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SERMON BY THE REV. T. J. JUDKIN,
AT SOMERS' CHAPEL, SOMERS' TOWN, Oct. 14, 1832.
Acts v. 42.-" They ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”
LITTLE beginnings have large end- | that most magnificent and glorious of ings. A man drops a small seed upon all eras, through whose instrumentthe earth, and it starts up and ex- ality, the whole world, now lying in pands into a tree of a thousand arms. darkness, shall be filled with the The slender rill that lapses from a knowledge of the Lord, as the waters rock, presently increases to a stream, cover the channels of the sea. This and the stream swells into a river, extension of divine truth, being in and the river, gathering as it rolls, itself, a triumphing comment upon becomes the arm of the sea ; and then the unanswerable position of the Phathere is a mingling, a sweeping, and a risee, Gamaliel, as recorded a few spreading of the waters through the cir- verses preceding my text.
“ If this cuit of the broad ocean. And so of the counsel or this work be of men, it rise and progress of the religion of Jesus. will come to nought, but if it be of At first there was the utteranceof a single God, ye cannot overthrow it.” voice in the solitudes of the wilder- Yes, my dear friends, whatever is, Dess, and next was the testimony of or whatever shall be, the aspects of the Son of God to himself, in the the globe in the light and beauties village and in the city; forthwith was of holiness, cometh under God, of the gathering of the twelve, and a preaching. This is the great lever, declaration from the mouths of these which by little and little, is lifting the of the simplicities of the Gospel, in wide universe out of the bondage of law and doctrine, to the surrounding ignorance and superstition. It was this nations. Then arose from the Apostles, which overturned the existing structhe great company of preachers multi- ture of the Mosaical economy, in rite plying and widening their circles of in- and ceremony, which left not of the Huence abroad the earth unto this ancient temples, one stone upon anpresent, the Holy Spirit attending and other. It was this which struck to blessing their labours, and through their centre, and shivered into a thouwhose instrumentality the word of sand atoms, the idols of the heathen, God hath so mightily grown and which swept the great Diana of the prevailed; and looking forward to Ephesians, and the pillars of her
house, where all the world wor- up the same irrepressible voice to“ the shipped, into one indistinguishable truth as it is in Jesus ;” and that, ruin. It was this, which enkindled a after they had been beaten, and “comlight, that the power of the most manded that they should not speak in numerous and mighty of adversaries the name of Jesus, and they had decould not put out-a light, still blaz- parted from the presence of the couning up in the enemies' face, to in. cil rejoicing, that they were counted crease in radiance, until it merge and worthy to suffer shame for his name,” be lost in the glories of Heaven. It yet, again, despite all the threatenings was this, which snatched from the of human malice to intimidate, all the grasp of Satan, which drew as brands gatherings of human power to burst from the burning, thousands of souls over and crush, the old enthusiasm that had now been writhing upon of their souls, broke out afresh, "and beds of eternal torment, but who are daily in the temple, and in every house the exalted and beatified, as happy an- they ceased not to teach and preach gels, singing and ministering before the Jesus Christ.” Theirs was a living, throne of the Lamb. Such has been the as well as a dying martyrdom. They influences and effects of the preaching were told to take no thought of the of the word, and well might a know- body, nor did they. Their mission ledge of these things, well might a was the deliverance of the message knowledge of this blessedness, nerve with which their souls were charged with fresh vigour, and sustain with and reckless of all temporal conseconstant unction, the endeavours of quences, they stood true to their trust. the Apostles in their holy work, “So “We ought to obey God, rather that daily in the temple, and in every than men,” was the confession which house, they ceased not to teach and they made, and which their life illuspreach Jesus Christ.”
trated. Let the church in the apAs a Christian minister, my prayer pointment and striving of her holy to God, is, that I may be led to ministers, retain this motto, and she imitate more and more their high and shall pass unharmed through a world noble example ; and whilst the same of flames, she shall ride in safety as blessed Spirit, who gave such large the ark of God upon a world of waters. success to their labours, is present But, in dwelling upon the text, I to carry home with demonstration would refer :and power the weakness of mine, First.-To OUR OBLIGATIONS IN may you my Christian hearers,
PREACHING JESUS CHRIST. approve yourselves, the seals of my Secondly.-INQUIRE WHAT IT IS ministry, and thus become the crown TO PREACH Jesus Christ, and of my rejoicing, in the great day Thirdly.--ALLUDE TO of the Lord. Amen.
