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the same fearful storm, for we are all | preaching vain, and your faith is vain born to trouble as the sparks fly up- also; and we of all men most miser. wards—in this sad dreary voyage the able.” But he proceeds, and inspira. cares and anxieties, the distresses and tion in mere man never took a loftier disappointments, the losses and privi- flight. “But now is Christ risen from tions to which we are liable, are so the dead, and become the first fruits of various and severe that we want every them that slept. For since by man support we can call to our aid, to bear (the fallen Adam) came death, by man up against them with fortitude and (the restoring Jesus) came also the reresignation. The Spirit of God, whose surrection of the dead.” glorious outpouring on the day of Pen- The preface to our text is also very tecost we have celebrated to day, can striking. “ It is a faithful saying." alone sustain us amid such trials; and From which it seems as if this fine this support, thank heaven, this firm
passage in St. Paul's letter to Timothy support, this sufficient abiding conso- was a saying in common use among the lation is held out to us in our text, primitive followers of our blessed like water to a thristy traveller under | Lord. For it is worthy of your the burning sun, or like a plank to a particular notice, that it is introdrowning mariner amid the howling duced by the same words as other metempest, “ If we be dead with Christ, morable doctrines of holy writ. we shall also live with him. If we Thus we read in one place of its being suffer we shall also reign with him.” a faithful saying, that they who be
In further expounding the text which lieved in God should be careful to main. will appear as soothing to the just be- tain good works.” In another place it liever, as alarming to the guilty impe. is declared to be, “a faithful saying and nitent, two important truths will be worthy of all acceptation, that Christ laid before you, into which the words we Jesus came into the world to save sin. are considering naturally divide them- ners.” And to revert to our text, we are selves. First—the advantage of morti- | told, and it adds great weight to the fication and affliction in the exercise of a words, that the benefit of suffering for Christian spirit. “ If we be dead with and dying with Christ, and the danger him we shall also live with him." of denying him were, in the days of the Secondly—The disadvantage of every Apostle, a faithful saying, that is, they thing, however, temporally prosperous, were proverbial and in general use if attended by a carnal mind, a mind among the Christians. From which adverse to the honour of Christ's reli- circumstance many serious persons gion. “ If we deny him, he also will have been led to believe, when reading deny us."
and reflecting upon the acts of the First-Let us trace upon scrip- Apostles and first disciples, that it was tural grounds, THE ADVANTAGE OF their custom whenever they met, to
repeat to each other such scriptural SUFFER WITH A CHRISTIAN SPIRIT.
sayings as encouragements to exertion, The Apostle is peculiarly majestic zeal and perseverance in their conflicts in his prefaces when introducing to his with Satan and the world. converts the leading doctrines of the It is not the fashion we know too Gospel. I would in proof of this, call well in these days of levity and worldly to your mind that remarkable intro- mindedness for Christians, when they duction to the doctrine of immortality meet their friends, or sit in the revealed in 1 Cor. xv. 17, 19. “ If circle of their families, to converse Christ be pot raised, then is our with each other about such solemn
MORTIFICATION AND AFFLICTION IF WE
realities, as Christ and his Cross, Eter- misery so heavy as his. They had nity and His judgment, the salva- beheld him, who never did wrong, hated tion which he purchased for believers and rejected by the very people whom by his sacrific death, and the bless- he came to save. They had attended edness of a good man's living for, the heavenly sufferer through many a and dying for his Saviour. But it journey, and observed how he laboured, would be well for us, my dear brethren, and fasted, and watched, and prayed, and if we each, and all of us, of whatever age preached for the salvation of his creaor rank of life, both more often thought tures. They had witnessed the drops of and talked respecting these things of blood which followed each other down serious import, till they brought us to his furrowed cheeks, when he had suprepentance, and prayer, and godly plicated his Father that if possible the love, and steadfast obedience the cup might pass from him.
They evidences of a genuine faith-weshould remembered how they all themselves be more fit to live in this world, and forsook him and fled, when the permore prepared to leave it when the fidious Judas sold him for a few LORD shall summon us. The habits of pieces of silver, and then betrayed virtue would be our delight, and the him with a kiss. They had seen sanctions of religion our solace. The him sainting beneath the weight of Son of God would be our Saviour in his own cross, when the soldiers every conflict, and heaven be our home. were dragging him to Mount Calvary,
But our present enquiry is rather, a crown of thorns leaving deep gashes keeping our eyes upon the text, what in his bleeding temples, and the air rewas the primitive habit of the teacher sounding with the impious cry of “Cruof the Gentiles and his fellow la- cify him, crucify him." All this they bourers in the cause of a crucified had seen the Saviour suffer, and they Master, and what the refuge of con- had been solemly assured by their Lord, solation which they gathered from it?
