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which they enjoy, give the public a right to expect." Secondly, To pre sent to our readers a body of theological learning, to which they may always turn with delight.
Objections, however, have been made to Sermon Reporting, on the ground that it is an invasion of the preacher's property. This we deny, in the most positive and unqualified terms;—the preacher is himself the property of the public, by whom he is supported and rewarded, and to whom he is, in most cases, indebted for his education. If he be devoted and sincere, he will never make the objection, but cheerfully submit to a little additional labour, that he may more extensively and effectually serve religion, and publish far beyond the sound of his voice the truths in which he glories, and for which he is willing to suffer the loss of all things.
The remaining part of our work will be of a more miscellaneous, but we hope not of a less interesting nature. It will comprise :
1. Essays on BIBLICAL CRITICISM, INTERPRETATION, and ILLUSTRATION; forming a familiar INTRODUCTION to the Study of the English Scriptures, with occasional Dissertations, of a popular cast, on the credibility, genuineness, and authority of the Sacred Volume.
II. BIOGRAPHICAL and CRITICAL SKETCHES of the most celebrated preachers.
III. Historical Accounts of modern DISSENTING CHURCHES.
IV. Essays on the present state of Morals, Education, and Religion, in all parts of the world, especially in our own country.
V. ILLUSTRATIons of PROPHECY, with reference to the present and future prospects of the Church of Christ. But this subject will be approached with caution, and be conducted with reverential fear.
VI. Nor will the lighter graces and elegancies of Literature be neglected. Poetry, good poetry, “when the handmaid of piety," will occupy a place in our pages, as also occasional Essays on subjects connected with the literature of the past and the present times.
VII. ANALYTICAL and CRITICAL Sketches of the best of the RELIGIOUS MAGAZINES will be given at the commencement of the month; and, as our limits permit, such new works as are supposed to be of a description interesting to our readers, will be impartially reviewed.
VIII. VARIETIES and MISCELLANEOUS ARTICLES.
Such is a brief enumeration of the articles with which we propose to occupy our pages; but although our utmost endeavour shall not be wanting, we cannot be expected at once to attain to a state of perfection: time must be given us to mature our plans, and a little patience exercised towards us at first. We hope, after a while, to present our readers with a Miscellany filled with instructive and agreeable matter; and so to diversify the subjects, as to give something every week that is new, with something that is usefull. We hope we shall be found to improve as we proceed, and we promise our readers, that if success crown our work, every effort will be made, not only to improve and raise its character, but also to to enlarge its size. Gain is not so much our desire as doing good; and we feel assured that the wide circulation of a work which may be read in the family circle, and laid by the side of the Bible, must be the means of carrying into effect our object, which is to diffuse correct principles, and afford a useful occupation to hours which might otherwise be perniciously employed
great subject of our future hope and joy,—“The cross of Christ."
'It will be our object in meditating THE REV. JAMES PARSONS,
upon this subject, to consider, OF YOKK,
1. The character of that being by
whom the cross was endured. At the Fitzroy-rooms, on Sunday Morning, January 25th, 1829.
