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SCEPTRE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Psalm xlv. 6. (Bible Version.)
Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever : the sceptre of Thy kingdom is a right sceptre.
Upon an occasion like the present,- when we are not met together under the usual circumstances of attendance at the Sanctuary,—when we are not called upon that one day in seven, which our Creator and Redeemer hath sanctified to His own especial service, to join with the multitude of them that keep Holyday, and to press with our fellow worshippers in the footsteps of them that are glad when it is said, “ let us go into the House of the Lord,”—It seems that it will not be unscasonable, if we confine the short remaining portion of this morning's service to the contemplation of subjects, at once in keeping with the occasion of our meeting, and under God's blessing profitable to us, who are linked by closer associations than an ordinary congregation presents. For what is the occasion that thus assembles us
s? It is not a mere Festival that summons us from our homes, and bids us lay aside our wonted callings, -Joyous and glad as the thought undoubtedly is, that in the Ministers of Justice we recognise the punishment of wickedness and vice, and the maintenance of true Religion and Virtue. It is not an appeal to your sympathies, for some cause of suffering humanity, or scheme of Missionary enterprise at home or abroad. But it is the Anniversary of your Civil year,—the Death-day of your past year—the Birth-day of your new year. And as at its beginning, by assembling in this House of Prayer, you acknowledged the only true source from which all blessing on your plans and deliberations could spring,—that God “ from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, all.just works do proceed,” — even so now at its conclusion, you are not found unwilling as a Body to acknowledge that “honour due unto His name," who is the “Blessed and only Potentate,” who is “far above all principality and power, and might and dominion, and every name, that is named not only in this world, but also in that which is to come”—whose delegates all Civil authorities arc-whose“ Throne endureth for ever and
ever, and the Sceptre of whose kingdom is a right Sceptre."
Whilst then we are willing, and rightly willing, as loyal subjects to render due submission and allegiance to “ the Queen and all that are in authority under her,” and to respect the Civil Magistrate and his Tribunal as the Executive of Justice; it is no less our duty as subjects and citizens, than the Sovereign's on the Throne, and the Magistrate's on the Bench, to remember, that the Supreme Governour of the World, the Chief Ruler in the Universe, is our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Hence He is addressed by the Father in the triumphant language of the Psalm, as the Royal Bridegroom that filleth His throne with judgement, and decketh His court with splendour. And Saint Paul appropriates the very words unto Christ, when he tells the Hebrews that “ unto the Son He saith, · Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom,—Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.''
Now various are the aspects under which the Redeemer is represented to us in the Bible. We view Him as our Mediator, as our Advocate, as our Intercessor. As our Mediator, He hath stepped in, and “ made both one,” reconciling the Father unto us, and us unto the Father. As our "Advocate with the Father,” He appears, as “ Jesus Christ the Righteous," " blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was