Christ on the Right Hand
of God.by Isaac Williams
from Sermons on the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays and
throughout the Year, Vol. II.
Trinity Sunday to All Saints'
Rivingtons, London, 1875.
First part of Sermon LXV. for the Eighteenth Sunday after
1 Cor. i. 4-8. St. Matthew xxii. 34-46.
He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call Him LORD,
The LORD said unto my LORD, Sit Thou on My right hand,
till I make Thine enemies Thy footstool ? óST. MATT. xxii.
ALTHOUGH the Epistle for the day is always placed before the
Gospel, and is therefore to be first considered by us, yet we know that,
in point of fact, it usually alludes to circumstances which occurred long
after those of which the Gospel speaks, and after important changes had
taken place, by our Lordís ascent to Heaven, and the coming of the Holy
Ghost. It would therefore often tend to edification, if we could take the
Epistle after the Gospel, in which case it would afford a striking confirmation
of its truth, or introduce precepts flowing from it. Such is much the case
to-day. For how wonderful is the language of our short Epistle, when we
consider it as a fulfilment of that which our Lord alluded to in the Gospel,
as the text mentions. He spoke of that mysterious expression of David,
when it was all unintelligible to the Jews; but how different was the case
when St. Paul wrote! Sitting at the right hand of God, and there seen by
the eye of faith, He had poured down such gifts on His Church, and exerted
such power in the hearts of believers, that about five-and-twenty years
after our Lord had thus spoken St. Paul was able to write to the Corinthians,
appealing to his and their own experience in such words as these :ó
I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which
is given you by Jesus Christ; that in everything ye are enriched by Him,
in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ
was confirmed in you; so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; Who shall also confirm you unto the end,
that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church of Corinth was peculiarly rich in these spiritual gifts,
the outward manifestations of power, but all intended to promote their
spiritual profit, and to prepare them for Christís return in judgment.
And thus, in the opening of this Epistle, St. Paul bears testimony to these
gifts, showing how much he rejoiced in these their privileges, and giving
solemn thanks for them, before he proceeds, as he afterwards does in this
Epistle, to correct the abuses of them, and to turn their attention to
the great end of all, that charity which comprehends the love of God and
the love of our neighbour.
The passage, moreover, is remarkable, as St. Chrysostom observes of
it, and indeed of the whole of this Epistle, for the very frequent mention
of the Name of Christ. He speaks of the grace bestowed by Christ, of their
being enriched by Christ, of the testimony of Christ confirmed in them,
of their waiting for Christís coming, of Christ so establishing them that
they may be blameless in the day of His Coming. So forcible is this testimony,
as an answer to our Lordís question, and as explaining the expression of
David when he spake in prophecy.
And now let us consider in detail the Gospel itself; ....
.... (for the second part, on the