« PoprzedniaDalej »
sician has provided a remedy for that them. For whatever men may think disease, and will you reject it? He has of the religion of Jesus, let it be rememappointed the means of emancipation, bered, that this is the strain in which and will you renounce the gracious it addresses all its disciples :—"If ye deliverer? Oh, how necessary is it then, then be risen with Christ, seek those that your pride should be abased—that things which are above, where Christ you should see your condition in the sitteth at the right hand of God. Set sight of GoD—that you are guilty, con- your affections on things above, not demned, and lost; for then, and not on things of the earth.
For ye are till then, will you thankfully rejoice dead, and your life is hid with Christ that Christ is made unto you, wisdom in God." “Mortify therefore your and righteousness, sanctification and members which are upon the earth ; redemption. My dear friends, our own fornication, uncleanness, inordinate righteousness long since was driven like affection, evil concupiscence, and covetsome wretched vessel on the breakers, ousness, which is idolatry: for which and went to pieces, and yet the pride thing's sake the wrath of God cometh of our hearts strangely clings for many | upon the children of disobedience. In a day, to the fragments of the wreck, which ye also walked some time, when and we vainly hope, some on boards, ye lived in them. But now you also and some on broken pieces of the ship, put off all these ; anger, wrath, malice, to reach the land. But there is only blasphemy, filthy communication, out one way to escape the yawning gulf of your mouth. Lie not one to anobeneath, and that is, to accept the pro- ther, seeing that ye have put off the old vision which Divine grace hath made man with his deeds : and have put on for our deliverance in the righteous- the new man, which is renewed in ness and death of his Son; and when knowledge, after the image of him that a man proudly rejects this boon, he created him. Where there is neither rejects the council of God against him- Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncir. self, and must be ever regarded as an cumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond enemy of the cross of Christ.
nor free: but Christ is all in all.” See, We find, my brethren, that these in my brethren, what a strain of holy dividuals who are described as the exhortation the Apostle supplies us enemies of the cross of Christ, were with here, and how necessary it is for not only proud men, valuing their own us to prove that we are not the enemies righteousness, but,
of the cross of Christ, by having ourSecondly, sensual men, who lived to selves crucified the flesh with its affectheir own pleasure. Their God is tions and lusts. their belly.” It is very evident, bre- We find, my brethren, thren, that the individuals who are Thirdly, that these were worldly alluded to in this verse, were men anxi- men, who held to their possessions. They ous to make gain of godliness; and to are said “to mind earthly things." truckle to the prejudices of the people, There are two views that may be taken that thereby they might obtain supplies of this phrase : and it is very possible to minister to their lusts, and the indul- that both may be included by the gence of their sensual appetites ; and Apostle. The one is, that earthly things, therefore the cross of Christ, which in the phraseology of St. Paul, are placed binds all its followers to the denial of in opposition to heavenly things, as ungodliness, and to live soberly, righte-descriptive of the Jewish in opposition ously, and godly in this present evil to the Christian dispensation; and world, was necessarily offensive to therefore, these individuals minded those earthly things, those shadowy, | he closes the iron safe, and shuts the typical, secular things which belong to warehouse door, and turns his back the Jewish ritual, to the neglect of on the busy affairs of time, and catches those things which were spiritual, and an hour for converse with God, or for which pertained to the Christian eco- social communion with his people. nomy.
But whilst I think it very pro- Let us therefore remember, that the bable that this idea was entertained by habitual state of a man's mind is the the Apostle, yet these words convey a
true evidence of his condition before just view of the unhappy state of all God. “As he thinketh in his heart the enemies of the cross of Christ; so is he," and when all his anxieties who with great solicitude mind earthly and cares relate to those fleeting intethings; who look on the things which rests, which perish on this side of are seen and temporal, to the neglect eternity; he is a worldly man, and thus of those things which are unseen and an enemy to the cross of Christ, eternal, and seek what they shall eat, Again, and what they shall drink, wherewithal Fourthly, these were timid men who they shall be clothed, how they shall screened their own persons. I mentioned provide for to-morrow, and how that the amazing conflicts of which the cross day shall be as this, and much more of Christ is the signal; and, brethren, be abundant; oh, some of you may say,
assured that there will ever be a colliif that be the description of the enemies sion between light and darkness-beof the cross of Christ, then I must be tween the principles of good and evilclassed with them, for my mind is con
between the church and the world. tinually anxious, careful, and troubled “The world will love its own-but beabout many things. But, my brethren, cause ye are not of the world therefore is there not this difference, that in the the world hateth you"-the sped of one case it is felt as an infirmity and the serpent will oppose the seed of the a burthen, and in the other case it is woman, and we shall continually find accounted as their glory and their joy? in our hearts, in our houses, and in While you who are mother3 lament our spheres, the opposing principles that you are careful and troubled with in powerful operation and in fearful many things in your household—while conflict. Now the individuals whom you that are merchants lament that the Apostle describes, wished to screen you are careful and troubled with themselves from all the secular disadmany things in your warehouses, vantages which might result from their while you who are in professions, avowed attachment to the cross of lament that you are careful and trou-Christ; they would not be called Chrisbled about many things in your offices : tians in St. Paul's sense of Chritianity, the man who minds earthly things but wished to retain their connection glories in his solicitude and feels con- with the Jewish body; and he informs tent that prosperity on earth should us in his epistle to the Galatians, "that be to him instead of heaven. The they desire to make a fair show in the woman who is devoted to the world, flesh, they constrain you to be circumfeels her sphere of gaiety where she is cised; only lest they should suffer peradmired and flattered, to be the conge- secution for the cross of Christ." nial element, in which she can live and They were anxious to keep up the enjoy enough to make her heaven. Jewish badge of religious nationality But the Christian man, he thanks the that they might not suffer persecution Lord for meaner things, “but these for the cross of Christ's sake, and thus are not his God:” he is happy when like timid time-serving men, they were