“ They ceased not to teach and WHEN JESUS CHRIST IS PREACHED. preach Jesus Christ.”_“
They ceased not”—the context gives these words a OUR OBLIGATIONS peculiar emphasis and significancy. Jesus Christ. It is the solemn obYou will find that the Apostles, for the ject of our ordination. We are set decision and faithfulness of their testi- apart to the work—we express our bemony, had been cast into the com- lief that we are called and moved theremon prison, and from whence, being unto by the power of the Holy Ghost; redeemed by the Angel of the Lord, and we should be recreants from our they again stood forth in the very vows, we should become apostate from presence of their persecutors, to lift the articles of our faith, and traitors to
TURE IN WHICH YOU SHOULD HEAR
the cause we professedly espouse, were clothed in the sight of God—as wantwe to gainsay the appeal that presses. ing that white raiment which alone To teach and preach Jesus, is the great Christ can put on. business of our days; whatever be the Our obligations to preach Christ, are varieties of our talents, if the lines con based upon this persuasion and asverge not to this centre, our talents are surance, that in all the multifarious abased; whatever be the plenitude of wants of man, Christ is the one, the our strength, if it be not consecrated near, the all-sufficient, the ever-living, to this, if it be not spent in this, our the inexhaustible supply. The poor strength is worse than unprofitable. wandering and fainting flock lacks a Our lamp must burn at the altar, our shepherd to guide and cherish—Christ sinews must bear the cross. Oh, he is the true shepherd. The stricken who would enter into this sacred office, and bowed low, with the hitherto infrom the love of ease and idleness—he curable leprosy, lacks the hand of the who would assume the priest's robe physician to bind up and heal—Christ for the sake of worldly lucre, influence, is the wise physician. The deceived, or aggrandizement, is undermining and the forsaken, and the abandoned lacks pulling down the very establishment the faithful adviser, the able defender, be nominally supports !
the counsellor for good-Christ is the Our obligations to preach Jesus unchangeable friend, and the mighty Christ, rest upon the conviction that advocate, and the Prince of Peace. sinners have need of him. In their Our obligations to preach Christ natural estate they are, in St. James's Jesus, lie in the one deep and experiwords, “blind, and poor, and naked.” mental truth, that without him, every Blind in their ignorance of the true thing is nothing, whilst with him, God and Jesus Christ, whom he hath and in him, there is abundantly more sent-blind as followers of the blind, to than we can either ask or think to fall in into one common destruction— satisfy and enrich here, and to bless blind to the interests of their souls- everlastingly. And we cease not to blind as preferring the evil and reject- preach Jesus Christ, because we are ing the good-blind as turning their bound, thus to oppose and put to back to the only light which shines confusion the spirit of anti-christ, from to lead their steps to Heaven. who is so continually rising before Poor as despoiled of the privileges and
cease not to preach Jebonours of a happier estate_poor as sus Christ, because if we did, Self defrauded by an enemy of the birth- would have stolen in to exact his right of the sons of God, and the idol worship; for when we cease to blessing of a heavenly Father—poor preach Christ, we straightway begin as cast from the affluence of the garden, | to preach man.
We cease not to into the necessities of the wilderness preach Jesus Christ, because we have -poor as the heirs of bodily sorrows, no other legitimate theme upon which and as the victims of an inwardly con- to speak. We cease not to preach, suming anguish, because of guilt and because were we to do so, we should the judgment-poor as the slaves of be cheating poor souls of all the good sin, and the subjects to death, tempo- they can expect this side eternity. rally and eternally. Naked, as filled We cease not, because we are ever with a sense of their shame, as having hopeful that some exhibition of his their eyes open to the guilt of disobe- love and tenderness, some proffer of dience as possessing no garment in his pardoning grace, may melt into, their own righteousness, nor in that of and constrain the sinner's heart-may others, wherewith they might stand touch some hidden string, that shall
us - we
give back the melody of Jesus' name. of the other name Christ, that is, We cease not, because our own souls the anointed. The anointed, the have the tribute to pay, of a con- set apart and consecrated, through tinual gratitude and praise. Of whom the sign of the Spirit, as a dove deshould the heart of the redeemed cap-scending from the golden cloud, and tive be full, but of his liberator? Of lighting upon him—through the uncwhom should the heart of the par- tion and precious influences of the doned rebel be full, but of his king ? Holy Ghost—and do you acknowledge Of whom should the heart of the Christ in the separate glories of his adopted child be full, but of his offices, as having in each, the seal and father? We cease not, because we testimony of the Spirit ? Do you redare not to cease, because the fear ceive him in the power of this attestof God is in our eyes, because of the ation as baptized with the Spirit, as penalty of the blood of souls, of the the immersed and inter-penetrated reprobation and woe that shall be through every word and work, with upon us, shall inevitably fall upon us, the influence of the Spirit. He can if we preach not the Gospel of God's only be received as such by the dear Son.