that themselves must drink of the same They used, as I have said, when cup he had drank of, and take up the they were together to tell each same cross which he had carried. other of their happy experience and What, then, be it asked, could have hopes arising from the faithful say
enabled the holy Apostles of a marings of Scripture. And well it was tyred Master to glory and exult amid timed, and great the comfort which the faggots of persecution and the flowed from the practice into their agonies of torture, but the unshaken honest hearts. For certainly, no fruit belief that if they died for the sake of of the Spirit could be better suited to Christ they should live with him in the condition of men, who, like the his kingdom; if they suffered above Apostles, viewed persecution and be- all others, they should, above all reavement, perils and pains, torture and others, reign with him in the man. death approaching them in every va
sions of heaven. This was the view ried form, than a firm belief of the which Paul had when he drew his atonement, and as its purchase, some
admirable comparison between time immortal state of infinite reward. and eternity, and threw all the pomp They had many of them seen their and possessionsoftheworld into a shade, heavenly master, the innocent bene. as not entitled to any serious place volent Jesus treated with all manner
in the affections of a candidate for of treachery, contempt, and cruelty. immortality. "I reckon, that the sufThey had heard him declare that no ferings of this present time are not poverty was 80 abject, worthy to be compared with the glory
which shall be revealed in us. I am thirst for his kingdom. We can obabsent from the body-I am present tain a crow
own without carrying the aewith the LORD. Nor count I my life tual cross to our tragic end. But we dear unto myself, so that I might fi- must carry a cross, and a painful one nish my course with joy. For me too. For little does that man know 'tis true to live is Christ; but still, of his Saviour's religion, who expects for me to die is gain.” Here let it be to gain the immortal prize without impressed upon your hearts, that such many a conflict and many a suffering. a triumphan thope of blissful futurity Yet, be it remembered, that whether is not compatible with an earthly they are sharper or less severe, the mind. It belongs not to the world- me God who supported the earliest it is not carnal—it is not sensual—it champions of the faith, will support his is of heavenly origin,-it is wholly servants in every age. He will never spiritual—it is purely the gift of the suffer us, if we serve Him, to be grace of God, merited for his people brought into distress or persecution by the sufferings of his Son, and ob- without giving us from the same Divine tained for them, by the all-prevailing fountain a sufficient portion of strength prayers of Christ in their behalf. These and comfort to bear our trials and af. owe their holiness, their happiness, fictions with constancy and resigna. their hopes, their all, to the supplicat- tion. " If we suffer, we shall reign with ing intercession of the Prince of Peace. Him." And the transcendent gift of his Holy In his own good time, and for this Spirit which he promised under the name gracious scheme, He will, as a pious of the Comforter, has been ever found writer well observes, either lighten sufficient, and never forsook the people our burden or add to our strength. He of God. The Spirit was so plentifully will either mitigate our pain or inpoured out both upon the Apostles in crease our patience. He will either the first ages of Christianity, the Peters', give us power and victory to triumph the James', and the Stephens', and over the world, the flesh and the upon the martyrs which suffered at devil, or He will, in greater mercy, rethe glorious reformation, such move us from their snares and tem. Bilney, and Hooper, and Ridley, that pests to a land of safety and repose, when they were tortured they would where we shall see and adore the glo. not accept of deliverance because they rious Trinity through everlasting ages. knew they should obtain a better re- “Blessed are the dead which die in the surrection. This is religion, worthy Lord. They rest from their labours, the exalted name and character of and their works do follow them.” Christianity. Would to God, that O, how delightful, how full of peace more of such a spirit lived in the is the doctrine of our Apostle in almost world; that we were more ready, every page of his letters upon this point. not only to talk of the grace of To give one instance more ; “GOD,” God and his wonderful love to us in saith he,“ is faithful, who will not sufChrist Jesus, but to do something for fer you to be tempted above what ye are religion by labouring and living for able to bear, but will, with the temptaChrist, by sufferings and self-denials tion, also make a way to escape, that ye for his sake and the Gospel's. Im- may be able to bear it.” With what mortal praise to God! we live not in satisfaction, therefore, with what sin. an age when it is necessary for us to cerity may we deposit our lives, our bleed, and be burnt for the confes- fortunes, our faithful wives, our beloved sion of our love for Christ, and our children, and all that remains to us
into the hands of Providence,-that Why, then, with such a cloud of good and generous Parent, whose witnesses before us, I would fearlessly merciful care hath, from our birth, so ask the blindest sceptic, or the proudest tenderly preserved us, and whose in materialist, why should the children of exhaustible bounty still rises with us the world be so surprised, that Addievery morning. We are his creatures son should send for his friend to see how -his children he hath called a Christian could die, and venerable Did any of his children, since the Latimer should say to his fellow-marworld began, ever serve God and re- tyr, when on his way to the scaffold, pent of his obedience? Did one sanc- where the faggots were piled for his tified man ever trust in his Maker and
burning, “Brother Ridley, we shall fall short of grace and glory? It might to-day lightup a candle in Christendom, be further asked of the saints in hea- which shall never be extinguished.” ven, if, in their presence, we were It was not human strength, it was standing-Did any disciple, did any
not the stoicism of philosophy, that martyr ever die with Christ, and not carried these Christian heroes conlive with Christ, or suffer and not quering through—it was the spirit of reign with him? Did the Omnipotent God. And why should the earthforsake Daniel in the den of lions, or born votaries of time and sense be so Shadrach and his companions in the surprised, that a genuine Christian fiery furnace ? Was a bone of the thus enlightened, thus strengthened former broken, or a hair of the latters' | by the Comforter, can bear afflic. head so much as singed? Or did the tions with composure, and close his pious Psalmist in vain encourage him- eyes upon the world, when it is the self in the Lord his God, when he was will of God who
that spirit, falsely accused unto Saul of conspiracy without a tear of lamentation or a and treason, and when afterwards rebel- sigh of regret? Why? It is because lion in his family and his kingdom drove those men of the world, who have him weeping into the wilderness? Were never been born again, never been enthe bitterest curses of Shemei, or the gaged in the spirit of their minds, are slyest counsels of Ahithophdel suffered | ignorant of the supports and peacefulto prevail against him? No, my fellow- ness of religion. They have not been Christians, see the believing monarch taught of God, therefore they know after he had mourned for his favour- not the Gospel of his grace, nor hath ite—“O Absalom, my son, my son, the Holy Ghost ever taken up his would to God I had died for thee"-dry dwelling within their hearts. They up his tears and say, with a patience never drank at the sweet refreshing and fortitude which the blessed Spi- fountain from which spring the waters rit could only give him in such a sea- of life-life which only really begins son of tribulation. “Let the enemy when the soul escapes from its earthly persecute my soul and take it ; let him tabernacle of sin and sorrow.
