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THE LIVINGS LORD.
An Easter Sermon by the "High way and Byway" Preacher. Greatest Fact in the World To-Day la the Resurrection of Christ—The Mockery of the Unsaved Join ing in Faster Celebration. [Copyright, 1903, by A. N. Kellogg News paper Co.] Chicago, April 12, 1903. Text:—"But ye....killed the Prince of Life, Whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses."—Acts 3:14, 15. T HE Living Lord.—The greatest fact iu the world to-day is the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The brightest hope of the hu man race streams from the empty tomb around which the angels hovered. The most potent message which ever fell upon the ear of man was that spoken by the Heavenly messengers who gladly declared that the crucified Saviour had become the Living Lord. It was a dead Lord Whom Joseph had laid sorrowfully away in his own new tomb, but it was a Living Lord Whom God brought forth triumphantly. It was a dead and despised Nazarene Whom the Roman soldiers guarded at the behest of the Jewish leaders who had crucified Him, but it was a Living King Who, treading under foot the dread enemy Death, stepped fort bringing to His subjects the gift of eternal life. The hand of man could seal the tomb in which rested the dead body; the mighty arm of the powerful Roman government could confidently set its watch, but when atonement for sin had been fully paid and God's mighty angel descended from Heaven, his tread shook the earth and broke the seal of man's power and the flash ing brightness of his countenance cast man's rule into the dust of utter help lessness. It was a dead Lord to Whom the sad-hearted disciples came to min ister, and they found a Living Lord awaiting them Who quickly turned their tears into glad streams of joy, and their needless offering of embalm ing spices into the living message of, "Go tell!" It was a Living Lord Who during those wonderful 40 days ap peared to His disciples and talked with them. It was the same Living Lord, with His resurrected body of flesh and blood, Who in triumph re turned to Heaven and took His place at the right hand of the Father. It was the Living Lord Who poured forth upon His waiting disciples on the day of Pentecost the power of the Holy Spirit, and it was the Living Lord Whom Peter held up before that vast assembly of people that day' and won three thousand converts. It was the Living Lord around Whom every ser mon of the disciples of the early'church was builded. Take your Bibles and see how repeatedly and persistently the great fact of Christ's resurrection is referred to. It was the Living Lord to Whose mighty power the miracles wrought were credited, and in the scene which our text brings before us w'e see the lame man who sat at the Beautiful gate with strengthened anklebones leaping and praising God for the Living Christ; we hear the voices of Peter and John declaring to the amazed multitudes that God had raised up from the dead the Prince of Life, Whom they had slain, and that it was faith in Him which had healed the man whom they all knew, and, midst the rejoicing of the Heavenly hosts and while the recording angel is busy entering the names of the new-born souls, we see five thousand men accept the truth of the message and bow al legiance to the Living Christ. T HE Eastfer Message.—In the small compass of our text we find crowd ed the indictment of man, the triumph of God and the mission of the disciples of Christ. Easter's message is of this three-fold character. Out of the blackness and death of man's sin was wrought the resurrection glory of a crucified Lord, and the one command of the risen Lord to His disciples was: Go ye and tell all the world of the Living Christ. If the Easter light shines not through this Divinely ordered prism its full beauty and its full meaning are lost to the soul. Man's sin that placed Christ upon the cross on one side, the triumph of the resur rection morn with the Living Lord on a second side, and the sensitive, re sponsive soul of the disciple on the third side reflecting the glory of it all as he sends the light far out into the world. If the glad music of Easter morn has not in it the minor strains of man's need upon which the Heaven ly strains of Salvation's song may'rest, and it does not set the heart-strings of the disciples to vibrating with the sweet message for others, that Easter music has not in it the full harmony that can satisfy. The world is fa miliar with the resurrection story, it marks the advent of the day upon its calendar, it prepares in plans and in dress for its coming, it is ready to raise its voice to join in the strain of Easter music, it bows before the empty tomb, it looks upon the risen Christ, it knows the day as one of glad rejoic ing in the churches, and with the last grand burst of music of the evening service sounding in its ear it goes back io its activities and its pleasures and forgets, until another Easter day dawns. At Easter time the story of a Living Lord is on everybody's lips, but the transforming power of the Living Lord is not felt because the message is no longer the full resurrection truth which starts with man's sin: "Ye have killed the Prince of Life," and ends with the clear testimony of personal experience of the risen Lord, which can say: "Whereof we are wit nesses." T HE Indictment.