Christ: The Banner of all Christendom

By Archibald G. Brown, December 5th, 1869, Stepney Green Tabernacle, Excerpt from My Banner - Posted at Grace Gems:

"And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah Nissi.
 [The LORD is My Banner]" Exodus 17:15

II. Christ as our Banner, is the Banner of all Christendom. On this part of our subject I desire to speak with the greatest plainness, as I am confident that here many mistakes are made. "Jehovah Nissi" is no mere sectarian or denominational flag — but the royal ensign of a royal host. No one sect can claim it as its own, to the exclusion of others. It belongs equally to all who have been called to the "good fight," no matter to what portion of the militant host they may belong. Do not think for a moment that I would advocate the surrender of our party colors, or plead for the extinction of denominations. Such a thing is an impossibility, and even if it could he accomplished, I would be sorry to see it done.

An army is none the worse — but all the better for being made up of separate companies; and it is no dishonor to a soldier if he loves his own regiment the most, and thinks it the best. A union at the sacrifice of truth is not to be desired or prayed for. But let us beware lest in flaunting our distinctive banner, we hide from the eyes of any, the royal ensign — lest we become so absorbed in the success of our own party, that we grow indifferent as to the progress of the entire host. "Victory all along the line!" must be our prayer and shout, and nothing else must be allowed to satisfy us.

We all look to the upraised standard and together say "my Banner." The Lord grant that there may speedily be a more general recognition of this oneness among His people: a nearness to each other through a universal nearness to Christ. Let our party flags be seen by all means; but grouped around Jehovah Nissi, not planted in its separate place.

It is narrated that during the times of the Crusade, when the lion-hearted Richard I of England, the Emperor of Austria, and the King of France were jointly waging war against the heroic heathen Saladin, a jealousy sprang up in the camp between England and Austria. And one morning the British banner was found lying in the dust on St. George's Mount, with the standard of Austria occupying its place. No sooner did impetuous Richard hear of the insult offered to the royal ensign, than he strode forth alone, and before the assembled hosts hurled Austria's ensign to the ground, and caused the British Lion once more to take pre-eminence, remarking, "Your banners may be planted around mine — but never take its place." So let it be with us, beloved. Upon the St. George's Mount of our heart and life, let the Lion of Judah, Jehovah Nissi, alone have the place of honor.

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