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" His name shall endure forever : his name shall be con
tinued as long as the sun : and men shall be blessed in him : all nations shall call him blessed.”
This divine song has a primary reference to the kingdom of Solomon, the son of David ; but was intended, at the same time, to typify the kingdom of Jesus Christ, David's more exalted Son. With this single explanatory remark, I would leave the general structure of the Psalm, and the exposition of its various parts, to your own reflections. The passage to which I particularly invite your attention, asserts the extent and duration of the reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth; and presents a glowing picture of its prosperity and happiness. In relation to its extent, it is to embrace “all nations, and in duration, it “shall be continued
as long as the sun.” In other words, the kingdom of Jesus Christ-the gospel kingdom—shall embrace all the nations of the earth, and endure, with undiminished power and glory, while the world itself shall stand. It is clearly asserted, too, that the happiness of the human family will be greatly increased under the predicted reign of the Son of God. Men shall be blessed in him : all nations shall call him blessed."
Nothing can be more obvious than that this prediction asserts, that the religion of the Gospel will hereafter become, and will continue to be, the prevailing religion of our world. This fact is fully settled in the Bible. It was, for ages, the grand theme of the Old Testament prophets; and the truths which they committed, in strains of exalted poetry, to the sacred lyre, have been taken up and expounded with such clearness by their New Testament successors—by the Son of God and his apostles—that not a shadow of a doubt can rest upon their import. The same fact, that is, that Christianity will become the religion of the world, might be inferred, with equal certainty, from the admission, that God is its Author, or that the Bible contains a revelation from heaven.
But waving these considerations, there is another important truth intimately associated with the universal spread of the Gospel, to which I would invite your attention on the present occasion. . The truth to which I refer is this : that the relig
ion of the Bible is adapted, in its nature, to become the exclusive religion of our world. This sentiment, it is apprehended, is more than intimated in the text. Jesus Christ, the appointed King of Zion, shall not only reign as long as the sun shall shine upon the earth, but “men shall be blessed in him : all nations shall call him blessed." The Gospel is adapted to man as such-to all men. It contemplates, not a specific class or order of men, but man in the large and generic
The Son of God has “received gifts for men.” His empire embraces and secures the best interests of our fallen race. “ Men shall be blessed in him.” “ All nations shall call him blessed." The Gospel is adapted, not to the Jew, nor to the Gentile alone; not to the civilized, nor to the barbarous exclusively—but to “all nations.” And one nation after another, under the agencies which God has ordained, shall welcome the Gospel, as adapted to their common circumstances and their common wants, till an entire world of nations shall mingle their voices and send up the homage of their hearts in one universal song.
The single sentiment I shall attempt to illustrate is this : The religion of the Bible is adapted, in its nature, to become the exclusive religion of our world.
1. It is accommodated to every stage of human society.
I shall not here enter upon any nice speculations respecting the natural state of man, considered merely as an intellectual and social being ; nor attempt to settle the question whether that state is savage or civilized. The apostasy of our race occupies so early a page in the history of the world, that it may be difficult for us even to picture to ourselves, with any degree of certainty, what our condition would have been, as it regards social habits, intellectual progress, or the arts of cultivated life, had sin never marred this once lovely heritage of God. What is now called the state of nature—the wild and savage state, to which we may easily trace back the most refined and polished nations—would probably never have existed; and the more elevated conditions of society, which are now altogether adventitious, and which are superinduced by much care and culture, might have been perfectly natural to man. But these speculations apart, it is sufficient for my present purpose to refer you to the social condition of nations as it is, and remind you of the diversified forms of human society which the world actually presents. These are not less marked and various than the geographical surface of different countries, or than personal form, the color of the skin, or the features of the human face.
A single glance at the world as it is, and this the intelligent eye has already taken, will save the speaker the necessity of entering into detail. We