—The fact of a Living Lord writes deep and black the indictment of the world. "Ye have killed the Prince of Life,"is the charge. Your sins and my sins, and the sin of the world nailed Him on the cross. The Easter message of a risen Christ brings condemnation to the world while it makes glad with hope the be lieving heart. How can the voice of the world be lifted to swell the glad Easter song of a Living Lord, while the indictment of sin stands against it un satisfied ? No song of rejoicing escapes from the prisoner in the dock while the indictment declares his crime and the guilt of lawlessness rests against him. Rather does he plead for mercy. But let some one step before the judge and offer to take the punishment and let the prisoner go free, and hope springs anew in his heart and gives birth to the glad song which bursts from his lips as he goes out of that court-room a free man. The world until it is reconciled through Christ Jesus is at enmity against God. The guilt of sin rests against it until wiped out by the pardoning power of Jesus' blood. That pardon must be accepted before it becomes ef ficacious to save from the penalty of sin. How is it possible for the pris oner to gain his liberty if he refuses to accept the pardon which is offered him? How is it possible for the world to escape the penalty of sin if it either thoughtlessly or wilfully refuses to receive the pardon which God offers through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ? God says: "He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not be lieved in the name of the only begot ten Son of God." And He also de clares that "there is no condemna tion to them which are in Christ Jesus." L ET us go back to that first Easter morning as it broke in all its beauty and hope over Jerusalem and consider the contrasts between the song sung then and the Easter music as it swells throughout the world to day. Then custom had not come to claim the day and plan its celebra tion as it has to-day, but only the believing hearts echoed the Heaven born music of a Saviour risen. The angels came singing of the Living Lord and the disciples quickly caught up the refrain and went speeding everywhere with the glad message. But the world could not join in that song. With the bursting of the tomb and the stepping forth of the Living Lord, the soldiers "did shake and became as dead men." And the world shared in that fear and dreadful apprehension. Sin. unforgiven sin, always awakens in the human heart deadly fear when it is brought face to face with God. Tlven the world had not learned to look the facts of Christianity in the face without meeting God face to face, but when Constantine popular ized the religion of Jesus Christ, 'the Kingdom of Heaven suffered violence, and the violent took it by force." Pagan festivals were re habilitated in Christian garb, and the world soon was celebrating with the true believers the birth and the resurrection of Christ. The very name Easter is of pagan origin, and is derived undoubtedly from Eastre. the Saxon goddess, whose festival was annually kept about the same time as Easter. The customs which have grown up around Easter are of secular and heathen origin. The song which the world has learned to sing is about the risen and Living Lord, but He is not allowed to en ter. He is not enthroned in the hearts of multitudes of those whose lips sing His praises. S ATAN'S Easter.—Think of Satan celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We do not want to ap pear irreverent. We do not wish to shock the sensibilities of the human heart. We know that many, many people are not really Christians be cause of carelessness and thought lessness, and because they fail to realize their true attitude toward God. Comparatively few, perhaps, have deliberately and finally rejected God's claim upon them. We suggest the thought of Satan's joining in the Easter rejoicing and festivities so as to bring out forcibly what Easter celebration may mean. God declares that man must either take his stand with Satan or God, that he cannot serve two masters. This being true, which position do you occupy? You are not standing with God until you have accepted His Son as Saviour, and been reconciled to God by Him. You are standing with Satan if you are not standing with God. What does Easter mean to Satan? The Living Lord is the sign of his utter and final defeat. It was Satan in the Luman heart which moved hu man hands to place Christ upon the cross. The