anxious by all means to take care of not be folly in a man to reproach that themselves whatever might become of name he professes to honour? Now that blessed doctrine which was the these individuals are building for eterfoundation of the hopes of men. My nity, and yet they rest not on Christ as dear friends, let us warn our own con- their foundation, though “ there is sciences in this matter_let us not be no other name given under heaven ashamed of the reproach of Christ. whereby men can be saved but Jesus “He that is ashamed of me," said our
though it is declared, Lord, “and of my words, of him shall “ other foundation can no man lay the Son of man be ashamed, when he than that which is laid, which is Christ cometh in the glory of his father, with Jesus." These men adorn themselves the holy angels." Are you threatened with their own righteousness which with the loss of property, or the loss of are but as filthy rags, like some poor patronage, or the loss of home for inhabitant of a lunatic asylum, who Christ's sake, oh, let it be remembered glories in his tattered attire, as if he by you who have counted the cost,
were mantled in imperial robes, and that as you did not begin to build this scanty covering forms, in their eswithout estimating the sacrifice, so you teem, an ample and glorious garment must follow the Lord fully, and be not to protect them from every storm, and numbered among those cautious politic gracefully to adorn them for the preminds, who renounce the name of Jesus, sence of God and the festivities of to secure those possessions which they heaven. Is it not a shame for that cannot perpetuate, and to hold that un- man who professes to serve God to satisfying wealth, which will yield no dishonour him? And yet, my brecomfort to them without his blessing. thren, these individuals dishonour God
Thus have I attempted to show that by the inconsistency of their livesthe enemies of the cross of Christ, are now gratifying their selfish appetites, those proud men who oppose it, as the and anon truckling to the dictates of a symbol of abasing truths, those sensual carnal, wicked world. The Apostle men who despise it as the source of Paul, in the second chapter of his powerful motives to holiness, and those Epistle to the Romans, charges this timid men who flee from that fearful
upon the judaizing teachers : “ the struggle, of which it is the signal. name of God is blasphemed among the
Now we are to notice, in the Third Gentiles, through you.” Let me, my place, The AWFUL CONDITION OF ALL dear friends, inquire whether this is SUCH PERSONS. The Apostle says of not applicable also to you? Are not them “ that they glory in their shame you glorying in these things-glorying and their end is destruction."
in your own righteousness—in your First, then, They glory in their de- sinful pleasures—in your worldly ingradation. The persons the Apostle terests—glorying in your crooked selfdescribes have taken a decided course ish policy? Oh, this will prove a shame —they reject the righteousness of to you! How shall you stand fast in Christ-the
of holiness-and the trying hour? How can you have that cross which those who follow boldness in the day of judgment? How Christ in the path to heaven must bear. will ye endure the presence of the Son And this is their shame. For, my of God? Remember, “If we suffer with brethren, would it not be a shame to a him we shall reign with him; but if man to build without a foundation ? | we deny him he also will deny us.” Would it not be a disgrace for a man Then let me in the Second place to clothe himself with_rags ? Would it notice, that their condition is awful as they pursue their own destruction. which we are engaged for God and " Their end is destruction." That Christ, or are we proud, seeking to this was the destiny of the unhappy justify ourselves ? Are we worldly individuals, to whom the Apostle pri- and sensual, seeking to gratify ourmarily alludes, may be interred from selves? Are we timid, and wary, seekhis language in the second Epistle to ing to protect ourselves? My dear to the Corinthians—" For such are hearers, the line of demarcation is false Apostles, deceitful workers, trans- broad-the distinction is evidentforming themselves into the Apostles the separation obvious ? Where are of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan we? Oh, think of being enemies of himself is transformed into an angel of the cross of Christ, opposed to that light. Therefore it is no great thing cross which is the tree of life bearing if his ministers also be transformed as twelve manner of fruits, yielding its the ministers of righteousness; whose truit every month, the leaves whereof end shall be according to their works." are for the healing of the nations! And what are their works ? rejecting Enemies of that cross in which we bethe only foundation, they build on the hold the attributes of God harmonized sand-neglecting the specific which -in which motives to holiness are so the heavenly physician has prescribed, strikingly displayed! Can you bear they trust a remedy of their own in- to fight against saints and angels, God vention—despising the ample robe of and Christ, against all the principles the Saviour's righteousness, they seek of righteousness and purity which are to cover themselves from the gathering to be found in the universe of God? storm in their own scanty attire. Let me therefore warn you, for he Their end must be destruction, for they hath said, “Ah, I will rid me of my reject Christ, and there is none other adversaries speedily!” Well might name under heaven given among men St. Paul weep over such— Jesus wept whereby we must be saved. Their for Jerusalem thus, and we may weep, end must be destruction, for their God too, when we think of your condition, is their belly—they mind earthly and of the multitudes who are in the things, and it is written, “ He that same awful state of mind. But, dear soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh friends, if on the other hand you have reap corruption.” “The wages of the persuasion that God has been sin is death.” Their end must be de- pleased to slay the enmity of your struction, for they shrink from the of hearts, has brought you to accept the fence of the cross. “ And whosoever," righteousness of Christ, and to glory said the Saviour,“ shall be ashamed in the satisfaction of his cross, then of me, and of my words, in this adul- manifest your affection by your obeterous and sinful generation, of him dience. We are about to come this also shall the Son of man be ashamed morning to the table of the Lord; but when he cometh in the glory of his Fa- are all coming who profess to be the ther with the holy angels."