II. The great object for which the
suffering of the cross was borné. Text, 1 Corinthians, i. part of the 17th
III. The general views in which the verse. The Cross of CHRIST,”
dignity of the sufferer, and the nature
of the sufferings, are to be regarded. What is there, it may be asked, in
First.- THE CHARACTER OF a cross which can make it the subject | BEING BY WHOM THE CROSS WAS ENof attention and regard, and which can deserve to be set forth in any thing like
It is mentioned here as being the prominence, exciting the warmest seel- Cross of Christ; and that this indiviings and tenderest emotions of the dual who is now presented to us in heart? The cross was an ancient in- connexion with the cross, was not a strument of torture, to which only malefactor, that he was not a person those were subjected who were igno- who met with his death as a just minious malefactors. The victim was
consequence of his crimes, we shall nailed to the wood of which it was not endeavour in an assembly like this composed, by the hands and the feet, to prove. Indeed, the very entertainand then exhibited to all around as a ment of such a' proposition as this, spectacle of ignominy and shame. The would in itself, no doubt, excite shudcross was esteemed a special mark dering and horror in the minds of those of ignominy and disgrace; and well who are present. You are aware that might we be led to suppose, that in no testimony to the Redeemer's innoone instance would it ever be calcula cence was given most distinctly by those ed to summon forth the feelings of man persons who took a part in his crucito admiration and joy. And yet it is fixion. We are informed with regard to the cross that we are continually to Jesus, that when the people said to called, as comprising the most precious Pilate, “Let him be crucified,” he elements of a religion which has been said, “Why? what evil hath he done? given to us by the authority of God, But they cried out the more saying, and which contains every thing dear to Let him be crucified. Then, When us in our future and eternal state. The Pilate saw that he could prevail noauthor of our religion—Jesus of Naz- thing, but rather that a tumult was areth, we are not ashamed to state, was made, he took water and washed his crucified on a tree. We are informed hands before the multitude, saying, I in the Volume of Inspiration, that the
am innocent of the blood of this JUST Redeemer encountered the enmity of person; see ye to it.” We are informed those by whom he was surrounded, also, that one of those who were crucithat he was arraigned upon a solemn fied by his side, turned round to the charge, and that his enemies cried, other, and rebuked him for railing, say“Away with him, away with him; Cru- ing, “Dost not thou fear God, seeing cify him,, crucify him!” He was led thou art in the same condemnation? to the mount of Calvary, where he was And we indeed justly; for we receive crucified between two theives, and the due reward of our deeds: but this where in agony he expired.
man HATI DONE NOTHING AMISS.” A Although by some individuals this Centurian who was sent by the Roman may be considered as a mark of dis- governor to attend the execution, “glograce; we are called upon to remem rified God saying, certainly this was, a ber it as involving a theme of interesting RIGHTEOUS man.' grandeur, which shall outlive the joys But you are to observe, that these of time, and endure through eternal are not the only affirmations we have ages. This was the topic which fur- of the innocence of the Reedeemer, nished the grand theme of the ministry respecting the charge on the ground of during the period of the apostles, and which he suffered; we have also ancstill is to be remembered by us, as the ther kind of testimony to which-refer
ence must be made. During the whole | not as a point of non-essential controperiod of his life there was no thought versy, but as embodying all that is esor deed of his which could at all sanc sential to man's salvation. It is in this retion the charge, or justify the accusa- spect we are called upon to contemplate tion. He was a Being who passed the testimonies to Him “who endurthrough the world without a spot; em ed the cross, and despised the shame.” bodying in his own character morality, John says, “In the beginning was the holiness, and beauty. We are told, Word, and the Word was with God, and therefore, that “ He was in all points the Word was God. The same was tempted, like as we are, yet without in the beginning with God; all things
He was holy, harmless, unde were made by him; and without him filed, and separate from sinners:” “He was not anything made that was made." was without blemish and without spot.” We are told again, that we are to look "He did no sin, neither was guile found for the "Glorious appearing of the great in his mouth.”—Thus we are to regard God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” him as a pure and spotless being. We are told again, “When he bringeth
But farther, with regard to the na in the first-begotten into the world, he ture of that Being who is thus pre- saith, And let all the angels of God sented, as enduring the sufferings of the worship him. And of the angels he cross, we remark, that the test of his saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, purity has been furnished under circum and his ministers a flame of fire. But stances THAT WERE UNPARALLELED. unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O
You are to remark, that in the office God, is for ever and ever, a sceptre of he bore, and which in his human na- righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingture he fulfilled, he was set apart as the dom.” And there is one statement anointed; therefore he was called by the which we find made by the apostle, connames of Christ and Messiah, answer-necting the splendour of his pristine ing to the descriptions of the prophe- glory with the depth of his subsequent cies of “Holy men of old, who spake humiliation, “ Let this mind be in as they were moved by the Holy you, which was also in Christ Jesus ; Ghost,” when they foretold the develop- who being in the form of God, thought ment of divine mercy, which was to be it not robbery to be equal with God; made in the introduction and establish- but made himself of no reputation, ment of the Gospel. With his human and took upon him the form of a sernature were combined the attributes of vant, and was made in the likeness of the Divine Being. He who died had And being found in fashion as in his person the attributes of the God a man, he humbled himself, and behead; for though “he endured the con came obedient unto death, even the tradiction of sinners against himself," death of cross.” It is not my intention though “he was a man of sorrows and in reference to this subject, to present acquainted with grief,” yet we are in to your notice those splendid evidences formed, that he was the eternal immu on record by which we find that the table Jehovah. We draw aside the Redeemer assumed the rights and honveil by which he was surrounded, and ours of divine worship; I would rather then we behold “The Creator who request you to attend to those interestfainteth not, neither is weary;" then we ing and solemn facts in connexion with see "God manifest in the flesh." It is the last passage quoted ; namely, the utterly impossible for us to stop short of wonderful condescension of the Rethe principle we have now recognized, deemer in descending from the splenand wedesire to call upon you to contem- dour of glory to the agonies of the plate this truth. Westop not with those cross. You must rememberthat “though persons who look upon the Redeemer he was rich, yet for our sakes he beas a man who was inspired by God, came poor.” You must remember that and nothing more;-we stop not with “he took not on him the nature of anthose who speak of him as a Being pre-gels; but he took on him the seed of senting to us an example, and deriving Abraham." Then remember that there what glory he possessed by impartation. was no one trait of his humilation but We claim for him proper Divinity, as
was submitted to for our welfare,--for being one with the eternal and glorious our salvation;—and who is there whose JEuovah. We speak upon this subject, mind is not filled with holy astonish
OF THE CROSS WERE BORNE.