darkness which settled around the cross in that dying hour was filled with Satan's hellish glee for he believed he had triumphed at last in the death of the Sou of God. And if he could, he would have kept the Christ shut up in the tomb, and Ro man seal and Roman guard would have held, but the Prince of Life Whom wicked hands had slain could not be holden of death, for God raised Him up. Satan's power and work were broken completely. Could he join in the rejoicing which filled the hearts of the disciples of Jesus? Nay, verily, that song struck the death knell of his hopes. Can he unite to day in the Easter celebration? Not more than can the imps of hell play on the golden harps of the angels, or the lost soul of the rich Dives cross over the great fixed gulf and share with saved Lazarus the haven of rest in Abraham's bosom. But the world has learned how to sing the songs of Chris tian faith, it has made bold to share in Christmas joy and Easter rejoicing, and Satan cares naught for this out ward acceptance of Christian truth and share in its observance, while he holds sway in the heart. He does not fear the Easter message which is freighted with the perfume of flowers, the swelling anthems, the plaudits of men and thoughtless rejoicing in the risen Lord. But let the soul be awak ened to a sense of its position and its peril as God's ipdictment is heard de claring: "Ye have killed the Prince of Life, Whom God hath raised from the dead," and Satan begins to tremble and fear the loss of an obedient sub ject. T HE Triumph of God.—Let us look at another side of our Easter prism and see the Living Lord as the crowning triumph and glory of God. Satan's power was manifested in the death of Christ. The power of God was revealed as He burst the bars of death and brought forth His Son tri umphantly. The submission on the cross which atoned for sin must be followed by the glory of the resurrec tion morning, for "if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye nre yet in your sins. But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them that slept." A triumph means a foe and opposition which are overcome. Satan set himself to the task of alienating the human race from God, and as God throughout the ages moved steadily to work out His plan of redemption He came to the moment of final triumph when Christ rose from the déad. The triumph of God involves three great facts: The final and utter de feat of Satan, the punishment of sin and the salvation of the sinner, and these were wrought out through the Son, Satan met with successive defeats in the wilderness temptation, in Gethsemane and on Calvary, but the overwhelming defeat was accom plished at the tomb where! the dead Christ was laid when He had offered a final sacrifice for sin, and w'here the Living Christ came forth the Prince of Life, indeed, able to give eternal life to all who believed on Him. W ITNESSES.—No wonder Peter, aft ertellingof thewonderfultriumph of God in the resurrection of Christ, adds, "whereof we are witnesses." Did you ever notice that the apostles and disciples never testified of any thing of which they did not have per sonal and practical knowledge? They were true witness bearers for Christ. They had a positive message. They knew Christ was risen from the dead because they had seen Him, had handled Him, and tracing out the prophecy of God's Word found that it was all fulfilled in the Christ. The third side of our Easter prism is the "Go tell," which falls upon the ear of every disciple after he has met and talked with the Lord. That Easter morning commission did not involve a theological training. They were not to saturate themselves with a lot of theories, and doctrines, and ologies and isms. They were simply to go tell what they knew of the Christ. We need trained teachers and preachers. Those who are intellectual ly as well as spiritually equipped for service. But preachers and teachers realize better than do others, perhaps, that their efforts are well-nigh power less unless the individual Christians take up the message and "Go tell." And their message is simple. They must know man is a lost sinner, and that there is a Living Lord to save. The awfulness of sin must be felt as a personal condition of guilt, and un der the burden of sin the Living Saviour must be met with in the way as you journey to the tomb of a dead hope. It is the privilege of every soul to meet the Saviour thus. Then Peter'« message becomes our message: "Ye killed the Prince of Life, Whom God hath raised from the dead, whereof we are witnesses." .vvWW//. '/ U\ Earnestness. The earnestness of life is the only passport to the satisfaction of lifs, —Parker. — CONGRESSMAN WILBER SAYS [To The Pc-ru-na Medicine Co., of Columbus, 0.] "Pe=ru=na is All You Claim For It." I Nllltti , CQNGnziiMJU/' Dl. WILBER i**K£W YORK. Congressman D. F. Wilber, of Oneonta, N. 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