No. 2

Rev 19 2

No. 2 [1]

Revelation 19:11

[2nd sermon on this text]

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse;
and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True,
and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
May the Lord the Spirit impress our hearts with a spiritual perception of this glorious personage.  A believing sight of Jesus in his glory and his grace, as the Captain of his people, and the Avenger of their cause against all their enemies, is the only and the effectual cure of heart sorrow, and the preservative from the power of all the temptations of sin and Satan.  We have considered his attitude, and now proceed to his character and design.
2. His character:  Faithful and True
  Rev 19 2 faithful
  This is his title in the most absolute, extensive and exclusive sense.  Creatures are mutable and fallible – whatever truth and faithfulness is in them, is derived from him.  But he alone is Faithful and True, necessarily, infinitely and unchangeably so.
  2.1 He is true, and all his words are truth
    He dwelt in the bosom of the Father from eternity.  And all discoveries of the nature, attributes and will of God in time have been communicated through him.  And whatever he has revealed may be fully depended upon, and ought to be received with the most implicit submission and obedience.  To disbelieve him is the highest act of rebellion and sin a creature can be guilty of, and the source of all the other wickedness with which the heart and the world are filled.  Lord help us believe what thou teachest:
    2.1.1 concerning the divine perfection
    2.2.2 concerning himself:  the First and the Last, the Resurrection and the Life
    2.2.3 concerning the way of salvation, in himself.
  2.2 He is faithful:
    2.2.1 to his promises
      Whatever he has spoken of to his people shall surely be fulfilled, nothing shall fail.  Oh what an inventory of blessings – time would fail to count over a thousandth part of the treasure contained in the exceeding great and precious promises, respecting temporal and spiritual blessings for this life and eternity.
    2.2.2 [to his threatenings]
      He will be faithful to his threatenings likewise.  His honour and character are equally concerned in both cases.  Hear and tremble you that forget God, for the Lord has spoken.  Evil shall pursue the sinner in life, seize him at death and then plunge him into the bottomless pit.
3. [His employment]
  His design and undertaking, is to judge and make war, and both in righteousness.
  3.1 He is a righteous Judge
    He goes not by appearances but by the heart.  The choice he makes of his people, the protection he affords them, and the reward of his grace he will bestow upon them, are all in righteousness.  He has received them as a trust and a treasure; he has redeemed them by his blood; he has a right to claim and possess them, a right to receive them however vile and guilty, a right to make them happy forever, because he has a right to do what he will with his own.
  3.2 His judgement of sinners is in righteousness
    Though now they cavil and dispute, cast the blame of their sins and their ruin upon him, he will be at length [2] justified when he condemns, and every presumptuous mouth shall be stopped.
  3.3 In righteousness he makes war
    This would lead, had we time, to speak of his enemies.  They are:
    3.3.1 Satan
      He is root and first cause of all opposition, and he is the strength of opposition in all others.
    3.3.2 Man
      But why enemies to grace and goodness?   His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom.  The good things are invisible.  His rule is too strict.  Therefore they war against him, and he will war against them and prevail.
    3.3.3 His own people are his enemies by nature
      But he lays siege to their hearts, [3] subdues them and makes them willing in the day of his power – then they become his friends.  He pardons their guilt, and brings them to their right minds.
You that are such, thank him at his Table.
[1] This sermon was preached on Sunday morning, 3 August 1777 at the monthly communion service in Olney – the day after the death of Newton’s father in-law, George Catlett, who had been living with the Newtons at Olney vicarage. William Romaine and his wife had arrived unexpectedly on the Wednesday and stayed till Saturday. ‘The two young men’ – Oxford students John Mayor and Thomas Charles – were also spending their summer vac with Newton for tutorials.  Newton’s diary this day reads: ‘I praise thee my Lord, for support through this day. I began it with a heavy heart, for my Dear, whose head was quite ill yesterday, had almost a sleepless night. Thou only knowest how I feel for her. But I went comfortably through the several services, and thought thou gavest me freedom and enlargement. In the evening she was better than I expected, and thou gavest her sleep in the night, for which my soul would praise thee. She is still very poorly, but thou showest mercy every day, and givest me encouragement to trust in thee. We had large congregations, and many out town people. O command a blessing upon thy word, and bless me even me also, O my Saviour, with humility, spirituality and peace.’
For the evening service Newton had written the hymn ‘Hannah; or the Throne of Grace’, When Hannah, pressed with grief, Poured forth her soul in prayer, published in Olney Hymns, Book 1, Hymn 25. See here for the week’s diary quotes and a link to his hymn in manuscript form: Olney Hymns, Book 1, Hymn 25
[2] ms written as: ‘he will at be at length’
[3] See Newton’s hymn on Luke 11:21-22, ‘The heart taken’, The castle of the human heart , Olney Hymns, Book, 1 Hymn 101

Cowper & Newton Museum, Olney

Marylynn Rouse, 09/08/2016