cry upon the
ment and joy at this statement? When of their infliction with a degree of forthe psalmist went abroad at midnight, titude, and calmness, and patience, at and looked upon the firmament of hea- all equal to what may be found both ven, and beheld the sparkling orbs off in sacred and profane history; but light, he was amazed at his own in- with a misgiving which leaves us much significance, and he exclaimed, “What more to admire in the annals of heroism is man, that thou art mindful of him, and philanthropy. What was the meanand the Son of Man that thou visitesting of that heart-rending statement, him?” When we gaze upon the glory “ But I have a baptism to be baptized of the cross of Christ, is itnot then that with (the baptism of his blood) and how we look upon a length and breadth, and am I straitened till it be accomplished "? height and depth of mercy, which must What was the meaning of that great be left for eternity to unfold? But even mental struggle which induced him to now,in the view of thatgreatand glorious exclaim, “ Now is my soul troubled ; Being who gave himself up to the death and what shall I say? Father, save of the cross, it becomes us to determine me from this hour; but for this cause that we will glory in nothing “save came I unto this hour. Father, glorify in the cross of Jesus Christ our Lord.” thy name"? What was the meaning Secondly.-CONSIDER THE
of that dark and mournful look in the OBJECT FOR WHICH THE SUFFERINGS garden of Gethsemane, when he said,
My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even Why was the Redeemer suffered to unto death”? and when he went away die the death which is so emphatically from his disciples three times, and mentioned? The notions which some prayed, “ Father, if it be possible, let individuals have entertained, with re- this cup pass from me;' and then gard to the Redeemer's death upon the being in an agony, sweat great drops cross that it was a mere submission to of blood falling to the ground”? What martyrdom, for testifying the sincerity was the meaning of that of his character, and the truth of his cross, " My God, my God, why fordoctrines, cannot be maintained. We sakest thou me?" It was something must look for another explanation, more far more than a mere sense of mournful rational; for if you destroy the doctrine trouble—something far more than this of the Divinity of Christ, his death is no that infused the bitterness of gall in more to me as a sinner, than the prison the cup that he was about to drink. and the hemlock of Socrates. But let Admit the doctrine of a propitiation the doctrine of the Divinity stand, and for sin ; and then, and then only, you we go on to state, that it gives every have an adequate reason assigned. We evidence that we can want, to confirm look upon the cross as a chosen emblem the truth of another doctrine; namely, of the sacrifice, and we state, in the that his death on the cross was a true language of the apostle, “ Christ hath and perfect sacrifice for sin.
redeemed us from the curse of the law, If in illustrating this doctrine, we being made a curse for us : for it is were to regard the object of the Sa- written, cursed is every one that hangviour's sufferings, you might gain much eth on a tree.” But the nature of these information, but I now call upon you sufferings will appear more distinctly, to consider the nature of the sufferings | if you consider, themselves and the spirit of the Re 2. The nature and object of those DEEMER, in their anticipation and in- legal sacrifices which foretold them in fliction.
the ancient dispensutions of time. You 1. The early and previous anxiety are aware that from the earliest periods of Christ, with regard to his approach of the world, victims of the animal ing afflictions, seems to testify that creation were selected and offered up, there was something extraordinary in no doubt, in reference to the atonetheir nature and design. I have no ment for sin. Under the law of Moses, doubt upon my own mind, and I state these were offered more frequently and this as a thing that ought to be remem- in a more impressive manner.
