A church that is not Christ’s church shall have none of his presence, and a soul that is not Christ’s has no fellowship with him. If he reveal himself at all, it is unto his own people, his blood-bought people, the people that are his by purchase and by power, and by the surrender of themselves to him. When I think of this church as committed to my care, I am overawed, and well may my fellow-officers be cast down under the weight of our responsibility; but after all we may say, “Master, this garden is not ours; it is thy garden. We have not begotten all this people, neither can we carry them in our bosoms; but thou, great Shepherd of the sheep, thou will guard the fold.” Since the garden is his own, he will not suffer even the least plant to perish.
My brethren who work for Christ, do not be downcast if certain portions of the work should not seem to succeed. He will attend to it. “The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.” It is more his work than ours, and souls are more under his responsibility than ours. So let us hope and be confident, for the Master will surely smile upon his “vineyard of red wine.”
From a sermon entitled "The King Feasting In His Garden," delivered March 6, 1870. Image by Randy Robertson under Creative Commons License.