friends of the cross, who have felt the My dear friends, let us then ask our- power of his grace? What, let me selves this morning in what class are ask, keeps you back? Is it that timid we found ? Do we regard the cross of policy which took possession of the Christ as the symbol of truths, which minds of the judaizing teachers, afraid are precious to our hearts? Do we of worldly reproach, afraid of worldly feel it as the source of motives which
censure, afraid of worldly sacrifices ? influence our conduct? Do we ob- Is this thy kindness to thy friend? serve it as the signal of a conflict in
This thy subjection to thy Lord? Oh
do no longer hesitate-if Christ be of the field shall quail.
" Now conyour Lord and Saviour, own and sider this, all ye that forget God, lest honour him? But if till now you he tear you in pieces, and there be have disowned him, oh, tremble at your none to deliver.” May it be your danger, for he that now appears as happiness to “ kiss the Son, lest he be the Lamb slain, will ere long assume angry, and you perish from the way the terrible majesty of the Lion of when his wrath is kindled but a littleJudah's tribe, and at his voice all the blessed are all they that put their beasts of the forest, and all the herds trust in him." Amen.
ing, and malicious Jerusalem.--They Jesus entered into the world with that had overcome the world could not all the circumstances of poverty. He strangle Christianity. But so have I had a star to illustrate his birth ; but seen the sun with a little ray of disa stable for his bed-chamber, and a tant light challenge all the power of manger for his cradle. The angels darkness, and without violence and sang hymns when he was born ; but he noise climbing up the hill, hath made was cold, and cried, uneasy and un- night so to retire, that its memory was provided. All that Christ came for lost in the joys and sprightfulness of was, or was mingled with, sufferings : morning: and Christianity, without for all those little joys which God violence or armies, without resistance sent, either to recreate his person, or to and self-preservation, without strength illustrate his office, were abated or at- or human eloquence, without chaltended with affliction : God being lenging of privileges or fighting against more careful to establish in him the tyranny, without alteration of governcovenant of sufferings, than to refresh ment and scandal of princes, with its his sorrows. Presently, after the angels humility and meekness, with tolerahad finished their hallelujahs, he was tion and patience, with obedience and forced to fly to save his life, and the charity, with praying and dying, did air became full of shrieks of the deso- insensibly turn the world into Christian, late mothers of Bethlehem for their and persecution into victory.- I have dying babes. God had no sooner made often seen young and unskilsul persons him illustrious with a voice from sitting in a little boat, when every heaven, and the descent of the Holy little wave sporting about the sides Ghost upon him in the waters of bap- of the vessel, and every motion and tism, but he was delivered over to be dancing of the barge seemed a danger, tempted and assaulted by the devil in and made them cling fast upon their the wilderness. His transfiguration fellows; and yet all the while they was a bright ray of glory; but then were as safe as if they sate under a also he entered into a cloud, and was tree, while a gentle wind shaked the told a sad story what he was to suffer leaves into a refreshment and a cooling at Jerusalem. And upon Palm Sun- shade. And the unskilful, unexperiday, when he rode triumphantly into enced Christian shrieks out whenever Jerusalem, and was adorned with ac- his vessel shakes, thinking it always a clamations of a king and a god, he danger, that the watery pavement is wet the palms with his tears, sweeter not stable and resident like a rock; than the drops of manna, or the little and yet all his danger is in himself, pearls of heaven that descended upon none at all from without; for he is Mount Hermon ; weeping in the midst indeed moving upon the waters, but of this triumph over obstinate, perish | fastened to a rock; faith is his foun