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tongue in the nails which pierced his hands and his feet, or the spear which entered into his side ? Is there no eloquence in the silent suffering of the cross—its shame, its agony, its blood ? What will not the heart withstand which can withstand the sufferings on Calvary's mount endured ?
“For me those pangs his soul assail,
For me this death is borne;
To draw you to this Savior; to touch your hearts; to save your uls; O sinners! Ithis day tell you, "we preach Christ crucified.”
Note.-Having been unexpectedly asked by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Meade to preach in Alexandria at the time when several members of the seminary were to be ordained, the author, having no sermon with him more appropriate than the present, added the following remarks:
In drawing this discourse to a close, I would address myself to those who are this day to be invested with the sacred dignities of the ministerial office. My dear friends, what can I say to you, or what ought I to say to you, which is not directly connected with
I might speak something as to your personal demeanor, for in the charge of an apostle we find it written, "take heed,” not only to “thy doctrine,” but “take heed unto thyself." Not only the personal piety, but the outward demeanor of a minister of the Gospel are matters of extreme importance. By the mercies of God I beseech you, as you are young, to be particularly circumspect as to your intercourse with the world. I do not ask you to be austere, but I wish you to be grave and dignified ; always maintain such a conduct as may indicate self respect, and never give room either for yourselves or for your religion to be treated with levity. I leave you to read what Paul said to Timothy and Titus, for I have no time to enter into the minutiæ of these matters. My subject relates to the preaching of the Gospel. Let that be" JESUS Christ and him crucified,”-nothing else. I do most earnestly beseech you to examine every sermon you now have, and every one that you may hereafter write, for the express purpose of acertaining whether they be full of Jesus Christ. If they are not--burn them; do not inflict on any people to whom you may minister, the curse of a Christless sermon. I have heard discourses in which even the name of Jesus did not occur, and though I am aware that He may be named in a discourse, and that frequently, where there is no real spirituality, yet it is even better so than that there should be a discourse without both. Even the name of the “ precious” Savior and his cross carry some energy along. It is "as ointment poured forth.” But what I mean is, let Christ be the sum and substance. This implies, that every discourse recognises the totality of man's depravity, his need of a Savior, his perishing condition without CHRIST. It implies, that every discourse directs sinners to Jesus Christ, as “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption;"and to the Holy Spirit as He who"takes of the things of Christ and shows them unto us.” It implies that every discourse speaks of repentance, and faith, and conversion, and sanctification. What! bring all these things into every discourse? Yes! bring every one of them into every discourse. Let not one ingredient be wanting. There can be nogood sermon in which every one of them will not naturally appear, or from which the implication is not too obvious to be mistaken. You may preach fine discourses, -elegant discourses, -discourses which may make the people look at you with amazement, and all without Christ; and yet every one of these discourses will be labor lost, and more than lost. Let me assure you, my friends, that of all the temptations which ever besets the path of a young minister, and many an old one too, there is none so strong as the temptation of preaching a discourse which may show HIMSELF. Nothing will check this disposition to raise one's self but that true humility of heart which determines, by the grace of God, to make Christ prominent. Lift him up, and hide yourselves behind him! My dear young friends, preach “Christ crucified,” and your message to sinners will be blessed. There is no attraction like that of the cross. Genius, talent, rare intellectual attainment, may excite to yourselves admiration, but the cross of CHRIST draus sinners. Let that cross be your personal attraction, and all will be safe and well. God be with you. Amen."
BY THE REV. JOHN GRIGG,
St. Luke, xviii. 13.—"God! be merciful to me, a sinner !"
