‘I saw four and twenty elders sitting clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold…The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power.’ Revelation 4:4,10–11
Suggested Further Reading: Romans 5:17–6:2
They who are Christ’s are kings. Take care that you wear your crown, by reigning over your lusts. Be a king in the midst of all that would lead you astray. Christ Jesus has broken the neck of your sin; put your foot upon it; keep it under; subdue it. In the world at large act a king’s part. If any would tempt you to betray Christ for gain, say, ‘How can I? I am a king. How shall I betray Christ?’ Let the nobility of your nature come out in your actings. Forgive in a royal manner, as a king can forgive. Be ready to give to others as God has helped you, as a king gives. Let your liberality of spirit be right royal. Let your actions never be mean, sneaking, cowardly, dastardly. Do the right thing, and defy the worst. Dare all your foes in the pursuit of that which is right, and let men see while they look upon you that there is a something under your homely appearance which they cannot understand. Men make a deal of fuss about the blood of the aristocracy; I dare say it is not very different from the blood of crossing-sweepers. But there is a great deal of difference between the lifeblood of the saints and the lifeblood of the proudest prince; for they who love Christ have fed upon his flesh, and have drunk of his blood, and have been made partakers of the divine nature. These are the royal ones; these are the aristocrats; these are the nobility, and all are mean beside. Christians, perhaps some of you have not reigned as kings during the last week. You have been either murmuring, like poor whining beggars, or you have been scraping, like dunghill rakers, with your covetousness, or you have been sinning, like idle boys in the street, who roll in the mire. You have not lived up to your kingship.
Sermon no. 441
23 March (1862)