Obrazy na stronie

"is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be "Judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy "servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them who "fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy "them who destroy the earth." The day of this redemption and revolution is near, and, till it break forth, we desire that in patience you may possess your souls. This is a direction given to the disciples by our Saviour when foretelling the wars and commotions which would issue in the destruction of Jerusalem; and to us it is a seasonable admonition with relation to the revolutions which will precede, and the convulsions which will terminate, in the dissolution of the world. "Fret not thyself because of evil"doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of ini"quity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, "and wither as the green herb.-Rest in the Lord, and "wait patiently for his coming. Fret not thyself because "of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man "who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from an"ger, and forsake wrath. Fret not thyself in any wise to "do evil; for evil-doers shall be cut off, but they who wait "upon the Lord shall inherit the earth.”

You who are in friendship with the world, and who are minding earthly things, we exhort to consider whether you have not acted very unreasonably and foolishly to enter into connections with a body which is to be soon dissolved, and setting your affection on things which perish with the using of them. Supposing you able to acquire riches, and honour, and power, what would such acquisitions do for you, were you to loose your souls, these immortal and better parts of yourselves? Do you acknowledge yourselves before the Lord to be guilty and unholy creatures? the first reasonable steps to be taken, is the removal of your guilt, and the sanctification of your souls. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, though hitherto despised by you, is the only expedient for taking away the former and effecting the latter, to the praise of the glory of God. This is set before you under the consideration of a hope; and fleeing to it for refuge, and laying hold on it for salvavation is both your duty and your interest. Millions have fled, laid hold, and obtained salvation. What hinders all to take the same course? "Come unto me, all ye who labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;" and "him

"that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out." This is the invitation, and these are the promises of the Son of God, who was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. Obey his voice, O perverse sinners! provoke him no longer by unbelief, lest the next word from his throne be, "These mine enemies, who would not that I "should reign over them, bring hither and slay before me.' Slay them before me! This circumstance is dreadful. Enemies are not usually executed before the throne, or in the presence of the prince. But Christ will have the enemies of his cross slain before the throne, and punished in his presence. "With everlasting destruction shall they be "punished from the presence of the Lord, and from the "glory of his power." In this text, "From," doth not signify separation and distance. On the contrary, it intimates that their destruction is an effect of the glory of his presence and power, and produced immediately by it as the righteous and holy cause. "Knowing the terrors of the "Lord, we would persuade men" to flee for refuge to his cross without delay, and to lay hold on the hope set before them without doubting. "Whosoever believeth in him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Amen..





And I unto the world.

CRITICISM does not profess to arraign the style and composition of scripture, but, under the beauties of just and ornamented expression, to discover and to recommend truth, which, through the operation of the Spirit, at once enlightens the understanding and purifies the heart. After a sublime and ornamented expression is suggested, the writers employed by the Spirit of truth dwell upon it, and, diversifying and amplifying it in their own manner, adapt it to the manifestation of truths, to which common writers never would have supposed its meaning to bear any relation.

In the latter part of the verse which is our text, the apostle draws from the cross of Christ, mentioned in the former part, a metaphor, which, however harsh and disgusting to men who desired to make a fair shew in the flesh, was, in his account who gloried in the cross of Christ, transcendently sublime. "By whom," says he, referring to Christ, the agent; or, by which, referring to his cross, the mean, "the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the "world." The vindictive virtue of the cross of Christ upon the world with respect to him, and its gracious virtue upon him with respect to the world, are represented under the same metaphor, which, by the lustre and greatness of the object from which it is taken, raises and embellishes the sentiment which it expresses. Christ is crucified: what follows? the world is crucified, and Paul is crucified. By an happy ingenuity, of which the Holy Spirit was the author, he retains the metaphor which the cross of Christ suggested, while he varies the sentiment which it expresses,

and, in his own experience, surprises every reader with a mutual crucifixion.

The virtue and operation of the cross of Christ upon the world, with respect to Paul, have been explained in the preceding discourse. "By whom," saith he, "the world is "crucified unto me." In this discourse, we purpose to explain its virtue and operation upon Paul, with respect to the world, "and I," adds he, "unto the world;" that is, according to the connection and conformation of the sentence, "By whom I am crucified unto the world." plaining this, we shall speak, first, concerning the person who is crucified unto the world; then, concerning his crucifixion unto the world; and, lastly, concerning the gracious and triumphant virtue of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom, and by which, he is crucified unto the world.

In ex

We begin with the person who is crucified unto the world. Though Paul speaks of himself in our text, we should not suppose that he speaks of himself as an apostle who preached the cross, and not as a christian who believed and gloried in the cross. The truth is, both these considerations of himself are consistent, and neither of them ought to be excluded from bis meaning though undoubtedly the last is principally intended. For this reason, we shall mention and illustrate only some of these considerations, or particulars, which are common to him and all true christians.

First, The person crucified unto the world is a christian, who is in Christ Jesus. "In Christ Jesus," is a form of expressing the christian state, which is strictly proper, and elegantly simple. Our Lord used it himself: "Abide in "me, and I in you-He that abideth in me, and I in him, "the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me ye "can do nothing." John uses it, "We are in him that is "true, even in his Son Jesus Christ." Paul uses it with respect both to himself and others: "Of him are ye in "Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and ❝righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." "Sa"lute Andronicus, and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow"prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also "were in Christ before me." There was a time, and Paul remembered it, when he was not in Christ Jesus. The

time, and the manner of his entrance into Christ, are minutely recorded; and whatever diversity may be in the cir cumstances, believing christians enter into him truly and spiritually, each in the time of love and the day of power. In many passages, scripture acknowledges this union, and affirms it to be the distinguishing privilege of every bellever. Christ is the vine, and believers are his branches; Christ is the head, and believers are his body; Christ is the husband, and believers are his spouse. In virtue of their union they have interest in his benefits, and by faith rejoice in these as their riches. When he was crucified, they were crucified; when he died, they died; when he was buried, they were buried; and when he rose, they were raised. Obeying, dying, and rising, in quality of their head of representation in law, his righteousness and fulness are ready and prepared for them; and uniting with him, or entering vitally and spiritually into him, by bclieving the witness which God hath testified of him, each is interested in the whole, made the righteousness of God in him, justified, sanctified, and saved.

Secondly, The person crucified unto the world is a Christian who is like Christ Jesus. "As he is," saith the apostle John, "so are we in this world;" and, "he that saith "he abideth in him, ought himself also to walk even as he "walked." Conformation to Christ is the consequence of our union or interest, and in the first of these texts is represented as our distinguishing glory, and in the last enjoined as our indispensible duty. Neither the smiles nor the frowns of the world affected his walk and conversation among men. To please them he never turned out of the paths of obedience and self-denial, nor fell into mean and unworthy compliances to avoid their resentment and hatred. Like one crucified unto the world, he spent in it the days of his flesh, and was no more affected with its pleasures and joys, nor with its opposition and contradiction, as temptations to integrity, than if he had been a dead man. In similar considerations believers, who are in Christ Jesus, and by the virtue of his cross crucified unto the world, are conformed to their head. He was crucified unto it, and they are crucified. Considerations of the world were neither the motives of his actions, nor the end of his obedience; and their obedience is not influenced by these considerations, nor directed to these ends, The

« PoprzedniaDalej »