millennium. Now, the saints do not reign visibly; they are despised. They were driven, in old times, into dens and caves of the earth: but the time is coming when kings will be saints, and princes the called ones of God—when queens shall be the nursing mothers, and kings the nursing fathers of Christ’s church. The hour is coming when the saint, instead of being dishonored, shall be honored; and monarchs, once the foes of truth, shall become its friends. The saints shall reign. They shall have the majority; the kingdom of Christ shall have the upper hand; it shall not be cast down—this shall not be Satan’s world any longer—it shall again sing with all its sister stars, the never ceasing song of praise. Oh! I believe there is a day coming when Sabbath bells shall sprinkle music over the plains of Africa—when the deep thick jungle of India shall see the saints of God going up to the sanctuary; and, I am assured that the teeming multitudes of China shall gather together in temples built for prayer, and, as you and I have done, shall sing, to the ever glorious Jehovah,
“Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
Happy day! happy day! May it speedily come!
Now, to close up, one very practical inference. Ye are kings and priests unto your God. Then how much ought kings to give to the collection this morning? Thus speak ye to yourselves. “I am a king; I will give as a king giveth unto a king.” Now, mark you, no paltry subscriptions! We don’t expect kings to put down their names for trifles. Then, again: you are a priest. Well, priest, do you mean to sacrifice? “Yes.” But you would not sacrifice a broken-legged lamb, or a blemished bullock, would you? Would you not select the best of the flock? Very right, then select the very best of the Queen’s coins, and offer, if you can, sheep with golden fleece. Excuse my pressing this subject. I want to get this chapel enlarged; so do you; we are all agreed about it; we are all rowing in one boat. I have set my mind on £50, and I must, and will, have it to-day, if possible. I hope you won’t disappoint me. It is not my own cause, but my Master’s—at other times you have given liberally—I am not afraid of you—but hope to come forward, next Sabbath morning, with the cheering announcement that the £50 is all raised, and then I think my spirits will be so elevated, that, by the help of God, I will venture to promise you one of the best sermons I am capable of delivering.
The Christian reader will be pleased to learn, that after this appeal, the sum of £50 0s. 11½d. was collected at the doors, towards defraying the expenses of the enlargement. Should any reader of the New Park Street Pulpit desire to contribute to this excellent object, any sum will be thankfully received by MR. WILLIAM OLNEY, Secretary, at the Chapel.