spiritually discerning, by those who But, Secondly,–What is IT IN A have been washed with the same
WORDS, TO PREACH JEsus mystical waters—to whom Christ is Christ?-What in substance, and thus, sanctification. Others may acwhat in manner? In substance. Let count him, one set apart to exhibit as us analyse the title-Jesus-a name a man, the focus of all existing virtues synonomous with Joshua, and mean- and graces—to display as a sufferer, ing a deliverer - a deliverer from and a martyr, the disinterestedness of what? From the bondage of sin, a pure affection, and an uncomprofrom the tyranny of that most cruel mising adherence to truth admist and despotic of taskmasters, Satan- agonies of unutterable strength—to from sin as a ruling principle, and unfold as a teacher knowledge, the from sin, as a destroying violence most important, wisdom the most proupon the body and the soul—from found. But here they stop; thus the fears of the valley of the shadow much affects the earthly image and of death, and from the terrors of the representation, but not the living and deeper darkness beyond ! A deliverer spiritual Christ, as irradiated and from these evils, and by what means ? filled and glorified with the emanations At what cost? By the offering up of of God the Holy Ghost. himself, the just for the unjust, by The manner of preaching Jesus. the shedding of his most precious But here I speak with a faltering tongue. blood, as the Lamb of atonement, for I never ascend this pulpit, but as tremthe sins of the world. We preach bling with the weight of my own inJesus, a deliverer, and do you re- sufficiencies- confess that I know ceive our message? Do ye believe in not how to preach Jesus as I ought to him? Have you the faith to take know; but still I would pray, and him at his own word, to acknow. strive after a more excellent way. ledge and trust in him in the great To think how long I have been with office shadowed forth in his name? you, and how little has been done, Do you look to him as a spiritual fills me with painful anxieties, not Joshua, conducting you from a land that for a moment, I would attribute of dearth and distress, into a coun- any thing to man, in himself contry of fruitfulness, and joy, and sidered; but I feel conscious that the peace ! And now the signification withholding of the Spirit, has arisen
from some grievous neglect on your | for its own sake—who bring not with part or mine, or both, of making our them some chair of judgment from intercessions for those influences and which they may criticise, condemn, assistances, without which a Paul may and perhaps, denounce the preacher plant, or an Apollos water in vain. for some peculiarities in the delivery, Let this day be the date of a better forgetful of the preacher's message, course. One thing, however, I would picking at the bark of divine truths affirm, that the manner should be cha- and leaving the kernel untouched. racterised with a spirit of simplicity, You should hear with watchfulness and decision, and faithfulness, and and prayer; watchfulness against affection, and the devotion of a holy the sins and temptations that are zeal—that the man should be forgotten most prevailing; and with prayer in his menage—that the wise, after to the Holy Spirit of God, that the rudiments of this world, should be he may impress, and sanctify, and hidden to himself and others in the guide you into all truth, and enable office of the minister of Christ! you to stand adorned with those holy
But, Lastly, the POSTURE WITH graces and dispositions, which are so WHICH SHOULD
THE beautifully illustrated and powerfully PREACHED WORD. You should hear enforced in the example and by the as fully sensible of the value of the lips of Christ. You should hear with privilege of hearing. What gem faith, receiving the mysteries of Christ had not David plucked from his as mysteries—as those deeper things royal crown for one of the oppor- of God, whose reception is for an tunities with which you are blessed ? exercise of faith here, and whose soluHow lavish had priests been of their tion and discovery shall be amongst distinctions, and prophets of their the felicities of eternity. gifts, in exchange for one hour of But while I cease not to preach your sabbaths.
And oh, the trea- Christ, are there not amongst you, sures expended, and the blood shed by many with unbelieving ears and hard our fathers and martyrs for your pre- hearts—who neither seek Christ in sent liberty, of assembling yourselves the letter, nor in the Spirit? Who, in peace together. You should hear while I cease not to preach, cease as men personally concerned, and not to sin, binding themselves with addressed in every appeal and invita- stronger chains, plunging themselves tion and reproof, in every promise into deeper darkness, through the and curse. You should bring the intervening days of our holy sabbaths? application home, not sitting as some Who have yet to know, if they ever of you do, fancying how well the know, what repentance is—Who have preacher's word affixes to such and yet to know, if they ever know, what euch an one; but you should lay humbleness of mind is—Who have open and bare, your own heart to yet to know, if they ever know, what let the arrow lodge there. You faith in a Saviour's blood and merits should hear with humility, keeping is—Who have yet to know, if they Self in subjection, schooling down your ever know, what justification in him, natural arrogancy into the dependence what sanctification in him, what and simple credence of the little child. adoption in him, a hope in Christ Oh, how few are those who unfeignedly is— Who are now lying under the come for the sincere milk of the word, shadow of a double curse, the curse that they may grow thereby—who of original, and the curse of actual bring not with them some previous sin, the curse upon the heir of the system of principles and duties hugged fallen Adam, and upon the willing