There never rose to Heaven more acceptable incense than this short, this comprehensive, this heart-touching prayer. It is an epitome of devotion adapted to the child as to the hoary head, to the ignorant as the sage, to the wavering sceptic as well as the matured in grace. It is the purest model proposed for the imitation of the Church, and which, used in the spirit that breathed it, will render JEHOVAH propitious to the suppliant. Behold the person from whose lips it emanates ! A wretched publican, an extortionate tax-gatherer, enters the courts of the temple to offer up his devotions. Pale, solitary, and dejected; he is overwhelmed, amidst thousands, by the weight of his iniquity. Every faculty of his body proclaims the depth of his emotions. His faltering foot, palsied by fear, stands afar off from the altar, trembling in shame at the abuse of its mercy. His tear-swollen eye,
downcast with suspense, fears, like Belshazzar, to read the horrors of its sentence. His hand, too worthless to be clasped, beats in indignation his agitated breast, while his mouth, his tongue, his heart cry aloud in concert, the language of the bitterest remorse; God! God! be merciful to me, a sinner! Such was the prayer which Christ assures is justified the contrite publican, and wbich he thus holds out as a model to instruct us in the matter of our devotions.
Would you be informed, brethren, of the cause that rendered this prayer so effectual, and which obtained from the Redeemer
so rich and transporting a sentence! Are you desirous of being taught the nature of the publican's entreaty, and the mode whereby you may be enabled to become similarly successful! Is it your heart's desire to enjoy that mercy which perishing sinners require, and depart like him from this temple justified rather than the pharisee! Consider, then, the particulars which this memorable prayer unfolds.
I. His REPENTANCE, implied in the confession “ME A SINNER."
II. His faith in the atonement denoted by the petition, "BE MERCIFUL.”
III. His pioUS DEVOTION founded on both these, “God! BE MERCIFUL TO ME, A SINNER."
I. Consider his REPENTANCE implied in the confession "ME A SINNER."
The term "sinner," among the Jews, conveyed an epithet of the darkest reproach, and hence nothing was thought more infamous in Christ, than his frequent communication with publicans and sinners. In the use of a term so degrading, the publican owns himself, though deemed otherwise by society, the most ignoble wretch in existence, and as "the chief of sinners," with St. Paul, obnoxious to the penalty of a violated law. He enters not like thoughtless thousands of the present day, the temple of their Maker, to offer the accustomed token of civility, in the cold, heartless formality of an unfelt confession. He feels that words, and professions, and show, are too poor to give vent to the torrent of his soul, and though encompassed by multitudes, apparently in quest of the same object, he dares only tremble at his own guilt, and suspect the motives that dictated his confession. As a sinner, he was conscious of inheriting original guilt, felt that he had broken the precepts of the divine law, and, though the last remedy of salvation, had neglected the covenant of grace and the qualifications to interest him in the atonement.
1. The publican was then “a sinner” from original corruption. Taught by the prophet that we are all as an unclean thing,
that the human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; he is heard subscribing to the doctrine enforced by the apostle, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. From a child, he was conscious of a mind inimical to divine knowledge, and a will radically averse to the commandments of his Maker! Why else in his youth did he manifest such repugnance to restraint, and so inordinate a fondness for the vanities of the world? Why else in riper years became he such a slave to the world, and such an enemy and stranger to the duties his God enjoined ? Arose it not from that fall of which, though personally guiltless, of its effects he became the sharer? Inheriting these ; he knew that without a change, his corrupt soul must be banished from heaven, and sentenced to the curse of which sin is the fountain. Guilty and unrenewed—What could recommend him to the mercy of God, since his conduct had been so criminal, and his passions so depraved? How could he hope that a cumberer like himself should be suffered to poison society ? How could he rest in peace when he heard the thunder of Sinai denouncing his corruption, and beheld the lightning of God's justice flashing to consume him ? Behold he approaches THE ALMIGHTY with pious trepidation ! Behold I am vile ! what
! shall I answer thee! I will lay my hand upon my mouth. Estranged froin thy service, Holy LORD, my soul with all its faculties is too worthless for thy acceptance. Alas! my understanding is darkened, my will is opposed, my affections have proved traitors to thy law. Did not thy grace counterbalance thy justice, I should not thus long have been spared, to trample upon thy compassion. But spare, righteous Father, a wretch, who, redeemed by the Messiah, implores thy mercy as the vilest of sinners; and in room of that corruption which debases bis heart, O, implant thy own righteousness, infuse thy own Spirit, that he may be sanctified and saved !
2. Not only did original guilt render him a sinner, it was more especially his violation of the Divine precepts that extorted his confession. When he remembered that a single breach of the moral law merited endless death, and that he bad ten thousand