For bered, that, except something extra- instance, you remember the blood of ordinary was intended by the sufferings the lamb of the passover, which was to be endured by the Redeemer, he sprinkled upon the door-posts of the did not conduct himself in the prospect children of Israel, as the testimony
of their redemption, at the time of made peace through the blood of his their deliverance from the destroying cross. -Again, “That the might re angel, as he passed by to smite concile both unto God in one body the first borr: of the house of Pharaoh, by the cross, having slain the enmity and which caused him to droop his thereby.” What means the testimony pinions, and to sheath his sword, and of the apostle John, “ He is the proto pass them over. You remember the pitiation for our sins; and not for ours bullock that was offered by the priest | only, but also for the sins of the whole on the day of atonement, as a sacrifice world”? But time would fail, my christfor the sins of himself and of his house; ian brethren, were we to go through the and the blood that was 'shed for the whole of the evidence that might be sins of his people; the blood of both presented, to prove that the death of the victims being carried by him into the Saviour on the cross was intended as a holiest of all, and there sprinkled on sacrifice for the sins of the world. the mercy seat, with intercessions for The cross of Christ is an expression redeeming mercy. You remember the equivalent to the atonement of Christ, design of the priestly office, which was which proves effectually the Divinity intended to offer both gifts and sacri of Christ, and the whole system then fices for the sins of the people. Now stands all grandeur both for time these institutions, and indeed the whole and for eternity. It is the atonement economy of the law of Moses, were which forms an object worthy of the typical of Jesus Christ. He was spoken advent of the Son of God to the world of as the lamb that was slain as a sacri- , in which we dwell. It is the atonefice for sin. He was the Lamb of God, ment which sheds arounds the cross such who'died to take away the sins of the an infinitude of value. It is the atoneworld. The High Priest entered into ment alone which can open the portats the holiest of all with the blood of bulls of the heavenly court, and the gates of and of goats, to sacrifice for himself | immortality. Remove this great docand the people; but “it is not possi- trine of the atonement, and then you ble (says Paul) that the blood of bulls pronounce inspiration an error-a falseand
goats should take away sins; hood of the Most High. Remove the wherefore, when he (Christ) cometh doctrine of the atonement, and then into the world, he saith, “sacrifice and you blight the happiness of the species offering thou wouldest not, but a body to which you belong, tearing the founhast thou prepared me: in burnt offer- dation stone from the building, the key ings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had stone from the arch, the soul from the no pleasure. Then, said I, lo, I body, the sun from the firmament. come--to do thy will, O God. He Remove the doctrine of the atonement, taketh away the first that he may esta and then you put the stamp of indeliblish the second. By the which will ble misery upon all the prospects of we are sanctified, through the offering man; you consign his life to ruin, his of the body of Jesus Christ once for death to blackness, his judgment to all.” Ile was spoken of in the general condemnation, his eternity to despair. design of the priestly office; he is said Let the doctrine of the cross but reto be the high priest, who has en main, and though all else be taken tered into the holy place, not with the away, the soul will be safe and happy blood of others, but now once in the for ever. end of the world hath he appeared, to Thirdly.-CONSIDER THE GENERAL put away sin by the sacrifice of himself." | VIEWS IN WHICH THE DIGNITY OF THE
3. In connexion with these statements, let us look at the declarations which are SUFFERINGS ON THE CROSS ARE TO BE made in the New Testament writings. What means that testimony of the The cross of Christ is to be regarded Saviour, “This is my blood of the as furnishing. New Testament, which is shed for many 1. A wonderful development of the for the remission of sins"? What means riches of divine, love. We are justly the testimony of Paul, “ In whom accustomed to consider the scheme of we have redemption through his blood, redemption by the death of our Lord the forgiveness of sins, according to the and Saviour, as involving an exhibition riches of his grace"?--Again, “ Having of the entire character of Jehovan,
SUFFERER AND THE NATURE OF THE