Imágenes de páginas

was not merely Heathenish idolatry, and ceremonies of false worship, but that indulgence of vanity, and that gratisication of appetite, in which worldly men, in every age, place their supreme delight.

3. Whnt hath. been said may serve for the support and consolation of real believers, under the trials to which they are exposed in the present state. It is melancholy to think, how frequently, and how easily, we are unhinged by distress; what discontent and impatience we are apt to discover under suffering. Alas! my brethren, are you not ashamed. of impatience, when you consider the unparallelled sufferings of your Redeemer in your room? A believing view of the Saviour's cross, one would think, might stop every mouth, and compose every murmuring thought. Has he suffered so much for us? and shall we refuse to suffer from him, and for him? His sufferings should make us patienr, as they shew us the evil of sin, and what we have deserved. Did we really deserve avenging wrath i and shall we dare* to complain of fathei ly correction? Did he suffer with patienco who did no sin? and shall we complain who are punished less than our iniquities deserve? His sufferings should reach us patience, because they take away the bitterness end malignity of our sufferings, and turn them from a poison to a medicine: he hath exhausted, if I may speak so, the whole wrath of God, and left nothing for us but what is highly salutary. And as he hath changed the nature of all the sufferings of life,


he hath taken away the sting of death, which is the end of all our suffering. That blood which speaks peace to the wounded spirit, should be a healing balm to the wounded body.

But of all the disferent kinds of suffering, if we pretend to glory in the cross, we ought to be least afraid of the reproach thrown upon us for adherence to our duty. To glory in the .cross, is indeed to glory in shame. The form of expression used with regard to Peter and John, Acts v. 41. is very remarkable. They departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. It would greatly tend to fortify us against this trial, if we would lay up in our hearts what hath been said on the doctrine of the cross. If it is impossible to avoid it, we must needs sit down composedly under it. And if our attachment to our great master is what it ought to be, we will chearfully follow him even without the camp, bearing his reproach.

4. In the last place, By what hath been said, you may try your title to sit down at th« Lord's table, and learn your employment there. This ordinance is a sensible memorial of our Redeemer's cross and passion. It was on the cross that his body was broken, and his blood flied4 for you. Are you then to commemorate it? You cannot do so, either in art acceptable or prositable manner, unless you can join the apostle in glorying in it. Have you seen any thing of the excellence and amiableness of this despised object? Nothing so tasteless and insipid to the proud R 3 and and self-righteous; nothing so delightful and refreshing to the broken in heart. Have you seen any thing of the glory of the true God, in the sufferings of Chri't? and can you fay with the apostle Paul, Heb. ii. 10. "It became him, for "whom are all things, and by whom are all "things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to "make the Captain of their salvation perfect "through sufferings." Do you fee the glory of insinite mercy in the cross? and are your hearts drawn with the cords of love to him who "loved you, and gave himself for you?" Have you experienced the sanctifying influence of the cross i are your corruptions weakened and mortified by looking upon iti Is it your unfeigned desire, that they may be sinally destroyed by it? To draw to a conclusion of the subject: I cannot point out your duty to you in a manner more suited to this day's employment, or more proper for your after security and comfort, than to turn the three reasons for glorying in the crose

into the form of exhortations. 1 beseech

you, my beloved hearers, contemplate the glory of God in the cross of Christ. See him, insinite in power, insinite in wisdom, insinite in holiness. You may fee a faint emblem of his glory in the book of nature; but you can only fee his transcendent majesty in the book of God. And may "he who at sirst commanded the light to shine *' out of darkness, shine in your hearts, to give "you the light of the knowledge of the glory * of God, in the face of Jesus Christ I"—Adore and apply the riches of divine grace. Let the

convinced, convinced, fearful, trembling sinner, fly to this atoning blood, rest his hope upon it, and be secure.— And neglect not to use the cross of Christ for mortifying your corruptions. Let your views.of it now be lively and strong, and cany the same impression away, to be your great preservative srom daily temptation. Make no image of the cross in your houses; but let the remembrance of it be ever on your hearts. One lively view of this great object will cool the flames of unclean lust: one lively view of this great object will make the unjust man quit his hold: one lively view of this tremendous object will make the angry man drop his weapon: nay, one look of mercy from a dying Saviour will make even the covetous man open his heart. In one word, believing views of the cross of Christ will unite the Christian more and more to a reconciled God, will make his presence comfortable. his worship delightful, and excite a humble longing for that time when we fliall fee him no more through the belp of these elements, but as he is in himself. exalted on his throne, where his 01 strip and service are evei lasting.


The world crucisied by the cross of Christ.

- Galatians vi. 14. last clause.

—— By whom the -world is crucified to me, and I unto the world.

THE character of a servant of God is sometimes desciibed in scripture by particular dispositions or instances of obedience, and sometimes by a general view of the spirit that runs through the whole of his temper and carriage. Each of these ways has its own advantage and use. Each of them is to be found in its proper order in the holy scripture?, and stands there as a proof of their fulness and perfection. The whole of this passage, but particularly the last clause, upon which i am now to insist, is of the general kind, and, in the apostle's own example, gives us a very comprehensive view os what ought to be the temper and disposition of every real Christian: "By whom," that is, by Christ crucisied, or, "by which," that is to say, by the cross of Christ, " the world is crucisied unto me, "and I unto the world."- ,

This description will serve, if carefully attended to, as a trial and touchstone of sincerity;


« AnteriorContinuar »