If they tread my life down to the ground. also firmly believed, that when they Thou wilt not leave, O Lord, my soul should pass through the gates of the in hell, but thou wilt awake up for me grave, they would change this temto judge the people, when the wicked- poral, miserable existence for a subliness of the wicked shall come to an mer state of happiness and joy, and end, but the just shall be established. meet with a reward of their sufferings, Therefore, my defence is of God, who through their Redeemer's merits, saveth the upright and will not suffer greater in weight and duration than them to go down in silence to the dust." their mind is yet capable of conceiving
-surely, in such a case, their view | impiety or profaneness, which man, of every thing would be proportionally from the depravity of his nature, is caenlarged and felicitated according to pable of committing, more offensive in the degree of their superior light and the sight of God than the sin of denying holiness. Time and eternity, life and his Son. It is, indeed, flying in the death would all wear a different face. face of the Eternal Spirit, and resisting And from that hour they would be the light of revelation—the last offer 80 resigned to the will of God, and so of Divine mercy. “Surely, they will satisfied with all his dispensations, so reverence my Son when they see him." stablished in the "truth as it is in | And when a person hath arrived at Jesus," and so preserved by his mighty this extremity of pride and arrogance, power through faith unto salvation, he is represented in Scripture as not that they would sit loose, as it were, having life, as being dead in tres. to the world, and be so on the wing | passes and sins, removed beyond the for eternity, that whenever their Hea- reach of grace and the possibility of venly Parent should see fit to call them pardon. from this vale of suffering, they would Happily for religion and human not only bid adieu to the earth with happiness, proportionally small is the composure, but would even have a de number of those who formally deny sire to depart that they might be in that Jesus Christ is the Son of God heaven with Christ and with his angels. and the Saviour of the world. For his I think, then, it has been made divinity and atonement are so plainly clearly to appear, as well from the proved in the Bible, that they have light of reason and the Providence of almost disarmed presumption, and siGod, as from the testimony of revela- lenced unbelief as to the person of our tion, that the advantages of morti- Lord. But great, very great is the fication and suffering in the cause of number of those thoughtless, hardened Christ are unquestionable.
men, who deny the Lord Jesus in their We now come, SECONDLY, to con- life and conversation, and even crucify sider a saying which is equally faithful, Him afresh with their sinful lusts. but not so pleasing to contemplate And what must be the destiny of THE FEARFUL END OF THE WICKED, such profane characters ?
“ If the WHO FORGET THE SAVIOUR-GOD. "If righteous be scarely saved, where, the we deny him he also will deny us.” Scripture asks, shall the sinner and
Dreadful truth! It seems as if de ungodly appear at the last day, when nunciation could not reach farther. they will be judged every man acIt is enough to overwhelm the impe- cording to their works?” The words of nitent sinner, and drive him to dis- the text are not to be misunderstood. traction and despondency. But not to It reveals this everlasting truth, that dwell, for time forbids, upon the awful because they have denied the Son of threatenings of the Gospel, which God in this world before men, He will might convince the transgressor of deny them in the next before his Fa. what he forfeits by his ingratitude and ther. And if God the Son shall deny incurs by his guilt, it may be safely them—if He who alone can justify asserted, that the sin denounced in them from their sins, and sanctify our text is one of the most flagrant them by His spirit—if He who alone and excessive among the darts of the can reconcile them to the Almighty, evil-one. I will go farther. If that sin and deliver them from the infernal deagainst the Holy Ghost, never to be stroyer, be not their peacemaker, their forgiven, may be excepted, there is not an Saviour, but forsake and despise